Infrastructure

Same Old Choir, Same Old Song

Same Old Choir, Same Old Song

August 25, 2021 at 2:19 pm

In the days leading up to the provincial election, all the usual suspects sharpened their pencils, marshaled their tired little troop of “facts” and wrote the editor of the Cape Breton Post in support of Albert Barbusci’s Novaporte project. Port Fest ’21 was kicked off at the end of JulyRead More

Okay, Stop (Waterfront Development Edition)

Okay, Stop (Waterfront Development Edition)

July 14, 2021 at 12:51 pm

CBRM council seems to have righted a three-year-old wrong during its July 6 meeting by declining to extend a waterfront pre-development agreement with Martin Chernin’s Harbour Royale Development Ltd (HRDL) — an agreement that included a new central library. As Mayor Amanda McDougall explained to council, this does not precludeRead...

Bridging Finance: Making Transportation History?

Bridging Finance: Making Transportation History?

July 14, 2021 at 12:49 pm

As you may recall, the Spectator reported some weeks ago on the local implications of the scandal rocking Toronto-based private debt firm Bridging Finance Inc (BFI); namely, that Membertou First Nation borrowed $6.8 million from Bridging to finance its purchase of a stake in Novaporte, Albert Barbusci’s imaginary Sydney harborRead...

Public Housing and the Private Sector

Public Housing and the Private Sector

June 23, 2021 at 12:17 pm

Last week I wrote about the Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission’s report, “Charting a new course for affordable housing in Nova Scotia,” sounding an alarm about its tendency to look to the private sector for solutions to the housing crisis. Days later, the federal government announced a $115.5-million, low-cost loanRead More

Novaporte Partner In Hot Water

Novaporte Partner In Hot Water

June 16, 2021 at 2:06 pm

This was going to be a story about CBRM council meeting in secret with Albert Barbusci of Sydney Harbour Investment Partners (SHIP) yesterday and then, during the regular meeting last night, approving a three-year extension to Barbusci’s exclusive contract with the municipality. (I’ve removed the SHIP Exclusivity Countdown Clock fromRead...

Housing as a Human Right?

Housing as a Human Right?

June 16, 2021 at 2:02 pm

“Charting a new course for affordable housing in Nova Scotia,” the report dropped by the Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission this spring, is one of the most annoying things I’ve read this year — and I read The Codfathers. The pointless graphics, large photos and needless repetition (particularly with regardRead...

Fast and Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast and Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

May 28, 2021 at 10:00 am

Court Sports I had a very informative conversation yesterday with Greg Callaghan, a member of the Basketball Cape Breton (BCB) board, who was dismayed to see the Spectator framing the campaign for a new central library as a competition against the campaign for a new community court sports facility. WeRead More

Minister Mombourquette on Centre 200, Library

Minister Mombourquette on Centre 200, Library

May 26, 2021 at 12:23 pm

I have a suspicious mind — it pretty much goes with the territory, when you’re a journalist — so when I heard about this “court facility” expansion proposed for Centre 200, my immediate thought was that somewhere in the background was a plan to bring professional basketball back to CapeRead More

Fort Worth Library Public Access computers, 2009. (Photo by

Patrons of Public Infrastructure

May 26, 2021 at 12:21 pm

I am absolutely furious that the CBRM council has once again decided a new library is not important enough, despite the present structure being aged and decrepit and inadequate to the community’s needs. The Public Library system is a vital, democratizing tool, providing access to services and information to allRead More

Library versus Sports Complex?

Library versus Sports Complex?

May 26, 2021 at 12:19 pm

I hope many of you tuned into Wendy Bergfeldt’s afternoon show (CBC Mainstreet Cape Breton) last Thursday and were just as surprised as I was to hear that the CBRM is seriously considering a sports complex add-on to Centre 200 rather than a new central library. I admit that itRead More