Kings Citizens Coalition says province should act if municipalities delay

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Gordon Lummis, co-chairman of the Kings Citizens Coalition.

The Kings Citizens Coalition has called on the Premier and the opposition party leaders to work together as envisioned by the Ivany Report and challenge municipalities to make progress in exploring opportunities for municipal reform.

The coalition is calling on provincial leaders to give notice to all that “if the municipalities cannot make progress in the next year that the province will be forced to make the necessary change” coalition co-chair Gordon Lummis said in a letter to the Premier and opposition parties.

The Ivany Report forecast that the review of municipal structures might start in a year. “This will provide the municipalities time to influence change,” Lummis said.

“The Honourable Jamie Baillie has already shown his leadership by indicating his support for provincial leadership in pushing through real reform at the municipal level,” said Coalition Co Chair David Ritcey. “Now is the time for Premier McNeil, Jamie Baillie Leader of the Opposition and Maureen MacDonald of the NDP to do what is best for Nova Scotia.”

The coalition contends that the Ivany “Now or Never Urgent Call To Action” has made it clear we are facing a decline in our standard of living and that one of the barriers to progress is the inefficient structure of our municipal governments. The Ivany Report recommends the government initiate “a comprehensive review of current municipal structures” and that “the review should build on the analysis and advice generated by previous studies and panels, ranging from the Graham Commission through the recent Towns Task Force…”

The Coalition letter states, “In this era of computers, internet communications, improved transportation, etc., businesses have consolidated and become more efficient but our Municipalities still operate as they were designed for a horse and buggy economy. Despite the overwhelming advice for the need for change, we are hearing from hard working dedicated councilors who are frustrated in their efforts to make progress by those elected representatives and employees who are acting in their own self interest.”

"It is time for our leaders to lead if we are to reverse our economic decline,” Lummis said.

Organizations: Kings Citizens Coalition, NDP, Graham Commission

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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