Governance

Don’t Make Assumptions About the Assumption Fund

Don’t Make Assumptions About the Assumption Fund

April 12, 2017 at 11:59 am

Last month I sent two freedom of information/access to information (FOIPOP) requests to the Port of Sydney Development Corporation. One requested a detailed account of how the Port has been spending the $2.5 million left over from the $37 million Sydney harbor dredge, completed in 2012. (You can read aboutRead More

CAO’s Exit Merritts Better Explanation

CAO’s Exit Merritts Better Explanation

April 5, 2017 at 1:20 pm

Leaving? So soon? It seems the CBRM’s chief administrative officer (CAO) Michael Merritt is hightailing it back from whence he came. Merritt was hired in July 2014 and began work in October of that year, so when he leaves in April he won’t even have been on the job a fullRead More

By Frank J. (Frank John) Aleksandrowicz, 1921-, Photographer (NARA record: 8452210) (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

That ’70s Crisis

March 22, 2017 at 12:50 pm

“Tartan and coal” proclaimed the front page of the Cape Breton Post, rather cryptically, on Saturday and I couldn’t resist trying to guess what the headline referred to before I actually read the article: the world’s worst ice cream flavor? Sydney Academy’s Class of ’57 prom theme? Alexander Graham Bell’s terriers?  Read More

Port of Sydney Development Corp AGM, 15 December 2016. (l to r: Board chair Michael Merritt, CBRM Mayor Cecil Clarke, Port CEO Marlene Usher)

Port Board Drops Year’s Worth of Minutes

March 8, 2017 at 12:00 pm

I checked the Port of Sydney web site this week and did a spontaneous jig of joy around the old control center (which is what I call my office since I added the second desk and the map of the world): they’ve posted a whole year’s worth of board meetingRead More

Civic Centre, CBRM

CBRM Doesn’t Have All Docs in $40K FOIPOP But Fee Stands

March 1, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Remember the $40,000 FOIPOP? Actually, the price tag the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) slapped on a local man’s freedom of information/protection of privacy request was $42,804.50 — a calculation of the value of CBRM employee time that seems to be worked out to the last fraction of a second. SydneyRead More

Why? Because It’s Business Cape Breton!

Why? Because It’s Business Cape Breton!

February 22, 2017 at 2:00 pm

It’s Wednesday and you know what that means — time to beat the Business Cape Breton (BCB) drum! This week we’ve learned that BCB is both an outside organization immune to the rules governing departments of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality AND the CBRM’s “economic development entity,” immune to theRead More

Transparency in Action: Destination Cape Breton Association

Transparency in Action: Destination Cape Breton Association

February 8, 2017 at 1:30 pm

Transparency is so rare in Nova Scotia that most people recognize it only by its absence. Our region is home to a number of organizations that rely largely (if not entirely) on public money and yet are not in the least accountable to the public. To me, they’re like bigRead More

Transparency in Action: Business Cape Breton

Transparency in Action: Business Cape Breton

February 8, 2017 at 1:25 pm

Some organizations are like cats, not in the sense that they hunt and kill mice (although with the level of transparency we have in the CBRM, who knows?) but in the sense that they have nine lives — end one and they start another. Business Cape Breton Association (BCB) isRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

February 8, 2017 at 1:15 pm

Charter? What Charter? I was perusing the list of recently completed Nova Scotia Freedom of Information Protection of Privacy (FOIPOP) requests, as one does, and discovered this one: All briefing notes, analysis and correspondence regarding the development of a municipal charter for Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Oh boy, oh boy,Read More

Province Denied CBRM REN Request

Province Denied CBRM REN Request

February 1, 2017 at 2:25 pm

On 8 June 2016, at a “special” CBRM Council meeting, Mayor Cecil Clarke surprised councilors with the announcement that the CBRM had withdrawn from Regional Enterprise Network (REN) 6, an economic development organization incorporated in October 2014 and including the CBRM, Richmond County, Victoria County and Inverness County. CBRM councilors,Read More