Communities showing leadership and perseverance despite challenging times ahead
Gerry Rogers, Leader of the NDP, is travelling around the province this summer and meeting with community leaders, youth, seniors, workers, and business owners. Rogers visited Conne River, Harbour Breton, Hermitage, St. Alban's, and Grand Falls-Windsor earlier this month and is just returning from touring and meeting with people in Port Blandford, Clarenville, Arnold’s Cove, and Bonavista.
Rogers says she is very encouraged by the work local people are doing and the investments they are making in their communities.
“The communities that are doing well know what they need – they know how to make their communities work for their people! They are leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs who are supporting one another. They are encouraging and working to retain their young people, cultivating vibrant, sustainable communities, and finding ways to make it work,” Rogers said.
Rogers says many of these communities are growing and thriving despite the slow pace and inflexibility of government.
“People tell me that government should be enabling and facilitating,” she said. “As I meet with different people and groups, I hear concerns that there is no vision, no adequate rural sustainability plan, and that the supports that are available are often very difficult to access. So people are forging ahead and creating their own solutions,” she said.
Despite the tenacity of local people and the impressive work of community leaders, Rogers says she’s consistently hearing that residents, business owners, non-profit leaders, and elected municipal officials are anxious about how to weather the upcoming storm of increased power rates.
“People around the province are telling me they need to be reassured with a plan for rate mitigation as the cost of electricity soars. Government needs to ensure that the burden of increased costs is not put on the backs of people, non-profits, municipalities, and small businesses. People want and need to know what the plan is,” Rogers said.