Wednesday, May 21, 2014

New Visitor Centre Hoping For More Tourists In 2014

The Bridgewater and Lunenburg District Visitor Information Centre in Blockhouse saw over 8,000 people last season. The centre was open from May 14 until October 25 at its new location after it moved from the Pine Grove shopping centre. Most of the visitors were from the province with others coming from Quebec and Ontario. There was some traffic from the U.S. and overseas but numbers were low. Manager Denise Penny says they're hoping for more tourists this year.

She says the addition of the Yarmouth ferry should help increase numbers to the area. She's also hoping to include a sign along Highway 103 traveling towards Blockhouse that will indicate their location.

Autopsy Confirms MacIntosh Fell Into River

Police in Saskatoon say autopsy results have confirmed human remains found over the weekend - are those - of a Lunenburg native. Gregory Myles MacIntosh went missing on the night of his stag party on February 2nd. Police believed the 28 year-old had fell into the Saskatchewan River late that night after getting into an argument. His remains were located by marine researchers who then notified RCMP. MacIntosh had been working as an electrician and living out west for the past four years. He was due to get married in February.

Environment Critic: "Province May Need Clean Water Act"

The MLA for Pictou West says the province might need to consider tougher laws surrounding drinking water and follow-up testing at municipal facilities. Progressive Conservative Karla MacFarlane says clean water is essential and our most important natural resource. A new report by the auditor general indicates the province's environment department needs to do a better job of testing and monitoring drinking water supplies to ensure public safety. She says there needs to be stronger policies in place.

The report also reveals cases where water samples were not taken within 30 days after a boil water advisory was lifted. MacFarlane says she's deeply concerned and feels stricter laws and procedures are needed in the province.

Physical Activity Levels Low For Canadian Kids

Some glaring numbers for Canadian youth who barely receive a passing grade for physical activity. Active Healthy Kids Canada released its annual report card on physical activity for children and youth. This country was near the bottom of the pack after it was graded a 'D minus.' However, it's not for a lack of facilities. Canada is considered among the leaders in physical activity infrastructure and programs. Yvonne Smith, the CEO of the YMCA's in South West Nova Scotia, says questions need to be asked.

Only seven per cent of five-to-11-year-olds and four per cent of 12-to-17-year-olds in Canada met the recommended target of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity daily. The report indicates the numbers are because a 'culture of convenience' why many Canadian kids aren't more active. Smith says youth should have a voice to indicate what they need to be more physically active. The report encourages a mix of activities throughout the day including sport and active transportation to help reach suggested targets.

Union Launches Court Challenge Against NS Government

The Nova Scotia government is being sued by the province's Government and General Employees Union. The NSGEU lawsuit filed in supreme court is aimed at the Essential Home-Support Services Act, passed earlier this spring by the McNeil government. According to union president Joan Jessome, the law violates the right to collective bargaining for home-support workers. She says it also discriminates against women, 90 percent of whom are involved in home-support.

The McNeil government claims the law requires both sides in a dispute to determine who is an essential worker before a strike can happen. However, it says it does not take away the right to strike. Meanwhile, the NSGEU isn’t the only union launching a legal challenge on essential services legislation. Last Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada began hearing a Charter challenge launched by the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour, which argues that essential services legislation and changes made to the Trade Union Act in their province are inconsistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This Supreme Court case and ruling will have a significant impact on the legal challenge the NSGEU has launched in Nova Scotia.

Queens: Mayor's Talk To Focus On Budget, Region Issues

This year's budget and other issues will be the focus of a breakfast discussion with the mayor of the Region of Queens. Chris Clarke will speak Thursday morning at 8am at Lane's Privateer Inn in Liverpool. He's being hosted by the South Queens Chamber of Commerce. Reservations are required. People who are interested should contact the chamber.

Shelburne: New Doctor Accepting Patients

Residents of Shelburne County in need of a doctor can call an intake line tomorrow afternoon. Dr. Aleksandra Malec will accept 100 new patients on Thursday. She has been gradually accepting patients over the past few months. Following the intake, Malec will have taken on 1,000 new patients. Those planning to phone should have their health card ready and some personal questions will be asked. Calls will be accepted beginning at 1pm and the number to call is 875-3370. First priority will be given to residents of the Shelburne area.