edpc membership

Release Date: June 15th, 2018

On July 3nd, the Town of Antigonish will be changing the way it does business. That is the date when the municipality officially becomes the newest member of the Eastern District Planning Commission (EDPC). “This is an exciting new direction for the Town,” said Mayor Laurie Boucher, “and our Council is confident that this is a positive step forward for our region and our community.”

Established in 1991, the Eastern District Planning Commission provides planning, subdivision and building inspection services in northeastern Nova Scotia, and covers the Town of Port Hawkesbury, and the counties of Inverness, Richmond, Victoria, and Antigonish. The addition of the Town is being viewed very favourably by the Commission.

The Chair of the Commission, Councillor Trevor Boudreau, commended both staff of the Commission and the Town of Antigonish on working together to negotiate a revised inter-municipal services agreement for planning and building inspection services which received unanimous support at the Board level as well as at Council sessions of each of our members units. “Our Director was in front of most of our Council’s selling the new agreement by explaining the benefits of bringing the Town of Antigonish into the Commission. We look forward to having the Town of Antigonish aboard and feel that it will result in a stronger Commission for all our partners.”

John Bain, the Director of the Commission, emphasised that the Planning Commission can be seen as one of the success stories of Municipal Co-operation in the Province. While the Commission was first a partnership between only the Counties of Inverness and Richmond, soon the Town of Port Hawkesbury joined in 1993 followed by the County of Victoria in 1995 and the County of Antigonish in 2006. Bain noted “Each new municipality brought their own unique challenges and complexity of issues to the table but at the same time deepened our bench strength. The addition of the Town of Antigonish will continue this positive trend.”

The Town is a partner in many regionally-focused organizations and committees, such as the Eastern Strait Regional Enterprise Network (ESREN), the Eastern Region Solid Waste Management, and now the Commission can be added to this list. Chief Administrative Officer Jeffrey Lawrence explained that participation in regional initiatives and partnerships allows the Town to realize economics of scale in its operations while ensuring a coordinated and collaborative approach to service delivery with neighbouring municipalities. “For partnerships to work well, there must be mutual benefit for all involved,” he clarified. “We anticipate that this change will help all partners capitalize on and build upon each others strengths and continue to foster an atmosphere of co-operation and dialogue in our region.”

Developing regional partnerships is a growing trend among municipalities in Nova Scotia. Recently, the Nova Scotia Federation Municipalities and the Association of Municipal Administrators have started working closely with the Department of Municipal Affairs to guide municipalities down a path of ‘modernization’ in response to growing challenges that include rising citizen expectations for services, limited financial resources, shifting demographics, and aging infrastructure.

“The past has taught us that creating larger regional governments is not a necessary condition for creating thriving, viable communities in our province,” explains Mayor Boucher. “I think this new message is a very meaningful shift in that conversation that encourages collaborative resource allocation to improve services where it makes sense, while balancing our ability to retain our local autonomy and community identity.”

The Town views the developing relationship with EDPC as a proactive, strategic step to stay ahead of the curve and modernize its operations in a way that will help to shape a bright future for the Strait region.

“We are always looking for ways that we can make our local government stronger by improving our financial and human resource capacity in ways that benefit our citizens and partnerships – like the one we are building with the Commission – are undoubtedly one of the best means of achieving those ends.” Mayor Boucher said. As a result of the shift to the Commission, Town Council is now envisioning opportunities to assume more of an emphasis on matters of local community development. “In the interest of continual improvement,” she continued, “our focus can turn to evaluating how the Town can build its capacity to deliver on the social, cultural, and economic priorities that residents are interested in seeing.”

While remaining focused on the future, Mayor Boucher did comment that the change is a bit bittersweet. “We really do have a fantastic planning and building services staff who have left an enduring, positive mark on the Town and have shaped the character of our community. They should be proud of those accomplishments,” she said. When asked about what the change may mean for developers and residents in the early stages, she remained assured in the transition process to date. “Mr. Lawrence and Mr. Bain have been communicating and working very closely over the past few weeks to ensure that the transition proceeds smoothly and that our residents and interested developers do not see a lapse in planning and building services.”

“We will be ready to hit the ground running, and we are looking forward to charting a new path with the Commission,” Mayor Boucher said.

Meet the Staff

The Town of Antigonish will be hosting a Meet and Greet with Eastern District Planning commission staff on July 3, 2018, in Council chambers (274 Main Street) from 2:00pm to 5:00pm. Beverages and light snacks will be served.

Contact for Inquiries

Town of Antigonish

Eastern District Planning Commission

  • Mr. Trevor Boudreau, Chair, Eastern District Planning Commission
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Ph.: (902) 625-7893
  • Mr. John Bain, Director, Eastern District Planning Commission
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Ph.: (902) 625-5364

antigonish crest

Get in Touch

Town of Antigonish
274 Main Street
Antigonish, Nova Scotia
Canada B2G 2C4

Phone: (902) 863-2351
Fax: (902) 863-0460 / (902) 863-9201

Town Hall hours: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm