Mulgrave asked to join equalization effort

When the NSEF (Nova Scotians for Equalization Fairness) approached the Town of Mulgrave regarding the pittance of provincial funding being sent from Halifax, we were invited to make a presentation before the town council, and we did.

After the council meeting with members of the NSEF, we saw Mulgrave Mayor Ralph Hadley complaining about the Cape Breton Regional Municipality being treated special by the province, in a Letter to the Editor, in The Reporter.

We answered Mayor Hadley with a few statements publicly about the fact that he is comparing the second largest municipality in the province (with over 100,000) to one of the smallest towns in the province with a population of 722 people. We came to assist the Town of Mulgrave with help to lobby the province of Nova Scotia for your fair share of equalization.

You are receiving $127,000 per year and you are due $1.428 million (and that is according to the province’s own numbers). This amount is just one of the five categories that make up the total equalization transfer to the province and that is the “fiscal capacity portion related to property and miscellaneous revenues.”

Our message to mayoral candidates Ron Chisholm and Lorne MacDonald is best of luck in your race, but please do not discount that the province is severely under-funding your town and this practice is keeping more and more funds flowing into the provincial coffers by way of equalization payments.

The worst-off rural Nova Scotia is, the more money that flows in for the province to help us, but never reaches us. Halifax does not qualify for equalization payments and they receive it because of Cape Breton and rural Nova Scotia’s poor fiscal capacity.

Mr. Chisholm and Mr. Macdonald, we encourage you to join the fight for fairness for your town and residents. They deserve it. We know that you have been told by the Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing that the NSEF is dangerous but in fact it is our own provincial government that is the dangerous.

Five towns have dissolved now and more have applied for dissolution, but Mulgrave does not have to be one. Join the fight to be treated fairly by the Province of Nova Scotia.

Rev. Dr. Albert Maroun