Where’s Cecil?

Welcome to this week’s installment of “Where’s Cecil?,” my ongoing effort to keep track of Mayor Cecil Clarke’s campaign appearances to judge just how much time he’s taking from his day job to travel the province in pursuit of the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia.

As you will recall, the mayor of the CBRM declared his candidacy for the PC leadership on February 3. Tories will choose their new leader at the very end of October. So Clarke intends to spend roughly eight months doing double duty as the only candidate/mayor among the leadership hopefuls.

We know, because they told us, that CBRM Human Resources does not track the vacation time of the mayor, whose only constraint is apparently Section 17(4) of the MGA:

A mayor or councillor who, without leave of the council, is absent from three consecutive regular meetings of the council, ceases to be qualified to serve as mayor or as a councillor.

Mayor Clarke, then, is presumably tracking his time off based on his own estimate (shared with CBC radio listeners back in December 2017) that he has over 20 weeks’ vacation stockpiled.



Clarke did, in fact, attend both the Colchester North PC Association AGM and Dinner on May 17 and the Chester-St. Margaret’s AGM on May 19:


Port Days? Ports Day? Port Day’s?

I note that the first official PC leadership debate is scheduled for Middleton on Thursday, May 24. Attendance at the official debates (of which there will be six) is mandatory, so Mayor Clarke must be there.

But do you know what else is happening on Thursday, May 24? Port Day! This year’s theme? “Harbour Driving Development.” (And no, I have no idea what that means, although my immediate thought is that it’s all going to be about the Harbour Hopper.)

The leadership debate starts at 7:00PM at the NSCC Middleton Campus, so there is simply no way Clarke can attend the lobster dinner and ceilidh that end Port Days on Thursday night, nor could he stay at the Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion until the last official presentation (the keynote address, no less, by Harold Westerman, senior principal of ports and marine terminals with Stantec) ends at 2:15PM. It is possible that he could attend some of the morning presentations and then leave for Middleton but is it likely?

I wrote his communications person, Christina Lamey, to ask if the mayor would attend Port Days on Thursday but received the following message:

I will be away from the office from Tuesday, May 15 returning on Monday, June 4. I will not be checking messages during this time.

I was instructed to ask my questions of the mayor’s executive assistant, Mark Bettens, who emailed me:

Yes Mayor Clarke will be attending at Port Day’s [sic] and is speaking.

I emailed back asking when, exactly, Clarke will be speaking and if he will be leaving early to travel to Middleton. Bettens has yet to reply. I looked at the Port Days schedule again and noted that it had been updated to specify that Clarke will, in fact, be speaking — he will deliver “Welcoming Remarks” between 8:45AM and 9:00AM.


Personally, I think if the mayor skips the “Novaporte” update by Mike Journeycake and Kevin Dickman of Ports America, I will be free to skip it too.




The Clarke campaign has started listing events on the campaign website.

Although he launched his campaign on February 3, he began listing campaign events as of May 24 (which means, as you can see from the calendar below, that the listings don’t give anything like a real picture of how much time he’s been devoting to his pursuit of the PC leadership).