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.


July: Loose ends

When last we checked in with him, on July 21, PC leadership candidate and sometime CBRM Mayor Cecil Clarke was at the Halifax Pride Parade.

He next pops up as Mayor of the CBRM at a Teddy Bears’ Picnic at the Marcia Fiolek Memorial Community Playground in Dominion on July 23. As we have yet to extend the franchise to teddy bears, I guess this doesn’t count as a campaign appearance. (Although it’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference. I think he should be required to wear distinctive candidate and mayor hats). He announced the appearance on Twitter — the first tweet from his official CBRM Mayor’s account since June 13.

His next manifestation is in Shortts Lake, on July 28, at the home of Bob and Carol Peterson. (I am choosing to believe that their neighbors — Ted and Alice — were also in attendance.) Shortts Lake is located between Truro and Stewiacke. Here’s what that looked like:

Cecil Clarke in Shortts Lake, Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook

July 30 found him appearing as a guest on the Gloria McCluskey show. At least, I think that’s what’s happening here. The premise seems to be that McCluskey, the former mayor of Dartmouth and former HRM councilor for District 5, interviews her subjects on “the beautiful Dartmouth waterfront” where the wind blows so hard, it’s difficult to hear what either of them is saying. I couldn’t watch the thing beyond the first 30 seconds because it’s 33 minutes long and ain’t nobody got time for that.

Cecil Clarke and Gloria McCluskey. (Source: Facebok)

Cecil Clarke and Gloria McCluskey. (Source: Facebook)


If this is August…

…Clarke must be in Stellarton.

Apparently Clarke went to the firehall there on Wednesday, August 1, to talk about healthcare and “The Most Important SOMETHING” was in attendance.  (If only that chair had a clear plastic back.)



Cabot Campaign Trail

Clarke was back on the Island on Thursday, August 2 and he was busy, busy, busy — not with boring old MAYOR stuff, like figuring out why all the bids for Sydney’s second cruise ship berth were over budget — no, Thursday he was doing the scenic Cabot Campaign Trail!

First stop, Cheticamp, to learn about the fisheries:

Clarke in Cheticamp. Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook

Next up, Inverness, where he was meeting and greeting:

Cecil Clarke meet and greet, Inverness

And finally, the Mabou Firehall, courting the volunteer fireperson vote:

Clarke, Mabou Firehall meeting


The Other Lisa

August 3 (that would be a Friday) found our mayor at the Riverfront Jubilee in New Glasgow, hobnobbing with yet another Conservative Lisa — not deputy Conservative leader Lisa Raitt but Ontario MPP for Nepean-Carleton and member of the Doug Ford cabinet Lisa MacLeod, who is — little known fact — psychic.

I’m serious. One of her first acts as Ontario’s minister of children, community and social services was to  cancel the province’s Universal Basic Income pilot project, (about which Spectator contributor Dolores Campbell wrote back in February). The former Liberal government had budgeted $150 million for the pilot which was to run for three years, at which point the data would be analyzed to determine the program’s effectiveness, but according to HuffPo Canada:

MacLeod said the “broken” program isn’t working. Asked by reporters how she knows the program isn’t working if the data hasn’t been studied yet, MacLeod said, “for the amount it was costing the province of Ontario … it was certainly not going to be sustainable.”

Some people can read the future in goat entrails, MacLeod can apparently find it in expenditures columns.

Clarke also got to meet Lisa’s Uncle Norman who may or may not be psychic but who has organized the Riverfront Jubilee for the past decade, a fact which left our mayor awestruck:

It’s incredible to see so much passion and dedication to the community.

I’m surprised he had to go all the way to New Glasgow to find “passion and dedication to the community” and that it’s very existence seems to shock him so much. I would have thought he’d noticed quite a bit of it in the community he runs.

But who knows, maybe everything really is just better in Pictou County (Clarke certainly seems to be spending a lot of time there). Like their world-famous Pictou pizza and their “wonderful” visitors:




I’m not sure whether marching in the CBRM Pride Parade counts as a campaign activity or a mayoral activity. Actually, I think it may be one of those happy events that counts as both, because although he marched as Mayor Clarke (the CBRM’s “first openly gay” mayor, no less, having been mayor since October 2012 and openly gay since February 2018), he posted a link to the CTV story about the parade on his Cecil Clarke politician Facebook feed:


And in case you’re wondering about the color of the CBRM’s Pride t-shirts and banner, let me just remind you that black is the absorption of all colors, so it’s sort of like the CBRM swallowed a rainbow.