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Metro Halifax has a land base larger than P.E.I. It has a population base of over 345,000, whereas P.E.I. has 150,000. Halifax has one of everything, garbage collection, emergency measures plans, one CAO and 16 councillors.
The Municipalities Governance Act wants to create 29 communities in P.E.I., all with a CAO plus offices, mayors and six to nine councillors. This amalgamation is being forced on people. I was at a meeting in Bonshaw were people voted against it. But the council of six voted four to two and they went ahead anyway. The people even signed a petition saying no — not one person said yes. But the minister still went ahead.
The act is designed in such a way that the people have no democratic rights, they can speak but it is the council that votes. The mayor and councillors cannot be fired or held accountable.
Under the old act, the annual budget had to be approved and voted on by the people. The act is full of violations of the charter. A bylaw officer has more power than an RCMP officer. He can enter your property and buildings without notice, has to give you 24 hours’ notice to enter your home. No warrant. This is being forced on people. Two years of secret meetings were held in the Three Rivers area. 0ver 1,200 people said no.
Look where it got them. Does the Village of Victoria — a population of less than 100 souls that has thrived over the years — now really need to pay a CAO over $40,000 per year for a 20-hour work week?
Common sense, not greed and the lust for power, has to be stopped. That is why I urge all Islanders to support the rural coalition in having this vile act rescinded.