PORT HAWKESBURY: An estimated 11,000 people descended on Port Hawkesbury’s Recreation Fields for the Meghan Trainor concert on September 1.
Port Hawkesbury’s director of recreation, marketing and events, Paula Davis, praised town residents and in particular those living in Summit Park for contributing to the “sense of peace” that accompanied the final hours before the concert began. Davis suggested the concert “dodged a bullet” by avoiding serious wet weather until minutes after Trainor left the stage, adding the athletic fields should not require a lengthy or costly remediation process to restore them to their previous state.
ARICHAT: In early September, Richmond County’s warden Victor David said he was “very disappointed” with cuts to the Strait Area Transit (SAT) Dial-A-Ride service in the municipality and was hoping to address the issue with SAT board members and officials with Nova Scotia’s Department of Municipal Affairs (DMA).
The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (UARB) approved an application from SAT to scale back the service’s weekly Dial-A-Ride hours in Richmond County from 80 to 20 in the summer. Starting August 2, Dial-A-Ride service in the St. Peter’s-L’Ardoise area disappeared, although limited Dial-A-Ride service continued in Isle Madame and for customers of Route 4 through western Richmond County.
PETIT DE GRAT: On August 29, Approximately two dozen people, with most of them from two Nova Scotia Métis organizations, as well as a handful of executive members and supporters of Unifor and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) protested at a local Liberal Party fundraiser designed to honour federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc.
The Métis protestors took issue with the provincial government’s unwillingness to recognize what they describe as their members’ hunting and fishing rights, along with the federal government’s funding of Western-based Métis groups that are allegedly opposed to extending these rights to those claiming Métis status in Atlantic Canada.
Bras d’Or Lake Métis Nation Chief Greg Burke attempted to engage Cape Breton-Richmond MLA Michel Samson as the provincial Liberal cabinet minister headed to the front entrance of Centre La Picasse. While Samson did not provide specific answers to protestors’ questions, he expressed willingness to meet with the organization in his constituency office. The same offer was extended by Cape Breton-Canso MP Rodger Cuzner, who spoke to Métis protestors for nearly 10 minutes before entering the Petit de Grat facility.
ANTIGONISH: In late August, Justice Suzanne M. Hood sentenced Claude Allan Thompson to 30 months of federal custody on each of two charges of sexual assault causing bodily harm, to be served concurrently.
Thompson must also issue a DNA sample and register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Hood found Thompson guilty of the charges in April. The incidents took place between November 1, 2011 and December 30, 2011 in the Antigonish area. The court heard the matter between February 2, 2015 and January 7, 2016. Thompson was originally charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault. Both complainants in the matter accused Thompson of failing to disclose his HIV-positive status prior to engaging in unprotected sex.
PORT HAWKESBURY: During a September 7 appearance in Port Hawkesbury Provincial Court, 86-year-old Ella Harriett Dorey pleaded guilty to a charge of driving left of a solid double line and received a fine of $295.
Police charged Dorey in relation to the collision on Highway 104 in western Richmond County on December 1, 2015.
The collision claimed the lives of Kayla Lynn Cotton, 26, a teacher at Felix Marchand Education Centre in Louisdale, Sarah Marie Poirier, 12, a student at Richmond Education Centre and Sara Cecena Garcia, 13, a Mexican exchange student, who were all in one of the first two vehicles involved in the incident.
PORT HAWKESBURY: Brenda Chisholm-Beaton was acclaimed as the town’s first new mayor in 22 years on September 10, becoming the first female mayor in Port Hawkesbury’s 127-year history. Incumbent Billy Joe MacLean had suggested a week earlier that he might reconsider his decision to step away from provincial politics, but MacLean instead issued an official retirement announcement from his office as the nomination deadline expired.
Chisholm-Beaton said she was “surprised” that no one else put their name forward but expressed humility with the wave of support that greeted her official entry into the campaign the day before the nomination deadline. Chisholm-Beaton said she planned to take to social media to encourage Port Hawkesbury voters to become engaged in the seven-candidate race for the town’s four council seats.
LOWER L’ARDOISE: Former Richmond CAO Warren Olsen and former District 9 councilor Steve Sampson stated they were assessing their options, which included publicly unmasking on-line accusers through further legal action.
This came after a court order issued on September 20 by Supreme Court Justice Michael Wood required Bell Canada and Seaside Communications to release the names and addresses of customers whose Internet Provider (IP) addresses matched those connected to the names “Jake Sampson” and “Jim Davis,” regarding several postings to the Facebook group “Taxpayers of Richmond County NS,” which lists “Jake Sampson” as an administrator, in the first three months of 2016.
The two pseudonyms were used to post several items on social media later deemed defamatory by a Supreme Court Justice.
Wood’s document wrapped up a five-month effort by Sampson and Olsen, who each claimed that the “Sampson” and “Davis” names were used to anonymously post defamatory statements about the two men.
Attorney Michelle Awad confirmed officials with Bell and Seaside had complied with the court order and provided the identifies of the IP address-holders.
LOUISDALE: An 18-year-old Guysborough County woman died in a single vehicle crash on September 23.
Emergency personnel received a call that a car travelling west on Highway 104 near Louisdale hit a concrete culvert just after 8:30 a.m.
According to Richmond District RCMP, the victim, who was a passenger in the vehicle, initially sustained life-threatening injuries. The police said she was airlifted to hospital and passed away from her injuries on Friday evening at the Halifax Infirmary.
The RCMP noted that the 23-year-old male driver sustained serious injuries as well.
GUYSBOROUGH: Despite an investigation by the Nova Scotia Office of the Ombudsman, the Municipality of the District of Guysborough was adamant there was no misuse of public money.
In late September, Ron Crocker, a representative with the Ombudsman’s Office, said complaints came from a resident of Guysborough a little over a year ago and they since received a series of similar complaints.
Guysborough resident Susanne Roy said she complained to the Ombudsman’s Office about what she said were questionable expense claims. She said she wants to know what the municipality is doing with public money.
Guysborough Warden Vernon Pitts said council was notified of the investigation in September 2015, adding the municipality cooperated with the Ombudsman’s Office and provided all information requested. Pitts also said any allegations of the misuse of taxpayer’s money made against council and staff are unfounded.