Monday, June 18, 2012

VIDEO: Transition Team Will Support South Shore

Premier Darrell Dexter
A transition committee has been assembled to help with the loss of a major industry in the South Shore. The team was created over the weekend after Resolute Forest Products announced they were closing their pulp and paper operation in Brooklyn on Friday. Its role is to gather ideas from residents, community and business leaders about what they think could help broaden the region's economy. The team is made up of a veteran group of business leaders led by former Emera and Aliant chief financial officer Ron Smith. He will be joined by Andrew Button of the Lunenburg Queen's RDA. Button talked to CKBW/HANK FM about why he accepted the job.

Other members include Chamber of Commerce president Barry Tomalin, CAO for the Region of Queens Kathleen Rafuse, Blair Douglas of N.F. Douglas Lumber Limited and MLA Vicki Conrad.

Mayor Downe: "Region Needs To Rally"

Residents of the South Shore continue to try and recover after the region was hit with a crushing blow last week with the closure of the Bowater Mersey paper mill. Since December, nearly 450 direct jobs were eliminated in the Region of Queens due to struggles at the mill and within the pulp and paper industry. Political leaders are now working to try and save hundreds of other jobs in the sawmill, trucking and harvesting sectors. District of Lunenburg mayor Don Downe says the region's forestry industry has been changed forever.

Downe says he's behind the provincial government in its efforts to create a transition committee to seek new opportunities for the region. The committee was unveiled today in Liverpool and is made up of members of the business community in Lunenburg and Queens.

Bluenose Academy Officially Opens

Education Minister Ramona Jennex & Students Unveil Plague
The ribbon has been cut at Bluenose Academy. Students and families from Lunenburg and surrounding areas are celebrating the new school in the heart of their community. Education Minister Ramona Jennex joined Pam Birdsall, MLA for Lunenburg, representatives from the South Shore Regional School Board, students, teachers, parents and community members for the official opening of Bluenose Academy Monday afternoon. Jennex says the facility is an excellent addition to Lunenburg and will provide students with learning opportunities for many years to come. Along with the gymnasium and regular classrooms, the new school has small group work rooms, a multi-purpose science lab, and a raised classroom that can act as a stage. The library and seminar room on the third floor provide a unique view of the harbour.The school also features a youth health facility, a student services suite, assistive-care washrooms and a resource and multi-sensory room. Visual arts space and tech production and innovation labs and are expected to be ready in the fall. Bluenose Academy has been operating since March and has 565 students in grades primary to 9.

Board, Former Members Debate Future Size of SSRSB

Still no light shed on the size of the next South Shore Regional School board. Five former members that include Karen Reinhardt, Max Rafuse, Marg Forbes, Herb Seymour and Elliott Payzant spoke Monday at the hearing with the province's Utility and Review Board. Many of them believing a one-person school board shouldn't be tasked with making recommendations about its future size. Judith Sullivan-Corney says it's all part of the hearing.

The majority of the five former members favoured a nine-member board with two at-large representatives. Sullivan-Corney says the preferred option is a six-member board with two representatives from the African Nova Scotian and Mik'maq communities. The URB is now tasked with reviewing all the information. Mr. Roland Deveau, acting vice-chair with the review board, indicated a decision will likely be made in the next 30-60 days.

Liberal Leader Says Resolute Forests Need Protection From "Outsiders"!

The closure of the Bowater Mersey mill in Brooklyn has a lot of people concerned about what happens to parks and pockets of rare old-growth Acadian forest currently owned by Resolute Forests Products.

In addition to the closure of the mill, Resolute, Bowater's Montreal-based parent company, also announced it would be selling its assets - including the land.  There are worries a new owner might simply cut the wood and send it elsewhere with no advantage to the region.  Provincial liberal leader Stephen McNeil says that issue has to be dealt with quickly.

The province maintains it's forming a team to consider all its options.  Its already appointed former Emera and Aliant chief financial officer Ron Smith to lead it.

From Nfld To BC Or Bust!

Clean and freshly scrubbed
A journalist and author is making a cross-Canada road trip.  The Canadian Automobile Association is the lead sponsor of Mark Richardson's two month oddessey.  He writes for McLean's Magazine, and left St. John's, Newfoundland, June 4th, arriving in Halifax over the weekend for a brief stay before heading to New Brunswick and beyond. 

Another of Mark's sponsors ... GM ... has provided a new Chevy Camaro for the journey.  Its commemorating two significant anniversaries this year .... 50 years since the Trans Canada Highway was completed ...and 100 years since the first cross Canada road trip.  Mark tells us, he doesn't know what to expect on the journey.

Mark expects to arrive in Victoria on August 8th.  He plans to write a book about his trip, experiences and people he meets along the way.

CAA clubs across the country are supporting him for the duration of the trip, organizing local events to commemorate the journey. Richardson will celebrate his 50th birthday on July 30th during their stay in Revelstoke, BC. Ironically, Mark was born July 30, 1962 - the same day, and even at the same hour, that the Trans-Canada Highway was first opened, near Revelstoke, to cross-country traffic.

His daily reports about his adventure will be tracked online at, or by following @WheelsMark or @CAA_Atlantic on Twitter. His weekly video blogs can also be viewed on CAA.Atlantic on YouTube.----------------------------------------------------------------
Here is Mark's schedule:
Monday, June 4: Official start to journey. Dip wheels in Atlantic at St. John’s.

Friday, June 8: Arrive Port Aux Basques

Saturday, June 9: Ferry to Nova Scotia, stay in Cape Breton

Monday, June 11: Ferry to PEI

Thursday, June 14: Cross Confederation bridge to New Brunswick, head back east to Halifax

Tuesday, June 19: Dip Wheels in Atlantic at Halifax, stay night at Amherst

Wednesday, June 20: Stay night at Moncton

Thursday, June 21: Stay night at St. John

Friday, June 22: Stay night at Fredericton

Saturday, June 23: Stay night at Grand Falls

Sunday, June 24: Enter Quebec, stay night at Riviere du Loup

Monday, June 25: Stay night at Quebec City

Wednesday, June 27: Stay night at Montreal

Thursday, June 28: Stay night at Ottawa

Friday, June 29: Home to Cobourg

Tuesday, July 3: Drive up Hwy. 7 to Ottawa, stay night at Ottawa

Wednesday, July 4: Head north on Hwy. 17, stay night at Rapides des Joachims

Thursday, July 5: Stay night at Sudbury

Friday, July 6: Return south to Cobourg

Tuesday, July 10: Drive north, now with 12-year-old son. Stay night in Sudbury

Thursday, July 12: Stay night at Sault Ste. Marie

Friday, July 13: Stay night at Wawa

Saturday, July 14: Stay night at Marathon

Sunday, July 15: Stay night at Thunder Bay

Monday, July 16: Stay night at Dryden

Tuesday, July 17: Stay night at Kenora

Wednesday, July 18: Stay night at Winnipeg

Friday, July 20: Stay night at Brandon

Saturday, July 21: Stay night at Regina

Sunday, July 22: Stay night at Moose Jaw

Monday, July 23: Stay night at Swift Current

Tuesday, July 24: Stay night at Medicine Hat

Wednesday, July 25: Stay night at Calgary

Saturday, July 28: Stay night at Banff

Sunday, July 29: Stay night at Golden

Monday, July 30: Birthday! At the Rogers’ Pass. Stay night at Revelstoke

Friday, Aug. 3: Arrive in Vancouver, dip wheels in Pacific

Sunday, Aug. 5: Ferry to Nanaimo

Monday, Aug. 6: Stay night in Port Alberni

Wednesday, Aug. 8 Arrive in Victoria, dip wheels in Pacific again

MODL Pursues UNSM For Help With Surplus Schools

It's another avenue for help with surplus schools. The District of Lunenburg is branching out to the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities to help pass a resolution to the province regarding closed schools in the area. The municipality feels Riverport Elementary, Blockhouse and Centre Consolidated have been downloaded on them to deal with. Mayor Don Downe says the province is in the wrong.

Downe says the municipality contributes roughly $3.8-million to the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre. He says they would be looking at the same cost to take care of the three schools.

The resolution asks for two changes, which include requesting the province to change the existing agreement to give municipal units the option of owning a school.

Liberals To Nominate Lohnes-Croft As Lunenburg Candidate

The provincial Liberals have found their person for the job in Lunenburg. The area's Riding Association is expected to nominate Suzanne Lohnes-Croft as their candidate for the next provincial election Monday night at 7pm. The meeting will be held at the Mahone Bay Centre. Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil will deliver the keynote address.  

Martin Tops Field At Donovan Bailey Invitational

Jenna Martin was a winner out west over the weekend. The Bridgewater native captured the 400 metre dash at the Donovan Bailey Invitational Track Meet in Edmonton on Saturday. Her time was 52.03 seconds. Martin, the reigning Canadian champ, needs an Olympic 'A' standard time of 51.55 to qualify for the London games. She will compete later this month at the Canadian championships in Calgary.

Lumberjacks, Crushers Swap Forwards

The CIBC Wood Gundy Lumberjacks have traded away one of their offensive threats for a top ranked local player. Brennan Saulnier was shipped to the Weeks Crushers over the weekend. The speedy 18-year-old was the Jacks' third leading point-getter last season with 40 points in 51 games. In return the Bridgewater club gets 17-year-old Shaun McEachern and two fifth round draft picks. McEachern, a six foot, 195-pound forward from Hebbville, led the South Shore Mustangs last season with 49 points in 35 games.

Bluenose Academy Officially Opening

It's been in the works for some time and now its finally here. Bluenose Academy will officially open Monday afternoon. The Lunenburg school started holding classes in March but never cut the ribbon on the new facility. Education Minister Ramona Jennex will be on hand, along with students, teachers and families. Two student presentations are also planned by the school's band and glee club. There will also be a plaque ceremony. The event begins at 1pm at the school at 18 Tannery Road in Lunenburg.