Planning for future growth
New Minas water system assessment gets provincial funding
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