Cumberland County’s Progressive Conservative MLAs say local tourism must be a priority and are calling on the McNeil Liberals to explain why the county got no provincial tourism funding last week.
Cumberland County is a unique part of our province and we are disappointed we are not getting our fair share,” says Cumberland North MLA Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin. “We have many authentic experiences to share with fellow Nova Scotians and with visitors. We want to ensure the world knows what we have to offer.”
Tory Rushton, MLA for Cumberland South echoes the sentiment.
“We have beautiful beaches, parks, museums, booming businesses such as craft breweries and farmers markets, and restaurants along both the Northumberland Strait as well along the Bay of Fundy,” says Rushton. “Not only are we primed for visitors, Cumberland County is a great place for staycations too.”
The opposition MLAs have reached out to tourism minister Geoff MacLellan to discuss their goals and priorities for Cumberland County.
“We want to work together on building the economy in Cumberland County and we want to make tourism a thriving part of that prosperity,” says Smith-McCrossin.
Rushton adds they were disappointed that no provincial tourism funding was earmarked for Cumberland last week. “Our communities have major projects that could have used financial support from the Liberals,” he says. “Our county’s tourism industry deserves to be supported as well.”
Rushton points to such landmarks as the Joggins Fossil Cliffs and Fundy Geological Museum, as well as supporting the beautiful camping opportunities in Advocate.
Smith-McCrossin would like to see significant investments made to the Visitor Information Centre at the New Brunswick/Nova Scotia border.
“We have a responsibility to put our best foot forward,” she says. “We must always be asking ourselves if we are presenting our province in its best possible light. A significant spruce up of the border crossing is needed.”
The Cumberland North MLA adds that LaPlanche Street needs improvements, as do many of the local public beaches like Heather’s Beach.
The two MLAs agree that improved signage at the Nova Scotia border is key to supporting and boosting not only local tourism, but tourism efforts across the province. Rushton and Smith-McCrossin say the province is missing a key advertising opportunity.
“Cumberland County is the gateway to Nova Scotia,” says Rushton. “We need proper signage that shows all we have to offer. We have the chance to make a real impact at a key entry point, but we need funds to make that happen.”
“We’re missing opportunities everyday with locals and tourists alike,” she says. “We have so many cultural and authentic experiences available in Cumberland, but we have to promote them.”
The MLAs are calling on the government to install signage at the border that markets what’s available off the main highway. They add they are looking forward to working with both government and community partners on this important signage.