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Three Rivers should try King government's model for long-term plan, resident says

Three Rivers' Coun. Gerard Holland sits alongside his fellow councillors during a committee meeting at Kings Playhouse in Georgetown on Nov. 23.
Three Rivers Coun. Gerard Holland sits alongside his fellow councillors during a committee meeting at Kings Playhouse in Georgetown on Nov. 23. - Daniel Brown/Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

THREE RIVERS, P.E.I. — Janice MacBeth wants a local, more diverse group of residents involved in setting up Three Rivers for the future.

Having amalgamated in 2018, the municipality is still without an official plan outlining its long-term vision and its planning procedures across the region.

In June, Three Rivers hired an Ontario-based firm to help put one together, and a survey went out to residents for their input this fall.

This prompted MacBeth, a Three Rivers resident, to speak before council during a committee meeting Monday in Georgetown. She believes that council should partner with the community even more by issuing a committee specifically to help create the plan.

"There's just so many factors that we need to consider," she said. "It's a one-hundred-year plan."


PROPOSAL:

Resident Janice MacBeth suggested the following industries be represented by residents in her proposed committee:

  • Farming
  • Fishing
  • Tourism
  • Health care
  • Recreation
  • Environment
  • Small business
  • Council
  • Provincial

As well, MacBeth suggests someone with experience in risk assessment is involved to weigh in on the pros and cons of potential developments.


She had been a part of the committee that helped form Three Rivers leading up to amalgamation. That committee featured a group of community members from various backgrounds, and while she admits planning wasn't always easy, the different viewpoints made for a stronger outcome.

"There was all these people who had different views, but we just meshed and worked together," she said.

MacBeth also referenced the provincial government's council for recovery and growth as a model. It was formed this year in response to COVID-19 and features representatives in sectors such as business, education and arts working to create a 10-year response plan to the pandemic's impact.

MacBeth argues that having more community voices directly involved in creating a road map for Three Rivers would be more beneficial than the survey alone. As well, she doesn't think that the Ontario firm, Fotenn Planning, would be able to adequately cater to the needs of the municipality.

"How do they get the pulse of our region?"

A few councillors found themselves agreeing with MacBeth's pitch.

"I think we need help," Coun. Ronnie Nicholson said.

Deputy Mayor Debbie Johnston suggested council get in touch with Fotenn before making any decisions on the matter to see if a resident-based committee might work within the firm's current operations.

"(This) would be a great way to get the community involved in planning," Johnston said.

Daniel Brown is a local journalism initiative reporter, a position funded by the federal government.

Twitter.com/dnlbrown95

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