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Pictou CountyPictou County is a county in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. It was established in 1835, and was formerly a part of Halifax County from 1759 to 1835. It had a population of 46,965 people in 2006, which represents a decline of 5.1 percent from 1991. It is the sixth most populous county in Nova Scotia.
The origin of the name "Pictou" is obscure. Possible Mi'kmaq derivations include "Piktook" meaning an explosion of gas, and "Bucto" meaning fire, possibly related to the coal fields in the area. It might also be a corruption of Poictou, an old province in France. Nicolas Denys named the harbour La riviere de Pictou in the 1660s.
Pictou County includes the towns of New Glasgow, Stellarton, Pictou, Westville and Trenton. The Municipality of Pictou County serves the remaining rural areas, including Pictou Island. Amalgamation of these six municipal units is occasionally considered.
Pictou Landing First Nation hass reserves at Pictou Landing, Fisher's Grant and Merigomish Harbour.
Pictou County District Planning Commission provides planning, development and waste disposal services to all the communities in the county.
Pictou County is wholly within the federal electoral district of Central Nova. It is divided into three provincial electoral districts.
Pictou County has been represented federally by Conservative MP's since 1957, with the exception of 1993-1997 when a Liberal MP was elected. It is currently part of the the Central Nova electoral district. In the Nova Scotia Legislature, the county is represented by one Progressive Conservative and two NDP MLAs.
Resource based industries include coal mining, forestry, fishing and agriculture. Manufacturing industries include Michelin Tire, Northern Pulp and Scotsburn Dairy. Convergys Inc operate a call center in New Glasgow. Tourism is an important part of the economy during the summer, and in 2006 employed 1200 people and brought 45 million dollar to the economy. Railcar manufacturers Trenton Works was closed in 2007 when owners Greenbrier moved production to Mexico. There are 2,400 small and medium-sized businesses that collectively generate more than 15,000 jobs.
Pictou Regional Development Commission is a partnership of the municipalities in Pictou County that works to stimulate business growth, build economic infrastructure and carry out community strategic planning. Pictou County Chamber of Commerce is a business advocacy group that speaks as a united voice on behalf of the business community.
Two highways designated as part of the national Trans-Canada Highway system provide the only controlled-access roads in the county. They are Highway 104, which traverses the county from west to east, and Highway 106 the short north-south spur to the Northumberland Ferries Limited terminal at Caribou.
The Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway is a freight line connecting Truro to Sydney, with spurs at Stellarton and Trenton serving local industries such as Trenton Generating Station. VIA Rail Canada abandoned passenger rail service in the county on January 15, 1990 following nation-wide budget cuts.
Acadian Lines provide motor coach service to New Glasgow, Sutherland River and Barney's River.
Northumberland Ferries Limited operates a seasonal passenger-vehicle ferry service from Caribou, Nova Scotia to Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island. A separate passenger-only ferry service is also operated seasonally from Caribou to Pictou Island.
Trenton Airport is a private commercial airport owned and operated by Sobeys.
Pictou County is served by the daily newspaper The News and the weekly newspaper The Advocate. The only locally based radio station is CKEC-FM, but stations in other counties and Prince Edward Island also provide coverage.
There are two performance spaces in the county, the DeCoste Centre in Pictou and Glasgow Square in New Glasgow. Read By The Sea is an annual one day literary festival held in River John. The Hector Festival in Pictou each summer is a celebration of the county's Scottish heritage. Many of the towns and villages host their own parades and events throughout the year.
Museums include the Northumberland Fisheries Museum in Pictou and the Museum of Industry in Stellarton.
* Buddy Daye, boxer and Sergeant-at-arms of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly.
* Peter MacKay, federal conservative politician, currently serves as Minister of National Defence.
* John Hamm, former Premier of Nova Scotia.
* Loel Campbell
* James Peter Robertson was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross in the First World War .
* Johnny Terris, actor and filmmaker.
* J.D. Fortune, current lead singer for INXS, who gained his fame through a television show called Rock Star: INXS.
* Mark A. Brennan, Canadian Landscape painter.
* Jon Sim, Colin White, and Joey MacDonald all currently play in the National Hockey League.
* Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada.
* Mike Smith, actor, better known as Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys.
* George Canyon, country singer.
* Dave Gunning, folk singer.
There are claims by a Johnston family of Pictou, Nova Scotia that the Mad Trapper of Rat River was Owen Albert Johnston from Pictou County.