First, I extend a heartfelt thank you to the Vanguard for recognizing the value of the Mayor’s Report – it’s one small way to keep you informed and thus engaged. This month marks one year for me in the Mayor’s seat and it continues to be an honor to serve as both your leader and ambassador for the Town. We’ve been through a lot but we are a resilient people, and are beginning to see the results of our determination.
This past month has been filled with good news. We heard STM Quest and the Province really do “have a deal”, and the Federal Government is committed to the bulk of the cost for Phase 1 to have the terminal ready for May. Thank you to Premier McNeil, Minister Samson and Minister Churchill, our MP Greg Kerr, NSIFP and our municipal partners for working on this with the urgency required. Now we ready ourselves for May!
Myself and CAO Jeff Gushue will travel to Portland this week for summit meetings with stakeholders and partners. The purpose is to introduce us to Portland’s Office of Tourism and Nova Star’s strategic partners in order to collaborate on mutually beneficial initiatives. I’ve been in contact with Portland’s mayor and we’ll discuss municipal matters as it concerns the ferry.
Many “All Hands On Deck” participants have been put into teams and initiatives identified by our community are moving forward. Some are in the planning stages, others well underway. Everyone has not been contacted yet, but will be. Check www.townofyarmouth.ca for further updates. Your willingness to step into this initiative has prompted both attention and respect for Yarmouth in the most positive way.
In mid-October I attended the Atlantic Mayor’s Congress in Sydney. The focus of the gathering was on regional cooperation and the importance of celebrating our collective wins. The old way of doing things is quickly passing and building and strengthening relationships is imperative to progress.
The past month kept us on the map as an events community. On the heels of Play On! National Championships we had the Chicks With Sticks hockey tournament – largest female hockey tournament in Canada, and the return of the World Jr. A Challenge. Organizers, supporters, fans and volunteers are to be commended. In fact, Hockey Canada’s Joe Brago said on TSN that if events want to learn how to do it right, they should look to Yarmouth as an example. We also want to congratulate Morgan Messenger on a job well done. You represented us well to the world throughout the tournament and your beautiful goal really did lift the roof.
We saw a number of doctors come to Yarmouth, Digby and Shelburne recently. While it’s important to note we’re competing with the entire world on the doctor issue, the recruitment team is working diligently to further close the gap for those without a doctor, and progress is being seen. More to come.
With regard to the Regional Enterprise Networks, a declaration of cooperation was signed at our last meeting indicating the will to move forward. The next step is the appointment of a Board of Directors. With the groundwork underway we’re hoping for a spring start.
Congratulations to Yarmouth Communities in Bloom who won the 2013 National Environmental Action Award. Great work by all!
Fun dates: Join us at the Town of Yarmouth tree lighting on the 22nd of November at 6:30 pm and the Christmas parade on the 23rd at 6 pm. Enjoy the Lobster Splash and Gingerbread Contest and I have it on good authority the Gingerbread man himself has been seen in Town!
In the words of Richard Riley, U.S. Consul General, who spoke at the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce Business Awards last evening, “Yarmouth is poised for the future... it will take strong leadership and community engagement to move forward.” And so I extend a hearty thank you to those on board as we work towards the bright future that’s within our grasp!