Friday, July 6, 2012

BREAKING: Bluenose II Launch Delayed

The scheduled launch of the Bluenose II has been delayed. Premier Darrell Dexter confirmed today the province's sailing ambassador isn't expected to return to the water until some time toward the end of the year.

Dexter says the plan was to have the schooner back in the water in time for a premiers meeting in Halifax later this month. However, the premier says that won't happen because the schooner requires more work at the Lunenburg shipyard. Despite the delay, Dexter says the refit is still attracting a lot of attention and he isn't worried about a loss of tourists.

The vessel is undergoing a $17-million restoration. The premier says there's a delay because it's a one-of-a-kind project.

VIDEO: Province Announces $460,000 For Boatbuilders Association

Lunenburg's mayor says the province's announcement to fund a new marine trade will go a long way for the town. Premier Darrell Dexter has announced $460,000 in funding for the province's boat building association. The money will be used to develop a new trade known as a marine service technician. Laurence Mawhinney says the future looks bright for Lunenburg.

The marine service technician would train workers to service, repair, refit and upgrade ships. The premier says the new training program will ensure boat builders have updated skills. Dexter made the announcement at the Bluenose II site in the Lunenburg Shipyard.

Giant Tiger Expanding Bridgewater Store

A retail store in Bridgewater is expanding. Giant Tiger is expected to begin a full renovation in early August and increase their capacity by an extra 5,000 square feet. Store Manager Shane Demmings says the store will be transformed.

He says the store will remain open through the renovations and doesn't expect customers to be impacted by the work. Demmings dosn't know how much it will cost to do the renovations. A grand re-opening target date is slated for November 24.

Jamie Baillie: Moving Civil Servant Jobs From Halifax Is Bad HR

NS PC Leader Jamie Baillie
The vast majority of Nova Scotia civil servants asked to relocate from Halifax to offices in smaller towns say they won't go. 71 unionized workers from three government departments were asked to relocate.  Only five have agreed.  57 have chosen to stay in Halifax and be shuffled to other departments, while 9 have quit their jobs altogether.  Provincial PC Leader Jamie Baillie tells us ... the Dexter government has been pulling a "fast" one on rural communites like those on the South Shore.

Baillie says its been all about ... PR ... and not very good .. HR ... on the part of the government. He also says you can't create jobs in rural areas by simply shuffling existing ones around.

MODL To Encourage Smoke-Free Outdoors

The Municipality of Lunenburg is looking to cut down the number of people smoking in outdoor spaces. Committee of the Whole approved a motion Tuesday to forward the "Smoke Free Outdoor Spaces" policy to council for decision. The policy does not prohibit smoking but will encourage people to think twice before lighting up in municipally-owned parks, playgrounds, sports fields and open spaces. CAO Tammy Wilson says the policy could be an effective way to cut down smoking on their property.

Council is expected to make a decision at its July 10 meeting.

Hurlburt Sentencing Held Over To Later In Month

Richard Hurlburt
A former Nova Scotia cabinet minister sobbed openly in Yarmouth court yesterday as he expressed regret for defrauding the province of just over $25,000.

Crown attorney Andrew Macdonald says Richard Hurlburt deserves a sentence in line with what was given to former Liberal Dave Wilson. Wilson was sentenced to nine months in jail for defrauding the public purse of 61-thousand dollars.

In Wilson's case, Macdonald says the court took into account ... his actions were driven by a gambling addiction.

Meanwhile, defence lawyer Stan MacDonald says Hurlburt deserves credit because he has shown remorse, apologized and paid the money back.

Justice David MacAdam reserved a decision on Hurlburt's sentence until July 27th.

Gas Prices: Here We Go Again!

It seemed too good to be true....a continuation of lower gas prices.  They did, as expected, and increased overnight at South Shore pumps.  When you haul into a service station today, you'll find a litre of regular self serve selling for 3.5 cents more at $1.22.4.  Diesel is up too ...  selling for two cents more at $1.24.4 per litre.

Vogler's Cove Bridge Could Re-Open Friday

A new concrete culvert has been installed on the Dollivers Brook Bridge in Vogler's Cove. The span has been closed for the last two weeks so workers with the Department of Transportation, Infrastructure and Renewal could replace the culvert. Operations Supervisor Glen Strang says the project cost just over $150,000. He says the work was a priority.

Strang expects the bridge to open either Friday afternoon or Saturday.