Municipal Affairs Minister Mark Furey announced Friday , May 9, the appointment of Allister Surette as transition co-ordinator to oversee the change in governance for Bridgetown.
Surette is president and vice-chancellor of Université Sainte-Anne, chair of the Western Regional Enterprise Network, and a former provincial cabinet minister.
"Mr. Surette's experience in public office and academia will be a valuable asset in guiding the discussions between Bridgetown and Annapolis County," said Furey. "He is well-known for his commitment to Nova Scotia's Acadian and francophone communities. With his leadership, I know the two municipalities will build a strong governance model that will serve the needs of all its citizens."
Surette was the MLA for Argyle from 1993 to 1998, serving as minister of Human Resources, minister in charge of the Youth Secretariat and the Office of Acadian Affairs, and minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs before becoming chief executive officer of the Collège de l'Acadie in 1998. In 2003, Surette became vice-president for development and partnerships at Université Sainte-Anne. He was appointed president and vice-chancellor of Université Sainte-Anne on July 1, 2011.
"I look forward to guiding the transition process and assisting the two municipalities to reach an agreement that works for both communities," said Surettein a media release. "I am pleased to have the opportunity to work with these two communities to achieve a successful merger."
On March 31, Bridgetown municipal council passed a motion to apply to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board for dissolution of the town. Surette will oversee the process outlined in the Municipal Government Act and guide discussions for the town to become part of the Municipality of the County of Annapolis effective April 1, 2015.
"Bridgetown council is looking forward to working with Mr. Surette and commencing the dissolution process in co-operation with Annapolis County," said Bridgetown mayor Horace Hurlburt. "I see a brighter future around the corner for both the residents of Bridgetown and those in the surrounding area who continue to support and believe in a strong community."
Annapolis County warden Reg Ritchie said their council looks forward to working with Bridgetown and Surette to ensure a smooth transition into one municipality.
"We want the residents of Bridgetown and Annapolis County to know that their interests will be represented fairly throughout the process," said Ritchie.
The province will provide support during the process to help Bridgetown and the Municipality of the County of Annapolis reach an agreement.