A Grade 2 classroom is shown with the desks spread apart to follow physical distancing protocols.

PORT HAWKESBURY: The mayor shared her experiences while in public office after attending a Leadership School for Women in Membertou.

During the weekend of Aug. 21-22, more than 100 women joined virtually and in-person for a leadership school for women that was supposed to be held last spring at the NSCC Strait Area Campus, but was postponed due to COVID-19.

After a presentation by Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher, the discussion transitioned to municipal government where female leaders and representatives talked about dealing with the media, leadership qualities and the power of positive community engagement, among other topics. The day concluded with female representatives sharing their personal stories.

After returning home, Chisholm-Beaton said she struggled with the decision to talk honestly about what she called “the dark side” of politics. In a Facebook post, the mayor said since becoming an elected official, she has received a range of direct and indirect threats.

Chisholm-Beaton said during the debate over building a new airport in the Inverness area last year, she “was targeted several times,” including disturbing private messages and offensive public posts. The mayor reported that over the past year, a man has been sending her “extremely disturbing tests” and posting “misogynistic public posts” on the mayor’s social media page under “a variety of pseudonyms.”

Attending the Leadership School for Women on August 21-22 were: Perla MacLeod (left), the first female elected to Victoria Municipal Council in 25 years and Port Hawkesbury Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton.

ANTIGONISH: A university student was fined $1,000 for not self-isolating after arriving in Atlantic Canada.

On Aug. 24, Antigonish RCMP received a complaint about a student from outside of the Atlantic Bubble not self-isolating. Upon further investigation, RCMP officers determined that the individual was in violation of the Health Protection Act. On Aug. 25, police issued the student a Summary Offence Ticket under Section 71(1)(b) of the Health Protection Act for failing to self-Isolate.

StFX’s vice-president of students, Elizabeth Yeo told The Reporter that this involved an off-campus student.

Pictured following a meeting on August 28 at the Judique Community Centre were (from the left): Cape Breton-Canso MP Mike Kelloway, former Inverness Warden Betty Ann MacQuarrie and federal fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan.

JUDIQUE: Federal MPs met with residents, groups and elected officials to plan for improvements to Internet and cellular phone service in Inverness County.

On Aug. 28, the Judique Community Centre hosted a meeting of the Judique Development Association, Inverness MLA Allan MacMaster, former Inverness Warden Betty Ann MacQuarrie, Cape Breton-Canso MP Mike Kelloway, and federal fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan.

As an MP in a rural area, a former rural economic development minister and a rural resident, Jordan said she knows full-well the importance of Internet service.

Last month, an ad-hoc committee of the Judique Development Association said rural areas, like Inverness County, are not being well served by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and various levels of government in their attempts to improve communication infrastructure in Inverness County.

Jordan said current Minister of Rural Economic Development Marian Monsef is working on the Universal Broadband Fund, which is the next phase of the federal government’s connectivity strategy, which she expects will be released soon.

Kent MacIntyre

HALIFAX: The Municipality of the County of Richmond reached a financial settlement with its former Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).

Lawyers for both sides reached a deal where former Richmond CAO Kent MacIntyre would receive $33,518.25, plus $5,000 for legal contributions, from the municipality as a result of his firing during a council meeting last year.

According to former Richmond Warden Brian Marchand, MacIntyre “signed-off” on the agreement in March.

The warden maintained that the settlement followed the terms of MacIntyre’s contract with the municipality.

The warden said this was the fiscally responsible thing to do since the municipality paid-out far less than what MacIntyre was requesting.

On June 12, 2019 in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, MacIntyre filed a notice of action alleging libel, slander and wrongful dismissal against Marchand, Deputy Warden Alvin Martell and District 4 councillor Gilbert Boucher, as well as the municipality.

PORT HAWKESBURY: The town and the fire department challenged a decision by Richmond County to retain the Louisdale Volunteer Fire Department to conduct fire service in Point Tupper.

After a virtual meeting between Municipality of the County of Richmond council and staff, and Port Hawkesbury Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton and Chief Administrative Officer Terry Doyle on July 29, councillors voted “unanimously” – via e-mail – to stay with the Louisdale department for fire service protection in the Point Tupper Industrial Park, according to Richmond Warden Brian Marchand.

During the regular monthly meeting of Port Hawkesbury Town Council on Sept. 1, Chisholm-Beaton said the new deal was based on the 2019-20 contract, and according to Marchand, Port Hawkesbury offered Richmond County $28,959 to provide fire services for Point Tupper.

After an emergency meeting of town council on Sept. 4, the town issued a press release claiming it presented a short-term proposal with a reduction in fees.

On June 11, the town sent a letter to Richmond CAO Don Marchand refusing the $50,000 offer, instead coming back with a $75,316 contract for 12 months, the warden said, recalling that Richmond wanted a long-term agreement by June 18, four days before Richmond council’s June 22 meeting.

ANTIGONISH: The Chair of the Antigonish Affordable Housing Society (AAHS), Colleen Cameron said her society was very pleased with the donation of land made by the Municipality of the County of Antigonish.

During a special meeting in September, council approved the contribution of a parcel of land on Appleseed Drive to the organization for its latest endeavour.

Cameron explained representatives with AAHS couldn’t be happier with council’s decision to unload the land to them for only $1.

Cameron explained this was a prime location for their new development, as Appleseed Drive is adjacent to both Antigonish Education Centre and Saint Andrews Junior School and is within walking distance of Dr. John Hugh Gillis High School and StFX University.

A significant portion of the funding was already been secured for the four-building, 12-unit development, which will feature a combination of one, two, and three-room condos; four of which will be 100 per cent barrier-free for occupants with mobility issues.

ANTIGONISH: While most post-secondary institutions were taught virtually this fall semester, StFX University welcomed back their students to in-person classes on Sept 14.

After months of planning, StFX president Andrew Hakin said his presidential transition was far from ordinary, however he, the university, and the student body adaped relatively well to the required changes due to COVID-19.

Hakin, who arrived in Antigonish in July, said the enthusiasm for classes has been building ever since students first started arriving back on campus the last week of August to begin their required self-isolation.

The typical provincial physical distancing protocols and gathering restrictions were in place at StFX, and the entire campus was a “mask-on” zone.

Those students who were required to self-isolate off-campus were supported by 220 volunteers, who were in constant contact with them during the duration of their mandatory 14-day isolation period.

Since students first started to arrive back in Antigonish, four from outside the Atlantic Bubble have been found to be in violation of the Health Protection Act, all have been fined the maximum of $1,000 by the RCMP and face further disciplinary action from university officials.

ANTIGONISH: The Mayor of Antigonish said she was very disappointed after RCMP sanctioned 13 individuals over a weekend in relation to gatherings in the town.

In a media release, RCMP said they responded to noise complaints, house parties with more than 10 people, and large gatherings of students on town streets.

The RCMP advised this isn’t acceptable behaviour during a pandemic, and they’ll continue to take enforcement measures to stop it.

Five people face provincial Health Protection Act charges for failing to social distance, three were charged through the Town of Antigonish Municipal Noise By-law, four were charged through the province’s Liquor Control Act, and one person was taken into custody for being intoxicated in a public place.

Laurie Boucher, the town’s mayor, said things have been going smoothly, but this showed there was more work to be done.

Fishing boats involved in the Moderate Livelihood Fishery are pictured moored at the St. Peter’s Canal.

POTLOTEK FIRST NATION: Peace and harmony were maintained on the waters of St. Peter’s Bay as a local First Nation community began their own self-regulated fishery.

The Potlotek First Nation in Chapel Island and the Richmond County Inshore Fishermen’s Association (RCIFA) agreed to set their differences aside to avoid a repeat of the direct conflict between Indigenous and non-Indigenous fisherman on St. Mary’s Bay over the implementation of a moderate livelihood fishery for the Sipekne’katik First Nation.

A moderate livelihood fishery allowed the Mi’kmaq to exercise their treaty rights to fish and trade, making a moderate living for themselves and their families.

The RCIFA held a meeting with their membership to figure out their position on the issue and to establish a way for them to respond to Potlotek’s moderate livelihood fishery, which was scheduled to begin on Oct. 1 – Treaty Day.

The Bayside Travel Centre officially opened in June just off of Exit 36B in Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation.

AFTON STATION: Rose Paul has always swung for the fences with a go big or go home mentality.

Her latest venture, the new Bayside Travel Centre, which officially opened in June on the Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation, has been nothing short of a homerun and something she couldn’t be more proud of.

As the CEO of the Bayside Development Corporation, Paul oversaw the development of a 16,000 square-foot, multi-business centre at Exit 36B along Highway 104.

Paul suggested it’s been a professional vision of hers, so for the project to transition from her idea, to what it is today, has been simply amazing.

Offering a long list of services including; a commercial Cardlock operation as a convenience for long-haul truckers travelling the Trans-Canada Highway to and from Cape Breton and Newfoundland and Labrador; retail gas; an electric charging station; a convenience store; a tourism kiosk; and an NSLC agency store – the only one in a Mi’kmaq community in Atlantic Canada – and the Bayside Entertainment Centre, a VLT gaming operation owned by the band, is also on site.

Acting as an economic boost for Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation, Paul highlighted how the Bayside Development Corporation will support services and programs in the community with money generated from lease agreements with restaurants, fuel and alcohol sales.

POINT TUPPER: Port Hawkesbury Paper LP (PHP) celebrates its eigth year of operation under the ownership of Stern Partners and Wayne Nystrom.

Port Hawkesbury Paper said it has shown it is a critical contributor to the economy of Nova Scotia by bringing well-paying jobs, tax revenues, provincial expenditures, quality products, and sustainable forestry management to the region.

In 2012, the facility at Port Hawkesbury was reopened by Stern Partners as Port Hawkesbury Paper and today continues to operate as a world-class high-tech facility, manufacturing supercalendered paper that is sold throughout North America and around the world.

Over the past eight years, Port Hawkesbury Paper said it has delivered on its commitment to the region and continues to build a track record of sustainable performance.

Based on a recent economic impact report, some of the critical indicators of the value of this business to the region include: over $1.4 billion of provincial expenditures since start-up in 2012 – impacting virtually every part of the province with a supply chain that includes over 500 Nova Scotia companies; creating an estimated 1,000 full-time equivalent jobs, with 325 at the facility and another 700 in spin-off activities.