Photo by Grant McDaniel Elder Judy Peters appeared before a crowd gathered at the Strait Area Campus cafeteria to explain about smudging, a ceremony that helps purify the mind, body and spirit. She is seen here offering a smudging to Darryl Morris.

ANTIGONISH: Forty people, including municipal and provincial politicians, attended a public meeting on April 3 at StFX organized by the Facebook group “Antigonish Students and Schools Matter.”

Buoyed by 340 signatures on a on-line petition opposing the closure of Antigonish Education Centre and the redistribution of the feeder system’s students among its remaining four schools, opponents made a presentation to the Strait regional school board on April 5.

Matt Boyd, who spoke on behalf of the supporters, noted that AEC’s annual operating cost of $530,000 represents 0.6 per cent of the SRSB’s total budget of $80 million and predicted that any cost savings resulting from the school’s closure could be swallowed up by renovations at the other schools slated to absorb the AEC student body.

Photo by Adam Cooke
Many of the estimated 100 people in attendance at last April’s meeting of the Strait regional school board at Antigonish’s St. Andrew Junior School delivered a lengthy standing ovation to parent Matthew Boyd’s presentation outlining several concerns regarding a potential closure of Antigonish Education Centre.

PORT HAWKESBURY: Commissioner of Canada Elections, Yves Cote announced that Joseph Patrick Shannon faced five charges under the Canada Elections Act, as requested by the director of public prosecutions.

The charges against Shannon related to contributions to registered associations and candidates of registered parties between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2015, which exceeded the contribution limits established under the act.

AULD’S COVE: A collision between a truck and a cyclist at the Antigonish County entrance to the Canso Causeway, near the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal weight station, closed the span for several hours.

The cyclist, 57-year-old George Cavanaugh from Port Hawkesbury, died at the scene. The RCMP closed Highway 104 between Auld’s Cove and the Port Hastings Rotary for approximately six hours to investigate.

The Auld’s Cove and Port Hastings fire halls were opened to those needing warmth and nourishment with traffic backed-up as far as Havre Boucher.

ANTIGONISH: William Roger MacLellan, who was convicted of sexual assault, passed away on April 5, the day before he was set to receive sentencing.

Because MacLellan filed a notice of appeal, the application could have proceeded posthumously.

MacLellan was found guilty of sexual assault on November 4, 2016.

PORT HOOD: After a fatal collision on the Canso Causeway stopped traffic for six hours, Inverness Municipal Councillor John Dowling noted that other prolonged delays have also closed the span.

Dowling said it was brought to his attention that during closures the fire departments and RCMP are not notified.

Also compounding the problem is that traffic gets backed-up right to the Port Hastings Fire Hall, compromising their ability to respond to emergencies.

Photo by Mary Hankey
A-1 Pizza updated exterior signage, upgraded kitchen equipment, provided a new drive-through option for pizza-slice sales, and the owners are planning an expansion of the dining area into a portion of the building that once housed S&S Corner Store.

ANTIGONISH: During a public meeting debating the future of the Dr. John Hugh Gillis feeder system, the chair of the School Options Committee said he contemplated stepping down because one member was attempting to suppress the vote of another.

Deepak Prasad made the remark while delivering the final majority report. A minority report written by four dissenting SOC members was added to the document but not on the meeting’s agenda since it missed a deadline.

The SOC voted 7-4 in March, 2016 to close Antigonish Education Centre rather than a status-quo option.

LOUISDALE: Richmond County’s former Chief Administrative Officer Maris Freimanis confirmed that the municipality used its public procurement process to hire SLP Developmental Services Inc. to carry out an organizational review of its operations.

The review was estimated to carry a price tag of $22,400 with council also covering expenses totalling $2,060 plus HST.

Richmond Warden Brian Marchand added that the review was expected to start soon.

PORT HAWKESBURY: On April 13, Port Hawkesbury Paper was given notice of a positive decision coming from a North American Free Trade Agreement panel.

PHP launched an appeal of the countervailing duties levied on Canadian paper mills by the U.S. Department of Commerce in 2015.

RICHMOND COUNTY: Former Cape Breton-Richmond MLA Michel Samson announced he would re-offer in the upcoming provincial election.

After taking part in his seventh nomination meeting on April 30, Samson said he looked forward to defending his record and highlighting his government’s achievements.

The veteran MLA said infrastructure – in the form of health care, roads, tourism and wastewater – as well as the general economy, were among the issues he wanted to continue working on if re-elected.

GUYSBOROUGH: The Warden of the Municipality of the District of Guysborough said he was pleased with the findings of a report from the Nova Scotia Office of the Ombudsman relating to the municipality’s expenses.

Warden Vernon Pitts said the report confirmed that allegations from a resident were “unfounded” and “there was no misappropriation of municipal funds.”

The office did recommend that Guysborough review its travel and related expense policies.

PORT HOOD: At an April 18 meeting, School Options Committee officials confirmed that the committee is focusing on a status-quo option for Dalbrae Academy, Bayview Education Centre (BEC) and Whycocomagh Education Centre.

The closure of BEC was put aside from a number of factors – including the need for green space, the cost of renovations to Dalbrae, and programming and space concerns – in favour of keeping all the schools open.

Photo by Adam Cooke
Donna Trembinski, who gathered over 300 signatures on an on-line petition opposing the closure of Antigonish Education Centre (AEC), spoke at a gathering of Antigonish residents at StFX University’s Schwartz School of Business.

PORT HAWKESBURY: Scott Lundrigan pleaded guilty on April 21 in Port Hawkesbury Supreme Court to one count of impaired driving causing death and one count of impaired driving causing bodily harm.

He was charged in relation to an incident on October 23, 2015 when a truck driven by Lundrigan went off the road and struck a telephone pole in the Fox Lane area of Route 19. James Poirier died in the crash, and a second 19-year-old was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

PORT HAWKESBURY: Former Cape Breton-Richmond MLA Michel Samson and Cape Breton-Canso MP Rodger Cuzner confirmed that a combined $2.4 million will come from the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund to rehabilitate the water system serving Pitt and Napean Streets and enable construction of a new booster station in Tamarac Heights.

A much smaller financial transaction concluded the ceremony as Port Hawkesbury Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton presented Samson with a $1 coin to symbolize the town’s payment to complete the transfer of a six-acre parcel of land from the provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal into town hands.