Rankin MacEachern (left), president of the Cape Mabou Community Pasture Co-operative Limited, and Robbie Sutherland, Secretary/Treasurer, appeared before Inverness County Council last Thursday.

PORT HOOD: Members of the Cape Mabou Community Pasture Co-operative Limited visited Inverness Council last Thursday to give a brief overview of what’s going on with the group, which receives financial support from the municipality.

Leading the discussion was Robbie Sutherland, the group’s secretary/treasurer. He reported the corral system at the main building is 75 per cent rebuilt, making the system much safer.

“Staff, volunteers and live stock producers are now able to work safely and efficiently when moving and working with cattle,” he said.

He was accompanied by co-op president Rankin MacEachern, Cheryl Chandler, Frankie Gillis, and others.

“Herdsman Frankie Gillis did the majority of the work of dismantling the old corrals and rebuilding new ones,” Sutherland said. “Volunteers assisted at various stages in the process. Frankie is an essential part of the team and made sure the corrals were constructed perfectly.”

Sutherland said the co-operative is a vast undertaking, but the group has a great group of volunteers in place to make things work properly. He added the co-operative is a business and is being managed in a professional and transparent manner.

Council earmarked $15,000 for the co-operative annually for three years.

A bone of contention was addressed by Sutherland and MacEachern as it related to interaction the group had with councillor John Dowling on October 3, the day before the meeting. Dowling was advocating for someone using the pasture who had an issue with how things were being run by the co-op.

After some back-and-forth between Dowling and the Cape Mabou representatives, CAO Keith MacDonald pointed out the matter wasn’t on council’s agenda, therefore, discussing it wasn’t appropriate.

“I’d like to reassure everyone that all members are treated fairly,” Sutherland said. “Some choose not to follow regulations, but we follow every regulation. We are fair to everyone and our books are open.”

Councillor Laurie Cranton noted that, “I don’t believe its council’s responsibility to tell this group how to conduct business.”

Sutherland added that he’s happy to address any complaints about the services offered by the co-op. With that, Dowling said he’d be happy to sit down with Sutherland, MacEachern, or anyone from the group to put their heads together.