Friday, December 30, 2011

Ramey Talks First Contract Legislation and Michelin Bill

The NDP MLA for Lunenburg West is setting the record straight on his decision to support first contract legislation in Nova Scotia. Both the Tories and Grits opposed the labour bill and hyped up the legislation as a bad move that would hurt future investment in the province. However, Gary Ramey says he believes it's a case where Nova Scotians were mainly misinformed or didn't even read the legislation. "First of all, I got very few calls, four or five emails and two or three letters on the issue. On a daily basis I probably get fifteen to twenty calls about roads, ditches, bushes - that sort of thing and I got a number of calls from people who supported it," Ramey says another reason behind his government's decision to bring forward the bill is to ensure Nova Scotia's $25 billion dollar Shipbuilding Contract goes smoothly. "What we didn't want to happen is if there ever were a glitch along the way we didn't want to be in the position where we were introducing this legislation when there was already a problem. It's still not any easier to get a union started, you still have to have a union vote and go through the entire process," Ramey says first contract legislation won't impact the status of non-unionized companies such as Michelin because of Nova Scotia's long standing law referred to as the "Michelin Bill".

On Tap: Bridgewater's LCLC Project and Amalgamation

A majority of Bridgewater councillors say the loss of the Fairview Inn was the town's biggest story in 2011. However, some members have a different opinion. Mayor Carroll Publicover believes the biggest story was the beginning of a 10-year study of potential joint services and amalgamation between Mahone Bay, Bridgewater and the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg. He says the study could impose some change in Lunenburg County. "I think its long overdue that we in an objective manner and a subjective manner look at the benefits of doing business together and possibly being one-government down the road," Meanwhile, Deputy Mayor David Walker feels the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre was a big achievement for 2011. "Bringing that to fruition, bringing us closer with the municipality in partnering in that and delivering something that the community identified as a real need is one of the highlights for me, I've been around here long enough to know that we have a lot of studies about a multi-purpose so that's a big one for me," Construction of the LCLC is expected to begin in March.

Review 2011: Tough First Half for Lumberjacks

It was a tough 2011 for the CIBC Wood Gundy Lumberjacks. The local junior club is in the midst of a troubling season, winning only 11 of their first 35 games. Head Coach Terry Rhindress says his club has been bothered by the injury bug. "We've had a lot of concussion related injuries, it bothers me a little bit that we haven't been able to put a full solid line-up on the ice game after game for the fans," Rhindress says his club has experienced some growing pains, which has left them in last place in the Bent Division. "Yeah, we are in last place but when you look at some of the games we lost, a lot of them were heartbreakers. We out played a lot of teams but just didn't get the bounces," The Jacks will need to post some early wins in 2012 to give themselves a shot at the playoffs. Their first game of the new year will be Tuesday, January 3rd at home against Truro.

Curling: AMJ Championship Heating Up in Windsor

A playoff spot is on the line this morning at the AMJ Campbell Provincial Junior Curling championships in Windsor when defending champ Lindsay Doucet of Chester faces Mayflower's Emily Dwyer in the "B" Division final. Dwyer is unbeaten while Doucet's only loss came against Dwyer yesterday. Four other teams are still alive including Chester's Mary Fay. Action kicked off this morning at 9 o'clock. On the guys side four teams are still in the hunt with Colten Steele of Dartmouth and Stuart Thompson of Mayflower leading the way with 4-1 records. Thomas Raddall of Bridgewater was eliminated last evening following a 10-6 to Robert Mayhew. Winners will advance to the Canadian championships in Napanee, Ontario next month

Review 2011: Fire @ White Point Beach Resort

It was a year marred by tragedy for White Point. In a year-end interview with the General Manager of the Liverpool-based resort, Danny Morton tells us the November 12 fire abruptly halted a good business season. He reflects on the day fire broke out in the main lodge. "It really was one of those periods where you're just thinking moment to moment and you can only do what you can do in the moment...but if there was a point where you had down time, that's when the emotion would throw you for a loop but you'd have to shake it on and look forward," The fire eventually destroyed the lodge, temporarily putting around 100 employees out of work. Morton says the community support has been overpowering. "It was unexpected to the degree that it has happened. For my whole staff and myself, we're all just very grateful for the role that we are playing in the community," A design team has been announced with plans to have a new main lodge built by the fall.

Bowater Mersey Top Story for MLA

Queens County has certainly had its share of ups and downs for 2011. From the death and murder trial of Laura Lee Robertson to the opening of Queens Place, the region was the centre of attention for the South Shore this year. Queens MLA Vicki Conrad spoke to CKBW/HANK FM News in a year-end interview. She says Bowater was the region's top story this year."I think the impact had Bowater shut it doors would have been felt throughout the South Shore, I mean we're talking about 2,000 direct or indirect jobs," Other highlights for Conrad include the tragic fire at White Point that destroyed the Liverpool-based resorts historic lodge. Conrad was also pleased the NDP government moved ahead with First Contract Arbitration during the fall session of the legislature.