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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


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
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

August 2020


Rees' Pieces August 2020

- Transparency Becomes Blurred

2020 is becoming a year we will not forget and will have several entries in the history books, causing some to think, "How did they ever pull through" all those obstacles. The answer is simple, "We are Nova Scotians, and we are Strong".

To recap a few obstacles, first there was Covid-19 pandemic, which at first didn’t seem to be much to worry about, but within six weeks, by mid-April, commenced to see how it was devastating the economy, and causing us to stay inside, scared to even open the front door; schools were closed and thousands had lost their jobs, temporarily with a large number to be lost forever.

Then on April 18-19, Canada’s largest mass murder started in Portapique, ending 12 hours later in Enfield with the loss of 22 lives. Since then there has not been many positive events. Compared to the USA, Premier McNeil and Dr. Strang along with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gained popularity for the daily updates and how they delivered the "cold-hard facts" without sugar-coating.

Read the full editorial...

Review Not Sitting Well

By Maurice Rees

The joint review announced on July 23 by Attorney General, Mark Furey and federal Minister of Public Safety, Bill Blair is not sitting well with what appears to be a majority of people outside the two reigning governments. Many people interviewed and quoted in various media reports since the announcement indicate they will not stop until a public inquiry is announced.

Almost immediately, representative from some victim families slammed the announcement indicating they have consistently requested a public review and had not told Minister Furey, they wanted protection and expediency. Families have been joined by neighbours, fellow Nova Scotians and outspoken colleagues from across Canada. Several MP’s and upwards of 40 Senators had written letters requesting the two governments call a "public inquiry".

The review - to be conducted by a three-person panel will operate independent of government involving a broad investigative analysis of the April 18-19 events. Three members have been jointly appointed to the panel to conduct the review and report back on its findings and recommendations. The panel members are the Honourable J. Michael MacDonald (chair), the Honourable A. Anne McLellan and Ms. Leanne J. Fitch. They will consider the causes, context and circumstances that led to the shootings, the response of police and steps taken to inform, support and engage victims, families and affected citizens.

To date no one had questioned the qualifications of the panel members, but are upset the information will not be part of public hearings; there is no opportunity for subpoena’s be served and people compelled to testify under oath.

Even before the announcement had concluded, some family members and supporters, were saying the "fight has just begun". They indicated plans will be formulated and they will ask for public support to pressure the decision be changed to a public format, so all evidence is readily available to the public.

From a scan of various media on Friday and Saturday, opposition to a review and drive for a public inquiry seems to be gaining traction.

The review will address a variety of issues relating to the perpetrator, police and other law enforcement agencies, as well as victims and families. Topics to be reviewed include: contributing and contextual factors including the involvement of gender-based and intimate-partner violence; the perpetrator's access to firearms; police response and police communications with the public, victims, their families, the Alert Ready Program and other law enforcement agencies.

Ministers Furey and Blair committed all agencies and organizations under their respective jurisdiction and authority will participate fully in this review, ensuring the panel has what it needs to fulfill its mandate. These include, but are not limited to, the Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office, the Nova Scotia Medical Examiner's Office, all municipal police forces in Nova Scotia, the RCMP, the Canada Border Services Agency, the Canada Firearms Program, the Criminal Intelligence Service and the national Alert Ready Program.

One additional fact was both the interim and final report outlining findings and recommendations will be made public.

Additional resources: Joint federal-provincial news release:


Backgrounder: Independent Review Panel for April Tragedy: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-safety-canada/news/2020/07/independent-review-panel-for-april-tragedy.html

Independent Review Terms of Reference: https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/cntrng-crm/plcng/2020-nsir-tor-en.aspx

UNESCO Approves GeoPark

By Maurice Rees

The Cliffs of Fundy GeoPark finally received UNESCO approval as a as a member of the Canadian Geoparks Network on July 19th. The announcement which was delayed by approximately five months due to CoVid-19 is a welcome boost to the future economy of Colchester and Cumberland Counties.

The area covered by the designation will be from Apple River in Cumberland down the shore to outer edges of Truro to include the former Palliser site which was purchased by Colchester and is now under development at the Fundy Discovery Centre.

Geoparks are sites recognized by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, for their exceptional geological heritage. Being designated a Geopark means having the ability to mobilize local stakeholders to preserve unique geological sites and educate visitors about them. Geoparks also play a leading role in fostering high quality, sustainable tourism and contributing to the vitality of local economies.

As inhabitants of the coasts of the Cliffs of Fundy UNESCO Global Geopark for more than 11,000 years, the Mi’kmaq were the area’s first geologists. With more than 40 geosites across 125 km, visitors can discover the Earth’s incredible natural history, the world’s highest tides, Canada’s oldest dinosaur fossils, and magnificent landscapes steeped in Mi’kmaq legends, tales and culture, Acadian traditions, and a dynamic arts and food culture.

More complete coverage and details about the announcement are contained in the pages of South Cumberland News elsewhere in this issue.


2020 has not been a good year for area strawberry growers because there is a 40% shortage in foreign workers, due to problems from Co-Vid-19. Curtis Millen indicated he decided to plant 20 acres less, but with a a shortage of labour, there will be a loss of 60-80 acres.

See story and more photos on page 10. (Harrington Photo)



Students Return to Class September 8th

Public school students across the province will return to class on Tuesday, Sept 8. The back to school plan is supported by public health, the IWK Health Centre and education partners.

Developed with survey feedback from more than 28,000 parents and students, and input from union and education partners, the plan outlines public health guidelines and enhanced safety measures for students and staff. It also includes measures to enhance student learning.

While overall, learning at-home during the spring went well, parents said there were some challenges, like access to technology. Government has invested $4 million to secure 14,000 computers to support student learning for those with limited or no access to technology. In September, students, families and staff can expect: Regional Centres for Education and the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial will have plans to support enhanced cleaning, physical distancing and situations specific to schools in their area; classrooms to be reorganized to increase spacing and treating a class as a bubble, to minimize contact with other students.

Other items include: Enhanced cleaning on school buses; school bus riders and drivers will need to wear a mask; all staff and students in high school will be required to wear a mask in school spaces where social distancing is not possible, for example hallways and common areas. Students and staff do not have to wear a mask in class, unless they want to, or if they are working with a student whose individual program plan requires a mask be worn; regular handwashing or hand sanitizing by students and staff before entering school for classes and throughout the day.

In-school assemblies and other large gatherings will not be permitted; cafeterias and school food programs will deliver food to students. Students will eat lunch at their desks and students will have the opportunity to engage in all subject areas, although some subject areas may look different.

The plan includes contingencies if it becomes necessary to adjust based on public health advice.

Additional Resources: Nova Scotia back to school plan: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/docs/back-to-school-plan.pdf

Bureaucratic Nightmare

By Tom Taggart

Even though Co-Vid-19 has had a significant impact on all of us, I think it is time to provide an update on activities of the Medical Colchester Society for the past 18 months.

Eighteen Months ago we were advised Dr Ewing would be retiring Sept 30 2020 and Dr Rowe, who was also working, I believe 2 days per week  would be retiring as well. As a committee we became active and began bi weekly meeting to form a plan to recruit new doctors.

We presented to the Truro Colchester physician recruitment committee, met and worked with the Nova Scotia Health authority and the Northern Region Doctor recruitment officer among others. We were successful in that we met two different doctors who wished to move to Nova Scotia and potentially practice in West Colchester. As a result both Doctors agreed to and I understand were advised that they would receive a billing number from Nova Scotia Health. Arrangements were made for each to work with Dr Ewing to determine if our rural practice was acceptable or workable to them, we received tentative dates and even went as far as to arrange for housing for them in our communities. We were very optimistic!! That was in the fall of 2019.

That optimism was short lived! These visits were continually delayed, delay in immigration, delay in work permit, more information needed on this, need this background check, you name it, this has been a BEAURACRATIC NIGHTMARE.

Eventually one Doctor decided to give up the fight so to speak. The second continued and attempted to jump through hurdles to get all the required documents. It is interesting we continue to hear from many different sources how difficult it is to recruit doctors to Nova Scotia because of the very challenging bureaucracy.

Then Covid hit. Everything stopped! Recently we were advised by this Doctor that is still willing to travel to West Colchester. However he has been advised that all the extensive documentation and permitting that he has supplied and applied for, have expired and he must start all over again. UNBELIEVABLE!!!

Meanwhile we were advised early on that we would never be able to recruit a new doctor to practice without having electronic medical records in place. Both our current doctors, who were at the end of their careers, were still using paper documents. As we were working thru this we became aware that when Doctors retired they were mandated to store their records for 10 years, and guess what? They were sent to a company in Ontario that specialized in this. Our society recognized that once this happened those records would be lost forever. Both doctors permitted us access to their records on condition that the individuals completing this were professionals in the field and sworn to confidentiality. We inquired as to the cost of purchasing the electronic medical records system and then transferring the current records to the electronic system. Nearly $50,000, but the health dept would pay $12,000, the society committed $10,000 and we are working on finding additional financial support.

Our society made the decision to hire locally and complete in house. That process has started, however we have been advised the Provincial money is not available unless we have a Dr on contract for at least 9 months. Our committee has determined that it is critical patients who have used this clinic over the years must have their records secured. We continue to work on this and search for funding.

We are currently in what I believe is a crisis! Today we will be sending letters to both the Northern Region Dr recruitment officer and MLA Karen Casey asking for an immediate emergency meeting to assist and direct us how to move forward from here.

We understand that Doctor Recruitment is a challenge in Nova Scotia. We understand Covid provides additional challenges. However we also understand that Doctors continue to be recruited to other communities across Nova Scotia even while we work thru Covid. We need help in understanding what is so different here.  We have an available turnkey clinic, enabling a doctor to walk in and go to work. We have a rural community that has supported this clinic, for 40 years. We have a drug store attached and a clinic that prior to Covid permitted blood collection, seniors foot care and a massage therapist, yet we still struggle.

The purpose of this long winded update is to inform the public the work that has been done and the challenges we are facing. We need your voice. You must ensure that Government officials are aware of how important it is that our communities receive their support.

Truro’s ‘Black Lives Matter’ parade makes its way down Prince Street in Truro on June 13. Organizers expected up to 300 participants but were delighted to have over 1000 in attendance. Story and more photos on page 11. Above photo by Erin Dorrington.

Page One Briefs - returning in August...






Portapique Victims









in html

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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Submission Deadlines 2020


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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