Council denies funding to Cape Mabou Pasture Co-op

PORT HOOD: An application from the Cape Mabou Pasture Co-op for municipal funding was turned down during Inverness County’s regular meeting last Thursday.

The group was looking for $15,000 from the municipality. That money would complement an Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency donation to help with funding matters for the group.

Inverness Warden Betty Ann MacQuarrie noted that the community development funds for her area were exhausted, so the cash would have come from other Districts 2 and 3.

District 2 councillor Laurie Cranton moved the municipality support the funding request, and it was seconded by District 3 councillor Jim Mustard.

However, they were the only ones in favour. Deputy Warden Alfred Poirier, councillor John MacLennan, and councillor John Dowling all said no. The motion was defeated 3-2.

“So the motion does not go forward,” said Warden Betty Ann MacQuarrie.

Councillor Mustard said that, in light of the issue, it was fair to make a comment.

“When we’re elected as councillors, our job is to understand the complexity of an issue and make an informed decision,” he said. “When we come in and carry a bias, it allows us to shape a decision. It seems on this issue, there were a number of personal differences that came into the issue that didn’t allow us to look at what was really at stake here.”

With issues of agriculture being very important, especially in the age of climate change, he said he wasn’t pleased with the outcome.

“I’m disappointed and I don’t think it shows what we’re really here for,” he said.

Considering Mustard’s comments and a clearly divided council, the Pasture Co-op was contacted for comment.

Robbie Sutherland, secretary of the group, said he’d prefer not to comment. He did say he personally was grateful for the funding that was provided in the past.