Response to Amalgamation No Thank You Open Letter

Posted by One Pictou County on 24 May 2016


Response to Amalgamation No Thank You May 18th open letter to Frank Sobey

 

I read the recent comments of  “Amalgamation No Thank You (ANTY)” responding to Frank Sobey’s open letter.

I took ANTY’s suggestion and examined the facts. I found that their letter of May 18th either misrepresents the facts or is just wrong. Three quick examples:

  • The Utility and Review Board required the inclusion of the 2015-16 fiscal year for both status quo and an amalgamated municipality (the same capital expenditures apply to both for 2015-16 fiscal year). To imply otherwise is a misrepresentation. By the way there was nowhere near $8 million dollars spent – not even half that amount. 
  • There is no federal funding approved for a new Pictou Library – that statement is simply incorrect.
  • The ANTY letter misrepresents how $69M in capital projects would be funded. Amalgamation funding secured from the Province for capital work totals $13.1 million, while funding under the Building Canada Fund has been estimated at $16.6 for a total of $29.7 million. This represents 43% of the required capital funding.

I, for one, don’t think it is prudent to keep deferring projects only to have those costs go up, or to increase property taxes by leaving $29.7 million of capital funding on the table. I wouldn’t do that in my business and I suspect that Frank Sobey wouldn’t do it in his.

I am thankful for the Sobeys related companies and the impact they have on our local, provincial and national economies. They have provided a base of meaningful employment in Pictou County. I, for one, am thankful that Frank Sobey takes the time to speak out for this community, to try to make things better.

Our collective goal should be to create a municipal structure that reduces four sets of regulations to one, four sets of decision making to one -- a government that will allow our region to develop and advance one vision, working with valued employers such as Sobeys, to stabilize and grow our population and economy.

The MOU Steering Committee’s information has been reviewed by third party experts and scrutinized by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, the ANTY information has not.

 

Andy MacGregor

MacGregor’s Industrial Group

Pictou County, Nova Scotia