Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Video: Governor General's Visit To Yarmouth

Mayor Phil Mooney

It was a warm welcome for the Governor General of Canada in Yarmouth on Wednesday. David Johnston was greeted by Yarmouth mayor Phil Mooney before heading into an informal meeting with community leaders and citizens at Town Hall. During his whirlwind tour of south western Nova Scotia, Johnson took in a first hand look of a lobster pound and embarked on a two hour boating excursion to do some lobster fishing in the harbour. On Thursday, Johnson will visit West Pubnico. It will mark the first time a Governor General of Canada has visited the historic Acadian community of Pubnico.

NDP: Dexter Shuffles His Cards As Election Nears

A major shake-up within the majority NDP government in Nova Scotia. Premier Darrell Dexter has shuffled his cabinet, appointing Maureen MacDonald as the province's first female finance minister. MacDonald takes over for Graham Steele, who announced on Wednesday that he will not seek re-election after an 11-year career in politics. Steele made his announcement during a speech to the Bridgewater and Area Chamber of Commerce.

Meanwhile, Bill Estabrooks also announced he will not run again after 14 years in public life, and his former job as transportation minister will be filled by NDP backbencher Maurice Smith. Dave Wilson will become the new health minister, and Leonard Preyra enters cabinet for the first time in Wilson's former job as communities, culture and heritage minister. Steele was first elected to the provincial legislature in a 2001 and sworn in as finance minister when Nova Scotia elected its first NDP government in June 2009.

Buyer Walks Away From Old Post Office Sale

Talks have broken down on a potential sale of the old Canada Post building on King Street in Bridgewater. CKBW and HANK-FM News first reported the potential sale of the property in March after a company spokesperson confirmed negotiations were underway. Mayor Carroll Publicover says the potential buyer has decided against the purchase.

Publicover wouldn't comment but a tentative plan was to create a microbrewery in the building. The mayor says there are other parties ''unofficially'' interested in purchasing the 109-year-old landmark. The spot has been for sale since 2010.

Lohnes Finding Stride Before Nationals

A Bridgewater judoka continues to excel on the mat. Whitney Lohnes finished first in the under-20 division and third in the seniors category at the Ontario Open in Toronto. She also placed third recently at the U.S. Open in Miami and fifth at the Miami World Cup. Lohnes will continue training ahead of junior and senior nationals, which are scheduled for early July in Toronto.

Seniors Warned About Door To Door Pitchmen

The Better Business Bureau is warning South Shore residents, especially seniors, to be extremely cautious when answering the door this summer to traveling alarm system sales people.  There have been complaints right across the continent of people being subjected to high-pressure sales tactics and felt deceived by the salesperson into buying an expensive personal safety alarm system.  The BBB's Atlantic President Don MacKinnon says many of these so-called sales people don't have a license to sell door-to-door or legally sell and install alarm systems.  He warns seniors to use caution.

You can always contact the Better Business Bureau for advice.  Last year, several South Shore residents were cohearsed into buying these systems and handed over thousands of dollars.

Bridgewater E-Voting By-law Passes First Reading

A by-law concerning electronic voting in Bridgewater has passed first reading. Council approved its first look of the 'Alternative Voting Method' for the October elections during their Monday night meeting. The potential move would see e-voting, like telephone and internet, available for residents 10 days before the ordinary polling day scheduled for October 20. The returning officer and staff believe paper ballots should also be provided. Mayor Carroll Publicover disagrees.

Second reading is expected to be held at council's June 25 meeting.

E-Voting Scrapped In Lunenburg Until 2016

The town of Lunenburg won't offer e-voting when voters head to the polls this October. Council and staff felt they didn't have enough time to properly implement the new voting system in time for municipal elections. Mayor Laurence Mawhinney says they didn't want to confuse voters so close to an election. Voter turnout in the last municipal election in Lunenburg was around 55 percent - well above the province average. Council is working to draft a by-law to introduce e-voting for municipal election in 2016.

Lunenburg: Active & Vibrant Despite Greying Population

Town of Lunenburg mayor Laurence Mawhinney says the town is a vibrant and active community. He was responding to questions surrounding census data released by Statistic's Canada on Tuesday. The latest figures indicate Lunenburg has the highest median age among the main communities in the province at almost 53 years. However, Laurence Mawhinney says the town continues its work to attract young families to the area.

In regards to employment, Mawhinney says major companies such as High Liner, HB Studios and Composites Atlantic are committed to the town and each feature a median age of 45 years and younger. Several new homes are also under construction which Mawhinney says is another positive step.

Governor-General In Yarmouth Today, West Pubnico Tomorrow

Governor General David Johnston
The town of Yarmouth will be hosting a special visitor today.  Governor-General David Johnston will be there to learn more about the area.  He will get a first hand look at a lobster pound, do some lobster fishing and have a private meeting with Mayor Phil Mooney to discuss the loss of the ferry service two years ago.
The Mayor says it was at the Governor-General's insistence that he better understand the impact of the ferry loss on the area.

The Governor General will present awards during a late-afternoon reception.  He will also visit West Pubnico on Thursday and then return to Halifax later in the day.