Better representation from Windsor, West Hants needed for area to prosper

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Editor's Note: The Avon Region Citizens Coalition has penned this letter to the editor and has copied it to both West Hants and the Town of Windsor.


This message is a warning to all of us in West Hants who should be worried about what is happening at our West Hants council. The following details describe what has occurred recently.

On Oct. 8, 2013, the Municipality of West Hants endorsed a working document for a regional collaborative work program that would see our region work together on sharing jobs and services with neighbouring municipal units.

On Tuesday, June 10, 2014, Coun. Randy Matheson, along with Coun. Tom Brown asked council to rescind that motion, which council did, by a vote of 6-3. Councillors Matheson, Brown, Reed Allen, Shirley Pineo, Deputy Warden Gary Cochrane and Warden Richard Dauphinee all voted to rescind the motion. Councillors Victor Swinamer, Jennifer Daniels, and Mike Campbell voted against rescinding it.

Matheson stated that one reason this motion was needed was because the warden was not allowed to speak at a recent joint meeting with the Town of Windsor. He and the “Group of 6” took another step backward with this vote.

The Ivany report, which came out earlier this year, stressed that in order to survive, municipalities must work together and that only by working together can we be successful.

Also on June 10, Daniels asked council to rescind the motion to create their own fire services, to show a sign of good faith for the forthcoming mediation talks with the Windsor Fire Department. The same six councillors decided that they would not rescind the motion and they would move ahead with the creation of their own fire service.

The same three new progressive council members, tried unsuccessfully, to stop formal motions to create a new fire service, which would replace the work currently done by the Windsor Fire Department in parts of West Hants.

The six councillors that voted the same way on June 10 often have been voting together since being on council (some have been voting together for decades). They have served the area well during their time. There has not been a lot of controversy until recently, and they have had very little feedback from the public until now. However, the old way of doing business no longer works and these councillors, as admirable as their intentions may be, have not realized this yet. They are bound and determined to stick to their guns and nothing the public says or does will make a difference. That is very obvious from the comments made at recent council meetings.

What the councillors don’t realize is that the public gallery is not filled with people just because they support the WFD. It is filled with people who generally do not agree with many of the actions of these councillors. They are not happy with the way things have always been done; they are not happy with the way these councillors are conducting business on our behalf. They want progressive councils.

The Town of Windsor is also partially to blame for the moral and distrust of residents as well. Talking about forced takeover of regions or annexation will not garner any favours with residents. Someone has to take the highroad here and offer an olive branch, and the other parties have to accept it.

Many of us in West Hants and Windsor demand better representation from our councils. It’s time for all of our councillors to work together. If you can’t or refuse to work for our betterment, many people in this area invite you to resign.


Randy Hussey and Tom Calkin,

Written on behalf of the Avon Region Citizens Coalition

Organizations: Windsor Fire Department, West Hants council, Municipality of West Hants Avon Region Citizens Coalition Town of Windsor

Geographic location: Windsor, West Hants, Town of Windsor Hants County Avon Region

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Recent comments

  • Wayne Lynch
    June 20, 2014 - 04:50

    As a past resident of Windsor which I have been and will continue to be proud of , I am much dismayed with West Hants Council and have been for some time. Yes they have struck good deals for their constituents for years and years especially where Windsor is concerned; because it was at Windsors' expense. All services that were/are shared have not been paid for by a representational percentage. In other words, if West Hants was using 60% of the service they never paid more than 50 % of the cost leaving Windsor taxpayers to carry the balance. And many developments that straddled both units did not proceed because West Hants had the same idea about costs with these. One such development required that the existing road leading into it would have to be upgraded at Windsors expense. West Hants council did not want to share this expense but wanted to split all revenues generated from the new subdivision. When Windsor council did not agree the whole story was 'leaked' to the papers leaving out the part about the road upgrade leaving everyone who didn't know the full story thinking that Windsor council did not want development. This has been going on for years its just that the Fire Department debacle affects so many and people are starting to pay attention. The reason I know about a lot of this is from the time I spent on Planning Advisory Committee which included Joint Planning with West Hants.

  • Debbie
    June 19, 2014 - 21:03

    Well said Randy and Tom and like Leah said hope it doesn't fall on death ears. Its time the council started to listen to what the public wants instead of what they want. Maybe they should call and election.

  • Deanna
    June 19, 2014 - 12:26

    If the councillors cannot think about the welfare of the people they are supposed to represent maybe it is time for new councellors who can put the people first and there own differences last. They are putting people lives at risk and they don't care. People need jobs to survive so why can't the councellors work together to make this happen. It would also help the towns that are struggling as well. As far as the WFD is concerned well how are they going to feel if lives and property could have been saved if they were able to help but because they did nothing ,because of childish behaviour as far as the councillors are concerned, lives and property are lost. I hope they can sleep well at night. So much for protect and serve. That only applies to certain people. I am tired of all of this negativetivity going on. We try to teach our kids how to become reasonable and responsible adults but how much are they learning from the councellors when they are acting like irresonsible children. Stop thinking of yourselves and start thinking about the people you are supposed to represent. We put you there and this is your way of saying thanks by ignoring our needs. Karma is going to bite you in the back one of these days. What goes around comes around. If you can't care about us why should we care about voting for you councellors in the next election. As far as I am concerned maybe they should get rid of all of you and let new blood try their hand at doing what needs to be done for the good of the people not themselves. I am tired of the BS. Grow up and do what you were put in office to do!!!

  • Leah Rissesco
    June 19, 2014 - 08:26

    Thank you a Randy Hussey and Tom Calkin we can only pray that your words do not fall on deaf ears.

  • K.W. Bee
    June 19, 2014 - 08:00

    Well said, the entire controversy surrounding the Town and Municipality Councils is festering to a point that it will soon have a serious negative impact on the local economy. We have already lost many of our local employers in West Hants. No potential employers will want to move in and create much needed jobs here if the basic insurance costs are too expensive due to the inadequate fire service. Or taxes are too expensive due to the costs of building a new fire service. The six Councillors need to stop bickering with everyone who opposes their motives or actions and start thinking of how they can stimulate the local economy. We need open minded and progressive thinkers in council. Not the close representation we are currently seeing.

  • Marilyn Cote
    June 19, 2014 - 06:49

    Maybe it is time to put a limit on the number of years a councilor can serve.

  • Sandy
    June 19, 2014 - 06:41

    Well said gentlemen. The six don't seem to care what so ever about the residents of West Hants. I'm worried about what is going to happen down the road as a resident of Falmouth. Being a self employed person, I also worry about my business. I can not afford higher taxes or higher insurance rates. If I was a resident of Hantsport right now, I would not want anything to do with West Hants witnessing how they treat their own residents!

  • Timothy Pitts
    June 19, 2014 - 05:49

    Very well said Mr. Hussey and Mr. Calkin!