Plan­ning for fu­ture growth

New Mi­nas wa­ter sys­tem as­sess­ment gets pro­vin­cial fund­ing

Valley Journal Advertiser - - OPINION - SARA ERIC­S­SON KINGSCOUNTYNEWS.CA

New Mi­nas and Kings County are look­ing 20 years ahead with plans for wa­ter and sewage treat­ment and have re­ceived fund­ing to help with as­sess­ment costs.

The vil­lage and mu­nic­i­pal­ity an­nounced the fund­ing Oct. 14, with vil­lage deputy chair May­nard Stevens and Kings County Mayor Peter Mut­tart pre­sent­ing the news along­side Kings South MLA Keith Irv­ing.

The province has given $99,072 in fund­ing to the joint wa­ter man­age­ment project, which pro­poses cre­at­ing a mas­ter plan for the New Mi­nas wa­ter util­ity, a storm wa­ter and san­i­tary sewer man­age­ment plan and over­all as­set man­age­ment plan to project what ca­pac­ity will be re­quired over the next two decades — all to sup­port fu­ture growth in New Mi­nas.

“We build both our in­fra­struc­ture ser­vices and our so­ci­etal ser­vices, not only for our­selves, but also for the gen­er­a­tions who fol­low us,” said Mut­tart at the an­nounce­ment.

Stevens, who is also the chair of the vil­lage’s wa­ter com­mis­sion, said the project will specif­i­cally in­volve an­a­lyz­ing wa­ter de­mand pro­jec­tions, treat­ment and dis­tri­bu­tion ca­pac­i­ties, fire pro­tec­tion and reser­voir stor­age.

“It’s go­ing to look at op­tions to sup­port in­te­grat­ing ac­tive tran­spor­ta­tion into our tran­spor­ta­tion in­fra­struc­ture through the in­clu­sion of side­walks and bike lanes on the col­lec­tor roads con­nected to Com­mer­cial Street,” he said in his re­marks.

Mut­tart said the project’s as­sess­ments will in­clude 13 sep­a­rate stud­ies over two phases — “gather high-qual­ity in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing drink­ing wa­ter, sewer sys­tems and storm wa­ter man­age­ment” and “mod­ern­ize plan­ning around land use and in­fra­struc­ture re­quire­ments.”

The fund­ing, which will sup­port the project’s first phase, was pro­vided through the Pro­vin­cial Cap­i­tal As­sis­tance Pro­gram, which con­trib­utes funds to­wards high-cost, pri­or­ity mu­nic­i­pal in­fra­struc­ture projects.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity is con­tribut­ing more than $100,000 to the project’s first phase.

This project was one of 10 wa­ter man­age­ment projects to re­ceive fund­ing. The province has pro­vided a to­tal of $690,000 in fund­ing for these projects.

Province spokesper­son Krista Hig­don says these projects are sup­ported be­cause “ac­cess to safe drink­ing wa­ter and waste­water treat­ment are vi­tal for strong, healthy com­mu­ni­ties. This fund­ing will sup­port im­por­tant mu­nic­i­pal projects to main­tain and im­prove these es­sen­tial ser­vices for res­i­dents.”

At 8:20 a.m. the milk tanker ar­rived, col­lect­ing 8,000 litres that would soon reach homes across the province. The con­ver­sa­tion at the farm shifted from cows to macro forces shap­ing the Lella­van Farm fam­ily’s world: sup­ply man­age­ment, in­ter­na­tional trade deals.

Our dairy in­dus­try has been in the news a lot in re­cent years, as a fo­cal point in Canada’s many in­ter­na­tional trade ne­go­ti­a­tions.

First, there was the Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic and Trade Agree­ment be­tween Canada and the Euro­pean Union, CETA. Then came the Com­pre­hen­sive and Pro­gres­sive Agree­ment for Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship (CPTPP). Most re­cently there was the sticky rene­go­ti­a­tion of NAFTA, re­sult­ing in the new United States-Mex­i­coCanada Agree­ment, USMCA.

Ev­ery farmer in Canada rides the waves of these ne­go­ti­a­tions. Con­ces­sions and deals are cut in far­away ur­ban en­vi­ron­ments, some­times with lit­tle in­put from the ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties that de­pend on agri­cul­ture for cul­tural and phys­i­cal sur­vival.

I’ve worked with the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try for more than 20 years, in at least four dif­fer­ent coun­tries, but un­til this past Thanks­giv­ing week­end at Lella­van Farms, I didn’t re­ally know what it was to be a dairy farmer. To stomp a mile in their muddy boots, kick­ing my day off in the dark­ness at 4:30 a.m.

As we worked our way through the var­i­ous chores I chat­ted with Jean­nie about her job, her farm and what these trade agree­ments mean to her. The three agree­ments I men­tioned have col­lec­tively given other coun­tries ac­cess to more than nine per­cent of the Cana­dian milk mar­ket.

That is more milk than is pro­duced in all of At­lantic Canada. Jean­nie shared with me a re­port from 2016, by the Bos­ton Con­sult­ing Group (BCG), called “Anal­y­sis of the po­ten­tial im­pacts of the end of sup­ply man­age­ment in the Cana­dian dairy in­dus­try.”

It says open­ing the Cana­dian dairy sys­tem risks a net loss of $2.1-3.5 bil­lion to Canada’s GDP. Ap­prox­i­mately 24,000 di­rect jobs would be af­fected.

In the US, the equiv­a­lent of Canada’s en­tire dairy live­stock ex­ists within 250 kilo­me­tres

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