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LETTER: Tories sabotaging ‘positive environment’ for municipal reform

In a recent news article published in the Hants Journal, Conservative leader Jamie Baillie criticized our government’s relationship with municipalities. His remarks were misleading and, I believe, designed to sabotage a positive environment we have created for meaningful municipal government reform.

Feel passionate about something you read or saw in the Journal? Concerned about a decision of council? Why not get it off your chest and write a letter to the editor.

Municipal Affairs Minister Zach Churchill has repeatedly stated that public safety is of the utmost importance. The minister has informed the Hants West municipality and the fire department that he will intervene only if it becomes clear that public safety may be compromised.

The minister’s staff has been monitoring the situation and working together with the municipality.  There is no indication that there are any public safety concerns.

There is a plan in place, which is being reviewed by the fire marshal. Once this is complete, he will report back to the minister. 

The minister has met with the Local MLA Chuck Porter (who has met with both the fire department and municipal representatives) and he has been quite helpful in keeping the minister informed.

It is quite clear that our provincial minister and our government have played an active role in managing the situation in Windsor and Hants West.

As this is a matter of public safety it is disappointing that both the leader of the official opposition and MLA Chris d'Entremont have chosen to play on the fears of local residents for political gain. 

Municipal councils are democratically elected bodies that have to be given the opportunity to govern responsibly within their mandates. For Baillie to suggest that the province should dictate to municipalities shows a lack of understanding of the dynamic that must be maintained to effectively govern Nova Scotia.

On the contrary, this government respects municipalities and respects the citizens who elect them.  Baillie’s assertion that government should use a heavy hand to override municipal government indicates he really has no idea how this province operates.


Terry Farrell

Liberal MLA for Cumberland North


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