Nfld. & Labrador

Little Bay Islands resettlement vote not high enough, government says

Residents of Little Bay Islands, a community of just a few dozen residents on the north coast of Newfoundland, will not be relocating after all.
The town of Little Bay Islands stands quiet. (Julia Cook/CBC)

Residents of Little Bay Islands, a community of just a few dozen residents on the north coast of Newfoundland, will not be relocating after all.

A total of 95 residents participated in a relocation vote in November. with only 10 people voting against a resettlement offer from the Newfoundland and Labrador government. 

In a letter to the town council obtained Wednesday, Municipal Affairs Minister Eddie Joyce said the vote was not high enough to meet the government's criteria. 

Even though 89.47 per cent of the residents chose to move, the government's threshold is 90 per cent. A vote of just one other person would have pushed the total over 90 per cent. 

"As a result, the process for relocation for Little Bay Islands will not be proceeding any further," Joyce wrote in a letter mailed to the town council on Jan. 20. 

Joyce said his department will be reviewing its resettlement policy, and once finalized, the town may reapply.

In October,a  spokesperson from the Department of Municipal Affairs said that "Little Bay Islands has passed the cost-benefit analysis."

Two years ago, the province hiked the maximum payout per household in relocated communities to $270,000. Previously, the amount had been $100,000.

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