I am very appreciative of the opportunity The News has given me as Mayor of New Glasgow to provide you with an overview of the initiatives and priorities of the Town, along with some highlights of the events I have attended over the past few weeks.
My colleagues on Town Council, our CAO and I had the chance to meet in person with our Member of Parliament The Honourable Peter MacKay to outline our infrastructure plans and to make him aware of our requirements. Strong infrastructure is one of the most important services any municipality can provide for a sustainable future and we appreciate Minister MacKay’s commitment to our community and his support of our strategic priorities. We also launched African Heritage Month in the Council Chambers before a great turnout. I was honoured to sign the proclamation with The Honourable Ross Landry, the Minister of Justice and MLA for Pictou Centre and Deputy Mayor Henderson Paris, a commissioner with the NS Human Rights Commission. Crystal States of the African Nova Scotia North Central Network. Warden Ron Baillie of the County of Pictou, Tracey Thomas of the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs and Liz Paris of the local Congress of Black Women also participated in the unveiling of the poster and the official proceedings. Local African drummers and vocalists as well as members of the New Glasgow Regional Police Service and the RCMP, as well as many citizens and School Board officials, also joined us for the celebration. There are many great activities happening throughout the month, so please check the local media, our Web site and Facebook page for more details.
I am extremely pleased with the new Master Water Agreement we have signed with the County of Pictou which will enable more commercial and residential development. We have also established a new Business Advisory Committee and I am looking forward to chairing this new committee that will help us develop a new business strategy in partnership with the business community. We are also looking forward to closely reviewing the feedback received from our citizens and businesses received through the public sessions and I invite all to fill in our on line survey at www.newglasgow.ca. Our initial sessions with youth, the general public and seniors provided some amazing feedback with more to come from the business community on February 15th.
The severe cold temperatures we have experienced lately have caused some water main breaks and I want to offer my thanks on behalf of the Council and the great people of New Glasgow to our Public Works crew for their tireless work under very difficult conditions to get these problems addressed promptly and effectively. And also our great appreciation goes out to the Pictou County Integrated Street Crime Unit for its diligent work in getting drugs off the streets for the safety and security of all.
All six municipalities of Pictou County have jointly launched a promotional campaign to address the unjust ratings Money Sense magazine bestowed upon our region during the past several years. We don’t know what this year’s ratings will bring but as a family of communities we recommend that Money Sense magazine considers a more level playing field than comparing the largest urban centres in Canada to towns and rural areas. This great nation has thousands of amazing communities each with their own distinct character, strengths and challenges. I am proud to call this one my home. The outpouring of support and sense of community from across the region through our postcard campaign has been incredible. Pictou County is a centre of entrepreneurship, innovation, talent, kindness and community spirit that punches well above its weight and size. There is a strong foundation to build upon and many opportunities to fulfill our potential. We urge Money Sense to visit and to see the real story first hand. Living here makes great sense!
I look forward to providing you with more updates in the future including some very interesting and relevant info I acquired when recently attending the Smart Cities Summit in Toronto.
Barrie MacMillan is the mayor for the Town of New Glasgow. He will be a monthly contributor to The News.