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Pharmacy decision an insult to Lycetts and broader community

Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor
BRIDGETOWN, N.S. —

On a recent television house renovation show called “Home Town”, the hosts of the show discussed the great benefits of small-town living. The usual features of lifestyle, safety, affordable housing, and lower property taxes were all promoted as valuable benefits of small-town and rural living. Added to those features, the hosts discussed the great value of personal relationships that develop in such places. In fact, the hosts consider the development of personal relationships with their customers to be the key element in the re-birth of their small town in Mississippi.

Those of us who have been around for several (many) decades have witnessed the decline of small towns and rural communities in North America. Young people have had to migrate to larger centres for greater opportunities and that has affected all of our families. We also recognize that larger centres have more clout in the allocation of tax dollars by governments. That’s why people in Halifax can accept hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars being spent in their city but take issue with a few million dollars being expended on the Yarmouth ferry that benefits the small town of Yarmouth and surrounding communities in south-western Nova Scotia. It is interesting that new PC Leader Tim Houston and many others criticize the Yarmouth ferry but say nothing about the subsidized ferry that travels from Pictou to PEI even though they have a bridge to travel on.

Recent events in the former Town of Bridgetown bring both joy and heartache. On the positive side, I congratulate our hard-working and community-minded MLA and Premier for the replacement of the local schools and for the recent announcement of the new track and field facility. Bridgetown has always been a leading competitor in many sports in many age groups. Many long-term personal relationships have developed because of that involvement.

On the negative side, I was disheartened to learn of the recent decision of the Annapolis County Municipal Housing Corporation to end a long-term relationship with the Lycett family, owners of Bridgetown Pharmasave. This family-owned pharmacy has served Bridgetown and surrounding communities for many decades. They have provided exceptional service to the Housing Corporation by providing medications and pharmacy supplies for residents and they have worked with staff to provide the care needed. Their service has not been limited to store hours. They have answered calls nights, week-ends, and holidays. Will the new out-of-town provider offer the same?

While I am not privy to the reasons for the Housing Corporation’s decision, I feel quite safe in saying that the multi-national corporation will not deliver the same level of service that has been provided by the Lycetts. It is obvious that good service and a personal relationship with Pharmasave, its owners, and its employees counts for nothing in selecting a new provider of pharmacy goods and services.

To be transparent, I acknowledge my personal relationship with the housing corporation as I sat on the board of directors some years ago. I also served the Meadows ARC as an interim administrator for a one-year contract. I still have solid personal relationships at the ARC with many staff and residents. It is not my purpose to personally attack any individual in this matter. I am simply questioning the decision that has been made which I consider to be an insult to the Lycetts and an insult to the broader community.

Herb Anderson
Annapolis County

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