Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal

MV Confederation departing Caribou NS for Wood Islands, PEI, 26 June 2020. (Photo by Rick Grant)

Paying the Ferryman

July 8, 2020 at 11:53 am

Many Nova Scotians grumble about the huge subsidies the provincial government pays to keep the Yarmouth Ferry running (or not running, as the case may be), but the combined bill for that service and two others in the province  might leave those same Nova Scotians gobsmacked — over the pastRead More

Puzzling Over the Port File

Puzzling Over the Port File

January 15, 2020 at 1:36 pm

Each week, I pick a subject and do my research and try to give some sort of coherent account of what I’ve learned but this week — I give up. I’ve been trying to make sense of the latest developments in the Sydney container port saga and I am utterlyRead More

Grand Narrows rail bridge, Cape Breton. (Spectator photo)

Letter to the Editor: End of the Line?

December 11, 2019 at 1:30 pm

In a letter to the editor dated 16 July 2002 I carefully set out some historic evidence on the long-predicted conversion of coal transportation from rail to road on Cape Breton Island. Given the pending government pronouncement on rail abandonment (or wink, wink “preservation”), I thought some factual background mightRead...

December Deadlines

December Deadlines

December 4, 2019 at 2:20 pm

Can you believe 2019 is almost over? I can’t — and do you know who else probably can’t? Martin Chernin of Harbour Royale Development Limited (HRDL) and Albert Barbusci of Sydney Harbour Investment Partners (SHIP). Why is that, you ask? Well, because each of them faces a big deadline forRead More

A Tale of Two Railways

A Tale of Two Railways

October 2, 2019 at 1:10 pm

This is a tale of two railways: neither has trains rolling over it and both are being eyed to serve container terminals that don’t exist. Nova Scotians pump thousands of dollars — up to $60,000 — a month into the Cape Breton section of Genesee and Wyoming’s (G&W) Cape BretonRead More

Rail corridor, second berth, Sydney, NS, 2019.09.25 (Spectator Photo)

Port of Sydney May Buy Rail Corridor Near Second Berth

September 25, 2019 at 12:08 pm

The Port of Sydney Development Corporation is “discussing” the possible purchase of “rail corridor adjacent to the second berth lands,” with Genesee & Wyoming (G&W), the US-based company that owns the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway (CBNS). Christina Lamey of the Port of Sydney confirmed the discussions forRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

August 7, 2019 at 12:40 pm

Air Inverness I read an interesting Inverness airport-related story in Friday’s Chronicle Herald (but not, inexplicably, in Friday’s Cape Breton Post — although as a Post subscriber explained to me, “It will probably be in tomorrow”). It seems the Province of Nova Scotia is continuing to evaluate an application toRead...

The Mystery of the Closed Lane

The Mystery of the Closed Lane

August 7, 2019 at 12:34 pm

Two aspects of my summers past are relevant to the story I’m about to share: first, as a kid, I used to devour Nancy Drew mysteries (hence the title of this article) and always had a hankering to solve mysteries. Second (and more recently), for what seemed like a veryRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

December 7, 2018 at 11:20 am

ServiCom There is absolutely no humor to be found in the announcement that 600 Cape Bretoners have lost their jobs  three weeks before Christmas with the closure of the ServiCom call center. Even Mayor Cecil Clarke’s mixing of metaphors (he’s hoping the potential sale of the local ServiCom branch willRead More

To P3 or Not to P3: That is the Question (Part I)

To P3 or Not to P3: That is the Question (Part I)

October 10, 2018 at 12:28 pm

In a “classical” [private-public-partnership or P3], a government typically uses a consortium of private sector firms to finance, design, construct, operate and maintain some new physical public infrastructure. Despite the increasing use of [P3]s, evidence shows that many [P3]s have produced unsatisfactory outcomes, including high transaction costs and project bankruptcy.Read More