Citizens have positive vision for Cape Breton Regional Municipality
— 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.