Cit­i­zens have pos­i­tive vi­sion for Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity

Cape Breton Post - - NEWS - BY GREGMCNEIL


— The peo­ple’s hope for the Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity is for self-suf­fi­ciency and a high qual­ity of life for all.

That’s the mes­sage from a vi­sion re­port pre­sented Fri­day to the mu­nic­i­pal com­mit­tee charged with cre­at­ing an in­te­grated com­mu­nity sus­tain­abil­ity plan.

“It is con­structed and of­fered in con­sid­er­a­tion of the chal­lenges fac­ing the mu­nic­i­pal­ity,” said John He­sel­tine of Stan­tec Con­sult­ing, which co-or­di­nated in­put gath­er­ing ses­sions over the past month.

“As a vi­sion state­ment, it is ori­ented to­wards what we hope for the mu­nic­i­pal­ity or what the as­pi­ra­tion is for the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.”

The vi­sion will be part of the CBRM’s sus­tain­abil­ity plan, which needs to be fi­nal­ized by March 30. The mu­nic­i­pal­ity must pro­vide the plan to qual­ify for fed­eral gas tax rev­enue.

Al­though the vi­sion is over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive, He­sel­tine said not all in­put gath­ered was “sunny.”

“Peo­ple have opin­ions that are neg­a­tive about par­tic­u­lar sit­u­a­tions that af­fect the CBRM, but on the whole, peo­ple want to see an im­prove­ment. I be­lieve they be­lieve it is pos­si­ble.”

Coun­cil­lors in at­ten­dance ex­pressed their sup­port for the find­ings.

“If it has come from the peo­ple and they are op­ti­mistic, then I am op­ti­mistic,” said Coun. Kim Desveaux fol­low­ing the meet­ing.

“And I am op­ti­mistic. I just didn’t re­al­ize how op­ti­mistic the peo­ple were.”

In­put for the vi­sion was gath­ered on­line and through town hall meet­ings, ru­ral fo­cus groups, a kiosk at the Mayflower Mall, and a sym­po­sium and vi­sion­ing ses­sion.

He­sel­tine is “fairly happy” with the amount of pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion.

“Cer­tainly my im­pres­sion when we meet peo­ple is that peo­ple in gen­eral are aware of the ICSP process in the com­mu­nity and have opin­ions on it.”

The next step in the sus­tain­abil­ity plan process is to de­velop rec­om­men­da­tions and poli­cies to bring back to the mu­nic­i­pal com­mit­tee for re­view and ap­proval.

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