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 — who is paid $109,754 a year as our municipality’s only “full-time” elected official — intends to spend roughly eight months doing double duty as a mayor/PC leadership candidate.

We know, because CBRM Human Resources told us so, that the department 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.


Wedding bells

When the “something blue” at your wedding is the card-carrying Tory officiant:


All that Twitters

Clarke has been very communicative via his social media accounts of late, voicing his intentions once elected leader of the provincial PC party and then premier of Nova Scotia (nothing like planning ahead):

He’s written his letter (you can read it here). I’m sure Doug Ford and Scott Moe will be pleased to know they have the support of someone who is running for the leadership of the official opposition in Nova Scotia…

And while threatening to fight a carbon tax is not the same as threatening war with Iran, Clarke has been surprisingly bellicose lately…for a Canadian, anyway:


No, Clarke is not afraid of the Canadian prime minister. See how bravely he faces up to the onslaught of scary dollars from the scary prime minister’s government in his home town of Sydney Mines:

Atlantic Memorial Park project funding announcement, 18 July 2018. (Source: Facebook)

Atlantic Memorial Park project funding announcement, 18 July 2018. (Source: Facebook)


One of my favorite Clarke communications of the past couple of weeks is this one, with its hint of revolution:

I’m not sure what this means, coming from a career politician like Clarke. Has he really convinced himself that should Nova Scotians decide to put politicians out and let people in, he will rank among the people? Or is he saying, “Throw me out?” (A novel but surely self-defeating approach to political campaigning.)

Then here’s this one, coming from a mayor who once presided over 31 in camera council meetings in 22 months, none of which was announced publicly in direct contravention of the Municipal Government Act (MGA). A man who, in connection with the port file, has refused consistently to share vital information with citizens citing “confidentiality agreements” with private companies. A man who won’t tell us what he did in China, even though he traveled there on the CBRM’s dime:

Mind you, he’s pretty specific: he wants full transparency and accountability “when it comes to healthcare,” port development, not so much.

And here’s an oldie but a goodie:

Yes! So prepare for a bunch of legislation with titles like “An Act Respecting a Diner’s Right to Put as Much Salt as They Like on a Meal Without Tasting It” and “An Act Respecting Elbow Placement.”

And since many of those at the kitchen tables of Nova Scotia are under 12, we’ll probably also see, “An Act Respecting Little Brothers and Why They Should Stop Looking at You,” “An Act Making Vegetable Consumption Discretionary” and “An Act Respecting Meal Order: Must Dessert Always Be Last?”


All in the family?

Friday night (July 20), the Halifax Armdale PC Association hosted a meet and greet with Clarke which he characterized as a “summer evening with friends and family.” I would argue a gathering stocked entirely with people you already know would constitute simply a “greet” (and would not be particularly useful in raising your profile or spreading your message) but that’s just me being a stickler.

The Halifax Armdale PC Association has been throwing receptions for all the leadership candidates and I’ve been trying to determine if the type of event and/or menu indicates any sort of preference, but if there’s a code involved, I have been unable to crack it. Clarke got “Italian tapas” while Julie Chaisson will get a cocktail party and Tim Houston’s gathering didn’t seem to have a theme, but maybe you can find one hidden in this picture of the food served:



Clarke attended the Halifax Pride Parade this past weekend, an appearance no doubt made easier by his own having officially come out earlier this year and interim party leader Karla MacFarlane’s having taken a stand against gay conversion therapy.