Thursday, April 24th, 2014   |  Register For Free
← Older posts

Provincial Games returning to region

NEW GLASGOW – Planning is well under way for the 2014 Special Olympics Nova Scotia Summer Games.
The Games will take place in Antigonish from June 20 to 22.
This marks the second time in three years the town will host the games.
The chair of the Games is Dianne MacDonald, and she’s pleased many area residents who helped organize the games in 2012 are back this year.
“It’s a fulfilling weekend, not only for the athletes but for the volunteers and for those people who have committed themselves taking on committee chairs,” MacDonald said. “Special Olympics is something that gets you in the heart and stays with you forever, and I think that’s why we have the same people coming back year after year.”
Special Olympics president and CEO Michael Greek, says the weekend is the culmination of months of hard work by the athletes preparing for these games.
“The annual Provincial Summer Games is the highlight of their athletic training provincially. It is the opportunity to compete in a sport of their choice against friends and rivals. Nova Scotia is the only province in Canada that hosts this event each year. When you have over 900 athletes and coaches attending annually, you know it is a passion.”
The Games officially begin with the lighting of the Flame of Hope by members of the Law Enforcement Torch Run, police officers who have crossed the province to bring the torch to Antigonish at the opening ceremonies on June 20.
Opening ceremonies begin at 5p.m. at the Keating Centre.
St. Francis Xavier University will be the main venue for the games. There will be competitions in sports such as athletics, swimming, soccer and bowling. Some of the newer sports in the provincial games in recent years include bocce, basketball and golf.
Volunteers are needed throughout the weekend. While some roles require specific skills (sport officials and medical), most do not. All ages are welcomed to volunteer for a few hours or the entire weekend.

Posted in Sports | Leave a comment

Turnbull invited to women’s camp

STELLARTON –Forward Blayre Turnbull will be among players at Hockey Canada’s women’s conditioning camp in May.
Turnbull, who grew up in Stellarton, is among 104 players invited to attend the under-22 strength and conditioning camp that will take place from May 7 to 11 at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., with a chance to make the roster for Canada’s women’s hockey team at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
“It feels good,” Turnbull said. “I was really excited to get invited.”
She is among 51 candidates for Canada’s National Women’s Development Team, to go with 53 candidates for Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team, who will participate in both on- and off-ice sessions. The regimen also includes Hockey Canada’s expectations in the areas of nutrition, mental conditioning, physical fitness, testing, training and other positive daily behaviours.
Those who qualify will be evaluated by Hockey Canada scouts at national team camps in August, and as they compete with their club and school teams at various provincial and national events.
Turnbull completed her third year playing university hockey for the Wisconsin Badgers, who reached the NCAA women’s hockey semifinal called the Frozen Four, where they lost 5-3 to the Minnesota Gophers, the defending two-time champions who eventually lost the final to the Clarkson Golden Knights.
She was second in points for the Badgers with 18 goals and 22 assists for 40 points in 38 regular season and playoff games. That included 16 goals and 18 assists for 34 points in 32 regular-season games.
Turnbull scored one goal and assisted on the other in Wisconsin’s 2-1 victory over Harvard that sent the Badgers to the Frozen Four. She also earned All-WCHA Third Team accolades.
“Our team had a good year, and that helped,” Turnbull said, explaining why she was invited to the camp. “I played a lot of minutes and got some goals and assists and I think it got the scouts’ attention.”
Bay View’s Carmen MacDonald, who tends goal for St. Lawrence University, is a past invitee to the camp.
“Carmen and I are good friends,” Turnbull said. “I wish we could have gone together. It will be fun nonetheless.”

Posted in Sports | Leave a comment

MacLennan eyes marathons

SCOTSBURN – Dave MacLennan found out on Monday how life begins at 50 when running marathons.
MacLennan was among several Pictou County runners who entered the 2014 running of the famed Boston Marathon that attracted more than 36,000 runners on Monday.
Now 50, MacLennan is running for the first time in the male50-54 division.
Before leaving for Boston on Saturday, MacLennan said his training went well, despite the nasty winter weather, and he was in good shape.
“My training was pretty good, considering the weather,” he said. “Everything is fine. There’s definitely a chance to run a good race.”
MacLennan ended up 38th in his division and 1,253rd overall in a net time of two hours, 53 minutes and 32 seconds and a gun time of 2:54:48.
He was also fifth among Nova Scotians.
It’s the first of at least three marathons MacLennan plans to run. He also wants to run the annual Blue Nose Marathon on May 18 and the Johnny Miles Marathon on June 15.
He has won the Blue Nose marathon four times and the Johnny Miles Marathon nine times.
Besides MacLennan, Pictou County runners known to have travelled to Boston to run the marathon include Janet Fraser of Scotsburn, Vernon MacIntosh of Hopewell and Jim Lays of Stellarton.
Fraser,60, finished 92nd in the women’s 60-64 division.
Times were not recorded for MacIntosh and Lays.
MacIntosh was trying to improve on his recorded time of 3:40:12 at the 2013 Boston Marathon.
He was among Pictou County runners who completed last year’s marathon before two deadly explosions near the finish line in downtown Boston halted the race.
A vigil marking the one-year anniversary of the explosions was observed on April 15, while a moment of silence preceded Monday’s race.

Posted in Sports | Leave a comment

Etta Forrestall was a great bowling pal

Etta Forrestall once told me that she absolutely loved bowling at the Heather Lanes when they were located on New Glasgow’s west side.
It wasn’t just the competition she enjoyed so much, but the atmosphere and camaraderie at the alleys, and the great staff that worked there.
I couldn’t have agreed with her more.
It was the 1960s, an era when candlepin bowling was at a peak, possibly its highest point ever.
The lanes opened in 1960, replacing the Vee-Eight Lanes that were located on the second floor of the old Ford dealership on Archimedes Street, where the sport flourished for a long time, where bowlers like Etta Forrestall began their fine careers.
When the new facility became Pictou County’s primary home for pin-spilling, Etta and her pals crossed the East River and spent many happy times there.
Those thoughts came back to mind with the recent news that Etta had passed away at the Valley View Villa in Riverton at the age of 87. Her death ended the life of a wonderful woman.
Years ago, I had often bowled with her at the Heather Lanes, bowled against her many times, and we became very good friends. Of course, she was the type of person who could befriend anyone. She was simply fun to be around.
I spent a lot of time at those West Side lanes myself, from the day they opened until I left Pictou County a decade later. I was working for The Chronicle Herald in New Glasgow in those years, and Heather Lanes became like a second home, where anyone such as police, fire and other news contacts knew it was where I could be found.
It was there, too, that I first got to know Etta personally. Prior to that, she was a familiar face during my growing-up years, when she worked, first at the old Woolworths store on Provost Street, then at the Metropolitan a block down the street.
She was enough years older than me that her bowling days began quite a number of years before my own.
There was a great group of young women in the sport then. Gladys Morrison, Rita MacDonald, Marj Ballantyne, Janet Watters, Irene Horne, Rita Mosher and Mary Sloan to name a few. Etta fit right in with that company, in ability, in personality.
She and I often sat down at the Lanes, just to chat over coffee about bowling and other things. But it wasn’t until about 40 years later that I actually interviewed her at length for a newspaper column. That day she talked about many aspects of her life, many things I already knew, but it was a delight to hear her reminisce.
She had grown up in Stellarton’s north end, but she didn’t really have a normal childhood. It was the late years of the Second World War, her father was sick much of the time, and her mother worked long hours at the Pictou Shipyards. That’s when a teenage girl became a store clerk in New Glasgow.
One day, while Etta was working at the Met, Marj Ballantyne came into the store, approached Etta and asked her if she would like to bowl, that she needed someone to fill in on her team at the Vee-Eight Lanes that evening. Etta jumped at the chance.
The rest is history – and it was a long history. She bowled competitively at the Vee-Eight until it closed. She bowled on the West Side through the entire life of the Heather Lanes. She went back to the other side of the river when a new Heather Lanes opened at the Aberdeen Mall on East River Road and she bowled there for a few years. In all, she knocked down pins in leagues, tournaments and friendly matches for 58 years.
Many times she bowled on New Glasgow teams at provincial championships, in Halifax, in the Annapolis Valley, in Cape Breton, wherever the major tournaments were held. Among all those locations, she told me her biggest thrill was representing the hosts in 1964 when the big tourney was held in New Glasgow.
When she talked about her enjoyment being around the lanes on the West Side, she said she loved the facility, the way you could sit back and watch others bowling. She praised the management team of Fraser Matheson and Jimmy Morrison, the two men who made us all feel so welcome in the place.
Etta had good memories of the Vee-Eight, mainly because that’s where she truly fell in love with the sport. But it was over on the West Side where she had her most enjoyable years. She was really saddened when that building closed and the action moved again. It really wasn’t the same in her mind after that.
It was at the original Heather Lanes, in the 1960s, that a new form of competition started. It was called Scotch doubles, where a male and female bowler partnered on a two-member team. The man would throw one ball, the woman the next, and so on. It was popular and Forrestall loved that as much as the women’s leagues, the mixed leagues, the fun matches with whoever was around. She was ready for a game, morning, afternoon, evening, and into the wee hours of the next morning.
Etta loved watching the men bowl too, and she said she improved her own skills and strategy by following the habits of such keglers as Roy Oliver, Ikie Uhren, Gibby Hiscott and Jimmy Morrison.
Unfortunately, every career comes to an end sometime and, for her, a long hospitalization in 2002 ended her almost six decades on the lanes. Even with that, she wasn’t discouraged, admitting she had many great memories from bowling.
Now, for those of us who competed with and against her in the sport, we are left with grand memories of her.

Posted in Sports | Leave a comment

Green has Master(ful) trip

NEW GLASGOW – This year’s golf season came early for Boyd Green.
Green and his friend Aaron Johnson enjoyed a rare opportunity to visit the famed Augusta National Golf Club for one day during the completion of the 2014 Masters championship.
They flew down to Atlanta on April 12 and watched the event’s final round on April 13.
“It was quite a day, a beautiful day,” Green said. “The fairways look faster than our greens.”
Green and Johnson golf and curl. For a time they were on the front end of curling teams skipped by Pat Williams.
Green plays golf at the Glen Lovat club, while Johnson plays at Abercrombie Country Club.
“We usually try to golf together six times a year,” Green said. “Aaron’s a good golfer, so I slow him down a bit.”
It was a really short trip. Green and Johnson flew back on April 15 after completing a full round of golf the previous day and cutting off another round at 11 holes to catch their return flight.
The wonder of the trip is in how it became possible. There was not a lot of planning.
“Our wives gave the trip to us for our Christmas presents,” Green said.
Someone their wives knew had a winning ticket drawn from the deCoste Entertainment Centre’s 2013 raffle – whose prize was a trip for two worth $12,000 to the 2014 Masters – and wasn’t interested in going.
Green is glad to have gone to the Masters, but watching the event in person was an adjustment from watching it at home.
“It was well worth going at least once,” he said. “They do such a good job on television on shots you miss in person if you blink or if you’re too far away.”

Posted in Sports | Leave a comment

Writer extends thanks to fire fighters

To the Editor:
I just wanted to take this opportunity to express a very sincere thank you to all of the fire fighters in Pictou County who volunteered their time away from their families to help raise money to support Muscular Dystrophy this holiday weekend.
My father, who will turn 67 this week, along with two of his brothers have muscular dystrophy. With the help of some of the money they have raised, my father has been able to purchase equipment necessary for him to be more independent and mobile throughout his life so he could enjoy time with his family.
For the difference they have made in my families life, as well as the countless others, thank you from the bottom of my heart. They truly are heroes for what they do daily and for this organization and the families that they support.
I just wanted to let them ALL know how much they are appreciated for everything they have done and continue to do.
Bernadette McKeough-MacDonald
Linacy/New Glasgow

Posted in Opinion | Leave a comment

Wellness Centre not meeting the needs of all county kids

To the Editor:
Regarding the two articles in the March 26 edition and in particular New Glasgow CAO Lisa MacDonald’s comments in the second article: “We still have too many ice surfaces” and “That was identified in 2009 before construction on the Wellness Centre began”…
First off, I admire the tenacity of all involved in Pictou County in getting the facility built in an attempt to help convince industries to locate in the county. Having said that and with the recent Michelin announcement regarding layoffs as a backdrop to my letter, why would anyone, including Lisa MacDonald, wish for even one more “local” rink to close? It is one thing for the John Brother MacDonald Stadium in New Glasgow to be replaced by another facility in New Glasgow. It is quite another for Thorburn or Pictou for sure and even for Trenton or Westville and Stellarton to close their doors to help out the Wellness Centre.
I grew up in Pictou and, beginning in Peewee I walked downtown to the old rink for 6 a.m. games that were followed by Bantam, etc., as the day progressed. I don’t recall too many (if any) cars delivering the kids to the rink. We actually got exercise before we even got to exercise at the rink.
Now Lisa wants parents (who may or may not have a job anymore) to drive their kids to and from a rink “far away” to help increase the cash flow to the Wellness Centre. I say NO.
You were told before (by the “feasibility study” before construction) that the county could not support and sustain such a structure. My suggestion is to get rid of the second ice surface and turn it into “convention meeting space” or whatever and market it that way. That probably restricts the Centre’s ability to recruit large hockey tournaments but hey, a few years ago county rinks got together to co-host such large gatherings, didn’t they? That might even “spread the wealth” around regarding other town’s hotels and restaurants, etc., where the other hosted games would be played. After all, the other towns are helping to support the Centre.
I’d rather see a few travel expenses meted out to visiting teams that had to move around to play a few tournament games and less travel expenses to Pictou County kids who would have been and continue to be (I at least hope) the focus of the entire endeavour of the dedicated group that saw this Wellness Centre through to fruition.
Is this Wellness Centre for the upcoming kids – or is it for local business interests to generate more revenue for themselves? Ask yourself that question !
Neil Cameron
Calgary

Posted in Opinion | Leave a comment

Grateful for support

To the Editor:
On behalf of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pictou County I would like to send out a BIG thank you to everyone who participated in Bowl for Kids Sake this year. Although we were down significantly and did not reach our goal of $73,000, we are grateful for the support for our community’s children.
Thank you to all who pledged, bowled, donated prizes, sponsored the event and lanes as well as the many volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure the event runs smoothly. We could not have done it without you.
Moving forward, we know times are difficult presently for small business, large business, non-profits and individuals. We are working hard at being fiscally responsible yet at the same time providing the same service with less resources. Thank you for believing in our mentoring programs and our children.
We know the next few years are going to be tough financially for all non-profits, but Pictou County is a wonderfully supportive community. I think I can speak on behalf of all non-profits to say we are all grateful for any support extended our way and as a community we will all continue to provide services for our citizens that will make Pictou County a much better place to live.
Margie Grant-Walsh
Executive Director,
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pictou County

Posted in Opinion | Leave a comment

Open discussions, debates needed to explore impact of amalgamation

To the Editor:
I note that amalgamation is again becoming of interest. Based on observation of amalgamation efforts in other locations, in both Canada and in the US, I have several comments.
In my opinion, there are at least four major issues associated with amalgamation:
Debt: How will the debt levels in the various localities be amalgamated?
Services: How will services, specifically fire law enforcement and school systems, be amalgamated? How will pothole repair and snow removal be prioritized? Specifically, whose potholes will be filled and whose will wait for another day? How will law enforcement be handled? I’ve lived in a rural area since 1987 and have only seen law enforcement patrolling once.
Water and sewage: I have a well and a septic system. Will I be tasked to support town water and sewer somewhere?
Infrastructure: How will bridge repair, road and street repair and resurfacing be prioritized? Lighting: Who will decide where public lighting goes and what will the priorities be?
All of the above will impact on an individual homeowner’s tax rate. This leads to the question: How will the formula for setting an individual tax rate reflect the above issues? If the purpose of the tax rate is to pay for services, then the rate should reflect the services that are available to the property, and those that are not.
Amalgamation suggests a centralized administration. While I’m sure I haven’t seen every amalgamation, all the ones I’ve seen essentially add at least one level of administration. Generally, few if any jobs or positions are eliminated; usually they just get renamed.
Where will this “central point of administration” be located? Currently, I can walk down Water Street in Pictou, chat with town officials and employees; I know many of them by name, many of them know me by name. Most likely, this will not be possible under amalgamation.
This “centralization of administration” has generally had the net effect of raising the overall cost to the community; rare is the homeowner who has had taxes decrease following amalgamation.
Let’s take the amalgamation argument to its ultimate conclusion: if amalgamation is such a good idea, why not amalgamate the entire province? I think we will agree that most thoughtful individuals would think this is a bad idea. Thus, we’re led to conclude that there is a best level of optimization, somewhere from none (included) to some amount less than total.
It seems to me the onus is on the advocates of amalgamation to explicitly demonstrate what the benefits to the taxpayer will be, via an overall budget and an organization chart (usually called a Table of Organization and Equipments, or TO&E). At least one question that needs to be addressedis: What is amalgamation trying to accomplish?
As I understand, while there are currently several tax rates for residential properties, there is only one rate for commercial properties. Since, under amalgamation, there would be no business located within what is currently a town and a business located in the county, it seems there would be several commercial tax rates, reflecting location near to or access to services (water, sewage, law enforcement).
I suggest a series of open discussions and debates in the several communities to explore the full implications of amalgamation.
Gene McManus
Caribou Island Road

Posted in Opinion | Leave a comment

Boat Harbour no easy issue

People are once again raising the profile of Boat Harbour and what to do with it.
The governing Liberals under Premier Stephen McNeil are being pressured by Nova Scotians, especially in Pictou County, to do something about the effluent treatment facility located there. There are no easy answers to the demands to close and remediate the facility so that Boat Harbour can become the tidal waterway it once was.
History shows that the pulp mill at Abercrombie Point was built in Pictou County in the 1960s to replace jobs lost when its many coal mines began closing for good. It wasn’t the only employer summoned to serve that purpose, but it is one of those that have survived.
Desperation is a poor substitute for wise decision-making, but things were desperate then. Boat Harbour was chosen as the place to treat the mill’s effluent. It has been a problem and a solution at the same time since 1967. The fact that the treatment facility is off-site only serves to exaggerate an already protracted and convoluted discussion.
There is enough political blame to go around regarding Boat Harbour. Tories were in power when the mill was located here. Liberals, in the 1990s, thought they could get away with replacing Boat Harbour by running a pipe several kilometers offshore into the Northumberland Strait to get rid of the effluent. Nothing happened during the four years of NDP government, which may or may not be a good thing.
And opposition parties always have more solutions than governing ones do.
What refuse has been dumped at the pulp mill makes this a double-edged problem which, as Pictou Centre MLA Dunn has suggested, ranks with the Sydney Tar Ponds among environmental disasters requiring expensive remediation.
Reality isn’t all that helpful to the discussion either. Perhaps the treatment facility should not have been placed in Boat Harbour, but it was. Maybe the province should not have been responsible for the facility, but it initially took it on. Maybe the facility at Boat Harbour would be less of a polluter if it was built right from the beginning, but we’ll never know.
This is what we do know. We are at a crossroads. There is no going back now. This government has been charged with finding an acceptable alternative to Boat Harbour and could well be measured on its performance with this file.
What we don’t need is to visit the Boat Harbour effluent problem with any of the desperation that created it. That is what we have reaped over nearly a half century.
What we need is wise and focused action now.

Steve Goodwin

Posted in Opinion | Leave a comment

Police pleased with turnout at public info session

Only 10 people appeared at Northumberland Regional High School in Alma last week for the RCMP annual performance plan public consultation session. Although small in number, they were keen to hear what was being done to better policing in the rural areas of the county.
The public consultations help the RCMP get input on what the public feels should be their strategic goals for the year when making their Pictou District Annual Performance Plan.
District Commander Steve Halliday with Pictou County District RCMP led the session, informing the public of the goals the RCMP currently work toward.
He noted that the RCMP follow national priorities which include serious and organized crime, national security, youth, economic integrity and Aboriginal communities. But they are also directed by provincial priorities including road safety (impaired and distracted driving), cyber-crime and a crime reduction strategy (Conditional Sentence Order checks, warrants, prolific offenders and call reduction as well as Youth Criminal Justice Act).
“We come out to the communities for feedback and advice for local priorities,” said Halliday, noting that the police advisory board is also a means of getting feedback. “Some of the common local issues we hear are impaired driving, visibility, drugs, ATVs, property crimes, traffic issues such as speeding, youth, communication, seniors communication (pertaining to prescription drugs and fear of break and enters) and school bus safety.”
The RCMP conducted a public input session in Pictou, to which no one showed up, so they were pleased with the turnout in Alma.
“What we are hoping is that this means people are pleased with the service they are receiving,” said Halliday.
Once the local priorities are set, they will be communicated to the local government, media, police advisory boards, RCMP members and quarterly updates to stake holders so everyone is on the same page and can see how the RCMP are making out in terms of reaching these goals.
Last year in Pictou County the priorities were road safety, domestic violence and crime reduction.
In terms of road safety, RCMP increased enforcement of distracted driving, handing out 113 tickets, increased detection of impaired drivers, arresting 34 motorists, and did more overall traffic enforcement leading to 750 tickets issued.
They also worked diligently on domestic violence.
“One hundred per cent of our members are trained on the Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment,” explained Halliday. “We also had members go into the schools and do four domestic violence presentations which taught students ways to identify domestic violence and strategies to deal with it, and we created new community partnerships with the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board.”
In terms of crime reduction, the local RCMP were able to reduce the number of calls they received from the Bridges Program which houses at-risk youth.
“Our goal was to reduce the calls by five per cent because that drives most of our calls, but we were actually able to reduce the calls by 49 per cent,” he noted.
They were also more pro-active on outstanding warrant arrests by partnering with municipal police and RCMP air services and increased CSO (house arrest) checks, conducting 167 last year.
This resulted in a 33 per cent reduction in crime in Pictou County last year.
One resident questioned whether anything was being done to educate students at an early age about texting while driving and Halliday noted that Pictou Academy in particular requested a talk and there have been other talks in the schools.
“It’s like when the seat belt law went into effect,” he said. “How long did it take people to abide by that law?… now we have a whole new generation with a whole new problem; technology. We have to condition kids and drivers to put the cell phones down.”
If you are travelling at 88 km per hour and it takes you four seconds to send a text message, your eyes are off of the road for the length of a football field.
Another resident asked about communication in rural areas, noting he has trouble getting officers to call him back.
Halliday noted that has been an issue for Pictou County District RCMP, getting to the more rural areas more often because their calls are in the more populated areas.
“It used to take an hour to process an impaired driver; now with the new regulations, it takes six and a half hours,” he said.
However, he noted that corporals have been designated certain jurisdictions in the county to lead in order to help rectify that communication breakdown.
One resident wanted clarification on school zones, and was told that the speed in school zones is to be reduced whenever children are present, 24 hours a day. In 80 km/h zones it is reduced to 50 km/h and in 50 km/h zones it is reduced to 30 km/h.
The final question revolved around the new marijuana facility that is coming to the county and how officers can detect impairment by marijuana.
Halliday said there are three drug recognition experts in the county, one RCMP officer, one Stellarton officer and one New Glasgow Regional Police Service officer who are trained on a standardized field test for drug impairment recognition. Intoxication by alcohol or drugs is treated the same in terms of impaired driving.

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Business owner pitches idea to help promote Pictou

Promoting Pictou is inevitable if businesses want to remain profitable, says Michelle LeBlanc.
The owner of Evening Sail Bed and Breakfast in Pictou saw the need for more outward promotion of the town and she saw Facebook as the perfect vehicle.
“At least half of the tourism businesses in Pictou do not have a Facebook page,” explains LeBlanc.
So LeBlanc approached other accommodations groups in the town, as well as businesses, and pitched her idea of starting a Facebook promotion page.
“We are getting outside help from a marketing specialist in Truro to help set up the Facebook page. That will cost approximately $500 and it will be cost-shared with the businesses involved,” she says.
LeBlanc says the whole idea behind this is to have a place to send people seeking information about Pictou and for those wanting to visit the town and explore what it has to offer.
“There are all sorts of small groups in town that are looking to promote their events; the hope is that this will become a hub for all of the activities going on.”
Once the Facebook page is up and running, there will be no cost associated with it, and people can feel free to share their events and activities.
“We are hoping it will generate more community involvement,” says LeBlanc. “The more involvement we have, the more successful the page will be.”
LeBlanc and the others involved will be receiving training on how to use and how to professionally market the page.
“We are hoping anyone who has the time to participate in the management of the page will jump on board. We will provide all of the training to anyone wanting to help. We are also looking for people who want to contribute content to the page.”
By content, LeBlanc means stories or favourite memories of things to do in Pictou or events and experiences in the town.
“We want people to share what they enjoy most about Pictou, living here or visiting. All you have to do is write it down and we can make sure it gets uploaded to the Facebook page,” says LeBlanc.
The page will be launched within the next week, in time to promote it at Saltscapes at the end of the month.
“The town has been great in allowing us to promote this at their booth during Saltscapes.”
LeBlanc says without this, there could be hard times ahead for businesses.
“We have tourism businesses in the town, but most people don’t necessarily come here to stay over night, they come for another event and end up staying. The more we can promote events and publicize the good about the town, the more people we can draw in.”
LeBlanc says, anything that helps the town, helps the individual businesses in the town as well.
“Every business I have approached with this idea so far thinks it’s absolutely worth doing,” she notes. “But it’s the kind of thing that needs a lot of community involvement and content is king so we are hoping to have a minimum of one thing per week posted to the site, more when the events and activities are available. We can promote festivals, activities and even have business profiles and testimonies from people who have visited.”
LeBlanc would also like to see an ‘ask the expert’ section where people can ask questions about Pictou and the community can help answer.
“That way, people are getting their answers from the experts, the ones that live here, and hopefully they will be positive responses.”
The goal is to draw more people in but also get the community more involved.
“I find a lot of people are getting discouraged and this is an opportunity for them to get involved and share their ideas.”
The hope is that by pushing these events and getting the word out that more people will be drawn to visit the town and in turn, more events may be encouraged because they will be more successful.
“It’s a fabulous opportunity to get the conversation started in the community.”
Anyone wishing to help out with the page can phone LeBlanc at 485-5069 or email stay@eveningsail.ca.
“We are looking for anyone who wants to help, anyone who wants to get something out of this. It’s not a closed group and it will be an ongoing, evolving project and I hope it reaches great places.”

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

MORE founder honoured

Henderson Paris was honoured last week at the proclamation signing at Pictou Academy for the Marathon of Respect and Equality for his outstanding contribution to the community through the Run Against Racism he started 25 years ago.
Five years ago, the run was taken over by Peter White, chair of the MORE run, and the proclamation signing has moved throughout the county each year.
“The theme this year is ‘We are the Village’ and it reminds each of us that we play a part in making our home, school, community, village a welcoming place,” said White.
Honorary co-chairs for this year’s MORE run are Henderson Paris, Jeff MacLean of Michelin and Margie Grant-Walsh of Big Brothers Big Sisters.
The Town of Pictou and the Municipality of the County of Pictou co-hosted the MORE run proclamation signing this year and as Warden Ron Baillie noted, “The MORE event truly is a Pictou County event… together we are a village, together we make a difference.”
Approximately 16 schools in the county were represented at the proclamation signing and students from Pictou Elementary school performed a song.
“I am completely overwhelmed with the amount of participation here today, and certainly over the last 25 years,” said Paris. “This has been a combined effort to make life better in Pictou County and beyond… and I like to think life is better.”
Paris believes his message of being a free society, clear of racism and discrimination has spread loud and clear.
He also noted how proud he was to be honorary chair with Grant-Walsh and MacLean.
“Margie’s sister Verna (van Bommel) was a dear friend who passed away just after my last run five years ago,” he said. “She was the first lady to run 38 miles with me… she was such a strong and generous person.”
Grant-Walsh echoed the sentiment. “This is by far one of the largest honours I have had in my career, to be able to honour the hard work Henderson has done over the last 25 years and to be involved in an event so close to my sister’s heart… I honour her during this campaign.”
Grant-Walsh, a runner herself, says she will try to do as much of the run as she can with her sister on her shoulder.
“She, like you children, was the light… do what you can to treat everyone with respect.”
She told the youth present that they are the ones that need to pull together to change this community.
“We owe it to Henderson to keep the momentum going.”
Jeff MacLean of Michelin, the sponsor of the run each year, was thrilled to be chosen as an honorary chair.
“When Henderson started this run 25 years ago, there were four people; today we have 50 people for every one that started in this run. It is not only in Pictou County, not only in Nova Scotia, but world-wide. It has been an honour to live throughout the world, and I can say that we live in the best place… and we need to keep fighting for it. There was a proverb Henderson’s niece said at the 20th anniversary of the Run Against Racism that stuck with me: ‘Sometimes when in the dark, you have to stop looking for the light and become it’. Henderson, thank you for being the light.”
New Glasgow Mayor Barrie MacMillan and Nova Scotia Community College Pictou Campus Principal Dave Freckelton informed Paris that an annual award will be presented at the NSCC in Paris’ name called the Henderson Paris Leadership and Courage Award. The award will be presented for the first time this June to a student who shows Paris’ values of social justice and equality for all.
“Twenty-five years ago, Mr. Paris’ family experienced racism first hand,” said Freckelton. “Instead of getting upset, he took that energy and turned it into something great.”
Paris was taken aback by the bursary announcement.
“I am certainly overwhelmed,” said Paris. “To have this award at a prestigious educational facility… I never in my wildest imagination would have thought this would happen. Twenty-five years ago, everything wasn’t great in the county, everything we went through as a family, to have it come full circle is amazing. I will hold this dearly in my heart. It speaks clearly to what I hoped to accomplish over the years, to educate people in Pictou County and beyond that it is necessary we get along together in peace and harmony.”
The MORE run will take place May 1 and there will be a kickoff social tonight, April 23, at 7 p.m. at New Glasgow Junior High School on Temperance Street.

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Cash Dinner features Peter Anthony

Get ready, because it’s time for the annual guy’s night out.
The New Glasgow Kinsmen club is organizing its annual Cash Dinner at Summer Street Industries with comedian Peter Anthony. But sorry gals, it’s just for the guys.
This is the 28th year for the fundraiser which sees approximately 250 men out for an evening of fun, laughs and good food.
“The Cash Dinner is historically a great evening where 250 guys from around town can get together, network, have a great meal and share a few laughs. It’s not necessarily a great money maker for us but rather a time where we can mingle and say thanks to the many people who support Kinsmen causes. Most of our ticketholders have been coming for many years and look forward to the event,” says Kinsmen President Frank Proudfoot.
The event will take place on May 8 at Summer Street Industries beginning at 6:30 p.m. with doors opening at 6 p.m.
“We always try to bring in a comedian as the entertainment,” says Marcel Elliott, Kinsmen. “In the beginning it was more local comedians, but now we are trying to bring in more professional comedians like Gerry Dee and Peter Anthony, who just happens to be local, for a bigger draw. We are looking forward to Peter Anthony, he did a show in December and a couple of our guys went and they were so impressed they wanted to get him for our Cash Dinner.”
Anthony hails from Pictou and was the 2013 Nominee for “Best Male Standup” at the Canadian Comedy Awards and has been featured on CBC, CTV, The Comedy Network and MTV.
Elliott notes that Anthony is pretty excited to be making his way home again.
All funds raised from the event go toward supporting Pictou County causes.
“We have a couple big projects like the $20,000 a year over five years for the (Pictou County) Wellness Centre, but this is more for our coffers for things like special requests for wheelchair ramps and supporting various local organizations,” says Elliott.
The hope is that this will be a successful event as funds from the Bingo, TV and hall, are both down this year.
“Since the beginning, the Kinsmen would cook the dinner, a meat and potatoes kind of meal, but this year we are having the Summer Street Industries staff make a beef buffet,” he says.
Before the dinner, there will be cash wheels, draws and a silent auction as well as 50/50 draws.
Tickets are $70 each or $550 for a table of eight and can be obtained through any Kinsmen member or by phoning Elliott at 752-3009 or emailing tickets@ng-kinsmen.com.

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Local Chamber joins forces with Efficiency Nova Scotia

NEW GLASGOW – The Pictou County Chamber of Commerce and Efficiency Nova Scotia (ENS) have announced the signing of a partnership agreement to promote the agency’s ENS Business Solutions Program to the business community in Pictou County.
The program has helped hundreds of businesses across the province save money through the efficient use of energy.
Chamber executive director Jack Kyte said the partnership is a win-win for both organizations. It will bring value to chamber members and will help Efficiency Nova Scotia add to its growing list of business clients, he said.
“Several local businesses have already seen the benefits of the efficiency program and we want to make sure our members understand how they can take part as well,” Kyte said. “The cheapest energy is the energy you do not use.”
Darryl Hill, Business Sector Manager at Efficiency Nova Scotia, announced the partnership at the Chamber’s April Tech Social business mixer in New Glasgow on Wednesday.
He said that improving awareness of the Business Solutions Program is a key to its success.
“We promote the program and its benefits in a variety of ways, but this is the first time we have teamed up with a chamber of commerce in this manner,” Hill said. “We hope this partnership serves as an example of what can be done with the help of other Chambers in the province. In fact, the Atlantic Provinces Chamber of Commerce has already offered to help us spread the word.”
The partnership is part of a growing number of value-added programs and activities the local chamber has sought to offer its members.
Efficiency Nova Scotia is Canada`s only regulated non-profit energy efficiency organization dedicated to saving energy for Nova Scotians.

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Pat Lee to lead consolidation planning of health authorities

The government has chosen a senior health administrator to lead detailed planning as Nova Scotia consolidates its 10 health authorities into two.
Patrick Lee, president and CEO of Pictou County Health Authority, will lead the transition team and provide strategic and operational advice to government as the district health authority structure is reorganized.
“Mr. Lee and his team will play an important role in helping to design and plan the structure of the new health boards. His 33 years of experience in health care means that he brings practical experience and extensive knowledge to his new role,” said Leo Glavine, Health and Wellness minister.
The province is moving from 10 to two health authorities beginning April 1, 2015. There will be one authority for the province and one for the IWK Health Centre in Halifax.
“I firmly believe that the new structure can be used to improve the quality of care and service in this province, and I look forward to working collaboratively with the soon-to-be announced provincial transition team and other stakeholders as we move to the new structure,” said Lee.
In his new role, Lee will report to the deputy minister of Health and Wellness. They will choose the remaining members of the transition team. Lee’s appointment is until Sept. 30, with an opportunity for an extension, if needed.
The transition team will be responsible for helping to plan the new structure. A separate committee at the Department of Health and Wellness will look at matters of legislation, board governance and accountability.
The minister will name a group of senior community leaders from within the province’s health-care sectors to advise him on issues about consolidation.
Lee has experience in emergency health, psychiatric health, and women’s and children’s health settings, including 11 years at the IWK Health Centre as a vice-president. Lee has been president and CEO of Pictou County Health Authority.
Bruce Quigley, CEO of Cumberland Health Authority will, in addition to his regular duties, become acting CEO of the Pictou County Health Authority.

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Lennie Gallant helps local schools with fundraising concert

The Frank H. MacDonald Elementary School choir is hosting a unique fundraising event next month.
The school is partnering with East Coast musician Lennie Gallant in a fundraising concert at the Nova Scotia Community College on May 8.
“This concert promises to be a wonderful get-together for the school and local business community, as well as features local school talent,” explains Margie Weir, music teacher.
The Frank H. choir will join with special guest, A.G. Baillie Elementary School choir to perform with Lennie Gallant.
“We are going to do four songs with Lennie Gallant and then two songs on our own,” explains Chloe Martell, choir member.
Gallant is expected to perform for approximately an hour without the choir as well.
The choir has been organizing the event since February and the grade 3 to 6 students in the choir are very excited about it.
“We did a concert with Lennie before, in 2003, and I contacted him to see if we could do another fundraising concert,” says Weir. “I like to promote East Coast music in my classroom and we are very lucky and privileged to have him on board again.”
The choir members noted that they have been practising, but without A.G. Baillie.
“We are going to start practising soon with A.G. Baillie and Lennie Gallant is going to come here to practise with us,” says Marley Burge, choir member.
This is the students’ first time performing with Gallant and they all say they are excited, and some a bit nervous.
Burge explains, the Parent’s Community Association is where the funds will go and its members decide whether it will go toward a drum kit for the music room, the outdoor playground or gym equipment.
“We are hoping to raise $10,000,” says Brianna McNeil.
The students will be singing with Gallant, his songs Peter’s Dream, Lifeline, Northern Lights and The Band’s Still Playing. On their own, they will perform She’s Called Nova Scotia and The Music is Always There.
Tickets are also currently being sold on a chocolate basket, lobster and a beauty basket which will be drawn at the concert and there will be a 50/50 draw as well.
“All of the items for the baskets were donated,” says Martell. “The beauty basket is a $100 value from Lawton’s cosmetics.”
Tickets for the concert are available at Big Al’s, Cross Roads Country Market, LBR, Mike’s Harbour Market, Needs stores in New Glasgow, Trenton, Westville and Stellarton or by phoning 755-6540.
Tickets are $20 for adult admission and $10 for children admission and Lexy Gariepy says they are going fast.

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Facebook campaign member wary of mill’s work on air quality

PICTOU – A Pictou resident who helped establish a Facebook campaign to reduce the effluent from a nearby pulp mill says he’s scrutinizing the mill’s new precipitator project.
The project will replace the original recovery boiler precipitator that dates from when the pulp mill opened in 1967.
“It’s going to be better than what they have,” Matt Gunning said. “It will be like the 2014 standards. The question is will it meet more stringent standards of the future? They have to show they’re looking long-term.”
A spokesman with Northern Pulp said the pulp mill’s project engineer recently returned from vendor negotiations from its parent company Paper Excellence Canada.
“Northern Pulp has reached a milestone in our precipitator project,” David MacKenzie said. “We came away with an agreement with Clyde Bergemann (of) Power Group Americas Inc. to supply and install our new recovery boiler precipitator.”
Bergmann is an experienced precipitator supplier through his company’s acquisition of EEC (Environmental Elements Corporation) with more than 280 recovery boiler precipitator installations worldwide, MacKenzie said. The next step will involve the development of a detailed project schedule.
“We look forward to the successful implementation of this project for NPNS and all of our stakeholders,” MacKenzie said.
Gunning and Paul Gregory, who grew up in Pictou and resides in Ottawa, received wide response after setting up their Facebook page last summer to provide information for people to access regarding air quality and generate support for cleaning up the mill.
They feel pollution from the mill’s stacks and the holding ponds at Boat Harbour, where wood waste and accompanying chemicals are treated, have created a health hazard and are damaging the local economy by discouraging people to live in or visit Pictou County.
Since then they have also become concerned with waste materials the pulp mill has stored in landfills on sight.
They referred to a site evaluation conducted by Dillon Consulting in 2011 describing heavy metals and other materials stored underground that may be seeping into surface and ground water around the plant.
Gregory, Gunning and Pictou resident Bobbi Morrison met with Department of Environment officials at its Pictou County district office in Granton to get answers to concerns they have over effluent from the Northern Pulp.
“We certainly have some follow-up questions,” Gunning said. “Instead of becoming more satisfied, we’re becoming more concerned with the findings and the government’s ability to address them.”
MacKenzie said pulp mill officials have seen the report but could not offer immediate comment.

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Ready set, change

Help make the world a better place, one diaper at a time.
Sarah Yantzi, executive director of the Pictou County Centre for Sexual Health and Michelle Scott of East Coast Baby Supply in New Glasgow are organizing the local Great Cloth Diaper Change on Saturday, April 26.
The event will take place at the Pictou County Wellness Centre at exactly 11 a.m. to coincide with cloth diaper changing events around the world.
“Locally we are hoping to have between 25 and 50 people participating,” says Scott. “The first 50 moms to register will get a free swag bag.”
The event is open to any mom, dad, grandparent, caregiver or relative of a child in diapers under 39 inches.
“Babies have to be under 39 inches to participate,” explains Yantzi.
The babies will be lined up and at 11 a.m., their cloth diapers will be changed along with cloth diapers of children around the world to make a Guinness Word Record.
Last year, the record was broken with 8,301 cloth diapers changed at one time in 182 qualifying locations in 15 countries.
Currently there are 240 registered Great Cloth Diaper Change locations in 15 different countries around the world, and New Glasgow will be one of those locations.
The idea is to promote and raise awareness of cloth diapers.
But how does the Pictou County Centre for Sexual Health fit in?
“We educate on sexual and reproductive health, but a lot of the time, women don’t return to us after pregnancy, so we are trying to branch out into parenthood,” explains Yantzi. “I myself am a new mother and I want to promote cloth diapers.”
Pictou County Solid Waste has also come online as a sponsor for the event because of the great environmental impact using cloth diapers can have.
There are four million diapers daily going into landfills in Canada and it will be the year 2500 before the first disposable diaper will finish biodegrading. Babies spend approximately 22,000 hours in diapers with 8,213 diaper changes, eight to 13 diapers per day per baby.
“Interest is growing for sure,” says Yantzi. “Cloth diapers are not as difficult to use as people think.”
Scott adds, “It’s definitely a growing trend.”
This is the first year Pictou County is taking part in the Great Cloth Diaper Change and there is still time to register.
“Now that we have a local baby store, it’s great because we can do things like this,” says Yantzi.
The event will open at 10 a.m. for registration followed by the diaper change at 11 a.m. and then there will be an exhibition of sorts with a photo booth and local vendors running through 3 p.m.
“We are going to have prizes and we will be selling tickets on a basket to raise funds for the PCCSH.”
The Wellness Centre provided the location free of charge for the event and local businesses have donated prizes.
“It’s not just products for babies, but for moms, too. We are hoping it goes over well so we can do this twice a year.”
For additional information about the event phone Scott at East Coast Baby Supply at 695-3199 or Yantzi at the PCCSH at 695-3366.
“We are going to be offering cloth diaper workshops as well for anyone interested; just call East Coast Baby Supply,” says Scott. “We want to raise cloth diaper awareness and let people know their options. There is not only the convenience of not having to run to the store in the middle of the night, but also the health benefits. It’s also a huge cost savings.”

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Hamm to receive honorary doctorate from King’s

STELLARTON – Dr. John Hamm will be among five honorary degree recipients at the University of King’s College’s 225th Encaenia ceremony in May.
The former Nova Scotia premier will be joined by Governor General David Johnston, education rights campaigner Malala Yousafzai, Michael A Meighen and Dr. Carol Ann Charlebois for the significant contributions they have made to education and the rights of the individual.
Hamm will receive a Doctor of Civil Law for his service to King’s, his community and the province.
He retired in 2013 after serving two terms as chair of the King’s board of governors.
“It’s particularly significant because I graduated there,” Hamm said. “It’s something I’m pleased about because it is King’s. King’s for me is a very special place.”
Hamm, who lives in Stellarton, served as a family doctor before entering politics and becoming Nova Scotia’s 25th premier in 1999. Under his leadership, the government invested in education and health care and balanced the provincial finances.
Following his retirement from politics, Hamm served as chairman of Assisted Human Reproduction Canada.
In 2009 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.
The honorary degree for Hamm is his first. He previously received an honorary diploma from the Nova Scotia Community College.
Johnston, Canada’s 28th Governor General, will receive a Doctor of Civil Law for his services to education, universities and to Canada. Prior to his appointment as Governor General of Canada in 2010, he served 44 years in the academic world at several Canadian universities and was the fifth president of the University of Waterloo. He is a Companion of the Order of Canada and holds honorary degrees from more than 20 Canadian and international universities.
Malala Yousafzai will receive a Doctor of Civil Law for her dedication to universal education. Yousafzai is a campaigner for the basic right to education, particularly for girls and women. In 2012, her courage captured world attention as she stood up to and survived the Taliban’s attempt to silence her. In October 2013, she started the Malala Fund, an organization dedicated to empowering girls through education, so they can recognize their potential and be agents of positive change in their communities. The Canadian government has committed to confer honorary Canadian citizenship upon Yousafzai, the sixth person ever to receive that honour. She cannot attend the ceremony in person because of her studies.
Meighen served the University of King’s College as chancellor 2001-2013, and was recently appointed chancellor of McGill University. He is a former Canadian senator and has practised as a lawyer in Montreal and Toronto.
Charlebois will receive the honour for her commitment to social justice and Halifax’s most vulnerable citizens. She is executive director of Metro Non-Profit Housing Association (MNPHA), an organization that provides stable homes for individuals with health and other challenges.

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Groups get federal grants

NEW GLASGOW – Four Pictou County groups are among nine in the federal riding of Central Nova that have received federal funding through the New Horizons for Seniors Program.
The funding includes $24,764 for the Pictou Arts Society, $24,200 for the Pictou County Trails Association, $24,980 for the Forbes Street Presenters Society in New Glasgow and $16,000 for the Steeltown Friendly Group in Trenton.
The funding was part of $175,000 Justice Minister Peter MacKay announced last Thursday for nine groups in his Central Nova riding.
“Central Nova seniors have made significant and valuable contributions to our communities and to the growth of our economy,” MacKay said. “By supporting these local organizations through the New Horizons for Seniors Program, we are helping to ensure that seniors maintain a good quality of life, continue to be active and contribute to their communities for the benefit of all Canadians.”
The Pictou Arts Society will use its funding to celebrate seniors’ talent and expertise in Pictou and area and developing the area’s creative economy, Denise Lynch said.
“This investment speaks volumes to the government’s investment in the community,” she said. “Our seniors have talent, they have expertise and they have time.”
The Pictou County Trails Association plans to provide enhancements to a portion of the Trans Canada Trail through a joint youth/senior project, spokesperson Sally O’Neill said.
“For young people, they know they can build good things for a community,” she said.
The Forbes Street Presenters Society plans to educate people through stories, Judy Hughes said on the group’s behalf.
Bringing people’s stories to the table is how we can educate each other,” she said. “This is good work and I’m delighted and happy to be a part of it.”

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Ending the silence

Three standing ovations were given to Clara Hughes during her talk at the Pictou County Wellness Centre last week during the Pictou County ‘Voices’ for Mental Health event.
The six-time Olympic medalist stopped in New Glasgow on her cross-Canada, 12,000 kilometer trek called Clara’s Big Ride, raising awareness for mental health.
The local event, hosted by the Pictou County Mental Illness Family Support Group and the Department of Mental Health Services, included musical performances by The Third Step, Karen Corbin, Dave Gunning and George Canyon. The icing on the cake was a talk by Hughes herself.
“This event sold out in two days, it took Halifax six weeks to sell out,” said Starr Dobson, emcee.
And the crowd in the room was an indication of how much people in Pictou County and beyond are supportive of the initiative.
The Winnipeg native travelled from Halifax to New Glasgow, 165 km in five hours and 20 minutes through rain “so hard we couldn’t see in front us,” said Hughes, noting there were a few times she was almost blown off of her bike.
But keeping in mind the students from the school they just visited in Halifax, Hughes continued her journey.
“When you connect with young people, especially for me, it just reminds me that the influence of others not giving up on things such as sport, really made a difference in my life. The longevity of this ride, I think, is an example of perseverance to never give up on the possibilities… about erasing the stigma attached with mental health.”
The room was silent as Hughes shared her inspiring story of triumph over adversity.
“I was born into a family of substance abuse,” she said.
By the time Hughes was 12, she told the room, she had started drinking and she and her sister poured their energy into delinquency.
“Where I come from is very far from this here and now and this here and now shifts every day,” said Hughes.
Sport changed the direction of Hughes’ life. When she was 16 years old she was watching Olympic speed skater Gaetan Boucher and connected to that.
That led Hughes in the direction of sport and she noted that “sometimes I was the best in the world at what I did, but I still felt the same inside, nothingness.”
In 1996, she won two Olympic bronze medals for cycling.
“I felt that would make the emptiness go away, but the whole time I compared myself to my sister, my family… I couldn’t fix that.”
But she noted that she was lucky because she was in a profession where people saw her potential and wanted to get her back on track.
“I was too stubborn to accept their help.”
That was when Hughes lost two years of her life to mental illness.
“I actually lost two years of my life to depression so there were two solid years where I couldn’t get out of bed or do anything and I’ve had weeks and months along the way since then as well… people have seen me compete in the Olympics…it’s so few and far between, every four years. People, when I’m in the public eye, they think I’m always smiling but anybody who can walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins will know that things aren’t always as they appear.”
She realized everything she was doing to herself had to stop.
“How I was talking to myself and treating myself, it needed to stop.”
At 27 years old, Hughes got back into speed skating, her first love, something she had one only done for a year and a half before leaving for 10 years for cycling. After 17 months of training, she won a bronze medal in speed skating.
“I don’t do it alone, I can’t do it alone… why would you want to? Why should you?” she asked.
Clara’s Big Ride, for Hughes, is all about “busting down the wall of stigma… this campaign, this ride has brought out the stories of others.”
Tim Daley, a local lawyer and past president of the Nova Scotia Barrister’s Society, was one of those stories.
He shared his story of falling in love with his high school sweet heart, getting married and having a child in his third year of law school. At age 29, his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and after three long years of treatment, she passed away.
“I did what I thought I had to do, be strong,” he said.
He never dealt with that loss and remarried and found himself sinking into a depression, to the point he was planning his own death.
“I was saved, by my family, by my network of support and I was eventually able to rebuild myself.”
Now Daley has taken the opportunity to share his story with others in his profession to help get rid of the stigma.
“I’m fed up of not being able to talk about it,” he said. “Alcoholism and drug abuse are diseases in the public eye, yet many people still talk about depression as a character (flaw).”
Hughes says she still faces rough days and works closely with a psychologist, especially in the transition of quitting sport, something she had done for 23 years.
“It’s really through the support of professionals that has gotten me through and also choices in my lifestyle,” one of which is daily exercise.
Part of the tour is attending 85 plus schools, and last Thursday morning, before departing from Pictou County, she met with approximately 100 cadets to tell her story.
She showed them her Olympic medals and explained the story behind one in particular.
“Before the Sydney Olympics in 2000, I was feeling bad for myself because I was sick and didn’t want to compete. But one of my teammates, who didn’t make it to the Olympics, had a bad crash in Boston and she died. I went on to finish second last in that race with the biggest smile on my face for my friend. The next race I did I placed sixth.”
She told the youth about getting back into speed skating and winning a medal for it and going back to her room and screaming with excitement, but she saw a teammate, he did not win a medal in his race the day before, and “I saw something in his eyes that scared me. I knew he could not be alone.”
She risked not being presented with her medal to stay with her teammate until she found someone that could be with him and get him the help he needed.
“This medal represents a life lost (her friend in Boston), but also a life saved.”
Her advice to anyone suffering from mental illness is to “know that you’re not alone. Know that there’s help out there and as hard as it is to reach out… I know how hard it is to get yourself to accept help, to accept support… the worst thing I can do is isolate myself… you are not alone, you are never alone.”
She also urges people to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness because it can make the difference between saving a life and saying goodbye to a community member.
“This message is going to Ottawa, to our government, to our country… I won’t give up on breaking down the walls of stigma. I feel like I’m the exception to the rule.”

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Boat Harbour: Dunn says it’s past time to clean up

NEW GLASGOW – A Progressive Conservative MLA says Boat Harbour needs to be cleaned up and its effluent treatment facility replaced.
“It’s time for it to come to a head,” says Pat Dunn, who represents Pictou Centre. “I think enough time has gone by.”
Dunn was responding to Environment Minister Randy Delorey’s approval to extend Northern Pulp’s use of the treatment site until January 2015.
He said the governing Liberals need to address the problem.
“Someone has to make a decision and the government is responsible for it,” he said.
Meanwhile, fellow Tory Tim Houston, the MLA for Pictou East, criticized Delorey for not consulting people before giving the approval.
“I think it’s unfortunate they didn’t consult,” he said. “To me, that means talking to people. The department didn’t follow its own rules on the extension. I think that is wrong. We have to do better.”
Boat Harbour was a tidal lagoon until 1967 when the pulp mill opened and a facility was established that included holding ponds and aeration beaters at the head of the lagoon to treat the effluent.
The province constructed the facility at the Boat Harbour facility near the Pictou Landing First Nation and operated it until 1995 when the pulp mill took it over.
Chief Andrea Paul of the Pictou Landing First Nation could not be reached for comment as of press time.
The facility has never been completely effective in treating the mill’s effluent, which flows to the site through a pipe under the East River.
Dunn suggested part of the problem with shutting down Boat Harbour is the lack of alternative sites to treat the effluent.
“I think that’s been the roadblock,” he said.
Dunn, who has a residence at Melmerby Beach, said he recalls the Liberals when they were in power in the 1990s proposing to close the Boat Harbour facility and replace it with pipe that would extend several kilometres offshore into the Northumberland Strait.
“It’s something that frightens me,” he said.
Dunn said he appreciates the Pictou Landing First Nation community’s frustration over the lack of action on the Boat Harbour file.
“I can see why they’re frustration and getting impatient,” he said.
Dunn cited the Sydney tar ponds and how expensive it was to remediate the former steel mill site as an example of how expensive and convoluted it will be to remediate Boat Harbour.
“No matter what government is power, you have to do the right thing. It will be costly but it already has been. We have to deal with it like the Sydney Tar Ponds.”

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Traffic re-routed on Highway 104 eastbound in Pictou County

SALTSPRINGS – Pictou District RCMP is currently investigating a vehicle-pedestrian collision that occurred at exit 19 on Highway 104.
At approximately 11:30 a.m. today, Pictou County District RCMP and Emergency Health Services responded to a single-vehicle-pedestrian collision at exit 19. Preliminary investigation determined that a woman walking on the eastbound shoulder of the road was struck by a passing vehicle.
The victim, a 48-year-old woman from Limerock, was transported to the Aberdeen Hospital by EHS with serious injuries.
Eastbound traffic will be rerouted onto Highway 4 (from exit 19 to exit 20) for the next several hours. A collision analyst has been called to assist with the investigation. The investigation is continuing.

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Downtown businesses have windows smashed early Easter morning

New Glasgow Regional Police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the person(s) responsible for smashing out several windows in the downtown area that occurred on early Easter morning, April 20, between 5 and 6 a.m.
Damages to the windows were the result of bricks and rocks being thrown at the windows, causing a significant amount of damage.
No entry was gained in to the business.
Const. Ken Macdonald of the New Glasgow Regional Police said, “The damages are a result of irresponsible acts of vandalism that costs the business owner thousands.”
New Glasgow Regional Police continue to investigate.
If anyone has information about this crime, contact the New Glasgow Regional Police or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), texting TIP202 + your message to ‘CRIMES’ (274637) or by Secure Web Tips at crimestoppers.ns.ca.

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment ← Older posts
Join Our Social Network

Visit Advocate Media News Network