River Hebert -
Hello From River Hebert
I would like to start this week's column by asking you two questions. Are you upset about the decision to move the jail out of Cumberland County? Do you think this decision will have an effect on the residents and the businesses in Cumberland County?
Well, if you answered "no" to these questions, then I think you better re-examine your answers, because you should be upset. Although you may not work at the jail or may not have direct dealings with the institution, you are tied indirectly to it.
Every taxpayer or resident of Cumberland County is indirectly tied to every business in our area. Whether it's shopping at Wal-Mart in Amherst, supporting a corner convenience store in Oxford or Mike's Garage in River Hebert, each of these businesses are important to the economy of Cumberland County. Not only do they supply a service to your area but they supply jobs and, without these businesses, our county's economy would take a drastic downslide.
Just think about what happens when a business is closed down in an area. For example, what would happen if the River Hebert Co-op were to close? For many people it would be a great hardship, especially for those without cars. They would have to get to Amherst for their groceries the best way they could and, chances are, they would have to hire someone to take them, meaning that they would have to cut into their grocery money to pay travel costs. And what about the jobs that would be lost in the area? Would that have an effect on others? Sure it would. The Co-op provides a service not only to the residents of River Hebert but to the other businesses and organizations, such as the schools, the curling club, the restaurant and so on. For every job lost in an area, everyone suffers.
The spin-offs to having the jail in Cumberland County are great. Like all institutions, it needs supplies, food and so on. And where does it buy them? In Cumberland County! And what about the people who are employed at the jail? They own homes or rent, their children go to our schools and they shop here. If the jail leaves, what's going to happen? In order to keep their jobs, some of these people are going to move. That means selling their homes, taking their children out of our schools and supporting businesses in other counties for their food, clothing and so on, which is another blow to the economy of Cumberland County!
Some of you may be thinking, well, it's only 26 or so jobs, how bad can it really be? These are 26 high-paying jobs that generate a huge spin-off for the area and, let's not forget, that new jail project would have created another 30 jobs in Cumberland County. So we are talking close to 60 jobs in total. Now, to Pictou, 60 jobs may not mean a lot, but to Cumberland County any job lost or gained is a big deal.
So, I ask everyone to support MLA Murray Scott in his fight to keep the jail in Springhill. Pick up pen and paper and write a letter to the government and tell them that they can't take the jail out of Cumberland County and that, contrary to popular belief, there is life on this side of the Cobequid Pass and Cumberland County is the gateway to Nova Scotia, and we deserve to be treated equally, and the first step is to allow us to keep our jail. Because, in truth, if the people of Cumberland County are not willing to stand and fight for what we have, then don't expect others to do it for us.
Food for Fines - The River Hebert library is once again hosting its Food for Fines program in support of our local food bank. Anyone having an outstanding late fine at the library is asked to bring in a non-perishable food items in exchange for fine. It's a great way to eliminate those pesky fines and support your local food bank at the same time. The Food for Fines campaign will run until Dec. 31.
Children's Christmas Dance - Friday, Dec. 11, 7-9 p.m. at the River Hebert Elementary School. Admission: $3 or $2 with a non-perishable food item. There will be a canteen, spot dances and maybe a surprise or two.