Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tree For Boston Heading South Of The Border

The tree for Boston has been cut, and after it stays overnight in Halifax, it begins its trek south of the border. Community members along with hundreds of young students watched today as the 15-metre white spruce was cut and lowered onto a flatbed truck. Mary Lou Milligan donated this year's tree from her property in Mill Cove. She says she always thought about donating a tree to Boston.

The tree will be transported by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal on the Digby ferry, across the Bay of Fundy to Saint John, New Brunswick, then down through Maine and on to Massachusetts. This is the 42nd year of the Boston tree tradition, in thanks for the medical personnel and supplies Bostonians provided following the Halifax explosion on December 6, 1917. The special tree-lighting ceremony will be televised to over 300,000 people. Milligan will travel to Boston with her daughter and two grandsons for the ceremony on December 5.

UPDATE: Province, STM Quest Reach Ferry Agreement

The Yarmouth to Maine ferry service is back. The province has signed a deal with STM Quest to re-establish the link starting May 1, 2014. The service will be known as Nova Star Cruises. Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson made the announcement Tuesday afternoon in Halifax.

The province has committed up to $21-million of financial support over seven years, including $10.5-million in start-up costs. Both sides agreed to make amendments to the letter of offer announced in September including more auditing rights for the province. There are still challenges for the Yarmouth to Maine ferry to start next May including having border services in both ports, and getting all licenses and permits needed to operate a ferry service.

Queens: Bowater Tenders Issued

A pair of tenders have been issued to do with the former paper mill in Brooklyn. Deloitte Restructuring Inc. has put out a call to sell a paper-making machine and other equipment at Bowater Mersey. The money gathered will go to ReNova Scotia Bioenergy Inc., which took over the site. The second tender is out to demolish some structures on the site. Both tenders have a deadline of December 5.

BREAKING: Update On Yarmouth Ferry Expected

There will be an update on the Yarmouth ferry later today. Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson will discuss the latest details on the process to re-establish the ferry service. He will be joined by Steve Durrell of STM Quest and Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood. Natural Resources Minister and MLA for Yarmouth Zach Churchill is also expected to take part in the press conference. The update will take place at 2 o`clock.

Trial Dates Set In Dog Dealer Court Case

A notorious puppy broker will go to trial on fraud related charges in April. Gail Benoit has pleaded not guilty to fraud charges relating to allegations that she sold two boxer dogs that didn't belong to her. The two-day trial will begin April 14 in Bridgewater. Benoit entered not guilty pleas earlier this month to fraud, theft under $5,000 and identity fraud. Those charges relate to an incident where it's alleged Benoit sold two dogs she was hired to look after while the owner was away.

Cape Breton MLA: Ferry Loss Felt Throughout Nova Scotia

An MLA in Cape Breton says even his area has felt the loss of the Yarmouth ferry service. Michel Samson says it's been a difficult adjustment for the entire province since the NDP government cut the subsidy to help run the ferry in 2009. Samson is now Minister of Economic Development and Tourism and working on the ferry file.

Samson says the province is still waiting for a signed agreement from potential ferry operator STM Quest. He says the government needs the company to confirm it has met all the conditions of the deal set out by the province.