Warden points to jobs to offset aging population

GUYSBOROUGH: The warden says jobs are key to retaining the area’s young people.

Recently released results from Statistics Canada relating to last year’s census show the average age of Canadians is 41 and the average age of Nova Scotians is 43.5. Locally speaking, the average age for the Municipality of the District of Guysborough is 51.4 while the average age of the entire county of Guysborough is 50.6, which is the highest average age in the Strait area’s four counties.

When asked for comment, Guysborough Warden Vernon Pitts said it’s obviously a concern for the municipality.

“It’s not necessarily bringing young people into the area, it’s retaining our young people,” he said.

“The last number of years, we’ve been educating our young students… and then we ship them away. It’s like we’re exporting them and they’re our most valuable resource.”

Pitts said the municipality mulled over the issue for a number of years.

“The only way you’re going to retain them or entice them back is to have jobs,” he said.

“Hence, we’ve got Vulcan [Materials, with the Black Point Quarry], Pieridae (with Goldboro LNG), [Melford Atlantic Gateway project]. That’s why we’re working on these projects. It’s not to benefit myself or council. It’s to benefit our residents, our up-and-coming adults.”

As for local areas, the average of Antigonish Town residents is 45.7 is and the average age of Antigonish County residents is 43.1. The average age for Inverness County residents is 46.2 and the average age for Richmond County is 48.2. The average age of residents in Port Hawkesbury is 44.6.