ANTIGONISH: On March 31, Justice Patrick J. Murray announced his decision to enter a stay of proceedings on the matter involving former StFX professor Behrang Foroughi-Mobarakeh who had been charged with sexual assault on March 31, 2014. The accused elected to be tried by judge and jury, with the trial originally set to begin on May 1 and conclude May 24.
Justice Murray said he found the delay to be unreasonable and felt the right of the accused to be tried within a reasonable period of time had been breached. The crown decided not to appeal the judge’s decision.
PORT HAWKESBURY: The Strait regional school board ended a fractious school review by voting to continue operating all five schools in the Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School feeder system.
Board members voted unanimously for a motion to file a formal request to then Education Minister Karen Casey to have the provincial government purchase the feeder system’s only P3 school, Antigonish Education Centre (AEC), so the board can maintain the Antigonish building for its purposes following the expiry of AEC’s lease in 2021.
Minutes later, the board voted 10-2 against a motion that would have seen Maryvale-based H.M. MacDonald School closed as of June 30.
HALIFAX: Nova Scotia Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Geoff MacLellan announced $390 million in additional funds for highway improvements over the following seven years. Included in the project list was twinning a 38-kilometre section of Highway 104 between Sutherland’s River and Antigonish.
MacLellan said that Nova Scotians made it clear that they did not support large-scale twinning by way of tolls. As for the public consultations conducted by the department, MacLellan said the highest level of support for tolling was in the Strait area. MacLellan said it was decided it would not be fair to advance one toll project over another, so the government decided it would avoid the use of tolls.
PORT HASTINGS: The Canso Causeway swing bridge reopened for car and similar vehicle traffic.
Upgrade work on the Causeway began in January 2016. On October 27, the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal announced the Canso Canal would close to marine traffic from November 1 to May 14 to allow for upgrades and repair work on the swing bridge, a new operators’ building, as well as structural, mechanical, and electrical repairs.
GUYSBOROUGH: Following May’s regular monthly meeting of council for the Municipality of the District of Guysborough, Warden Vernon Pitts said workers were already on site and working on the Chedabucto Lifestyle Complex.
In April, the provincial and federal governments each announced funding to the tune of $1.5 million each for the Chedabucto Lifestyle Complex under the Small Communities Fund.
PORT HAWKESBURY: Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil made three Strait area stops during the second week of the spring election campaign, pledging to respond to a court ruling regarding Acadian communities’ rights within provincial electoral boundaries and insisting that a review of Nova Scotia’s school boards must precede any examination of the province’s education funding formula.
SAMSONVILLE: Jamie Baillie, leader of Nova Scotia’s Progressive Conservative party, visited the area ahead of May’s provincial election to support local candidates, explain his party’s platform and, at the Lakeside Community Center, sample some Richmond County barbecue.
He discussed topics such as job creation and boosting infrastructure.
ANTIGONISH: Prior to the provincial election, NDP leader Gary Burrill visited the Strait region. During his stop in Antigonish on May 8, Burrill spoke to the media about his plans and hopes during the current campaign.
Burrill discussed the NDP’s position on a variety of topics including Bill 75, which imposed a contract on Nova Scotia teachers earlier in the year, as well as discussions of highway twinning, and the region’s challenge in retaining young people.
PORT HOOD: Board members voted unanimously in favour of two motions that would see the Strait regional school board (SRSB) advise the provincial Education and Early Childhood Development Department of its desire to continue operating Bayview Education Centre and Dalbrae Academy beyond the 2021 expiry date for the P3 leases for these two schools.
As a result of these two motions and the lack of any action regarding the third school in the Dalbrae Academy feeder system, Whycocomagh Education Centre, the board will not make any changes to the feeder system in the current round of school reviews.
LOUISDALE: Nova Scotia RCMP investigators officially closed an investigation into allegations of fraud and breach of trust by Richmond County municipal officials and said they would not lay any charges in the matter.
The investigation was launched in October 2016, shortly after the municipality received a forensic audit conducted by the legal firm Boyne Clark with assistance from municipal auditors, Grant Thornton, regarding expenses incurred on credit cards issued to municipal councillors and former chief Administrative Officer Warren Olsen between April 1, 2011 and March 30, 2016.
SYDNEY: Four men were arrested in connection with five armed robberies across Nova Scotia, including one in Antigonish.
A release from the Cape Breton Regional Police said the four men, Bryan Joseph Conron, Glenn Thomas Perry, George Thomas MacIsaac, and Allen Herman Brown, were charged after an investigation by the police into armed robberies in Sydney and Glace Bay. Over the course of the investigation, police said they uncovered a connection to a similar offense that occurred at Haliburton Pharma-Choice in Antigonish on May 17.
ANTIGONISH: Incumbent Liberal Randy Delorey won his second term as the MLA for Antigonish after winning his riding by 738 votes. In an election that saw a number of close contests, Delorey led for a good part of the evening.
INVERNESS: On the May 30 provincial election Allan MacMaster was re-elected as MLA for the riding of Inverness. The election marked MacMaster’s third term as MLA, defeating first-time Liberal candidate Bobby Morris, and NDP stalwart Michelle Smith.
GUYSBOROUGH: Lloyd Hines, the incumbent Liberal candidate for the Guysborough-Eastern Shore-Tracadie riding defeated PC challenger Rob Wolf in the May 30 provincial election. The victory followed a seesaw battle between Hines and Wolf as the two traded leads for over two-and-a-half-hours, with as few as five votes separating the two men on two separate occasions.
PORT HAWKESBURY: Progressive Conservative candidate Alana Paon defeated Liberal incumbent Michel Samson to become the new MLA for Cape Breton-Richmond on May 30.
Paon was the top vote-getter in 12 polls in mainland Richmond County, and placed first in all polls in Port Hawkesbury. The PC candidate also took Louisdale and won polls in West Arichat and D’Escousse.