ANTIGONISH: The town is showing confidence in the local enterprise network.
Antigonish Town Council recently passed three motions regarding the Eastern Strait Regional Enterprise Network (ESREN). Council voted to support the ESREN in a request to report to a single board instead of two, while the second request dealt with funding for the network.
The third recommendation looked for a three year financial commitment to the REN, which council amended.
“Council felt they needed more information to be sure,” said Boucher. “To give that commitment, we’d have to know who was in and who was out and what that REN may look like for those three year commitments. The amendment was if everybody agreed, that we would agree as well to the three year commitment.”
The first two recommendations arose from a committee of CAOs and clerks from the municipalities involved in the REN. The third came from a liaison oversight committee, which is chaired by Port Hawkesbury Mayor Brenda Chisholm Beaton.
Boucher said the oversight committee felt the REN could do more long-term planning and go forward with a staff if they received a three year commitment. She also said the first two recommendations are going to the province, adding she hopes the minister responsible takes a hard look at the items.
“I feel a lot more confident [in the ESREN] than when everybody started to put in their notices that they would be leaving the REN,” said Boucher, when asked how things have changed since the spring when a number of municipalities filed notice which would allow them to leave the REN after a year.
“We’ve had many meetings since then. I’m a lot more confident than I was back in April for sure.”