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Mayor of Antigonish addresses consolidation for first time in weeks

By Joe Thomson Apr 18, 2023 | 12:34 PM

Photo Credit: Chad Brazier.

Residents of Antigonish were able to hear from their mayor for the first time since plans for consolidation were put on hold.

The meeting was held earlier this week and comes after the province hit pause on the merger of the town and county in March. During the meeting, Town of Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher said that her and Owen McCarron, Warden for the municipality of the County of Antigonish, had sent a letter to Minister John Lohr asking for a meeting once the spring session of legislature had wrapped up.

Mayor Boucher has stated in a previous interview with another news outlet that she would like the issue to be brought up during the fall session of legislature.

“That’s coming from our side obviously, so we’ll meet with Minister Lohr and see where it goes from there,” said Boucher.

McCarron has also stated that he thinks consolidation is a good idea and wants to proceed in the future.

Anne Marie Long is a spokesperson for the Facebook group Let Antigonish Decide: Residents United Against An Undemocratic Merger. She helped organize a poll that may have impacted the postponement of consolidation.

Long attended last night’s town council meeting and feels there are still plans to move ahead with the consolidation.

The poll in question showed that 75 of respondents would not vote for a politician who promoted consolidation and it showed strong support for a plebiscite on the issue.

In the end, Long still believes that the merger will not go forward.

“It makes no sense to me that this government will commit political suicide by postponing it. I think it’s off permanently,” said Long.

Long and other members of the group have stated all along that they don’t have on opinion on whether consolidation is good or bad – mainly because they haven’t been given any information about what consolidation means for Antigonish – they simply want their voice to be heard.

“I think we deserve to know whether or not this would be a good idea. Perhaps it wouldn’t be. So we have never taken a position,” said Long. “We don’t know if it would be good or bad, honestly. And that’s the crux of our issue. Like if you’re going to force this, let us vote on it.”

*This story has been edited from its original version


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