On behalf of the Valley Regional Enterprise Network, I would like to acknowledge and thank all of the mayors, wardens and councillors throughout the Annapolis Valley who have represented their communities up until Saturday’s election. We all owe you a great debt for your committed service and leadership. Thank you!

And to all the newly elected mayors and councillors: Congratulations!

Across the Valley, the voter turnout in many municipalities shows that people care about municipal government and the important role it plays in our lives and in shaping the well-being of our communities.

The enthusiasm shown by candidates and voters in this election is heartening and inspiring.

At the Valley REN, we are particularly excited by this display of interest in municipal government, because of our unique role as an “enterprise network.”

As a municipal corporation led by a private-sector board, our mandate is to deliver economic development services across the Valley region on behalf of our seven municipal partners, Glooscap First Nation, and the province.

There are five RENs across Nova Scotia, serving the Valley, Western, South Shore, Eastern Strait, and Cape Breton regions. RENs help local business – by building relationships, making connections, and finding ways to remove barriers to growth – and we play a leadership role in setting the direction for economic growth in our regions.

Through our relationships with businesses and other organizations, the Valley REN also develops growth sectors and promotes regional assets and opportunities to investors.

To learn more about our role and our work, we invite you to read the orientation slide deck we have created for newly elected municipal officials.

In the coming months, we look forward to getting to know the new faces on municipal councils and working together with our municipal partners, citizens, and businesses to create a prosperous Annapolis Valley.