Top quotes from January to June

“It’s heartbreaking.”

Guysborough Municipal Councillor Sheila Pelly on January 11 reacting to a murder suicide involving four people in Upper Big Tracadie

“It should say to them, ‘this is a weird place and I’m not going to stick around.’”

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Michael Boudreau, the Department of Natural Resources’ human wildlife conflict biologist on January 11 talking about ways to deter coyotes from entering private property

“I think we have done more than expected of us over the last two years to provide this service to the residents…”

Richmond County Literacy Network coordinator Millie Hatt on January 11 laying blame for the demise of the community outreach and support worker position on Richmond Municipal Council

Millie Hatt

“At a time like this, we’re family and we’ve got to all pull together.”

Guysborough Warden Vernon Pitts on January 18 reacting to the murder-suicide in Upper Big Tracadie

“The Port Hood government wharf is almost non-existent…”

Inverness Warden Betty Ann MacQuarrie on January 18 after a powerful winter storm further damaged wharves in Port Hood

“I noticed that the kids were bored. Of course they were – it’s a long bus ride, and they’ve either had a busy day or they’ve just woken up,”

Janine Lock, a Grade 12 student at SAERC, on January 18 speaking to the Strait regional school board about the Bus Day Care program

Janine Locke

“I had to convince her to go out to the grocery store and meet with her friends.”

SAERC student Mackenzie Chisholm on January 25 describing her mother’s struggle with depression and the impact this had on her family

“Listen, I’ll take less money than the majority of the other counties are offering me because my heart is here.”

Isle Madame businessman Thai Luong on January 25 talking about negotiations with the Municipality of Richmond County over a senior’s housing development he was proposing for Arichat

“You can absolutely expect more arrests and drug seizures.”

Cpl. Jennifer Clarke with RCMP media relations on February 1 after police uncovered drugs and cash and charged six people in four separate incidents

“It was a breach of the [Elections Act]. Of course, we’re very confident they were not aware.”

Elections Nova Scotia (ENS) director of policy and communications, Andy LeBlanc, on February 1 after ENS ruled there was no intentional wrong-doing by current and former Richmond municipal officials who paid for tickets to a Liberal Party fundraiser in May 2014, then were reimbursed by the municipality

“These people abused my trust.”

On February 1, mariner Derek Kruger accused Alco International Trading Corporation and the Dutch Runner’s bankrupt previous owners, Great Lakes Feeder Lines, of negligence

“We cannot get two or three guys and bring them to the ship while we’re still looking for the other five guys – it doesn’t work.

Alco International Trading Corporation (AITC) executive director Bomboy Pascal on February 1 explaining his previously-stated pledge to remove the Dutch Runner from the Port Hawkesbury Pier before the end of December, 2016

“It was a path and a course that needed to be done, and it was done.”

Richmond Warden Brian Marchand on February 1 talking about his support of the municipality’s legal appeal of a ruling by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board to reduce the number of council districts from 10 to five which was dismissed after an hour of deliberation

Brian Marchand

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people at any opening that I’ve been to.”

Angela Warren, the Trans-Canada Trail’s Atlantic Canada coordinator, on February 8, at the official opening of the Bealach Breagha Trail in East Lake Ainslie

“This centre is like my home.”

Strait regional school board African-Nova Scotia representative Joanne Reddick, talking about the African Friendship Centre at Chedabucto Education Centre/Guysborough Academy on February 8 during African Heritage Month

“Eight weeks is not uncommon in some instances. That’s totally unacceptable and when you try to contact the call centre, it’s even more frustrating.”

Cape Breton-Canso MP Rodger Cuzner, describing unacceptably-long delays in the Employment Insurance system on February 8

Rodger Cuzner

“When I walked into this place just a few minutes ago, the question that came to my mind was, ‘Do I feel supported?’”

Antigonish Muslim Association representative Dr. Abdulrahim Alawashez on February 8, days after the tragic shootings at a mosque in Quebec City

“It’s a very exciting project – we look at it as transformative.”

Port Hawkesbury Chief Administrative Officer Terry Doyle on February 15 describing the Reeves Street redesign project

“We’ve seen first-past-the-post hand Britain over to Brexit-ers. We’ve seen it hand the White House over to Donald Trump.”

Central Nova Fair Vote coordinator Patrick Yancy on February 15 after the National Day of Action for Electoral Reform in Antigonish

“Many in my generation grew up thinking our labour rights were untouchable, that all those battles had been won.”

Antigonish NDP candidate Moraig Macgillivray on February 22 reacting to Bill 75, the Liberal government’s attempt to legislate a new four-year contract between the province and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union

Moraig Macgillivray

“We’re looking for them to look at the project and say ‘is this too much money to spend on one project.’”

Mary LeBlanc, with Concerned Citizens United on February 22 discussing the then-proposed Chedabucto Lifestyle Complex

“My personal experience is, I lived in my trauma for way too long and it caused me more pain and suffering than I should have had to go through.”

Former NHLer Theo Fleury on February 22 who was in Antigonish to offer a pair of talks with young people

“It was enjoyable, and the pay got a little better all the time.”

Raymond LeBlanc on March 1upon retiring after 54 years as a returning officer for Elections Nova Scotia

“At that time, it was an old boy’s club, no women.”

Veteran Ted Martens on March 1 after the death of long-time legion volunteer Jean Marie Deveaux

“He never had an election but he was a ‘councillor’ for over 30 years.”

Richmond municipal councillor James Goyetche on March 1 reacting to the death of honourary councillor Lorenzo Boudreau

“I assume that someone believes this is funny.”

Port Hawkesbury resident Deborah MacNeil on March 8 after reporting what appeared to be animal remains tied to the Bell Alaint building in town

“The shocks on my car are really going to appreciate this announcement.”

Cape Breton-Canso MP Rodger Cuzner on March 8 during a joint federal-provincial funding announcement for upgrades to Route 4 between St. Peter’s and Sydney

“… I want you to know that this is one of the best ideas that I’ve ever seen in all those years.”

Port Hawkesbury town councillor Hughie MacDougall on March 15 after the Start Up Port Hawkesbury pitch from the Eastern Strait Regional Enterprise Network

“We’re still getting by. We’re still doing the services and we’re paying our bills. That’s all we can wish for.”

Mulgrave Mayor Ralph Hadley on March 15 after both the Town of Mulgrave and the Municipality of the Municipality of Guysborough withdrew from Mulgrave’s dissolution process

“Church properties used by the public must be safe.”

Fr. Doug MacDonald, of the Stella Maris Pastoral Unit on Isle Madame on March 22 discussing insurance and liability issues for three church properties in Petit de Grat

“Be prepared – we’re coming back.”

St. Peter’s Economic Development Organization tourism consultant Denise Martell on March 29 reacting to the municipality’s decision to scuttle a tourism plan for the county

“We found out there were people wanting to get to the hall who were two-to-three kilometres away from us.”

Daniel MacEachern, chief of the Auld’s Cove Volunteer Fire Department on April 5, after a fatal accident on the Canso Causeway closed the span for six hours and backed-up traffic to Havre Boucher

“I’ve read files where students were suspended from school for saying the F-word. Does that really merit a two-or-three-day vacation?”

Potlotek First Nation’s Allan Lafford High School principal Roland McCarthy on April 5 discussing the high suspension rates for Aboriginal students in the Strait regional school board

“Our newest school will be gone, and we’re going to be left with our four oldest schools.”

Matt Boyd, a member of a group formed to keep Antigonish Education Centre from closing making their case on April 5

“Many of our committee members lost nights of sleep on this – we’re not recommending it light-heartedly.”

School Options Committee chair Deepak Prasad on April 12 during a heated meeting in Antigonish discussing the future of Antigonish Education Centre

“The people in Cape Breton always want to take care of each other, especially through food, but how could we make sure nobody’s left out from that?”

Alicia Lake, a member of the Island Food Network and coordinator of the pan Cape Breton Food Hub Co-op on April 12 during a public meeting at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre

Alicia Lake

“The snow was two to three feet deep, and I was told the plows wouldn’t be going out until I made them aware they had a councillor on the phone.”

Inverness Municipal Councillor John Dowling on April 12 talking about the lack of snow removal in parts of Inverness County

“You can’t simply say ‘I’m going to put back four ridings.’”

Former Minister of Acadian Affairs Michel Samson on April 19 responding to calls from the Progressive Conservatives to step aside as the province’s lead on the electoral boundaries issue

“Developing this property will be a game-changer to our town.”

Port Hawkesbury Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton on April 26 describing efforts to development the former Canso Regional Vocational School property on Reeves Street

“It makes my heart swell, knowing there are so many people who believe in us and what we’re doing.”

L’Arche Cape Breton member Mukthar Limpao on April 26 reacting to provincial government funding for L’Arche’s Gathering Space

“When they come in, we’re literally going to roll out the red carpet – Although I’m not sure if we’re going to have a red carpet or if there’s a Cape Breton tartan on it.”

Celtic Air Services Limited operator David Morgan on May 3, who signed a letter of intent with the Town of Port Hawkesbury to lease airport property to for a new jet reception centre

“Sometimes I feel that people lobby this board harder than they lobby the people who have the money.”

Strait regional school board African-Nova Scotian representative Joanne Reddick on May 10, discussing a presentation by the co-chairs of the Save Bayview Dalbrae School Feeder System Advocacy Committee at the May board meeting in Port Hawkesbury

“If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this, it’s that if it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t, so make sure you take the time and have another look at it.”

Kathy Betts, certified health and safety officer with the Nova Scotia Construction Safety Association and the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering on May 17, addressing students and staff of the Nova Scotia Community College Strait Area Campus as part of North America Occupational Safety and Health Week

“It was frustrating work that they were asked to do by the Minister of Education.”

Strait regional school board member for Central Inverness Jim Austin on May 24, thanking members of the School Options Committee, parents, community members, fellow SRSB members and administration following a vote to continue operating Bayview Education Centre and Dalbrae Academy

“He was always smiling and happy and always brought something to the table.”

Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher on May 31, discussing the passing of former Antigonish County Warden Russell Boucher

“Many caregivers are wracked with guilt over the decisions that they made or feeling responsible or possible negative after-effects, so it’s an important talk to have with your loved ones.”

Maggie Roach-Ganaway, Cape Breton caregiver support representative for Caregivers Nova Scotia on May 31, during a workshop on advance care planning in Port Hawkesbury

“For people to say that low-income seniors are not worth helping, it’s just not right.”

Developer Thai Luong on May 31, following a vote by Richmond Municipal Council to reject his application to rezone a portion of an Arichat property for the construction of two six-unit affordable housing complexes

“It is a tsunami of health care that is coming at us.”

Steve Smith, St. Martha’s Regional Hospital Foundation fundraising campaign chair on June 7, explaining that the region’s rising senior population is a key factor in the current push for equipment funds

Steve Smith

“While I realize many will be disappointed in my decision not to seek a judicial recount, I ask that they accept the results and allow our new MLA to represent our riding.”

Former Cape Breton-Richmond MLA Michel Samson on June 7, following his announcement that he would not be seeking recount of the results from the May 30 provincial election in which first time candidate Alana Paon took the riding with a margin of 21 votes

“I think our most important experience was realizing how free we are in Nova Scotia, and being able to help the people down there.”

Dalbrae Academy student Monica van den Hoogen on June 14, describing her time in Mexico while taking part in the Nova Scotia – Campeche International Leadership Camp

“We all know in the last 10 or so years we’ve had negativity in regards to any potential project of that nature but a lot of these naysayers are coming around.”

Guysborough warden Vernon Pitts on June 21, discussing progress on the new Chedabucto Lifestyle Complex

“I go up every evening, and I kind of sit in my car, and often someone will meet me there for a little help or counseling or whatever the case may be.”

Fr. Hughie MacDonald on June 28, discussing his long-standing tradition of providing counseling or a friendly chat over coffee at the local Tim Horton’s