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Antigonish consolidation will not go through: minister

By Jacob Moore Apr 4, 2024 | 3:44 PM

The consolidation of Antigonish will not go forward, according to news release from the Municipality of the County of Antigonish.

Mayor Laurie Boucher and Warden Owen McCarron say they are “extremely disappointed and disheartened.”

“We firmly believe the people of Antigonish would have been better served under the leadership of one municipal unit,” the two write in a news release.

Boucher and McCarron say they followed the process laid out for them an trusted the Houston government to respect the decisions of their councils and pass the legislation.

They say Houston met with them Thursday morning and told them the government would not move ahead with Bill 407, the Antigonish Consolidation Act.

Houston met with over 100 community members at a town hall in Antigonish on Tuesday. Dozens of residents previously spoke out at Province House, asking for a vote in the final decision.

In a separate release, John Lohr, minister of municipal affairs and housing, says the department has heard from “a significant number of people” who were concerned about the act.

The Town of Antigonish and the Municipality of the County of Antigonish may have voted in favour of consolidating, but the department “simply cannot ignore the voices of the residents,” writes Lohr.

“Therefore, after careful consideration of what we have heard, the bill to consolidate the Town and County of Antigonish will not be proceeding.”

Lohr says he understands this will be disappointing for the people who support consolidation.

Boucher and McCarron say the town and the county are wonderful communities and great places to live.

“We are committed to moving forward together as partners to collaborate on projects and initiatives that will mutually benefit our community,” write Boucher and McCarron.