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TRICOUNTY VANGUARD YEAR IN REVIEW: February 2018


Donna Hatt, chair of the South Shore Tourism Co-operative, congratulated Lucy the Lobster on her Groundhog Day debut in February during the South Shore Lobster Crawl. The Lobster Crawl for 2019 is scheduled to take place Feb. 1 to 18. (Kathy Johnson)
Donna Hatt, chair of the South Shore Tourism Co-operative, congratulated Lucy the Lobster on her Groundhog Day debut in February during the South Shore Lobster Crawl. (Kathy Johnson)

A sampling of some of the news from the month.

Donna Hatt, chair of the South Shore Tourism Cooperative, says hi to Lucy the Lobster, being held by Suzy Atwood, Tourism and Community Development Coordinator for the Municipality of Barrington during the launch of the South Shore Lobster Crawl at Capt. Kat’s Lobster Shack in Barrington Passage. KATHY JOHNSON
Donna Hatt, chair of the South Shore Tourism Cooperative, says hi to Lucy the Lobster, being held by Suzy Atwood, Tourism and Community Development Coordinator for the Municipality of Barrington during the launch of the South Shore Lobster Crawl at Capt. Kat’s Lobster Shack in Barrington Passage. KATHY JOHNSON

Lucy the Lobster made Groundhog Day debut, kicked off South Shore Lobster Crawl

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People gathered at the Cape Sable Island Causeway in the Municipality of Barrington to watch Lucy the Lobster make her Groundhog Day debut, wondering if the crustacean might signal an early spring. Lucy’s inaugural appearance served as a kickoff to the South Shore Lobster Crawl – a three-week festival celebrating lobster with events from Barrington to Peggy’s Cove – and “crawl” certainly is what Lucy did, inching along so slowly towards a lobster trap that Donna Hatt, the event’s master of ceremonies, told the crowd, “Spring might come before she gets to the trap.”

Lucy eventually made it onto the trap, with a little help, and did not see her shadow. Afterwards, Lucy went back to her home at Capt. Kat’s Lobster Shack restaurant in Barrington Passage.


Public input was being gathered for proposed Yarmouth downtown arts/culture facility

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The first phase in the process of developing a new arts and culture centre in downtown Yarmouth was underway. The first phase of the process – concept design and feasibility study – included three public sessions, the first of which had been held Jan. 31. Two more sessions were scheduled for Feb. 21 and March 21. The second phase in the process would be dedicated to fundraising, the third to detailed design and tendering, the fourth to construction. Once the design work was done, cost estimates and sources of revenue would be discussed. Potential users of the proposed facility were encouraged to get involved as the project proceeded.


Funding from province was seen as another step towards new Digby-area community centre

The Jordantown-Acaciaville-Conway Betterment Association (JACBA) had received $100,000 from the province’s Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage towards the cost of project management and design for the area’s planned community centre. “This is the blueprint or pre-construction stage of the project,” said JACBA president Kerry Johnson. “Now we have these funds, we’re ready to hire an administrator who will oversee that construction phase, and get some programs in place so when the centre does open, we’re ready to go.” Looking ahead to the time when the centre would be a reality, Johnson said the facility would welcome all. “That’s what we said from the beginning,” he said. “This will be from the community and for the community.”


Minister of African Nova Scotia Affairs Tony Ince and Shelburne Municipal Warden Penny Smith unveil the poster for African Heritage Month during the Municipal Proclamation Launch for African Heritage Month at the Black Loyalist Heritage Center on Feb. 2. KATHY JOHNSON
Minister of African Nova Scotia Affairs Tony Ince and Shelburne Municipal Warden Penny Smith unveil the poster for African Heritage Month during the Municipal Proclamation Launch for African Heritage Month at the Black Loyalist Heritage Center on Feb. 2. KATHY JOHNSON

‘Inspirational celebration’ helped kick off African Heritage Month

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The launch of African Heritage Month at the Black Loyalist Heritage Center in Birchtown was an ‘inspirational celebration’ that brought together municipal leaders, provincial and federal politicians, top ranking RCMP officers, school children and members of the community at large.

Those attending included Tony Ince, minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs. “My main message for all of us is to be educated and learn about the contributions African Nova Scotians have made, not only in Nova Scotia, but all of Canada,” the minister said. “In Nova Scotia we have so many firsts that have gone from here right across the country, nationally and internationally, that have had an impact on society.”


Capt. Roger Stoddard was remembered fondly by family, friends, fishing industry

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Capt. Roger Stoddard of Shelburne County was being remembered as hard-working, fun-loving, intelligent, someone who help anybody. Stoddard had perished after choosing to stay with the vessel Fisherman’s Provider II after it went aground on Frying Pan Shoal off Canso Feb. 6. Three crew members had been rescued by another fishing boat, the Miss Lexi, that same evening, but Stoddard had made the decision to stay aboard. His body was recovered three days later by local fishermen who took it upon themselves to find him and bring him home. “He will be remembered as a proud fisherman and his loss will be deeply felt across the fishing community in Nova Scotia,” said a Facebook post by Fisherman’s Market president Fred Greene and director Monte Snow.


Doctors Genna Bourget and Jennifer Chang spoke about what, as new doctors to Digby, have made them feel at home and part of the community during a February session held in Digby that was organized by the Digby Area Health Coalition and Doctors Nova Scotia. TINA COMEAU
Doctors Genna Bourget and Jennifer Chang spoke about what, as new doctors to Digby, have made them feel at home and part of the community during a February session held in Digby that was organized by the Digby Area Health Coalition and Doctors Nova Scotia. TINA COMEAU

Doctor recruitment/retention was focus of Digby discussion

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A Digby doctor said it was “heartbreaking” to hear people without doctors repeatedly ask her if and when the clinic where she worked could take on more patients. “It’s a question we probably get asked 100 times a day (in outpatients),” said Dr. Jennifer Chang, one of the participants in a public session on health care organized by the Digby Area Health Coalition and Doctors Nova Scotia. “I would love to see you all in my clinic, but practically speaking, that’s not possible.”

Finding ways to make communities part of the doctor recruitment process was a big part of the evening’s discussion. And not just recruitment but retention. Dr. Manoj Vohra, president at the time of Doctors Nova Scotia, said communities should make their physicians want to stay there. “Make it impossible for them to leave because they love it so much,” he said.


Yarmouth’s IMO Foods, Dick Stewart received provincial awards from fisheries minister

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A Yarmouth County company that was the last independently owned fish cannery in Canada and a longtime fishing industry representative from southwestern Nova Scotia were honoured with Awards of Excellence at the 20th annual Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture minister’s conference in Halifax. IMO Foods had been packing local fish for more than 40 years, producing canned herring, sardines and mackerel. The company produces for different brands worldwide, including Kersen here in Nova Scotia. Dick Stewart was recognized for a “lifetime of service to Nova Scotia’s fishing industry” as a harvester and as an organizer, notably his 39 years as manager of the Atlantic Herring Co-op, “a position that allowed him to use and share his unequalled knowledge of the fishing industry to effect positive change and growth.”


TCRSB member Andrea Huskilson-Townsend writes down some notes during a school board-hosted Feb. 19 session about the Glaze report. She worries about who will advocate on behalf of parents or help them navigate the system when there are no elected school board members. She also believes any centralization of the education system will be bad for rural Nova Scotia.TINA COMEAU
TCRSB member Andrea Huskilson-Townsend writes down some notes during a school board-hosted Feb. 19 session about the Glaze report. She worries about who will advocate on behalf of parents or help them navigate the system when there are no elected school board members. She also believes any centralization of the education system will be bad for rural Nova Scotia.TINA COMEAU

Province was urged not to rush implementation of Glaze report recommendations

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At a public session in Yarmouth regarding the Glaze report, the consensus could be summed up in two words: slow down. “This whole process is going too fast,” said Tri-County Regional School Board member Donna Tidd.

People attending the Yarmouth meeting wondered about public consultation regarding the report’s recommendations. Consultant Avis Glaze had made her report public Jan. 23 and the next day the government announced it had accepted all of the report’s recommendations, including one to dissolve the province’s elected English school boards. Retired principal Gary Archibald, one of those attending the Feb. 19 session where the report was discussed, questioned why the province didn’t wait until the release of another report – this one focusing on inclusion – before moving forward with the Glaze report’s recommendations.


Doppler radar not the answer, officials said during meeting with fishermen and others

For years, municipal units in southwestern Nova Scotia had fought to have Doppler radar coverage for the region’s offshore, but it turned out Doppler radar wasn’t the answer for the fishing industry, one of the sectors most reliant on accurate forecasts. The topic was discussed at a late-February meeting hosted by the Municipality of Yarmouth. Representatives of Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) were on hand to talk about the limitations of radar and to discuss efforts to improve weather forecasting. Those attending the meeting at the Rodd Grand Hotel included fishermen who said they typically relied on American forecasts from a surfing site called Magic Seaweed because those from ECCC often were inaccurate.


Courtney Boudreau and her Grammy Edith Hamilton of Yarmouth County.
Courtney Boudreau and her Grammy Edith Hamilton of Yarmouth County.

Free Grammy: Granddaughter to the rescue

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It’s not known if the #freegrammy hashtag would have widely trended, but Courtney Boudreau was prepared to find out.

She took to social media to draw attention to the fact that her 80-year-old grandmother was essentially trapped in her home because the foot of her driveway (on Department of Transportation property) was continuously being washed away due to improper drainage, rendering it impassible at times.

Whenever it was like this her grandmother, Edith Hamilton, could not have a vehicle come in and out of her driveway. And the steep walk up and down the driveway to a waiting car on the road below would take an exhausting and painful toll on the senior.

After years of trying to get the problem properly rectified, including ongoing calls over the past couple of months, the granddaughter couldn’t stand it anymore. She took to social media, posting photos of the ongoing damage. Her posting perhaps didn’t go viral in the truest definition of social media, but it was shared over 300 times.

“If anything, Grammy now knows that a lot of people care about an 80-year-old woman,” she said. After the posting a representative from the transportation department apologized in person for how long this had dragged out and the department fixed the issue.


Several fire departments were on the scene of a fire in Little Brook, Digby County. They were called to the scene of the building housing the business Kizuna Sushi the evening of Feb. 27. TINA COMEAU PHOTO
Several fire departments were on the scene of a fire in Little Brook, Digby County. They were called to the scene of the building housing the business Kizuna Sushi the evening of Feb. 27. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Numerous departments responded to Little Brook fire

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Several fire departments responded to a fire in Little Brook, Digby County, the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 27.

A fire call came in to the Little Brook Fire Department at about 8 p.m. The scene of the fire was the former Clare Social Club building that after closing has since housed Evelina’s Rapure Pie until it closed, and currently houses Kizuna Sushi.

Little Brook Fire Department Chief Michel LeBlanc said the building was not fully engulfed when firefighters arrived but it was a stubborn fire to battle.

Responding volunteer fire departments included Little Brook, St. Bernard, Meteghan, Havelock, Weymouth and Southville. Nova Scotia Power also had a couple of trucks on scene.

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