Tuesday, September 1st, 2015   |  Register For Free
← Older posts Newer posts →

Northern Pulp getting access to Crown land

ABERCROMBIE – Reaction is mixed to Northern Pulp’s access of 62,500 green metric tonnes of Crown Land over six months in western Nova Scotia.
The allocation came in Natural Resources Minister Zach Churchill’s announcement on Thursday of a six-month licence to Nova Scotia sawmills to harvest about 185,810 green metric tonnes of fibre.
“Given some critical seasonal pressures as well as those facing the industry in general, the timing of this is crucial,” Churchill said. “Sawmills have not had access to this land for a year and a half. With the spring thaw not far off, the dirt roads into our forests will soon become muddy and impassible. This gives the mills quicker access so they can begin harvesting timber.”
The Natural Resources minister has authority under the Crown Lands Act to issue interim licences to harvest timber.
Churchill said the licences reflect an updated Western Crown Land Plan that is designed to guide the economic, environmental and social benefits from more than 80 per cent (1.5 million acres) of the province’s western lands.
The plan is based on input from hundreds of Nova Scotians.
Northern pulp’s allocation comes after the province refused the $30 million the mill requested or the 500,000 green metric tonnes of wood fibre it asked for in February.
At the time, Churchill said the government’s review of wood supplies needed to be completed before it could respond to the pulp mill’s request.
David MacKenzie, who grew up in Westville and recently became the pulp mill’s government affairs and communications spokesman, said the mill will make the best of the allocation, although it’s half what the province previously said the mill would receive.
“Fibre’s always an issue,” he said. “We will continue working with government and our partners to come up with a solution on fibre.”
Meanwhile, Pictou West MLA Karla MacFarlane said she’s wary of supplying wood to the pulp mill while there are ongoing issues with effluent from its stacks.
“I’m in favour of a long-term plan for the forestry industry in the province, one that creates jobs in a way that enhances forestry management and creates a sustainable access to fibre,” she said. “However, in this forestry plan, we want to work diligently with the Department of Environment because we cannot have a sustainable forestry plan without a clean, safe mill.”

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

New Glasgow product named St. FX president

ANTIGONISH – A graduate of St. Francis Xavier University will become its 18th president.
Dr. Kent MacDonald, who grew up in New Glasgow and achieved a Master of Education in 1993, and a Bachelor of Science, Physical Education, in 1986, was announced last Friday to great fanfare as the one selected after an eight-month search.
He will begin his presidency on Aug. 1, succeeding Dr. Sean Riley, who is retiring after 18 years as St. FX president.
MacDonald is currently president and CEO at Algonquin College, an institution with more 20,000 students and campuses in Ottawa, Perth, Pembroke, Saudi Arabia, as well as a newly constructed campus in Kuwait.
He has served as an Academic Chair; Dean, School of Business; Executive Director, Strategy and Business Development; Vice President, Student Services and Development; and Vice President Academic.
He has lectured and addressed audiences in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He has been cited for his understanding of higher education enrolment management and the pragmatic application of digital technologies in the learning environment.
MacDonald is married to fellow St. FX graduate Mary-Ellen MacPhee. They have four children.

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Five wooden bridges scheduled for repairs

MACLELLAN’S BROOK – Five timber bridges in western Pictou County have been identified as requiring repairs over the next several years.
Troy Webb, area manager for the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, confirmed the repairs listed in an inspection report the department received in 2012.
“All are timber bridges,” Webb said.
Two the bridges on the Sunrise Trail are among those on the work list this year: The Sheriff Brook Bridge near the intersection with the Shannon Road in Three Brooks and the Seal Creek Bridge in Marshville.
Webb said it is possible that both bridges can be repaired by closing one lane to avoid detours.
The other bridge due for repairs this year is the Matheson Bridge on the Minto Road, the second bridge off Route 256 between Scotsburn and West Branch.
Two other bridges are scheduled for repairs in later years. They are the G. Sutherland Bridge on a portion of unmaintained road between the Minto Road and Black River Road.
“It’s basically a logging road,” Webb said, while adding that the bridge is being repaired as a precaution to accommodate forestry operations requiring heavier vehicles.
The Six Mile Brook Bridge is the last of three bridges to be replaced or repaired on back roads after suffering damage from a weather event several years ago.
Webb said the bridges and overpasses on the 100 Series and other roads in Pictou County are in generally good condition.
“They are inspected,” he said. “If some weight restrictions are required, we post limits until we can carry out repairs.”

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Board keeps HCMS closed, votes to upgrade MacLeod

WESTVILLE – The Chignecto-Central Regional School Board has begun the process of completing the conversion at Dr. W.A. MacLeod Elementary School to fully accommodate Grade 7 and 8 students from Highland Consolidated Middle School in Westville.
Work was to begin immediately with plans to renovate the MacLeod school, starting with a request for proposals for a design team, despite vows by Mayor Roger MacKay and his council to try and reverse the board’s decision to permanently close HCMS and keep its students at the MacLeod school in Riverton.
“This is not a done deal yet,” MacKay said following the board’s decision at its monthly meeting on Wednesday in Truro.
Fourteen of the school board’s 17 voting members attended the meeting. The vote was 12-1 with one abstention.
Stellarton-Westville board representative Ron Marks cast the dissenting vote.
The school board also voted to close East Pictou Middle School, although its decision is based on provincial funding to upgrade part of nearby Frank H. MacDonald Elementary School so that East Pictou’s Grade 7 and 8 students can move there.
The decision reflects a strong consensus from the East Pictou community to move the students.
The school board will start the MacLeod upgrades with a request for proposals for a design team. The plan is to renovate as much as possible after classes end for the summer.
Discussion regarding HCMS was tense and sometimes rancorous as board chairperson Trudy Thompson intervened when Pictou East MLA Tim Houston, Coun. Lynn MacDonald and MacKay tried at various times to speak on behalf of those in support of keeping HMS open who rimmed the board room and an overflow seating area in the lobby.
Operations director Herb Steeves chronicled events that led to closing HCMS due to odours and the rationale for drawing the conclusion that the estimated $1.5 million cost to alleviate the odours might not fix the problem. He noted the safety standards regarding odours are higher for children than for adults and industrial workplaces.
He also referred to the fast-tracking of $3.75 million in provincial funding to upgrade the MacLeod school by the end of 2015. He said he could not be sure how fast another request would be for the $1.5 million for HCMS.
Marks first tried to have the vote on HCMS tabled until possibly next week so that board members could tour HCMS, but Thompson ruled not to entertain his motion. He then asked the board to recess to allow him to consult with the Westville delegation.
When the board reconvened, the board granted Marks’ request to allow MacKay to speak for five minutes in support of returning the HCMS students to the school in Westville. It also allowed an amendment by board member Marilyn Murray of Trenton to hear from the town of Stellarton and the Municipality of Pictou County.
No Pictou County representative came forward, but Kevin Waller spoke for Stellarton.
“If there is a good reason for closing (HCMS), I’ll go along if it’s done in good conscience and on solid, factual evidence,” he said. “Public opinion seems in favour of Westville and MacLeod won’t be adequate no matter how much money you put into it.”
MacKay referred to part of HCMS’s impact assessment that levels for chemicals and potential contaminants were within acceptable levels.
“It is a healthy school,” he said. “It’s about community.”
Board superintendent Gary Clarke noted the work by staff to hear from presenters during five public meetings while having met separately with the Westville mayor and council and to record responses from people at those meetings, as well as emails and phone calls regarding HCMS.
“Many more voices were not here tonight,” he said.
Board solicitor Bruce MacIntosh provided counsel several times during the meeting, including on Marks’ motion to table on the grounds that any delay past the March 31 deadline for the board to decide HCMS’s fate would required the closure process to start from the beginning.
He also cautioned board members to abstain if they felt they could not make an informed decision based on the documented written and verbal presentations.
Thompson struck down another attempt by MacKay to speak before the vote was taken.
“I have attended meetings that have been difficult; this is one of them,” she said after the meeting. “We have bylaws. I hope the public respects this.”

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Guilty plea entered in attempted murder charge

The accused in the stabbing of Scott Jones in New Glasgow on October 12, 2013 has entered a plea to one of his numerous charges.
Shane Edward Matheson, 19, has entered a plea of guilty in Supreme Court in front of a judge alone to the charge of attempted murder.
Justice Nick Scaravelli noted that this offence means there was intent to kill and the maximum sentencing could be life in prison.
The remaining three counts against Matheson, including aggravated assault and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace, have been stayed.
A pre-sentencing report was ordered and a victim impact statement will be submitted for the sentencing which will take place in Supreme Court on June 12.
The Crown, Jody McNeill, and the defence, Steve Robertson, do not anticipate any evidence to be called during the sentencing.
Matheson has been remanded into custody until his June 12 sentencing.
“The guilty plea has been official, certainly to the Crown,” said McNeill.
McNeill and Robertson noted that they are very close to coming to an agreement on a recommended sentence.
Matheson’s guilty plea saves the victim from testifying as well as court time because there is no preliminary inquiry according to McNeill.
“It is up to Scott Jones whether he wants to speak (at the sentencing),” said McNeill. “He has the option of reading his victim impact statement in court.”
McNeill noted this is a very serious offence, one of few which carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.
“I expect the punishment is going to be strong.”

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Highland Rent Shop owner moving items to Fort Mac

NEW GLASGOW – Moving a rental business west reflects the booming times there and the flat economy here, Highland Rent Shop owner Marlene Sheehan says.
Sheehan is packing up the equipment she has been renting to small contractors and households after closing recently and taking up an offer to rejoin family members and set up with a firm in Fort McMurray, Alta.
“It’s hard but you have to survive,” she said. “I hope something happens in Pictou County and if I thought a year from now it would get better, I’d stay, but I don’t see that happening. The biggest employer in Pictou County is Fort Mac.”
Sheehan and her staff were still packing for the trip west this week after she officially closed and took her sign down on March 18.
Two employees are hauling the equipment out west while she stays to finish cleaning up. She owns the building but she isn’t optimistic about anyone wanting to rent the space the rental business occupied.
The decision followed a recent trip to see her family in Fort McMurray. A company from P.E.I. enticed her to move.
“They said ‘If we had all that gear we could use it – and you’re struggling,’” she said. “They had room for me and there was a market out there. They made an offer on a joint venture. It’s not something I wanted to do but I have family there and every month it kept getting worse here. We have staging – anything to help renovate. But contractors were leaving. There was a lack of work. When outside contractors come in, it doesn’t leave much for the smaller ones here. It’s too bad.”
Sheehan said her decision to leave was difficult despite the offer to go west. The announced job cuts at Michelin’s Granton plant was a trigger, she said.
“I thought about it eight or nine months ago and kept putting it off,” she said. “In November I was still hesitating. I still thought we could hang on but once Michelin announced it was cutting jobs, I decided to go. Staying here wasn’t working. There’s a window out there.”
She said she was buoyed briefly by the province’s conditional approval of the liquefied natural gas operation in Goldboro but said it doesn’t come in time for her to stay and wait for the benefits to flow here from it.
She said Pictou County is well positioned to profit from the growing gas distribution in its vicinity, if it would take advantage of it. That, in her mind also includes amalgamating the five towns and rural municipality in the county.
“We could have been mini Alberta,” she said. “We’re going backwards. People are leaving. I wish I could say I’m the last place that closed (in Pictou County). You can always come back. I’ll always want to get back home. I haven’t totally given up.”

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Matheson enters guilty plea to attempted murder charge

The accused in the stabbing of Scott Jones in New Glasgow on October 12, 2013 has entered a plea to one of his numerous charges.
Shane Edward Matheson, 19, has entered a plea of guilty in Supreme Court in front of a judge alone to the charge of attempted murder.
Justice Nick Scaravelli noted that this offence means there was intent to kill and the maximum sentencing could be life in prison.
The remaining three counts against Matheson, including aggravated assault and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace, have been stayed.
A pre-sentencing report was ordered and a victim impact statement will be submitted for the sentencing which will take place in Supreme Court on June 12.
The Crown, Jody McNeill, and the defence, Steve Robertson, do not anticipate any evidence to be called during the sentencing.
Matheson has been remanded into custody until his June 12 sentencing.
“The guilty plea has been official, certainly to the Crown,” said McNeill.
McNeill and Robertson noted that they are very close to coming to an agreement on a recommended sentence.
Matheson’s guilty plea saves the victim from testifying as well as court time because there is no preliminary inquiry according to McNeill.
“It is up to Scott Jones whether he wants to speak (at the sentencing),” said McNeill. “He has the option of reading his victim impact statement in court.”
McNeill noted this is a very serious offence, one of few which carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.
“I expect the punishment is going to be strong.”

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Council to review options after HCMS voted closed

WESTVILLE – Mayor Roger MacKay has vowed to try and reverse Chignecto-Central Regional School Board’s decision to close Highland Consolidated Middle School in Westville.
“This is not a done deal yet,” he said following the board’s decision at its monthly meeting on Wednesday in Truro to close HCMS permanently and keep its Grade 7 and 8 students at Dr. W.A. MacLeod School in Riverton. “Our CAO and council will sit down and discuss a plan of action in the next two or three days.”
Fourteen of the school board’s 17 voting members attended the meeting. The vote was 12-1 with one abstention.
Stellarton-Westville board representative Ron Marks cast the dissenting vote.
The school board will proceed immediately with plans to renovate the MacLeod school, starting with a request for proposals for a design team. The plan is to renovate as much as possible after classes end for the summer.

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

County team earns silver medals

NEW GLASGOW – The Special Olympics Pictou County Bulldogs floor hockey team received a silver medal from the Cobequid Floor Hockey Tournament last Sunday.
Special Olympics Pictou County Bulldogs Floor Hockey Team edged the Kings Red Rabbits 2-1 in a shootout on Saturday.
At the end of regulation the score was 1-1. The teams went to a shootout and the score was still tied so in the second shootout Pictou County was the winner.
The second game was against the Charlottetown team and again the Pictou County Bulldogs won 2-1 in a shootout.
The teams were tied at 1-1 through regulation. After the shootout Pictou was the winner.
The Bulldogs defeated Cobequid 2-1 in another shootout on Sunday.
The teams were tied 1-1 but the Bulldogs were once again the shootout winners mainly due to the outstanding goaltending of Derek Saunders.
The Lunenburg Queens Vipers won the championship with a 4-1 victory over the Bulldogs later Sunday.
The Vipers got off to a quick 2-0 lead, something the Bulldogs had not been faced with all weekend.
The Bulldogs struggled to come back and the Vipers went ahead 4-0 in the second period.
The Bulldogs held them scoreless in the third period and had two goals called back due to being in the crease and high sticking.
The Bulldogs answered with one good goal but could not rally a comeback beyond that with time running out.
The Bulldogs fought hard all weekend and were able to win in shootouts due to the sharp shooting of Greg Massaro, Allister MacLean and Craig Boyd as well as the goaltending of Derek Saunders who was a brick wall for any team shooting against him.
Saunders’ talent continued in the shootout competition where he earned Top Goalie Award in the B Division.
“What a great time and what great hockey players! We are all so very proud of their achievements,” said Jill Cameron, Regional Co-ordinator for Special Olympics Pictou County.
Special Olympics Pictou County curlers will be competing in a day tournament on April 5 in Bedford. Pictou County will be sending two teams to this event.
Curling will be this Saturday and March 29 from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Westville Curling Rink.

Posted in Sports | Leave a comment

Sparky’s death ends great boxing story

When I was going to fight cards back in my childhood years of the late 1940s and early 1950s, boxing was a major spectator sport in Pictou County, as it was elsewhere. Locally, there were a lot of good fighters and there were a lot of exciting matches.
Among the fighters climbing through the ropes in Stellarton and New Glasgow in those times, there was Keith Paris, there was Percy Paris, there was Sparky Paris. Yes, all members of the same clan and, yes, all won championships in their weight divisions.
It was a golden era for the sport and Pictou County fans were blessed to have more than their share of familiar faces to cheer for.
That was a long time ago.
Later, after concluding their own careers, Percy and Keith moved to Halifax and operated a gym in the city’s north end, developing dozens of fighters.
Sparky, who never wanted to leave his roots, stayed in New Glasgow where he had a gym on the Vale Road. He also produced many good boxers.
That, too, was a lot of moons ago. Keith, Percy and Sparky all had lengthy associations with the fight game. All had something else in common: they all lived long lives, something you might not expect from those involved in such a physical sport.
Keith, who was Maritime welterweight champion at the peak of his fighting days, died in 2011. He was 83 years of age.
Percy, who won Maritime and Canadian titles in the lightweight division, died in 2012. He had reached the age of 85.
And now Sparky, who had a shorter fighting career than the others but was never knocked out, died at home two weekends ago. He was 91 years old.
Eighteen months earlier, sports fans and friends gathered at the Pictou County Sports Heritage Hall of Fame to celebrate his 90th birthday.
After all those years in boxing and life, the three died within 34 months of each other, thus concluding the final chapter in one of the county’s remarkable sports stories.
I knew the three of them for many years, but it was Sparky that I knew the best. He was a great guy. He loved to help others, especially young people wanting to get into the fight game. He once told me that his greatest satisfaction came from developing boxers.
There are several ways to explain the impact Hugh (Sparky) Paris had on his hometown and the sport he loved.
One is the fact that, in 1990, when the local hall of fame named its first inductees, Sparky was one of them. He didn’t just accept his induction and walk away; he became a member of the board of directors to help the hall grow and prosper.
Another indication of his stature came almost two decades later when he was named the hall’s honourary chairman, just the second person to hold the position.
And, yes, the party to celebrate his 90th birthday underlined the respect and love the sports community held for him.
Sparky’s time in the ring may not have been as lengthy as Keith’s or Percy’s, but he gave 100 per cent every time he went into battle.
He had 25 fights, and won most of them. Some of his bouts were at the old St. John’s Bowl in New Glasgow’s north end. Others were at the old racetrack at Blue Acres. He liked the outdoor fights, but he also fought at Stellarton Memorial Rink and New Glasgow Stadium.
I still remember Sparky’s laughter when I asked him one day if he made much money in the ring.
He said his biggest payday in the sport was the night he got $75.
Many times he was given only $15 for his efforts.
But he developed an enormous passion for boxing and wanted to stay in the sport.
At the family home on the Vale Road, he had a horse barn and owned horses.
One day he moved the horses outside and turned the barn into a gym. He called it the Paris Boys Gym. The rest is history.
For 22 years, that old horse barn was the training centre for many fighters, all of whom benefited from his coaching and guidance.
Boxing flourished in the county through the 1950s and `60s and much of the success was because of Sparky’s input.
What he did for the sport was recognized well beyond Pictou County and, in 1985, he was inducted into the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame.
While Sparky gave much to the development of boxing and boxers in the county, he also lived long enough to see the sport’s demise.
His biggest regret, he told me a few years ago, was seeing the sport go downhill.
He said it happened because boxers wanted too much money, and it became impossible for promoters to organize cards.
Through his years operating the gym, Sparky helped – in his own estimation – hundreds of fighters. As quickly as you asked him, he said his brother Percy was the best of them all.
Back in my Pictou County years, I used to see Sparky on a regular basis. It was always enjoyable getting a chance to chat with him, to listen to his tales of boxing, how he got into the ring initally, how he enjoyed working with young fighters.
After I moved to metro, I didn’t see him often. But then a number of years ago, one of his daughters, Sherri Borden Colley, became a colleague when she joined The Chronicle Herald’s newsroom staff and I was better able to keep updated on him.
Speaking of his family, I mustn’t neglect mentioning Ruth, his wife of 47 years. When I visited with Sparky, Ruth was so personable, so pleased to welcome an old reporter to their home. I could see they were a good and loving team.
Sparky Paris lived a long and busy life, and he lived a rewarding one. It’s obvious he will be missed.
But he will not be forgotten.

Posted in Sports | Leave a comment

Flight 144 plans community work

PICTOU – Construction Engineering Flight 144 Pictou is planning its community work while its newest advisory board chairman moves closer to completing his first year on the job.
“Things are working out,” board chairman Lawrence LeBlanc says. “The members of the flight are very good to me.”
LeBlanc has been on the board since the Flight was stood up in April 1996 in the former MacDonald School. The Flight was offered two schools to relocate to when the new Pictou Elementary School opened and chose the former Patterson Elementary School on Welsford Street. He replaced long-time board chairman Ralph Heighton last June.
The Flight takes on community projects to help train its members in carpentry, dry wall, piping, plumbing, electrical and other skills associated with construction.
Projects are chosen based on how they will enhance the skills of those working on them.
“We look to see if a project meets the criteria – the training value and the time we have to do it,” LeBlanc said. “They’re approved by the board and then by the Flight. We have 16 projects on the books. The problem is manpower. ”
The flight has had as many as 62 recruits and is down to 40 from that figure. Competing work has taken some of the members to military projects elsewhere in Canada.
The one constant for LeBlanc is the value of the Flight to the community. It goes back to when he was Pictou’s mayor.
Flight members generally live and work in the area and are granted time to train at the Flight while keeping their job.
As much as possible, supplies the Flight requires are purchased locally.
“This is the best thing that’s happened to Pictou County,” he said. “I rank it right up there with the Ship Hector. It really took off when we moved here and got people to join. They got certified and it cost them nothing. We sought agreements with local employers to guarantee members their day jobs.”
Steve Tucker is among the Flight’s most recent officers-in-command. The current one is Captain Bernardt van Zyl. In his capacity as officer-in-command, he oversees operations and how to deploy people.
“We try to find as much employment as possible,” he said. “That’s how we justify community projects.”
Master Cpl. Irja Hickey recruits for the Flight.
“We’re always looking for people who want to learn a trade,” she said. “What’s nice about our unit is that you don’t have to move. You’re home and still get an opportunity to learn and travel.”

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Can you spare some time?

Bowl for Kids Sake is shaping up nicely with close to 90 teams booked, but there’s still room for more.
Margie Grant-Walsh, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pictou County, says another 30 teams are needed to participate in this year’s event to be comparable to last year.
“This year, we need the community’s support more than ever. We had a very difficult year last year and have been forced to trim our budget and lay staff off.
“The bottom line is service could be compromised if we don’t reach our targets and we don’t want to see that happen as it not only affects the children and youth, but the community,” she said.
Bowl for Kids Sake is the agency’s largest fundraiser and is in its 35th year and is celebrating with a theme of “Be a Kid Again”.
During this time, the event has raised thousands of dollars and has helped the agency provide mentoring programs to the county’s children and youth.
This year’s event will take place at the Heather Bowling Centre on Saturday, April 12. For more information, to get a team package or to pledge a bowler, call 752-6260 or visit www.bowlforkidssake.ca.

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Group meets to try to break down barriers to activity

Members of the community and representatives from Active Pictou County and Let Abilities Work held a planning meeting and discussion Saturday at the Christian Fellowship Church.
Serving as a followup to a prior meeting last fall, those in attendance worked towards forming an action plan for physical and social activities for the disabled community to be put in place when the more appealing weather arrives.
“It’s looking at the broader scope of what recreation and leisure is about and making sure there are opportunities for all to get involved,” explained Rae Gunn of Active Pictou County.
“We’ve been looking for activities that people with disabilities can do,” said Ralph Ferguson of Let Abilities Work. “Twenty per cent of Nova Scotians have a disability. There are a lot of activities they just can’t participate in and as a result, they don’t get as involved as they might like to.”
Much discussion was turned to looking for activities outside of organized sports and activities, although not turning away from them, as well as looking for established events and activities that could easily accommodate persons with disabilities and working together with other social groups.
“There are lots of things that keep disabled people from joining the mainstream activities,” Ferguson said. “We are trying to kick down the barriers.”
“We want to participate in some of the activities that are going on already,” Gunn said, citing Bowl for Kids and the Johnny Miles events as examples.
“We have some really nice trails in our communities – the Samson or the Jitney for example – and one of the guys suggested having ‘push nights’. It might even correspond to nights when there’s entertainment on the waterfront.”
Push nights would have the two-fold benefit of making use of exciting facilities and allowing those in wheelchairs to take part in something they may not normally do.
Similarly, Ferguson suggested that LORDA park has potential as it is accommodating to groups.
Another non-sporting idea suggested was to visit PEI as a group.
“We could rent a CHAD bus and take people down to the ferry and go across to PEI and maybe have dinner and come back relatively cheaply,” Ferguson said.
He said indoor, non-ice curling was discussed but he pointed out at this point it would have some drawbacks and impracticalities such as where to actually host it, as well as safety concerns due to the waxy and slippery surfaces involved.
For anyone short on active ideas in the county Rae Gunn suggested checking Active Pictou County’s website at activepictoucounty.ca.

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Town gives award funding to art room project for young artists

NEW GLASGOW – The Town of New Glasgow is giving its portion of the Arts Nova Scotia Community Art & Culture Recognition Award given to Pictou County to a community art room project that is housed in the NSCAD-New Glasgow Community Studio.
Geralyn MacDonald, the town’s director of Community Economic Development says, “The Town of New Glasgow has taken a lead in the arts and culture sector and is very pleased to invest our allocation in facilitating, cultivating and encouraging the development of youth artists. We are so excited and appreciative of having this opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the arts in our community.”
In the fall of 2013, MacDonald and local artist Tabitha Coleman worked together to make their vision of a community art room become a reality.
“After evaluating the feedback from our New Glasgow Community Development Public Sessions that we conducted in the spring of 2013, it was clear that youth were interested in and needing more outlets to explore their interest in the arts prior to graduation from high school,” explains MacDonald.
The Community Art Room is open for junior high students two Fridays a month to work on their art under the guidance of local artists. “The funds from this grant will help us sustain this wonderful program. Each session a local artist provides mentorship as well as instruction. Each week there is a new discipline or speciality introduced or explored.”
Artist Tabitha Coleman, who is the co-ordinator of the New Glasgow Community Art Room program adds, “Without this support from the town and the recognition from the Community Arts & Culture Recognition Award, the program would not have been achieved. Identifying and developing curriculum such as this provides opportunity for creative minds, ensuring the continued growth in our community of the arts and culture for future generations.”
MacDonald adds, “Our Pictou County Art Society-Creative Pictou County deserves congratulations and recognition for their hard work and mission to advance the local arts and to support local artists.
“We have always been blessed with such a wealth of artistic talent in this region, the society and new arts programs such as the NSCAD-New Glasgow Community Residency Studio and the Community Art Room only continue to enable the arts to flourish and grow.”
She says last year, when the community invited Susan Jefferies from the Nova Scotia Department of Communities Culture & Heritage to start the conversation of forming an Arts Council in Pictou County, “we knew it was going to be a success… there was no doubt good things would happen.”
Since then, there has been the formation of the steering committee for Creative Pictou County and the Town of New Glasgow provides staff resources that support and contribute towards the work of the Council.
“Our local arts group has so many great ideas, and so much talent, it has great promise and is already making a significant impact regionally,” says MacDonald.
“The Community Art Room project is making an impact on integrating arts and culture into the community by fostering appreciation for the arts, introducing youth to artistic activity and enabling them to interact with professional artists, including our artists in residence, as well as creating a strong connection between the arts and community. This is exactly what Creative Pictou County is accomplishing throughout Pictou County. ”

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

County man creating a buzz with potato chip flavour suggestion

You’ll soon be needed again Pictou County.
Yes, just as we knew JD Fortune was the best man to front INXS and George Canyon was a Nashville Star, we know Pictou County pizza is tops on the flavour chart – beating out even the mighty custard and making a royal mockery of banana medicine or strawberry licorice.
But ask yourself: What if you could satisfy your pizza urges nationwide at anytime of day without calling a courier?
New Glasgow resident and St. Francis Xavier University student Scott Kraus has an idea for you and all he asks is you do him a flavour.
Kraus’s suggestion of a Pictou County Pizza flavour in this year’s Lay’s Do us a Flavour! contest has gained a fair amount of attention and he’s not too surprised.
Even with the pizza options in Antigonish, Pictou County pizza has become a hit among the population doubling St.FX student body.
“Whenever we go back to Pictou County anyone who’s not from the area will tag along and we’ll get them some Pictou County pizza,” Kraus said. “Whenever my roommates go home to New Glasgow, we always get them to go bring a couple of slices here. It’s good that we’re so close.”
He said, “A lot of people not from Pictou County know about the pizza,” he continued, “and they want to try it as well.”
As for the old West Side Story finger snapping rivalry, Kraus does have a favourite. “I think Acropole is the staple, the original. But a lot of people like Sam’s too. It’s not too much different.”
(There are also a number of other quality pizza options in the county – Ed.]
For Kraus, what makes county pizza stand out on its own – even for those from away – comes down to a lot of factors, but the taste leader is the savoury brown sauce. “That’s the big difference. It’s not that original red sauce. It’s intriguing (to outsiders) I guess,” he said. “I’d say definitely the sauce, it’s better. And maybe the pepperoni, it’s spicier. It’s distinct.”
Kraus noted that the Pictou County crust is also a fair bit thicker than the thin option slightly to the east.
Contest rules allow would-be chip chefs to suggest three tastes to create the overall flavour. “You could also pick a wavy chip, kettle chip or a regular chip,” Kraus said. “I did the wavy and the regular. And then for the ingredients I used spice, pepperoni and sauce.”
Although Pictou County pizza is far more regional than maple syrup, poutine or even the donair, Kraus feels there’s possibly enough awareness of it in other places to make it a contender.
“People are always talking on Facebook about getting pizza out west,” he said. “I think with the distribution of Pictou Countians the pizza does have a bit of a name for itself.”
Should Kraus and his chip win he could receive a 1 per cent sales royalty and the $50,000 grand prize which he stated he would split towards his education and the Pictou County Food Bank.
According to contest rules on DoUsaFlavour.ca (note the Canadian spelling of flavour) on April 25, Lay’s own crack team of experts will judge each chip suggestion and the four they feel to be the best will be put on the market “on or around” August 10, after which the general public can vote on their favourite.
But until then, create a buzz, buzz, buzz.

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Town gives award funding to art room project for young artists

NEW GLASGOW – The Town of New Glasgow is giving its portion of the Arts Nova Scotia Community Art & Culture Recognition Award given to Pictou County to a community art room project that is housed in the NSCAD-New Glasgow Community Studio.
Geralyn MacDonald, the town’s director of Community Economic Development says, “The Town of New Glasgow has taken a lead in the arts and culture sector and is very pleased to invest our allocation in facilitating, cultivating and encouraging the development of youth artists. We are so excited and appreciative of having this opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the arts in our community.”
In the fall of 2013, MacDonald and local artist Tabitha Coleman worked together to make their vision of a community art room become a reality.
“After evaluating the feedback from our New Glasgow Community Development Public Sessions that we conducted in the spring of 2013, it was clear that youth were interested in and needing more outlets to explore their interest in the arts prior to graduation from high school,” explains MacDonald.
The Community Art Room is open for junior high students two Fridays a month to work on their art under the guidance of local artists. “The funds from this grant will help us sustain this wonderful program. Each session a local artist provides mentorship as well as instruction. Each week there is a new discipline or speciality introduced or explored.”
Artist Tabitha Coleman, who is the co-ordinator of the New Glasgow Community Art Room program adds, “Without this support from the town and the recognition from the Community Arts & Culture Recognition Award, the program would not have been achieved. Identifying and developing curriculum such as this provides opportunity for creative minds, ensuring the continued growth in our community of the arts and culture for future generations.”
MacDonald adds, “Our Pictou County Art Society-Creative Pictou County deserves congratulations and recognition for their hard work and mission to advance the local arts and to support local artists.
“We have always been blessed with such a wealth of artistic talent in this region, the society and new arts programs such as the NSCAD-New Glasgow Community Residency Studio and the Community Art Room only continue to enable the arts to flourish and grow.”
She says last year, when the community invited Susan Jefferies from the Nova Scotia Department of Communities Culture & Heritage to start the conversation of forming an Arts Council in Pictou County, “we knew it was going to be a success… there was no doubt good things would happen.”
Since then, there has been the formation of the steering committee for Creative Pictou County and the Town of New Glasgow provides staff resources that support and contribute towards the work of the Council.
“Our local arts group has so many great ideas, and so much talent, it has great promise and is already making a significant impact regionally,” says MacDonald.
“The Community Art Room project is making an impact on integrating arts and culture into the community by fostering appreciation for the arts, introducing youth to artistic activity and enabling them to interact with professional artists, including our artists in residence, as well as creating a strong connection between the arts and community. This is exactly what Creative Pictou County is accomplishing throughout Pictou County.”

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Show marks a first for local artist

A local artist made a big splash this past weekend.
Stephanie Robertson held her first art exhibit last Saturday, hosted at the Stone Soup Cafe in Pictou.
More than 20 painted pieces will be on display at the local eatery until after Easter. Many of the paintings come from a recently completed series with the theme of dilapidated old pickups in winter settings.
“I spent time on Pictou Island with my boyfriend,” Robertson said. “We stayed there for a good part of the winter. It was basic living and the perfect time to do art. I knew there were vehicles there so I would snowshoe around and take pictures of vehicles in snow and take them back and paint them.”
There is a strange beauty within the series, the image of the vehicles long expired, slowly returning to the soil.
“I’ve always been interested in that sort of thing,” the artist said. “The derogation of vehicles into nature. There’s just something about it. It’s just, something so mechanical and man-made and going back to the earth. Plus,” she continued, “I’m a small engine mechanic apprentice so that stuff is just cool to me. That stuff is just really interesting to me so I love to paint it.”
The paintings on display are both oil and watercolours, while many of the watercolours also contain ink drawing.
“The pen is just kind of the skeleton of it and the watercolour fills it out,” Robertson explained.
A longtime sketch artist, Robertson said she is largely self taught as a painter and has only switched mediums in the last few years. For the time being she is quite happy with the progression, which she has been balancing with her mechanical apprenticeship.
“I’d love to do comic books,” she said, “but painting is (my medium) right now. To be honest, I used to just draw. But then I met Dave MacIntosh and he was the one who said, ‘You should paint’. I said ‘I draw, I don’t know about painting,’ so he introduced me to it and I love it.”
MacIntosh is noted for his works based on the Ship Hector.
Robertson suggested that she would be open to a sequel series, perhaps set in a different season.
The artist also commented that she would be open to commissioned pieces for anyone looking to commemorate their prized ride in art. She may even draw influence from her recently acquired ’78 Honda CB 750F motorcycle, which she claims- is in a similar state to the trucks in her artworks.
As for the gala, Robertson was quite pleased with the turnout. The cafe was tightly packed and filled with chatter, friends, art lovers, and the even occasional MLA.
Robertson’s works – which include the vehicle series as well as other pieces – will remain on display and for sale at Stone Soup Cafe until after Easter.
She may be contacted at sa.robertson.art@gmail.com.

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Founders honoured at plaque unveiling

TRENTON – The Founders of the Trenton Rink were recognized last Saturday for their dedication and involvement in seeing Steeltown have an indoor rink of its own.
The seven remaining founders, as well as the families of all 13 founders, were treated to honours from Mayor Glen MacKinnon and witnessed the unveiling of a plaque in their tribute.
“It’s important that our children and their children know the story of how Trenton Rink came to be,” MacKinnon told those in attendance. “In the 1960’s Trenton Minor Hockey rented ice time at the New Glasgow Stadium but about a decade later there wasn’t enough ice time available. This is when the gentlemen with us today decided it was time to look at having their own rink.”
The founders were told by authorities at the time that Trenton’s size did not warrant the town having its own rink, but they remained undeterred.
“They approached businesses in the town, asking for their support and they went door to door asking families and residents to pledge money toward the construction of a rink,” MacKinnon said.
“In November of 1971, the town gave them a parcel of land and they were off and running. Much of the work was done on a volunteer basis by trades people and others in the town. Aside from the financial support from the businesses and town’s people, a sizable loan had to be obtained, the Bank of Montreal in New Glasgow granted the loan.”
The Trenton Rink officially opened in October of 1972 and in March of 1975 the Trenton Minor Sport Association turned the rink over to the town, debt free.
One of the founders and a co-chair of the operation, Bill MacEachern, explained the motivation.
“We were tired of trying to rent time in other rinks and it was starting to become scarcer so we got the idea to have our own rink.”
MacEachern remembers the idea of having a rink was a popular notion and although there were a few people opposed they were a minority. He said it wasn’t a huge day when the rink finally opened in 1972, although it was certainly notable.
He said his biggest thrill, in light of the rink being a long-lasting fixture of the community, is that he has seen the responsibilities of the Trenton Minor Sport Association handed down to the next generation.

Posted in Sports | Leave a comment

Bryson Johnson shoots hoops for Euro pro team

LYONS BROOK – A Pictou County basketball player appears to be fitting in well with a professional team in Germany.
Bryson Johnson is a shooting guard on the starting five for the Fraport Skyliners’ Professional B team based in Frankfurt. He entered the Skyliners’ scheduled playoff game on Saturday averaging 11.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game.
He led all scorers with 18 points despite the Skyliners’ 60-57 loss to Stahnsdorf. The teams meet again this Saturday.
“I am really looking forward to playoffs,” he said prior to Saturday’s game.
“We are playing a team from Munich and now we play best-of-three series with the winner advancing. In this league there are two divisions and the two divisions do not play each other at all during the year so this will be our first game against this particular team. Should be fun.”
The Skyliners are among franchises in the Basketball Bundesliga League (BBL). By comparison, centre Johannes Voigtmann was averaging 15.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and three assists.
Johnson, who completed an impressive NCAA college basketball career with the Bucknell Bisons last season, signed with the Skyliners on Jan. 9 after spending some time over Christmas with his family at home in Lyons Brook.
“I have enjoyed the season quite a bit,” he said. “It took me a little time to get used to the different style of play and only playing one game a week but now I feel as if I am comfortable with my role and how I have been playing. It always helps the transition when the team is winning too so that has been nice and my teammates have been great in helping me along the way.”
Johnson set a new team and Patriot League record for career three-pointers with 323. He amassed 1,384 career points, placing him 10th on Bucknell’s career point scoring list. He contributed six three-pointers in the first game of his freshman year but was cited over his time with the Bisons for improving his defence.
While graduating from Bucknell, Johnson was co-winner last April of the John F. Zeller Award, presented to senior athletes “for outstanding contributions to Bison Athletics, while exemplifying the best of Bucknell in the manner that John Zeller did in his 68 years of service to the University.”
Basketball runs in the family. His brothers Nathan and Ben also played university basketball. Their mother Peggy MacLean has played and coached basketball.
MacLean was an AUS all-star and rookie of the year with the Dalhousie Tigers and coached high school basketball in the county.
Ben Johnson completed his career while playing three seasons with the Lakehead Thunderwolves of Canadian Interuniversity Sports. Lakehead reached the CIS championship four straight years, while Ben was on the last three teams and helped them reach the CIS final. It was their first berth in a medal game since 1977.
His most productive game was 29 points, including nine three-pointers against the Windsor Lancers on Jan. 29, 2012. He ended his three seasons with 677 points, good for 49th on the Thunderwolves’ all-time scoring list.
Nathan Johnson played a year for the UPEI Panthers before transferring to the St. Francis Xavier X-Men.
After an injury halted his playing career, he helped out coaching St. FX’s women’s team and Lakehead’s men’s team.
He has a Masters degree in education, is currently teaching and coaching basketball in Nunavut.

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Crushers in tough with Ramblers

A 5-2 victory over the Amherst Ramblers last Thursday has officially started the Pictou County Weeks Crushers’ quest for an MHL championship.
It was the first game of their best-of-seven Eastlink Division semifinal playoff series. The second game was in Amherst on Saturday and the third game was slated for the Pictou County Wellness Centre on Tuesday. The fourth game is in Amherst on Thursday, while the Crushers will host the fifth game at the Wellness Centre on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Both teams have plenty on the line. The Crushers will graduate 10 players from their roster due to overage at the end of this season. The Ramblers are in a similar circumstance.
The Crusher provided a strong start to the series by taking a 3-0 lead in the first period and scoring three of their five goals on the power play.
“I thought we came out flying,” Crushers’ defenceman Daniel MacLeod said. “That’s what we wanted at home. We limited their chances over the game.”
MacLeod scored the Crushers’ first goal, while successive Ramblers penalties allowed Nick Parker and Evan Carmody to score power-play goals less than a minute apart.
The Crushers outshot the Ramblers 15-5 at one point of the first period and enjoyed a 17-8 edge when it ended.
The Ramblers scored one goal early in the second period, but played more than six minutes shorthanded after that.
JP Harvey scored the Crushers’ fourth goal when the Ramblers playing two men short.
Crushers goaltender Brandon Thibeau made some big stops midway through the period before the Ramblers got their second goal.
Jordan McInnis scored into an empty net late in the third period.
The Crushers wound up outshooting the Ramblers 39-31 before nearly 1,100 fans.
The second game in Amherst was expected to be lively as the Ramblers tried to even the series.
“We know it won’t be easy in Amherst,” MacLeod said. “It’s a tough place to play, so we need to bring our team effort with us.”
The Ramblers smothered the Crushers in Amherst, taking a 2-0 lead while outshooting the Crushers 19-7 in the second period.
They made it 3-0 in the third period before MacLeod tallied for the Crushers.
Amherst outshot the Crushers 41-24 over the three periods.
Before Thursday’s game, four local fire fighters represented the Pictou County Fire Fighters Association during pre-game ceremonies that included a puck drop by Abercrombie fire chief Sandy MacPherson.
Firefighters have had a long relationship with the Weeks Hockey Organization, while Alma’s department is the first responder for the Pictou County Wellness Centre.
The firefighters association has 22 fire departments and several industrial brigades that contained more than 600 volunteers who provide fire and emergency services in the county.

Posted in Sports | Leave a comment

Lobster Carnival events taking shape

PICTOU – The Pictou Lobster Carnival is a mere four months away and things are gearing up quickly.
Sponsorships are coming in and events are being planned.
The website, www.pictoulobstercarnival.ca, is being updated regularly and receives approximately 100 visits per day. There is also a Twitter account @PLC_julyfun and Facebook page for updated information on this year’s 80th Lobster Carnival.
The Tammy Nichol Queen of the Sea Pageant preparations are well underway with a possible 10 interested contestants, although organizer Heather Mattie is hoping to see at least 15 contestants.
“We have a car wash booked for the princesses on July 6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pictou Fire Hall,” said Mattie. “The money raised will go to the Kids Help Phone to help with cyber bullying.”
Mattie says they have also booked the Stella Maris church hall for the preliminaries which include evening wear and talent portions.
This year, to celebrate the Carnival’s 80th anniversary, the princess tea will also include past queens of the pageant as well as former Neptune kings of the pageant. “The tea will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Pictou Lodge.”
Anyone wishing to become a princess this year can email princesspageant@pictoulobstercarnival.ca for more information.
Fundraisers coming up for the carnival include a ham and potato salad and dessert lunch on April 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., takeout and delivery. The cost is $10 and orders can be place by phoning Jo-Anne McNamara at 485-5222 or Margo Hawes at 485-6205.
T-shirts are also available for sale at the Pictou Town Hall, Fulmore’s Pharmacy, Pictou Pharmacy, Millside General store and at Sharon’s Place after March 24. The shirts are $10 each, and are red in colour with a lobster on the breast.
On May 3, there will be a pancake breakfast at the New Horizon’s Seniors Club from 7:30 to 11 a.m. and June 7 will be a barbecue at Sobeys.
There will also be a new event, Pro Wrestling at the Hector Arena on June 20.
For more information or to keep abreast of Carnival preparations, visit their website, Facebook or Twitter pages.

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Idle No More is the feature of Friends of Redtail AGM

SCOTSBURN – The Friends of Redtail Society will welcome Molly Peters and Shelley Young as the guest speakers at its annual general meeting, taking place on March 22, 1 p.m.
In a presentation called Idle No More: Voices for the Earth, Peters and Young will share stories from inside this inspiring indigenous-led social movement for Earth democracy and treaty rights. The two are eastern Idle No More co-ordinators.
“Idle No More is important as a movement because of the land relationship it speaks of, something Friends of Redtail has been working to encourage since its inception,” says board member and organizer Michelle Ferris.
“First Nations people regard the land as the primary connection to their ancestors and cultural teachings. In that there is much for us to learn from.”
Idle No More was sparked in 2012 in response to the government’s failure to consult First Nations people on legislation that directly impacts them. The movement quickly became a national call to action to stand against present-day colonialism.
In the process, the movement has grown into something more, serving as a platform for a cultural resurgence of First Nations people and direct action for Mother Earth.
The presentation will speak about Idle No More’s genesis, the issues it is bringing forward, and the special qualities of the movement – as a female and youth fuelled initiative. There will be special emphasis on fracking, an update on where the movement stands today, and how it is relevant to everyone.
“This is a great opportunity to learn more about the Peace and Friendship Treaties and how to be better allies for First Nations people and for the Earth.”
The keynote address will begin at 2 p.m. The society’s AGM begins at 1 p.m. The storm date for the AGM is March 23, scheduled for the same time. The event is taking place at the Gammon Centre, 4136 Scotsburn Road, Scotsburn (beside the Post Office).
For additional information visit: www.friendsofredtail.ca.

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

Harper will be known as one of country’s most successful leaders

To the Editor:
Stephen Harper has been in office just about 10 years as Canada’s 22nd prime minister. Though the history books have yet to be written about his administration, pundits analysts will take advantage of the delay to question his legacy.
Over the years, public opinion about him has been polarizing. On one hand, former PMO communications director Dimitri Soudas is calling him the greatest prime minister we ever had. Then others are complaining about his Conservatives tendency to govern heavy handedly.
So how do we rate the success or effectiveness of a politician? While there never will be a consensus about Mr. Harper’s legacy, an analysis of several factors indicates that, so far, he’s been one of Canada’s most successful prime ministers.
Here is why:
Longevity: In politics, it means a lot. Stephen Harper is now the ninth longest serving prime minister. He has already passed Diefenbaker and Pearson. He will pass St. Laurent, Borden and Mulroney to become the sixth longest serving prime minister in Canadian history.
Domestic Policy – promises made, promises kept. Whether you agree or disagree with the Conservative government’s policies, one has to give it credit for keeping its promises. Since earning their first majority government four years ago, the Tories have checked off many of their high profile items from their campaign platform, including legislation on the wheat board, human smuggling, the long gun registry, the omnibus crime bill and the copyright bill.
Foreign Affairs – Canada now has a voice. After nearly a decade of muddled foreign policy, Mr. Harper has re-engaged Canada in foreign affairs. Over the last few years, Canada has been active in places like Haiti, Afghanistan and Libya. The government has voiced its concerns about conflicts in Iran, Israel and Syria. Mr. Harper and Finance Minister Flaherty have also earned respect from the international community for successfully steering Canada through the last recession. Assistant professor at Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business, Ian Lee told Embassy Magazine: “Canada’s reputation has grown in the past four years, people have become more aware of what we’ve done and the things that we have done right.”
Positive approval rating; In their fifth annual Mood of Canada survey in December, Nanos Research noted 40.2 per cent of those polled described the performance of the Harper government as very good, up 10 points from 2010. Only 24.3 per cent of respondents gave it a score of “somewhat poor” or “very poor.”
Scandal-free: Brian Mulroney was plagued with allegations that he had accepted bribes in the Airbus Affair concerning government contracts. Jean Chretien and Paul Martin had to deal with Shawinigate and the sponsorship scandals. Harper has, for the most part, avoided major scandals. The opposition are trying to make the F35 and the Duffy affair into one.
I am mainly responding to the five letters in last week’s Advocate. I certainly agree with comments by Mr. Jon Goldberg and Joan Tracey, and they need no further comment. But the crude remarks made in majority of letters you deemed to publish need a response. First of all, the government’s responsibility is to govern the country, not to cater to individual’s personal desires. Practically all of government’s main business is done in caucus, no matter which party is in power. Then, when all is in order, it is brought to the house for debate, resolution and enactment. Accusing Mr. Harper of muzzling certain members is not true; the comments they wished to make were out of order, and they were told so.
I am a former 25-year career serviceman, and I agree with closing the nine DVA offices, two of which were located in N.S., the rest spread across the nine other provinces. In that situation, hundreds of veterans in the rural areas had to travel hundreds of miles to obtain face to face service, a great inconvenience. With the 600 proposed agencies, it will be alleviated considerably.
Mr. Harper does not rule with an iron hand, he only wishes to prevent the media from misconstruing what his real intentions are, which they are good at. I’m sorry, but you will find that Mr. Harper will go into the history books as one of the most successful leaders Canada has ever had.
Stan Jones
Hardwood Hill

Posted in Opinion | Leave a comment

Satire cartoon presents warning of what may happen

To the Editor:
Please allow me to comment on the controversy over the Pictou Advocate satire of March 5.
First of all, a lot of things have been happening in this country to justify people thinking we are headed down a dangerous road and copying the ways of a Nazi-governed country and like the good people of Germany in 1939. People in Canada are not on guard and quick to realize where all these things could lead.
So I, for one, have the greatest respect for The Pictou Advocate for even suggesting this possible path we could be on. The good people of Germany tended to look the other way until it was too late and they could say or do nothing. We all know what happened next.
Germany was an excellent example of how good people can be led astray and go absolutely crazy. More examples in recent times are Bosnia Herzegovina with ethnic cleansing and Rwanda, where neighbours hacked neighbours to death with machetes referring to them as cockroaches. What changed all these ordinary human beings from decent people to such monsters full of hate toward their neighbours?
MP Peter MacKay cannot be counted on to give a non-biased opinion on the Advocate satire. He is part of the problem. The fact that he has cancelled his subscription to the Advocate is terrible. He might as well cancel free speech while he’s at it.
As far as the Atlantic Jewish Council goes, if anyone should understand a subtle warning that something is not right it should be them. My father was a Canadian soldier who put his life on the line to free them from oppression, and he would not be happy seeing these people take a negative attitude when someone dares suggest it could happen all over again.
Jon Goldberg, executive director of the Atlantic Jewish Council, and Peter MacKay owe the brave people of the Pictou Advocate an apology.
That’s my opinion, thankfully given while I still can.
Alexander J. MacKenzie
Pictou Landing

Posted in Opinion | Leave a comment

Reach the missing three million

To the Editor:
Canadians are still reeling from the incredible pledge our government made to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria this past December. It was an amazing 20 per cent increase over the previous commitment.
I applaud the opportunity to celebrate something positive from our country’s leadership. Every year, nine million people are infected with tuberculosis and one third of them will never be diagnosed. In 2009, Canada pledged monies to the World Health Organization’s Stop TB Partnership and started an initiative to focus on the three million that the world has not been able to reach. Called TB Reach, Canada is the major donor for this initiative.
For World TB Day 2014, March 24, the Stop TB Partnership has chosen to focus on these three million undiagnosed and untreated people. The goals are early and increased case detection of TB with timely treatment. It has proven an essential and cost effective solution. TB Reach has supported 109 projects in 55 countries through three waves of funding.
I am looking to Canada to continue to support TB Reach until every case of TB across the world has been identified, treated and cured!
Let’s harness this positive momentum started by the Government in December and ask for further investment in tackling TB through TB Reach. Contact your local MP or Christian Paradis, International Development minister, and ask for continued investment in this good news story as we approach World TB Day.
Mary Ellen Speers
Carstairs, Alberta

Posted in Opinion | Leave a comment ← Older posts Newer posts →
Interactive Content
Join Our Social Network

Visit Advocate Media News Network