March 27, 2018; Liverpool, NS: In a unanimous vote, Council of Region of Queens Municipality approved a motion to give notice to South Shore Regional Enterprise Network (REN) of its intention to withdraw from the South Shore REN effective March 31, 2019. Region of Queens Municipality, along with five municipal units in Lunenburg County and three municipal units in Shelburne County, entered into a Regional Enterprise Intermunicipal Agreement on August 20, 2014.
The REN was, a proposed model developed resulting from a recommendation of the One Nova Scotia Report, cost shared at a 50% Level by the Province of Nova Scotia with a goal to strengthen regional economic development objectives, following the dissolution in 2014 of Regional Development Agencies and similar entities, which had a similar objective as the REN model. Following two and a half years of involvement, there have been limited achievements.
Upon consultation with all the municipal partners in the South Shore REN Intermunicipal agreement, there are some who would like to withdraw from the REN to explore other opportunities for economic development partnerships. The Intermunicipal Agreement outlines that those interested in withdrawing from the agreement must give 12 months notice, or, as an option, the agreement may be dissolved by the unanimous agreement of all nine municipalities. A number of other municipalities are expected to vote to withdraw from the South Shore REN this week. Discussions with interested parties and Region of Queens Municipality will be pursued regarding a more suitable economic development model, which will further economic development investments in the future.
Without unanimous approval to dissolve the South Shore REN, the financial obligation for Region of Queens Municipality would be its portion of the REN agreement through to fiscal year end 2019, the sum of $31,193. In the event that all municipalities agree to dissolve the REN, it would take place immediately, and the balance of funds remaining after obligations are paid, ie; staff severances, lease costs, and other South Shore REN expenses outstanding, would be returned to each municipality. The amount is unknown at this time.