Economic Development

The Cape Breton Partnership Revisited

The Cape Breton Partnership Revisited

January 19, 2022 at 3:02 pm

As noted elsewhere this week, I’ve been curious about the appointment of Carla Arsenault as principal of the Marconi Campus of the NSCC, but I found I couldn’t think about Arsenault, the former president and CEO of the Cape Breton Partnership, without thinking about the organization she headed for threeRead More

Q1 2021: FOIPOP Findings

Q1 2021: FOIPOP Findings

December 15, 2021 at 11:56 am

Full disclosure: I thought 2021 was going to be vastly different from 2020 but instead, it unfolded like we’d given 2020 a 12-month extension on its contract. The COVID pandemic continued to loom large in everyone’s lives although, as you’ll see, I modified my response to it. I spent muchRead More

Whatever Happened to North Sydney?

Whatever Happened to North Sydney?

December 8, 2021 at 11:45 am

What happened to Cape Breton Island? In particular, North Sydney? It  used to  be a booming town. Fish plants, steel plant, coalmines, Marine Railway and CN workers in the thousands. Retail businesses all along Commercial Street. Thousands of workers making good money, cashing their checks on a Friday at theRead More

Bad for Business?

Bad for Business?

October 20, 2021 at 12:06 pm

This morning, I am going to take on some of the hot takes I’ve seen on CBRM council’s recent waterfront development decision. As you probably know by now, during last Tuesday’s meeting, council, rather than entertaining a new proposal from Martin Chernin’s Harbour Royale Development Ltd (HRDL), opted to issueRead More

CBRM Council: Wither Waterfront Development?

CBRM Council: Wither Waterfront Development?

October 13, 2021 at 11:53 am

Last night’s council discussion regarding Harbour Royale Development Limited’s new Sydney waterfront proposal was fascinating in many ways but the most interesting aspect to me (besides the outcome, which was council refusing to entertain it and voting instead to issue a new request for proposals for CBRM-owned land on theRead More

Quietly Shrinking CBRM

Quietly Shrinking CBRM

October 6, 2021 at 12:54 pm

Maxwell Hartt’s book, Quietly Shrinking Cities: Canadian Urban Population Loss in an Age of Growth really made me think. Hartt, an assistant professor in the department of geography and planning at Queen’s University, makes the case for cities accepting rather than fighting population decline and uses the Cape Breton Regional MunicipalityRead More

CBRM ‘Priorities’ List Has Gaps

CBRM ‘Priorities’ List Has Gaps

June 30, 2021 at 12:38 pm

CBRM council met this morning to discuss the results of its March 2021 closed-door, strategy-setting “workshops” at the Lakes Golf Club and Resort in Ben Eoin. Apparently, during the sessions, council articulated our vision: (I can’t wait until Tim Bousquet sees that — “vibrant” and “innovation” are two of hisRead More

Talking With ‘Closing Sysco’ Author Lachlan MacKinnon

Talking With ‘Closing Sysco’ Author Lachlan MacKinnon

April 28, 2021 at 1:04 pm

There’s a passage in Lachlan MacKinnon’s book, Closing Sysco: Industrial Decline in Atlantic Canada’s Steel City, in which a former steelworker, Adrian Murphy, describes what it’s like to visit Open Hearth Park, the greenspace that’s replaced the plant in the heart of Sydney: I was there a couple of times withRead More

On the Waterfront? Not So Fast…

On the Waterfront? Not So Fast…

March 31, 2021 at 2:24 pm

Here are the important takeaways from this morning’s CBRM special council meeting on the proposed new CBRM Central Library:   Aurevoir, HRDL? Council took a major step toward ending the agreement that has given a private developer, Martin Chernin’s Harbour Royale Development Limited, control over the proposed new library. AtRead More

Forward, CBRM!

Forward, CBRM!

March 31, 2021 at 2:21 pm

I lost track of how many times participants in Tuesday’s “CBRM Forward” discussion used the words “excited” or “exciting.” Literally everyone who spoke was either excited to be there or excited at the prospect of overhauling the municipality’s planning strategy and land-use by-law or excited to be drafting an economicRead More