INVERNESS: Inverness MLA Allan MacMaster stood by his statement that an 80-unit housing development in Inverness was lost because the Municipality of the County of Inverness was unable to provide a clear answer on when they could provide water and sewer access.
Antigonish-based Dunmore Development Ltd. began their discussions with staff from Inverness County in late 2018 but became increasingly frustrated with the lack of response from the municipality.
Over $1.5 million of provincial funding was earmarked to include affordable housing as part of the housing development, but applications for federal funding couldn’t be made because of the lack of information around the municipal water and sewer infrastructure needed to complete the project.
MacMaster acknowledged he is very aware of the challenges with infrastructure in Inverness County but said that doesn’t just happen overnight and infrastructure is something to plan for.
ANTIGONISH: Randy Delorey became the third candidate to launch a bid to become the next leader of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party.
Following a week of speculation, he made his announcement in a campaign video posted on his Facebook page.
His campaign launched with endorsements from former Cape Breton-Canso MP Rodger Cuzner, current MP Mike Kelloway, as well as current and former MLAs.
Delorey, who resigned as the Minister of Health and Wellness and the Minister of Gaelic Affairs on Oct. 8 to announce his leadership bid, said this coincided with the seventh anniversary of his becoming the MLA for Antigonish.
He said his motivation to become the province’s next premier is all about public service and stems from the unwavering support from everyone “down home.”
WE’KOQMA’Q: A local First Nation community elected its first ever female chief. Annie Bernard-Daisley, who served the previous three terms as a band councillor, defeated long-time incumbent Rod Googoo.
Following her first term as councillor in 2004, Bernard-Daisley had an unsuccessfully bid for chief, but in 2014 was re-elected to the band council.
Bernard-Daisley is now the second woman to serve as chief in Unama’ki, which is the collective name for the five First Nation communities across Cape Breton.
The 47-year-old Indigenous rights activist, who is also the president of the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association, said she wants to set an example for young Mi’kmaq girls.
She emerged as a national voice in the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls movement since the death of her cousin, 22-year-old Cassidy Bernard, who was found murdered inside her We’koqma’q First Nation home on Oct. 24, 2018.
Over the next four-years she’s looking forward to working with the councillors to improve mental health services for residents of all ages, and hopes to provide more opportunities for the community and its members.
PORT HAWKESBURY: The Mayor for the Town of Port Hawkesbury says despite having the third highest expense claim for mayors and wardens in the 2019 fiscal year, she’s been advocating for the town on multiple fronts and building important connections with decision-makers.
Brenda Chisholm-Beaton highlighted during the 2019-20 fiscal year, she was engaged in regional collaboration, economic development projects, and exploring housing opportunities.
From presenting a gateway project, which will aim to revitalize the entrance to Cape Breton at the Canso Causeway, and meeting with stakeholders regarding the future of the Allan J MacEachen Regional Airport, to understanding new opportunities for their waterfront, or discussing potential housing opportunities – Chisholm-Beaton said she has Port Hawkesbury at the heart of every decision.
Chisholm-Beaton’s expense claim for the fiscal year of 2018-19 was $12,083, in 2017-18 it was $7,634, and in 2016-17 it was $1,308 for a total of $36,955 in her term as mayor – an average of $9,238.87 per year.
In comparison, former mayor Billy Joe Maclean’s expenses topped $156,043 during his term as mayor, and in 2008-09 his expense claim for the year was $25,757 alone.
Maclean’s average expense claim total per term was $78,021, which also holds an average per year claim at $19,505.33 – 111 per cent higher than Chisholm-Beaton’s – however, Maclean’s numbers weren’t public.
ANTIGONISH: All varsity athletic privileges, including practices and training sessions, were suspended at StFX University.
StFX Athletics and Recreation Director, Leo MacPherson said the move came as a sanction after university officials discovered student-athletes across every varsity team attended a party at 37 Highland Drive in Antigonish.
He said students ignored gathering limits and this was a direct violation of their StFX Code of Conduct.
The Reporter also learned that the house party, which had in excess of 50 people in attendance, was also hosted by StFX student-athletes.
As a result, the athletics department chose to suspend all varsity athletic-sanctioned activities for two-weeks, because that is the same amount of time someone is required to self-isolate, and they wanted their student-athletes to reflect on their decisions.
RCMP said a 23-year-old woman from Ontario was charged under the Health Protection Act for failing to self-isolate and the ticket was issued on Oct. 8 after an investigation related to the Saturday house party.
The “event” was also being investigated by StFX, and the university directed the occupants of the residence where the gathering took place to self-isolate for 14-days.
ANTIGONISH: The former finance director of the Coady International Institute, who pleaded guilty to misappropriating more than $200,000, received a conditional sentence along with probation.
During an appearance in Antigonish Provincial Court on Oct. 5, James Edward Marlow, 55, of Lower South River received a conditional sentence of house arrest for of two-years-less-a-day, 12-months of probation, and 223-hours of community service.
Marlow originally faced charges of theft over $5,000 and fraud over $5,000. After pleading guilty to stealing $223,273 from the Coady International Institute, the Crown withdrew the fraud charge during an election-and-plea hearing in Antigonish Provincial Court in November 2019.
Court documents reveal that Marlow admitted he forged invoices, requisitioned cheques and then deposited the money into his personal account.
Marlow neither admits nor denies the amount of misappropriated funds alleged by the university, in his statement of defense. He has since paid restitution.
ARICHAT: Voters in Richmond County decided they want a completely new municipal council.
After the votes were counted on October 17, warden Brian Marchand, former warden Jason MacLean and veteran councillors James Goyetche and Gilbert Boucher all went down to defeat.
First time candidate Melanie Sampson defeated Marchand in district 3, finishing with 604 votes to 506 votes for the incumbent.
MacLean was defeated decisively in district 5 by rookie candidate Brent Sampson, who took 597 votes to 223 for MacLean.
After 12 years on council, Boucher was bested by first time candidate Amanda Mombourquette who won every poll in the district and came away with 869 votes to 284 for the incumbent.
PORT HOOD: The warden and two incumbent councillors lost, and there will be three women on council in Inverness County.
In district 5 (Port Hood-Mabou), warden Betty Ann MacQuarrie lost to first time candidate Lynn Chisholm, who came away with 540 votes to 394 for the incumbent. Thom Oommen finished third with 288 votes.
Veteran councillor Jim Mustard finished third with 206 votes in district 3 (the Inverness area) behind new councillor Bonny MacIsaac with 557 votes and Gerry Poirier with 217 votes. Larry Lariviere finished in fourth place with 112 votes.
John Dowling in district 6 (Judique-Port Hastings) was the other incumbent who failed to win re-election after gaining 348 votes, behind new councillor Catherine L. Gillis with 737 votes.
In district 4 (the Whycocomagh area) John MacLennan was the lone incumbent re-elected, after he tallied 618 votes, to 265 votes for Jason Bernard and 76 votes for Christine Dowling.
MULGRAVE: With a newly elected mayor and two new female faces, things will be different around the council table.
Ron Chisholm, who was a past town councillor, received 232 votes and defeated former mayor Lorne MacDonald who received 111 votes, which was the only contested race in the town.
Four councillors were acclaimed, incumbents Bob Russell and Tanya Snow, along with newcomers Crystal Durling and Krista Luddington.
POTLOTEK FIRST NATION: The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs said the federal government failed them again.
Authorized Mi’kmaq community harvesters, from both Potlotek and Eskasoni First Nations, had over 200 legal traps seized by Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) conservation and protection officers in St. Peter’s Bay.
The assembly suggests the seizure of these traps by local officers was without the authorization or authority of their department or minister.
Chiefs and councils in both Potlotek and Eskasoni, along with the assembly, demanded the return of seized traps and hosted a peaceful protest with about 100 people from First Nation communities across Cape Breton at the DFO office in Lennox Passage on Oct. 21.
Harvesters in both communities sought support through donations of lobster traps or funds to purchase traps.
The Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia claimed the discussions with the DFO were failing at a critical moment, and they were trying to find a new way forward.