NEWS that the provincial government is willing to spend up to $1 million to help northwestern local governments plan for what might be the largest population influx in the region’s history is certainly welcome news.
Roads, sewer lines, water lines, bridges, sidewalks – all the trappings of modern life – will be needed to handle what might happen should the potential for a regional liqueified natural gas industry be realized.
Local governments will be hard-pressed to keep up with development demands and the money will go a long way to keeping things under control.
In addition to subdivision developments planned and underway on private land, there are a growing number of applications to purchase provincial crown land for residential building lots.
And it’s here there are the beginnings of a pushback. Those living near some of these parcels have used them for years as unofficial recreational sites and the prospect of subdivision developments changing their everyday lives is unnerving.
New residents will have to live somewhere and that means more subdivisions and other kinds of housing.
But as much as local governments will have to plan for population growth, extreme care must be taken not to affect the quality of life – both for existing residents and for those who might arrive.