ATV crash claims long-time municipal councillor

HALFWAY COVE: A municipal councillor who served for three decades was killed in an ATV accident last weekend.

At 7:58 p.m. on January 26, Canso RCMP responded to a fatal ATV crash off Highway 16 in Halfway Cove.

Preliminary investigation revealed the lone rider of the ATV drove over a large embankment on his property. The victim, 59-year-old Blair George from Halfway Cove, was pronounced deceased at the scene. There were no other vehicles or persons involved.

The investigation into the cause of the collision is ongoing.

On Sunday, the Municipality of the District of Guysborough issued a statement on George’s passing, noting he was a staunch supporter of the offshore gas industry, as well as traditional industries like fishing and forestry, and was also an advocate for sustainable industries like Sable Wind.

“Blair was a councillor for the municipality for more than 30 years, and during his time, he was a key part of the team that helped Guysborough transform itself from a small rural municipality, through a vibrant rural municipality,” the statement reads.

Guysborough-Eastern Shore-Tracadie MLA and former Guysborough Warden Lloyd Hines, reacted to the news calling George and friend and colleague.

“The mystery of life continues unfathomable as we grapple with the death of this wonderful father, friend and servant who had given over half his life to the service of his community,” Hines said in a statement.

Noting that he often spoke with George about the state of the municipality, the province and the country, Hines called him “one of the most remarkable people I have been blessed to know” because he cared deeply about his family and his community.

“So we have all suffered a blow in his passing,” Hines went. “But he would want us to carry on, to be strong and to continue to strive for the goals that he so passionately believed in.”

Not just a supporter of fellow councillors and municipal staff, Guysborough Warden Vernon Pitts said George was a strong advocate for his constituents and was always there to help.

“Councillor George would go and get a load of wood for one of his constituents at no cost, or would bring gravel for their driveways when their driveway washed out,” Pitts recalled in a statement. “And he was a rock at our council table, making decisions in the best interest of our entire municipality.

“We will miss him dearly and our entire municipality is in mourning today.”