Nov. 25, 2009
CAMPOBELLO ISLAND (CNB) - Two open houses will be held in early December for the public to discuss whether to establish a rural community on Campobello Island.
The sessions will be held from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 8, and on Thursday, Dec. 10, at Campobello Island Consolidated School, Route 774, Campobello Island.
"This proposal to establish local government - a rural community - for the residents and property owners of Campobello Island was developed by the Campobello Governance Committee," said Local Goverment Minister Bernard LeBlanc. "I strongly invite all residents to participate in these meetings and to engage in this important democratic process."
The open houses are being organized along with a survey to determine the degree of local support for establishing a rural community. Information kits about the proposal and the survey will be mailed to all Island residents in early December. They are also available at www.gnb.ca/localgovernment. The survey will end Jan. 31, 2010.
If the open houses and the survey demonstrate strong support for a rural community, the minister could hold a yes-or-no plebiscite for those qualified to vote.
"There would be sufficient local support for establishing a rural community if a majority of those voting voted in favour of the proposal," said LeBlanc. "A rural community would not be established unless sufficient local support was achieved."
A 2008 survey revealed that 63.9 per cent of Campobello residents felt that a form of local or community government was either needed or very needed. In the spring of 2009, 50 Campobello residents petitioned the minister of Local Government to carry out a feasibility study of establishing a rural community.
"The rural community is a form of local governance that provides communities with more control over their development and over the delivery of local services," LeBlanc said.
The rural community model, available since 2005, is similar to a municipality (that is, an elected council). It is designed to give persons in rural areas the means to carry out planning and to ensure that local services match their community's needs, wants and budgets.
MEDIA CONTACT: Mark Barbour, communications, Department of Local Government, 506-444-4693.