Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties seek Crown land

The Labradorian - - Editorial - BY KYLE GREENHAM

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.

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