Summerside looks at Lin­klet­ter, Mis­couche for pos­si­ble ex­pan­sion

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE PROVINCE - BY NANCY MACPHEE

The City of Summerside may look to grow in 2016.

Summerside Mayor Bill Martin said amal­ga­ma­tion is some­thing that could be on the agenda for the com­ing year.

One of his goals is “look­ing at the rel­a­tive mer­its of ex­pand­ing our bound­aries and do­ing it in a non-hos­tile way.”

Amal­ga­ma­tion, or an­nex­a­tion, is cur­rently a hot topic in the prov­ince, with Mon­tague look­ing to ex­pand, bring­ing in neigh­bour­ing com­mu­ni­ties, as well as Bed­eque want­ing to grow, ap­ply­ing to the prov­ince to an­nex a num­ber of sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties.

“No,” was the an­swer Martin gave when asked if Summerside, cur­rently roughly 28 square kilo­me­tres in size and a pop­u­la­tion of about 15,000, was look­ing at an­nex­ing any of th­ese com­mu­ni­ties.

Sle­mon Park is also off the ta­ble, he added.

Premier Wade MacLauch­lan made re­marks in 2015 at the Fed­er­a­tion of Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties an­nual gen­eral meet­ing that “re­gion­al­iza­tion” of smaller un­in­cor­po­rated mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties would be a pri­or­ity, par­tic­u­larly with a re­vamped Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties Act ex­pected in 2016.

Wide­spread pro­posed amal­ga­ma­tion was set out in a 2010 re­port on the is­sue, penned by the late provin­cial court judge, Ralph C. Thomp­son.

That re­port rec­om­mended sweep­ing changes to the bor­ders of the prov­ince’s smaller com­mu­ni­ties, cut­ting the cur­rent 73 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties down to less than 20.

“We have been ap­proached and there clearly is a de­sire, which is imbed­ded in the Thomp­son re­port, to re­duce the num­ber of mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in the prov­ince and bring parts of the prov­ince that are not part of any for­mal struc­ture into a mu­nic­i­pal­ity,” said the mayor.

One com­mu­nity that could be on a list of po­ten­tial ar­eas to in­clude within Summerside’s bound­aries is Lin­klet­ter, con­firmed the mayor.

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