Aldea Losier

Tracadie-Sheila Mayor Aldéoda Losier says having a larger population will help his community draw big name retail outlets. (Village of Tracadie-Sheila)

The mayor of Tracadie-Sheila is promising big changes for his community after nearby local service districts voted to join his town.

The addition of 18 LSDs to the community will more than triple the population of Tracadie-Sheila to 16,000, from about 5,000 today.

Aldéoda Losier says with fewer than 5,000 residents, it has been almost impossible to attract big name stores to the region.

"If you come to the Peninsula, you don't see any Walmart, you don't see any Kent, you don't see any of this," he said. "We got the Sobey's and the Supervalue, but it's the only two we have in this region."

Losier says now that he will be able to lay claim to being the sixth largest municipality in the province, it should be easier to attract business.

On Monday, residents of 18 LSDs voted to merge with the existing town by a vote of 3,211 to 2,876. The expanded community will come into effect on July 1, 2014.

"June 30, we will dismantle the town of Tracadie and create a new regional municipality which is equivalent to the big Halifax," said Losier, who has been pushing the idea of amalgamation since 2009. "That's amazing."

Losier's comparison of his new community to the Halifax Regional Municipality is apt in area covered but not population. In the 2011 census, the Halifax Regional Municipality exceeded 390,000 residents.

The Alward government has been encouraging changes to local government with the idea that larger, more structured governments will have the local tax base to provide improved services.

Losier says he will now try and convince other local service districts to merge with his community. He says that could push the population to 19,000.