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Jason MacDonaldChief Administrative Officer: Jason MacDonald

The Chief Administrative Officer is appointed by Council to assist in setting the direction of the Town of Amherst by providing guidance and advice – based on best practices and emerging trends in municipal government.

He works closely with his counterparts in other municipalities, as well as with federal and provincial government officials on a variety of issues affecting the Town.

The CAO also directs and co-ordinates the general management of business affairs for Amherst, overseeing the work of all municipal employees, in accordance with the bylaws, policies and plans approved by Amherst Town Council, so that our programs and services meet the ever-changing needs of the community while ensuring fiscal responsibility.

Welcome to Amherst – A Message from Our CAO

Hello and welcome to the official website of Amherst, Nova Scotia. I’m Jason MacDonald, your Chief Administrative Officer, and I’m excited to share with you why Amherst is an awesome place to live, work, and play.

Amherst is filled with charm, community spirit, and big plans for the future. Let me share with you why I love our town and give you a look at some of our multi-year priority projects.

A Community with Heart

Amherst is more than just a town; it’s a close-knit community where neighbors know each other by name, and there's always a friendly face to greet you. Our residents take pride in their town, and it shows in the warmth and hospitality you'll experience here.

Natural Beauty and Outdoor Adventures

Nestled amidst the stunning landscapes of Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, Amherst and area is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re a fan of hiking, biking, or simply enjoying a peaceful walk, our scenic trails, parks, and nearby beaches offer something for everyone.

Rich History and Culture

Amherst is steeped in history, and you can practically feel it the moment you enter town. From the impressive Victorian architecture and sandstone building facades to our historical monuments and exhibits, there’s a story to be discovered around every corner. Our local arts scene, with galleries and a variety of performance offerings throughout the year, keeps our cultural heritage alive and thriving.

A Robust Business Community

The restaurants and retailers of Amherst take care of our community with pride, creating a unique service offering composed of locally-owned options and major national chains. We have everything right here that the citizens of Amherst need, while also welcoming many people every day who come to town from surrounding areas. We are happy to be a regional service centre.

Community Events and Festivals

There’s a lot to choose from in Amherst! Our calendar is filled with community events and festivals that bring us all together to celebrate what makes our town special. From the annual Winter Carnival and Canada Day celebrations, to Esther Fest each October and other events that that pop up in between, there’s no shortage of fun and excitement.

Education and Opportunities

Amherst is a town that values education and opportunity. We’re proud of our top-notch schools, including the NSCC Amherst Learning Centre – a satellite location of the NSCC Cumberland Campus. Plus, with numerous local businesses and industries, there are many opportunities for fulfilling careers and growth within our community.

Our Strategic Priorities

While we cherish our rich history and the strong sense of community that defines us, we’re also looking towards the future with a clear vision. Here are our four strategic priorities for 2024 and beyond:

Community Centre

We are investigating the feasibility of constructing a brand-new Community Centre to serve Amherst and surrounding areas. This facility will be an anchor for our region; a hub for recreation, social activities, community gatherings and more. Imagine a place where you can take fitness classes, join clubs, enjoy sporting events, or re-connect with friends and neighbors over a coffee.

Mobility Strategy

Getting around Amherst is about to get even easier and more enjoyable! Our new Mobility Strategy focuses on exploring the creation of a public transit service, enhancing bike lanes, and creating more pedestrian-friendly spaces. Whether you’re commuting to work or exploring the town, our goal is to make your journey smooth and accessible.

Municipal Planning Strategy Renewal

We’re renewing our Municipal Planning Strategy to ensure that Amherst continues to grow in a sustainable and vibrant way. This renewal will guide our town’s development, protect our natural resources, and help us maintain the unique character that makes Amherst so special.

Supply of Suitable and Affordable Housing

Everyone deserves a place to call home, and we’re committed to ensuring that Amherst has a supply of suitable and affordable housing for all. We’re working on innovative housing solutions to meet the needs of our diverse population, from young professionals to families and retirees.

Join Us in Amherst

Whether you’re a resident already, considering moving to Amherst, or just planning a visit, we hope you feel completely welcome here. Our town offers a quality of life that is second to none, and we’re excited to share it with you.

Thank you for taking the time to learn a little more about our awesome small town. I’m thrilled to be a part of this incredible community and I look forward to seeing you around.

Warm regards,
Jason MacDonald



Phone: 902-667-3352
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