Landry expresses ‘disappointment’ at mayor’s comments

Darrell Cole
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Justice minister supports Amherst and its MLA

AMHERST – Justice Minister Ross Landry is disappointed with how Amherst Mayor Robert Small is handling his department’s move of eight government jobs to New Waterford.

Landry, who was in Amherst on Friday to meet with employees of the Cumberland County Correctional Centre, said he is flabbergasted at the mayor’s comments.

“I was very disappointed with the mayor’s comments. This government supports Amherst and it supports this area’s MLA, Brian Skabar,” Landry said. “I was flabbergasted that he used me to take a shot at my counterpart.”

On Thursday, Small said he remains frustrated with the province’s decision to close the Cumberland County Correctional Centre in favour of a new jail under construction near Thorburn, Pictou County and he’s upset with the decision, announced last month, to close the Maintenance Enforcement Office in Amherst and move its eight jobs to New Waterford.

He also said he plans to be much louder with the province and said the area’s MLA has been silent on both the jail and Maintenance Enforcement issues.

Landry said the province has supported Amherst by providing funding to both PolyCello and LED Roadway Lighting in the industrial park and a new West Highlands Elementary School.

He also said Skabar has been very active in the caucus room speaking up for Amherst and he was shocked to hear the mayor say otherwise.

The minister also said the jail decision was not based only on geography, while the decision Maintenance Enforcement was based on what clients want. 

Landry said it was Skabar who helped organize a meeting with the minister and the mayor that was supposed to take place on Friday in Amherst, but the mayor asked to move it to Halifax last Wednesday. He’s disappointed the mayor, or someone with the town, did not inform the MLA.

Despite this, Landry said he will continue to work with the mayor and council and that the government will continue to support the area.

Organizations: Cumberland County Correctional Centre, Maintenance Enforcement Office, West Highlands Elementary School

Geographic location: Amherst, New Waterford, Thorburn Pictou County Halifax

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Recent comments

  • AL
    June 21, 2012 - 12:53

    Lets face guys,,,,our beautiful cumberland county is dying,,our businesses are strugling or closing,,our young people have nothing to look for when they graduate,,no economic developments,,no plans to atract new business,,the provincial and federal governments dont cAre and no one is treating us with respect or pay attention fgor our needs,,all the projects and developments are in halifax -dartmouth areazs and other counties which I wont mention,,we need a strong leadership from our municipal leaders in cumberland county,,people who are not afraid to ask and brag and raise their voices very loud,,we are the main gate for nova scotia and we have nothing to offer,,,its time for serious protest,,and demand something fast to be done before its too late,,,Hey zellers is closing,,we need new business NOW,,may be if the xdecdent people of cumberland county unite together against this discrimnation,,and may be ldets close trans canada highway for one day,,may be some one then will listen,,havde a good day

  • straightshooter
    June 18, 2012 - 18:54

    Hey "Reality Check"- maybe you should take an economics course. Then, possibly, you could understand why these are big issues and not just small changes. It was time for someone to step up for Amherst and all of Cumberland County since our MLA won't. Mr. Landry- Don't for one second think that people here in Amherst and Cumberland County don't know that you and your NDP party are laughing at your representative here in Cumberland North, as you get what you need and let him be silent and leave us with nothing...when it is time to vote-we will see who gets the last laugh! The election cannot come soon enough.

    • reality check
      June 19, 2012 - 21:37

      I'm 17 and go to ARHS so I can't vote... yet. But I guarantee that it won't be for the parochial idiots that you seem to support. This town really needs to move on and up. Figthin yesterdays battles is a waste of time

    • Crusty old man
      June 20, 2012 - 08:47

      17? oh well then I guess you know everything and us old folks dont know anything. Sorry but until you live through a few recessions, you are "young and stupid". As others has pointed out, there will more catastrophic loss. Ever think about the tax rate going up even more due to loss of families and business? Oh right, you're 17 which means mommy and daddy pays for your household taxes so you don't have a clue what it takes to make a living and pay for things like taxes and a cost of living that is increasing beyond revenues. Do me a favour, when you graduate from high school, go to college/university and party for a few years. Figure out what you are going to do in life, and maybe live on your own dime for a decade or so. Maybe, just maybe some of us will take your comments a little more seriously. Until then, go back to your social media life and pretend that you know everything there is about life. I cannot wait until this new generation "NDP" fad will disappear.

    • reality check
      June 20, 2012 - 15:41

      Keep on believing that grandpa. You and I are equals regardless of age or ability to vote. And I happen to believe that I have a firmer grasp of the situation than you do in your jaded outlook. No community has dibs on government offices and things like that. Just like a school, they should be located where they serve the maximum number of people. I don't see a provincial jail for New Brunswick across the border in Sackville.... Therefore it makes zero sense having one in Amherst.

    • will
      June 20, 2012 - 21:55

      great comment well said ns starts in turo

  • reality check
    June 18, 2012 - 15:58

    Yo peeps - it's just a stupid jail !!! I live in Amherst and it really irks me how some people get wrapped up about a jail moving, or by Burger King closing, or by LED lights being installed, or by freight trains rolling through town, or by windmills outside of town, or by a community-owned FM radio station, . . . . . . . It's called CHANGE there adults. Get used to it. It's constantly happening and there is not one thing that you can do about it. And on the jail thing... do you really think it makes sense having a government facility smack up against your border so that almost every single inmate has to be driven west to get to it? Centralization for these things makes sense. Just like how Amherst is home to the INAC office and a few other things, because it's central to the Maritimes (just no Nova Scotia). Keep on being small minded though, would ya?

    • amherstonianforlife
      June 18, 2012 - 20:58

      Reality check................ You seem to be confused....... "its just a stupid Jail" Let me ask you this question. Do you know what a Lawyer makes a year for salary? Or how about a Provincial Prision Guard ? Court Secretary ? The thing is that if there is no jail here there may not be a need for a court house and with no court house you loose alot of lawyers. These are all people who not only live here or in the surrounding areas but they spend the majority of their decent paycheck at our local stores and area businesses. For those who think about business............ thats called spin offs. That is what helps make our local economy work.......... If you have less people spending money here then local businesses will have less need to employ all those people to work in their stores. To be more correct I believe your the one being small minded. You are correct about one thing indeed. Things do CHANGE. My concern and the concerns of alot of other hard working citizens in the area is simply economics and employment. I can only guess that if your not concerned about that you either work for the government or your a welfare recipient who has no need to worry about a job.

    • reality check
      June 19, 2012 - 21:35

      @ AMHERSTONIANFORLIFE The only thing that I'll agree to is that you're selfish and greedy and quite immature. Provincial facilities need to be central in the province they're intended for. Amherst is not central in Nova Scotia. Federal facilities and private businesses need to be central in the region that they're intended for, because they don't need to respect provincial boundaries. That's why Amherst's industrial park does well. That's also why Corrections Canada has penitentiaries that are in this area - central to all of NS, NB and PEI. You don't see New Brunswick locating a provincial jail in Sackville or Aulac - that'd be absolutely stupid. Same goes for Amherst. You just can't accept the REALITY of the situation.

  • Fuzzy Bear
    June 18, 2012 - 13:14

    Oh Mr poor thing. Did the big old bad Mayor of Amherst hurt your iddy biddy feelings. And on top of that you say you were very disappointed by his comments! Well Suck it up Buttercup....the people of Amherst are disappointed and disgusted with you and your whole government especially the drone we elected to represent this riding. In my opinion he has fallen to less than that of a lame duck MLA! I commend Mayor Small for finally giving a few of you the verbal tongue lashing you so deserve. This province has never extended all the way to the NB border and we so hoped your government would be different but alas... not so. Instead of stopping at Truro it now stops at the New Glasgow/Pictou area! My vote will be so different next time and I'll be smiling all the way to the polls. Off topic ...any political party (except the NDP) who wants my vote just needs to agree take on NSP and make major changes to their power monolopy over us.

  • Flabbergasted
    June 18, 2012 - 13:05

    I am flabbergasted that Mr Landry thinks it was ok to move the jail to his riding (even though the tenders came in overpriced). I am flabbergasted that the NDP failed to address the gas price disparity that we are losing our economy to. I am flabbergasted that the NDP handed over millions to universities yet are gutting public school education system. I am flabbergasted that the NDP is gutting the healthcare - a tenet for which the party was based on. I will be flabbergasted should they be re-elected because as far as I can tell, pretty much everyone says they will NEVER vote for NDP including yours truly

  • amherstonianforlife
    June 18, 2012 - 09:24

    It is confusing to me that during the election the "big election issue " around here was whether it made sense to move the jail out of amherst to springhill. The government at the time had already began this transformation with the purchase of a property from the town of Springhill that sat next to the federal prision there. After the election all of a sudden ........... we are not deciding between amherst or springhill but ......... between cumberland county and Pictou county ............ Convient that the justice minister has made plans to move the prision to his own riding ! To Mr Landry ............ on your comment that Mr Skabar is very vocal in the caucus room speaking up for this riding . Maybe Brian Skabar should remember ......... if he is going to get up on his soap box and speak on behalf of our riding he should do so in a manner that the people who he expects to vote for him in the next election will be able to hear. I have rarely seen a comment in this newpaper from him. The MLA for Cumberland South seems to have an article from time to time in the Citizen........... I'm glad to see that the members of the NDP government are lining their pockets on their first time running the province because they will not hang around for the second tenure on the legislature.

  • Reality
    June 18, 2012 - 06:52

    Landry will be even more disappointed when he, Dexter, Skabar and company do not get re-elected.