Attending the meeting in Scotsburn, we heard from 13 speakers – five against amalgamation and eight for. The five against amalgamation were retired or could be retired individuals. The eight for amalgamation were a wide range of ages, and had done their homework. The younger speakers talked about wanting to work here, raise their families here, and the need to attract business and people to his area. A strong voice would go a long way in attracting work for our young folks, and again providing a broad tax base.
With about 50 per cent of the population in Pictou County retired or over age 65, the amount coming in is less and less each year. We need jobs; we need young people working; and we need business to come here to attract more working people. At the present time we have 9.5 per cent unemployment, so we know we need jobs. Major industry brings in high-paying jobs, which in turn provides an environment for spinoff jobs (small business) about four to one.
Our schools now have approximately 6,000 students, whereas 25 years ago it was 10,000. From these numbers alone we can see we are in trouble. Who is going to be around to support us?
For me, I have one son and his family who live in British Columbia; and one son and his family still in Pictou County. I want my children and grandchildren to grow up and work and live here.
I live in the county, but I look at the big picture and not my own special wishes. For me, it is one voice to help us attract future investments so our kids and grandkids can stay here and thrive. For that reason, I will vote for amalgamation.
Think about your kids and grandkids when it comes time to vote!