Municipal

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

May 19, 2017 at 11:03 am

Confessions of a bad reporter I forgot about Ports Day — Port Days? Ports Days? — whatever it is, I forgot about it. I know, right? How does that happen? How does the most port-obsessed person in Sydney forget Port-a-palooza? I can only plead temporary sanity. This week, I was apparentlyRead More

Western lowland gorilla. (Photo By Jackhynes (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons, cropped)

Equalization: The 800-Pound Gorilla in This Election

May 17, 2017 at 12:30 pm

Scratch any problem in almost any municipality in Nova Scotia and you will likely uncover the same root cause: the province’s underfunded equalization program. I see you over there, covering your ears and singing. And you, pretending you’re engrossed in that hardware store flyer you just fished out of aRead More

Father Greg MacLeod: Growing Up In Sydney Mines

Father Greg MacLeod: Growing Up In Sydney Mines

May 17, 2017 at 12:20 pm

In 2009, Richard Keshen, now professor emeritus at Cape Breton University, interviewed Father Greg MacLeod as part of a series of interviews with key figures in the history of the university. Keshen and MacLeod, who was 73 at the time, had a wide-ranging discussion which Keshen later divided into five sections.Read More

Dr StrangeJob: Election Seasons Are Dangerous Times

Dr StrangeJob: Election Seasons Are Dangerous Times

May 17, 2017 at 12:10 pm

Elections are dangerous times. Don’t sit on your front yard or you may get skewered by a campaign sign. Don’t let your family pets near the street, lest they be spray-painted or asphalted over by zealous provincial road workers.  Fortunately for you, you are not alone during this perilous period: Dr. StrangeJobRead More

Mayor Clarke And The Incredible Disappearing HST Issue

Mayor Clarke And The Incredible Disappearing HST Issue

May 10, 2017 at 12:25 pm

Economic development is the word on the street in the CBRM these days — CBRM Mayor Cecil Clarke popped up on CBC Cape Breton’s Information Morning on May 4 to speak to host Steve Sutherland about it and CBRM Regional Council has vowed to meet once a month to discussRead More

Property Taxes: Why NS Needs to Doff Its CAP

Property Taxes: Why NS Needs to Doff Its CAP

May 10, 2017 at 12:20 pm

Nova Scotia’s Capped Assessment Program (CAP) is a hot mess. The motivation behind it is laudable: no one should lose their house because its assessed value has skyrocketed and they can no longer afford the taxes. If you own a modest home along the Mira River, for example, and Ritchie McRitchfaceRead More

What’s Left In The Assumption Fund? We Know!

What’s Left In The Assumption Fund? We Know!

May 10, 2017 at 12:00 pm

I submitted a Freedom of Information/Protection of Privacy (FOIPOP) request to the Port of Sydney Development Corporation to ask for an account balance from the assumption fund — the trust containing monies left over from the 2012 Sydney harbor dredge. I was pleasantly surprised to receive the information from Port CEORead...

CBRM Councilor Questions Port Payments

CBRM Councilor Questions Port Payments

May 3, 2017 at 1:30 pm

Information is a valuable commodity in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) — so valuable it’s kept under lock and key and even our elected representatives have trouble accessing it. Take the way the Port of Sydney Development Corporation (PSDC) has been paying its “partners” in a hoped-for container terminal development,Read More

By Dori (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Property Taxes: A Reader Explains Area Rates

May 3, 2017 at 1:15 pm

Note: In the Spectator’s ongoing series on property taxes, we have yet to touch on the subject of area rates, which are usually levied to provide services (like regional transportation or fire hydrants) to residents within a specific geographic area. Luckily, a reader has done the job for us, writing to explain the latest developments inRead More

Letter to the Editor: When They Knock, Ask About the Library

Letter to the Editor: When They Knock, Ask About the Library

May 3, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Dear Editor, It seems less and less frequent that we receive knocks on the door with people on the other side who want to have face-to-face conversations. Rare is the opportunity to look someone in the eye rather than through a screen and talk about things that matter. It’s electionRead More