Tight timeline for new municipal name, Black says

Deputy Mayor Andrew Black

Sackville’s deputy mayor says the province wants to have a name chosen by the end of the month for what’s now known as Entity 40, the new municipality that will include Sackville, Dorchester and surrounding local service districts.

“It’s the end of April,” Andrew Black told council on Monday. “I think that was the absolute last date…

“The timeline is tight,” he added.

Black serves on a naming subcommittee that includes the mayor and deputy mayor of Dorchester as well as a representative from Point de Bute.

He reported that the subcommittee met recently with Paul Bogaard of the Tantramar Heritage Trust, Mt. A. Professor Lauren Beck and Bob Hickman of the Westmorland Historical Society.

“We met with those three individuals, got some sort of history and context of the area [and] got some suggestions for names,” Black said.

“We do have some names. I’m not going to say what they are currently,” he said, adding that the subcommittee would also consult with Fort Folly First Nations Chief Rebecca Knockwood.

“Once we have a compiled list of names, then we will start doing the public engagement session piece of it,” he said.

“We don’t exactly know what that looks like yet, but there will be definitely outreach and public engagement as to the choosing of the name for the new entity,” Black added.

“If we want to be able to get good engagement from the public, then we need to start pushing on it fairly hard and fairly quickly.”

Municipal reform worries

Meantime, Sackville Town Council is expected to hold more discussion next week on a question that could have implications for local taxpayers.

It involves whether Sackville should support calls to delay the provincial plan to expand the powers of the 12 regional service commissions (RSCs).

Councillor Sabine Dietz

“They will do a lot more than they’re currently doing and how are they going to do that and with whose money?” Councillor Sabine Dietz asked during Monday’s council meeting.

She was referring to the province’s plan to give the RSCs, including the Southeast Regional Service Commission, added responsibilities in such areas as economic development, tourism promotion, regional transportation and the cost-sharing of recreational facilities.

The RSCs will also work with a government agency known as the Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation to provide, among other things, affordable housing and immigrant settlement services.

“We know who’s going to pay for all of those services and yet we don’t know how much it is going to be,” Dietz said.

“It’s going to have a major impact on municipalities.”

Municipal worries

The Union of the Municipalities of New Brunswick (UMNB) is asking its members to support its appeal to the province to delay expanding the powers of the RSCs until after the elections for new local governments have been held in November.

In a letter sent to the provincial minister of local government on March 11, the UMNB expresses worries shared by municipal leaders across the province.

“We have been told by our members that there are concerns about the mandates and financial implications of the new RSCs,” the letter says.

“The expanded mandates have also caused concerns on how the proposed new services will co-exist with municipalities that currently offer affordable and effective services,” it adds.

Both Dietz and Councillor Bill Evans advocated endorsing the UMNB’s calls for delay.

“It [would] also give us as a community…more time to better understand what financial and service delivery implications these changes will have,” Dietz said.

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10 Responses to Tight timeline for new municipal name, Black says

  1. Percy Best says:

    The TOWN of TANTRAMAR ———– There you go! You’re welcome!

  2. marc says:

    Could someone please explain what will be the relationship of existing *counties* to the new LSDs? Will there still be a Westmorland County, and will it be contiguous with, overlapping, or subsumed by whatever Entity 40 ends up being named? What will be the roles of each, assuming the counties continue to exist?

    Apologies if this seems a really basic question…

    Note from Bruce Wark: No, it’s an interesting and relevant question Marc. The counties are merely historical names. In the Equal Opportunity municipal reforms of the 1960s, county municipalities were eliminated and replaced by LSDs. Many small communities were incorporated as villages and existing towns and cities remained in place. So, Westmorland County, for instance, merely refers to geographic boundaries since there’s no county government. More explanation here on the government website: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/corporate/promo/local-governance-reform/governance-reform-history.html#2

  3. Virgil Hammock says:

    Dumping a 250 plus year historic name, Sackville, without a fight is about as dumb as it gets. But again we seem to be a town without a sense of history. We should be county and maintain our historic town names. Now it’s sort of like getting married and giving up your maiden name which was never a good idea.

  4. Sharon Hicks says:

    So let me get this straight …

    It’s been well over 4 months now since the White Paper was published on November 18, 2021, and in that document it was made clear that a new name would need to be chosen for Entity 40.

    An Advisory Committee was formed to work on that name selection, along with 2 other assigned ‘tasks’ which have since been completed – not that our local representatives had much say in the outcome of those tasks.

    That committee of 8 then appointed a ‘subcommittee of 4’ to work on collecting ideas for a name.

    And now, after nearly 5 months, and with the ‘absolute’ deadline for a name just 3 weeks away, the sub-committee members are finally starting to reach out to a few local experts who would have something constructive to suggest!

    The committee is still not sure about how to do a ‘public engagement session’, but they assure us it will happen – once they have some names lined up!!!

    What ???!!!

    How does that give any opportunity for citizens to weigh in on providing name suggestions?

    Why has this been left to the last minute?

    Oh wait – this is Sackville !!! (at least for now …) where EVERYTHING seems to get left to the last minute!!

  5. Peter says:

    I agree with Percy Best, in fact Kathy and I had thought of that superbly appropriate moniker as soon as the forced amalgamation was announced by the Provos.

  6. Jon says:

    Since amalgamation is basically a legal fiction being performed for administrative and local governance purposes, and can be nothing but a pointless source of confusion for highway signage, tourism, postal delivery, and most other purposes, why not call the amalgamated entity Sackville-Dorchester for governance purposes and leave the existing names for everything else?

    Amalgamation was a poorly thought out measure by a government that will likely be voted out in a few years, overseen by a patronage appointee, and using no transparency or democratic consultation. Why discard a couple of centuries of history for such a careless process when a new name is only really needed for administrative convenience?

    • Carol says:

      Thank you for this Jon.
      Once again, I whole heartedly agree with your views. And I still think you should consider running for public office. We need enlightened leaders like you!

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