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TRICOUNTY VANGUARD YEAR IN REVIEW: September 2018

Residents of Shelburne County marched in the streets on Sept. 22 and held a rally afterwards to draw attention to what they call a health-care crisis here and in other parts of the province. KATHY JOHNSON PHOTO
Residents of Shelburne County marched in the streets on Sept. 22 and held a rally afterwards to draw attention to what they call a health-care crisis here and in other parts of the province. KATHY JOHNSON PHOTO

A sampling of some of the news from the month.

Fire fighters fill backpacks with water from a portable tank near the scene of a forest fire in Upper Woods Harbour as dusk fell on Sept. 11. KATHY JOHNSON
Fire fighters fill backpacks with water from a portable tank near the scene of a forest fire in Upper Woods Harbour as dusk fell on Sept. 11. KATHY JOHNSON

 

Mosquitoes persisted, forest fires started during dry weather

Despite the drought in southwestern Nova Scotia, the mosquito population seemed to be booming, judging by talk around the water cooler and on social media. But then mosquitoes didn’t need wet weather to thrive, said Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History zoology curator Andrew Hebda. Even in a drought, “and a warm one at that,” he said, there were lots of good breeding places for mosquitoes.

“All they need is some standing water ... could be a kiddies’ backyard plastic pool, a wheelbarrow that holds water ... or, best of all, any old car/truck tires laying around,” he said. Fortunately there were few (if any) diseases that were mosquito-borne in Nova Scotia at the time, so the presence of mosquitoes in late summer 2018 was basically just a nuisance to most people.

The dry weather also saw Lands and Forestry crews and firefighters having to put out some forest fires in Shelburne and Yarmouth counties. It was noted in mid-September that there had been a 24/7 ban on burning for well over a week and people need to start respecting that before something major happens.


Feds, province, municipal units were teaming up to fund redevelopment of Yarmouth ferry terminal

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The federal and provincial governments announced they would each contribute $3 million to fund phase-one redevelopment of Yarmouth’s ferry terminal, with the town and municipality of Yarmouth each contributing $1.2 million and the Municipality of Argyle contributing $300,000. The funding was announced Sept. 4.

Work to be done at the terminal includes upgrading and relocating the passenger inspection line booths, replacing the pontoon and transfer bridge and improving overall terminal facilities such as external lighting and passenger waiting areas. The day’s speakers noted how the area was hit hard by the four years it went without a ferry (2010 to 2013) but how it was bouncing back.


The independent Electoral Boundaries Commission met in Tusket on the morning of Sept. 8. TINA COMEAU PHOTO
The independent Electoral Boundaries Commission met in Tusket on the morning of Sept. 8. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

 

Boundaries commission was looking at proposal to restore minority ridings

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A proposal being considered by Nova Scotia’s Electoral Boundaries Commission would restore the province’s minority ridings, namely the former Acadian ridings of Argyle, Clare and Richmond and the African Nova Scotian riding of Preston. The commission was holding public sessions and its stops included a number of locations in southwestern Nova Scotia, a region greatly affected by boundary changes made in 2012.

Among those that had worked hard to get the minority ridings back was the province’s Acadian federation (FANE), whose interim president, Norbert LeBlanc, said he was “feeling much more optimistic” about the issue, given that the commission was talking about restoring the minority ridings. “I don’t feel that the math equation is the bottom line this time,” he said. The government will ultimately make the final decision on the boundaries.


This sign sums up the feeling in Shelburne County about their electoral boundary. KATHY JOHNSON PHOTO
This sign sums up the feeling in Shelburne County about their electoral boundary. KATHY JOHNSON PHOTO

 

In Shelburne, commission heard from people wanting their county ‘made whole again’

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It wasn’t just minority ridings that people were talking about when Nova Scotia’s Electoral Boundaries Commission was in the tri-county region on the second weekend of September for some public meetings. At a well-attended session in Shelburne, local residents called for the restoration of the former riding of Shelburne. John Davis, one of the evening’s presenters, said Shelburne County had been “torn asunder by misguided provincial legislation in 2012.” He was referring to boundary changes that had split the former Shelburne riding in two, one part going with Barrington, the other joining with Queens.

Said Shelburne Warden Penny Smith, another of the presenters at the commission’s Shelburne session, “In order to correct the wrong that was committed by the government (in 2012), the electoral district of Shelburne should be made whole again.”


Three people were charged in connection with Yarmouth County robbery

Three people were charged in connection with a robbery in Yarmouth County involving a 77-year-old victim. The RCMP said that on Sept. 13 the senior from Plymouth was grabbed from behind on his property by two masked individuals who demanded money and then forced him to drive them to a nearby gravel pit, where they fled on foot after throwing away his cellphone and keys. Police said the victim sustained a minor injury to his face during the incident. Four days later, police said they had arrested three people in connection with the incident: two 35-year-old males and a 23-year-old female.


Residents of Shelburne County marched in the streets on Sept. 22 and held a rally afterwards to draw attention to what they call a health-care crisis here and in other parts of the province. KATHY JOHNSON PHOTO
Residents of Shelburne County marched in the streets on Sept. 22 and held a rally afterwards to draw attention to what they call a health-care crisis here and in other parts of the province. KATHY JOHNSON PHOTO

 

Shelburne County residents held march/rally to protest ‘deplorable state’ of health-care system

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Hundreds of Shelburne County residents took to the streets for a march and rally to protest the health-care situation in the Shelburne area and other parts of the province, notably rural Nova Scotia.

“The province of Nova Scotia and NSHA (Nova Scotia Health Authority) has allowed the state of health care for all Nova Scotians, and particularly Shelburne County and other rural areas, to devolve to a deplorable state,” said Shelburne Mayor Karen Mattatall. “All parties have had a hand over the years in the demise of the system. However, it’s time to stop blaming the people in the past and fix it now. People’s lives are in jeopardy.”

The mayor and other speakers, called on the province to put health care at the top of its priority list.


Magnitude 3.1 earthquake was felt in Digby and Yarmouth counties

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After the loud rumbling sound, it was the sudden bang and violent jolt that made people in southwestern Nova Scotia wonder if there had been an explosion or crash of some sort on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 29. Many then decided it likely was an earthquake. They were right. Earthquakes Canada said a magnitude 3.1 earthquake struck at 10:32 a.m. around Mavillette, Digby County. The depth was recorded at 10 kilometres. “Lightly felt in the Digby and Yarmouth NS areas,” the Earthquakes Canada website said. “There are no reports of damage and none would be expected.”

Still, many people said they heard or felt something. One Saulnierville resident said her “entire house shook.” Another Clare resident, who was working in Church Point at the time, said “it was a scary, uneasy feeling hearing this rumbling sound.” Earthquakes reportedly happen virtually every day in Canada, but most aren’t noticed by the public.


Former Yarmouth high school was being eyed for apartments

A proposal presented to the Town of Yarmouth would construct up to 55 apartment dwellings inside the old Yarmouth high school on Parade Street. The matter was discussed at a meeting of the town’s committee of the whole. Next in the process was the approval of a development agreement. Council approved a recommendation from the town’s planning advisory committee to proceed to a public hearing on the proposal. The school had closed in 2012, when it was replaced by a new facility on Forest Street. It had become the responsibility of the Town of Yarmouth in 2014 after the Tri-County Regional School Board determined the old school was surplus to their needs. The upkeep and maintenance of the building was costing the town about $120,000 a year. Over the years, the structure has seen some vandalism and break-ins.


West Nova MP Colin Fraser announced he would not run in 2019 election

5The federal riding of West Nova will have a new member of Parliament after the next federal election in 2019. With about 13 months to go until that vote, Colin Fraser announced he would not be reoffering. First elected in 2015, Fraser said deciding not to run again was difficult, but he said he wanted to return to his legal career and serve the community in other ways. “Serving as the member of Parliament for West Nova is the greatest honour of my life,” he said, adding, “I will continue working hard every single day on behalf of the people of West Nova right up until the next election.


The annual wharf rat rally finished on Sept. 2 for another year. Organizers are already planning for the 15th annual rally in 2019.
The annual wharf rat rally finished on Sept. 2 for another year. Organizers are already planning for the 15th annual rally in 2019.

 

WHARF RAT RALLY

Another successful rally was held in Digby. The Wharf Rat Rally is wrapped up for another year and organizers are already planning for the 15th annual rally in 2019.

The five day event in Digby finished on Sunday Sept. 2 and most of the bikers rolled out of town that evening or on Monday Sept. 3.

Laura Simmons, executive director of the Wharf Rat Rally was impressed with the increase in participation in the show and shine event and the rat bike show. “Everything went well for us and the weather was perfect,” she said.

The rally had over 5000 2018 Wharf Rat Rally pins for bikers who registered, and they ran out throughout the weekend. “We’ve never not had any pins left over,” she says.

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WHARF RAT RALLY MEET AND GREET AT TIDEVIEW

WHARF RAT RALLY WRAPS UP FOR ANOTHER YEAR

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