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Power Centre a Priority: Paul

by NationTalk on March 5, 2008953 Views

March 3, 2008

Expansion of the Truro Power Centre is front and centre on re-elected Chief Lawrence Paul’s agenda.

He and his band councillors have been given a vote of confidence by the people they represent as all 13 incumbents were voted back into office on Thursday. The results were not finalized until Friday morning.“I’m going to try to do the same thing I was doing in the past,” Paul said Friday. “I want to get more clientele up there at the Power Centre.”

Paul received 269 votes, defeating Stephen Marshall Sr., who placed second with 180. Having the entire band council returned sends a strong message, says the chief. “People recognize that the council works as a team, and we’re getting things planned for the future of our band,” he said.

The band has come a long way under Paul’s leadership. In 1984, the year he was first elected, the band was nearly bankrupt, unemployment rate was near 90 per cent and the average education of band members was equivalent to Grade 5. Housing did not meet public health standards and often did not include plumbing or running water.

“Things have changed a lot since that time,” Paul said.

The Millbrook economy generates $100 million in annual revenue, the band directly employs 300 members and another 250 in treaty gaming operations, while 1,200 people are employed at the Power Centre. Welfare has been reduced to less than 40% and the average education has doubled and is nearing Grade 12. During the last two years, 31 members have graduated from post-secondary institutions. Housing has also been drastically improved.

“Many people say our community is just like a part of the Town of Truro,” Paul said. “Some of them say driving through there you can’t tell the difference. The houses are nice, the yards are kept up.”

Paul said education and economic development go hand in hand and he is pleased with the progress being made in both areas.

The power centre has been a key to the band’s economic development initiatives during the past decade. And Paul said the band has a number of irons in the fire that are expected to come to fruition in the coming years.
It is negotiating with one client, which is looking at taking the last piece of property located across from the Super 8 Motel and it is looking at expanding south and needs to start preparing the land for development. – Truro Daily News

EXTRA: Chief Paul will ‘probably pass the torch over’
By Staff, Transcontinental Media

Lawrence Paul is not ready to say this will be his last term in public office. The veteran of native politics was returned as Millbrook’s chief Thursday. He’ll be 75 at the end of his current two-year term and said it is possible he won’t re-offer for the top job.

“Things could change. Maybe in two years time people would like me to stay in again and run another term,” Paul said Friday. “My plans would be at this time … (to) probably pass the torch over to … the younger generation.”

Paul said he would then run as a councillor and assist the new chief and introduce him to the many contacts he has made during his career. “I’ve been at it a long time, but I’m quite proud of what myself and my council has been able to achieve,” he said.

He said there are many councillors, including Clara Gloade, Lloyd Johnson, Barry Gloade and Barry Martin, who have been around the council table for about 25 years. – Truro Daily News

The Nova Scotia Business Journal

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