Editorial: Kings County council should finish the job in Cambodia

Editor Kings County Advertiser and Register
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Why stop now? The May 20 decision of the Kings County councillors to bow out of the final stage of a six-year project helping Cambodian communities is baffling.

For eight years, the municipality has seemed dedicated to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities project that brings Canadian expertise to their counterparts in the South Asian country.

Throughout the endeavour, which the county began working with FCM on in 2007, the missions to Cambodia have been lauded as a shining example of useful partnerships.

The first part of the project was to help a Cambodian sangkat, Battambang, develop a solid waste strategy with help from Kings County and Valley Waste. In recent years, the municipal economic development projects shifted to economic, tourism and women in government topics, with partnership with the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce.

The development work has made a difference for a country rebuilding and modernizing governance structures in the wake of the Cambodian genocide. For instance, it was recently announced that Battambang has won a clean city award from the Government of Cambodia.

Over the course of the project, the warden and members of council have accepted praise and awards, with apparent pride, for prior work and all participants from the Kings County delegations have spoken highly of the work.

Warden Diana Brothers pointed out that, while the FCM provides financial support, municipal staff and council time is still a cost of the partnership. However, we still believe it would be beneficial for Kings County to finish what it started.

In a time when rural Nova Scotia is suffering depopulation and is looking to boost immigration numbers, it is important to strengthen global connections, as well as local ones.

The final decision on whether the county will bow out of the project or not hasn’t been made yet. We hope that council will reconsider its position.

 

 

Organizations: Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Kings County council, Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce

Geographic location: Kings, Cambodia, Nova Scotia

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