The Town of Wabush will have a discussion on a petition presented to council to see if they change their minds on a plebiscite on amalgamation with Labrador City. In May, the town of Labrador City announced it was going to hold a plebiscite. Shortly after, Wabush announced it would not be holding a vote, citing lack of public interest for the idea. Then, on June 11, Labrador City announced it was calling off its plebiscite because it wouldn’t make sense for just one community to hold one.
A petition opposed to that gathered more than 400 signatures.
Wabush council permitted a delegation to present the petition to speak for five minutes.
Council chambers were packed for the meeting and because of fire regulations only 40 were permitted inside, and the others spilled outside.
Rita Pynn, one of the people who started the petition, says they are encouraged council will enter more discussions on the issue. They just want a vote on whether to hold a plebiscite, she said.
They said council should govern the day-to-day business of council but citizens should vote to decide on matters of these importance.
Some members of the audience felt some councillors showed their own bias in the matter.
Pynn also would like to see more of the pros and cons for citizens who make decisions.
Wabush Mayor Ron Barron says there was lots of information available on the Stantec study on amalgamation released in 2017 and subsequent meetings, and he thinks there has been no real appetite for amalgamation.
Pynn said it's up to the citizens to make that choice, and says the numbers who signed the petition show that sentiment.
So what happens now? The petition will be checked, and council will then enter discussions. If they change their mind they have provincial regulations that regulate how things progress. It was not exactly clear when council discussions will go ahead.