By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
The loss of community newspapers is a development that has not been taken notice of in the province’s Legislation Act of 2006.
Cobourg council received a letter from the Township of McKellar at this week’s meeting, bringing the matter to their attention. The township is requesting legislative changes because they don’t have a local newspaper. Now, for the first time in almost two centuries, Cobourg has joined the growing fraternity of municipalities without a newspaper
They are calling on the province to revisit its requirement for publication and notice requirements for provincial acts and regulations in newspapers, currently defining that term as a document printed in sheet form, published at regular intervals, circulated to the general public, and concerned primarily with news of current events of general interest.
The motion calls for the province to amend its legislation to include digital publications as an acceptable medium for this purpose.
It was a matter of concern even before the last remaining newspaper was shuttered this fall, Municipal Clerk Brent Larmer said.
“It’s a simple amendment to allow us to have that compliance,” he stated.
“It’s definitely something the province should be looking at amending or modernizing.”
“We should all be looking at how we can get that messaging out,” Mayor Lucas Cleveland agreed.
“There’s talk of digital billboards, community-style places where we can put up notices – suggestions are appreciated. We do need to find outside-the-box ways to ensure the message gets out to the community at large.”