By Barrie MacMillan
Mayor of New Glasgow
In 1979 Mr. A. Gordon Archibald presented a proposal on behalf of ICG Scotia Gas to provide natural gas to the Town of New Glasgow. Thirty-four years later on April 5, 2013 a milestone announcement was actually made by The Honourable Charlie Parker, Minister of Energy for Nova Scotia that natural gas is on its way to Pictou County. This announcement signals a very important first chapter in the fulfillment of a vision I and others have dreamed for Pictou County for many years and it is no secret that I believe that natural gas will be a major step forward for the growth and development of our region.
Our major industries and our businesses will benefit from this new source of energy and it will also stimulate meaningful change and growth through energy efficiency, cleaner energy sources, cost savings and enhanced infrastructure.
The partnerships between Heritage Gas, Northern Pulp and the Province of Nova Scotia will bring the first business anchor for natural gas to Pictou County. That leadership will be the catalyst and the economic engine for further investment and development that will bring many benefits to our industries, our businesses, our major institutions and to our communities.
Last month the Town of New Glasgow was very proud to have partnered with Eco Nova Scotia, the Province of Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia Power to play a role towards increased use of green energy in Nova Scotia through the innovative COMFIT program. The wind turbine at our Forbes Lake Water Treatment Plant facility will produce energy efficient power that will be purchased by N. S. Power and, in turn, enable our Town to invest new revenues back into our Water Treatment Plant.
Strong environmental stewardship is a priority for New Glasgow and this successful partnership enables us to continue to achieve these goals for the betterment of our community. The Town of New Glasgow has completed several infrastructure projects that have reduced our carbon foot prints and this is our latest commitment to environmental action through the building of a small wind turbine at the Town owned and operated water treatment facility site that is an exciting partnership venture. This turbine project has received funds from Eco Nova Scotia, Clean Air and the Climate Change program and is also supported by the Town of New Glasgow. The delivery of a clean water supply with high standards for our customers is further enhanced by the utilization of renewable energy on site.
The installation and commission of the wind turbine supports the Town of New Glasgow’s ongoing commitment to renewable energy and cost efficiency. This means that New Glasgow will have helped support the reduction of carbon emissions by nearly 100,000 kg per year.
I had the pleasure of attending the Town of New Glasgow’s Earth Hour program and presenting brief opening remarks. The program was held at the Community Room in the New Glasgow Library. We were extremely pleased to welcome representatives from the New Glasgow Girl Guides and so impressed by them taking such a keen interest in Earth Hour. Fleur Mainville and Ray Stewart provided great entertainment prior to the screening of the movie “Surviving Progress”. Many thanks to all who attended the event or supported the Earth Hour challenge through their own initiatives for their interest in our community and our planet.
Please mark your calendars on May 11th for a performance of the Stadacona Band of the Royal Canadian Navy in New Glasgow at Glasgow Square. In addition to providing musical support to the Canadian Forces, this band, which is comprised of 35 professional musicians, works with numerous charitable organizations to better many local communities. In our case this performance will be a very important fund raiser for the restoration of the Pioneer Cemetery located off the Pioneer Trail in the south end of New Glasgow. It is our honour to host the Stadacona Band, which is often referred to as “the finest band in the land”. Of special note for this performance is that the newest member of the band is New Glasgow’s very own Natalie Alcorn. It will also be a great treat to have Natalie joined by her musical family for one number. Please contact Glasgow Square Theatre or stop by the Town Hall for tickets and time information.
In closing, I want to share with the community that our CAO Lisa MacDonald and I met with members of the Nova Scotia Commission on Building our New Economy. The Commission was appointed in late November by Premier Dexter and has been engaging citizens across the province to identify emerging economic opportunities and challenges. The purpose of the Commission is to identify new directions for wealth creation in all regions of the Province. During the course of the meeting we were asked to finish a sentence. On behalf of the Town of New Glasgow we responded as follows:
“The Nova Scotia Commission on Building our New Economy would have succeeded if in ten years …..”
§ shipbuilding opportunities actually happened for the entire province;
§ our youth stay and become entrepreneurs
§ if we have sustainable energy sources/options
§ healthy, active aging community members still positively contributing to our communities and economy
§ more entrepreneur incentives and business growth support
§ lower taxes
The Town of New Glasgow was certainly appreciative of the opportunity to provide our direct feedback to the Commission and the Province on this important initiative.