Annapolis County residents tasked with creating bright future
Nobody knows what the year 2050 will look like, but Annapolis County council is saying if residents lead the way in upcoming public meetings in 17 communities, the future could be bright. With a framework of starting points, council will hand the discussion over to communities whose citizens will put their money on what they see as important to them.
Feedback from the meetings will be used to determine if the 2050 targets are suitable, achievable, and relevant from the communities' perspective. If so, the committee, with support of the county’s Economic Development Department, will begin to draft a three-year action plan. The action plan would detail the proposed activities council would implement over the next three years to reach the 2050 targets.
The first public meeting is in Parkers Cove on April 1.
Council recently approved an initiative that strives to overcome some of the economic challenges facing Annapolis County. First introduced by the county’s Economic Development Committee and now fully endorsed by council, the initiative sets out a list of goals that just might put the county on the path to long-term prosperity. Now the county needs local input to determine if these goals match local interests.
“It is clear that job creation is one of the top priorities for local residents. That comes without saying. Just how we create these jobs locally is the difficult question,” said Cody Joudry, Annapolis County’s Economic Development Manager. “Municipal council recognized this challenge and understood the importance of improving economic development in Annapolis County so they took action to ensure things started to move forward.”
In 2013, council created an Economic Development Committee (EDC) and appointed Councillor Gregory Heming as Chair. The committee carefully worked to insure the economic strategy reflected the diversity of views one would expect on such difficult topics as job creation and long-term prosperity. Over the course of the last seven months the committee began to isolate core “factors” that impact the local economy.
Once these factors were identified, five targets were established and endorsed by council as a way to create a local environment in which long-term prosperity could grow. The targets, dubbed 2050 targets, focused on local food and energy production, ensuring local residents access to affordable training and housing, and reducing, remediating, and managing environmental contamination.
The following are the five main targets to be reached by 2050. Each Three-Year Action Plan would work towards reaching some or all of these goals:
1.) 80 per cent of the food consumed in Annapolis County is produced in Annapolis County
2.) 80 per cent of the energy consumed in Annapolis County is produced in Annapolis County
3.) Efficient, quality housing is available to all residents at an annual cost of no more than 25 per cent of minimum wage
4.) Residents of Annapolis County will have access to affordable training in progressive vocational, innovative business, and living skills
5.) Reduce, remediate and manage contamination of Annapolis County land, air and water
“There is no doubt the targets established are extremely ambitious but in no way are they unreachable,” said Heming. More importantly, he stresses the fact that “these targets are at the very core of what it will take to build an economy that will weather over time; an economy that allows equal access to the opportunities and skills required for full participation.”
As part of the plan approved by council, the process is now entering into the next phase. Council has consulted with the towns of Annapolis Royal, Bridgetown, and Middleton, and the Village of Lawrencetown and is now ready to fully engage local residents in cementing a strategy that it hopes truly reflects their needs, interests and skills.
“We want to know what you think,” said Heming. “This strategy is about the future of local livelihoods. At the end of the day, this will be a collective and cooperative strategy built by local people. It’s important they take ownership of it. Their attendance at these meetings will be crucial to the strategy’s success.”
See video here
This public consultation is meant to:
• determine if the 2050 targets are in-line with community and sector priorities
• identify possible changes to the targets, and
• identify what the various communities and sectors see as possible projects, activities, or initiatives that could be undertaken which will work toward the 2050 targets.
“We recognize the difficulties people often face when they wish to attend public meetings,” said Joudry. “So we are going that extra mile to make sure these meeting are as accessible and user-friendly as possible. We’re offering transportation to the meeting if needed and a kid’s corner so the whole family can attend. And, I can promise it won’t be your typical public meeting. It’s designed to be interactive and fun. In fact, I’m sure people will have a good time and feel like they were able to have a voice.”
Besides Parkers Cove, meetings will be held in Maitland Bridge, South Milford, Bear River, Cornwallis Park, Port Royal, Annapolis Royal, Granville Centre, Tupperville, Bridgetown, Hampton, Lawrencetown, Middleton, Nixtaux Falls, Springfield, Wilmot, and Margetsville.
Fair And Just
“When this is all said and done, I believe the people of Annapolis County want to participate in an economy that is fair and just. One that is less about theory and words, more about the reality of making a living in Annapolis County,” said Heming. “Local people want and deserve an economy that is promising for them, their children and their children’s children. Little else matters.”
To learn more about the 2050 targets or the public meetings, visit AnnapolisCounty.ca or call Nancy at (902) 532-0819.
Here is the list of community meeting locations (all meeting times will be 6:30 to 8 p.m.):
April 1 - Parker's Cove Fundy Thread & Thimble Club (4462 Shore Rd., Parker's Cove)
April 2 - Springfield & District Fire Department (986 Hwy 10, Springfield)
April 3 - Hampton Community Hall (8319 St. Croix Cove Rd., Hampton)
April 8 - Maitland Bridge Community Hall (701 Hwy 8, Maitland Bridge)
April 9 - Milford Area Community hall (5439 Hwy 8, Milford)
April 15 - Nova Scotia Community College – Middleton (295 Commercial St., Middleton)
April 16 - Nova Scotia Community College – Lawrencetown (50 Elliott Ed., Lawrencetown)
April 17 - Three Rivers Community Hall (41 Messenger Rd., Torbrook)
April 22 - Oakdene Centre (1913 Clementsvale Rd., Bear River)
April 23 - Deep Brook Lions Club (948 Hwy 1, Deep Brook)
April 29 - Granville Centre Community Hall (5650 Hwy 1, Granville Centre)
April 30 - Tupperville Community Hall (2586 Hwy 201, Tupperville)
May 1 - Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 033 – Bridgetown (20 Jeffery St., Bridgetown)
May 6 - Royal Canadian Lion, Branch 21 – Annapolis Royal (66 Victoria St., Annapolis Royal)
May 7 - Lower Granville Community Hall (3551 Granville Rd., Port Royal)
May 13 - Wilmot Community Hall (13972 Hwy 1, Wilmot)
May 14 - Nictaux & District Fire Department (9349 Hwy 10, Nictaux)
May 15 - Margaretsville Community Hall (1 Seaman St., Margaretsville)