RUSTICO — The provincial government is looking into complaints over a sign that has left the community with a sense of identity crisis.
A government spokesperson said the provincial departments of Finance, Energy and Municipal Affairs, Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal and the office of Public Safety will be meeting over the issue and expect to have a resolution soon.
A community sign that used to introduce those going into “Rustico” has been replaced with a provincial sign with “Anglo Rustico.”
The province has said the move is to make it easier for emergency responders to know where they’re going, with surrounding communities historically including North Rustico, Rusticoville and South Rustico.
“Government is looking at possible options to recognize the historic importance of community names while assuring timely emergency response to all communities across the Island using the provincial civic addressing system,” said a joint statement released between the provincial departments.
However, the move has left some Rustico resident upset, with one individual even duct taping over the “Anglo” part of the sign.
Carmelle Doucette, 62, was one of the first residents to discover the new sign.
After seeing it, Doucette’s letter to the editor published in The Guardian led to the story being picked up by national media. Still, Doucette says she hasn’t heard any definite answers on why the sign was erected.
“I have heard it was to do with the civic numbers and how new boundaries are drawn but that was indirectly,” she said. “Why would Anglo Rustico be better than Rustico as far as civic numbers?”
The signs were put up by the transportation department, which would have been acting on a request from the office of public safety.
Even before the sign was erected, Doucette had gotten a glimpse of the change.
When she renewed her licence early in the summer, a new address was listed saying Anglo Rustico. That was something she questioned.
“They said ‘well that’s what we have in our database,’ but our Rustico signs were still up at that time,” she said. “When the signs came down and were replaced with Cymbria and Anglo Rustico, that’s when people started to talk.”
She said others in the community are also upset.
“We should have been involved in the first place. If they were going to decide to call our community by another name why weren’t we consulted?” she said. “I don’t want them just coming and putting the Rustico signs back up. I actually want our address to be Rustico, not Anglo Rustico.”