Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bridgewater council becoming Electronically Advanced

Bridgewater council is moving to a more technical way of doing business. Council recently discussed options of online voting during 2012 elections and issuing laptops for councillors to cut down on paper costs. Mayor Carroll Publicover says it should improve the way council works. Publicover says he expects council will move to e-voting and e-council around the October 2012 elections. He says the new initiative is covered in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 budgets.

MLA Parker introduces bill to enact Pulp and Paper Mill Agreement

Charlie Parker
Legislation was introduced Wednesday implementing a provincial investment in jobs, land purchases and innovation at the Bowater Mersey Pulp and Paper Mill near Liverpool. Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker says the bill is a strong statement of the province's commitment to support good jobs, strong rural communities and a sustainable pulp and paper industry that is an integral part of the provincial economy. The Bowater Mersey Investment Act will give legal authority to enact a multi-year agreement, outlined by Premier Darrell Dexter on December 2nd, that includes a capital investment, land acquisition and worker skills training. Highlights of the agreement include:

- $25 million in capital improvements to help reduce electricity consumption and also produce additional renewable energy.
- $23.7 million to buy 25,000 acres of company-owned land, some of which could be used towards the province's goal of 12 per cent protected lands by 2015.
- $1.5 million for skills training through the Productivity Investment Program.

Long Standing Bridgewater Business has New Ownership

A familiar Bridgewater business is changing hands. Gow's Home Hardware has been in the Gow family for several generations. Now, its been purchased by a long-time employee of the firm. New owner Amanda Fancy is a Lunenburg County native and she says the values and community-spirit of Gow's that's traditional with the company will continue. There will be no company name-change and the now-former owner Peter Gow will remain on staff. The change takes effect January 1st.

Vigil marks need to end Violence Against Women

The South Shore Labour Council is recognizing the need to stop violence against women. The group is holding a candlelight vigil Tuesday night at the Masonic Hall at 216 North Street in Bridgewater. A delegate for the council, Melissa Dorey, says the event helps create awareness about the issue. She says there are lots of places along the South Shore that can help including Harbour House. The event gets underway at 7pm Tuesday night and is expected to include a few guest speakers and prayer.

Bill 102: Grits & Tories Make Final Pitch

Opposition Leaders in Nova Scotia are pushing South Shore MLA's to break party ranks and vote against a controversial labour law. The NDP government is set to introduce a first contract arbitration bill that would allow for a third party arbitrator to decide the terms of employment in a newly unionized workplace. Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil is hoping to see amendments to Bill 102 so unions and management have more time to negotiate before the arbitration process. "What we're asking them to do is move away from the Manitoba model which is the most offensive - it's the one that Michelin, Sobeys and Clearwater have all express major concerns about - we're asking government to move closer to the Ontario model or quite frankly the model that the federal government uses which means you have to prove someone is bargaining in bad faith before going to arbitration," Meanwhile, Conservative Leader Jamie Bailie is calling on South Shore MLA's Gary Ramey and Pam Birdsall to oppose the bill. Ballie admits its a long-shot but is hoping to get support of five members from the NDP to vote against the legislation. The bill could come up for a vote as early as Thursday.