The implication that Doctors don't come because Digby has no artisan culture is absurd to me. Implying that arts and music define culture as well as being the things that will draw doctors or tourists here is equally absurd.
Culture is the day to day life of the people living in a community; it can change, grow and develop and as Greg Turner pointed out there is a great deal of culture that enriches the lives of local residents that will draw people here to work or visit.
Wharf Rat Rally, fishing, the Fundy Erratics, the Theater society, the museum, hunting, Scallop Days, canoeing, and the Fundy YMCA are all elements of local culture. Doctors will look for a vibrant community in all aspects of their culture, and not just an artisan culture.
I made the choice to live here after living in small towns and big cities in Nova Scotia and across Canada. We as residents should support parts of our local culture that will attract doctors and enhance the lives of local residents and any new cultural development. People will be attracted to a community where their kids can swim in a pool during the winter, that has a unique history, where they can get outside and where summertime brings festivals or bike rallies.
When it comes to economic development some comments have been comparing apples to oranges. Using South Korea, Toronto, or Newfoundland and Labrador as examples of positive economic development that Digby can emulate is not realistic. Digby is a town of approximately 2000 residents and the municipality has approximately 9000 residents.
Economic development isn't going to happen on the same scale or in the same way as a country of 50 million that had a national strategy, or as Canada's largest city or a province that has access to one of the most valuable and sought after natural resources in the world.
Yes economic development is needed in Digby. This would provide jobs and security and encourage people to stay.
The reality is that residents live here twelve months of the year and we need development that addresses the year round nature of our community.
Enter our savior tidal power. This is what many seem to talk about when they discuss economic development for our community. Tidal energy is in its infancy and may be years away from being viable and many more years away before projects will be approved and started. Even if it becomes viable Digby will become one of many communities vying to be the center of tidal power. There is no guarantee Digby will be selected as a site to develop a tidal project.
It raises the question of what other avenues are town council and municipal council pursuing? They have been noticeably silent during much of the public discussion that has occurred on Facebook recently.
The politicians are elected to run our community, pursue economic development and create a livable community for residents, not for tourists. I live in town where taxes are high which hurts residents and stifles economic development.
A good example of questionable economic development is the Wharf Rat Rally. Tough economic times call for restraint and yet council supported a 4-5 day event with at least $20,000. Was the return on investment good for all residents. Why does significant financial support have to be the way our town and residents support this event?
There seems to be little secure economic development that is not tied to seasonal or natural resource cycles and a citizenry that wants change.
What vision, plans and policies do our town and municipal politicians have for Digby economically, culturally and socially? How are they creating a more livable community and building on the great things we have? Let us the citizens know.
Do it today, not tomorrow, next week or next month. Your vision should be clear because many of you have been politicians for years. Post it, print it, and discuss it so we can get behind your ideas and support you.
If you don't do it today we know your answer, you don't have a vision of where we are going and that means it's time for a change.