Sackville Town Council held a moment of silence at its meeting Monday night to reflect on the murder of six worshippers at a mosque in Quebec City and the drawing of a swastika last month in the snow on the Mount Allison University football field.
In a statement read at the opening of the meeting, Mayor Higham said the two events had an impact on everyone in Sackville.
“These two incidents link together in far too many ways to leave any of us feeling very comfortable,” he added.
The mayor described the swastika as an “emblem of hate, prejudice and death” and called the shootings in Quebec the “brutal actions of one acting on hate and prejudice causing death.”
Higham said we often feel such terrible things can’t happen in Sackville and in Canada, but they have.
“The only defence we have is what we do ourselves,” he said. “Each and every one of us must consider if their actions are abetting such events or putting a stop to them. Do we use words to demean, to hurt or to hate? Do we allow them to be used in front of us or applied to others without acting on it?”
He suggested that everyone “must do better” adding he trusts that in Sackville “we’re going to rise to that challenge.”
To listen to the mayor’s statement, click on the media player:
Town council passed a motion Monday night setting the stage for a possible new business in the Sackville industrial park.
Terra Beata Farms near Lunenburg, N.S. is considering setting up a cranberry storage facility, but needs a building higher than the 40 feet (12 metres) permitted under the town’s zoning bylaw.
Council voted to take several steps to facilitate the request including holding a public hearing on lifting the height restriction at its meeting on March 6. (Such a hearing is required under provincial law.)
Town planner Lori Bickford says height restrictions vary in southeastern New Brunswick with some municipalities allowing buildings as high as 66 feet (20 metres) in their industrial zones. She also points out that the Town of Amherst has no height restrictions.
During an interview, Mayor Higham sounded enthusiastic about the prospect of a new business here.
“We’re excited about the possibility,” he said, “and happy with their preliminary questions and design. It looks like [lifting] the height restriction is the key thing to ensure it comes.”
Council has yet to give final approval, but it seems likely to allocate up to $40,000 to improve economic development prospects for TransCanada highway Exit 506 at Cattail Ridge.
Half of the money would go towards making the exit more attractive to passing motorists by clearing trees, cutting grass and making improvements to the landscape. The other half would be spent commissioning a study on facilities that might be needed such as curbs, sewers and modifications to intersections.
Council began focusing on Exit 506 last summer after rejecting a bylaw change that would have allowed a Robin’s Donuts drive-thru at the Ultramar gas bar co-owned by Wendy and Kelly Alder.
The Alders still want the drive-thru, but it’s not clear whether council can re-visit the issue before a full year has elapsed since the July vote rejecting the bylaw change that would have made the drive-thru possible.