GUYSBOROUGH: The Municipality of the District of Guysborough passed a motion to officially withdraw from the Eastern Strait Regional Enterprise Network (ESREN) as of March 31, 2019.
During their regular council meeting February 20, municipal officials with Guysborough decided not to re-sign for another year with ESREN unlike their counterparts in Antigonish town and county who indicated last month they would be re-joining for another year.
The municipality cited the significant loss of tax revenue from the decommissioning of the offshore gas industry as a reason for the decision, and council has full confidence in their own economic development department to continue the work on objectives outlined in their municipal strategic plan.
District 1 councillor Miles MacDonald – who was council’s representative on ESREN – was the only councillor not to support the motion.
Following the meeting, Warden Vernon Pitts said the municipality has clearly signaled their intentions since last year.
“We sent our first letter out last March signaling our intention if things didn’t change financially,” he said. “And as we’ve seen over the past year, things have not changed financially from a revenue perspective.”
Pitts said their decision wasn’t because ESREN wasn’t providing services for them; it ultimately came down to a financial decision.
“It’s not that the REN weren’t doing their job or whatever, we’ve had a great working relationship with the REN, they’re here every other day in the offices, it wasn’t job wise – it was financial, that’s it in a nutshell.”