Growing Community Leaders
One of the unintended consequences of eliminating local rural governments in the 1980’s was that we also eliminated opportunities for citizens to engage in the process of governing. Many decisions were centralized in Fredericton. Under the LSD system, the Minister of Local Government is the effective mayor of each LSD and the volunteer committees can only make recommendations to the Minister.
In rural New Brunswick, anyone under the age of 40 has rarely had the opportunity to participate in helping their community steer its way through the basic questions and debates that require thoughtful collaboration: How shall we plan for land use?; How shall we raise funds for the local rink?; How shall we organize?
One of my goals for establishing the York Rural Community is to ensure that we can grow a group of 20, 30 and 40 year-olds who will participate in local governance.
A rural community will provide opportunities for our children to grow, gain experience and assume their rightful place as community leaders.