Hello again to all residents of our rural Municipality of Pictou County. A special welcome to all of those new to our area. On behalf of Council, I thank you for making our beautiful rural landscape your new home.
We have just completed another election season for our Municipality. With half of our Council returned by acclamation and the other half winning re-election, there is very little change in our new Council from the previous edition.
The one exception is District 4, comprising River John, West Branch, Toney River, Seafoam, and neighboring communities. With the retirement of long time Coun. Ronald Baillie, Mary Elliott has joined our new Council to represent District 4. Welcome, Mary. She is enthusiastic about her new role and anxious to learn. Mary has big shoes to fill, but I am sure that she is up for the job.
I am proud to be elected for a second term, by my fellow councillors, to serve as Warden for our rural Municipality. I welcome Coun. Wayne Murray back as Deputy Warden; I certainly appreciate all his help. As your Warden, I look forward to providing leadership as our County faces many challenges and also visiting many of you in your communities once we finally move past Covid-19. I sincerely hope that all of you are successfully weathering this pandemic. It has certainly been hard on everybody, including those living in and working in our senior care homes. We have been very fortunate as a Province to have low numbers and here in Pictou County, no have had this terrible virus move through any of our senior care homes. Thank you again, to all who work in these special places.
Your Council also realizes that it is a difficult time for many seniors and others in their own homes with the many restrictions and also, the limits on the family member’s visits from outside our Atlantic Bubble.
Let us all commit to making a special effort, in the upcoming holiday season, to reach out to anyone in our communities who may be feeling lonely or ‘missing someone’.
With communication being so vital during this pandemic, your Council continues to work hard to make our rural internet network a reality. It has been frustrating to me that we haven’t been able to progress faster, but Covid-19 seems to be to blame, with a slowing down of supply chains and everything else as many parts of Canada and abroad is experiencing much higher numbers and therefore, closure of production facilities.
After safely visiting over 500 homes in the recent election, I am well aware of the desperate need of many individuals and businesses for quality high-speed internet and a much-improved cell phone service. We are making progress and continue to explore avenues to provide some wireless service, while the fibre to the home is being worked on, to help those with little or no service. The federal government has just announced large increases in funding available for high-speed internet; we trust that some will come our way.
As our new Council proceeds to plan for the next four years, there are many issues, some leftover from the previous Council, some new ones coming from the Province, and we are always open to new ideas and issues from you. Please communicate with your council to bring ideas forward and follow your Council’s activities on the various social media sites. Our hope, with this Council, is to move ahead quickly with televising or live streaming so you can follow from home the many discussions that lead to your Council’s decisions.
On behalf of my fellow councillors and our diligent staff, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas. Please remember to guard your and your family’s mental health carefully.
Warden Robert Parker