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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  the husband and wife team of Maurice & Dorothy Rees.  They 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.  Dorothy is a lady of many interests who added new features to the Journal in particular her Kitchen Korner.  Since November 2008 she has operated her own business, Dorothy’s T-shirt Factory, later renamed to “tshirtsrus.ca”.  The energetic couple have a busy schedule as they are also sales agents for Nelson Monuments and also travel frequently to annual Nova Scotian festivals selling t-shirts.

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


Interested in advertising? Click here to view all the details on our adAtlantic Classified Network Program or email the publisher for more details at maurice@theshorelinejournal.com

The Shoreline Journal is proud to be a member of The Atlantic Community Newspaper Association; let us book your ads for you and customize your campaign!

Click on the image at right to view the Shoreline's advertising rates & deadlines in pdf...


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
Dorothy's 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

April 2019 Issue follows:

Rees' Pieces

April 2019 - $20,000 and Four Months Wasted

Of the hundreds of council meetings I have attended or endured since my first council meeting in Woodstock, NB in 1963, a few of them have caused the head to spin. Colchester’s council meeting on February 28th is one of those near the top during a span of six decades.

Not only was the presented consultant’s report poorly drafted; poorly presented; did not answer the original questions and contained inaccurate information of municipal population. Instead of spending approximately $20,000 a cup of coffee and thirty minutes with someone in charge of handling employee payroll would have provided concise accurate and understandable information.

At the time of this writing, 18 hours after witnessing the episode my head is still spinning.

Read the full editorial...


Colchester County Shows Support for Fallen Fire Fighter Skyler Blackie -

Every overpass along Hwy 104 from  Great Village to Truo was lined with fire trucks, firefighters, first responders and members of the community who all wanted to show their respect for Truro firefighter Syler Blackie as his remains were brought home to Truro from Amherst on Saturday, March 23rd.  Skyler, who lived in Debert with his wife Erin, was a career firefighter with the Truro Fire Service, and he passed away March 20th, following a tragic training accident on March 9th.  (Harrington Photo)


Tragic Training Accident Claims Firefighter

By Maurice Rees

An unfortunate accident at the Fire Training School, Waverly has claimed the life of Skyler Lee Blackie, Debert. He was dedicated to his much-loved career as a fire fighter having joined at the age of 18 and worked with the Truro Fire Service.

On Saturday afternoon, March 23 Firefighter Skyler Blackie's remains were brought home from Amherst to Truro in a Regimental Procession of emergency vehicles. The public and firefighters with vehicles lined the Hwy 104 overpasses starting at the Great Village.

The procession from Amherst, escorted by RCMP vehicles veered off Hwy 104 onto the Masstown by-pass where approximately 25 fire departments plus Search and Rescue had assembled awaiting the procession from Amherst.

Overpasses on Hwy 104 were filled to near-capacity with the public, firefighters and fire trucks saluting the procession at Great Village, Glenholme, Masstown, Belmont Road and Crowes Mills Road. The lower parking lot at Colchester Consolidated Junior High School was almost full as public and firefighters with fire trucks lining the Onslow overpass on Hwy 102 to offer a salute before the procession exited to downtown Truro.

The procession from Amherst included an RCMP lead vehicle and 2 RCMP units following blocking both lanes keeping other motorists from encroaching on approximately 25 participating Fire Departments and Search and Rescue from all over Colchester, Pictou County and East Hants who joined the procession at Masstown.

The Shoreline Journal’s, reporter / photographer positioned herself on the Debert overpass to shoot a video, which was later uploaded to Facebook. Within 18 hours, by 7:00 am Sunday, the video had engaged 259,619 people from across Canada, throughout USA as far west as California with some viewing from overseas. The video continued throughout the morning to engage more people. By 11:30 am, 40,000 more views were recorded increasing to 299,000+ engagements. Within the next 90 minutes, viewing increased by 15,000, totaling 314,000+ .

Firefighter Skyler Blackie, who lived in Debert and was employed with Truro Fire Service passed away March 20th, after being injured in a training exercise earlier this month at the Nova Scotia Fire Fighter’s School, Waverly.

He was a certified life guard and received a medal for his life saving efforts. A volunteer firefighter since the age of 18, he was trained through Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Services and served as a Lieutenant with Station 45 in Fall River; during this time he attended NSCC and received his HVAC certification and then began his career as a firefighter with Truro Fire Service on October 1, 2013.

The Department of Labour has interceded asking the school to remove all extinguishers from its training materials and to supply all records on maintenance and inspections of the extinguishers.

The Shoreline Journal was informed by a professional, who regularly conducts training of firefighters and other department training said the extinguishers were approximately 40 years old and had been given to the school prior to the closure of the Imperial Oil refinery, Dartmouth. The source did not wish to be identified. 

A regimental funeral service will be held 11 a.m., Saturday, March 30, 2019, at Colchester Legion Stadium, 14 Lorne Street, Truro.

Same Take-home; no Increase

By Maurice Rees

Colchester’s Councillors and Mayor will take home the same money, but will not receive a pay increase. This is the result of a report from Gerald Walsh & Associates who delivered their report to Council at its February meeting. The report had been completed on January 17th and results reported to council at its January meeting. However, somewhat unhappy with the report, council requested the consultant appear before council at its February meeting for fuller explanation as to the methodology.

Last fall, council asked for a consultant to determine the effect of CRA’s changes eliminating "tax-free" amounts from elected official’s remuneration. Colchester councillors were getting total of $25,006, of which 2/3 ($16,671) was taxable income, while the remaining 1/3 ($8,335) was a tax-free allowance. For Deputy Mayor the figures were $30,598, $20,399 taxable and $10,199, tax-free, while the Mayor’s remuneration was $49,060, with $32,707 taxable and tax-free as $16,353.

During their presentation to council, Gerald Walsh Associates listed the scope of work as: To determine: a compensation value (salary) for Council effective January 1, 2019 that will address: Canada Revenue Agency changes to Council taxation taking effect January 1, 2019; and Market value for Mayor, Deputy Mayor, and Councillor positions compared to the Nova Scotia market of municipal elected officials.

Walsh’s comprehensive 10 page report suggested to give elected members the same "take-home" monies, salaries should be adjusted upwards, councillors to: $29,494; Deputy Mayor, $36,090 and Mayor, $57,865. In grossing up would cost the municipality, $59,177 per year.

Walsh’s report concluded, the overall rate of pay should not be adjusted upwards as it was comparable to other municipalities. Walsh had replies from 21 of 32 municipalities surveyed. As part of his presentation to council Gerald Walsh said population of a municipality was one of the important tools used in calculations.

The population analysis got a strong rebuttal from councillors, with Councillor Bill Masters become most vocal. Masters suggested the size of a councillors district and the uniqueness of the workload should be more important that population. He suggested, in comparison to Kings County, which has several villages which handle a lot of the workload, while Colchester has two villages – Bible Hill and Tatamagouche, plus Stewiacke and Millbrook.

Master’s maintained the number of staff and workload assigned to various councillors were far more important. Following the meeting, some councillors realized Walsh’s population figures, at least for Colchester was wrong. Their report of 51,465 also included Towns of Truro, (12,260); Stewiacke, (1405) and Millbrook First Nation, (758).

According to Council policy a council is supposed to review and adjust remuneration of elected officials before the end of its mandate. The previous council did not make the adjustment prior to the last election, but must do so prior to the next municipal election.

A quick check on other municipalities also demonstrated towns and villages had been included in population stats, which has a significant impact on council workload and responsibilities. After looking at the inaccuracies in the consultant’s report and understanding why most councillor were not happy with the report, the Shoreline Journal made a call to privately owned smaller accounting firm, who were happy to provide data outlining to what level the salary of Colchester’s officials should be adjusted to, to offset CRA’s new rules.

Walsh’s comprehensive 10 page report suggested to give officials the same "take-home" monies, salaries should be adjusted upwards. Councillors to $29,494; Deputy Mayor, $36,090 and Mayor, $57,865. In grossing up would cost the municipality, $59,177 per year. It has not been confirmed, but some have suggested the consultant report cost upwards of $20,000.

The Shoreline’s privately sourced data suggested: Councillors, $29,005; Deputy Mayor, $35,050 and Mayor, $58,420. Annual cost increase $53,082. (See Separate story with calculations elsewhere in this issue).

Local MLA Larry Harrison had the challenges of his life - trying to saty on the bull during the 2018 Youth Expo.

Wellness Fair to have 25 Service Providers

By Maurice Rees

The along the Shore Community Health Board, under the direction of Doug and Wanda MacInnis, co-chairs, are stepping up the pace of community involvement by organizing A Wellness Fair at the West Colchester Consolidated School on Saturday April 13, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

The purpose of the Wellness Fair is to help make individuals and families, who live along the shore more aware of programs and services available to them to support an healthier and more vibrant lifestyle.

In excess of 25 vendors / service providers are expected to attend the fair. Each of them will provide information on the services they offer to the community and how they can assist those wishing to live a healthier lifestyle.

As of March 20th, the following had submitted the necessary paperwork to participate: Transforming Tides Counselling; 211 Nova Scotia; Municipality of Colchester Waste Management; Genrus United; Colchester Transportation Cooperative Ltd; Lower Onslow Preschool; Schools Plus; The Shoreline Journal; Caregivers Nova Scotia; Yoga with Ashley; Mental Health and Addictions; Maggies Place Family Resource Centre; EfficiencyNS and Autism Nova Scotia.

An additional 11 service providers have committed to attend, but paperwork is not completed. These vendors include or will deliver the following services: VON, Earth Angels, Karate, Peaceful Places, Dietician, Today Nurse; Massage Therapist, Tai Chi, Colchester Recreation, RECC and Hike NS.


Page One Briefs - April 2019

STRESS RELIEF: Ate salad for dinner ...mostly croutons & tomatoes ... really just one big, round crouton covered with tomato sauce ... and cheese... FINE, it was a pizza. I ate a pizza!

The Truro & Colchester Partnership for Economic Prosperity will host its Newcomer Appreciation Night at the PEG in Masstown on March 27 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. The evening will recognize one newcomer employee and one self-employed newcomer with the presentation of the inaugural Newcomer Appreciation Awards. The recipients of the 2019 Truro Colchester Newcomer Appreciation Awards will be Sergio Garrido, owner of Aroma Maya and Anita Kajtazi, an employee at McDonald’s restaurant. Both were recognized for their drive, leadership skills and the degree to which their actions have made a meaningful contribution to their respective businesses and the community.

The event is free and will include complimentary finger foods, a cash bar and live entertainment by the band Gasper Cross. Those who plan to attend are asked to RSVP to bit.ly/NewcomerNight

A local man is seeking help in finding where his mother taught school in the Debert area 90 years ago. The Journal of Education stored at the Little White School House on Arthur St., Truro states Elizabeth MacKay was paid for teaching 102 days in 1926 and 98 days in 1927 in West Colchester. The school is not named. The late Beryl Putnam (nee McCully) once recalled attending Hardwood Hills School when Elizabeth MacKay was the teacher. Perhaps someone in the Debert area will have a picture of the Hardwood Hills School pupils and teacher during 1926-27. A reward is offered. Please phone 902-895-0036 if you have a photo you are willing to share.

The Cobequid Veterans Memorial Park will host a service for the Holocaust Remembrance on May 1,2019. This service will begin at 7:30PM to remember the 6 million lost during WW2. Everyone is welcome, and a reception will follow at Victoria Hall.

Campsite Bookings begin April 2 for provincial park campsites for Five Islands, Amherst Shore and Cape Chignecto. Advocate Harbour, Cumberland Co. For the first time, reservations will open over two days. Eastern and most central region parks will start taking reservations on Tuesday, April 2 and western region parks will accept reservations starting Wednesday, April 3. Most day-use and camping parks will open Victoria Day weekend, while some will open in June. Visitors should check the provincial parks website at http://parks.novascotia.ca or social media for up-to-date information on openings. Reservations for campsites can be made by phone, toll free at 1-888-544-3434 or online at http://parks.novascotia.ca beginning at 9 a.m. Atlantic time.

Changes to the Judicature Act will help give Nova Scotia families improved access to a single, specialized court for all family law matters. This court will replace the current model, which requires many Nova Scotian families experiencing separation or divorce to deal with two separate courts. Unified family court sites currently exist in Halifax, Sydney and Port Hawkesbury. Expanding the model across the province will ensure that all Nova Scotians have access to a single, specialized court for all family law matters.

Read the Journal on-line!

The entire issue is available on line in pdf format - browse through the paper page by page, read as little or as much as you like.  Click for Issue Archives...

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Submission Deadlines 2019


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  The Shoreline Journal

Maurice & Dorothy Rees, Publishers
The Shoreline Journal
Box 41, Bass River, NS B0M 1B0
PH: 902-647-2968; Cell: 902-890-9850
E-mail: maurice@theshorelinejournal.com