Municipal council visits Inverness

Cape Breton Food Hub coordinator Alicia Lake (left) and producer/member Marilyn MacDonald visited Inverness Council on March 5 to offer an update. Both the total sales and number of producers using the Food Hub during 2017 is up from 2016.

INVERNESS: Inverness Council, which generally meets at the municipal building in Port Hood, shifted venues on March 5, as the municipal body held its regular monthly meeting at the Inverness Fire Hall.

The meeting took place in Inverness because a public hearing was taking place about rezoning in Inverness and Cheticamp. Such hearings are generally held in the community affected by the rezoning.

The municipal unit green-lit a number of funding requests at the meeting.

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Inverness councillors opened the cheque book for: the Department of Community Services, $1,000 for its Vital Signs project; Le Centre de la Mi-Carême in Grand Etang, $5,000 in community development funds; and the Port Hood Recreation District Commission, $6,000 in community development funds.

The county is also buying advertising space in the Nova Scotia Nunavut Command’s annual Veteran Service Recognition Book.

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Although the bulk of the by-law is unchanged, councillors are in the process of passing a new dog control by-law which passed its second reading on March 5.

The old by-law became effective in the summer of 1997. Warden Betty Ann MacQuarrie explained the wording of the old by-law was dated and needed revising.

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Council did its part to increase awareness of epilepsy, as council members and staff wore purple ribbons in support of Purple Day.

Purple Day, taking place on March 26, is dedicated to epilepsy awareness.

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Visiting council were two representatives from the Cape Breton Food Hub, coordinator Alicia Lake and producer/member Marilyn MacDonald.

The Food Hub is an on-line market for food producers on Cape Breton Island to sell their product to people and restaurants on Cape Breton. Both Lake and MacDonald reported that the number of producers and sales has increased steadily since 2015.

Last year, sales increased from $87,000 (in 2016) to $135,000. With that, the number of producers is up from 28 (in 2016) to 41.

“Our sales are increasing, but so are our producers,” said Lake.

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Council received a letter from a University of Waterloo student offering to help the county out with infrastructure asset management.

The student’s name is Milos Posavijak, and his assistance with Inverness County would serve as one of his case studies. Council didn’t come to a decision on signing on with Posavijak’s services, but Warden MacQuarrie said she and council would take it under advisement.

“It couldn’t hurt,” she said.

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Council also received a letter from the Nova Scotia School Board Association (NSSBA) outlining the group’s feelings on the Glaze report, a document that suggested eliminating elected English school boards in Nova Scotia.

The NSSBA wasn’t calling for a response from the county but to highlight their opposition to the move to dissolve the boards.