Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


The Nova Scotia Legislature (via Facebook)

Both sides battling Antigonish merger as legislation advances

By Steve MacArthur Mar 5, 2024 | 12:37 PM

The potential merger of the town and county in Antigonish is taking centre stage at the legislature.

Dozens of residents travelled to Halifax and lined up to speak for and against consolidating the municipal units.

Lifelong resident Terry Penny says she wants to make sure her voice is heard.

“This should not and cannot be a decision of council alone,” she told MLA’s. “I am asking the province to defer the bill until the court makes a decision.”

Late last year, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court ruled the town and county had the legal right to ask the province for permission to consolidate. However, the group “Let Antigonish Decide” is still looking for a plebiscite on the issue during upcoming municipal elections, and has appealed the ruling.

The Antigonish municipalities recently voted to move ahead with the merger for a second time in what has been a long and winding road dating back to 2022.

Town of Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher believes change is inevitable and strongly feels the move is in the best interests of everyone involved.

“I understand the change is difficult…but I wholeheartedly believe that this is the right move for our community.”

Two polls conducted on the matter by Mainstreet Research revealed strong support for a special vote on consolidation while other aspects of the poll centred around voters holding a grudge against those currently in office.

The Nova Scotia government introduced legislation in late February to formally allow the town and county to join forces.

Municipal Affairs Minister Housing Minister John Lohr said when he introduced the legislation it would allow the historic municipalities “to work together in new and innovative ways” for long-term growth.

If it passes, the move would take shape in the fall.