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  #81  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2009, 4:11 PM
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While the additional passing lanes on the 101 will be most welcome, I think that the 101 should be divided as far as Berwick. Beyond this point, the traffic may not justify twinning.

Similarly, the 103 should be divided to a point just beyond Bridgewater.

Here in New Brunswick, highway 11 should be divided from Shediac to at least Bouctouche. There is a lot of traffic between Bouctouche and Moncton. Also, it is beyond reason that highway 7 between Saint John and Fredericton remains undivided. These are two of the largest cities in the province for cripes sake!!

Divided highways are definitely a life saver. Working in medicine in Moncton, I can assure you that there has been a substantial decrease in multi-trauma MVA's since the TCH around the city has been divided. It makes being on call at the hospital a whole lot less stressful.
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  #82  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2009, 6:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post


Here in New Brunswick, highway 11 should be divided from Shediac to at least Bouctouche. There is a lot of traffic between Bouctouche and Moncton. Also, it is beyond reason that highway 7 between Saint John and Fredericton remains undivided. These are two of the largest cities in the province for cripes sake!!

I do not disagree with your comments to highway 7 but highway 11 does have a pretty significant larger amount of traffic. With all the business travel from everything in the Campbellton-Bathurst, Acadian Peninsula, Miramichi area added as well. Plus the high volume of tourist in the Bouctouche Shediac area.

Highway 11 is already planned on beeing doubled from Shediac to Bouctouche. I believe this should go up to Richibouctou then from that point have actuall passing lanes once in a while which are not there now up to Miramichi. I have traveled that highway so many times and it gets really bad.
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  #83  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2009, 7:09 PM
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Waterfront land for sale . . .
. . .with a view of a rusty ship or two
By BEVERLEY WARE South Shore Bureau
Tue. Mar 24 - 6:27 AM

BRIDGEWATER — A chunk of waterfront property overlooking the LaHave River in Bridgewater has just gone up for sale.

The view might not be the best, but the owner says that will soon change.

"It will look different," said Rick Welsford, president of the Artificial Reef Society of Nova Scotia. "Someone who doesn’t mind the sight of a rusting ship or two for just the next little while and has a bit of vision would do well by that property."

The society owns the two riverfront lots on King Street that are up for sale. They are right beside a little park the town has just finished developing. The property overlooks the Port of Bridgewater, which the society also owns and operates.

That’s where passersby can see the rusting decommissioned navy destroyer Fraser and the retired navy ship Cormorant, which is under arrest. But the federal government has just taken ownership of the Fraser and will either fix it up or move it and the society has gone to court seeking permission to sell and move the Cormorant.

The other ships there are the schooner Larinda, which sank in Halifax Harbour during hurricane Juan and is being restored, the fishing dragger Newfie Challenger, which is undergoing repair work, and the side trawler Freedom, which is being converted to a pleasure boat.

Mr. Welsford had hoped to sell the land overlooking the port to the town. He went so far as to have the society’s lawyer contact the town’s lawyer with a price after the town expressed interest in the property.

Several real estate agencies valued the site on the west side of the LaHave River at $55,000 to $225,000. The society offered it to the Town of Bridgewater for $140,000, but the town said last June it is not interested, which prompted the society to list the property with an agent.

Mr. Welsford is miffed.

"In my heart, I think it’s appropriate for the town to buy (the property) and increase its waterfront holdings and parkland. I’m disappointed in them. They need to refocus back on the waterfront."

A number of town residents have criticized him because the Fraser has peeling paint.

"Personally, I’m tired of taking the hits when the town is the largest holder of waterfront property."

The society has listed the property for $180,000 through Holm Realty Ltd., describing the lot as serviced, with historic wharfs and year-round direct access to deep water.

A developer could apply to rezone the 20,266-square-foot property for condominiums or apartments, but Mr. Welsford said he would be thrilled to see it restored to its original role as a commercial site.

"It was a commercial shipping property," Mr. Welsford said. "Both sides of the (LaHave River) used to be chockablock full up to Shipyard Landing."

They are worn down and weathered, but the two old wharfs jutting out into the water are grandfathered. With the footprint in place, that means the federal government would almost assuredly approve plans to upgrade them, Mr. Welsford said.

"There’s nothing stopping a trawler owner from coming in and setting up his own commercial port facility," he said.
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  #84  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2009, 11:14 AM
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5 South Shore schools to close
But so far, province has promised only one new school for Lunenburg County
By BEVERLEY WARE South Shore Bureau
Fri. Mar 27 - 5:20 AM

HEBBVILLE — The South Shore regional school board has voted to close five schools, but only one of those will see a change in the near future.

That’s because the closures are contingent on provincial approval for new schools.

"I am deeply frustrated and disappointed with the provincial government," board member Gary Mailman said at the board’s meeting in Hebbville on Wednesday evening. The board intended to finalize closure plans then and Mr. Mailman said the board had been told a number of times funding for two new schools would be approved by March 11.

"The provincial government really needs to give its head a shake," Mr. Mailman said as he urged people to make their displeasure known in the upcoming provincial election.

But school board superintendent Nancy Pynch-Worthylake said she’s sure the province will come through with the desperately anticipated money. "It’s our turn. We’ve worked very hard, we’ve met with the minister, we’ve met with the deputy minister. They’ve all assured us that it is our turn."

The board had already voted to close three of the five schools but put a time frame on it this time, saying it will close the schools within two years. But it may well have to extend that time frame once the province changes the legislation which would allow it to do so.

In all, the board voted to close four schools in Lunenburg County and one in Queens County and replace them with a new school in each county.

The affected schools are Riverport and District Elementary, Lunenburg Junior-Senior High School, Lunenburg Academy and Centre Consolidated in Lunenburg County, and Milton Centennial School in Queens County.

The board voted to close Riverport, a Primary-to-Grade 6 school with 50 students, in the two-year time frame allowed by government regulations and for students to then be bused to a new Primary-to-Grade 9 school to be built in the Lunenburg area. Centre and Lunenburg Academy will close in that same time frame and their students will also go to the new school.

Board members were concerned that two years isn’t enough time, particularly since there isn’t approval for new schools yet, but vice-chairwoman Karen Kinley said the province has assured them the regulations will be changed, extending the time frame.

The board voted to close the high school portion of Lunenburg Junior-Senior High this June and give students a choice of attending either Bridgewater Junior Senior High or Park View Education Centre. The closure will save the board about $300,000 this year.

Students in Grades 6-9 will stay at their school until a new one is built.

In Queens County, Milton Centennial — a Primary-to-Grade 1 school — will close in two years with students going to Dr. J. C. Wickwire, currently a Grade 2-6 school. But this can only happen when South Queens Junior High is replaced by a new school. It currently takes students in Grades 7-9, but the planned new building would take students from Grades 6-8.

Liverpool’s high school would then expand to include Grade 9.

Except in Riverport, parents generally support the board’s actions providing the new schools get built. In Riverport, many parents and residents say they want their school to stay open permanently.

Board member Max Rafuse said he’s worried about what will happen if the province doesn’t come through with the money for two new schools. Board Chair Elliott Payzant said the board would simply retract the motions and keep the schools open.

Finance Director Wade Tattrie said the closures will not create the savings the board needs this year and more cuts may lay ahead. The board doesn’t have its budget from the province yet "but we do know it’s not going to be enough," he said.

Mr. Tattrie said the board will be faced with at least a $1-million shortfall "but I think it’s going to be much higher than that. We have some very significant financial challenges coming ahead."
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  #85  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2009, 3:15 AM
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Pictou County to get new $36m rec centre

By JEFFREY SIMPSON Staff Reporter
Sat. Mar 28 - 4:46 AM
Pictou County residents are getting a $36-million recreation facility thanks to substantial help from the federal and provincial governments.

Ottawa will provide $12 million and the province $10 million for the multi-purpose centre, which will be built on the outskirts of New Glasgow and Stellarton near Exit 23 on Highway 104.

The facility is to include two ice surfaces, a gymnasium, a swimming pool, a fitness centre and community rooms.

Pat Dunn, the Tory MLA who represents the area, said the complex will be completed by July 2011.

"It’s going to pay great dividends for the health of Pictonians," Mr. Dunn, who is also the provincial minister of health promotion and protection, said in an interview Friday.

"There has been a tremendous need here for a number of years for a facility of this nature."

Mr. Dunn joined Central Nova MP Peter MacKay in New Glasgow on Friday to announce the funding for the project.

Mr. Dunn said the only large recreation facility in the area now is an indoor soccer complex that is also used for football, softball, rugby and golf. People recovering from surgery also use it for walking.

New Glasgow, Pictou, Stellarton, Westville, Trenton and Pictou County will own the new recreation centre and the YMCA will operate it. Those municipalities and some private-sector sponsors will share some of the cost of building it.

Ron Baillie, warden of the Municipality of Pictou County, said the centre will benefit people living in the area physically and economically.

"It will mean a place for our children to have fun, our young people to grow and our adults to stay physically active," he said. "It will also mean jobs, both during and after its construction — jobs that are invaluable to our region during these challenging economic times."

The $10 million in provincial funding will come from the province’s Building Facility Infrastructure Together program.

Charlie Parker, the New Democrat MLA for Pictou West, said he welcomes the project but would prefer if Mr. MacKay arrived with news of more sustainable economic projects, such as filling the void of jobs created when the TrentonWorks railcar plant closed two years ago.

"We’re probably in the pre-election period here, both federally and provincially," Mr. Parker said.

"What we’re really hoping for are long-lasting jobs here. TrentonWorks comes to mind as one we’d like to see a solution to here, and we certainly welcome an announcement like that for steady employment here for a lot of years to come."

Mr. MacKay’s riding has benefited from several funding announcements this month. The federal defence minister was in Pictou County early in the month to announce funding for transforming a former open pit coal mine into a $2.5-million track and field complex that is to include an eight-lane rubberized track. The federal and provincial governments will contribute $863,000 each to that project.

Mr. MacKay was also in the area last week to announce $40,000 from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency for an engineering study of a $1.3-million facelift to incorporate walking trails through Trenton’s industrial centre, largely abandoned when TrentonWorks closed.

He also came with news of $19,000 in ACOA funding to hire consultants to come up with a development plan for River John’s riverfront.

Also last week, he announced $1 million in federal money for an all-weather playing field and rubberized track to be built at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish by Aug. 1.
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  #86  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2009, 7:05 PM
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Truro Elementary School Officially Opens
Department of EducationMarch 30, 2009 1:18 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nearly 600 students celebrated the official opening of their new leading-edge elementary school in Truro today, March 30.

Premier Rodney MacDonald, Finance Minister Jamie Muir, parents, teachers, staff, school board members and other community members joined the students for the opening ceremony of the Truro Elementary School.

"While we have been investing $400 million in new and renovated schools, we know that a successful school is more than bricks and mortar," said Premier Rodney MacDonald. "A successful school is a safe, healthy, creative, community-oriented place that gives our children the skills and knowledge to open the door to a better future. Truro Elementary has all those ingredients."

The primary to Grade 6 school includes 28 classrooms and a number of smaller teaching areas. It has the largest elementary gymnasium in the province and an enlarged cafeteria, both funded in part by the Town of Truro.

"The young students of Truro and area are being educated in some of the most advanced elementary schools to be found anywhere," said Finance Minister Jamie Muir, who spoke on behalf of Education Minister Judy Streatch.

"Truro Elementary, and the recently opened Harmony Heights Elementary, are state of the art, technologically and environmentally."

Truro Elementary was built to be a very green building. For example, rainwater is used to flush urinals and it is heated with cleaner burning natural gas. It is also high tech, including a projector and digital surround sound in every classroom.

"I am delighted with the new school and how its students and parents have joined together to make a new, vibrant school community," said Trudy Thompson, chair of the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board.

Students from four smaller schools began attending the $13.2 million school on Jan. 8. The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal oversaw construction of the two-storey school. It was designed by Fowler, Bauld and Mitchell Ltd. and built by Marco Group.

Truro Elementary School was built through the province's multi-year, $400 million capital construction program.
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  #87  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2009, 11:17 AM
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New hotel brightens job market
Best Western Liverpool to open June 1
By BEVERLEY WARE South Shore Bureau
Wed. Apr 1 - 6:48 AM


Best Western Liverpool is set to open June 1. Hotel management says there has been no shortage of job applicants. (Beverley Ware / STAFF)





LIVERPOOL — Nearly 300 people are temporarily out of work at the nearby paper mill, but there is some good news in the Liverpool area as contractors hammer away and locals prepare for job interviews next week to work in a new hotel.

Best Western Liverpool is set to open June 1. None of the finishing work has been done inside, but construction of the three-storey hotel and convention facility is clearly visible from Highway 103 as drivers approach Liverpool.

The ground was broken in the fall, said general manager Melissa Robinson, and while boulders, crushed rock, uprooted branches and even a dead Christmas tree surround the construction site, she said the hotel will be ready to open in two months.

In fact, the hotel already has some weddings booked for this year, and Ms. Robinson said she has had inquiries about the first-floor 2,600-square-foot convention centre.

"We will have to try to capitalize on a city market in a small town, but we have a beautiful product to offer and I think once we have people in the door they will come back," she said.

It’s a bright spot in a community waiting out the results of AbitibiBowater Inc’s efforts to restructure its $1.8-billion debt. If that can’t be done, the Montreal-based newsprint manufacturer will likely seek bankruptcy protection.

That’s a big worry for the 285 workers who have been off work at the corporation’s paper mill in Brooklyn since March 15 because of poor market conditions. They are scheduled to return to work April 20.

In the meantime, the hotel’s management team is in place and Ms. Robinson said she will begin hiring front-line staff next week. "We are hiring 21 to 25 full-time staff."

She said there is no shortage of well-qualified applicants.

"We’ve been bombarded with resumes" for jobs that include bar and room attendants, guest services and people to take care of the continental breakfast.

"We’re probably going to capture some really good people," Ms. Robinson said. She said a number of applicants took a tourism course offered by South Shore Opportunities, a career counselling and support organization, and the owners are pleased by that.

"The chamber is very pleased the Best Western sees a viable business plan in Queens County," said Mark Sapp, co-chair of the South Queens Chamber of Commerce. "Big or small, this is a good place to do business."

While some established inns and bed and breakfasts have expressed concern about the impact of the hotel on their business, "my personal feeling is that providing competition, room rentals and options in our area is good for all businesses. It will make Liverpool a place to stop," Mr. Sapp said.

He expects the convention space to entice people to stay longer and spend money, provide an ideal midpoint for people travelling from Halifax to Yarmouth, and provide mutual support for the recreation complex being built next door.

While the owners wouldn’t disclose the final price tag, Ms. Robinson said it will surpass the anticipated $5-million construction cost. She said the 65 rooms will be upscale, and the hotel will include Jacuzzi and family suites, an indoor pool, fitness facility and cocktail lounge.

Alimento Catering and Kitchenworks, a local local company, has been hired to do the catering.
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  #88  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2009, 4:50 PM
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Lease agreement signed for Campbellton wind farm

Published Wednesday April 1st, 2009
A4

FREDERICTON - A lease agreement to build what will be the most powerful wind farm in New Brunswick was signed yesterday.

The 99-megawatt wind farm will be located south of Campbellton. The province signed a Crown lease agreement that will permit Caribou Wind Park GP Ltd., a subsidiary of GDF SUEZ Energy North America, to develop the infrastructure.

Natural Resources Minister Wally Stiles said energy power from the wind farm will be significant in the province's goal of obtaining 400 megawatts of energy from wind power, all by next year.

The 20-year lease covers a 35-hectare, highland-terrain site on which the company intends to build 33 turbines, each capable of producing three megawatts of electrical power that will feed into the NB Power transmission grid. It is expected to generate more than $7 million in revenue.

Since 2007, more than two dozen licences covering more than 130,000 hectares of Crown land have been granted or are under review for wind power exploration in the province.
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  #89  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2009, 11:56 PM
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^Good to see one of the NB wind farms go-ahead. Does anyone happen to know just how many are in the plans?

Group slams delay in Wilderness Area designation
PHILIP CROUCHER
METRO HALIFAX
March 31, 2009 12:26 a.m.

The Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association is growing concerned about what it calls the provincial government’s delay in designating Wilderness Area status to Ship Harbour Long Lake.

The 14,000-hectare wilderness area in the eastern region of HRM is mostly without roads. By getting the Wilderness Area status, the site would be permanently protected from development and industrial activities such as logging and mining.

The group issued a press release yesterday noting that in December 2007, Premier Rodney MacDonald announced the government’s intention to protect the area with the Wilderness Area designation, with a completion date of last December. That deadline has passed, and association members are “puzzled” the process is overdue “with no firm designation in site.”

Bruce Nunn, a provincial spokesperson for the Department of Environment, said yesterday designating a site a Wildneress Area is a “very busy process.” He said the next step is a 60-day public consultation on the boundary areas. After that, it will need cabinet approval


Normally I wouldn't post a HRM news article in this thread but Ship Harbour is an insanely long distance from the city so its pure rural news and won't affect the city at all.
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  #90  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2009, 3:06 AM
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Where have you gone, Frank McKenna?

Bathurst call centre closing
Published Saturday April 4th, 2009
Service Sitel closing its northern facility, putting 275 people out of work as of May 1


C1
Dave MacLean
Telegraph-Journal

Northern New Brunswick has once again been rocked by the loss of a major employer as Sitel announced Friday it is closing its Bathurst call centre, putting 275 people out of work.

"We have been an active part of the Bathurst business community for a number of years so the decision to close our site here does not come easy," Robert Morley, site director of the Bathurst facility, said in a press release issued late Friday. "This closure is due to the changing business needs of our client and is in no way reflective of the quality of customer care provided by our Bathurst associates."

The company said it is working with government agencies and other businesses in the region to assist those affected in finding new employment. Sitel also said in the press release that it is encouraging employees to apply for open positions at the company's other "nearby" facilities in Moncton and Saint John.

Donald Hammond, executive director of Entreprise Chaleur, said his organization would have to evaluate the value of call centres in the northern city and then determine whether to pursue other companies in the industry.

"I don't have much detail yet and I'm not in any position to comment on the numbers," Hammond said before the company confirmed the closure. "But it appears they'll be laying off some people as of May 1.

"The word is that the employees were told yesterday what to expect. It sounds like they'll be downsizing at the end of this month. When there are job losses like this, our first priority is the employees."

Hammond said he hopes to meet with company officials to get a better understanding of the decision.

"One of the things we want to do very soon is sit down with the site manager of Sitel here and look at all the issues to see if there's any way we can help," he said. "We have to eventually determine what Sitel's long-term commitment to the region is going to be. Are these layoffs permanent? Are they temporary? If the intention is that they are to be permanent, then our job is to determine whether we want to contact other call centres.

"There are others looking for a location. At one point, we gave up pursuing other call centres because we felt we had reached our saturation point. What we have to look at now is to determine the impact of this decision and then is there a case to be made for us to pursue other call centres."

Hammond said the layoffs might also act as a catalyst to get some people thinking about retraining opportunities.

"This could be the right time for some of those who are going to be affected to consider going into a retraining program, to maybe consider another career. And with the summer coming up, I presume that there will be additional needs from local employers looking for people with similar skill sets. That could mean an opportunity for employers to hire some of these people."

Hammond said the region has been making efforts to diversify its economy in the past decade and those efforts are helping lessen the impact of closures like the one at Sitel.

"I think we'll be less impacted because of the work we've been doing in diversifying our economy," he said. "We saw that with the closures of Smurfit-Stone and more recently with Blue Note Caribou Mines, the impact wasn't as severe as some had expected because our economy is more diverse.

"There's been an impact, but it could have been a lot worse and to me that's an indication that some of the things that we've been doing are right on track and we have to keep building on it."
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  #91  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2009, 5:11 AM
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Cabot Trail funding

Mar 24, 2009 CB Post

Quote:
Cabot trail rebuild gets federal boost

The Cape Breton Post

Considering the political fanfare that often accompanies even relatively minor government funding announcements for Cape Breton, it was as though that $16 million and change just fell out of Jim Prentice’s pocket as he was politicking around Halifax last Friday. Road widening and paving in the Ingonish area and north along a section of the Cabot Trail accounted for largest chunk of funding that the federal environment minister, who’s responsible for parks, had to announce for the Nova Scotia.

The sum of $14 million doesn’t go far in road construction these days but the work in Ingonish, Middle Head and Warren Lake to South Mountain will be a welcome improvement around that busy end of the portion of the Cabot Trail that circles Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Last year Ottawa funded $2.2 million to pave a 13 kilometre section of Cabot Trail between MacKenzie Mountain and French Mountain on the Cheticamp side of the park trail.

The Cabot Trail work and several other smaller national park and historic site projects Prentice announced are fully federal but the multi-year reconstruction of the Cabot Trail is in effect a joint project by virtue of the fact that everything outside the park boundaries is the sole responsibility of the province.

The Nova Scotia government plans some 60 kilometres of Cabot Trail widening over the next several years between St. Ann’s and Cape Smokey.
This is the second year of a five-year plan to do 33k from the base of Cape Smokey to the intersection of Trunk 19 and Route 312.

Residents of the area have complained that the pace of the work is too slow, and some have quibbles with how specific sections are being done. In addition, cycling lobbyists aren’t happy with the narrow bicycle shoulder included in some of the work.

Widened shoulders for cyclists and hikers are also part of the federal road plan, and that pleases Sandra MacDonald, executive director Destination Cape Breton, who sees huge potential to build the Cabot Trail as cycling attraction. The daunting hills of the Cape Breton Highlands are viewed as a special challenge by the more adventuresome, and fit, cyclists. Provinces such as Quebec and P.E.I. are peddling full tilt on cycling tourism but Nova Scotia has been slow to find the right gear.

There may be some disappointment that Prentice did not also announce a new visitor and administrative centre at the Ingonish end of the park which has been on the drawing board for several years but the road work will directly contribute to the quality of the park experience for visitors, which is not to suggest that the park is adequately experienced by simply driving around it.

Among the smaller projects in the Prentice announcement is $2 million for work at Fortress of Louisbourg, which includes structural repairs to buildings.
That’s not a lot of money for a premier historic site with restorations dating back to the 1960s but every bit helps.
I'm starting to filter out the rural from the more immediate Sydney area now.
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Old Posted Apr 6, 2009, 5:49 AM
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No room levy for Inverness County

Mar 31, 2009 CB Post

Quote:
No wiggle room for levy
Inverness County unlikely to vote in favour of room levy

NANCY KING
The Cape Breton Post

PORT HOOD — It appears unlikely that the proposed strategy to market Cape Breton as a tourism destination, and the room levy that would pay for it, will get the unanimous support of the island’s municipal governments.

Inverness County council met last week with some of the county’s tourism operators to gauge support for the strategy recently released by Destination Cape Breton. It was billed as an important meting for all tourism-related businesses.

Warden Duart MacAulay said upwards of 25 people representing about 20 different tourist operations from across the county came out for the public meeting Thursday evening.

“The majority of the operators are very strongly against any kind of a levy, and we’ll have to have some discussion on it, but it looks very much like we in Inverness County won’t be going along with the rest of the municipal units on it,” he said Monday. “What’s going to happen from there, I don’t know ... They say that their customers are taxed enough.”

Because the council has gone on record as saying it will take its lead from local operators, MacAulay said he believes they will vote against supporting it. The issue will be discussed at a tourism committee meeting next week, and from there a motion will go to council for a vote.

see ‘Operators’ page A2

Legislation enabling the levy was expected to be proclaimed by the province in April 2006, but royal assent was postponed when some municipalities withdrew support amid growing complaints by small operators. Other island municipalities have since decided to support the levy, after some changes were made to the proposal.

Under the new strategy, DCB will move away from a member-driven model and will instead be funded by introducing a two per cent marketing levy on most rooms sold on the island, and leveraging funds from levels of government and other partners. The levy would not apply to accommodations with fewer than 10 rooms.

When the strategy was rolled out earlier this month, DCB chair Ray Kavanaugh said they don’t want it to be seen as an approach that that caters to any one sector or geographic area, but rather want it to be as inclusive as possible.

Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation has agreed to match funds raised, which is projected to be $470,000 in the first year and to grow to $600,000 in the third year. With other funding sources, it’s projected DCB will bring in almost $2.2 million in revenue in the third year, with $1.4 million to be spent on marketing and advertising.

Proponents have said the money and the advertising it will fund is badly needed, as tourism has been on the decline since 2000. Since that time, the number of visitors to the Cape Breton Highlands fell by 20 per cent, to Fortress Louisbourg by 21 per cent and to the Bell Museum by 35 per cent.
Room nights sold have also fell in every county, while the visitor information centre in Port Hastings saw its numbers drop by 50 per cent since 2000.

MacAulay said the municipality is willing to work with Destination Cape Breton if it can to change any requirement under the legislation that all municipalities on the island must accept the levy for it to go ahead.

When asked if he is concerned about how the county could fare if a marketing campaign that it isn’t involved in may go ahead, MacAulay said he put that question to the operators, noting ECBC’s commitment to support the strategy.

“They were just adamant that they didn’t want to get involved with Destination Cape Breton at all,” he said, adding he was surprised to find that of the operators represented at the meeting, only two were members of the organization.

One Cheticamp area operator who has been a vocal opponent of the levy has said there is a lingering feeling that DCB doesn’t represent the interests of the industry islandwide.

The council asked the operators for alternatives, and MacAulay said it’s his understanding that separate tourism groups representing different communities intend to come together in an effort to develop a county-wide organization and possibly pursue some marketing of their own.

Darlene Sponagle, project manager with Destination Cape Breton, said she can’t comment until the municipality makes its final decision.
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Old Posted Apr 6, 2009, 2:49 PM
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Route 11 will be twinned: source

Published Monday April 6th, 2009
Premier expected to announce twinning of 35-km (22-mile) stretch during speech today in Moncton
A1
By Charles Perry
Times & Transcript Staff

Premier Shawn Graham will unveil his government's commitment to a significant infrastructure project for the region during a noon-hour speech today in Moncton.

It is expected that the premier will talk about his government's plan for a highway network on the eastern shore of the province.

"This government believes in stimulating the economy," said a government source. "And modernizing the province's infrastructure is part of its plan."

According to the government source, part of the government's strategy calls for the twinning of more than 35 kilometres (22 miles) of Route 11 between Shediac and Bouctouche's Girouardville Road.

The plan will be outlined by the premier in a speech on the economy and infrastructure at the Moncton Rotary Club's weekly lunch meeting at the Delta Beauséjour Hotel today at noon. Department of Transportation statistics reveal that the section of highway to be twinned experiences daily traffic volumes between 6,600 vehicles near Bouctouche and more than 10,000 vehicles at the Shediac end of the road.

"Having the proper infrastructure system in place will improve safety on our highways and ensure our goods flow to export markets," said the source.

The proposed alignment for the twinning is scheduled to be presented by department officials to the public at an informal session by DoT representatives some time later in the spring.

According to the provincial source, this phase of the work includes four major river crossings and upgrading of a number of interchanges along the 35-kilometre (22-mile) stretch of highway.

The premier will elaborate further on the project in his address to the Moncton Rotary Club meeting, which is scheduled to get under way at 12:15 p.m.
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Old Posted Apr 6, 2009, 3:12 PM
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Twinning of route 11 between Bouctouche and Shediac is very necessary. There is a lot of commuter traffic on that road down towards Moncton.

What I would like to know is why there is not a similar push to divide the highway between Fredericton and Saint John? That would seem like a no-brainer to me.
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Old Posted Apr 6, 2009, 3:44 PM
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For whatever reason, there isn't as much traffic going from Fredericton to Saint John. I think it's only about 4000 vehicles a day on some parts of the highway.

(And I know I've said this a few times on here...but I would love to get my hands on full traffic volume data for New Brunswick. I have them for Nova Scotia and Maine, but NB seems to treat them like the Coke formula.)
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Old Posted Apr 6, 2009, 5:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post


Twinning of route 11 between Bouctouche and Shediac is very necessary. There is a lot of commuter traffic on that road down towards Moncton.

What I would like to know is why there is not a similar push to divide the highway between Fredericton and Saint John? That would seem like a no-brainer to me.
I think it comes down to numbers. Route 11 is a lot busier than Route 7.

But there is quite a vocal movement to get it twinned anyway. They were particularly vocal after that off-duty RCMP officer and kids were killed near Oromocto a month ago.
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Old Posted Apr 7, 2009, 7:06 PM
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Province, Federal Government Invest $33 Million in Highway 103
Transportation and Infrastructure RenewalApril 7, 2009 10:34 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There will be increased safety and better traffic flow for people driving on the 103 Highway near Port Mouton, thanks to a $33-million investment by the province and government of Canada.

The controlled access, eight-kilometre section of Highway 103, announced today, April 7, in Liverpool, will reduce traffic, including commercial vehicles, that pass through residential areas of the Queens County community.

"This is a significant part of the work to modernize roads from one end of Nova Scotia to the other," said Premier Rodney MacDonald. "Today's announcement represents Phase I of a plan to build a controlled access highway from Broad River to Sable River, improving safety along this stretch of highway while supporting the local economy."

Highway 103 serves as a gateway from Halifax to Yarmouth and then links to the U.S., via the CAT ferry. The improvement is important for the economic growth of the province.

"This investment will ensure that this vital route continues to serve the province of Nova Scotia well into the future," said Gerald Keddy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, representing the government of Canada. "It will also bring peace of mind to local residents and businesses who use this highway daily."

The project responds to requests from local chambers of commerce, residents and elected officials to make the section of highway a priority. Construction, targeted to begin in late 2011 and expected to be completed within two years, will provide jobs for the local economy.

"We're pleased to move forward on this project that meets the needs of local businesses and residents," said Brooke Taylor, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. "This project will improve safety and traffic flow on the South Shore."

An environmental assessment, surveying, land acquisition and detailed design work will be done before construction.

The province of Nova Scotia is providing funding through its Building for Growth Plan, one of the largest infrastructure programs in the province's history
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2009, 4:28 AM
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^Here's the information posted above in lay-man's terms;

Feds, N.S. commit $33m to bypass around Port Mouton

By BEVERLEY WARE South Shore Bureau
Tue. Apr 7 - 10:15 PM

LIVERPOOL — The provincial and federal governments announced here Tuesday they will build an eight-kilometre bypass around Port Mouton, a section of Highway 103 that falls below the standard for national highways in Canada.

The $33-million cost of the two-lane controlled access section will be divided between the two levels of government and the bypass will open in four years.

Premier Rodney MacDonald said it will improve safety on the winding stretch of highway that runs in front of homes and is known for sharp turns that require the speed limit to drop in parts to 50 km/h.

South Shore-St. Margarets MP Gerald Keddy said Tuesday’s announcement marks the first phase of a plan to upgrade the highway for a total of 30 kilometres, from Broad River to Sable River, 22 kilometres of which is considered a secondary highway, despite being part of Highway 103.

Mr. MacDonald said the bypass is needed to improve safety for truckers, residents, tourists and business people travelling through the region.

Queens MLA Vicki Conrad questioned the timing of the announcement.

“This piece of highway was identified well over 30 years ago,” and she said residents have been calling for improvements that whole time.

The riding had been represented by a Conservative MLA from 1953 until Ms. Conrad of the NDP won in 2006.

“I think this is indicative of having an NDP MLA raising the awareness and the government finally taking this riding seriously, and I think if we look back over the last many years, this riding was taken for granted under the Conservative watch. The squeaky wheel gets the grease at the end of the day and I think I’ve been a very squeaky wheel.”

Transportation Minister Brooke Taylor said the bypass does not obviate twinning of Highway 103, which last year was the deadliest of the 100-series highways in the province.

“No, this doesn’t preclude us at all from doing twinning on the 103. ... We plan on doing the environmental assessment this year between exits 5 and 6 and hope to have that part of the 103 ready for twinning, ready to go to tender, as early as 2011.”

Mr. MacDonald said the twinning would be extended under a Tory government.

“We have made a commitment to upgrade and modernize and twin highways from Yarmouth straight through to Sydney and to have that completed by the year 2020, so we have 11 years to go and our commitment to the people living along the 103 and the other 100-series highways is that it’ll all be complete by that year.”

But the premier said the necessary framework, such as the Port Mouton bypass, must be put in place first, just as interchanges were built before Highway 101 was twinned.

While some of the land for the Port Mouton bypass has already been acquired, an environmental assessment will determine the exact route. It will take about two years to complete the assessment, surveys and design work and another two years to build the bypass.

Mr. MacDonald said the province’s $33-million contribution falls under its economic stimulus plan called Building for Growth. He estimates each dollar invested under the program generates about $1.50 in the community.

“That means this project alone will inject about $49.5 million in nearby communities.”
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2009, 6:55 PM
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$6.9M facility scheduled to open in summer 2010
A10
By Jesse Robichaud
Times & Transcript Staff

REXTON - If all goes well, construction of a new $6.9-million nursing home will begin in Rexton in June.

The project will eventually connect to a new $2-million health centre that will be built in the village.

"It is going to be one big complex on the site," said Nancy Cail, the administrator of Rexton Lions Nursing Home, "It is always nice in our line of work to have doctors next door under one roof."

Cail's father was a founding member of the board of directors of the nursing home that opened almost 35 years ago, and she can't hide her excitement when she thinks of how the new facility will change the lives of the home's residents and give the local economy a boost.

"We have some local manufacturers and suppliers that we hope have an opportunity to reap some of the benefits," said Cail, noting that the tendering process will close on May 1.

But while the residents of Rexton Lions Nursing Home can look forward to moving into new, state-of-the-art accommodations in the summer of 2010, the number of beds will not increase beyond the 30 that currently exist.

The charitable organization that runs the home applied to increase the number of beds to 50 from 30, but was told by the Department of Social Development that there is not a sufficient demand in the Kent County area to warrant the extra beds.

That decision was made despite a widespread acknowledgment that the province-wide shortage of nursing home spaces is crippling the health-care system.

"We certainly wish it would have been increased to 50 beds," said Cail, noting that the home consistently has a waiting list.

"(But) when the long-term care strategy came out in 2008, that study determined that for our area here we have ample number of beds to cover in our area."

Cail said the charitable organization that runs the home is nevertheless excited to see the tendering process under way.

The group hopes to award the tender by early June so that construction can begin as soon as possible.

"They tell us that it takes 12 to 14 months for (the home) to be build, and of course we hope for less but it's perfect timing," said Cail.

Cail said the architecture of the new facility, and changes to guidelines within the Department of Social Development, will dramatically improve the comfort and quality of life for residents and their families.

"Along the way they realized that some of the standards they have for nursing homes were probably from many years ago and needed to be updated," she said.

Cail said the new building will provide more privacy to residents while they spend time with family members.

"There will be niches where you can sit privately. It is not all just in one big space."

She said the building will be more than twice the size of the current facility and space will be used to the full advantage of residents.

"It is so exciting for us because the residents are living in such a small place," said Cail.

A kitchen area will provide residents with the chance to cook for themselves or with the help of staff, and a large central activity area will offer a space to do anything from Nintendo Wii to a game of cards.

"We are going to have two beautiful interior courtyards to go outside to the garden, and we will have a large activity area where our church services will be held," said Cail.

The number of private rooms will be boosted to 24, and rooms and washrooms will be much bigger than in the current facility, said Cail.

"We will have our own lounge, our own dining room, whereas currently our dining room and lounge are one room."

Cail grew up near the current facility and, like her father, she served on the board of directors before becoming the administrator about two years ago.

"The architect has done a fantastic job to capture the heritage of our community," said Cail, adding that residents will appreciate the design and the location that is nearer the bustle of the village.

"We will be closer to the road. The residents will have a little more of a view of what's going on and going by."
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2009, 8:54 PM
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Wrong thread

Sorry
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