There will be no hesitation to become involved in controversy if the outcome holds promise of constructive achievement for Cape Breton. — Prospectus, The Highlander Press Company Ltd., October 1962

I tried to dig the truth out of hearings, official transcripts and government documents, and to be as accurate as possible. I also sought to give the Weekly a personal flavor to add humor, wit and good writing to the Weekly report…I tried in every issue to provide fact and opinion not available elsewhere in the press.—I.F. Stone, Washington, D.C., July 1963


It’s been seven years since I launched this publication and it struck me today that it was time to update my “About” section, given I have a much better idea now what the Spectator is actually about.

Seven years along, I find myself less inclined to quote Jon Stewart than I was at the outset and sad to report that I’ve made no progress on digitizing the Cape Breton Highlander (a weekly newspaper my parents and most of my paternal aunts and uncles ran from 1963 to 1976), a goal of mine in 2016.

My optimism regarding the local media scene has also taken something of a hit over the years: I don’t know that I’d describe the Cape Breton Post as an adequate paper of record anymore; LocalXpress, the online publication being put out by striking Chronicle Herald workers when I started the Spectator vanished without a trace once the strike ended; and I don’t think the local CBC has been the target of much additional funding since I first pressed “Publish.”

On the bright side, I’d hoped to gain enough paying subscribers to keep this vessel afloat and I have (although I would very much like to have more and one day, I will get serious about trying to find them). I’d hoped to pay freelance writers and photographers, and while I haven’t published as much freelance work as I would have liked, I have published a significant amount (click on “Contributors” at the top of the home page to see the full list), including wonderful contributors like Sean Howard, Michelle Smith, Dolores Campbell, Paul Strome, Dan Yakimchuk, Rose Courage, Madeline Yakimchuk, Ken Jessome, Michael Milburn and Rachel Haliburton.

The Spectator has even won a couple of awards for the excellent, four-part series on Sydney’s Casino by Rob Csernyik (you’ll find Part I here).

My plan was to post new material every Wednesday and I have not only succeeded, I’ve upped the ante by also publishing a feature I call Fast & Curious every Friday.

I’d hoped you’d see value in my enterprise and I think it’s fair to say that many of you do, and for that, I remain eternally grateful.


The Editor

14 November 2022