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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. 

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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


May 2021 - Where’s the Common Sense?

(This column was written on April 17th. Since then the number of CoVid-19 cases have surged to new highs, bringing the centre part of the province to a standstill, and borders will remain closed for another month. This will definitely impact my prediction of a June 15th election. It is more reasonable to assume we might go to the polls later in August. To avoid a summer campaign an election date of September 21 is more probable suggesting the writ could be dropped August 20th).

What I am going to write is primarily based on data from the United States, but the essence of the message, "Where is the common sense" is not foreign to Canada.

USA banned administrating additional doses of the J&J vaccine because six people out of 7-million administered vaccines suffered a blood clot reaction. This meant 6,999,994 people received the benefit of the vaccine.

Read the full editorial...

Memorial at Victoria Park

This broken heart, Nova Scotia Remembers is part of the 1st Annual Memorial displays in Victoria Park. Built by legendary Wayne Smith, the large broken heart contains the names of the 22 people, plus unborn baby contains the names those who perished on April 18 & 19, 2020. (Harrington Photo). For additional 1st Anniversary coverage, please see pages 11, 12, 13 & 14.

Page One Editorial

Emotions Rawer One Year Later

A year ago everyone was dismayed, in shock and unable to think correctly. Family and friends, who learned who was killed in the Canada’s largest mass murder has just received the worst news ever and wanted to be left alone.

We have made a lot of progress, thanks to neighbours, elected officials and the newly formed Nova Scotia Remembers Legacy Society. Unfortunately, emotions are rawer now and more pronounced even though just passed the first anniversary.

Thanks to the legacy society for organizing the memorial events, various classifications of races or walks, which has garnered national and international attention. One can not say enough about the many professionals and volunteers who have and are giving of their time to help in the healing process.

It truly was a "weekend of extreme sorrow" and there is a lot of healing yet to come. We must ensure the wishes of local citizens are respected, but everyone must do what they can to ensure the memory of those 22 people plus an unborn child is never forgotten. Not everyone will agree, but a "official" memorial but evolve. Consensus must be part of the process to ensure things are done properly, in good taste and with respect, without making the area a MECCA for the inquisitive.

Family and friends of those slain don’t feel comfortable the way things have evolved. Only public outrage changed the official review / inquiry to a commission, when the provincial government and feds has suggested a reduced undertaking. There is a lot of emotion and empathy for local RCMP constables who ply the roads on daily basis.

However, as one ascends up the ranks, there is a lot of distrust with "higher up" RCMP decisions. Many feel there is too much effort spent on "CYA". Canada Revenue Agency is taking far too long to approve charitable status for the Legacy Society. There is no evidence the province has applied any pressure to get charitable approved, or for the federal government to step up to the plate in other ways including more funding.

If I wanted to be negative, there is a long list of items, which would demonstrate a lack of empathy and compassion once one leaves the immediate areas where the tragedy and slaying occurred. However, I feel much more can be accomplished by focusing on the positive.

Local councillors and the municipal governments in the affected areas have stepped up to the plate to the extent permitted without going on a rampage.

If it wasn’t for the Truro Rotary Club, Colchester Municipal Council, the volunteer Legacy Society and citizens from the Portapique, Bass River and Great Village areas not much would have been accomplished. A special recognition should go to Karen Casey who worked tirelessly to do what needed including bringing in the Justice Department to do what was needed.

Yes, it was a "Weekend of Extreme Sorrow". However we must not permit memories to fade into the forgotten past. Keep up the pressure, or apply new, so this area of West Colchester is remembered for eternity for the large number of citizens it lost.

Maurice Rees, Publisher.

Read our special 4 page pull-out section...

$50,459 for Community Grants Approved

By Maurice Rees

Piror to starting Council’s addition and deletions budget meeting, Deputy Mayor Stewart, who chaired the meeting asked for a moment of silence in honour of those who lost their lives on April 18 and 19, 2020. Following observation of silence, Mayor Blair said that in honour of 22, plus unborn, Taggart, Benoit and herself laid flowers on their behalf. She added the Lt-Gov commented on the support given to families and residences, and also because of the magnitude of the incidents, there is a need for a significant memorial to last a long time.

During discussions on additions and deletions, council approved $50,459 out of $180,000 requested.

Council has a budget of Up to max of $100,000 in grants for non Profits. Total request from applicants totaled $180,000. For the benefit of new councillors, councillor Taggart pointed out the meeting could go above $100,000 which would either up the tax rate, or ask staff to find other reductions.

Councillor MacKenzie inquired if council has access to the $1-Million received under the Safe Restart Program. Scott Fraser, CFO said the fund could not to be used for grants as it was intended to assist where revenues have been lost due to CoVid-19. CAO Rob Simonds interjected, the municipality is waiting for answers regarding usage of the fund for recreation facilities who suffered significant revenue losses. He added during a recent virtual meeting of Mayors and CAO’s Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities (NSFM) was requested to contact Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) for clarity and response to seek clarification for Federal Government.

Those applicants who received approval included: Canadian Mental Health Assn – (guaranteed $10,000), requested additional $3,000; CARMA Colchester Chapter –$3,000 request was defeated. On new motion from Councillor Gregory new motion for $1,500 was approved.

Colchester East Hants Hospice Society, $4,600 carried; Farm Equipment Museum submitting their first request for $3,000 was approved. Middle Stewiacke Recreation Assn, request $2,500. Losses due to CoVid, but had a major repair which needed to be done, or would have to close building, Cooper.

Middleton Community Hall Assn last applied in 2014 were approved for $1,500;

 Remembering Canada’s Heros, $600; Falls Community Hall Society. $2,809.10.

Northern Healthy Connections Society – Requested $2,500. In voting against, Councillor Gregory said can’t understand why up to local groups to provide, with the amount of money we give to province to education.

Truro Curling Club for accessibly lift applied for $3,000. The club also applied for provincial grant for up to $50,000, Town of Truro and Colchester. $3,000 request was defeated. A new motion for $1,500 was carried with request funds be held until other requests are confirmed.

Alton Recreation Centre, $2,000. Earltown Community Centre – Gregory no fundraising for two years asked for $1,000 and were approved. Stewart noted $20,800 in bank. Gregory replied major repairs to paint, roof, commercial sink and taps probably up around $10,000.

Brule Community Centre, $1,000; Tatamagouche Boat Shop – Bandsaw and dust collector, $2,950; Burnside Pembroke Community Park Association requested $10,000. Motion was changed to and approved at $5,000;

TREY – Trauma Recovery for Exploited to Youth for $2,500. MacKenzie is this not part of Community Services? Craig Burgess said they did apply, but grants went to other larger organizations. Taggart and Benoit suggested $5,000. Original motion was defeated. Taggart’s new motion for $5,000 was approved.

Stewiacke Information Visitor Centre - $2,580. Annual request. Referred to budget process. Then brought to council for deliberation and direction. Cooper make part of base budget.

Under the Community Events Grant requested, the following were considered: Nova Scotia Remember Legacy society Memorial Run – $5,000 previously passed. Tata Fest 2021 – Aug 26-29, $7,000. Passed. Other events in community. Entertainment at Grace, Family event, no alcohol. Truro Harness Owners Association, $1,200 approved.

Councillor Sanderson suggested if meeting on Grant presentations could happen earlier after the presentations as fresher in mind.

Four Jobs Available in Economy

Anita MacLellan who is the tireless volunteer to the Geopark Welcome Centre, formerly
Economy Visitor Centre indicates she has 4 job opportunities available this summer. Applicants are to supply cover letter, resume and three references.

She describes the jobs as: GeoHeritage Assistant (1), must be registered for University or Community College in fall, starts May 31. There are 3 openings for Culture/Heritage Interpreter and can be non-student, 15 – 30 yrs of age starting in July at $13.25/hr.

Contact:  wccda@ns.sympatico.ca

J-Class Roads Dominates Discussion

By Maurice Rees

In years of covering Colchester Council proceedings very few topics have occupied council’s time, and punting the ball farther down the road, with no action. As we enter our second year under the pandemic the topic is coming back at a fever pitch.

The April 15th committee meeting dealt with at least three motions, all defeated. First motion to be defeated was made by Councillor Boutilier, District 1 Bible Hill who moved the report from Director of Public works be received for information. Discussion continued for over an hour until there was consensus to next discussion would be in May. District 5 councillor, Tim Johnson, elected last October, gives every indication he will continue to raise the repaving of 112 Kim of J-class roads until he sees some action, even if it is only for his District.

He was adamant he would hang his political future on getting the Salmon River, District 5 enter a repaving program for the 11.8 Km J-class roads having an assessment of $170.70-Million. He said, "I’ll hang my political future on it, and at the next election if they don’t like driving on new roads, they can find someone else to represent them".

A District 5 repaving plan based on 20 year rotation would have annual cost of $38,386 if the county paid half the cost. This would increase tax bills for the district by $44.00 based on property assessment value. However, he suggested the municipality take 25% of the cost from general tax revenues and apply an additional area rate throughout the district. Following his suggested formula a property of $200,000 assessment would create an increase of $22.00 for area rate per year. The province covers 50% of cost of J-Class repaving.

In pressing the case for Ice Pond He said it is 21 years old. When sub-division developed all lots had paved road. He added, Ice Pond pays $15,000 for active transportation which is used for sidewalks, but we don’t have sidewalks.

The subject of repaving has been before council several times in recent years, but recently has been on the agenda for January, February and again April 15th committee meeting. A lengthy and sometimes intense discussion resulted in the matter will again appear on the agenda in May, with additional information and "how to" options from staff.

The 2021 discussions have grown from Johnson being the only councillor dedicated to the matter, who has gained support from some of the other councillors, especially District 11 councillor, Wade Parker.

Early in the committee meeting, Mayor Blair said, We need to make a decision. Need to find a solution. Get 50% from province. If we put some tax rate – 25% from residents and 25% from our own budgets. Need to discuss,

During part of the discussion, Parker stated condition of the roads was the persistent topic during last fall’s municipal election. At one point Parker said, "We’ve been beating this since I have been on council. We keep avoiding the matter and taxpayers who elected us did so expecting us to make decisions on their behalf".

On the other side of the discussion, Councillor Cooper said, "Hard to ask general public for pay more for roads not in their area". Councillor Taggart who has insinuated he would never vote for taxpayers in other areas to pay for repaving elsewhere also said, "When they bought years ago, it was on dirt road. Value of property would increase and certainly offset any costs".

Councillor MacKenzie, District 6, stated in exasperation, from recently receiving two calls about condition of roads in her district said she told taxpayers, not to call her saying, "I give up. I am appalled. County will not pay. Call Mrs Casey". She added there are no sidewalks in her immediate area, but she is charged an area rate for sidewalks on College Road and Pictou Road.

The thought of an area rate might be gaining momentum, and reducing the opinions of some councillors, "people will not pay for improving roads in other areas". During one segment of the discussion, Councillor Parker stated that improved roads benefit the entire municipality and over time many people will go to other areas for work, a wedding, visit family or other activities. He said that in his own case, the travels for work throughout the area, and although he doesn’t live there, he often drives on roads in Brookfield, Valley or West Colchester.

Other councilor comments included the general budget has financial contributions to the regional library, the Colchester-East Hants Health Centre, RECC which are easily identifiable as municipal initiatives. To further the idea that areas rates for J-Class repaving should be acceptable was the amount of money spent and being spent at the Debert Business Park, suggesting not everyone has as direct benefit or is employed by a business in the park.

Near the end of the discussion a comment was made regarding the new Debert Aviation Centre. Comment from around the council table was it has been suggested and there is strong opposition to take $175,000 from the general tax coffers in the municipal budget to pay the county’s 25% share of a municipal wide repaving program, yet within a month or so we will probably be asked to pay up to $400,000 in additional costs to finish the new Debert Aviation Centre.

The matter will be brought back to council meetings in May, with an expanded list of "how to" and options. On the possibility certain districts might wish not to participate in the repaving program. Public Works Director stated each October the municipality must advise the province what J-Class roads it adds to the annual list. CFO, Scott Fraser and CAO, Rob Simonds suggested there are a few months to develop a plan and that participating districts could be identified each year, but when they were "in", they were "in" for the long haul.

Taggart Offers for PC Nomination

By Maurice Rees

With the upcoming retirement of Karen Casey, MLA, who has announced she will not re-offer during the next election. Sources tell the Shoreline Journal Tom Taggart is attempting to become MLA for Colchester North having filed his papers seeking the Progressive Conservative nomination.

Taggart who worked with and supported Casey while she was a member of the conservative, was often heard to say he promised Casey, he would never run against her after she switched to the Liberals and was re-elected as a Liberal MLA in 2013.

Gary Burley, East Mountain, a retired educator, is president Colchester North PC Assn was unable to confirm who had filed papers, but did indicate one had filed so far. Sources tell the Shoreline, District 10 municipal councillor has filed his papers.

The association will be holding its AGM in a virtual format on May 12th and a new executive will be elected at that time. Unless there is a need to move earlier, the date of the nomination meeting will be set by the new executive. Party leader, Tim Houston will be guest speaker.

Premier Iain Rankin must call an election by May 2022. He has not tipped his hand when an election will be called. During April there had been strong indication, he might sent us to the polls for mid-June. However, the rapid rise in identified CoVid cases in the last week has cast doubts.

During the winter people were guessing, who would go first, the Feds or Nova Scotia. During April with pandemic cases rising in most provinces from Quebec onward, it is improbable or not wise for Prime Minister Trudeau to pull the plug at this time. There is possibility should the pandemic be brought under control a fall Federal election could be a possibility.

Although with pandemic uncertainty for a June election up in the air, it is still presumed Rankin will try to go in advance of the Feds, which could also offer an early fall possibility. Currently the Liberals have a one seat majority with standings being Liberals, 26; Progressive Conservative, 18; New Democrats, 5 and Independent, 2.

Whenever it’s called, the number of MLA’s will be increased from 51 to 55 seats, following redistribution, when four new ridings were created.

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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...

May 2021 issue - *= 4 page Special Pullout

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Submission Deadlines 2021



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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
E-mail: maurice@theshorelinejournal.com