Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Black Loyalist Support

It was a big Community Welcome of the Amistad Freedom Celebration 175 on the Shelburne Waterfront today. And Gerald Keddy brought a present from Ottawa. The MP for the South Shore announced $13,700 for the Black Loyalist Heritage Society. Keddy says these events help people understand the history of slavery and allows residents commemorate and celebrate the 175th anniversary of the abolition of slavery. Concerts, tours of Freedom Schooner Amistad, a march from Shelburne to Birchtown, the Junior Leaders Freedom Camp, a reception honouring elders from the local African Nova Scotian community; and a display of quilts and art are all part of the festivities running through till Sunday.

Gold River Bridge

Lunenburg County residents and visitors have a new modern six-million-dollar bridge. Gold River Bridge on Trunk 3 has been replaced and the new bridge is now open. Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Bill Estabrooks says that the replacement of the bridge was an important project in maintaining the beauty of the historic Lighthouse Route. The replacement project began in early 2008, as the original structure approached the end of its structural life. Work to dismantle the temporary detour bridge will take place over the next two to four weeks. Drivers are asked to proceed with caution in the area during this time.

Coastal Habitat Protection

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is thrilled to announce the protection of pristine coastal habitat at Port Joli in southwest Nova. Still unspoiled by development, the Port Joli area is a vital home for a number of migratory bird species, including Canada geese and Harlequin ducks. The area contains sandy beaches, eel grass flats, inter-tidal mudflats and coastal forests and was designated a Migratory Bird Sanctuary in 1941. Gerald Keddy South Shore/St. Margaret's MP says the Federal Government's Natural Areas Conservation Program is an important on-the-ground initiative that takes real action to preserve Canada's environment and conserve its precious natural heritage for present and future generations. While NCC already owned 136 acres (55 hectares) at Port Joli, the additional 341 acres (138 hectares) will ensure this unspoiled habitat remains in its natural state.

New Home Rebate

Applications for the province's new home construction rebate are now available at Access Nova Scotia Centres and online. The rebate is on new home construction and is equivalent to 50 per cent of the provincial portion of the HST, to a maximum of seven-thousand dollars. Up to 1,500 individuals who build or purchase a new home will qualify for this one-time rebate. The province has also moved the municipal building permit eligibility date to Jan. 1, 2009. Premier Darrell Dexter says this will help keep skilled tradespeople at home and boost the home-building industry. Application forms and information on eligibility for the rebate program are available at Access Nova Scotia centres or online at .

No Idle Project

We'll know this week if the Town of Bridgewater has been selected to take part in the Ecology Action Centre's "Idle-less Project'. Two municipal units will be selected to take part in the eight month project. Deputy-Mayor David Walker says the concept certainly blends into the Town's sustainability initiative. He says idling causes problems with greenhouse gasses but he's interested in finding out how the balance will be made between the environment and businesses like drive-thru's. The project involves two primary components. A community oriented campaign to reduce idling, including targeted business. And an examination of government policies and practices to reduce the amount of energy consumed by vehicles.

Postal Pre-emptive

Rural home mail delivery in Lunenburg County could be a thing of the past if Union's fears are realized. Canada Post is assessing its delivery service as a result of safety concerns expressed by rural mail drivers. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is alleging it's a move to save millions of dollars by eliminating home delivery and setting up community mailboxes. Toni Mckafee, the Education and Organizational Officers for CUP-W Atlantic Region says customers will likely be contacted in Lunenburg County in the next few weeks and customers have to voice their concerns and demand to keep their roadside mailbox. The Union has sent flyers to rural customers advising them of actions they can take to protect their rural mail delivery.