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What you need to know about COVID-19: August 11, 2020
I am writing this letter urging the people of Cape Breton to familiarize themselves with a movement in its infant stages now taking place in Cape Breton.
As we all well know, Cape Breton has been struggling for many years with declining population (approximately 1,000 per year) and a declining economy. This has caused many of our loved ones to move away in order to earn a salary capable of providing a decent quality of life for their loved ones.
Unemployment is raging at 12 per cent and that number does not reflect those who are unemployed and not receiving benefits. Our residential taxes and business taxes are through the roof, making it difficult, if not impossible, to attract businesses to locate to Cape Breton.
The federal government, meanwhile, has been sending equalization funds to provinces for many years. This money is supposed to help struggling areas such as Cape Breton, but the money is not being used for its intended purposes.
It also appears that there is no accountability on our provincial government as to how it is spent. It seems that it is not in the best interests of our provincial capital to ensure these struggling areas receive the equalization money they need, and it is only going to get worse as we have become a "cash cow" to the only place in our province that is flourishing – Halifax.
That is so wrong on so many levels, and we have had enough of this treatment.
With our young families having to leave and a growing portion of our population being seniors,
Cape Breton is left in a very vulnerable state and continuing on this path gives no hope for our beautiful island.
Our only way forward is to achieve our own autonomy by becoming self-governed either as Canada’s 11th province or fourth territory. It is not our intention to forever need equalization funds, as we to want to have a robust economy, quality jobs for our families and a decline in unemployment numbers.
All of Cape Breton, home or away, should be putting their support behind a team of leaders that are forging ahead to achieve this goal. There is strength in numbers and remember there is also strength in Cape Bretoners. It’s time we all stand together — proud and strong.
River Denys, Inverness Co.