Opening lines of communication with transportation department

INVERNESS COUNTY: Municipal representatives from Inverness County recently had a sit-down meeting with the one man in Nova Scotia best equipped to remedy road issues.

“It wasn’t a major breakthrough, but we opened some lines of communication,” said Inverness Deputy Warden, Alfred Poirier.

On February 14, Poirier made a road trip to Halifax to represent the municipality in a meeting with the Minister for Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, Lloyd Hines, who is also the MLA for Guysborough-Eastern Shore-Tracadie.

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Poirier wasn’t alone, as he was accompanied by councillors Laurie Cranton and Jim Mustard, and interim CAO Tanya Tibbo.

“Overall, we talked about different sectors of the county and had a general discussion about how every place was doing. We had an hour-and-a-half to talk about the obstacles we have with roads.

“We talked about all the roads across the county, and gave Hines a good general idea about how things are. It gave us a good mindset of what to expect in later communication.”

Money is an issue for the province, as all infrastructure developments hit taxpayers in the wallet, but Poirier said the meeting was a positive one. Meeting face-to-face with someone is always a good way to make sure your voice is heard, he said.

One innovation that came out of the meeting is that council will keep Hines’ department updated with a priority list of things needing to be done.

“They tried it in other municipalities, and it seems to be working,” Poirier said. “There’s a continuous conversation going on, and then choosing priorities comes from the minister and the councillors of the districts involved.”

Poirier was given a list of paving projects for Inverness County, but there is some uncertainty about which projects will be top priority.

“That’s what they have now, but if the council as a whole decides that there’s more urgent needs, we might be able to change a little of it to make sure the worst is looked after.

“It would be premature for me to say what will be done this year,” he said. “It’s a council decision.”

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Grant McDaniel
Sports reporter Grant McDaniel is a Port Hood native, who after graduating from StFX University, joined The Reporter in 2001.