The provincial government accepted proposed names recommended by the Transition Advisory Committees for Entities 72 and 73, which will deliver the two new expanded bordering municipalities known as Lakeland Ridges and Woodstock.
The Entity 72 committee, which includes the villages of Meductic and Canterbury, and local services districts of Benton, Canterbury, Debec, North Lake and approximately 20 per cent of the Woodstock LSD, will form the Municipality of Lakeland Ridges.
Next door, Entity 73 — which will form a new municipality encompassing the town of Woodstock and the LSDs of Richmond, Northampton, Upper and Lower Southampton, half of Wakefield and 80 per cent of the Woodstock LSD — will embrace the name of Woodstock.
Woodstock Mayor Art Slipp, who sat on the Entity 73 advisory committee with representatives of the LSDs, said the name reflects a legal identity for the expanded community. Still, the names and identities of individual communities do not change.
“We want every community name to remain the same,” Slipp noted before Woodstock’s council meeting on Tuesday, May 17.
He explained signs will still reflect the individual communities, and residents will still identify as residents of Richmond Corner, Grafton, Northampton, Wakefield or in whatever community they live.
“They will be neighbourhoods of a larger community,” Slipp explained.
Both Entity 72 and 73 advisory committees allowed residents to submit suggested names for their respective communities and considered those submissions in their naming decisions.
“As a result of this process, the name Lakeland Ridges was chosen,” explained the Entity 72 advisory committee in a press release on Tuesday, May 17. “We are very pleased with this result as the new name strongly aligns with our area comprised of beautiful lakes, such as Skiff, North, First and Second Eel and East Grand Lake. Hills which make up our ridges, like those of Benton, Carroll and Pemberton and land used for farming, forestry, small business and recreation. All of these contribute to our rural way of life that we all love and value.”
Both advisory committees said the naming decision represents the latest step in the transition process that began in November 2021 when the Department of Local Government and Local Governance Reform released its White Paper on Local Governance Reform.
The Entity 72 Transition Advisory Committee Team included Mayor Tanya Cloutier, Coun. Andrea Sullivan and administrator Susie Patterson of Canterbury, Deputy Mayor Julia Grant and administrator Lana Sharpe of Meductic, Benton LSD representative Duane MacMillan, Canterbury LSD advisory committee chair Stephen Manuel and member Greg Grant, Debec LSD chair Linda Porter, North Lake LSD chair Ross Stairs and member Perry Bull.
The Entity 73 release identified its Transition Advisory Committee Team as Woodstock Mayor Slipp, Richmond LSD chair May Atkinson, Northampton LSD chair Graham Gill, Upper and Lower Northampton chair Paul Vandervail, Wakefield LSD chair Roy Culberson and Woodstock LSD chair Brian Hayden. Other members included ad hoc member Karen Taylor of the Minister’s Advisory Committee, Joe Gallant, acting local services manager for the Department of Environment and Local Government, and transition facilitator Don Ferguson.
The releases from both transition committees noted the naming decision is the latest step in the long municipal reform process which will see entity councils elected in November to take office on Jan. 1, 2022.
“We are very excited about this step in the transition process,” the Entity 73 transition team stated in its release.
The newly named Lakeland Ridges transition team explained it is already preparing to promote the expanded community.
“Stay tuned as we continue our work and develop a tagline and marketing plan to spread the word that Lakeland Ridges is a great place to live, work and play,” the committee said.
Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, River Valley Sun