© Tourism P.E.I. photo
Overhead view showing the Prince County community of Bedeque.
BEDEQUE — Two of the four places with “Bedeque” in their names on Prince Edward Island might become a single community at some point in the future.
Bedeque and Central Bedeque are kicking the tires of amalgamation. In fact, a public meeting is scheduled tonight in Bedeque to discuss that very thing. All residents are welcome to the discussion, which will take place at the Bedeque United Church at 7 p.m.
Another meeting will be held on Sept. 23 in Central Bedeque at the WM Callbeck Centre.
Central Bedeque has a population of 167 while Bedeque has an estimated 143 people.
TC Media was unable to reach the chairperson of either community for comment on this story.
However, both communities have been running newspaper advertisements regarding the public meetings, and the Department of Finance, Energy and Municipal Affairs confirmed on Wednesday its representatives have had preliminary meetings with the councils of both communities to discuss amalgamation.
“Our branch had one meeting with council - I think it was a joint meeting - just to understand what is involved in the amalgamation process. I wasn’t at the meeting, but my understanding is that the sense from there was that they needed to do some groundwork to understand whether there was interest amongst the population, what the implications would be financially, service delivery and those components,” said Samantha Murphy, manager of municipal affairs.
Murphy added that the process is community driven and that her government branch was acting solely as a resource for the Bedeque communities.
She also said that as far as she’s aware, it’s been at least a decade since two municipalities on P.E.I. voluntarily amalgamated.
Legislation introduced in the 1990s forced several communities on the Island to merge.
In order for there to be a voluntary amalgamation, each community’s council must pass a resolution to that effect.
The resolutions, a statement of intent and any pertinent financial information is sent to the minister of municipal affairs for review.
The minister would then make a recommendation to the lieutenant governor who would give it final approval.