GUYSBOROUGH – For the first time in the history of the Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG), the regular monthly council meeting on July 21 began with an acknowledgement that council is in Mi'kma'ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi'kmaq People.
MODG Warden Vernon Pitts said council made the acknowledgement due to an evolution of understanding.
“It’s the times we are in now … a lot of things have changed. We’ve become more educated, more compassionate, more realistic. We have to recognize our history. If we don’t recognize our history and we govern ourselves accordingly, we are going to keep making the same mistakes over and over. And by doing this, I think it is rectifying a situation that should have been corrected years ago.”
During council Deputy Warden Janet Peitzsche brought forward a motion to contact the province once again in regard to the provision of library service in Canso and Guysborough by the Eastern Counties Regional Library (ECRL).
In April, hours at the libraries in Canso, Guysborough and Sherbrooke (in the District of St. Mary’s) were reduced and the municipalities of St. Mary’s and Guysborough were told to increase their funding to preserve service. The municipalities have not agreed to this funding demand.
Peitzsche’s motion was to make the province aware that services had been cut, while the ECRL board approved a raise for headquarter staff.
In a media interview after council adjourned, Warden Pitts said of the ECRL situation: “That’s an ongoing battle and we’re not the only one included in this battle, St. Mary’s is involved in it as well.
“The battle, or shall we say the war, is a long way from being over. We’re opening a front in regard to another battle with the library board and hopefully the province will realize there is a disservice, an injustice, being done there. We as a council, as well as the council of St. Mary’s … are doing our very best, our utmost, to try and correct this situation, but we need some provincial help. This generic letter sent [from the province] in response to the municipality [regarding MODG’s complaint about the reduction in hours] – that just doesn’t cut it,” said Pitts.
In other business, the MODG has refreshed its webpage and brought forward a new slogan for the municipality: You belong here.
Pitts said, “We think the new slogan is going to be catchier. Everyone belongs in a beautiful place like Guysborough.”
Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal