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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 left 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

March 2021


March 2021 - Will there be two elections this year?

There has been so much going on during the last month, it is difficult to know where to start. For instance, near the first of the month provincial Liberals chose Iain Rankin as their new leader, who will automatically become Premier Stephen McNeil’s replacement. There is a major uproar, which started in Bass River, about the EHS response times which has also evolved into complaints about volunteer Fire Fighters, not being involved in or receiving messages about local 911 events.

Winter finally arrived last weekend with depending where you lived a dumping of 12-24 inches of snow, followed by freezing rain, which turned to rain as temps rose overnight to 12-13. Tuesday morning an onslaught of cold air turn everything into a skating rink.

Recently two matters things have been much in the news and a third matter, at the county level, will become very contentious. As we stay somewhat isolated from Covid-19, within our own bubble, people have lots of time to dwell on "discussions" happening while joining friends for coffee.

Read the full editorial...

Llewellyn and Solomon Purves-Smith enjoyed hot chocolate and cookies following the snowshoeing at MacElmons Pond. (Harrington Photo)


Emergency 911…could you wait an hour for an ambulance!

By Linda Harrington

No one EVER wants this to happen during an emergency but there could be times when our communities are without immediate ambulance coverage.

Recent tweets from the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE Local 727), which represents Paramedics in Nova Scotia, indicate a severe ambulance shortage in the province.

The tweets are referenced as "Code Critical", and in an effort to draw attention to the dire situation, they list areas in the Province without ambulances available at any given time,.

"#CodeCritical at 3:30PM in Northern Zone with 0 units available in Colchester County and Cumberland County", "#Code Critical at 5pm in Northern Zone with no units available between Antigonish and Pugwash", were just two of numerous tweets made recently. The tweets continue listing over and over the shortages across the province.

This is not a new situation. The Province commissioned the "Fitch Report" three years ago to look at ways to improve ambulance service but to date it has not been released.

The Emergency Health Services (EHS) web page states there are over 1000 paramedics registered in the province with EHS providing both ground emergency response and Life Flight helicopters.

A paramedic, who wishes to remain anonymous, says they are assigned 12-hour shifts, working a 4 days on, 4 days off schedule but these shifts often run overtime. "It is difficult to even get time for a lunch break during your shift and many days you work 15 hours straight." This would make for a very long day for anyone but even more so for someone already working a stress filled shift.

Michael Nickerson, IUOE 727 Business Manager, who was a paramedic for close to 19 years, knows personally how this situation is affecting the paramedics. "These availability issues take a toll on paramedics mentally and emotionally. We get into this line of work to help people. When there are calls waiting that they can't get to, or they're on their way to an emergency call from an outside area, that weighs on them heavily."

EHS requires two paramedics for each ambulance on a shift. If only one paramedic is available, they are paired with another half-staffed truck. This could be one reason there are shortages, but long patient transfer times at the hospitals can also keep an ambulance tied up in off load delay. Paramedics remain with their patients, managing their care until emergency beds/care is available in hospital.

Deputy Premier Karen Casey was asked recently about the effects of ambulance shortages, especially in rural areas. She responded, "The base locations sites of ambulances and their availability across the province is a topic of discussion that needs to continue. I am advocating for consideration of a base site along the shore, between Truro and Parrsboro. Winter weather conditions and geography are realities that must be considered when providing service in rural Nova Scotia."

Since the start of the pandemic, local Fire Department’s Medical First Responders have no longer been attending medical calls which puts rural communities even further at risk. Prior to Covid-19, trained First Responders would often arrive at medical calls before the paramedics, providing critical emergency treatment to stabilize a patient. Now each medical emergency must wait for an ambulance and it could be coming from as far away as Amherst or Pictou…or further!

A family in Bass River was recently left grieving the loss of their wife and mother and they are looking for answers as to why it took so long for help to arrive after placing a call to 911. Local Councillor Tom Taggart says, "Unfortunately there is nothing we can do that will help this family. However, we need our questions answered and we need understanding and to begin the steps to prevent this happening in the future. We need to begin a discussion with local Fire Medical Responders to discuss options like having ambulances stationed in alternate locations like in Debert at Exit 13 or Exit 10, when possible and not always sitting in Truro."

It is scary to think this EHS shortage could be one mass casualty incident away from disaster. You can make your voice heard by joining the IUOE Local 727 "Release the Fitch Report" letter writing campaign.

You can find the campaign here: https://iuoe727.ca/release-the-fitch-report



Branding Package to be Developed

By Maurice Rees

The Cliffs of Fundy GeoPark currently does not have a robust Branding Policy and Package, but it is something which has been identified as something which needs to be developed and implemented sooner rather than later.

Travel restrictions are still in place affecting international travel or residents from across Canada are prohibited entering Nova Scotia. Even though the pandemic has continued to surge in certain areas across Canada Cliffs of Fundy staff and many volunteer committees continue to prepare for more favourable times, when restrictions are lifted.

It is anticipated designing and producing signage will happen soon. Under consideration is interpretive panels at geosites, as well as, considering the existing kiosk signage that is in place and additional sights in high traffic areas on the 100 series highways. Many committee members feel there are potential opportunities to collaborate on community signage.

A number of the committees will undertake discussions that include: Interpretive, safety, Leave No Trace messaging and educational Messaging. Other topics for consideration are: Mapping, Graphics/Photos and variety of Languages.

Horses in the Harrison’s paddock don’t mind winter weather as long as it is not freezing rain. (Lawrence R Nicoll Photo)


Taggart to seek Federal Nomination

By Maurice Rees

Touting experience and small town roots Tom Taggart has announced will seek the nomination to carry the Conservative Party of Canada banner in the federal riding of Cumberland-Colchester in the next federal election. Taggart said as a lifelong Conservative and twelve year Colchester County Councillor for the District bordering on Cumberland County, he knows both counties well. 

The election is expected to be called within a year. He hopes to follow in the footsteps of his mother, a well-respected community leader who worked as an educator and tireless community volunteer in the family’s home community of Bass River.

Having spent the past six years as one of four elected municipal leaders from Nova Scotia on the Board of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Taggart says he’s proud to have stood up on behalf of small towns and rural communities across Canada – always through the lens of the communities he loves in Cumberland-Colchester.

As part of his announcement Taggart says his rural roots have served him well during his leadership positions on the national board, so while he’s very familiar with the "Ottawa Bubble," he knows his focus will always be on Cumberland Colchester.

He maintains, his hard work over several years on improved rural broadband would be an example where he’s been a driving force on Cumberland Colchester’s $64-million broadband project.  When it comes to Cumberland and Colchester County cooperating with one another, Taggart says we need to look no further than the Cliffs of Fundy Geopark, where political, business and scientific leaders from both counties have shown their tenacity in bringing this project to life.

Page One Briefs

Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce relocates

The offices of the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce is now located at: 105B Walker St., Truro, NS, B2N 4B1 and will offer an array of additional services for members.

Eastville, Highway 289 reduced to one lane

On Highway 289 in Colchester County, about 7 kilometres northeast of the junction with Highway 336, will be reduced to one lane until April 19 for repairs to the cross culvert.

Newfoundland surge causes mandatory testing

With Covid-19 surging in Newfoundland on February 21, the Nova Scotia implemented mandatory for travellers who are exempt from self-isolation in Nova Scotia when they arrive by ferry from Newfoundland and Labrador. Testing will take place at the Marine Atlantic ferry terminal in North Sydney. Other passengers are welcome to get tested.

Viola Desmond's Official $26 Repayment Cheque Photo

A framed copy of the official $26 fine and court cost repayment cheque issued to the family of Viola Desmond on February 3rd is available at: https://novascotia.ca/news/photos/2021/02/03/desmond/

Incorrect Address

In last month's while explaining Karen Casey’s historic political life, it was incorrectly stated her birthplace was Carr’s Brook. That was wrong. It should have been listed as Truro. Our apologies.

Special Move Permits Available for Forestry Sector

Forestry contractors looking to move wood or equipment over short distances on provincial roads can apply for special move permits prior to spring weight restrictions taking effect. This is a short-term measure to help keep people in the forestry sector working. The Department of Transportation will allow some use of provincial roads on a case-by-case basis, based on road and weather conditions. Persisting and cold weather overnight may support safe transport. Applications are being accepted early to ensure that special move permit applications can be assessed prior to the commencement of spring weight restrictions on February 28. Contractors are encouraged to complete these applications as soon as possible. For inquiries on the permitting process, contact the operations contact centre at 1-844-696-7737.





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