Monday, April 14, 2014

NS Gov't Helps Small Businesses Secure Funding

Small businesses will have better access to loans through improvements to the Credit Union Loan Guarantee Program. Premier Stephen McNeil says the provincial guarantee on term loans will be increased from 75 per cent to 90 per cent. The total available to lend will double from $25-million to S50-million. The maximum loan guarantee for social enterprises will also increase up to $500,000. Credit unions administer the program and provide loans to small businesses ensuring lending decisions are made in the local community. McNeil says entrepreneurs need access to capital to expand and hire new workers. Over the past 10 years, credit unions have approved loans worth $56-million dollars, helping more than 1,200 small businesses.

South Shore: MP Keddy To Make Funding Announcements

The MP for South Shore-St. Margaret's will make a couple of funding announcements Tuesday. Gerald Keddy will make his first stop in Caledonia. He'll be making an announcement at the North Queens Fire Hall. The new money will go toward a new initiative in Queens County, but no other details were given. Meanwhile, Keddy will make an afternoon stop at the Legion in Bridgewater. He's expected to unveil details on federal funding for three South Shore organizations to help seniors in Lunenburg County.

Yarmouth Preps For Ferry Visit

Its going to be a big day today (Tuesday) in Yarmouth! The new Yarmouth to Maine ferry will pull into port for a 2-day courtesy call, its first official stop since leaving Singapore a month ago. The Nova Star will showcase its amenities, food service, casino and other pluses during its visit. Area residents, town and provincial officials are invited to go aboard and check it out. Premier Stephen McNeil says the end of a long struggle to re-instate the ferry service is near.

When it leaves Yarmouth tomorrow, the Nova Star will head to Portland to prepare for the May 15th start-up of the service.

NDP "Failure To Launch" Says Interim Leader

Nova Scotia's NDP held their annual meeting over the weekend in Halifax. It was the first major gathering of party members since last fall's devastating loss for Darrell Dexter's government. Remaining South Shore NDP MLA's Denise Peterson-Rafuse of Chester-St. Margarets and Queens-Shelburne's Sterling Belliveau were there. Interim leader Maureen MacDonald tells CKBW & HANK-FM News, one of the biggest problems that helped lead to her party's demise at the polls was its failure to provide the public with clear information on economic changes. However, she tell us ......

During the weekend get-together, former NDP Premier Darrell Dexter was given a formal thank-you from the party. He in turn said the province's economy is turning around as a result of policies he and his government implemented during their 4 years in office.

South Shore Forest Industry Boost Needed Says Opposition Leader

Its the end of the line for a Queens County sawmill. "L and S Lumber" in Caledonia had been struggling to stay alive since its main customer, the Bowater Mersey paper mill in Brooklyn, closed almost two years ago.
Last week, it ceased operations and about a dozen remaining workers were laid off. Nova Scotia Opposition Leader Jamie Baillie says its tragic so many companies have suffered a similar fate. He believes the province should be looking into the American market where cut lumber is enoying a comeback as the housing market there improves.

Baillie says there should be a comprehensive study of whats left of the South Shore forestry industry, its chances of making a comeback and to look for ways of boosting the economy of the area.

QMJHL: Mooseheads Reach Final Four

The Halifax Mooseheads are off to the next round of the QMJHL playoffs. They meet Val d'Or Friday night at the Halifax Metro Centre. Game two also in Halifax Saturday night. Over the weekend, the Moose beat Gatineau 4-1 to win that best of seven series in five games.

Mustangs Hand Out Season Ending Awards

The Charlies Pizza South Shore Mustangs have named Alex Nauss as their most valuable player this year. The 17-year-old from Chester led the Mustangs in scoring with 33 points in 32 games during the regular season. He also added 13 points in 11 playoff games. Meanwhile, Jered Scott and Travis Parks were awarded most improved players, Mitch Baker was named top defenceman and Jack Creaser won the coaches award. Matt Grace and Christian Tufts were named unsung heroes, top rookie defenceman went to Quinten Johnson and Christopher Goreham, Keith Getson was named top rookie forward and Nick Dawe and Colby Muise shared the top goaltender award. (Photo Courtesy: Donette Hubley Getson)

Clam Digging Remains Off Limits Along Coastal Areas

Parts of coastal areas in Lunenburg, Queens and Shelburne counties are still off limits for clam digging. Roughly five kilometres of shoreline remains closed after a contamination order was put in place this month. The order was put in place after sewage and bacteria entered the water because of heavy rain. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans have put signs in place advising people of the order. People can be charged under the Fisheries Act if they harvest clams under the contamination order.

SIN Numbers Exposed Due To "Heartbleed Bug"

Mounties are investigating after 900 social insurance numbers were exposed due to the "Heartbleed Bug". The Canada Revenue Agency says a malicious breach of taxpayer information occurred over the past five days because of the security threat. The agency is working to notify those affected by the breach - each person will receive a registered letter to inform them that their personal information has been exposed. The CRA shut down its electronic tax filing services last week to try and limit the damage caused the bug which can expose password information. The "e-filing" service is now back up and running. The agency states they will not be calling or emailing individuals to inform them that they have been impacted - that would be considered a scam. More information on the breach is available on the CRA website.

Chester: Flat Fee System For Sewer Rate

Chester is moving forward with a flat fee as a universal sewer rate. The municipality agreed to charge a fee based on property assessment. Currently, five out of six sewer systems are in a deficit. Warden Allen Webber says the goal of using a flat fee is to reduce the deficit over five years. It was a 4-3 vote among councillors. Webber says its been a hot topic.

The public will get a chance to voice their opinion on the changes on April 24.

Debate Over Budget As NDP Leader Seeks Answers

Budget debate continues this week in the Nova Scotia Legislature. The McNeil government brought down its first budget more than a week ago showing a more-than-200 million dollar deficit. Spending is down in most government departments but up in the premier's office and NDP leader Maureen MacDonald is seeking some answers.

Meanwhile, Premier Stephen McNeil tells CKBW & HANK-FM News ...

Except aboriginal affairs according to the Premier, because of financing of a women's aboriginal conference later this year. The budget debate in the House is expected to last another week or two before its up for a vote.

Chester Teen Heading To Bridgewater Youth Court

A 17-year-old boy is expected in Bridgewater youth court this week in connection with an incident at a school in Chester last Wednesday. The teen is alleged to have been carrying a crow-bar on school property during the noon hour and was said to be looking for another student at Chester Area Middle School. The school was put on lock-down for a few minutes, police were called, two boys were arrested; one of them an 18-year-old later released with no charges and the 17-year-old was charged with possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose. No one was hurt.

Shelburne Man Faces Drug Charges

A Shelburne man is facing a slew of drug-related charges. He was pulled over late Friday afternoon by the RCMP on Highway 103 in Port Mouton while allegedly trying to avoid a police checkpoint. The 25-year-old has been charged with possession and trafficking cocaine, possession of marijuana and two counts of breach of probation. He's being held in custody and will make a court appearance in Bridgewater on Tuesday.