Municipalities seek Crown land
Regionalization is a pivotal goal for the province, says Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador (MNL).
The organization held its annual conference Oct. 3-6 in Gander
The reading of a resolution to lobby the provincial government on the divestiture of Crown lands was met with cheers and applause.
The resolution would see municipalities be able to acquire ownership of Crown lands in their district at no cost.
Gander Mayor Percy Farwell spoke in approval of the motion, saying it is something many municipalities are eager to see.
“Marystown purchased a piece of Crown land years ago that had no value and we built an industrial park with it,” said Marystown Mayor Sam Synard, voicing his approval. “Over the next 10 years with that property, Marystown will collect $8 million in development fees and property tax.
“It will not only benefit the people of Marystown, it benefits the region.”
Farwell agreed Crown land is a valuable asset that often goes underused, and the resolution could mean major economic opportunities.
Mental health supports A resolution calling for greater co-operation and coordination for mental health initiatives was met with unanimous approval.
“I’ve been involved in the mental health field for years and I don’t think I need to give stats for the crises that exist in our community,” Portugal Cove-st. Phillips Coun. Tina Neary said. “The need for support and care has never been greater and this can help some of our most atrisk residents, young and old.”
The motion calls for a task force with health authorities and other elected officials to develop and expand mental health support, with a special emphasis on issues faced by youth and the increasing number of youth suicides.
Illegal all-terrain vehicle use Representatives carried a resolution for the Department of Justice and Service NL to review legislation on the fines and penalties related to improper ATV use.
Holyrood Gary Goobie Mayor stressed the prominence of allterrain vehicle use across the province. With a steady increase in these vehicles being seen on main streets and byroads, the safety risk to pedestrians and other motorists is also on the increase, he said.
“The vast majority of operators are mindful and respectful, especially when travelling through the community,” Goobie said. “Unfortunately, there’s a handful of offenders in many communities who have demonstrated no regard for public safety.”
The resolution calls for an ATV operator found guilty of dangerous or imprudent driving to have the vehicle seized and impounded until the owner completes a safe-driving course.
Firefighter courtesy light
Coun. Derek Anthony of Pasadena expressed his approval of a courtesy light for volunteer firefighters.
For firefighters who have to respond to emergencies in their own vehicles, this flashing green light would signal other vehicles to safely get off the road and let the firefighter respond to the emergency faster.
The resolution also calls for a public awareness campaign to correspond with the use of these courtesy lights.
Anthony noted there is no offence associated with ignoring this light, as it is done as an act of courtesy, and it does not require any changes in traffic legislation. Similar courtesy lights are used in Quebec and Alberta.
The motion was carried with 92 per cent approval.