Birthday bash anxiety: Western Nova Scotia municipalities wait for federal funding news

Planning, promotion on hold for 150th birthday party

John DeMings
Published on February 19, 2016


With Canada's 150th birthday now months away, a municipal group planning this region’s 2017 celebrations is sounding a little anxious. As always, the issue is money.

Nine municipal units in western Nova Scotia formed the Canada Legacy Society and last fall submitted a funding proposal to Ottawa.

West Nova MP Colin Fraser says the proposal is now before senior Heritage Canada staff in Ottawa and a decision on funding should be coming soon.

“Things are definitely happening,” Fraser told the legacy society executive during a Feb. 12 meeting, “and we are continuing to make a coordinated pitch at the top levels.”

In a news release last week, Annapolis Royal mayor Michael Tompkins, who chairs the legacy society, said he is increasingly conscious of the timeline.

“It's just a little over 10 months until 2017 and we need to be working on our strategic marketing initiatives and setting a national promotional agenda as soon as possible.”

He noted the recent change in government precipitated a pause in policy reviews, “but we're hoping that brisk progress will now be made”.

Fraser and Nova Scotia premier Stephen McNeil last month met with Canadian Heritage Minister Melanie Joly to make the case for support.

“The minister was impressed with the fact that nine municipalities had joined in collaboration to make this submission, which showed a strong willingness to work together to showcase the area on the Canadian stage”, Fraser said.

The current participating municipal units are the counties of Kings, Annapolis, Digby, Argyle and Yarmouth, and the towns of Middleton, Annapolis Royal, Digby and Yarmouth.

Two additional municipal units have expressed an interest in joining the society’s heritage initiative.

Fraser and the society’s executive agreed to a follow up meeting early in March to review progress.