May 9th, 2016
Destination Cape Breton Association (DCBA) CEO Mary Tulle presented an overview of the Association's outlook for this tourist season. As a promoter of Cape Breton tourism, DCBA is interested in better aligning their marketing with Tourism Nova Scotia.
Tulle expects a stronger than average year and says all indicators point towards bettering last year's strong tourist season.
She said the 'Trump Bump' from the capebretoniftrumpwins.com is real and measurable, especially in increased web visits and inquiries from California.
Kathy Lamay, President of BABTA, was present for the presentation and stressed to Tulle the need to maintain and fund our Visitor Information Centres (VIC). She indicated that the Baddeck VIC will open midjune but this will be the last year of operation if sustainable funding is not secured. She added that the Baddeck VIC might change its name to the 'Cabot Trail VIC.'
Chris van den Heuvel, President of the Nova Scotia Farmers Association (NSFA) presented an overview of agricultural land policy that is currently governing the County.
Van den Heuval pointed out that agriculture is the only revenue generating portfolio in the Nova Scotia government yet it receives only 1% of the Provincial budget.
The Association President says there is tremendous potential for the County to return to its hay day of agricultural production if the right policies are put in place. Amongst several proposed strategies was the concept of 'land banking' in which fertile land is regulated and funded in such ways as to make the growth of farming easier for local farmers and would-be farmers
The 2016-2017 operating budget was unamimously passed by Council. The consists of $12.142 million in revenue and $12.137 million in spending for a modest $5,000 surplus. Both the commercial and residential tax rate will remain unchanged from last year.
Council also passed a motion to donate $5,000 to the Red Cross Fort Macmurray relief fund.