Thursday, May 23, 2024

May 22 2024

New opportunities, challenges call for careful planning

It appears that a time of unprecedented opportunity and challenge may be on the horizon for the Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG).

The municipality clearly recognizes what’s at stake with the potential of a major economic transition on the horizon. As Alec Bruce reports on page one this week, MODG will pay $170,160 over the next six months for advice on managing economic growth and infrastructure investment in the coming years.

Securing the services of a consultant with expertise in areas like population growth plans and renewable energy development makes sense. Major initiatives like EverWind Fuels’ green hydrogen project and the Port Hawkesbury Paper Wind Project are moving ahead at a brisk pace with their plans for the municipality – projects that would bring new challenges in navigating infrastructure needs.

There’s also the question of how the municipality should invest significant new revenues that would come from these and other projects. Like all rural communities in the province, there’s no shortage of needs here. Careful planning around infrastructure investments can help position our communities for a more prosperous – and sustainable – future.


Bonus Editorial

Rising fatalities, injuries from ATV accidents point to need to do more

Headlines about all-terrain vehicle (ATV) accidents resulting in fatalities are becoming far too common in this province. As Alec Bruce reports this week, from January to April this year compared to the same period in 2023, we’ve seen nearly twice as many fatalities and injuries from ATV accidents in Nova Scotia.

Looking at full-year stats, over the course of 2023 there were seven fatalities and 27 injuries from ATV accidents in the province. That’s up from six fatalities and 18 injuries in 2021.

The trend lines are cause for serious concern.

As Barry Barnet, executive director of the ATV Association of Nova Scotia tells us, solutions to the safety challenge include increasing enforcement, safety training and more rider responsibility.

In terms of personal responsibility, Barnet points out that new riders are required to have an ATV safety training course, but many don’t get it. Some operators ignore helmet laws. These things need to change.

And, of course, operating an ATV while under the influence of alcohol is a recipe for disaster.

Local clubs do much to promote safety and fun for all ATV enthusiasts, but additional solutions are needed.

The sport is growing; more riders are out on the trails. We need increased enforcement by the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables, and more personal responsibility, to reverse the tragic trend in ATV accidents.