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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

April 2021


April 2021 - Bancroft & Friends VS Government

Tomorrow, April 1st will reveal a multitude of things, not as an "April Fools Joke", but a decision by the Nova Scotia Supreme Court which will set the destiny of what will or could happen with the 100+ Provincial Parks and Premier Rankin’s legacy.

An unintended consequence of the decision will be the life-long reputation of Premier Iain Rankin, who might have his reputation established within the first month of winning the Liberal leadership and automatically becoming premier to succeed Stephen McNeil.

Premier Rankin was thrust into the middle because he was Minister Lands and Forests, in March 2019, when the provincial government delisted "Owl Head" Provincial Park as a park enabling it being secretly sold to a private developer wishing to establish a Golf Course within a development plan for the 284 hectare Eastern Shore coastal property.

Read the full editorial...

Anniversary Memorial Race - April 18th

By Maurice Rees

The Nova Scotia Remembers Legacy Society, incorporated in Fall 220, will hold a Memorial Race on April 18th. During the past year the group has developed an aggressive plan to honour its commitment of providing ongoing support to the communities of West Colchester affected by the tragedy that took place in April of 2020.

Committee Chair: Megan Netzke and Board Chair: Tiffiany Ward have worked hard and make many presentations to various stakeholders, including Colchester Council to explain their short and long-term plans.

Their most immediate event is the first annual Nova Scotia Remembers Anniversary Race to be held on April 18th. The race is expected to attract 500-750 with 4 Start Lines. Covid Protocols will be in place. With assistance from Bluenose Marathon/Valley Harvest it is anticipated there will be 1000-1500 virtual participants.

The April 18th event will include: Nova Scotia Remembers Memorial Race – Marathon, Half-Marathon, 10k & 5k; Nova Scotia Remembers Commemorative Walk and Nova Scotia Remembers Memorial Ceremony. Colchester Council approved a $5,000 injection toward the cost of the Memorial Race.

A Nova Scotia Remembers power point presentation indicates as a fundraiser the race will generate $75-$90,000 in 2021. Other sources of funding is listed at Nova Scotia Remembers Contribution, Corporate & Private Donors and Government partners.

The organization is planning to make the anniversary race an annual event. Just before presstime, organizers were awaiting confirmation the event would be a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.

A spoken person for the Society said, "We are uniquely positioned to collaborate with various local health boards and organizations. Through our newly developed four-phase project we seek to coordinate community resources and determine community needs, actions that will enable us to provide appropriate and relevant programs and services to residents of West Colchester.

Through public and stakeholder engagement we will create and implement a strategic plan to support these communities, and a coordinator will be hired to manage the ongoing programs and supports".

The four part program will include:

  • Education: Bursary fund for children of victims; Nova Scotia Women’s Resiliency Bursary; Helping Professions Bursary and Nova Scotia Remembers Bursary
  • Memorial: Permanent Memorial; Memorial Events and Support for other memorials in the communities.
  • Community Development: Networked community supports for all ages; Trauma Informed Model; Community Advocacy and Programming.
  • Grief & Trauma Support: Coordinated support for affected families and communities; Clinical and community focused; Research and development and Centre of Expertise.

The first three phases of the program will occur from April through to October. The fourth phase comprising Program Implementation and Management will be ongoing from November 2021, November 2021-Ongoing

For more information about the West Colchester Community Development Project contact: Megan Netzk at megan.netzke@live.com or Tiff Ward, board chair at novascotiaremembers@gmail.com

Noise By-law "Muted"

By Maurice Rees

The agony of Colchester developing a noise by-law suffered a serious setback at the February meeting of council when the a draft of the proposed legislation was presented by staff. After lengthy and vibrant discuss, the proposed by-law was muted, when council refused to pass first reading.

Councillors had a variety of opinions and concerns concerning what was being proposed in Devin Trefry’s explanation to council. As part of his presentation, Mr. Trefry indicated Council had previously directed staff to draft a noise by-law as well as a fireworks by-law for consideration. Complaints from some residents about various occurrences of "fireworks" last summer raised the matter for consideration along with noise by-law.

On February 11th, at council’s committee meeting a draft noise by-law was presented and reviewed in detail. Trefry’s explanation indicated staff felt the issue of fireworks could be addressed within the draft noise by-law. The draft by-law as presented by staff was largely derived from the Noise By-law of Cumberland County; vetted through the RCMP and the Municipal Solicitor. There were two main issues from discussions on February 11th: permitting for fireworks; and grandfathering of existing businesses.

Major concerns included unintentional consequences; grand fathering of existing businesses; community or individual fireworks were included when many councillors felt they were different matters and a variety of other concerns.

After lengthy vibrant discussion, a motion from Deputy Mayor Stewart, seconded by Councillor Johnson "That First Reading of the Noise By-law not be approved." The motion was carried with Councillor Boutilier opposed as the first reading was not approved subsequently "Muting" the by-law for the time being..

During discussion prior to the vote on February 25th, it was agreed permitting for fireworks as presented in the draft by-law was acceptable. Also by majority, Council was not in favour of grandfathering existing businesses. Staff proposed a few additional changes to the draft by-law (discussed February 11th). The proposed changes include a clause specific to fireworks during a ban on open fires issued by the Province; a clause permitting up to two additional occasions for fireworks with time restrictions; delegation for exemptions; modified penalties; and, time restrictions for the detonation of fireworks.

Lengthy discussion was held on the draft by-law as presented. Deputy Mayor Stewart outlined a number of concerns with various clauses in the draft by-law. Nearly all councillors reported receiving a number of calls and emails with the majority not being in favour.

Deputy Mayor Stewart indicated that what was proposed is not acceptable; he is not against having a by-law that controls noise during certain time periods and one that does not restrict what people in rural communities have become accustomed to.

After the vote to not approve, further discussion was held with a number of points being raised including dealing with fireworks separate from noise; safety being one of the major concerns with fireworks; unintended consequences of a noise by-law; potential adverse effects on existing businesses; misinterpretation of intentions of the draft by-law; lack of enforcement of other existing regulations; needing a mechanism to deal with repeat offenders; noise versus nuisance; and feedback and input received from the public.

A second motion was put forward by Councillor Boutilier, seconded by Councillor Sandeson "That staff come back to Council with options for dealing with fireworks and noise/nuisance, as two separate issues." The motion was carried with opposing votes from Mayor Blair, Councillors Cooper, Johnson, Patton and Taggart.

Even though the noise has been "muted", that is only temporary. It is not determined when council will receive a further report from staff. Based on council’s desires, it is anticipated the report will separate the two matters. Dealing will the fireworks issue will be an easier task and with July 1st coming soon councillor want to avoid complaints similar to what they experienced the last couple of years.

The noise by-law will be a more difficult task. Councillors have expressed concern about pitting neighbor against neighbor with complaints about chain saw running at 6 am; someone mowing their lawn early in the morning resulting in unexpected consequences, where the municipality was put in position to be a "sub-division referee". Such actions could lead to constant flow of court cases and litigation where nobody wins.


Northern Pulp Wastewater Coming to Colchester

By Maurice Rees

At the March 11th committee meeting council Michelle Newell’s Public Works directors report included a mention that even though the mill has been closed for over a year Northern Pulp continues to haul wastewater to the Central Colchester Wastewater Treatment Facility.

The wastewater comes from their sewage lagoon, pulp mill and leachate from pulpwood storage. On question from councillor Taggart as to the level of compensation to the municipality Newell replied that in summer 2020 it amounted to approximately $40,000 per month.

Their permit has been extended to December 31, 2021 with compensation amounting to approximately $70,000/ month which is derived from three truckloads per day. The wastewater is off-loaded into a holding tank then added gradually into the system. Department of Environment regulate the volume which can be added to the wastewater treatment plant on daily basis.

$7-Million Relief Program Announced

Early in March the provincial government announced a $7 million rebate program to help the service sector weather the impact of the COVID-19 shutdowns. The Small Business Real Property Tax Rebate Program provides qualified businesses a one-time rebate of a portion of their paid property taxes.

Qualified businesses can choose a rebate of $1,000 or 50 per cent of the commercial real property taxes paid for the final six months of the 2020-21 tax year. Nearly 3,300 businesses are eligible, including dine-in restaurants and drinking establishments; gym and fitness establishments; hair salons and barber shops, spas, nail salons and body art establishments.

Taggart will focus on "The "Biodiversity Act"

By Maurice Rees

Colchester County Councillor Tom Taggart will focus on "The "Biodiversity Act" as he feels it is a new and emerging threat to the rural communities he represents as District 10 Colchester Councillor a position he has held since 2008. By focusing on the Biodiversity Act, Taggart has withdrawn from race to become the Cumberland-Colchester Conservative in the next federal election.

"For the last 12 years, I have passionately defended rural Nova Scotia on County Council," says Taggart. "Our rural way of life has been under threat by governments at both the Provincial and Federal level. I honestly believe the biggest threat facing rural Nova Scotia right now is the recently announced ‘Biodiversity Act’.  

In withdrawing from the Conservative party candidate race, Taggart will be throwing his support behind Dr. Stephen Ellis leaving two announced candidates for the position to upset Lenore Zann who won the seat for the Liberals when long servicing MP, Bill Casey did not reoffer.

Taggart points out that slowly, but surely, government policy, regulation and oversight have eroded away what we can and cannot do on the land we own, for which we pay taxes each year. Taggart believes private woodlot owners, farmers and sportsmen have always been good stewards of the land. This proposed new Act lays would give government far too much government control, and lays the groundwork for that outcome. 

As a Colchester councillor since 2008, Taggart, for several years, has been one of four elected officials who sit on the national board of directors for Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and has been involved in rural economic committees at that level. "That is why I have decided to step aside from the Federal race to focus my energy on fighting this threat to the communities I represent." Taggart says.

As for his support for Dr Ellis, Taggart says, "I have had the opportunity to work with Dr Ellis, most recently in his efforts to help supply fill-in Doctors at our Medical Clinic in West Colchester, as we work to secure a new full-time replacement. I have met with Stephen over the past couple of days, and am comfortable he is a strong supporter of our rural communities.  He will attract new people to our party and bring the change we need locally. I look forward to working together in this challenge.

"For now, I look forward to spreading awareness and challenging what is known as "Bill 4 - The Bio Diversity Act." There is no question we must protect our environment and fight climate change, however it cannot be at the expense of private property owners and  rural communities".

Page One Briefs

A SINCEREST APOLOGY is extended to all readers for a mistake in the last issue. In the last issue we published a story headlined "Paralyzed by Pain……". Unfortunately after publication we discovered, the article was SCAM. We have changed the relevant pages on the website stating, "Please Ignore, discovered as SCAM". We apologize to readers, and promise to be more careful in the future.

Exhibitions cancelled for 2021.

The Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition (NSPE) will not happen again in 2021. The Exhibitions Association of Nova Scotia (EANS) has made the decision to not host traditional exhibitions and fairs for the 2021 season. EANS statement said their collective decision does not preclude Exhibitions and Fairs from hosting smaller events that meet all public health requirements. Each year over 1,200 dedicated volunteers who make Exhibitions and Fairs possible give at least 15,000 hours of time each year.

The man who offered two teens a ride in Springhill on March 2 has been identified and it was determined that there was no criminality.

Nova Scotia's Approach to Setting Minimum Wage will be reviewed in the coming months. On January. 26, government accepted the committee's recommendation to increase the rate for minimum wage earners to $12.95 an hour. The new rate increase takes effect on April 1. The Minimum Wage Review Committee, which includes employee and employer representatives, filed its report with the minister of Labour and Advanced Education on January 4. For a copy of the Nova Scotia Minimum Wage Review Committee report, visit: https://novascotia.ca/lae/pubs

Enfield District RCMP have charged a Maitland man after he assaulted two women at a home. On February 25 at approximately 5 a.m., Enfield District RCMP members responded to a complaint of an assault with a weapon at a home on Cedar Rd. in Maitland. The investigation determined a 29-year-old man had assaulted two persons. One person suffered serious injuries and was transported to hospital by EHS. The other person did not have physical injuries. The suspect was arrested on scene without incident. Robert Frederick MacKenzie has been charged with the following offences: Aggravated Assault, Assault with a Weapon, Assault, Unlawful Confinement and Uttering Threats. MacKenzie was brought before a judge and released on strict conditions, including: remain within 25 meters of his residence (Onslow); Must not be in the community of Maitland; Must not use, possess or consume alcoholic beverages and must not use or possess firearms. MacKenzie is scheduled to appear in Shubenacadie Provincial Court on April 12, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.





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