Opin­ions on eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment vary

Cape Breton Post - - news - BY CHRIS SHAN­NON CAPE BRE­TON POST cshan­non@cb­post.com


— Coun­cil­lors sparred in a widerang­ing hour-long de­bate on eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment this week.

Deputy Mayor Dar­ren Bruckschwaiger had re­quested the item on the agenda of the cor­po­rate ser­vices com­mit­tee meet­ing Mon­day to dis­cuss the Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s op­tions fol­low­ing the Supreme Court of Canada’s de­ci­sion in De­cem­ber to refuse a hear­ing of the equal­iza­tion law­suit against the prov­ince.

CBRM chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer Jerry Ryan said the mu­nic­i­pal­ity must fo­cus in on the needs of an ag­ing pop­u­la­tion.

“I think (the CBRM) is some­what unique. Many peo­ple think we’re no dif­fer­ent than any­one else. But there’s prob­a­bly five re­gions in Canada in the sit­u­a­tion we’re in (with a de­clin­ing pop­u­la­tion),” Ryan said.

As the tax base shrinks, he said the CBRM will be lucky to fi­nan­cially sup­port its in­fra­struc­ture sys­tems it has cur­rently.

Bruckschwaiger ac­cused the CAO of hav­ing a de­featist at­ti­tude.

“Should we pass the keys in to­day and for- get this or should we try to do some­thing?” Bruckschwaiger asked.

“ You’re our CAO and I want to know if you’re will­ing to try to help this com­mu­nity. Let’s talk about the pos­i­tives. We’ve heard the neg­a­tives here for so long and we re­al­ize them. We went to court, we lost, no­body lis­tened to us.”

Ryan said the CBRM doesn’t have the abil­ity to solve eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment prob­lems on its own. He said much of the re­spon­si­bil­ity for a strat­egy will fall on dis­cus­sions with the Nova Sco­tia gov­ern­ment.

Mayor John Mor­gan de­fended Ryan’s po­si­tion against sell­ing a “false­hood” to res­i­dents.

“If you rep­re­sent they are good when ev­ery de­mo­graphic and eco­nomic statis­tic in­di­cates oth­er­wise, you can’t af­fect the change that is needed in the com­mu­nity,” Mor­gan said.

The com­mit­tee voted in favour of eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment man­ager John Whal­ley. de­vel­op­ing an is­sue pa­per on a go-for­ward eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment strat­egy for the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to be pre­sented at next month’s com­mit­tee meet­ing.

Art­work un­veiled

It’s African Her­itage Month and the Cape Bre­ton Cen­tre for Craft and De­sign in Syd­ney is cel­e­brat­ing with an exhibit ti­tled Up Home, a show de­pict­ing life in the African Cana­dian com­mu­nity of North Pre­ston. The exhibit fea­tures art­work from the book Up Home writ­ten by Shauntay Grant and il­lus­trated by Su­san Tooke. The of­fi­cial open­ing was launched by Lt.-Gov. Mayann Fran­cis, Thurs­day. Tooke, right, also con­ducted art work­shops with stu­dents at Har­bour­side Ele­men­tary School in Whit­ney Pier and viewed the stu­dents’ cre­ations that are also part of the exhibit. Stu­dents, from left, are Kelsey Ryan, Keigan Ryan, Brooke Shep­pard, Kori Ash and Bran­don Ab­bott. Steve Wad­den - Cape Bre­ton Post

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