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Santa Claus is coming to the Caribou Fire Hall on Saturday!

Have you been naughty or nice? Find out when you talk to Santa on Saturday at the Caribou Fire Hall…

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Smith Rock Chalets opening for holidays

SCOTSBURN – The wait is finally over, as the doors to one of the area’s favourite destinations are open once again.
The chalets and suites sitting atop Fitzpatrick Mountain will officially be accepting bookings as of today.
Smith Rock Chalets had originally aimed for a fall launch, with the goal being set for an opening date of November 1, however setbacks in extensive renovations forced the date to be delayed until now.
The owners want to reassure future guests that the postponement will be well worth the wait.
“As is the case with most construction projects, the renovations
took longer than we originally anticipated and the project was not
something we wanted to rush,” said Cathy Smith Ura, owner of Smith
Rock Chalets.
“Stonehame Chalets set the bar high and we want to live up to its flawless reputation.”
The property has undergone a substantial facelift – all 10 chalets have been outfitted with new roofs, windows and doors, along with freshly constructed decks – three of which are wheelchair accessible. Each chalet’s interior has been newly furnished with refurbished hardwood flooring and upgraded wood-burning stoves.
In addition to the bodywork of the chalets, each has been updated
with top of the line, locally sourced sofa beds and mattresses,
as well as 32’ HD-LED TVs. A new, six-seated hot tub has also been installed.
Phase two of the renovations, which include installation of a conference and event space, along with a gym and sauna, are scheduled to get underway in January.
Smith Ura said since the announcement of the property’s sale back in August, there has been an outpouring of support from communities near and far.
“Smith Rock Chalets gives its sincerest thanks to those for their confidence and looks forward to welcoming all in the near future.”

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Drug charges pending after traffic stop

NEW GLASGOW – Drug trafficking charges have been laid following a traffic stop on Wednesday.
The Pictou County Integrated Street Crime Enforcement Unit (PCISCEU) conducted a vehicle stop on Temperance Street at approximately 6 p.m. Police seized a quantity of cash, marijuana, cocaine and prescription pills. A 25-year-old man was arrested without incident.
He was released from custody and will appear in Pictou Provincial Court on March 9 on charges of possession and possession for the purpose of trafficking under the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act.
The investigation continues

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Flag display honours Roy Bennett

The Pictou County Wellness Centre received a very special gift last Friday.
A lit flag display case was donated by Richard Bennett in honour of his father Roy J. Bennett.
While the Wellness Centre hadn’t hinted at the need for such a case, Richard Bennett took it upon himself simply because he didn’t like the casual look of how the flags were previously hanging.
Now the Canadian and Nova Scotian flags are surrounded by a set of six crests, representing each of the six municipal units of Pictou County, and are encased in a wooden display which will glow warmly when the house lights are dimmed during the national anthem.
Richard Bennett’s father, Roy J. Bennett, was known to many in his time as “Mr Hockey”, a title he earned honestly.
A well rounded high school athlete “RJ” went on to play for the New Glasgow Shamrocks, as well as the Windsor Swastikas in 1912 (prior to the mid 1930s the swastika was viewed as a symbol of good fortune).
Roy Bennett survived the Depression by playing hockey professionally, earning $25 a week and funnelling $15 from that to support a store which also made its way through that difficult period.
During the 1920s Bennett owned the Arena Rink in New Glasgow, which was the first indoor rink in the County. He was later involved with the John Brother MacDonald Stadium.
Bennett also owned the British Consuls Junior Hockey Team from 1936 to 1946 in addition to founding both the Pictou County Junior Hockey League and the Pictou County Grammar School Hockey League.
He also served as president of the APC Hockey League during the 1930s.
Outside the rink Bennett was a New Glasgow town councillor and later served as mayor for eight years before his death in 1978.
He was inducted posthumously into the Pictou County Sports Heritage Hall of Fame in October.

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Scotians complete weekend sweep

TRENTON – A weekend sweep and the prospects of a win next Friday have the Pictou County Aecon Scotians in a good position before they break for the holidays.
The Scotians moved closer to the first-place Glace Bay Miners in the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League’s Sid Rowe Division by defeating them 3-2 on Saturday in Glace Bay before posting a 6-1 victory on Sunday in Trenton against the Cumberland County Blues.
“It was impressive, given that we had 10 skaters and two goalies,” Scotians head coach Chris Stewart said. “Exams are over for the players now and we have one more game on Friday before the break. We’re playing pretty well with good goaltending that has won us games.”
Two goals by Lucas Eshleman in the second period broke a 1-1 tie against the Miners, and the Scotians rode their defence and Mitchell Donlevy’s goaltending to the win.
Brandon Verge scored in the first period for the Scotians to tie the game.
Each team took nine shots in the first period, but the Miners outshot the Scotians 37-10 over the next two periods for a 4-19 edge over the game.
Goals by Verge, Cole Livingston and Riley Cameron gave the Scotians a 3-0 lead after one period against the Blues.
The Scotians answered the Blue’s only goal of the game with tallies by Craig Matheson and Eshleman. Jordan Yochoff got the Scotians’ other goal in the third period.
The results leave the Scotians seven points behind the Miners in their division with 27 points, although the Miners have played four more games.
“We’re behind Glace Bay but first place is achievable,” Stewart said. “It’s the main thing we’d like to do at this point.”
Verge with 16 goals and 19 assists in 18 games leads the Scotians’ offence and is eight in the league. Eshleman has 22 goals and 10 assists for 32 points.

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Crushers test Ramblers twice

The Pictou County Crushers will try to keep their division lead in the MHL with two games against the Amherst Ramblers.
The teams will meet at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Pictou County Wellness Centre and on Saturday in Amherst.
The Crushers won two of the three games they played in as many nights last week to enter this week in first place in the league’s Eastlink Division. They followed a 3-2 loss to the division rival Yarmouth Mariners with two wins over New Brunswick teams – 4-2 victory on Friday in Campbellton against the Tigers and a 6-5 shootout win on Saturday in Mirimachi against the Timberwolves.
Early second-period goals by Daniel Walsh and Cole Murphy less than a minute apart and a goal later in the period by Ryan Caswell gave the Crushers a 4-1 lead after two periods. Evan Morrision’s goal tied the game in the first period for the Crushers, who were outshot 32-27 over the game.
Power-play goals by Luc Poirier and Morrison late in the third period lifted the Crushers into a tie with the Timberwolves.
Nate Leger put the Crushers into a 1-1 tie in the first period, while Rory Graham and Mike Lyle gave the Crushers a 3-1 lead early in the second period.
Lyle and Murphy tallied against the Mariners, who led 2-0 after one period and 3-1 entering the third.
The Crushers outshot Yarmouth 33-28 before an announced crowd of 773.
Lyle’s production moved him to within three points of the scoring lead with 16 goals and 26 assists for 42 points.
Murphy has 19 goals and 20 assists for 39 points.
The Crushers are no longer in the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s top 20 list after securing 20th spot last week.

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County clubs set to host Swan’s fundraising tour

PICTOU – Pictou County curling clubs are hosting New Brunswick curler Rob Swan’s Maritime portion of his Curling Across the Nation tour.
Swan is scheduled to arrive in Pictou on Friday to curl at the New Caledonian Curling Club before stops at the Bluenose Curling Club in New Glasgow and the Stellar club in Stellarton the same day. He is scheduled to curl at the Westville club at 9 a.m. Saturday.
It’s part of Swan’s campaign to curl 100 games in 100 different clubs across Canada during the 2014-15 curling season to raise money for renovations to his home club in the village of Harvey Station, N.B.
“Curling Across the Nation has been going very well,” he says. “We’ve had a lot of interest at every stop we’ve made, and I’m looking forward to curling with lots of Maritimers in the days leading up to Christmas.”
The Harvey Curling Club, built in 1961, needs renovations and Swan is hoping to raise enough funds to begin upgrades. He began his journey in October in Winnipeg, and has since curled at numerous clubs on the Prairies and in Ontario.
“It has always been a dream of mine to curl at different clubs across Canada,” says Swan. “I thought this would be a good way to achieve that dream, while at the same time raising money for the curling club in Harvey.”
Those interested can access to make a donation or for more information.

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Paul MacLean got a rotten deal

The town of Antigonish is close enough to Pictou County that most Pictonians know the community to the east almost as well as their own neighbourhoods.
For decades – if not more – local sports fans knew almost as much about Antigonish teams and players as they did about their own. Teams playing under the Antigonish Bulldogs monicker – especially in hockey and baseball — were as familiar as Pictou County nicknames like Rangers, Bombers, Scotias and Maripacs.
As a result, young athletes coming out of Antigonish minor hockey, minor baseball and other sports were always being followed carefully. The same was true of older athletes wearing the blue and white of the St. Francis Xavier X-Men and X-Women. Fans often travelled that dangerous highway to the cathedral town to watch games.
And so, if someone from Antigonish moved on to greater heights in the athletic world – the National Hockey League, for instance – Pictonians paid attention.
Take Paul MacLean.
The recently fired coach of the Ottawa Senators was an Antigonish product, and fans in Pictou County, almost as much as their counterparts to the east, were angered when he took the fall for the struggling team.
It was a rotten move – another example of the axe falling in the wrong place, another example of an organization taking the easy way out of a situation.
Just a year and a half ago, I wrote a column here that suggested MacLean was the best bench boss in the NHL in that 2012-13 season.
And now? I didn’t see that much difference in his performance, only that he had a poorer roster to handle. Team leader and captain Jason Spezza was gone to Dallas, several key Sens were injured, others were playing below potential.
But the guy from Antigonish was the one shown the door.
I have a lot of respect for former goaltender Glenn Healy’s opinions as a television analyst. What did he say about MacLean’s dismissal? MacLean, he said, was “a phenomenal coach (and) he shouldn’t have been fired.”
But back to Antigonish.
It’s not just athletes who have been produced there. For such a small community, it’s interesting that two of its native sons, after their playing days were over, made it to the NHL as head coaches. The other, of course, was John Brophy, the man who was so colourful behind the bench.
Brophy and his flowing white hair came along much sooner, of course, than the mustachioed MacLean. Both, though, became inductees into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame, Brophy entering as a builder in 1989, six years before MacLean was admitted in the athlete category.
Although MacLean’s the one being discussed these days, let’s not overlook what Brophy did earlier.
Brophy’s story began long ago, beginning in Antigonish’s minor hockey system, but he became a better known player when he joined the strong Halifax St. Mary’s junior club in the late 1940s. There he developed into a highly-regarded defenceman, a teammate of future NHL player Forbes Kennedy and New Glasgow native Bobby (Lugs) Rae.
Broph, as he became better known, later played senior hockey with the Moncton Hawks in the early 1950s before heading south to play and coach in the minor pros for two decades. It was there that he caught the attention of NHL clubs.
After his baptism as a coach, he returned to Halifax to direct the Nova Scotia Voyageurs, the farm team of the Montreal Canadiens. He loved it in Halifax, and Voyageurs fans loved him. He was colourful and, from 1982 to 1984, he helped produce several future NHL players. He later referred to those three campaigns as the happiest part of his career.
He was lured to the Toronto Maple Leafs and, after a stint as an assistant coach and minor league bench boss, Harold Ballard made him head coach of the big club. He guided the Leafs into the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.
But as they say in professional sports, coaches are hired to be fired and his time with the Leafs ended at mid-term in his third season.
MacLean, unlike Brophy, initially made his presence felt in the NHL as a high-scoring player.
Before that, he helped the Dalhousie Tigers to the national final in intercollegiate ranks, a level Dal teams seldom reached.
His NHL playing days were highlighted by his seven seasons with the Winnipeg Jets. Three times in those seven years he scored more than 40 goals. He later played with the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues before injuries forced his retirement at the early age of 32. Still, he managed 324 goals in the NHL, a very commendable total.
In 2011-12, MacLean was handed the coaching assignment with the Senators. He made an immediate impact on the club and, especially in that 2012-13 campaign, he did a marvellous job of getting the Sens into the playoffs despite a rash of significant injuries.
Then came this season. MacLean, now 56 years old, was optimistic that the Senators would do well. That feeling was shared by the club’s front office and, for a while, things unfolded as they were supposed to. But then the wins began to become fewer. The team was losing more often than anyone anticipated. When MacLean was fingered to take the bullet, the team’s record had fallen to an even 11-11-5.
Yip, coaches are hired to be fired.
We don’t hear much of Brophy anymore. That’s to be expected of a man who quietly slipped into retirement and is now in his 80s.
But MacLean is too young to be put out to pasture. Hopefully, he will get another opportunity, if not in the NHL, then somewhere in the game. He deserves it.
Meantime, if Antigonish turns out another high-level coach in the near future, it wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, including hockey followers in Pictou County.

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Man becomes unresponsive during arrest

RIVERTON – The circumstances around the death of a 49-year-old man while being arrested in Pictou County are being investigated.
Tuesday at 11:03 a.m., Pictou County District RCMP were called to Valley View Villa where a male resident was alleged to have assaulted two employees.
As the RCMP officer placed the man under arrest he became unresponsive.
Emergency Health Services attended and the man was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause of death.
The RCMP has referred to the Nova Scotia Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) for investigation. Given the matter is now being investigated by SiRT, questions on the investigation are to be directed to that agency.

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Fond memories of Maritime Building…

Two people who once worked in the Maritime Building have vivid memories of their time there.
Jack MacIsaac and Glen MacDonald both had offices in the building during their respective insurance careers.
MacIsaac worked with Great West Life in the building and had an office there for 20 years from 1973 to 1993.
MacDonald worked with his father and fellow independent agent Bill MacDonald.
“Great West Life had been there since the 1920s,” MacIsaac said, noting that the building got its name because it was the tallest in the Maritimes at the time it was built in 1914.
“It was the only building in town with an elevator,” he said.
The Nova Scotia Housing Commission was on the second floor, the same as Great West Life office.
As fate would have it, when Jack MacIsaac won a provincial by-election in the Pictou Centre constituency in 1976, he became Housing Minister when the Progressive Conservatives formed government in 1978.
“There was a good bunch on the second floor,” he said.
MacIsaac wonders about the decision to tear the building down, considering older buildings that he has seen in Scotland and Ireland that undergo restoration and new purpose.
“There are buildings there 250 years old and they’re functional,” he said. “I wonder if we have a tear-down mentality. It’s part of the throw-away mentality. It shouldn’t include a building this functional and sturdy.”
Glenn MacDonald and his father Bill MacDonald were independent insurance agents with offices in the Maritime Building.
“The first time my father went into the Maritime Building, he worked for Traders Finance on the second floor in 1959,” Glenn said. “He had just moved from North Sydney and was there 35 years. I was there with him for slightly more than 20 years.”
Glenn said the building was in varying degrees of repair over that time. People could feel the building rattle when nearby trains passed.
“It depended on who owned it, what work got done,” he said.
He left the Maritime Building in 2006 when he and his father sold their business to MacLeod Lorway group. But he thinks the building was solid enough that it could have been saved with enough time to complete the required infrastructure replacements.
“If it wasn’t for the infrastructure I think we could have had it for 200 years,” he said.
The Town of New Glasgow has said the demolition was necessary due to safety concerns and the poor condition of the building.
The demolition is projected to cost $1,030,000 and is contained in town council’s 2014-15 capital budget.
All that remains of the stately old building now, is a pile of rubble on Provost Street.

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Warden agrees to discuss ways to promote county

PICTOU – Warden Ronald Baillie says he will discuss with his colleagues the matter of forming a working group to promote more local commerce.
Baillie said the best chance to do that would be at the next meeting of the Mayors and Warden Committee, which he chairs and which meets monthly.
The subject came up at county council’s financial services committee meeting on Monday.
“I think we need to talk to the other units to see if there is interest,” he said.
The gesture comes in response to Coun. Robert Parker’s suggestion that a group of local council members be named to stem the loss of jobs in Pictou County. Parker brought up the idea of a group to better promote the county at its meeting on Dec. 1.
“We need elected officials to be more involved than they are,” he said.
Coun. Scott Johnston said merit instead of seniority needs to the key to filling the job market.
“You can’t achieve anything until the most qualified people get the jobs,” he said.
Coun. David Parker alluded to the city of Markham, Ont. which reduced taxes for companies and offered annual meetings with businesses leaders to hear and address their needs.
However, Baillie said he attended a meeting like that with a company whose representatives said there was nothing they needed that the municipality could provide.
In other committee business, councillors voted by a 7-6 margin to an amendment to reverse a previous decision and require councillors and staff to submit receipts for meals.
It was also agreed to ask for a change requested by Coun. Jim Turple to raise the speed limit from 50 to 60 kilometre per hour as the threshold when drivers of heavy trucks are prohibited from applying engine brakes.

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Clever T-shirt design outlines industrial changes in Stellarton

STELLARTON – A T-shirt exalting present and emerging exports from Stellarton is becoming a hit for WearWell Garments.
It’s among products featured in the garment plant’s most recently published company store catalogue.
While other T-shirts have New Scotland labels and are adorned with sharp-looking prints depicting lobsters, sailing ships and lighthouses, it’s those that say Stellarton exports “coal by the tonne and weed by the ounce” that are causing a stir.
They are the product of some clever word phrasing by WearWell president Stirling MacLean and some state-of-the-art equipment purchased to produce them, including a digital printer.
“It was just a thought but that thought cost me $20,000… but we’re making them right here,” he said.
Steve Wark did the design for the T-shirts, while Tony DeCoste did the photography for the items in the catalogue and Advocate printed the catalogue.
“Steve and I had some ideas, like utilizing industry in Pictou County,” MacLean. “Right behind us, we have a coal mine and down the street a medical marijuana plant starting up, so that’s how I came up with it. It will be part of future promotions for the county because Steve has other ideas in the works.”
MacLean said the line may be witty, but it underlines the profound industrial change Pictou County is experiencing and the potential the area has for future growth.
“It means a new way of thinking and we can’t be afraid of it,” he said. “If we do the old things the old way, we may never get anywhere. There are so many opportunities out there.”

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Payne bringing comedy to Glasgow Square

NEW GLASGOW – Award winning comedian Nikki Payne will bring her outrageous brand of comedy to Glasgow Square on March 28, 2015 and tickets are now on sale.
“Nikki’s original style of comedy sets her apart from just about everyone else in the business of making people laugh,” says Carlton Munroe, Programs and Events manager for the Town of New Glasgow.
“We are really looking forward to hosting her and know her brand of comedy will be a real treat for local audiences.”
A lot has happened for Payne since moving west from her trailer park in Nova Scotia. Her sharp tongue, engaging charm and trademark lisp has won her multiple Canadian Comedy Awards as well as Gemini nominations. She has travelled the world with her unique sense of humor, performing at major comedy festivals such as Kilkenny’s Cat Laughs, The Las Vegas Comedy Festival and Montreal’s Just For Laughs, where she has been honoured with being asked to play “The Talk of the Fest” shows.
Payne has been seen on many Canadian programs such as CTV’s Satisfaction, CBC’s “Made in Canada,” “The Best of Just For Laughs,” Much Music’s “Video On Trial,” CTV’s “Comedy Now,” “Comedy INC” and her own special, “Nikki’s Funtime Show.” She also made it to the semi-finals of season five’s “Last Comic Standing” and you can see her on Showcase’s “Single White Spenny.”
In 2012, Payne was awarded the Canadian Comedy Person of the Year by the Canadian Comedy Awards. In early 2014, Payne was nominated for Best Actress in a Featured Supporting Role or Guest Role in a Comedic Series by the Canadian Screen Awards for her role as “Bea” on CTV’s Satisfaction.
Tickets are $30 advance (plus applicable fees) and now on sale at the box office, online, any Ticketpro outlet, or call 1-888-311-9090.

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Pictures of the past from local artist

Planes, trains and automobiles filled Pictou’s Stone Soup Café on Saturday during an art exhibit by local artist, Stephanie Robertson.
Monochromatic oil paintings of Nova Scotia’s trains as well as a few other paintings from previous exhibits lined the walls and the hall of Stone Soup, drawing in a crowd to meet the artist and view more work.
The paintings are created with mostly a burnt umber (brown) colour, black and white, giving each painting a historical feel.
“When you see these kinds of pictures it screams history,” said Robertson about the feel of the works of art. The paintings were based on the idea of old photographs.
“It’s just the history and the grit and the romanticism I wanted to try to portray,” said Robertson.
Seeing each of the paintings, it is easy to see the talent and time that went into making each one. And although it may sound easy to paint with only a few colours, Robertson advises that it can be testing at times.
“It’s more challenging in a way because there’s all the hues in it,” said “Robertson. “But to give it that much character with these colours is the challenge.”
Despite the increased difficulty, Robertson skillfully blended, shaded and contoured each of her paintings to perfection.
She paints in a photo-realism style with oils, but her paintings are relatively clean looking for an oil painting, with an immense amount of careful blending, rather than the chunky textured style that oil colours can be sometimes known for.
“It’s that line between a passion and a hobby,” said Robertson about her take on painting. “I guess creation is my favourite part of it.”

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Lyme Disease Bill passing into law is a welcomed first step forward

To the Editor:
This week history was made here in Canada; Elizabeth May’s Private Member’s Bill, C-442, the Federal Framework on Lyme Disease Act, was passed unanimously at third reading by the Senate the morning of Friday, December 12.
The bill now awaits Royal Assent by the Governor General for it to become law. This is the first Green party bill to ever pass both houses of Parliament. It calls on the government to convene a conference of provincial and territorial ministers, medical experts and representatives of patient groups to develop a comprehensive Lyme disease strategy.
This has been a long time coming for all who suffer from this debilitating disease. There are a number of organizations who say the existence of chronic Lyme disease is based on pseudo-science, while others claim it is a real and debilitating condition. It is time to look outside the box and see what is going on. Many of the conditions people are labelled with are of unknown cause and who is to say Lyme is not at the root of their health concern? It is time for change and this bill is a good step forward.
There was a doctor who recently told a patient that ‘ticks don’t hurt you’…. This is true – unless you are bitten by an infected tick. Rattle snakes won’t hurt you unless you are bitten by one.
A doctor once told me she was too busy and didn’t have time for Lyme. The doctors will now have to learn about this emerging vector borne disease.
Ticks can carry more than one infection, thus making treatment difficult. Lyme is an occupational health and safety risk that must be addressed.
The number of Canadians with positive testing and receiving treatment in the USA will have to change.
It is my hope the testing will be accepted and treatment will be available in Canada for all those undiagnosed/misdiagnosed for years.
The door is now open and change is coming. Education is key!
Brenda Sterling-Goodwin
New Glasgow

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Lyme bill calls for real action

A bill to establish a federal framework to treat Lyme disease may seem at odds with the time of year. But for many who suffer from the disease and its effects, it is a Christmas gift that has been a long time coming.
The private member’s bill introduced in June 2012 by Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May cleared many hurdles before it passed third reading by the Senate last Friday. It was scheduled to receive Royal Assent in a ceremony on Tuesday.
The bill’s passage is historic on many levels. It’s the Green Party of Canada’s first bill to pass both houses of Parliament. Private members’ bills rarely succeed, and May could have introduced a far more divisive one that would have died an early death. But her Lyme bill resonated with people.
The result was the kind of collaboration too seldom seen in Parliament. May had the bill, and it had the support of those with Lyme disease who were willing to share their plight. The bill also had the essential support of federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose and Senator Janis Johnson.
Now the real works starts.
At the bill’s core is a call for action.
It will summon politicians, bureaucrats and health professionals across the country to work with patients’ groups to stop the obfuscation and actually work together for a protocol that makes people more aware of Lyme disease, realize how to prevent it and understand the insidious devastation it inflicts when timely treatment is denied.
What most of us don’t know about Lyme disease is a lot. We all need to listen to those who do know.
It’s an age-old axiom. Those who think they’re doing enough are not. Those who are doing a lot wish they could do more.
The extremes Lyme disease poses between early detection and the chronic symptoms that result from delayed diagnosis and treatment are well documented. A relatively short, inexpensive regimen of medications generally leads to a successful outcome.
This bill has shown how politics can be done differently. It charges the medical community to do medicine differently. The way we treat physical, chemical and emotional maladies can be viewed through the same lens as the one this bill asks us to use for treating Lyme disease.
The keys will be to embrace what Lyme treatment works, to stop treating cases and start treating people and to draw conclusions from what is obvious.
We don’t need to plug in a diagnostic machine for a car to confirm that it has a flat tire.
Ask those with Lyme disease what the end game is. It’s everyone pulling in the same direction.
It’s time to road test this gift from Parliament.

Steve Goodwin

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New Glasgow partners with Sobey School of Business to help young entrepreneurs

NEW GLASGOW – The Sobey School of Business Development Centre at Saint Mary’s University is partnering with the Town of New Glasgow along with other communities in Nova Scotia to launch a new program called The Startup 100.
This program is designed to assist students in launching and supporting the growth of their own venture and will empower 100 potential entrepreneurs with skills that will position them for success.
“We congratulate the Sobey School of Business and Saint Mary’s University on this exciting and progressive new program designed to encourage young entrepreneurs and to help youth and younger adults build their professional, business and leadership skills and to acquire the tools which will enable them to turn their entrepreneurial dreams into a reality,” says New Glasgow Mayor Barrie MacMillan.
“New Glasgow and Pictou County have a strong entrepreneurial legacy and a history of being home to many successful entrepreneurs. We see great potential in our community for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to spread their wings and enter into business ventures.”
Students who sign up for this program will be given the opportunity to start their own businesses, as well as gain mentorship from leaders in their community; network with 99 other youth from all across the province; learn from well-established university curriculum and tools; take part in a flagship program to put on your resume, experience personal growth, leadership, business skill advancement, entrepreneurship and leadership.
In order to be eligible for the program candidates must:
►Be a student, or intend to enrol
►Be 15-35 years of age* special circumstances may be accepted
►Be a resident of Nova Scotia for six consecutive months prior to applying
“We are reaching out to our community partners to inform interested youth about this exciting opportunity,” says Geralyn MacDonald, New Glasgow’s director of community economic development.
“Our goal is to make sure interested students are aware of this new opportunity whether they are in school, community college or university. We want this program to be at the forefront, not only for our youth but also for those who teach them and guide them.”
Frank MacFarlane, business development officer for the Town of New Glasgow and the Municipality of the County of Pictou, is also pleased to see this new level of support for young entrepreneurs. “This is perfect timing for such a program,” adds MacFarlane.
“Nova Scotia is in need of more entrepreneurs and there are plenty of talented youth with much to offer the local economy. It is a global market place and many career choices can happen just about anywhere. Pictou County provides a great lifestyle and also offers many business advantages.”
“We are eager to hear from students who meet these criteria and are interested in the program. There is a whole new generation of entrepreneurs awaiting opportunities and we are looking forward to their ideas and contributions,” says Jared Perry of the Sobey School of Business Development Centre.
To register for the Startup 100, follow the steps in this link:
For any questions or comments, contact Jared Perry at (902) 491-6514, or by email at

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Lyme sufferer sees bill passing as a “beginning”

Most may be celebrating the holidays about now, but Brenda Sterling-Goodwin and other Lyme education advocates are celebrating a political victory.
Elizabeth May’s private members bill was officially passed on Friday and is the first for the Green Party of Canada, as it made it though both houses of parliament.
The bill passed unanimously.
“I was in my bed with my feet up, knitting and drinking tea and I got a phone call from (Senator Janis Johnson’s office) that said it was done… it’s passed,” said Sterling-Goodwin. “All I could do was sit there with tears in my eyes… it’s hard to imagine it really happened. This is history making.”
Now that it has been passed, Bill C-442 calls for a meeting that will set up a federal framework to spread more awareness of Lyme disease, look into issues around the disease and push for more research to be done.
The bill was brought forth by Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party and a friend of Sterling-Goodwin’s. Their friendship could be credited as the inspiration for the bill, as they have kept in touch since May moved away, with Sterling-Goodwin sharing information she gathers about the disease with May regularly.
“I was the first person she had met with Lyme disease,” said Sterling-Goodwin. “I kept sending her information to educate her.”
Sterling-Goodwin has been advocating for Lyme awareness for some time now, always reminding people to be wary of ticks all year round.
As for the bill, Sterling-Goodwin said, “It’s a move forward, but not the end of the road. It’s the beginning. It’s a light at the end of a tunnel.”
Alice Lees of Egerton, who was bitten in 2012 but was treated right away, was very happy with the news. “I’m just so thankful it has passed because it will put a focus on the troubles that people have with Lyme. Maybe now there will be proper diagnosis, treatment and investigation and all the things that have been ignored will be brought into the light and looked at properly, by the scientific field, medical field and political arena.”

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Aberdeen Health Foundation makes a direct impact on the lives of children in Pictou County

NEW GLASGOW – Two projects in Pictou County are receiving funding because of the role they play in promoting healthy outcomes for children in Pictou County.
Big Brothers Big Sisters, and West Pictou Consolidated School are the latest recipients of the Aberdeen Health Foundation’s CAS (Children’s Aid Society) Endowment Fund, which supports projects that alleviate risk, prevent crisis and enhance the potential for healthy outcomes for children, youth and families in Pictou County.
Big Brothers Big Sisters’ In School Mentoring Program will receive funding to enhance program materials and resources. The program targets children ages of 7 to 18 who have been identified to be at risk. The estimated number of children in the program is 50 to 70.
The goal of the program is to provide a role model and friend, promote the importance of staying in school and developing healthy relationships with family and peers. The program helps to instil trust and self-confidence, which is important in helping children to make healthy decisions.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters has been delivering the In School Mentoring program for close to 20 years,” says Margie Grant Walsh of Big Brothers. “Schools do not have the resources to supply items for activities beyond gym equipment. This support will enable us to purchase new activity bins and fill them with items that will engage the mentees with their mentors in fun and challenging ways.”
Studies have shown that children who participate in the In School program through Big Brothers Big Sisters stay in school longer, have higher literacy rates, stay away from drugs and alcohol and are less likely to need social assistance. They also access support systems more effectively, as they are more confident and have a mentor with whom they can share, and receive care and support.
West Pictou Consolidated School’s Life Skills Program will be receiving support for a targeted program for children with autism, Asperger’s syndrome, Down syndrome, or global developmental delays.
This program will help these children become healthy, productive, independent, contributing members of society by engaging them in physical activity to inspire a love for an active lifestyle, and helping them develop positive relations with peers. The program will also focus on helping them build skills from preparing simple meals and using good kitchen safety practices to becoming more proficient with technology, and developing an understanding of how to take care of and protect their bodies.
“This program will enhance and supplement the academic portion of the schooling for these children with life skills that will build their independence and autonomy,” says Karri Ann Noel, Learning Center teacher at West Pictou. “Access to iPads, which is now possible as part of the support from the Aberdeen Health Foundation, will make a significant impact. Communication through the use of technology is important to all students, but of particular importance to those with special needs.”
Robyn Eaton, who serves on the Aberdeen Health Foundation, is impressed with the impact of the projects that have been funded through the CAS Endowment Fund.
“The Aberdeen Health Foundation is pleased to support the work of these tremendous organizations in our community and to see the CAS Fund fulfilling its mission. This is exactly what the fund was created to do and already it has provided direct support to nine projects since it was established in 2013.”
The Aberdeen Health Foundation’s Children’s Aid Society (CAS) Endowment Fund was established through a $1 million gift from the former Children’s Aid Society of Pictou County. Continuing the legacy of Children’s Aid, the fund will support projects that protect children, and enhance supports and services for families at risk in the community.
Applications for the CAS Endowment Fund are accepted annually; the next deadline is March 31.
More information on project eligibility and application forms are available by contacting Susan Malcolm, executive director of the Aberdeen Health Foundation at (902) 752-7600 ext. 4600, or
by visiting
The Aberdeen Health Foundation is the leading charitable organization for health care in Northern Nova Scotia. Since 1986, $15 million in capital, equipment, program and service improvements have been funded by the generosity of donors through the Aberdeen Health Foundation, enhancing health care in Pictou County.

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The power of a hug

There are bear hugs, and one-armed hugs, and even full on jumping hugs, but at North Nova Education Centre, Monday was all about the free hugs.
Sometimes the simplest thing can make a good day bad.
For a lot of students at NNEC, a dreary rainy Monday turned into one of the most loving days at school, all with the power of a hug.
Running for about nine years now, free hugs day is put on by the Grade 12 leadership classes to promote positive thinking, acceptance, and camaraderie.
The students in Leadership decorate their own T-shirts and at break, and during their leadership class time they offer a free hug or high five to anyone that wants one, all while wishing them a wonderful day.
It may sound like a personal space nightmare for some people, however, students are respectful and will offer anything from a giant hug to a simple “have a good day” if you would rather not be hugged.
“I think it’s a great thing,” said Emma Spaulding, a leadership 12 student.
“Free hugs day is a good way to spread positivity.”
In the morning, one of the classes threw paper planes off the second floor into the foyer where students gathered for their morning break. Each plane had a positive message for the recipient and a chance to win a cupcake provided by the class.
Spaulding estimated she gave about 100 or more hugs throughout the day after circulating through classrooms with her leadership class and giving out hugs and high fives.
“Everybody hugs back!” said Spaulding, noting the acceptance of classmates she may have never met before.
“I heard someone in the lobby say ‘this just made my day!’” said Natalie Addison, another Leadership 12 student.
For those that may not know the history behind free hugs day, it was a concept which originally began with Juan Mann, a Sydney Australia man who decided that sometimes all you need is a hug. He began the Free Hugs Campaign by standing in public places with a sign that read “free hugs.” Eventually the random act of kindness reached international fame and free hugs days sprouted u everywhere as a way to be kind to strangers and friends, because you never know who may be having a bad day.
“Sometime you don’t realize how much of a difference a hug can make,” said Addison.

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Real men… read

What do ambulances and reading have in common? Male role models.
No, this is not a bad joke.
For the Grade Primary students of West Pictou Consolidated School, these things are a part of a pilot program called Real Men Read to Our Kids.
On December 10, teacher Chris White’s primary class was visited for a second time by paramedic Jason MacKay and his ambulance, to talk to the children about reading.
The program, which was designed by White, is focused on promoting reading to young boys by having men in the community talk about their jobs and how reading relates to what they do for a living.
“I just thought it was time to take the next step,” said White who has been studying male learners for about eight years now.
“I study boy learners, and for boy learners one of the big problems is reading problems,” said White.
He began the pilot in late September by having MacKay attend class and speak to the children about being a paramedic and how important it is to be able to read for his job. MacKay also took the children in small groups and read books, including one of his favourites, The Pigeon Needs a Bath.
“I think most boys think it’s a female pursuit,” said MacKay.
The day before a presenter comes into the classroom, the children review a power point about the man and what he does, coming up with a list of questions they would like to ask about the job or the person. Presenters come into the classroom once a month. So far, the guests have been MacKay, Ben Bowden who is a soldier and Cole Hutchinson who is the captain of the Weeks Crushers hockey team. The next presenter will be Dave Gunning.
For his second visit, MacKay spoke to the children again and taught them about his ambulance and the equipment he uses. He even let them test it out on one of the teachers—with supervision of course.
The day ended with a big group hug around MacKay’s knees by the whole primary class all at once.
“So far the feedback has been really good,” said White.

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New chapter begins in history of Norway Point Road

Life may not be the same as it once was on Norway Point Road. The skyline may have changed and there may only be subtle hints of the past and history of the area, but life continues and the next chapter of the land’s history has begun to be written.
The first of a series of four-plexes was unveiled last week with an open house hosted by developer and owner Joyce Winmill. A second four-plex will be identical in layout to the first and building will begin next spring.
“What we’re doing is trying to bring some revenue into the Town of Pictou as well as create a beautiful spot for people to live,” Winmill explained.
“Everybody wins. People get out of their houses and come into a nice place that they can call their own.”
The units will be a low maintenance affair – with snow removal and lawn maintenance service included, new appliances, LED lighting and efficient heat pumps keeping the place cozy in winter, cool in summer.
“People just want to come here, settle down and enjoy,” Winmill said.
Each unit has a sizable kitchen with stainless steel appliances and marble counter top. There is also a large, open concept room, living room, patio access and waterfront views. There are also two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The master bedroom featured walk-in closets and ensuite.
Intended to be more or less a turn-key deal for potential renters the development was right on the money for Joe Vienneau who recently began renting one of the units.
“It is perfect, a perfect place,” Vienneau said. “Everything’s top grade.”
In addition to the other planned four-plexes on their 20 acre parcel of land, the Winmill’s (Joyce and Bruce) have plans to create a subdivided cul-de-sac on the land.
“We (will) have 26 lots that we’re going to be selling individually,” Winmill said. “It’s all waterfront, it comes right off the Jitney Trail. The lots haven’t been subdivided yet but as we get some enquiries we can look at dividing the lots. The lots are almost ready now.”
Winmill, who also co-owns Winmill Electric, said they had been looking to create a development when the opportunity offered by Norway Point came along.
“It was a good opportunity that came our way,” Winmill said. “We were looking for development. This kind of fell onto our laps. It was something that was just really do-able for us.”
While much of the future of the Norway Point area is yet to be written, the next chapter is off to a promising beginning.

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Schools return to normal after threat, arrest

PICTOU – Life at Pictou Academy and McCulloch schools is closer to normal after the schools last week underwent a hold and secure mode.
Jim Ryan, principal for both schools, said he feels the right steps were taken after learning of a threat to the school at about 8:45 a.m. on Dec. 9 as classes were about to begin for the day.
“Things happened so we made the call right away, just to be safe,” he said of the precaution.
“We take them seriously right away. You hope you never have to do these things.”
Pictou County RCMP immediately responded and by mid-morning arrested a 20-year-old Pictou County resident. David Nicholas Cummings, 20, of Pine Tree, was charged on Dec. 11 of uttering threats and mischief. He was released from custody with conditions and is to appear in Pictou Provincial Court on February 2.
Ryan said the hold and secure meant students had to remain in their respective schools. Because the school gyms are located in a separate building, gym activities were cancelled. Some gym activities took place in classrooms.
Students were permitted to move around within each school and required an escort to leave the buildings.
“I really feel it worked quite well,” he said. “We do drills to this effect. There were some anxious moments for students and parents, but by the end of the day things were pretty well settled.”
The hold and secure was lifted at lunch time, Ryan said.
He and school staff will discuss the hold and secure decision and the aftermath. “I thought the staff did well to maintain calm,” he said.
“I just got a text, and I got a text from their mother; I just wanted to come up here because I wasn’t sure they were allowed to leave school,” said Bruce Bronson, who has two children in Pictou Academy and one child in Dr. Thomas McCulloch School. He received a text message from his daughter telling him she was upset. Pictou District RCMP Operations Commander Sgt. Kevin Dunlevy said that the police acted swiftly to apprehend the suspect. Dunlevy said the accused will face the consequences of his actions in court.
“Our officers treat these types of incidents very seriously, as we share the public’s expectation that our children remain safe in any school environment,” Dunlevy said.
“Our emergency action plans were enacted and with the full co-operation of the school board, we brought this incident to a conclusion safely, quickly and effectively.”

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AH Foundation approves $2.4M in funding

NEW GLASGOW – The Aberdeen Health Foundation has approved more than $2.4 million in funding for enhancements to health care at the Aberdeen Hospital and for health services across Pictou County.
This marks the single largest annual influx to health care from the Foundation. Typically annual support from the Foundation ranges between $500,000 and
$1 million.
In addition to funding through the Medical Equipment Endowment, this announcement includes special funding for the hospital’s Emergency/Pharmacy re-development project that is scheduled to begin construction in 2015.
Susan Green, chair of the Aberdeen Health Foundation says, “Today is a great day. While our priority at the Aberdeen Health Foundation is always to enhance health care here at home, today’s announcement also gives a boost to our community’s economic health.”
Green noted that equipment decisions, including their first minimally invasive suite for surgeries which the Foundation is purchasing in partnership with the Aberdeen Hospital Auxiliary, plus their funding contribution for the expansion of the hospital’s emergency and pharmacy departments, will strengthen recruitment and retention of health care practitioners.
“It will also help to maintain our hospital’s position as an accredited centre of health care excellence in the new Provincial Health Authority.”
She added, “We are truly thankful for our community’s generosity. Their continued support makes it possible for the Foundation to participate, along with our municipal units and the Department of Health and Wellness, in funding these emerging innovations.”
The Foundation is providing $1.5 million to equip the Aberdeen Hospital’s Emergency Department with a state of the art patient monitoring system that will double the monitoring capacity of the department. The units are mobile and equipped with wireless technology, which will allow for monitoring patients wherever they are in the hospital. The system will be integrated throughout the whole hospital and, when installed, it will be the most advanced monitoring system in the province.
“Most importantly, the system will enhance patient care by improving efficiency, aiding in greater access and flow in the department and throughout the hospital.”
A further $919,000 will be provided to fund enhancements in patient care technology in a number of departments in the hospital including the Operating Room, Critical Care, Anaesthesia, Perioperative, Lab, Pharmacy, Ophthalmology, and the Women and Children’s Unit. Together there will be more than 35 distinct investments in equipment ranging from infant radiant warmers to defibrillator life packs and an automated dispensing medication cabinet.
“This is a very generous donation that will ultimately play an integral part in the success of this project,” said PCHA Acting CEO, Bruce Quigley.
“We are grateful to the Aberdeen Health Foundation, and the individuals and groups who support them, for their continued generosity. The Emergency Department/Pharmacy re-development project is a team effort of our community partners. Their support will be an important contribution towards maintaining the high level of patient care in Pictou County.”
The Aberdeen Health Foundation is the leading charitable organization for health care in Northern Nova Scotia. Since 1986, $20 million in capital, equipment, program and service improvements have been funded by the generosity of donors through the Aberdeen Health Foundation, enhancing health care here in Pictou County.

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Christmas comes early for county health care

NEW GLASGOW – Pictou County’s municipal units have signed a funding agreement to support the redevelopment of the Aberdeen Hospital’s emergency and pharmacy departments.
“On behalf of the six municipalities within Pictou County, we are very pleased to partner with the Province of Nova Scotia to see the construction of this important project to our region moving forward,” said Warden Ron Baillie.
“We are committing the 25 per cent community contribution required for the capital associated with the redevelopment of the emergency and pharmacy departments in the amount of $6.8 million. The advancement of this project ensures that our Aberdeen Hospital is well positioned to provide the quality of services required for our citizens.”
The municipal governments are raising the project’s required community contribution through the deed transfer tax which will support the infrastructure related costs (all of the work required to be completed as part of the project, except furniture, fixtures and equipment).
The Aberdeen Health Foundation has agreed to purchase the $1.5 million state of the art patient monitoring system for the new Emergency Department.
“This project demonstrates how the residents of Pictou County benefit from cooperative partnerships in our community,” said Bruce Quigley, Acting CEO of the Pictou County Health Authority.
“We realize how important this project is to our patients, doctors and staff who will all have the privilege of benefiting from an emergency department that will provide the opportunity for best practices in emergency care.”
“Communities have always been key partners in important projects like this,” said Minister of Health and Wellness, Leo Glavine. “I’m pleased to see the community take part in the upgrades at Aberdeen Hospital, knowing that improved patient care will be the end result.”
With the funding agreement in place, a public tender for the $32 million redevelopment project will be called in January with awarding of the general contract by late winter. Construction is expected to begin in spring of next year. Completion date for the project is scheduled for June 2018.

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