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Rural residents upset at the loss of Service N.B. locations

GAGETOWN, N.B. – Days after the provincial budget was tabled, many communities across the province are readying themselves for change.

For six towns and villages, that means losing their Service New Brunswick buildings.

Gagetown mayor Mike Blaney says this cut is unfairly targeted at rural communities.

“Down the road, are we going to end up with a handful of urban centres where all services must be accessed?” said Blaney. “Where will that line be?”

Blaney says he’s disappointed in how the government made this cut. He says there was no notice for the village or consultation with the council.

“When the brunt of these cost cutting reductions lies with the rural communities, then how is that fair?”

Without Service NB, Gagetown residents will have to travel to Oromocto for service, something that’s not easy for the mostly senior residents of the village.

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Annette Currie came into Service NB Thursday to register her truck. She’s trying to get her errands done before the post closes down, and she has to travel to another outlet.

“You have to go to Burton and stand there for three or four hours. Or you can go to Fredericton for three or four hours. Not the ten minutes you can come down here, and be in and out,” she said.

For many residents, the closure of Service NB is disappointing, but not surprising. Since the Gagetown ferry stopped running, they figured it was just a matter of time.

READ MORE: Future of Gagetown ferry unknown

“Same as everything else with the government,” said Currie. “Might as well take this out. They’re taking the ferry out, and move us all to town. That’s what they’re asking for.”

“What’s left?” asks Marjorie Page-Roberts. “They say it’s going to be easier for seniors, but it’s not easier. I’m not happy.”