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Old Posted Nov 29, 2007, 4:50 AM
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Stolen from the SJ thread (though not the first to do it...)

Originally Posted by Ottawa View Post
I can't recall if this was mentioned somewhere earlier.....

Microtel Inns & Suites to Develop Seven New Hotels in Canada

Microtel Inns & Suites, the award-winning chain of all new-construction economy/limited service hotels, today announced the execution of franchise agreements to develop seven new Microtel Inn & Suites hotels in Canada: two in Ontario including London and Woodstock; and five in Atlantic Canada including Saint John and Moncton, New Brunswick, and Halifax, Dartmouth and Sydney, Nova Scotia.

The two Microtel hotels in Ontario are scheduled to break ground in March 2008 and open next fall. The Atlantic Canada properties are all anticipated to break ground in 2008......

more at
I'm wondering where this is setting up. It doesn't sound like the type of thing that would be part of Spanish Gates, but at this point, I'd take any good news on that development.

Edit: After seeing the design, it looks like something that would set up on Kings Rd in either the old Keddy's lot or the lot beside Moxham Apartments. It's definitely suburban in design, so I guess the other option to be likely would be SPAR Rd power centre (expanding again soon from what I hear). I wouldn't want to see this design downtown, though the increased pedestrian traffic downtown would obviously be a benefit.

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Old Posted Dec 7, 2007, 6:28 AM
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Saturday, December 1, 2007

This is the only Polish Catholic Church in Canada east of Montreal...my home neighbourhood of Whitney Pier.
Historic church gets modern facelift

Section: Community

By Erin Pottie, Cape Breton Post
Construction to the front of St. Mary's Parish will make life a little easier for parishioners.

Father Francis Abbass said the church has never had the luxury of bathroom facilities. The renovations to the building will provide two washrooms, and will also include safer access to the balcony and a foyer for people to gather.

"The church is 170 years old and it never did have washrooms. Everybody was on hold . . . everything is so old and it needs to be renewed," said Abbass.

The church is a vital part of the community for Sunday services, funerals, weddings, baptisms and other events. About 300 families are members of the Catholic parish.

"If we had a wedding we never had enough room in the porch to have the wedding party in the foyer, the bride would wait outside. Similar to when we had a funeral the body would come in the porch but the family would wait out on the steps outside," Abbass said.

In addition, the ageing church is being reinforced by the construction. Abbass says workers were impressed with the early construction found at the site. The old beams are made of wood, instead of metal braces that are used today.

"The carpenters were just oohing and aahing. Every board in the old church was cut by hand as there was no power equipment to make that church," said Abbass.

Work to St. Mary's Parish began over a month ago.

There are plans to eventually replace all the windows in the building with more energy-efficient ones, and provide new siding to the building. Abbass is hoping construction of the new addition will be finished by early January.


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Old Posted Dec 7, 2007, 6:51 AM
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Monday, December 3, 2007

Cape Breton Post

Push for Northside Civic Centre moving ahead

Society will present findings of consultants report to Cape Breton Regional Municipality councillors at Dec. 18 meeting

Section: Northside/Victoria

By Julie Collins,
The Northside Civic Centre Society will present regional council with a consultant's report on the project at the next meeting of regional council later this month.

The society wants Cape Breton Regional Municipality council to revisit a proposal to support construction of the civic centre.

The consultants report by Grant Thornton chartered accountants, was completed with assistance from Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation.

All regional councillors will receive a copy of the consultant's report.

"It's a very solid document that identifies past problems, but it strongly endorses the society and the community's plan for the civic centre," said society chairman Leo Steele. "The report identifies funding programs that the project could qualify for provincially, including the Be Fit program administered by the office of health promotion. This is the same program that administered funds for the recreation centre in Queen's County."

Society members met with representatives of the Be Fit program are in the process of submitting an application.

"Along with the consultant's report, we also have a resolution asking regional council to take the lead during construction of the civic centre."

Steele stressed that construction would only begin when the necessary funds have been secured.

"It assures that there is no additional funding required from the municipality," he said. "Our objective is to achieve a comfort level for council. We need council to work co-operatively with the society and community to bring the project forward."

The society is looking forward to meeting with Cape Breton North MLA Cecil Clarke prior to the Dec. 18 council meeting.

"I understand our MLA has discussed the project with municipal officials. His support for the project is vital if we are to see this thing go ahead."

Steele said the society has never given up hope.

"Work has continued and we're optimistic the civic centre will become a reality. It will happen."

Regional councillor Gordon MacLeod said there have been discussions between provincial and municipal officials.

"I'm delighted to see the positive way that our MLA Cecil Clarke is looking at this. He has a vision for the Northside and I believe the civic centre is part of that vision."
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Old Posted Dec 7, 2007, 7:52 AM
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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Cape Breton Post

YMCA of Cape Breton on schedule for breaking ground in new year

Section: Our community

Column: Briefly

The YMCA of Cape Breton's plans for redeveloping its Charlotte Street location are on schedule and the project will break ground in the new year.

"We have exceeded $1.1 million of our $1.5 million community goal with a great deal of support still coming in," said fundraising chair Dr. Rex Dunn. The total project will see contributions of $1.5 million from the CBRM, the Province of Nova Scotia, the YMCA and the community, along with $3.5 million from the Cape Breton Growth Fund and $500,000 from Enterprise Cape Breton Corp.

"We are working with the CBRM to finalize the details around a building permit," said co-chair of the organization, Robin Gogan. "Planning a building of this size has taken a great deal of time. We are anxious to receive the building permit which will give us the green light to go ahead." A permit is expected at the end of January with ground-breaking anticipated in April.

The YMCA of Cape Breton has been serving the community for more than 120 years.

The oldest, most diverse charity on Cape Breton Island, the YMCA works in seven key functional areas: employment, education and training, pre-school, entrepreneurship, day/overnight camp, wellness and preventative health and international development.

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Old Posted Dec 11, 2007, 4:46 AM
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Saturday, December 8, 2007

Cape Breton Post

Louisbourg getting facelift for 2008

Section: Business

By Doug MacKenzie, Cape Breton Post
Louisbourg is looking at a facelift in 2008.

Cape Breton County Economic Development Authority hosted a Louisbourg Facade Program meeting last Sunday at the Louisbourg fire hall and response to the program was positive.

"It was absolutely an excellent meeting," said Eileen Lannon Oldford, chief executive officer of CBCEDA. "We had a very good turnout from the business community and we're looking at launching the applications by the end of January and this facade program will run from the spring until the fall of '08."

The success of the program in other areas was one of the many reasons the program has moved on to Louisbourg.

"There are a number of reasons we're looking at Louisbourg," said Lannon Oldford. "It's a very unique community. It's very much tied in with a major attraction for tourism and it has a beautiful streetscape and we want to enhance that character a bit more."

Brian Lahey, who serves as the Cape Breton Regional Municipality councillor for District 1, which includes Louisbourg, was at the meeting and is looking forward to the program getting started in the area.

"In 1995 we had the (encampment) in Louisbourg and there has been nothing down in Louisbourg since then," said Lahey. "A facelift on any hotels, motels or any of the businesses is great. I think it's long overdue."

Timing for the project couldn't be better as the town is set to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the second siege of Louisbourg, July 26-27, 2008, More than 600 re-enactors will take part in the 2008 encampment which is expected to attract thousands of tourists to the area.

The program is broken into three priorities with the first priority to include both sides of Main Street, beginning at the town entrance and ending where Wolfe Street and Riverdale Street begin.

"The first priority will start taking applications (by the end of) January and they have to be in by March 31," said Lahey. "You have to do your Main Street first and we had meetings before so everyone new what the priorities were."

"The first priority will be open for applications from Jan. 31 to March 31 and then we'll move on to the second priority and a third priority," added Lannon Oldford.

The second priority will include Wolfe Street to Fortress Louisbourg and Riverdale Street while the third priority is for eligible buildings located on side streets within the town boundaries.
This road is still terrible, and the upgrading is good, but it will be used as just another excuse to not give us our twinned TCH and Hwy125 which were both promised long before 1998.
Minister responds to call for Route 4 upgrades

Section: Cape Breton

By Doug MacKenzie, Cape Breton Post
Just a few days following a community call for the upgrading of Route 4, some questions have been answered.

Tuesday, the Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce and Strait Area Chamber of Commerce joined forces with the community-based Route 4 Highway Committee to issue a plea to government to upgrade the road between Sydney and St. Peter's.

Since 1998, approximately 15.5 km of Route 4 have been upgraded with 44 km remaining to be done. While the project has been ongoing, the concern of the groups involved is that it will not be completed until 2020, a date they feel is unreasonable.

"We appreciate the upgrading that has taken place on Route 4 to this point, which has made these portions of the highway safer and more accommodating to traffic," said Owen Fitzgerald, president of the Sydney and Area chamber during Tuesday's press conference. "However, much of this road remains in a state of disrepair, to the point of being a safety hazard and a roadblock to economic growth. We agree with the current focus on upgrading, but we want it to happen more quickly."

All three groups are proposing a plan which would see the entire Route 4 upgraded by 2012.

Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Murray Scott said the provincial government is committed to the upgrade continuing and being completed in a timely fashion.

"It's a priority for the government," said Scott, Friday.

"When we put forward our list to the federal government for cost-sharing for roads, that would be one of the ones we're putting through as a priority. Our intention is to continue spending approximately $4 million each year until we finish it."

Scott said the current plan for upgrading the road would most likely be completed by 2013, one year after the 2012 asked for by the local groups, and seven years earlier then their worst case scenario.

"I know the chambers are asking to have it done by 2012, but the way we're projecting it right now it would probably be 2013," said Scott. "Who knows, depending on the funding network, what could happen, but right now our plan is to continue to spend money each year for the next number of years to finish it.

"I've heard from the MLAs about it. I know how important it is to the Island and I've made sure in our department it's a high priority for us and we are committed to spending those dollars each and every year till we get it finished."
Constitutional win wouldn't mean any instant cash payoff for CBRM

Section: Comment

Column: Letters to the editor

We're not claiming a specific amount of money, we're looking to seek a declaration. A declaration is the appropriate remedy.

This is an important comment by Toronto-based constitutional lawyer Neil Finkelstein that caught my eye when he told a judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia last week in Halifax during a hearing in the case between the Cape Breton Regional Municipality and the Province of Nova Scotia.

Although I read with interest the coverage of the application I'm a little confused by Finklestein's comments as the lawyer for CBRM. They seem quite a departure from the impression the public has, from comments by Mayor John Morgan and others, that when the constitutional challenge is won on its merits by CBRM that this would result in a significant financial gain for the municipality.

Finkelstein said the case is not about money but about what the citizens of CBRM deserve, such as a provincially comparable level of municipal services at a reasonable level of taxation.

Well, taxpayers, when you interrupt these words and understand the Constitution there will not be an immediate windfall of cash for CBRM. No money would be awarded directly, so taxpayers don't add anything to your Santa wish list.

As well, this legal case has been going on for years already and this hearing was simply a preliminary bout. This is not even the main action. It appears that it will take an extraordinarily long time for the legal proceedings to run their course.

In the meantime, Finklestein indicates that if the existing equalization scheme within the province is unconstitutional, it is the province that creates the new one.

CBRM's written submission states that it is not for the court to tell the government and legislature of Nova Scotia how to fulfil their commitments pursuant to Section 36 of the Constitution but it is for the court to declare that those commitments have not been fulfilled and then leave it to Nova Scotia to determine the manner and form of fulfilment.

It's now up to Justice John Murphy to decide whether CBRM's application accusing the province of short-changing the region by millions of dollars in equalization payments will continue its lengthy process through the legal system.

Murphy told the court he wouldn't set a timeline for his decision. "You haven't made my job easy, but you've made it easier than it could have been," Murphy said before adjourning the court.

Indeed, this is an interesting case but this is also a major political story that needs plenty of answers, no matter who wins and who loses.

Finally, what is the true cost of this legal battle to the taxpayers of the CBRM? Win or lose, the mayor has some explaining to do. Political rhetoric should be put aside and the facts should be stated to the citizens.

Questions should be asked such as: What is CBRM asking the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia to do? How long is this process going to take? How much is it going to cost?

Farside of me

To enable others to look beyond themselves and their immediate concerns, and to give without expectation of fanfare represents the most vital contribution of the quiet hero.

Famous quotation

For whatever reason, God has blessed me with the ability, put me in a position, to make these leaps and bounds. I'm fulfilling my part of the bargain, which is to give back and be a positive influence on others. That's all you can do; take what you've been given and spread it around.

- Denzel Washington (1954-), American actor

My e-mail address is:

Why would an area of 100,000 people need their own airport when they can drive 5 hours on mostly 2-lane highway to get to one?
Despite sky-high fares, island gets poor air service

Section: Comment

Column: Letters to the editor

As the largest employer in Cape Breton, we are actively recruiting health care professionals to Cape Breton on an ongoing basis. In addition, staff are involved in many national and provincial initiatives that require them to attend meetings outside of Cape Breton.

Don't bother trying to come to Cape Breton by air from the Dec. 15 to 24 because there is not a single seat available, according to Air Canada's website and checks with local travel agencies.

As was noted at the 10th anniversary of the Sydney Airport Authority, we have some of the highest cost-per-air-mile fares in Canada, and it now appears we have some of the poorest access, with rumours that Air Canada is considering reducing even further the size of the planes flying into Sydney.

Without viable air service to Cape Breton, we will not successfully recruit or retain specialized health professionals that we need in our community. I encourage all travellers to write to the president of Air Canada Jazz, Joseph Randell (in care of Halifax International Airport, 310 Goudey Dr., Enfield, N.S. B2T 1E4), stressing the importance of continuing to provide Cape Breton with fairly priced, reasonably accessible, air service.

John Malcom

chief executive officer,

Cape Breton District Health Authority
Another comment on the highway...and yes, the highway system is this bad on the island.
Highway 4 effort gets up to speed

Section: Comment

People used to joke about how often John Buchanan announced the permanent crossing of the Barra Strait - at least once per election cycle - before it was actually built. The reconstruction of Highway 4 is a worthy successor as the political cow that never runs dry.

Write a letter to the government complaining about this test circuit for vehicle undercarriage and chances are you'll get a courteous reply pointing out that a new tender is in the works at this very moment for the next construction season and you'll be zipping along on another three kilometres of fresh asphalt somewhere east of St. Peters before another calendar year is out.

Owen Fitzgerald, the new president of the Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce, pointed out back in June that at this rate the reconstruction of Highway 4 from St. Peters to Sydney would take 15 or 20 years - by which time many of the "new" sections, some already nearly 10 years old, would need to be redone.

As the reconstruction proceeds on its leaden pace, the new sections throw into sharper relief the deplorable conditions of the untouched highway. In an effort to do an end-run around this timeline to eternity, the Sydney chamber has gotten together with its Strait counterpart and the community-based Route 4 Highway Committee to press for completion of the reconstruction within five years - by 2012.

With only 15 kilometres done on a project begun in 1988, the groups figure $27 million to $37 million would be needed to finish. To put that in perspective, construction of eight kilometres of twinned bypass for the Antigonish area announced a month ago will cost $50 million. A federal-province infrastructure deal signed at that time will pump $634 million into the province for projects ranging from highways and public transit to sewers.

No doubt the priority for the Strait area remains twinning of Highway 104 east past Antigonish and on to the Canso Causeway, with a bypass between the Port Hastings and Port Hawkesbury areas. Nevertheless, Strait chamber president Bob MacEachern, in a statement, supported completion of the Highway 4 upgrade "as soon as possible." There's no reason that one priority should preclude the other, and no one should be duped into accepting that they can't happen together on their own merits.

The joint lobby approach has been tried before. Back in March 2004 the then warden of Richmond County hoped that a "concerted effort" with the Cape Breton Regional Municipality might move the province to more urgency. Earlier, CBRM had toyed with the idea of charging tolls to help finance a new twinned highway across the island.

Nothing made much difference in the pace of the work, though perhaps the necessary focus and persistent follow-up weren't there. This new push looks different.

The slow pace of Highway 4 reconstruction suggests itself as an object lesson in Cape Breton's political impotence, self-inflicted in part by parochialism and an inability to put aside partisanship for the sake of a common goal that's in the public interest. Even now, Richmond Deputy Warden Clair Rankin complains that most of the work done on Highway 4 has been in Cape Breton County. Never mind that completion of the 100 series highway from the Strait to St. Peters has to be included in any fair assessment, and at the other end Highway 4 is a heavily travelled urban commuter artery for the Sydney area.

Let's try to stay focused on this as one project that Cape Breton needs done and see where that gets us.
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Old Posted Dec 12, 2007, 3:30 AM
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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cape Breton Post

Public learns about cooling pond project

Section: Business

By Erin Pottie,
The public was invited to meet the experts working to clean up the cooling pond, located in front of the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency office.

An open house was held at the Ashby Legion on State Street, Sydney and included demos of air monitoring, cooling pond description and project experts who helped answer questions about the project remediation.

The Sydney cooling pond is a manmade, circular body of water and sludge, located on Inglis Street. The function of the pond was to cool water once used by Sysco's rolling mills.

"We're starting the solidification in the next week or two, (we're) just doing some of the preliminary work," said Sydney Tar Ponds Agency CEO Frank Potter. "It involves taking water off the pond, treating the sludge in the pond, removing some of the structure (and) some creosote timbers that are all around the structure."

Members of Earth Tech, the agency's design team which has created water treatment recipes for the solidification process, were available Monday 3-7 p.m., along with representatives from All-Tech, which produces air quality detection.

The agency also included a demo of its webcam which rotates and has a 24-hour live feed of the cooling pond, which can be accessed from the website.

"It's good that the (agency) is giving the chance for the public to see what's going on over there on the property. Finally we're getting things going, we've been waiting since 1986, 21 years, finally they're starting to move stuff," said Dave Ervin, a concerned citizen and Atlantic Coastal Action Program-Cape Breton board member.

The project set to finish in March, will include water treatment and the eventual solidification and stabilization of the sludge.
Work on bridge was precautionary, says engineer

Section: Northside/Victoria

By Julie Collins,
Traffic across the bridge in this community was down to one lane, Monday, as workers installed blocking under the girders.

The Trans-Canada Highway bridge connects Boularderie Island at Bras d'Or and is on the main highway to metro Cape Breton and the ferry link to Newfoundland.

Department of Transportation bridge engineer Kim MacDonald said the work is precautionary.

"We installed blocking under the girders which are attached to the bearings which in turn are attached to the piers. It is a precautionary measure," she said. "We were underneath the bridge in October and it was then we identified the issue with the bearings."

A temporary bailey bridge is expected to be built in the spring in anticipation of replacement of the superstructure.

"We have an aging infrastructure that is in need in some of repair. This bridge has been identified as one that requires replacement."

According to department officials, the design work has been done by an engineering consultant. The department is looking at replacing the superstructure, everything from the railing, the girders and decks, as well as doing major repairs on the substructure - the piers and abutments.

The work under the bridge took the better part of Monday to complete.

"We monitor the ferry traffic patterns and try to schedule the work once the ferry traffic has passed."

The Department of Transportation normally rents a speciality under-bridge vehicle from Montreal when it isn't possible to set up traditional scaffolding. The vehicle has an articulating arm with a full platform that goes over the railing of the bridge and drops down. A completely enclosed cage allows the workers to access the platform.

MacDonald said the department plans to do other routine inspections while the vehicle is in the area.
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Old Posted Dec 12, 2007, 3:46 AM
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A few found photos to spice up the thread (hope to do this once a week or so...or at least once a page in the thread).

Photographer: Bobcatnorth

Just a couple for now, 'til next week.

PS- sorry for stealing your idea stu.
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2008, 4:40 AM
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I'll try to do some actual updates tomorrow, but some brief updates from when I was home:

- Dominion sewage treatment system/plant is soon to break ground with the access road getting it's final top-surface any day now

- New Waterford water treatment plant finishing up and opening soon

- North Sydney water treatment plant expected to start in the next year

- Mayflower Mall is renovating the old Sobey's building and are negotiating with potential tenants for those three spaces, and more tenants are moving into the old Walmart area, Mark's Work Warehouse is moving out of the main building into the Sobey's building, Cora's is opening in the old Jasper's location, and the mall is expected to connect the main building with the Sobey's building with an expansion once this renovation work is done and the spots are filled. East Side Mario's is also supposed to be coming either to the mall or to Spar Rd.

- Spar Rd Power Centre is about to expand with the connecting road between Spar Rd and the Mayflower Mall traffic lights expected to be complete this summer or so...the trees are already cut for the route, so brush cleanup and road base/surfacing should be starting soon to make way for the new stores.

- Harbourside's first new building is currently under construction, with the steel skeleton already completed when I was home over the holidays. It's just a single storey warehouse style building on a concrete slab, but I doubt we'll be seeing any height at Harbourside with how much land available and with the type of development they'll be attracting. They're also starting the "burial" of the Tar Ponds, with the first stage being the solidification of the cooling pond. They've also altered the planned water channels a bit, but I don't know the details of that offhand.

- No updates on Spanish Gates on the streets, so if he did manage to get past the complaints of the Northenders, I'm expecting a spring/summer start to construction...hopefully. The Northend is also being recognized by council as a whole as a historic district, so there will be some community improvements involved with that, probably in the way of renovation grants with conditions attatched to them.

- New DFO building in Westmount is complete and open. I didn't get to see it in person, but the picture makes the architecture look quite nice for a single-storey building.

That's all I can think of for now, but I know there's things I'm forgetting from advertising boards on development sites. News stories to hopefully resume tomorrow, with a splash of colour on each page.
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Old Posted Jan 23, 2008, 12:21 AM
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Interesting thread / read-through...though I don't know CB / Syndey well, it's nice to see/read about some innovative and positive developments in the area.
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Old Posted Jan 25, 2008, 3:36 AM
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Additional items...

I am from the CBRM and still live there..

Going into the old Sobey's store is Mark's and Michael's, an arts and craft store.

My understanding is that they don;t have a franchisee for Cora's yet

I hear opposite things about Eastside Mario's - not sure if they have a franchise or not. It is planned to go where Mark's is moving out of.
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Old Posted Jan 25, 2008, 2:19 PM
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Excellent, another Caper! Welcome to the board!

Feel free to offer any other updates you come across that I miss. It's kinda hard sometimes trying to keep track from Fredericton. It'd be nice to get some chatter going like on the other project threads as well.

Didn't know about Michael's and the craft store. At this rate, Burnac should be planning the connecting addition to be started withing the next couple of years, depending on if their focus is on the Mayflower or on Spar Rd. or if they keep alternating as they seem to be currently. I heard about Eastside going into Mark's, but it was just rumour at the time, and they tend to go more into power centres so that's why I thought they might end up at Spar Rd. Better for the mall to have them in the old Mark's spot though.
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Old Posted Jan 30, 2008, 10:38 PM
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I'll get a little start on my catch-up. Rest to come later tonight or tomorrow (hopefully).

First, some breaking news from today: Planet Space "update"

Cape Breton Post online


Last updated at 1:59 PM on 30/01/08

PlanetSpace awaiting word on NASA contract
The Cape Breton Post

SYDNEY – PlanetSpace will find out on Feb. 8 whether it is the successful bidder in NASA’s $174.7 million commercial orbital transportation services contract.
It’s the American-Canadian aeronautics company that’s working to launch a demonstration cargo spacecraft named the Silver Dart to low-earth orbit from Cape Breton by December 2009.
There are at least four other competitors for the contract to act as a transporter to and from the International Space Station.
PlanetSpace chairman Chirinjeev Kathuria told the Cape Breton Post the company won’t comment on its plans in Cape Breton until it holds a news conference after NASA makes it decision next week.
“We would be happy to have you join us at any press conference,” Kathuria said via e-mail, in response to questions concerning PlanetSpace’s future plans on the island.
PlanetSpace is looking at two unnamed sites in Cape Breton. One is believed to be an area near Alder Point, outside of Bras d’Or, while the other is located near Louisbourg.
The province is willing to give the company 300 acres of Crown land to develop the launch site.
Nova Scotia Business Inc. is in talks with PlanetSpace but the provincial government agency says it’s not in a position to comment on its work with the company until a deal is finalized.

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Old Posted Jan 30, 2008, 10:45 PM
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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cape Breton Post

Island business groups hire expert to help market area in China

Section: Business

By Chris Hayes, Cape Breton Post

Cape Breton business groups and companies have hired the services of a marketing expert to research opportunities in China.

The Cape Breton group - Laurentian Energy, the Cape Breton County Economic Development Authority, the Cape Breton Business Partnership, Sydney Ports Corporation, Sydney Airport Authority and Mount Cameron Minerals - has signed a contract for the research services with Harker Associated Consulting.

Collin Harker said his consulting company will provide the research services of Lei Yang, a Chinese national who studied marketing in Canada who will focus on possible markets in China for Cape Breton products and the potential for Chinese investments in Cape Breton projects.

The research will provide valuable information, said Harker.

"If you are trying to source some products from China or you are trying to find a Chinese partner for your own business ventures, not knowing the country or culture, it's very hard to make sure you are hooking up on who is going to be reputable. That's the kind of thing he can do and save people a lot of time and effort."

Harker talked about several business opportunities for the Cape Breton participants.

Mount Cameron Resources is a group of Cape Breton investors with mineral rights that include graphite deposits, for which there is a thriving market in China, said Harker.

"They were interested in seeing if there is any appetite in China for investment for partnership and processing."

The research can look at which Chinese ports the Sydney Ports Corporation should approach based on cargo patterns and shipping routes, he said.

The airport authority is interested in the potential for attracting Canadian and Chinese companies who may want a location for a pilot training school, Harker said.

"There is a very clear need for much greater numbers of commercial airline pilots in China now," said Harker. "Their air travel is growing rapidly and there just aren't the pilots to meet that demand."

Laurentian would like to attract investment to Sydport Industrial Park, he noted.

"There are very obvious reasons for Chinese businesses to want to establish some sort of operations in Canada," he said.

"Many of them are already selling into the Canadian market and it could well be interesting for them to move one step further along the value chain and include a Canadian facility to warehouse and distribute their products."

China is a very big market in which businesses must be specific about potential projects, Yang said.

He noted that he speaks Chinese and knows the country's culture.

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Old Posted Jan 30, 2008, 11:02 PM
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Friday, January 25, 2008

Cape Breton Post

Mi'kmaq community disappointed panel didn't recommend BEd program for CBU

Section: Cape Breton

By Doug MacKenzie,

Among those disappointed with the recent recommendations concerning the bachelor of education program at Cape Breton University are members of the Mi'kmaq community.

Released last Wednesday, the review of teacher education in Nova Scotia recommended that CBU's proposal to deliver its own program not be approved, but also that the minister request CBU discontinue its current BEd program arrangement with Memorial University in St. John's, N.L.

"It's a very disappointing outcome," said Lindsay Marshall, associate dean of the Mi'kmaq College Institute at CBU. "When we have invested so much of our time in trying to bring this forward. It's a very short-sighted decision."

Cape Breton is home to more Mi'kmaq than any other area in Nova Scotia and CBU is home to more Mi'kmaq students than any other post-secondary institution in the province. Part of the CBU proposal included an aboriginal option, delivered in conjunction with the Mi'kmaq College Institute.

In a letter endorsing the CBU proposal from the chiefs of all the Atlantic region Mi'kmaq communities, they stated 'if CBU had a bachelor of education degree we believe more aboriginal students would achieve their dream of becoming teachers, role models and leaders.'

"From my perspective in Membertou it makes sense to have a program in our backyard," said Darren Googoo, director of education for Membertou. "It would ensure our students would have timely access to an education degree at a time when our community is growing and needs people with that calibre of skill.

"We want Mi'kmaq teachers from our community for all of our students whether they are in band-operated schools or provincial schools."

Googoo said the majority of Mi'kmaq teachers have their undergraduate degree from CBU and he believes given the choice, they would remain in Cape Breton to pursue a BEd program.

"In many cases, they were forced to go away for their BEd," said Googoo. "I think the majority of teachers we have were parents at the time and had to leave their family and it was difficult (economically and emotionally) to leave their family for two years to follow your dream.

"We've worked well with CBU in the past to develop and deliver programs to meet our needs and it was our hope in a few years that we would be able to have students enter into the BEd program."

In the report, the panel referenced the preparation of aboriginal teachers has been successfully accomplished at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, as one of the reasons the CBU proposal not be approved.

"They made no reference to CBU's capacity, our assets or our positioning in aboriginal programming," said Dr. Jane Lewis, dean of education, health and wellness at CBU. "I guess our question is who is defining this success? Was this defined by the review panel or was this defined by St. FX?

"What they absolutely don't recognize is Cape Breton University is the university of choice for Mi'kmaq students in the Atlantic region.

"(The report) provides no voice to what I think was a very significant voice. I believe that the aboriginal community has the right to say which university they want to work with and where they want this to happen and they have said that. Why is that not reflected in the document."

CBU has established an e-mail address at BEd@cbu.ca for people to send in comments or letters of support which will be forwarded to Minister of Education Karen Casey.
'Thanks, but no tanks'

North end group wants to run oil tanks out of the neighbourhood

Section: Front

By Chris Shannon,

A newly formed community group is prepared to run the huge white oil tanks of Imperial Oil that loom over nearby homes in Sydney's north end right out of the neighbourhood.

But first it's looking for help from the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

"We feel the tanks are in the wrong place," said Rev. Greg MacLeod, chair of the North End Community Improvement Association.

The association, which has about a dozen active members, is mainly concerned with the risk of fire at the facility.

It wants to put pressure on the CBRM to reject any future development agreements the company requests at the oil supply terminal.

In calling it "a question of corporate social responsibility," MacLeod said the group also wants municipal council to begin discussions with Imperial Oil and the two other major players - Irving Oil and Ultramar - in looking for a new location for the terminal.

Rick McCready, a municipal planner with the CBRM, said the north end municipal planning strategy, designed more than two years ago, set development restrictions where Imperial Oil can't expand beyond its current 6.5-acre site.

However, the municipality could entertain further restrictions if asked by council, he noted.

"We would consult with EMO and our fire officials and ask them to confirm again whether we should be restricting expansions on the site," McCready said.

"Although everyone would probably agree that it would be ideal if it relocated somewhere's else, my understanding at that time is there was a fairly high degree of satisfaction with the measures the company was taking in terms of securing the site."

But he also noted that although the site is zoned heavy industrial, it's difficult to say what could happen 25 or 50 years from now when there may be a desire to see the area zoned residential or commercial.

Imperial Oil spokesperson Robert Theberge said he doesn't have the answer on whether the terminal will remain in the north end for the long-term. He did say that the company remains diligent about the safety protocols it has in place.

"There are safety meetings every day with the people at the terminal," Theberge said from Imperial Oil's head office in Calgary.

"There's annual checks, simulations conducted with the personnel at this terminal. There's training done, everything you can think of to make sure this place is operated safely.

"We don't want anything to happen and should anything happen we will work with the local authorities to minimize the impacts on the citizens."

The cash investment on the property a few years ago may make it unlikely that a move will take place in the near future, said the area's councillor Tom Wilson, who's also chair of the CBRM's planning advisory committee.

"I recognize the significant investment that's been put there. I recognize the significant amount of money that would have to be put up to move something of that size.

"So do I think (the oil supply terminal) would (move) in the near future? No, I don't believe so," Wilson said.

An advocate on local economic development issues, MacLeod said there are other suitable industrial sites for an oil terminal of this size.

"There's an oil tank already over in Sydport," he said.

"(CBRM's) priority is to have the north end become a heritage zone and that's good for tourism and that's good for the city. Oil tanks in the middle of a heritage zone doesn't help."

The oil tank farm, MacLeod added, should be closer to provincial arterial roads, which would relieve some traffic congestion on city streets.

The tanks they want moved (I tend to agree with the Northenders on this one).

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Old Posted Jan 31, 2008, 12:18 AM
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You ever get lonely in this thread Smevo?
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Old Posted Jan 31, 2008, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Wishblade View Post
You ever get lonely in this thread Smevo?
He has a tough job but somebody has to do it! I like the NASA thingy...hope it takes off.
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Old Posted Jan 31, 2008, 1:02 AM
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What ever became of that spaceport thing proposed a while back?
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Old Posted Jan 31, 2008, 3:07 AM
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That's Planet Space, it seems like just when I start wondering what's happening with it and if it's been cancelled, they print another news story saying "we're still here". lol

You ever get lonely in this thread Smevo?
lol...yup, but like Helladog says, someone's gotta do it.
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Old Posted Jan 31, 2008, 3:45 AM
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Monday, January 28, 2008

Cape Breton Post

A bit on the light-hearted side.
Dog group prepares to unleash new park

Section: News

By Chris Hayes,

Dog owners in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality who want to open an off-leash park have found a location for their pet project.

Veterinarian Dr. Rebecca Korven, who has purchased five acres of land to open a new clinic, is giving the Sydney Off-leash Dog Park group the use of some four acres of the property, says organizer Steven Rolls of Sydney.

Dogs love to romp off the leash and to play with other dogs, said Rolls, who owns a rambunctious Lab-border collie mix named Mackie.

The park is also a safe environment, he said.

"Most of the places where I have seen dog parks, it's just a safe area where you can take your dogs and let them run. It is fenced off, you don't have to worry about traffic, you don't have to worry about them getting away from you."

Rolls said the park also provides a comfort level for people who don't own dogs and may be frightened of the animals.

The land is located on Keltic Drive about 1.5 kilometres from Wal-Mart in Sydney River, according to an informative website at http://www.sydneydogpark.com.

Rolls hoped to start breaking ground on the park in the spring, developing an area for all dogs at first and a separate area for smaller ones later. There may also be a wooded area for dogs at a later date.

Rolls said dog owners would be required to clean up after their pets.

The group is putting together a society and plans to raise money to cover the costs of insurance and some basic infrastructure like a fence, benches and garbage cans.

The park would be open to non-society members, he noted.

It would be a social scene for dog owners too, said Rolls.

"Dog owners have a tendency of clicking really well with each other and just having somewhere where everybody has something in common - which is owning a dog - it automatically drops barriers and people tend to converse and make new friends."

Rolls also hoped to have dog training and other activity days at the park to encourage responsible pet ownership.

More than 1,000 people joined a Facebook group supporting the off-leash park plan, he noted in the group's first newsletter.

Rolls suggested there could be other similar parks across the regional municipality.

Local resident Aaron Andrews, as well as the veterinarian, is also donating the use of the land, the website notes.
This mentions the twinning of hwy125 (Sydney Bypass)...that story ran earlier but I can't easily access it right now. They're finally twinning the section east of Sydney River all the way through to the Glace Bay highway, a section rated worse than Hwy 101 (pre-twinning) for safety.
Province hoping to repave Highway 125 over prematurely failing asphalt

Section: News

By Tom Ayers,

The Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is considering repaving Highway 125 between Sydney River and Grand Lake Road over complaints the asphalt surface is becoming unsafe.

At a public open house meeting on the twinning of Highway 125, Jan. 16, one audience member questioned the province about the existing condition of the two-lane road surface, which has become rutted in places.

"We recognize it is a safety hazard," said Jamie Chisholm, eastern district highway construction manager, adding the province is seeking a cost estimate for rutting and pothole repairs and hopes to have the work done this year.

In a telephone interview last week, Chisholm backed away from his comment on safety, but said the surface is showing signs of premature asphalt failure and the department has received a number of complaints.

Chisholm said the highway was paved in 2002, but that warranties typically expire after one year, so the province will be on the hook for the repair cost.

He added, though, that the project would likely not require extensive road bed preparation or shoulder work, simply a new surface.

"I wouldn't go as far as to say it's a safety hazard," Chisholm said. "It's not ideal, but I think we realize there are ruts there that are a concern.

"We recognize that the asphalt is starting to fail prematurely."

Chisholm said he is getting a cost estimate to repave the entire two-lane length of Highway 125 between Sydney River and Grand Lake Road, the same 8.6-kilometre stretch that is currently in the planning stages to be twinned as a divided, four-lane highway.

He said ideally, any new paving would be done at the same time as the twinning project, which is tentatively scheduled for 2011, depending on funding.

However, "I don't think we can wait that long," Chisholm added.
Edit...another 3 years after over 20 of already waiting for the promise to be fulfilled, and this section still doesn't complete the full length of the highway as promised, but at least it finally does the worst and most highly travelled section.

Edit again...I guess things take so long to move around here that I forgot they announced the other section to be twinned last year.

Blue is already twinned, red is this section they mentioned (the worst section of highway in the province), green is the section they announced last year (still no construction started on it).

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Old Posted Jan 31, 2008, 3:59 AM
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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Cape Breton Post

E-waste depots to open throughout Cape Breton

Section: Business

Recycling depots that will accept unwanted electronics are set to open across the province, including seven recycling centres throughout Cape Breton, Friday.

Through a competitive bid process, 31 locations have been established by the Atlantic Canada Electronics Stewardship group, a non-profit electronics industry association funded by a handling fee on the sale of new electronics.

Products banned from landfill sites that must be recycled include televisions, computers, laptops, monitors, printers, mice, keyboards, cables and other components found in computers.

"Nova Scotia municipalities support this new program that will divert e-waste from our landfills and protect our environment," said Richmond County Coun. Richie Cotton, chair of the Regional Chairs Waste-Resource Management Regions.

"Nova Scotia has the highest recycling rates in Canada and this program will further Nova Scotia's reputation as a leader in recycling and composting."

Cape Breton depots include:

Sydney River: Pegg's Recycling, 434 Keltic Drive

North Sydney: North Sydney Recycling, 96 King Street, Building 2

Glace Bay: CAPE Society, 40 Lower MacLean Street

St. Peter's: St. Peter's Bottle Exchange, 9395 Highway 4

Port Hawkesbury: Strait Bottle Exchange & Recycling, 17 Paint Street

Inverness: Municipality of Inverness, 23 Beach Road, #2

Baddeck: Victoria County, 445 Margaree Road.
A piece of the highway twinning project
Roundabout expropriation cost capped at just under $1 million

Section: Business


The province has confirmed that the total cost of expropriating a health and beauty spa for a planned roundabout at Alexandra Street and Kenwood Drive will be just under $1 million.

The expropriation will cost approximately $989,000, which includes the purchase and preparation of a new site immediately north of Tracie's Spa on Alexandra Street, purchase of the existing property, new construction of a 5,000-square-foot building to house the spa, and business loss and disruption.

The deal includes a cap to prevent the province from paying ongoing costs to move Tracie's Spa, said Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal spokesperson Cathy MacIsaac.

A breakdown of the costs is not available, she added, because it includes confidential business information about Tracie's Spa.

Transportation department officials initially refused to divulge any financial information on the land deal, saying it is a private transaction between the province and Tracie's Spa.

They suggested the only option for finding out that information would be through a Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act request.

Instead, they have since decided they could release the total cost to taxpayers without breaching anyone's privacy.

MacIsaac said the difficulty in finding out how much information could be released arose because expropriations involving ongoing commercial ventures are rare.

Steve Smith, a communications officer with the department, told the Cape Breton Post earlier that the contract to level the neighbouring property was tendered and awarded to Peter's Construction Ltd. for $190,000.

In a follow-up interview since the article was published, he said he "misspoke" and the contract had not been tendered, but was handled by Keith McKeen, a former highways engineer and private contractor who received three bids before awarding the work to Peter's Construction. The province paid the bill, anyway, Smith said.

Tracie's spa owner Tracie Breski has said she hopes to have the new building ready in July, and the province has said the roundabout is scheduled for construction this season. It will replace the existing set of temporary street lights at Alexandra Street and Kenwood Drive, and include traffic to and from the Highway 125 bypass.

Meanwhile, the Cape Breton Regional Municipality has said the province is planning a new road from the Membertou First Nation to the intersection, giving the reserve more direct access to the highway.

MacIsaac said while the possibility of a road may have been discussed, there are currently no plans for a road from Membertou to the highway, so further details are unavailable.
I know it's news and not development, but I felt it worth it to put in here.
School board plans support for BEd at CBU

Darren Googoo, next Mi'kmaq board member, introduced

Section: News


The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board is doing its best to support Cape Breton University's efforts to secure its own bachelor of education degree, board members were told at a regular meeting, Monday.

The board also met Darren Googoo, who is slated to become the board's newest Mi'kmaq representative once his appointment is ratified by the province.

Glace Bay board member George MacDonald raised the issue of CBU's proposed BEd, following a provincial report that recommended CBU's education degree, offered through Memorial University of Newfoundland, should be discontinued and that CBU should not be granted its own education degree.

MacDonald pointed out that Nova Scotia Minister of Education Karen Casey has said she won't make a decision on the recommendations for a couple of weeks, after receiving public input. He wondered what the school division is doing to support the university.

Supt. Ed Davis said the board office is currently planning a brief for the minister. In it, the school division plans to emphasize the need for a local degree and will appeal on the basis of "fairness and justice and economic problems" in the region.

Davis said the provincial review panel was mandated to examine the quality of teacher education in the province, "but what happened was the report then came out with an emphasis on the market supply and teacher certification and that sort of thing, that allowed them to zoom in on CBU."

As a result, he said, the school division will ask the government to redistribute the number of seats allocated in the province to include CBU among the education degree-granting institutions.

Board member Myrtle Turnbull-Campbell, also of Glace Bay, said she is asking everyone she knows to contact the minister of education in support of CBU, and encouraged other board members to do the same.

Meanwhile, the board's Mi'kmaq seat, which had been held by George Marshall, is about to be filled by Darren Googoo, who watched the board meeting at Memorial High School in Sydney Mines, Monday.

Googoo, director of education at Membertou First Nation and a former high school teacher, was appointed by the chiefs of Membertou, Eskasoni and Wagmatcook.

"We're just waiting for his letter from the department of education that grants his appearance as a board member," said Davis.

Googoo said he simply wanted to see the board in action before his appointment becomes official.

"I thought I'd come here, an opportunity to see the board process, learn the process, and bring myself up to speed," he said.

Last edited by Smevo; Jan 31, 2008 at 3:37 PM.
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