Plebiscites and priorities

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Letter to The Annapolis County Spectator

Dear Editor:

In the April 17th Spectator is a story about the Municipality of Annapolis having to ask the provincial government to organize a plebiscite in order to gauge public approval of a proposed whiskey distillery and outlet in the Lequille area.

I assume the plebiscite would have to show approval by 50 per cent plus one in order to pass. Since this locality is deemed "dry" by the province (there's an anachronism for you), the plebiscite is necessary. All this to allow an enterprise that will provide full-time, year-round work for several people, a market for local goods and services, and quite possibly serve as a tourism magnet, like Glenora in the Margaree area.

So let me get this straight - a good, long-term development that will be a real benefit to the community requires a complex approval process hinging on the acquiescence of a majority of the locals. No approval, no new business.

Contrast this with the situation that arises if somebody wants to inflict a mink mill, a quarry, a salmon farm, a chemical waste site, or some other detractive development on an unsuspecting neighbourhood. In that case, even if a petition goes around with 98 per cent of the locals against it, the municipality will still grant approval, even with the almost inevitable smells, pollution, and property devaluation that go along with such tourist repellents, apparently simply pretending they don't exist, or as usual, claiming legal constraints against acting in defense of its citizens. And the province, of course, will wash its hands of the whole issue.

Just how did priorities in this province get so screwed up?

 

Frank Thomas

Brooklyn   

Organizations: Dear Editor

Geographic location: Annapolis County, Lequille, Glenora Margaree Brooklyn

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