JUDIQUE: The new council for the Municipality of the County of Inverness took their seats and chose the warden and deputy warden.
District 1 councillor Laurie Cranton was elected the warden and district 3 councillor Bonny MacIsaac was acclaimed the deputy warden following a swearing-in ceremony for the new council tonight at the Judique Community Centre.
After district 6 councillor Catherine Gillis declined a nomination for warden by Cranton, Gillis then nominated Cranton, who accepted the nomination, to applause from the crowd.
District 4 councillor John MacLennan nominated district 1 councillor Alfred Poirier, which was seconded by MacIassac, resulting in a secret ballot vote, which Cranton won.
In reacting to his win, the second term councillor noted this year’s “special council” of three women and three men.
“I probably have a different approach from years past. I’m looking for a team approach where we all work together. We need to be honest and transparent. We need to consider the common good for Inverness County,” he went on. “Decisions should be made in the best interests of the municipality and the respective districts. We need trust, confidentiality when required, and work towards visions. We need to show empathy, respect for others and work as a council, not in individual silos. Show respect for staff and work with staff through our CAO.”
After the new warden took his oath office, MacLennan nominated Bonny MacIsaac to be deputy warden, which was seconded by Lynn Chisholm.
Once MacIsaac accepted the nominations, and no other names were nominated, she was then acclaimed to the position.
Although this is her first time on council, MacIsaac said she is ready for the challenge.
“I’ve been on numerous committees, more than I could ever count, I’ve organized more than I can count events, I think I’m up to this,” she told The Reporter. “I believe we have a great council, we have a great balance and I’m really looking forward to see what we can accomplish.”
MacIsaac said infrastructure is at the top of her list, notably water and sewer upgrades in the village of Inverness.
“We’ll be looking at how we can make it more feasible to fix as we’re paving,” she noted. “Next year there’s a big paving project coming through Inverness, we’re going to be looking at replacing the aging infrastructure as we go along while we’re paving.”
The new warden agreed that infrastructure is a top priority.
“I think we need to be looking at our water and sewer systems that we’re already involved in, that’s an important and large expense to the municipality. I think there’s a real need to push for better Internet and cellular services through much of the municipality,” Cranton noted. “Another thing we need to be looking at doing is a risk management assessment for all of our various departments and stuff. It’s a thing that all good bodies and boards should be doing to look at where the priorities really lie as far risk does and things like that. So we can better manage our systems and spend our money where it’s needed.”
Over the long-term, helping mitigate the economic impacts of the global pandemic is another item on the list.
“Businesses and our industries are going to need support as they come back on stream,” he added. “We’ve been very fortunate so far, long-term we have some very vibrant industries in the fishing, forestry, tourism and we have to make sure that there’s places for people to work and raise their families here and have the supports that they need. I think developing the communities in that way, with the tools they need like good Internet and cell service, and those things, and other supports are where we need to go.”