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CBRM Policing Issue Latest Example of Houston's Dispute with Cape Breton

May 28, 2024

The Houston government’s battle with CBRM over policing is the latest example of the province trying to download its responsibility to municipalities across the province.

“The premier continues to pick fights with our municipal leaders, particularly CBRM Council, instead of doing the job he was elected to do,” said Opposition Leader Zach Churchill. “Springing this on the CBRM after their budget was complete, knowing municipalities can’t take on a deficit, is irresponsible planning on behalf of the premier.”

Earlier this year, the Houston government abandoned the Coastal Protection Act and abdicated their responsibility to municipalities. In the fall legislative session, Cape Breton MLAs Derek Mombourquette and Fred Tilley heavily debated the MOU with municipalities to ensure that councils and residents were given a fair deal. If the Premier continues downloading responsibility to CBRM council, he should get back to the table a negotiate a new deal.

“Time and time again, the Houston government proves to the people of Cape Breton that we are an afterthought,” said Derek Mombourquette, MLA for Sydney—Membertou. “After calling a record snowstorm that prompted a local state of emergency a PR stunt, it’s hard for Cape Bretoners to have faith in this government’s intentions.”

The sudden change in policing requirements would put financial strain on the municipality.

“Affordability and access to health care remain the top challenges in our area. Our office helps hundreds of people every month who are struggling to get by,” said Fred Tilley, MLA for Northside—Westmount. “The province should focus on supporting Cape Bretoners in need, not putting more financial pressure on the municipality.”

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