Fig­ur­ing out re­gional gov­ern­ment on the North­ern Penin­sula

Northern Pen - - FRONT PAGE - BY STEPHEN ROBERTS ST. AN­THONY, NL

The re­gional gov­ern­ment con­sul­ta­tion in St. An­thony spawned lots of de­bate, few easy an­swers, and some con­sen­sus.

Lo­cal lead­ers at­tended the ses­sion hosted by the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment at the Gren­fell In­ter­pre­ta­tion Cen­tre on Oct. 23.

They came from St. An­thony and area, St. Lu­naire-Gri­quet, Rod­dick­ton-Bide Arm and area, and the Straits for the con­sul­ta­tion.

Many dif­fi­cult ques­tions were posed on the na­ture of re­gional gov­ern­ment. At the four dif­fer­ent dis­cus­sion ta­bles, con­ver­sa­tion and de­bate were non­stop.

How­ever, in some ar­eas there was con­sen­sus, in­clud­ing on the bound­aries for re­gional gov­ern­ment on the North­ern Penin­sula.

Mu­nic­i­pal lead­ers agreed that three or four re­gions would work best from River of Ponds to the north due to the ge­og­ra­phy and pop­u­la­tion dis­per­sion.

Con­sen­sus sug­gested there would be four re­gions: the St. An­thony Basin Re­source Inc. re­gion, Ed­dies Cove East to Cas­tor River South, Main Brook to En­glee, and Ed­dies Cove West to River of Ponds.

These are the NorPen Waste Man­age­ment sub-re­gions.

This map­ping for re­gional gov­ern­ment on the North­ern Penin­sula con­trasted sharply with the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment’s pro­posal for one re­gional gov­ern­ment for the en­tire area.

The prov­ince’s pro­posal was based on pop­u­la­tion but mu­nic­i­pal lead­ers feel it did not take into ac­count the ge­og­ra­phy of the North­ern Penin­sula.

They pointed out that the North­ern Penin­sula is unique com­pared to most of the prov­ince due to its lower pop­u­la­tion den­sity.

Gov­ern­ment’s pro­posed area for re­gional gov­ern­ment would be big­ger and the pop­u­la­tion more spread out than al­most any other in the prov­ince.

Ac­cord­ing to par­tic­i­pants, this would be dif­fi­cult to co­or­di­nate.

There­fore, they re­quest smaller re­gional gov­ern­ments where it would be eas­ier for four dif­fer­ent clus­ters of com­mu­ni­ties to co­or­di­nate and work to­gether.

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