As a former business owner, volunteer, and active community member, I am pleased to add my support to Cabot’s proposed golf course development for West Mabou. What a great opportunity for our community and the surrounding areas.

First, this investment will bring jobs and new residents to the area. Five hundred-plus people work in Inverness each year (full time and seasonal). The result is more money for local families, and as such, more investment in the local business community.

This doesn’t even count the hundreds of locally contracted employees who work as tradespeople building homes, businesses, and improving infrastructure. Nor does it count the people employed in a local business (including the new start-ups) that benefit from having Cabot courses in Inverness County and Cape Breton Island.

It is not by accident that the Municipality County of Inverness has seen its revenue (residential and commercial) grow by 43 per cent in the last decade (2012-2022), and it is not by accident that our population has turned a corner after decades of losing population; Cabot has made a real difference.

From a community organization perspective, I have the honour to serve as an active volunteer on two of the organizations that will benefit from the investment being put forward by Cabot. This represents $2.5 million over the next 20 years ($125,000 a year for local organizations); a number that will continue to grow beyond this.

We have never, and likely will never, see an opportunity like this again. Imagine the spin-off, especially when one factors in the amount that can be leveraged from the different levels of government, as well as the private sector.

This annual investment will have a significant impact on the bottom lines of the identified organizations. It has the potential to help to keep doors open, add to the arts and culture of our area (present and historical), assist in developing our waterfront area, and add greatly to our recreational opportunities.

As a mom, grandmother, former business owner, and active community volunteer, I ask you to make your voice heard in support of Cabot Golf’s proposal for West Mabou because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Like you, I have seen too many of our youth leave in search of employment and as a result be separated from their loved ones.

The Government of Nova Scotia has the opportunity, and a responsibility, to do something special for our area, our organizations, and our people. They have the chance to make a real difference.

To do otherwise is a missed opportunity.

Marie MacDonald