Tale of three regions

Rudy Norman
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A meeting in Springdale on Tuesday evening got a bit heated when people started comparing one 'region' to another.

Here at the newspaper, we're well aware of how many people feel when it comes to where they live, and how it's referred to.

You have people from the "Baie Verte Peninsula," people from "Green Bay" and sometimes, (more in a moment) you even have your "Green Bay South" folks.

Traditionally speaking, Baie Verte Peninsula stops with Westport. Then Green Bay stops with King's Point Branch, and Green Bay South runs from the Trans Canada Highway down the road to everyone and anyone in that neck of the woods.

A few years ago someone got the bright idea to combine all three areas and call it one big "Emerald Zone" - taking in 40-odd communities and three regions.

We were fine by that, since that had been the Nor'wester's coverage area for many years already.

Even after that new attempt at bringing everyone together, though, it seems that people still couldn't decide on dropping the regional names of each place, in favour of the one-big-happy-family deal.

Part of that could be for various reasons.

First, the 'Zone' is divided up in different ways for different ventures. For instance, while we're one zone, we encompass two districts represented by two MHAs in our provincial legislature.

We also often get caught in situations when regional boards are in place, where all regions need to be represented by equal numbers from each area.

For instance, when the Regional Economic Development Boards were active, they fostered the name Emerald Zone. However, the by-laws still said that members needed to come from both sides of the fence, and meetings even had to be held in alternating locales to be fair.

That brought about some challenges territorially in nature, and similar challenges are now coming with the Regional Waste Management Strategy.

An attempt to elect a board on Tuesday died in the water, because it was obvious that one 'region' of the 'zone' was well above and far ahead of the other. This is where the 'sometimes' comes in for GBS because in this case, there are only two 'regions' and the Green Bays are counted as one, facing off with the Baie Verte Peninsula.

Green Bay is already well up on the Regional Waste Management bandwagon, and like a lame duck dragging its feet, Baie Verte Peninsula is playing catch up.

We can argue all day over why that is, but quite frankly there are better things to worry about.

For one, the fact that while we're still calling ourselves separate regions, the rest of society has gone on and called us a 'zone' and lumped us all together. Whether it's waste management, or whatever comes up next, the zonal approach isn't going away.

It's time to wake up and learn to work together a bit better than we are now. Stop waiting for others to play catch up, and bring them along for the ride in the first place.

Save us all a few headaches.

 

Organizations: Point Branch, Trans Canada Highway, Regional Economic Development Boards Waste Management

Geographic location: Green Bay South, Baie Verte, Westport

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