Con­sul­ta­tion held in St. An­thony Oct. 23

Northern Pen - - COMMUNITY - FROM A1

Lit­tle con­sen­sus

Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion ac­cu­mu­lated and pre­sented at the end of the ses­sion, a num­ber of dif­fer­ent ideas were bandied about as to how re­gional gov­ern­ments should raise rev­enue to pay for ser­vices.

On this sub­ject, there was lit­tle con­sen­sus.

Ideas in­cluded: a set fee/flat rate for all res­i­dents, dif­fer­ent forms of tax­a­tion, fees for ser­vices, lo­cal rev­enue gen­er­a­tion such as Chase the Ace, and giv­ing Crown land to the re­gion to sell, amongst others.

Var­i­ous ad­van­tages and dis­ad­van­tages of all mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, lo­cal ser­vice dis­tricts, and un­in­cor­po­rated ar­eas be­ing part of a re­gional gov­ern­ment sys­tem were also high­lighted.

Ad­van­tages in­cluded more and bet­ter ser­vices and ac­cess to fund­ing for lo­cal ser­vice dis­tricts, equal­iza­tion of ser­vices, giv­ing ev­ery­one a voice in gov­ern­ment, in­creased par­tic­i­pa­tion amongst res­i­dents, and in­creased com­mit­ment by vol­un­teers.

Dis­ad­van­tages high­lighted in­cluded in­creased costs for ser­vices, in­creased taxes and fees, too many views and ideas, boards be­com­ing too large to han­dle, and one cen­tre pos­si­bly get­ting ser­vices over another.

There was agree­ment that lo­cal ser­vice dis­tricts and un­in­cor­po­rated ar­eas shouldn’t be given the op­tion to opt out of a re­gional gov­ern­ment, but mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties could.

The ses­sion in St. An­thony was the 19th of 22 hosted by the prov­ince’s De­part­ment of Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs and En­vi­ron­ment. About 27 peo­ple at­tended.

Per a de­part­ment press re­lease, the con­sul­ta­tion process sought pub­lic in­put to help in­form the de­vel­op­ment of a po­ten­tial re­gional gov­ern­ment model for the prov­ince.

The con­sul­ta­tions ended on Oct. 26. Re­gional gov­ern­ment would be im­ple­mented by 2019.

STEPHEN ROBERTS/THE NORTH­ERN PEN PHOTO

Mu­nic­i­pal lead­ers take in the open­ing pre­sen­ta­tion from the De­part­ment of Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs and En­vi­ron­ment dur­ing the re­gional gov­ern­ment con­sul­ta­tion in St. An­thony on Oct. 23.

STEPHEN ROBERTS/THE NORTH­ERN PEN PHOTO

There was no short­age of con­ver­sa­tion and de­bate un­der­way at the con­sul­ta­tion.

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