The need to restructure our rural communities has become increasingly evident in recent years. What this change will look like is still to be determined. As conversations take place, a number of very real issues need to be addressed.
It isn’t surprising that people have voiced concern around the loss of community identity as discussions about creating larger municipalities gain momentum. There are examples of municipal restructuring, in Canada, where the names of the original communities have disappeared except in the hearts and minds of residents. It can and should be done differently in PEI.
Nova Scotia is a perfect example of how community identity can be preserved. There are 51 municipalities that cover the entire province. Many are very large. In fact, the average size is more than 1000 km2. There are many well-known communities across Nova Scotia that are not municipalities. They are part of large county, district or regional municipalities, but have maintained their unique identities.