March 17, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Campobello residents will decide through a plebiscite on May 10 if they want to become a rural community or remain a local service district. Local Government Minister Chris Collins announced the plebiscite today in the legislative assembly.
"It will be for the island residents to decide their future," said Collins. "In the spring of 2009, 50 local residents petitioned the minister to conduct a study on the feasibility of establishing a rural community. The department has completed the feasibility study, in co-operation with the local governance committee.
"As part of the public consultation process, 330 Campobello residents, who are qualified to vote, participated in a survey which found that 90 per cent were in favour of both establishing a rural community and holding a pledbiscite."
Unlike a local service district, a rural community includes an elected council that has decision-making authority over certain areas.
The study proposed a rural community encompassing the entire island and an elected council composed of a mayor and four councillors.
A copy of the summary of the feasibility study will be mailed in the coming days to all area residents qualified to vote to help them make an informed decision.
"I urge all eligible voters to review the available information and participate in the plebiscite," said Collins. "The creation of a rural community will only go ahead if a majority of voters who participate in the plebiscite agree with the proposal. We need strong and viable communities to play a key role in our province in order to achieve our self-sufficiency goals."
MEDIA CONTACT: Vickey Deschênes, director of public affairs, Department of Local Government, 506-457-7202.