Grand Manan mayor leaves ‘positive’ meeting with Ottawa as bank shutdown looms
The mayor of the remote New Brunswick community on Grand Manan Island, which is about to lose its last remaining bank for miles, said a meeting with federal finance officials went well.
However, the delegation left without any tangible solution.
Mayor Bonnie Morse left the nation’s capital Thursday morning after meeting with New Brunswick Southwest MLA John Williamson and officials from the office of federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland.
« I thought it was a positive reunion, » Morse told Global News from Ottawa, while waiting for his flight home.
« They took lots of notes, listened to what we had to say and were very engaged in the conversation. »
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Scotiabank has announced it will close its Grand Manan branch on August 24, leaving island residents a one-hour trip and a $50 ferry ride to mainland New Brunswick to complete transactions. banking in person.
A Scotiabank spokesperson told Global News on June 10 that the institution’s plans have not changed.
Morse said there were seven people at the Ottawa meeting, including three from Freeland’s office, MP Williamson and a staff member from her office, Grand Manan councilor Gregg Russell and herself.
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Acknowledging there is little the federal government can do in terms of intervening in Scotiabank’s pullout, Morse is adamant the meeting was encouraging.
Then Morse said it was time to regroup and continue working on mitigation.
« I think with two months to go, we really need to start focusing on if there’s anything we can do to help this transition, » she said.
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« I think we’re going to continue to push for Scotiabank to reconsider or to see if there’s some sort of alternative that we can come up with that will fill in some of the gaps that we need to fill, » Morse said.
As she boarded her flight back to New Brunswick, Morse had to drive an hour and a half to get to the ferry terminal before spending another hour and a half on the ferry back to Grand Manan.
« It’s the whole banking thing in a nutshell when you’re traveling, » she said.
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