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The Shoreline Journal is a monthly community newspaper based in Bass River, Nova Scotia, and serving the Fundy Shore/Glooscap Trail from Truro to Parrsboro.   See submission deadlines...

Established in 1994, the paper was originally published as the West Colchester Free Press by Ken Kennedy Publications, and later renamed to The Shoreline Journal.  In January 2008 The Journal changed hands and is now under the management of  Maurice Rees.  He initiated a redesign of the paper, with the addition of several colour pages in each issue. Each monthly issue concentrates on the many community events which involve residents of all ages, from the elderly to the very young, and those young at heart.  A primary focus is those activities which involve students, whether it be school or 4-H club activities.

Maurice has extensive experience in the community newspaper & advertising field, and has been running several businesses in Maitland for the past few years. 

On-line issues:       This Month            Issue Archives - April 2009 to last month


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The Shoreline Journal understands that rural communities want to know about news and events in their communities, so that's our focus, the things that directly affect our subscribers, sponsors and customers.  Watch for regular items: 

Rees' Pieces (Publishers) Letters to the Editor Community Calendar
Heritage Notes Sports Events Classified Ads
Senior Affairs Nature Notes Credit Union News
MLA Activity Report Community Centres Fire Brigade
Favourite Pet Photo Parish News 4-H Clubs
Kitchen Korner Poems & Photos Obituaries
Front Page Briefs    

plus notes from many communities and organizations such as:

Bass River, CCJS Student Council, Chiganois, Debert Elementary, Debert Legion, Great Village, Londonderry Council, MacCarell Villa, Masstown, Onslow Belmont, skating clubs & other groups

The Shoreline Journal

November 2020


Rees' Pieces November 2020

Will They Bite the Bullet?

(This column is much longer than most, requiring careful intense reading and action by taxpayers).

Will politicians have the fortitude to find ways in the "new economy" to pay for all the CoVid funding once the beast has been wrestled to into submission?

Next question: Will we accept what they decide fas a repayment plan without reducing services or raising taxes?

If there is one thing we have learned, or should learn to accept - we "must" change nearly everything we do to co-exist with CoVid-19. If taxpayers must change all their habits, government must lead the way to grow the economy, but not bankrupt individual taxpayers or businesses.

During the height of the pandemic, thousands of jobs were lost and may disappear forever, yet those in the public service faced little financial impact. For the most part public sector employees, except season workers, received their paychecks.

Will all MLA’s, government and opposition, form a bond in the four provincial governments to repay the CoVid debt without crippling the economy by raising taxes and instituting major cuts in services?

I think not, but they should.

Read the full editorial...

Remembrance Bob Gondek - On Remembrance Day this year, many Canadians will be reflecting on the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. Among those will be war amputee veteran Bob Gondek, of Toronto, who served alongside the Allied Forces with the 2nd Polish Corps during the Italian Campaign. In 1944, Bob was based outside Loretto, Italy when heavy gun fire broke out, resulting in the loss of part of his left arm below the elbow. Bob immigrated to Canada where he became a member of The War Amps, an Association originally started by amputee veterans returning from the First World War to help each other adapt to their new reality as amputees. For the last 50 years on Remembrance Day, Bob has laid a wreath to honour his comrades and pay tribute to all those who lost their lives. (Submitted)

Colchester Elects 3 New Female Councillors

By Maurice Rees

Karen MacKenzie, District 6, other than Mayor Christine Blair, sat for four years as the only female on Colchester Municipal Council, but that will end soon. Around the council table she will be joined by Laurie Sandeson, District 2; Lisa Patton, District 8; and Marie Benoit, District 9. The new council, including new members and incumbents, will be sworn in on October 29th.

At press time, because of CoVid-19 restrictions, the municipal office was unable to confirm the type of meeting. It might be held in a location other than council chambers; it may or may not be open to the public. Four of the eleven councillors were elected by acclamation.

Councillors who were elected by acclamation, were: Eric Boutilier, District 1; Geoffrey Stewart, District 3; Karen MacKenzie, District 6 and Tom Taggart, District 10.

Male councillors, or councillors-elect who faced opposition and were successful were Mike Cooper, District 4; Tim Johnson, District 5; Mike Gregory, District 7, and Wade Parker, District 11.

Poll by poll, unofficial results, for the Mayor’s position and all districts requiring councillor selection are presented in a spreadsheet elsewhere in this issue.

After swearing in ceremonies for the new four year term of the new council, four familiar faces will be absent from the chambers. Bill Masters, District 2 retired after serving five terms, three of them as Deputy Mayor. He was first elected in 2000. Ron Cavanaugh who was first elected in District 8 in Council in 1988, serving two terms until 1994.  He was re-elected in 1997, and returned by acclamation in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016.

Lloyd Gibbs, who was first elected in 2012 in District 5; and Bob Pash, elected in 2016 in Debert area for District 9 both list their bid for re-election.

Here are the unofficial summary totals for Mayor and all council positions as of October 19th: For the mayor’s position incumbent Mayor Christine Smith garnered 5,739 votes to Bob Taylor’s, 3,071. Blair dethroned Taylor in a similar battle in 2016.

Eric Boutilier, District 1; Geoffrey Stewart, District 3; Karen MacKenzie, District 6 and Tom Taggart, District 10 were all elected by acclamation. Council position elections were held in the remaining six of the eleven districts. The totals are as follows:

Two newbies, vying to fill the seat vacated by Bill Master in District 2, Laurie Sandeson garnered 409 votes to Heather Boyd’s 376. In District 4, incumbent Mike Cooper, who was first elected in 2008, out voted prominent dairy farmer, John Vissers by a total of 377 to 272.

In District 5, new comer Tim Johnson, 460 votes, defeated incumbent, Lloyd Gibbs, 387, while another challenger Colleen Doucette rallied 62 votes to place third.

Tatamagouche area District 7 saw incumbent Mike Gregory with 720 votes out polled challenger John Sellers with 401 votes. In District 8, three new entrants to the municipal scene battling it out to fill the seat vacated by Ron Cavanaugh’s retirement saw Lisa Patton, daughter of the late Ed Lorraine, ran away with the race, finishing first with the largest margin (548 votes) of all councillor contestants. Patton finished with 684 supporting voted outpacing, Edwin MacQuarrie, 136, while Stan Hampton placed third with 99 votes.

Newcomer, Marie Benoit, posted the second largest margin (507 vote margin), with 794 votes to defeat Bob Pash, first elected in 2016 as the Debert area councillor for District 9, who garnered 287 votes, while Susan Taylor finished third with 86 votes.

In District 11 election, incumbent Wade Parker, first elected in 2012, received 568 votes to out poll Peter McCracken’s 387.

Karen Casey Turn Out Gear

Five Islands Fire Chief Darrel Spence assists MLA Karen Casey in trying on turnout gear. Deputy Minister Casey learned the complete gear weighs 60lbs and is very hot to wear in warmer weather. The Brigade intends to purchase new sets of Nomex coveralls which are much lighter and will be safer for firefighters when they fight grass fires in the heat of summer. (Harrington Photo)




AIMS outlines way to pay off CoVid-19 debt

by Maurice Rees

The Atlantic Institute for Mark Studies (AIMS) policy paper, "The Size and Cost of Atlantic Canada’s Public Sector", published six years ago in September 2014 might have provided the outline of a initiative without raising taxes or cutting government service, to pay for all the money which the provincial governments has shoved out the doors to help those most needy as a result of CoVid-19 pandemic.

The report details the extent to which the civil public service employment levels in Atlantic Canada included 29,900 employees than compared to the national average, based on populations of the various provinces. The report concluded that those additional employees increased the size of the four governments payroll annually by $1.89-Billion, when the combined annual provincial budget deficits was $1.08-Billion. (In this issue, please see, "Rees’ Pieces" starting on Page 4).

A simple math calculation indicates if the reductions were achieved, instant cash-flow improvements to provide additional services or pay down other long-term debt by $81-Million per year. Based on 2012-13 fiscal year, those numbers would go a long way to easing the tax burden in the post-CoVid-19 era when government revenues will certainly be much lower in the immediate years once the pandemic is wrestled to the ground, and the "new economy" starts to rebound.

The 12 page report, which can be found at www.AIMS.ca or by emailing, aims@AIMS.ca details payroll for the 2012-13 fiscal year, above the national average, for civilan public service in each of the provinces was: Newfoundland & Labrador, $880-Million, (13,253 employees); Nova Scotia, $836-Million, (14,127 eomployees; Prince Edward Island, $112-Million, (1,686 employees) and New Brunswick, $58-Million, (834 employees). Readers who are unable to find the entire report, please email: maurice@theshorelinejournal.com and we will send a copy to you.

The report was authored by Ben Eisen Director of Research and Programmes, Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, assisted by Shaun Fantauzzo, Policy Analyst, AIMS. The report did not indicate where and how to make the cuts, but simply provided the savings which could be achieved if actions were taken.

The Atlantic Institute for Mark Studies (AIMS) is a Canadian non-profit, non-partisan think tank that provides a distinctive Atlantic Canadian perspective on economic, political, and social issues. The Institute sets the benchmark on public policy by drawing together the most innovative thinking available from some of the world's foremost experts and applying that thinking to the challenges facing Canadians.

AIMS was incorporated as a non-profit corporations under Part II of the Canada Corporations Actand was granted charitable registration by Revenue Canada as of 3 October 1994. It received US charitable recognition under 501(c)(3), effective the same date. AIMS has formally merged with the Fraser Institute to create the largest independent think-tank in Canada, covering public policy from coast to coast! All Atlantic Canadian research and commentaries can now be found at www.fraserinstitute.org/aims

Located in Halifax, AIMS relied on the expertise of the following executives and business owners: Board of Directors, Chairman: John Risley; Former Chairman: John F. Irving; President and CEO: Marco Navarro-Genie; Vice-Chair: Robert Campbell (New Brunswick); Vice-Chair: David Hooley (Prince Edward Island) Vice-Chair: Leo Power (Newfoundland and Labrador); Secretary: Fae Shaw and Treasurer: Elaine Sibson.

Directors in 2014 included: Paul Antle, Laura Araneda, Lee Bragg, Stephen Emmerson, Richard Florizone, Malcolm Fraser, Greg Grice, Mary Keith, Dennice Leahey, Scott McCain, Jonathon Norwood, Bob Owens, Maxime St. Pierre, Jason Shannon and Peter Woodward.

The Advisory Council was comprised of: George Bishop, Angus Bruneau, George Cooper, Purdy Crawford, Ivan Duvar, Peter Godsoe, James Gogan, Frederick Hyndman, Bernard Imbeault, Phillip Knoll, Colin Latham, Norman Miller, James Moir, Jr., Gerald L. Pond, Cedric E. Ritchie, Allan C. Shaw and Joseph Shannon. Board of Research Advisors were: Charles Colgan, J. Colin Dodds, Morley Gunderson, Doug May, Jim McNiven and Robert Mundell.

3rd Commissioner Appointed

By Maurice Rees

Anne MacLellan resigned from the review panel into the murders in Portapique when Bill Blair, federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and Mark Furey, Nova Scotia Attorney General and Minister of Justice, changed the investigation into a public inquiry early in July.

On October 22nd the two ministers announced Kim Stanton as the third commissioner. She joins J. Michael MacDonald, chief commissioner, and Leanne J. Fitch. The inquiry will help determine what happened and will make recommendations to help prevent similar tragic events in the future. The commissioners will work at arm's-length from both levels of government.

Their work and mandate are outlined in two Orders in Council that established the Joint Public Inquiry. Under Part 1 of the federal Inquiries Act and the Nova Scotia Public Inquiries Act, the commissioners have the power to call witnesses under oath, and require them to provide documents or other items that the commissioners consider necessary to carry out a full investigation.

The commissioners' first task is setting up their secretariat which will be located in Nova Scotia. This includes hiring support staff, creating their work plan and other tasks. They must submit two reports on their findings, lessons learned and recommendations - an interim report by May 1, 2022 and a final report by Nov. 1, 2022.

Additional information can be found at: Joint Public Inquiry into the Nova Scotia April 2020 Tragedy: https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/cntrng-crm/plcng/2020-nsir-en.aspx


Joy Laking is shown during one of her many outdoor painting sessions.

Page One Briefs - November 2020


Joy Laking’s New Book arrives

It may have been 20 years in the making, but Joy Laking’s new book published by Pottersfield Press, recently arrived. The Painted Province; Nova Scotia through an artist’s eyes, starts and ends in Portaupique.

The book contains over two hundred of her paintings paired with text. Covid has sure changed Joy’s life, she is not able to hold her annual open house. Because of the large crowds who attend her annual open house, which has become a "must go" for over 30 continuous years.

However, she had found a way to accommodate her many customers. It they abide by CoVid-19 protocols of masks and social distancing, she will be open on Saturdays until Christmas. Upon their visit to Portaupique, customers will be able to view all her new paintings, and purchase the book. Purchased at her studio, the book will be signed, and costs $26.20m including tax. Mail orders have an additional $5.85 shipping charge.

Joy was part of an international exhibition in Portugal this year and the new paintings done in Portugal will also be on display. The Laking’s can be reached at: www.joylakinggallery.com 902 890 8450 or 902 890 8730.

Bible Hill man charged in collision
The Colchester County RCMP's General Investigation Section (GIS) has laid multiple charges against a Bible Hill man in a fatal single vehicle collision on April 12 on Hwy. 246, in Oliver, Colchester County.

The RCMP, Fire and EHS responded to the collision, where a truck veered off the roadway during a sharp turn, went over an embankment and landed on its side. A 30-year-old woman passenger from Westville died at the scene. The driver and two other passengers suffered non-life-threatening injuries. They left the scene before police arrived.

The driver, Jason Edward Alexander, 37-years-old, of Bible Hill, is scheduled to appear in Truro Provincial Court on November 18, to face the following charges: Dangerous Operation; Dangerous Operation causing Bodily Harm X 2; Dangerous Operation causing Death; Operation while Impaired causing Bodily Harm X 2; Operation while Impaired causing Death; Failure to Stop after Accident resulting in Bodily Harm X 2 and Failure to Stop after Accident resulting in Death






Portapique Victims









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County of Colchester Emergency /

Grief Line / Help Line Numbers

Families of victims may contact Kelly Gratto-McCarthy at 902 843-4193 or 902 893-0677 for details on how to access the funeral support funding.

Provincial Mental Health Crisis Line is available 24/7 for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis or someone concerned about them. Call (toll-free) 1-888-429-8167.

Kids Help Phone is available 24/7. Call (toll-free) 1-800-668-6868

Morneau Shepell has opened its 24/7 bilingual crisis support line to help anyone in need of emotional support as a result of these tragic events. Call (toll free) 1-844-751-2133.

Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia are offering services to enhance the physical and mental health of adults, children, adolescents, and families. Contact 902-422-9183.

HOSPICE Colchester East Hants is also available for grief support by calling 902-893-3265.

For any community member requiring assistance finding the support they need contact Jennifer or Kaitlyn at the Municipality by calling 902-897-3185


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  The Shoreline Journal

Maurice Rees, Publisher
The Shoreline Journal
Box 41, Bass River, NS B0M 1B0
PH: 902-647-2968; Cell: 902-890-9850