TRENTON – The project manager for a manufacturer in Trenton is disputing word that it is closing.
“DSME Trenton Ltd continues to actively seek new projects within the region, nationally and internationally,” Scott Covey said in a press release.
“In recent weeks, the company has been approached by large wind turbine manufacturers, companies in the oil and gas industry, as well as a variety of major players in the steel fabrication sector. There is potential for new projects in all industries and DSME Trenton continues to be optimistic.”
Covey indicated the company is trying to secure another investor for its Trenton operations.
“When entering new industries, challenges are faced and thus DSME Trenton is working to find a third investor in the plant to create more opportunity,” he said. “It is not in the immediate plan for the company to leave its Trenton home and business; we continue to work to develop in order to offer further well-paying jobs in the community.”
South Korean industrial giant Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Ltd. has operated the venture DSME Trenton in partnership with the province in the former TrentonWorks site since 2010. It primarily builds wind turbine towers and blades, although it has sought alternative products to build there.
Great fanfare accompanied DSME’s arrival in Pictou County, but its plans to employ up to 500 people at the former railcar manufacturing facility have never materialized. The deal between the province and the company offered hope that the operation could replace the rail car jobs.
While 300 people were thrown out of work when the rail car plant closed and the work sent elsewhere, it was once a major source of economic activity in Pictou County and at times employed more than 2,000 people.
The former NDP government under then premier Darrell Dexter sank $60 million in cash and loans for a 49-per cent stake in the operation, while federal support came from a $10-million injection by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.
DSME committed $20 million toward its 51-per cent share.
At the time, DSME viewed the deal as a way to claim a piece of the emerging wind energy business in North America.
The Pulse Pictou County and Pictou County Chamber of Commerce Central Nova candidates debate Wednesday evening saw a full gym at Nova Scotia Community College in Stellarton.
The debate brought together all of the riding’s candidates to answer questions constituents wanted to hear most.
With well informed questions and some back and forth between candidates, things got interesting during some of the hot topics such as economy and women’s right issues.
Independent candidate Alexander MacKenzie participated in the event as well, chiming in on his opinions for some of the issues and what he would do for the riding if elected. Each of the other candidates contributed by saying what was important to them personally and how their party was addressing the issues.
Check out next week’s edition of The Advocate to find out how the candidates answered some of the more pressing issues to Central Nova, like healthcare, as well as who received rounds of applause and who heard a few audience boo’s and a heckler or two.
NEW GLASGOW – Pictou County has the potential to send a large contingent to the 2016 Canadian 55+Games.
Based on the number of gold, silver the bronze medals won, there are medalists in a variety of sports and other events contested while Pictou County hosted the Nova Scotia 55+Games from Sept. 17 to 19.
The list included Ted Roy, who won a gold medal in 8-ball on Sept. 17 at Branch 34 of the Royal Canadian Legion in New Glasgow.
Medalists in the 5-K road race included silvers for Sandra Melanfont in the 55-Plus women’s category and Nicole Kellock in the 65-Plus women’s category.
Henderson Paris earned a bronze medal in the men’s 65-Plus section. Paris also took silver in 200-metre sprint and shared gold in the men’s 4×100 relay.
He’s uncertain about competing at the Canadian Games, which are taking place in Brampton, Ont.
“I haven’t made any commitment,” said Paris, who is also a member of New Glasgow town council. “It depends on my schedule and how the body holds up, but this was fun. It was a great experience.”
Paris said he revelled in the role of the Nova Scotia Games’ honourary chairman.
“That was amazing, getting around and mingling and hearing others’ thoughts of the Games,” he said. “It was very heart-warming and one I will remember for a very long time – the energy and enthusiasm of everyone and seeing people wanting to be physically and mentally active. It speaks volumes of the character of people in Nova Scotia.”
Kellock won four medals in 65-Plus women’s swim races: 50-metre and 100-metre freestyle and 50-metre and 100-metre backstroke.
Shirley Manos won gold in 75-Plus women’s 50-metre freestyle, 50-metre breaststroke and 100-metre individual medley.
In golf, Laurie Sutherland won the women’s 55-Plus open net silver medal. Ann Robley won silver and Gayle MacKenzie earned bronze in the women’s 65-Plus division.
Canadian 55+Plus Games Society president Bob MacLeod won gold in the 75-Plus category, while Dennis Larson earned silver.
Greg Robley earned gold, Jim MacDonald silver and Scott MacDougall bronze in the men’s 65-Plus low gross category, while Avon Fletcher earned gold in the men’s 65-Plus low net division.
Melanfont also won gold in the women’s 55-Plus mountain bike race, while Sharon Lynch won the gold medal in the women’s 65-Plus division in the eight-kilometre distance.
Lynn Simms won gold in the women’s 65-Plus 16-K race. Simms also won the women’s 65-Plus Nordic walking event, while Cathe Hardy was second and Bonita Davidson was third.
In bowling, Margie Fanning won gold in the 55-Plus women’s singles division, while Mary Cameron’s team earned bronze in women’s 55-Plus division.
In ice curling, Jim Nix’s team won gold in men’s 55-Plus and Boyd Greene’s team took silver, while Kara Taylor’s team won bronze in women’s 55-Plus. Haylett Clarke and Jim Allen combined to win the men’s 55-Plus stick curling gold medal.
Emma Campbell earned a bronze medal in women’s 65-Plus darts.
Two Pictou County teams earned medals in hockey. The Pictou Old Puckers took silver in men’s 65-Plus hockey, while the Fun Timers took home bronze medals in women’s 55-Plus hockey.
Ken Johnston combined with Gerald MacDonald to take silver medals in men’s 65-Plus tennis.
In women’s track and field, Joan Clark took bronze in the 400-metre, 55-Plus predicted walk, while Mona MacDonald won bronze medals in the 60-Plus 100-metre and 200-metre sprints, as well as bronze in 55-Plus triple jump and gold in 60-Plus women’s long jump. She also shared silver in the 4×100-metre relay.
Clark also won gold in 65-Plus women’s shot put, discus and javelin.
In men’s track and field, Mac Murray won gold in the 65-Plus 400-metre race. Paris took silver in 200-metre sprint and shared gold in the men’s 4×100 relay.
Highland Region was second in medals to Central with 94 and second to Central in gold medals with 42. Central amassed 110 medals and 48 gold medals.
Medalists have first option to join Nova Scotia’s contingent at the Canadian Games. Other participants are considered in events where medalists are unable to attend.
WESTVILLE ROAD – The season is still young, but the Pictou County Weeks Crushers are among the division leaders in the MHL.
The Crushers will try and keep their modest winning streak going on Thursday when they host the Yarmouth Mariners for the second time in two weeks at the Pictou County Wellness Centre.
The Crushers got a goal and three assists from newly-crowned team captain Mike Lyle and a goal and two assists from Cole Murphy as they swamped the Mariners 6-1 at home last Thursday in their only game of the week.
The win gave the Crushers a brief hold on first place in the league’s Eastlink Division with a 3-2 record.
“It’s a big win,” Lyle said after the game. “You always want to win at home and this is a big one for us. We’re a young team but we’ve improved since the start of the season.”
Lyle and newcomer Taylor Davis traded on each other’s goals barely two minutes apart to give the Crushers a 2-0 lead in the first period. Murphy made it 3-0 in the second period.
Yarmouth scored 12 seconds into the third period before Regan Spears, Michael Dill and Alex Bonaparte completed the Crushers’ scoring.
The Crushers outshot the Mariners 43-23 and scored twice on their five power-play opportunities.
Justin Ritcey was in goal for the Crushers.
Murphy is tied for fifth in points so far this season with three goals and six assists.
Lyle has three goals and five assists, while David has five goals and two assists and Luc Poirier is on the leader board’s first page with a goal and six assists.
Ritcey is third in goals against average with a 1.64 mark in three games.
The Crushers have the most potent power play in the league with a 31 per cent efficiency, while they stand fourth in penalty-killing percentage.
STELLARTON – The Stellarton Albions completed an incredible season by winning the 11-and-Under AA Atlantic Baseball championship.
The Albions won all four of their round-robin games and then defeated the Fredericton Royals 7-0 in the championship game of the tournament that ended on Sept. 20 in Cardigan, P.E.I.
Cameron Young pitched four dominant innings, striking out eight Royals on the way to the win. Lucas Canning finished the game with a two-inning save.
The game was a pitcher’s duel until the fifth inning when the Albions scored four runs, started by a clutch two-run single by Cameron MacKinnon.
Mike Law had two hits in the game and Cole Battist scored twice.
The tournament kicked off on Sept. 18 against the Fredericton Royals when Stellarton jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and never looked back en route to a 10-2 victory.
Landon Sim led the Albions at the plate with three hits, including a triple. He also had a strong defensive game behind the plate, throwing out three Royals base runners.
The Albions played the P.E.I. champions from Cornwall later that day and made quick work with them as they cruised to a 12-0 victory. Law, Sim, Andrew Fraser, Camden Kelly and Jack Skelton combined to only give up two hits. Brennan Hood had a two-run single, while Sim had a double and a triple and Joseph Mason had a triple.
Stellarton defeated Conception Bay North, N.L in their next game on Sept. 19. Andrew Fraser had a big day on the mound as he pitched five scoreless innings, while striking out eight and allowing just one hit.
He also had two hits and drove in two runs. MacKinnon had two hits and started the game on the mound, recording the win.
In the Albions’ final round-robin game, they played through a scoreless first inning from both teams and blew it open with five runs in each of the second, third and fourth innings to win 15-0 against Cardigan. Skelton, Fraser and Law all had three runs batted in, while Carter MacLean, Kelly, Young and Canning chipped in offensively with base hits. Canning and Law combined to strike out nine Cardigan batters on the mound.
Stellarton completed their season with a 37-4 record. They won the Kentville Invitational tournament in July and also had their season highlighted with a 12-5 victory over the Dartmouth Arrows AAA’s the week before Atlantics.
Dartmouth went on to win the Atlantic Championships in the AAA division.
I have a rather personal confession to make, one that may surprise some people, especially academics. I know it would have shocked my old high school English teacher Wilfred Burchell, who knew I was heading into a life in newspapers.
But here goes: Until earlier this month, I never read a book of fiction in my life. There was just never time to squeeze such leisure activities into my reading schedule, time always taken by Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet Magazine and The Hockey News. Heck, I sometimes even have trouble getting them all read cover to cover.
Then, in the past year, an old classmate from our New Glasgow High days, the former Marcia Campbell of Pictou Landing, came back into my life. Marcia, who was the editor of our school yearbook in grade 12, would have edited my sports articles. Under Mr. Burchell’s supervision, of course.
Marcia, who became Mrs. Jim Davey, taught English in Rhode Island, where she’s been for half a century. A few years ago, before Jim died, she began writing books. Fiction. Then, when I started writing my memoirs a few months ago, she offered advice. That help has been invaluable. She knows her stuff.
On a recent visit to Halifax, she brought along several of her books for my perusal. I promised to get my baptism in fiction. The book I chose to read is called Priest. It’s the story of a young Roman Catholic clergyman who gets transferred from the big city of New York to a much smaller place called Stellarton. Her use of Pictou County names – Westville, Stella Maris church and Pictou Harbour – caught my interest. Even if it was fiction. I read every page of Priest and I give Marcia a big A for her work.
Reading about a priest, of course, brought back memories of a New Glasgow native who was a talented hockey goaltender in the 1950s – and later was ordained into the priesthood. Bobby Day was five years older than myself so, when he was at New Glasgow High, I was working my way through the lower grades.
My recollections of Day the goaltender was that he had a lot of talent when wearing the big pads. He was almost always on very fine teams, too. His abilities – in the days when goalies didn’t wear masks – certainly had a lot to do with the success of his teams.
He played in a strong grammar school program at Our Lady of Lourdes parish. After grade 11 at NGHS, he landed with the North Sydney Franklyns, one of the best junior teams ever in Nova Scotia. Then he showed his strengths with the St. Francis Xavier X-Men when they were in the early years of winning 13 consecutive Maritime intercollegiate championships. His years at X were in the early 1950s when the X-Men were a powerhouse, so much so that they played in both intercollegiate and senior ranks.
A number of years ago, I talked to Bobby about his netminding career. He told me he never regretted being overlooked by the pros. What he did regret was that he never owned the goalie pads he wore through his playing days. Every set of pads he wore he had borrowed from someone else.
One of his thrills in his youth involved the APC league’s Stellarton Royals. A lot of times the senior team had only one goalie for practices, and they summoned Day to fill the void. He was only in his early teens, but he loved it. It probably had much to do with the way he developed.
Day told me that he believed his hockey background helped him greatly as a priest. When asked, however, he admitted he preferred being in the nets rather than the pulpit because “at least I could wear my pads.”
I was told on good authority, though, that he was a very fine priest, just as he was a very fine goaltender. He was appreciated in whatever pulpit and whatever clerical situation he was in. He wore the collar proudly, as he did his borrowed pads.
I’ve interviewed lots of sports people through the years – from youngsters and juniors to the Wayne Gretzkys and Gordie Howes – but I never enjoyed talking with anybody more than I did chewing the fat with Bobby Day.
He believed deep down that youngsters like himself, growing up in the post-war years, had more fun than the kids entering the game in more recent times. Kids of his generation could make their own rules, play without officials, enjoy the action without parental pressures, and did as well as players from any era.
Too many players in later years, he opined, keep being told they can be the best, then someday get the word they are no longer good enough. He spoke of the trauma that hits a youngster under those circumstances. Yes, Bobby made sense, and it’s too bad more people in the game don’t look at it the same way.
Much of Day’s ministry was away from his home turf, but in semi-retirement he was in charge of three churches in the Lismore area.
The last time I talked to him was at John (Brother) MacDonald’s funeral at Our Lady of Lourdes in 2003. It was John Brother who influenced Bobby Day’s life in many ways – just as he later influenced me. It was John Brother who arranged to have Day report to the Franklyns for his junior years.
In 2008 – five years after John Brother’s death – Father Bobby Day passed away at the age of 75. His funeral mass, like Brother’s, was at Our Lady of Lourdes.
I’m pleased I read Marcia’s book, not just because I enjoyed my rookie plunge into fiction, but because it got me thinking of an old friend who was a grand person, a grand goalie, a grand priest.
It’s just too bad Marcia’s fictional Father Jim never met Father Bobby. I think they would have appreciated each other.
WESTVILLE – Work is progressing to further complete portions of the Trans Canada Trail, including a portion of it in Westville.
The $46,000 the town has received for its Westville Pioneer Coal Greenway project reflects a busy construction season for volunteer community-based trail groups in Westville and across Nova Scotia.
The funds are part of a package of more than $884,000 approved for Westville’s project and seven others in the province.
Westville recreation co-ordinator Sally O’Neill said she was pleased with the financial help for the project and town council’s efforts to apply for the funds.
“We’ve been working with Trans Canada Trail people for some time,” she said. “Our trail system is good for people to use in their daily lives .”
The Nova Scotia Trails Federation is the provincial partner for the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) in Nova Scotia as part of the effort to work with local trail organizations to connect the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) in Nova Scotia in time for Canada150 celebrations in 2017.
“With less than two years to meet the connection deadline, N.S. Trails is pleased with the enthusiasm and dedication of our local trail partners and the ongoing financial support of the TCT,” said Blaise MacEachern, who chairs the N.S. Trails TCT Committee. “As we get down to the crunch, more N.S. Trails partners are coming on board and are being approved for TCT funding on a monthly basis. The momentum is exciting.”
NS Trails still has a long way to go to achieve connection by December 2016 and is encouraging all Nova Scotians to take the time to find out how they can join this nation-building project.
The Nova Scotia Trails Federation supports the work of community groups in the planning, building, maintenance and management stages of recreational trails in communities throughout the province.
The Trans Canada Trail is a nation-building project being realized by provincial and territorial trail groups across the country. Currently 80 per cent of the trails are connected.
NEW GLASGOW – The Aberdeen Hospital has a new portable ultrasound machine, thanks to the generosity of a donor to the Aberdeen Health Foundation.
The equipment has been purchased for the new Emergency Room, and is already in service.
The new technology means that the hospital’s emergency room has more capacity and capability than before. Not only does this equipment mean a leap forward in terms of the diagnostic capability, but it also increases the potential for quick bedside diagnosis for patients.
“Quite simply, this technology is a major asset and it will greatly optimize patient care,” says Jennifer Sutherland, Health Services manager of the Emergency Department.
“It makes me so proud and thankful to know that we have such generous people here who are doing all they can for this community.”
Hopewell resident Donald Horne is the man behind the donation. His gift to the Aberdeen Health Foundation was inspired by his estate planner and friend, who suggested he shouldn’t wait to leave the gifts he was planning to make in his will, rather he should donate now while he could witness the impact they would have.
Today, Horne is giving his legacy away with gusto, and in his own words he’s “having a ball”.
He has directed his gift to three areas of care. In addition to the Emergency Room, the hospital’s Palliative Care Unit and Women & Children’s Unit are also receiving funding for items at the top of their wish lists.
“Spending time with Don while working out the details of his donation has been a real pleasure,” says Susan Malcolm, executive director of the Aberdeen Health Foundation. “It’s clear Don is … having a tremendous impact on the lives of many others.”
SIX MILE BROOK – A hiking trail in western Pictou County has received help to attract more users.
The Cape to Cape committee is going ahead with a shelter called a bothy as a lasting tribute to Jack McLachlan who, in 2010, made a significant donation to Pictou County Trails for hiking trail development in West Pictou.
Bothys are common in Scotland and Scandinavia, project co-ordinator Gordon Young said. They are remote shelters left unlocked and available free for overnight shelter on a first-come, first-served basis. He says it will be the first bothy in Nova Scotia.
“We hope that the McLachlan Bothy will be a pilot for hiking shelters in Nova Scotia,” he said. “We expect it will become a destination for hiking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing in Nova Scotia.”
Andrew Parsons, a teacher at North Nova Education Centre, and his class have milled beams for the frame of a post and beam structure measuring 12 feet by 16 feet.
A field trip had been planned for Sept. 29 and today to assemble the frame work on a remote site on Six Mile Brook several kilometres from Salt Springs.
“This will provide my class with an opportunity to use the skills they have acquired to create a worthwhile contribution to the community,” Parsons said.
In several weeks, a group of volunteer carpenters, under the direction of local contractor Brian Clarke, will be completing the structure installing the roof, walls, floor, door and windows.
When completed, it will be a destination, and not only for overnight hikers and day hikes.
“Already cadets, cub scouts and community groups are taking advantage of this beautiful trail,” Young said.
The Cape to Cape Trail has been conceived as a continuous trail from Cape George in Antigonish County to Cape Chignecto in Cumberland County, following “the shoulders of Nova Scotia” represented by the Cobequid mountain range.
At present, there is a continuous trail of more than 60 kilometres from Rogart Mountain in Colchester County to Durham in Pictou County. The trail has many breathtaking vistas and interesting way points but lacks accommodation for overnight hiking.
“The site is remote, and that is its charm, but this presents logistical problems,” Young said.
The closest access point for motorized vehicles is about one kilometre from the site. All the materials must be transported by other means by numerous volunteers over the remaining distance, including 16-foot-long beams, the metal sheets for the roof, board and battens for the walls, floor boards and a door and windows.
Contact Young at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to volunteer.
STELLARTON – A United Nations of divided flavours popped up last weekend at Allen Park at the Seventh Annual Multicultural Fusion Festival.
The celebration of diversity within Pictou County featured food vendors, merchandisers and entertainment representing the cultures of the Philippines, Syria, India, Iran, Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea, South Africa, Greece, Germany, Zimbabwe and more.
As the event was free for all to attend and there was no gate in place, organizers said there was no formal count of attendance but stated that last year’s festival drew upwards of 800 people throughout the day and said this year’s turnout was comparable.
Wendy Hughes, co-chair for the Multicultural Association of Pictou County said, “We’re really happy to be outside. The park itself makes it a lot less work. We didn’t bring tables over, there’s benches, there’s grounds, there’s the gazebo, the playground – the playground’s as busy as anything.”
This slight relocation, from the previous location of the Nova Scotia Community College, Pictou Campus, was deemed not only an improvement for the scenery and fresh air but the improved interaction and flow to the festivities.
“There was the criticism or suggestion last year,” Hughes said, “that with the food outside if you were eating you were missing the entertainment. It was hard to take it all in. That was the idea with moving it outside.”
Vendors and merchants lined the trail of Allen Park while the gazebo became the mainstage.
“We’ve had entertainment all day,” Hughes said.
“A main event on the ballfield is we’re having a cricket game, Antigonish versus Pictou County. A cricket team came up to play us. That’s new. We’ve had cricket demonstrations before, but not a full game.”
Regardless of their original country of origin, more vendors were local to Pictou County than in previous years.
“A few of our vendors are from Halifax but seven years ago when we started every vendor was from Halifax,” Hughes said. “It’s improving.”
Hughes explained that there are 39 different nationalities woven into the fabric of Pictou County with Filipinos being the largest group within the recent immigrant community.
It’s fall again which means there’s a bunch of new shows out now or coming out very soon. But here I’m going to talk about several of the first episodes of new shows this TV season.
Monday nights on Fox, the new Minority Report series airs at 10 p.m. The pilot showed potential for an interesting new cop drama set in the world of the 2002 movie of the same name. It doesn’t compare to the film but is still pretty good, especially for the pilot episode. The show began airing on September 21.
Monday nights on NBC will be showing the new series Blindspot. Starring Jaimie Alexander (Thor), it poses interesting mysteries to keep you interested. The premise is of a woman, with no memory of her past and tattoos over her whole body that give clues to crimes. The show is a bit dull, but interesting enough to go back and watch again. It airs at 10 p.m. and began on September 21.
Starting October 26, CBS will begin airing episodes of its new comic book series Supergirl. It will be airing at 9 p.m. and the pilot showed enough promise for an interesting series. It’s nothing special but if you have enjoyed other CBS shows or other comic book shows, then check it out!
On September 22 the new Muppets series aired on ABC. It airs at 9 p.m. and offers a different behind the scenes look at The Muppets in a similar format to shows like The Office or Parks and Rec. It’s a bit more adult but still great, definitely take a look if you’re a fan of the Muppets.
Finally, September 24 was the two-hour premiere of Heroes Reborn on NBC. The series is off to a decent start, and doesn’t require knowledge of the original series Heroes. It’s new and innovative, and better if you watched the original series but still cool on it’s own. It’s not perfect, but it’s interesting.
Magician and hypnotist Carmen Giorno will be bringing his Vegas-style stage show to the Glasgow Square on Thursday, Oct. 1.
Hailing from Cape Breton, Giorno said that while the island is certainly known for its musical exports and its jokesters there’s an ample market for magic as well.
“I do have a little following down here,” he said. “It’s more of a musical place but wherever I’ve gone I’ve had people come back to my shows.”
He has four consecutive sellouts of the Casino Nova Scotia to prove it.
The key selling points to his show, he said, are the combination of magic and hypnosis as well as the clean nature of his show.
“I do magic at the beginning,” Giorno said explaining his show’s format: “40, 45 minutes of magic. I’ll have people from the audience come up with me during my stage show. There’s no mirrors or smoke or nothing like that. No tigers or lions, just myself and my kit. Everybody’s involved with my show and I make them feel comfortable.”
Rather than wildcats and laser beams, Giorno draws on his past as a close-up magician and excels at slight of hand tricks as well as illusions better suited to the stage.
His magic act and good humour, he finds, help loosen the crowd and makes them willing and eager to take part in the hypnosis side of things.
“Many people say ‘Oh I’m not getting hypnotized, no way!’ but after my magic set I hear people say ‘Yeah, yeah, I’m going to try it’ because throughout the magic everyone’s getting relaxed, everyone’s laughing,” said Giorno.
“I get to know my audience pretty well. Magic’s not my worry. This way the magic relaxes people and puts them in a good place.
“They see I’m about having fun,” he said. “My hypnosis show is nothing bad, no adult content, no X-rated hypnosis. I’m just there for people to come back and say ‘yeah, you can go have fun with him’.”
One of his signature hypnosis bits, Giorno said, involves two volunteers. One, usually female, will serve as an English/Chinese interpreter. The other, typically male, will take on the role of martial arts expert.
“(Under hypnosis) she speaks fluent Chinese and fluent English and the fella, I tell him that he’s a deadly martial artist with the ability of six guys, Chuck Norris and those guys, and I tell him he can only speak Chinese but we have an interpreter for him so anything we need him to do she’ll say it to him in Chinese, he’ll understand it and talk back to her in Chinese and she’ll interpret into English and they’ll play it out; however, it comes out of their head.”
The humour, Giorno said, stems from these unusual interactions and exchanges.
“I don’t think there’s anyone else around that’s doing what I do,” Giorno said. “You’re basically getting two shows for the price of one. It’s like a Vegas show.”
To the Editor:
After reading the news of Sept. 19 about Northern Pulp’s Economic Impact to the Province of Nova Scotia and Pictou Country on yearly basis: Over the last number of years it has never been about the economic impact that Northern Pulp has had on the Province of Nova Scotia or Pictou County. It has been and always will be about the pollution from the mill over Pictou County that made it very hard and uncomfortable to be out in one’s backyard or to be walking on the streets of the Town of Pictou. And the pollution covers all parts of the county.
This still concerns me as I am now on oxygen with a lung problem from Agent Orange and the mill is still putting out pollution into the air.
But yes, I must say it is a little better than it was a year ago. So one can give them credit for that.
But it also took a lot of pressure from the people and the Government of Nova Scotia to get them to install a new precipitator to clean up some of the emissions from the mill. And yes, we still have Boat Harbour to look after and clean up.
Now in closing, I will say no one wants the mill to close. For all we want or ever wanted was clean air that we can breathe and live with and have a barbecue in our back yard and not have the smell of foul air to breathe.
To the Editor:
I am one of many thousands of individuals concerned by the damage an oil spill would cause from Shell’s proposed drilling activities in the Shelburne Basin. This is a major fishing ground, and has been a source of livelihoods for generations.
I understand the need to do what we can for our economy, but a 21-day response time is simply not acceptable.
Shell has the resources to cap this in a day. If they can’t move the safety gear in to ensure the protection of critical fishing grounds, they shouldn’t be allowed to drill here.
If our government is truly making decisions for the benefit of the people, there is no way they will allow this to pass. Remember what happened in the Gulf of Mexico.
I hope more individuals speak up, as all should be concerned.
For more information, visit http://action.sumofus.org/a/shell-21-day-blowout/
To the Editor:
I am a resident of Pictou County. I retired back here after 30 years away, because this is what I know and what I missed – small towns and good people – you know who your neighbours are.
I don’t think of myself as a cynic. I am generally open to new ideas and I believe that opportunity for change generally presents itself one step at a time.
I think about the mess our federal government is in; I think about the likes of the Mike Duffy (Pamela Wallin) scandal and the rest of those who gaze down from the upper chambers, and I can’t help but wonder if I have missed something. I understand that 85 per cent of the Canadian voting public wants the Senate abolished, yet our cries are ignored. They say that to abolish the Senate would require our re-opening the Constitution – well let’s get on with it.
This leaves me with such a sense of powerlessness!
Each senator is handsomely paid (until the age of 75, I believe). They need only show up once or twice a year to qualify for the full salary, and need not speak nor participate during any part of the process – and it’s all charged to the Canadian taxpayer. That’s quite the job!
What a sham this is. Here we are with people living off food banks, disallowed Workers’ Compensation claims for many legitimate injuries, high unemployment, drugs are running rampant, street violence is staggering and we have people who’ve simply been “appointed” (who contribute next to nothing) vigorously lapping up monies from the public trough (politicians and senators alike).
We all know this is going on and it’s our duty to get out there and cast a ballot if we are serious about invoking change in our country. I do hope that this fall, the electorate comes out in masses and democratically decides who should be running this country. Change is long overdue!
When a candidate comes to your door, one question you could ask is: Do you believe in the Senate?
On a more personal level, I have never felt this sense of powerlessness when it comes to small town politics. I guess this is because we vote in people we often know and trust, people we have grown up with, people we went to school with or who perhaps live right next door. Municipal politics doesn’t carry that sense of anonymity with it.
We know who our councillors are and we entrust them to carry out their mandates and to serve our best interests.
Pictou County is in the midst of reviewing the merits of amalgamating our towns and rural areas, etc. and assessing the feasibility of whether we would benefit from becoming a regional entity.
I think a study is necessary if we are to clearly understand the pros and cons of amalgamating as a region, and the impact that will have on each town (or unit). We need to articulate these issues with precision.
It is obvious that industry is no longer here – and I don’t know of any prospects on the horizon. It makes sense that if we unified it could strengthen our position and our appeal; perhaps we’d have a louder voice when it comes to enticing industry back to our county.
I also understand that if each unit (town) did vote in favour of regional government, that service levels will not suffer within the unit, that the tax base will not be affected within the unit and, that if any units carry a surplus or a debt, that will remain within the unit itself.
If these things are true, and I must assume they are, then I will be anxious to review the findings of the study when it is released.
The result should provide residents with the information they need to make an informed decision. A plebiscite vote next spring will give us the opportunity to lend our voice to this matter.
I assume that each town’s vote will be counted separately, so that each town can democratically opt in or out of a regional government plan.
This is and has been my interpretation of things, but am I naive?
There seems to be this undercurrent (or suspicion) that this notion of a regional government is non-negotiable. I am hearing that it is being rammed through piecemeal and regardless of the findings within the study or the results of the plebiscite itself, regional government is already a done deal!
I have never been a cynic and I choose not to believe it. But if that is the case, then shame on our local councils. Why did each unit financially contribute to a study if the dye was already cast? That would be a waste of darned good money.
I want to believe our local councillors. I want to believe in the process, and I want to know that the people we voted in are trustworthy – I don’t want to believe we have been duped!
I have always believed that Elvis really did die, that man really did land on the moon and that the Holocaust actually happened. I’ve never been a big believer in conspiracies and I really don’t want to start now!
To the Editor:
Last summer (2014) Pictou Recreation and Parks placed signs on a utility pole on Haliburton Road, adjacent to a residence on Haliburton Road, showing right of passage for the public to access the Trans Canada Trail (Jitney Trail) at this point.
The Town of Pictou should have known who’s property they were telling the public it was legal to cross and they were not trespassing!
Now, attempts are being made by those residents to block public passage of said lane and the Town of Pictou is more of a ‘hindrance’ than a help in a satisfactory resolution of this issue.
There are no survey stakes anywhere, so who can or cannot say who supposedly owns what?
There was once an Esso and a mill siding there; where did the land go that belonged to the CNR?
Let’s be fair and decent in regards to this issue.
H.B. Ferguson, M.E. Miller;
S.G. Holmes, L. Daley
To the Editor:
This week Premier McNeil’s second finance minister in two years confirmed that the Liberals are not doing a very good job of managing your money. Since years of rhetoric have tuned people out to the talk of “millions” and even “hundreds of millions” of dollars, I won’t dive into the sad details but let’s agree that they are blowing it.
Instead of how much they are blowing it by, let’s focus on why it is happening. In their own words they say that the problem is “the result of lower growth in provincial tax revenue.” Translation: they banked on squeezing more tax money out of you but couldn’t (yet).
Last spring I said their plan to pinch more from each of us wouldn’t work. People just don’t have more to give. We all know that simply trying to tax the same people more and more doesn’t work. Instead what we desperately need is more people working and paying taxes – a broader tax base.
Ironically, broadening the tax base can come from lowering tax rates. Lower taxes can increase overall tax revenue. More money in the hands of those that know how best to spend it (individuals, families and entrepreneurs) leads to real spending which in turn fuels economic growth and job creation.
I believe that lower tax rates = more jobs = more tax payers = higher tax revenue. Premier McNeil on the other hand remains obsessed with cutting services, closing schools and finding more ways to tax us.
His way is not working. Yogi Berra’s famous “we’re lost but we’re making good time” quote comes to mind. I can help him find ways to see the big picture and grow the economy if he is interested.
MLA, Pictou East
Acceptance of the memorandum of understanding for municipal reform in four local municipalities is about to mark a new milestone.
The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board scheduled a public hearing for October 6 starting at 10:30 a.m. at the Pictou County Wellness Centre. It places the MOU process on a one-year countdown toward its ultimate goal of elections in what are currently proposed to be 10 districts of relatively equal population. They would be represented in the amalgamated unit by 10 members who would replace those in the Municipality of Pictou County and the towns of New Glasgow, Pictou and Stellarton.
Nothing is certain. For the moment, the four municipalities in question are pursuing amalgamation. Both extremes are in play in the process. It may yet reach an impasse. It may become so appealing that the other two units – Trenton and Westville – will be attracted or feel compelled to join. The UARB will listen to testimony and rule.
Based on what has already happened at the public meetings the MOU steering committee has hosted, the demeanor of those opposed to the MOU process ranges from suspicion to outright hostility. It is said that a little knowledge is more dangerous than complete ignorance but generally, the more members of the public understand the process, the more they like it.
The key to this issue is the inexorable gravitational pull of amalgamation, or regional government, or shared services. The discussion has been at times robust or dormant for at least 50 years in Pictou County. It was highlighted by the shotgun marriages in Halifax Regional Municipality and Cape Breton Regional Municipality 20 years ago and laced with the more co-operative union of two municipalities in Queens County. Since then, insolvency in places like Hantsport and Springhill has been a reason for disbanding municipal incorporation – not just the perceived need to achieve a common entity for the common good.
We need to remember what happened after the current government abandoned cost-sharing a governance study for all six Pictou County units last year. Three units had had it with standing idle – the Municipality of the County of Pictou, New Glasgow and Pictou town. There was a Plan B. In the words of New Glasgow Mayor Barrie MacMillan, it was time for “bold action.”
That has led us to October 6. What transpires over the next year is subject to the MOU participants liking what they are presented with, that their preconditions are met. Stellarton’s council does not unanimously support the process. It remains to be seen how much that issue reflects the concerns of its constituents.
What is important is seeing the process through. If the MOU is not endorsed, we in Pictou County may well witness Plan C.
Steve GoodwinPosted in Opinion | Leave a comment
Hannah Singer is a typical 18-year-old girl. She attends CEC High School in Truro and enjoys drawing in her spare time.
Singer is a self-taught artist who enjoys drawing portraits more than anything. This led her to create one of Const. Catherine Campbell.
Campbell was a Truro Police officer originally from Stellarton who was a 10-year member of the Stellarton Fire Department. Her body was found in Halifax on September 16; she was buried in Stellarton on September 21.
“I just felt like her family would probably really like to have something to remember her by when she was happy,” explains Singer referring to the portrait.
Singer saw photos circulating on the Internet of Campbell and felt drawn to create a portrait.
“I felt like I needed to do it,” she says.
She spent three and a half hours putting pencil to paper to produce the portrait.
“I noticed in Grade 6 that I really liked to draw and I prefer to draw people,” she says. “I’m in Grade 12 now so I’ve been drawing for six years. I like the detail in faces.”
Singer wanted to donate the drawing to Campbell’s family so she took it to the Truro Police Station.
“They said it was great and that the family would love it,” says Singer. “They want me to do another drawing of (Campbell) in her uniform to put up in the station.”
Singer says she never personally met Campbell but knows that she attended her school many times.
“I respect the police and am thankful for what they do,” she says. “It felt good to be able to donate the drawing. I liked that they said how good it was and that the family would really appreciate it. It feels good knowing that.”
PICTOU – They say love is blind. For Terri-Lynn Lannon and Craig Aucoin, that couldn’t be more true.
Aucoin began losing his eyesight at age 15, almost 25 years ago, while Lannon lost her eyesight more recently, in adulthood.
Through their shared experiences, they fell in love and are getting married this weekend.
The couple had known each other growing up, but it wasn’t until recently that they began dating.
“He (Aucoin) and his brother would get dropped off from the bus after school at my neighbour’s house who looked after them,” explains Lannon.
Lannon went to Pictou Academy while Aucoin attended West Pictou Consolidated High School.
“We hung out as kids and growing up. At one point we had the same group of friends, but never really hung out with them at the same times,” notes Lannon.
“We kind of went our separate ways,” adds Aucoin.
This went on for 10 to 15 years until one day Lannon got a phone call from Aucoin.
“I was still living at home at the time and Mom said ‘It’s Craig Aucoin.’ I was like what? At the time I was losing my eyesight and he let me know he was there for me if I needed to talk,” she says.
Aucoin adds, “I showed her my talking computer and books on CD and I told her life wasn’t over because she was blind.”
“That’s not my attitude,” interjects Lannon. “This is my life now, so truck on, that’s how I looked at it. I thought this couldn’t happen to a better person because of my attitude. I’m a lot like my grandmother in that way.”
Lannon lost her sight due to complications from diabetes while Aucoin has a genetic disorder that causes his sight to become increasingly worse as the years progress.
“For me it’s like watching a black and white TV 24/7 with really thick fog.”
After talking and hanging out again, the couple realized they had a lot in common.
“It started with me calling her and it just flourished from there,” says Aucoin.
Lannon says she never really thought of Aucoin as a love interest in the beginning. Aucoin had asked Lannon about dating once prior and she said no, so he was not about to ask again.
“My family saw the attraction from Craig’s (Aucoin) part but I didn’t because we were just friends. He’s really shy too so I knew it wasn’t going to happen on Craig’s part so I thought why not give it a try?”
That was just more than two years ago now.
A year ago this past June, Aucoin proposed and that following Thanksgiving, Lannon got a ring.
“They are family rings,” she says. “They had to be resized. My engagement ring is my Dad’s mother’s ring and the wedding band will be my Mom’s mother’s ring. I’m very touched I could use them, especially since I assumed my Mother would think I would lose them.”
The wedding is taking place this Saturday at the Stella Maris Church.
“I wanted to get married last October,” laughs Aucoin.
“My Mom said that if we were getting married that soon, we would be having peanut butter and jam sandwiches,” jokes Lannon.
Aucoin says when he popped the question and Lannon said yes, his whole world changed.
“I always felt a void in my life. At one point I thought about moving away to get a job, but I like living in a small town, I grew up in the country. She has made my life more fitting, more relaxed.”
Lannon adds, “We help each other definitely because we know what each other’s going through.”
Lannon says she was the girl that was never getting married, but it was because she hadn’t found the right one.
“I got my dress last summer,” she says. “I went with my Mom and my sister Jo-Ann. I knew it was the right dress when I came out and my Mom was crying. It was the third dress I tried on, I went with a group of three and we are getting married on the third.”
Janet Knox, president and CEO of the Nova Scotia Health Authority, discussed the new Nova Scotia Health Authority at the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce luncheon last week.
She told the group the new health authority is an amalgamation of nine previous health authorities across the province, that were joined on April 1.
The NSHA employs 23,400 people, 3,400 of which are physicians; it includes 500 medical residents, 7,000 volunteers, 41 foundations, 33 auxiliaries and 37 community health boards. The new health board services 944,000 people in Nova Scotia with a budget of $1.9 billion.
“We have one specialty hospital, the QEII in Halifax, and nine regional hospitals,” explains Knox. “Through these hospitals, we see 599,500 emergency visits per year. Outpatient visits, which are planned visits, number 1.4 million a year.”
Knox says the vision of the health authority is to have healthy people and a healthy community for generations to come.
“Right now a child born in Nova Scotia does not live as long as children born in other parts of Canada,” she says.
Knox says working together is a significant step that needs to be taken to make communities healthier. In order to do this, Knox says there needs to be a provincial focus that is brought to the local level which engages individuals, families and the community to become healthier.
“We need to provide extraordinary person-centred care and work with partners to ensure all Nova Scotians have the opportunity to improve their health.”
Knox mentioned the various other steps that will help Nova Scotia realize a sustainable, healthy future, including innovation in practice, ensuring a skilled interdisciplinary workforce, continuing improvement in patient and family engagement and managing resources wisely.
“We need a constant recruitment strategy,” she says. “We need to be the employer of choice and we need to manage our resources wisely. I think we have to find out and be very sure that $1.9 million is enough money (in terms of the budget). It is the second highest budget per capita in the country with the second lowest health status. We need to use every dollar and make sure it is well spent.”
Residents in Nova Scotia suffer from the highest rates of cancer with 5,900 cases per year, as well as the highest percentage of cardiovascular disease, heart disease, diabetes, respiratory diseases and arthritis, says Knox.
“Some of this is not because of genetics but because we need to eat better and exercise. This building (the wellness centre) is a commitment by the community to health. We need to have that kind of commitment across the province.”
Missing from Knox’s list of chronic diseases in Nova Scotia was mental health, which Sherry Blinkhorn, who was in attendance, was not pleased about.
“It is glaring that mental health was not included in those statistics. Coming to Pictou County and not discussing mental health … is unacceptable,” she says.
Knox acknowledged Blinkhorn’s statement and went on to answer other questions.
“With One Nova Scotia we need to think about being one community in terms of our health care system… But we are going to need a heavy dose of courage because we need to change here in Nova Scotia.”
NEW GLASGOW – A national bike ride has held special meaning for Jeana English and members of her family.
English made sure she could see Dr. Bruce Crooks, a pediatric hematologist and oncologist at the IWK Health Centre, and associate professor at Dalhousie University. Crooks has been treating a malignant brain tumour she was diagnosed with in 2014 and was among 32 cyclists who stayed overnight in New Glasgow before completing the 2015 Sears National Kids Cancer Ride on Friday.
The cyclists arrived Thursday evening after crossing the Northumberland Strait by ferry from P.E.I.
Crooks has been a hit with his purple hair and braided beard.
“She’s quiet, but she’s a nice kid,” he said of English. “She knows her challenge, but I’m always impressed with her. She never complains.”
While soft-spoken, English has kept up with the cross-Canada ride through its online blog. The journey began in Vancouver on Sept. 10, officially ended on Saturday and has raised funds for the Coast to Coast against Cancer Foundation since its inception in 2008. It is considered the one national charity devoted to fighting childhood cancer.
English’s parents are in awe of Crooks’ capacity to pedal across the country.
“He has to be nuts or incredibly dedicated,” her father Donnie English said. “I’ll put my money on the latter. We think very highly of him and the IWK.”
Jeana’s grandfather Jim Nicholson said he was moved by the tributes paid before the cyclists departed. The morning routine included breakfast, which staff at the Sears store at the Highland Square Mall served, followed by a special huddle among the cyclists which Friday included the 20 people who arrived for the gathering.
“It meant a lot to be here,” Nicholson said.
Event manager Mike Smith outlined how the bike ride has worked this year. Of the 32 cyclists, there are 18 men and 14 women. Short-distance and long-distance teams take turns cycling up to 400 kilometres a day to complete the trip in 17 days.
“People can only give you so much time,” he said.
The cyclists on Friday left Crooks behind when his rear tire needed repair. He was able to pack his bike in a motor home so he could catch up with the group.
A trucking company supplied two 18-wheelers with the trailers converted into bunk rooms with 16 beds each.
Taylor Wheatley, a health professional from Calgary, is one of two child cancer survivors on the team. It’s her second time doing the ride.
“It’s been a very good ride,” she said.
Seven other bikers are parents of childhood cancer survivors or of children they’ve lost to cancer.
“That’s why this is a special ride,” Smith said.
This has been one of the more memorable tours, he said.
STELLARTON – A group is continuing to meet in hopes of finding ways to address mental health services it feels are lacking in Pictou County.
Local resident Sherry Blinkhorn convened the latest meeting that took place last Friday at the Museum of Industry. The meeting included local residents, as well as Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia president and CEO Starr Dobson and Pamela Magee, executive director of the provincial branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association.
“The thrust is to bring together community members who are concerned with the state of mental health in the community,” Blinkhorn said. “We’re gathering information on what the issues are. Every one of us can tell stories that we feel are disturbing.”
The meeting was the latest in a series that have taken place since local mental health services were reduced last summer.
Blinkhorn said the group realizes that the lack of health professionals is part of the problem, but people were finding it difficult to get the help they needed before that. She said the long waits for appointments and trips outside the county for service are items the group is discussing.
“That’s raised people’s awareness, but it’s not the big issue,” she said. “There is no band-aid solution.”
Dobson said she’s glad to be part of the conversation.
“As a Pictou County native and fund-raiser, I wouldn’t dream of being anywhere else,” she said. “We need to establish a strategy that best fits the needs for people in Pictou County.”
Magee said mental health needs more funding than it has been receiving in Nova Scotia.
“It has a lot to do with funding streams,” she said. “There are so many things out there now, but (severing the needs of mental health clients) isn’t as clear and clean as other health problems. It’s as if we’re an afterthought. It needs to be at the forefront of health.”
They’ve built a golf course that floats on a lake, an outdoor gym, a bar, a man cave as well as a ‘she’ shed, a bowling alley dock and an ultimate playground for their children.
They turned a shipping container into their cottage pub, then finished it off with a rooftop deck … if you can dream it, they can build it.
‘They’ are brothers, Andrew and Kevin Buckles, and they have a hit reality TV show called Brojects, that airs every Thursday at 9 p.m. ET|PT on Cottage Life. It is a smash hit in Canada and has begun showing in the U.S.
Their parents, Brian and Glenda Buckles, live in Stellarton and the brothers spent a considerable number of years growing up and attending school there. Kevin currently lives in the Halifax area with his family and Andrew lives on the West Coast with his family.
Recently, they came together to spend a month at their cottage, which sits on more than three acres of land and abuts a lake in Guysborough County, where they shot season three of Brojects; it includes 13 new episodes. The family cottage affords them plenty of room to try out their newest ideas. Filming, which took three to three-and-a-half days per episode, wrapped in mid-August and now it’s time for viewers to sit back and enjoy the fruits of the brothers’ labours.
The show is produced by Farmhouse Productions Inc. out of Toronto, owned by fellow Stellartonian Kent Sobey. The series was created by Andrew Buckles and Kent Sobey; Kevin Buckles and Howard Ng are also producers along with the show’s creators.
The brothers are as hilarious in person as they are on the silver screen. Their genuine affection for each other and incredible sense of humour are evident as they chat breezily about their escapades growing up, their hot TV show, their zany D-I-Y projects and their new season.
It all started in 2002 when Andrew, Kevin and Kent worked together on a TV documentary, Air Guitar in Oulu. (http://www.farmhouseproductions.ca/productions/air-guitar-oulu/). From there, they started throwing ideas around for another project and in 2006 shot a pilot for a TV show called Red Neck Green Neck. This pitch went nowhere, but Kent contacted the brothers with news that Cottage Life magazine started a TV channel and were looking for Canadian content.
For that TV pilot project, the two built a beer cart that had a ski attachment for the snowmobile and after the lake froze over in the winter they made their own curling rocks with cement so they could have a little fun on the lake with their friends.
How did they turn out?
“Not the greatest but they were functional,” Andrew laughs.
Their friend Brian Walker, who makes occasional guest appearances on Brojects, is a geo-technical engineer who works with cement. He lent a hand in that particular project.
“It was a lot of fun,” Andrew smiles. “Everything we do half works but it’s one hundred per cent for fun.”
Fun and creativity are evident on the show.
“We both just like to tinker and love the process of learning a task,” Andrew says.
“I just let my imagination go and see if I can build something, and Kevin is the same way.”
Kevin agrees. “We’re not professionals,” he explains. They are brothers who love to work together – sometimes – and create something most people can only dream of making.
“We manage to pull off projects that work for us,” Kevin shrugs.
Andrew feels that one of the successes of the show is that two “regular” guys “can build what they want if they put their minds to it.”
In fact, that’s the whole premise of the show.
What’s in store this season? Viewers can expect to find the brothers building a she-shed for their spouses (What’s that? “It’s the female equivalent of a man cave,” Andrew shrugs with a grin. And instead of a beer fridge it will contain a wine bar!), a canoe/bike combo, a floating treadmill that will see users literally walk on water, and an ultimate surf wagon where they turn Andrew’s 1967 vintage Ford Country Squire station wagon into a fish taco stand complete with a stationary shower which they plan to take to Lawrencetown Beach.
Recently, they bought the old Masonic Lodge in Great Village and will be transforming it for “Brojects: In the House.”
For more information visit http://brojects.ca.
STELLARTON – A local artist has found one more way to showcase Pictou County.
John Ashton has created poster landmarks using trans-digital art that he is offering at the Museum of Industry in Stellarton. He says it’s one way for him to convey to people things that make living here special.
“There’s so much history,” he said. “That’s what I’m trying to promote, rural Pictou County. We have some wonderful places to go to that are taken for granted.”
The scenes include Allan Park in Stellarton, the Green Hill Look Off, New Glasgow Town Hall, the Samson locomotive at the Museum of Industry, the replica steel pouring ladle in Trenton, Kerr’s Point in Merigomish, Big Island Beach, Melmerby Beach and the Africentric park in New Glasgow.
Ashton said he drew inspiration from the Ivany Report on how to preserve and grow the economy in rural Nova Scotia and stressed that he has received no funding for the project.
Trans-digital art themes can range from still life the metaphysical, but Ashton’s reference point is the scenes he remembers of Lake Louise and Banff portrayed on vintage poster promoting Canadian train travel from more than 50 years ago.
For Ashton, it’s a combination of sketching, copying and scanning the finished product with a computer colour program.