Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Minister Announces School Review Consultations

Consultations on the way schools are closed in Nova Scotia will begin next month with a slate of public meetings set to take place in January. Education Minister Karen Casey made the announcement today in Halifax. A discussion paper was also made public which will assist in gathering input toward creating a new review process. Public meetings will be held in Bridgewater and Yarmouth.  Chair of the South Shore Regional School Board, Jennifer Naugler says she is pleased meetings will be held locally.

The key issues around the review process are declining enrolment and the way the province currently funds school boards. Since 2002, enrolment on the South Shore and Tri County has declined by 25 percent - or just over 2,000 students in each region.

Bridgewater: University Students To Research Plastic Bag By-Law

A plastic bag by-law in Bridgewater will be delayed until at least 2015. The town has decided to allow students in Dalhousie University's Management without Borders program to provide research on the issue. The program is only offered in September, and would be scheduled for next fall. Councillor Andrew Tanner brought the idea to the table. He says it makes sense to see how the community feels.

About a dozen students would complete a report involving feedback from the public, retail sector, and solid waste industry on plastic bag regulations. The students could also focus on a best practices approach to regulation in the Bridgewater and surrounding area.

DFO: Fishing Season Could Still Open Friday

Officials in the lobster fishing industry will get together for a conference call tomorrow to see if they can set their traps this week. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans will consult with meteorologists and representatives from lobster fishing areas 33 and 34 before making a final decision. The season was supposed to start Monday but was delayed because of poor weather conditions. Area Manger for DFO Frank Quinn says high wind is their biggest concern.

Quinn says they are still looking at beginning the season on Friday. However, he adds it still to early to determine if that will happen based on the weather.

Bridgewater: Michelin Plans To Build Natural Gas Station

The largest industrial employer in Bridgewater is looking to expand its services. Michelin is trying to access a development agreement from the town to construct a compressed natural gas receiving station at 347 Logan Road. The company needs to build the new station to accommodate some changes at Imperial Oil's Eastern Passage refinery. Mayor David Walker feels it's the company's best remaining option.

The station would be near the existing plant. A public participation meeting on the issue is planned for December 11 at town hall.

Province Reviewing Aquaculture Industry Regulatory Process

The regulatory process for Nova Scotia's aquaculture industry is being reviewed by the provincial government. Fisheries minister Keith Colwell says there are questions surrounding the establishment of fish farms in Shelburne County and elsewhere. He wants assurances the traditional fishery will not be seriously impacted.

Colwell says the last thing thats needed is lower-quality foreign fish being dumped on the market here.
He hopes the review with recommendations can be completed within the next several months.

South Shore: Weather Warnings Issued

It could be a busy few days for Nova Scotia Power crews. A high intensity storm is expected to pound the entire South Shore on Wednesday bringing wind gusts up to 100 km/h and up to 50 millimetres of rain. Environment Canada has issued weather warnings for Lunenburg, Shelburne, Digby, Queens and Yarmouth counties. Rain will begin in the morning and intensify into the afternoon and evening. The weather agency predicts wind and rainfall warnings will need to be extended to other sections of the province for overnight Wednesday into Thursday as the storm moves into the region.

Planned Power Outage At Fishermen's Memorial Hospital

A temporary power outage is planned for this coming Saturday morning at Fishermen's Memorial Hospital in Lunenburg. It'll happen between 7am and noon. The outage will force the emergency department to close and visitation at Fishermen's will be restricted. South Shore Health says the power outage is necessary to complete a critical upgrade to the electrical system and the power should be restored by noon. The health authority advises anyone requiring emergency services to call 911 or visit South Shore Regional Hospital in Bridgewater or Queens General Hospital in Liverpool. Patients with non-emergencies should contact Health Link 811 for medical advice.