The CEO of the Eastern Strait Regional Enterprise Network says the organization is entering its third year, is past its start-up phase and is now taking on some new projects. ESREN will hold its Annual General Meeting at the Chedabucto Lifetyle Complex in Guysborough Wednesday afternoon at 3. John Beaton says discussion at the meeting will focus on several issues.
Beaton says other developments in the past year include Start-Up Port Hawkesbury, which resulted in several new companies in the town and the expansion of another into the community. The guest speaker at the event is well known Antigonish businessman Steve Smith.
Mulgrave Town Council is joining the Eastern Strait Regional Enterprise Network.
Mulgrave CAO Jim Davis said council wanted to join the network, for the fiscal year ending 2019,
in part because they are entering a time of flux with the Mulgrave Memorial Education centre.
The town will take ownership of the school at the end of the current school year.
Davis said ESREN will provide administrative support to the working committee dealing with the school.
Davis said the town previously applied to be a part of ESREN but then withdrew their application before it was formally accepted.
The town will officially join the network in July. The town’s contribution to ESREN is $9,928 dollars.
Following its most recent budget deliberations, council for the Municipality of the District of Guysborough voted to serve notice of withdrawing from the
Eastern Strait Regional Enterprise Network. Warden Vernon Pitts said the municipality did not serve notice because they are definitely leaving the ESREN but stated the municipalities must give a year’s notification if they are contemplating leaving.
Pitts said council is considering the move because of budgetary reasons. With the district raising its tax rates recently and cutting programs by 25 per cent, Pitts said the ESREN is no different. Down the road, he said, if things don’t turn around for the Guysborough District, it may have to be leave but added it is too early say.
“We were faced with the predicament of either we give notice to the REN or we withdraw funding from our own economic development office and we will not be withdrawing funding from our own economic development office,” said the warden.
Antigonish County Council has given notice to withdraw from the Eastern Strait Regional Enterprise Network.
However Warden Owen McCarron said at this point, it’s business as usual between the county and ESREN.
McCarron added the one year time period will give the county a chance to sit down with their colleagues in Guysborough and find out their intentions.
The County of Antigonish is the biggest contributor to ESREN, McCarron said, adding the funding is calculated by population.
McCarron said he hopes this time next year ESREN will still be in operation, adding it takes time for such an organization to establish themselves. He said they have done great work so far and have an excellent team in place.
The Town of Antigonish has submitted a letter to potentially leave the Eastern-Strait Regional Enterprise Network.
During last night’s regular monthly council meeting, Mayor Laurie Boucher said although the town has submitted a letter, they’re not giving up on ESREN.
She said with the Municipality of the District of Guysborough giving their notice, Port Hawkesbury following suit, and Antigonish County looking at giving their notice, the town decided to submit a letter as well. However, she said that doesn’t mean they are actually leaving and there is still time to rescind.
Boucher said she is hopeful the REN will continue.
She said the CAOs are meeting next week, and councils will have a lot more information after that meeting.
native, with more than ten years of combined financial and administrative experience. Ludlow, who has spent the past decade in Ottawa, is a graduate of St. FX University’s Business Administration program. Ludlow will be posted to the REN’s Guysborough office.