Wednesday, July 25, 2012

White Point Build On Track: Officials

White Point Build on July 25
Officials at White Point say the building of the new main lodge remains on track. Construction began four months ago after a devastating fire levelled the historic lodge last November. White Point's marketing and product development manager, Donna Hatt, says a floor has been installed and she's been able to walk within the structure. She says crews will soon start work on the roof.

Hatt says once the roof is complete, work will then begin on the interior of the lodge. She says everything is starting to come together.

Hatt says they will be set to open to the public November 8.

Lunenburg: Atleo Renews Calls For Public Inquiry

National Chief Shawn Atleo has left a meeting on the South Shore searching for full support from Canada's premiers for a public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women. The chief of the Assembly of First Nations met with the premiers today in Lunenburg where they discussed several issues of concern to aboriginal peoples. Speaking with media, Atleo urged the premiers and the federal government to support his calls for a national inquiry into missing and slain aboriginal women.


Premier Darrell Dexter, who hosted the meeting, said the matter was discussed. He says premiers will return to the topic at a meeting in November. Ottawa has also resisted calls for such an inquiry.

Keddy Among Those To Benefit Most From MP Pension Plan

The campaign to reform the pension plan for Canada's members of parliament is being ramped up.  Leading the way is the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, kicking off its renewed effort this morning in Halifax with a billboard unveiling.  The average Nova Scotia MP will be eligible for an over $77,000 a year pension by the 2015 election. CTF Atlantic President Kevin Lacey says Gerald Keddy of South Shore St. Margarets is one of the leaders of the pack of high-pensioned MP's.

An MP is eligible for a pension after serving just 6 years and can begin collecting at just 55 years of age (fully indexed at 60). They earn 10.4% interest each year on their contributions that is paid for entirely by taxpayers.  The CTF’s campaign includes billboards sporting the message “For every $1 an MP puts into their pension, taxpayers put in $24” were put up today in Vancouver, Calgary, Regina, Ottawa and Halifax.
The goal of the campaign is to get Canadians to take action this summer and put pressure on their MPs, opposition leaders and the prime minister before they come out with their MP pension reform plan this fall.
In 2010-11 MPs and Senators contributed a combined $4.5 million to the parliamentary pension accounts, while taxpayers contributed $110.7 million ($26.7 million in contributions and $84 million in ‘interest’ and actuarial adjustments).

By the 2015 election Nova Scotia MPs will be eligible for the following annual pension payouts, largely paid for by taxpayers. In brackets are lifetime payments, assuming they live to 80:

Scott Armstrong (CPC) Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodobit Valley Not Eligible
Scott Brison (Lib) Kings-Hants $96,721 ($3,113,881)
Robert Chisholm (NDP) Dartmouth-Cole Harbour Not Eligible
Rodger Cuzner (Lib) Cape Breton-Canso $73,057 ($1,782,177)
Mark Eyking (Lib) Sydney-Victoria $71,935 ($2,315,922)
Gerald Keddy (CPC) South Shore – St. Margaret’s $94,429 ($2,029,121)
Greg Kerr (CPC) West Nova $39,025 ($524,589)*
Megan Leslie (NDP) Halifax $33,149 ($1,067,227)
Peter MacKay (CPC) Central Nova $117,297 ($3,776,298)
Geoff Regan (Lib) Halifax West $77,316 ($2,363,699)**
Peter Stoffer (NDP) Sackville-Eastern Shore $93,562 ($2,422,517)

* Also qualifies for a Nova Scotia MLA pension
** Has the option to “buy back” years prior to being defeated in 1997 election, if he bought back his estimated pension would be $105,090 ($3,212,681)

Liberal MLA Slammed After NDP/Layton Tweet

The MLA for Yarmouth sent the twitter world a buzz yesterday with a tweet from his account slamming the NDP government. Zach Churchill is the Liberal member in southwestern Nova Scotia. He tweeted that former NDP leader Jack Layton 'would be disgusted with how the party is operating in Nova Scotia'. Further, his tweet went on to say 'Premier Dexter makes Prime Minster Stephen Harper look like a saint'. Churchill sent the message on the social media site as the anniversary of Layton's decision to step down as leader of the NDP approaches. Layton was forced to leave the party this time last year to focus on his battle with cancer, which he ultimately lost on August 22, 2011. Churchill was blitzed with reply messages from his followers who thought the tweet was inappropriate. We'd like to hear what what you think of the tweet - check our poll on the main page of our website.

Official Tweet: @natnewswatch He would be disgusted with how the #ndp are operating in #novascotia. @PremierDexter makes #Harper look like a saint #nspoli

  Jack Layton was a friend of mine since 1977. That is arrant nonsense. For shame, sir. For shame.
- But @zachchurchill, when use someone's death in a pathetic attempt at gain you should be put in place by many regardless of party. #nspoli you stay classy Zach! I'm embarrassed for the people of Yarmouth that elected such an immature bully #nspoli

 -  @zachchurchill @PremierDexter and how can you presume to know what Jack Layton would be thinking? all for cheap politics. for shame, sir.

Exhibition Parade On Tonight

The South Shore Exhibition parade, scheduled for last evening in Bridgewater, is now on for tonight. The event was postponed last night because of the rain. Exhibition manager Christine Sarty says the parade route will be the same as earlier planned.

The parade will begin at 6pm on High Street.

UNSM To Decide On MODL Resolution This Fall

The Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities has a decision to make. The body has the option to approve or defeat a resolution brought forward by the Municipality of Lunenburg regarding surplus schools. Council forwarded a resolution regarding changes to the Education Act, and a notice to municipalities when a school becomes surplus. CAO Tammy Wilson says the resolution gives more responsibility to the province.

A decision by the UNSM is expected at its fall conference in mid-September.

Premiers & Native Chiefs Meet Today In Lunenburg

The Provincial and Territorial premiers will be holding talks today with aboriginal leaders to discuss education, health and natural resources.  The premiers have gathered in Lunenburg for the Council of the Federation meeting.  The native chiefs plan to also talk to the premiers about violence against aboriginal women and girls.  Ottawa has resisted calls for a national inquiry or task force on that topic.  The meeting is taking place at the Lunenburg Arms Hotel.