All in the fam­ily

Glooscap First Na­tion re-elects chief, joined by broth­ers on coun­cil

Valley Journal Advertiser - - NEWS - BY COLIN CHISHOLM WWW. HANTSJOURNAL. CA GLOOSCAP Colin. chisholm@ hantsjournal. ca

Sid­ney Carl Peters has been re- elected as the chief of the Glooscap First Na­tion.

He joins two fel­low in­cum­bents and one new coun­cil­lor on the band coun­cil.

Peters was elected as chief with 174 votes, de­feat­ing Michael An­drew Hal­l­i­day, who re­ceived 12 votes. In to­tal, there were 182 votes cast.

In­cum­bents Jean Louise Labradore Pow­ers and Leonard David (Larry) Peters were re- elected and will be joined by Lyn­wood James ( Woody) Peters on the coun­cil.

The chief said he was happy with the re­sults and is hope­ful that Glooscap will con­tinue to grow un­der the new ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“I felt that I had a good op­por­tu­nity to get out and talk to a lot of my com­mu­nity mem­bers,” Peters said. “Whether it was the lo­cal area of Hantsport and Glooscap, the An­napo­lis Val­ley, New Brunswick, I talked to a lot of peo­ple in the U.S., On­tario.”

Mem­bers of the Glooscap First Na­tion can vote in the band coun­cil elec­tion by mail, no mat­ter where they live.

“I got good vibes. We did what we set out to do and I think the ma­jor­ity of the com­mu­nity mem­bers were pleased with that,” he said.

Peters said the turnout, around 60 per cent, was de­cent con­sid­er­ing many of the elec­tors were scat­tered across Canada and the United States.

“It can be dif­fi­cult to get ( voter en­gage­ment) some­times when they don’t see di­rectly what’s hap­pen­ing in the com­mu­nity,” he said.

The next steps for the new coun­cil, which con­venes in April, is dis­cussing the feed­back they re­ceived from the com­mu­nity dur­ing the cam­paign.

“We con­tinue to pro­vide com­mu­ni­ca­tion in­for­ma­tion to the peo­ple, but there’s al­ways op­por­tu­ni­ties to im­prove,” he said. “I know re­gard­ing health care, we have to work to im­prove that and work with get­ting our youth more in­volved in the com­mu­nity.”

The new coun­cil in­her­its a grow­ing and quickly chang­ing Glooscap, which has seen a dra­matic in­crease in pop­u­la­tion. Ac­cord­ing to cen­sus fig­ures, Glooscap grew from 59 peo­ple in 2011 to 81 in 2016.

Glooscap Land­ing

A ma­jor devel­op­ment, known as Glooscap Land­ing, is also un­der con­struc­tion off of High­way 101, which could pro­vide hun­dreds of jobs for the re­gion.

“Glooscap Land­ing was a great op­por­tu­nity back in 2013, when we iden­ti­fied as a coun­cil that our busi­nesses should have to be run by busi­nesses and that po­lit­i­cal peo­ple have to step back and al­low the busi­ness sec­tor to re­ally an­a­lyze some of the op­por­tu­ni­ties we have,” Peters said.

“When we had the op­por­tu­nity to buy that land, we knew we’d run into some con­cerns and is­sues, but now we’re prob­a­bly 14 months be­hind be­cause of zon­ing by­law is­sues with the mu­nic­i­pal­ity. We’ve been work­ing on that.”

Peters said a lot of the ground­work has been fin­ished, in­clud­ing the round­about, wa­ter, sewer and plat­form for the gas bar.

“We’re ready to go but we’re just wait­ing for our build­ing per­mit,” he said. “We’re a small com­mu­nity and a pro­gres­sive com­mu­nity, but we know we can’t do it alone, we need part­ners to work with us.”

Peters fam­ily

Two of Peters’ broth­ers, Leonard David Peters and Lyn­wood James Peters, will also sit on the coun­cil – mean­ing three of the four mem­bers in­clud­ing the chief will be blood re­lated.

Peters said it’s not un­usual for fam­ily mem­bers to be on coun­cil to­gether.

“There are com­mu­ni­ties with large fam­i­lies, so some­times you do get fam­ily mem­bers on coun­cil,” he said, adding that it will be a pri­or­ity to look at con­flicts of in­ter­est and have poli­cies in place to ad­dress that.

“Prob­a­bly down the road we will run into some is­sues and com­plaints, but we also have to en­sure that we have good poli­cies in place,” he said. “We al­ways make sure we go through our le­gal sys­tem to make sure we don’t run into any is­sues in re­gards to con­flict or con­fi­den­tial­ity is­sues.”

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