MODG boundary review Phase II underway: citizens encouraged to participate in online survey

·2 min read

GUYSBOROUGH – The Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG) moved into the second phase of its provincially required boundary review this month.

In February, Stantec Consulting – the company carrying out the process – launched a survey asking residents to comment on the size of municipal council.

John Heseltine, Stantec senior planner, told The Journal last week that they received 143 responses, which accounts for 3.6 per cent of the population in the municipality.

A second survey, on council size and potential district boundary scenarios, was launched at the end of March and public information sessions were held in Hazel Hill, Guysborough and Country Harbour in the first week of April.

Heseltine said the turnout for the public meetings was disappointing; a total of three people attended.

“We’ve [Stantec] done many of these reviews and lately, in particular, we’ve done much better with public meetings. But, historically, if you look at the [Nova Scotia] Utility and Review Board decisions, they give you the background on consultation and certainly there are examples of basically no participation in these types of sessions. So, we’re disappointed and we’re trying to encourage more response to the survey to try and make up for that lack of input through the public sessions,” said Heseltine.

In the hopes of obtaining more public input, the second online survey will remain open until the end of April.

Citizen input matters. Heseltine said that the survey solicits residents’ preferences between the seven- and eight-district scenarios presented and suggestions concerning the specific boundaries proposed for each district in each scenario. Stantec will take suggestions into account in potential revisions of the boundaries in each scenario presented to MODG council.

The final report will go to council on Wednesday, May 18. After which, council will determine the boundary recommendation to go forward to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board. The board will then hold a hearing to consider the boundary recommendation. If the application is approved, it will fix the size of municipal council and the boundaries of its electoral districts for the MODG’s next municipal election.

Residents can find the link to the boundary review survey on the MODG’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/modgcounty or on the MODG.ca website under Residents, News.

Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal

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