Other News

All the Port’s ‘Partners’ (And How They’re Paid)

All the Port’s ‘Partners’ (And How They’re Paid)

April 12, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Barry Sheehy and Albert Barbusci of Harbor Port Development Partners (or Sydney Harbour Investment Partners or Blue Zen Memorial Parks) are proud of the many “partners” they’ve enlisted in their campaign to turn Sydney harbor into a mega-port for ultra-large container ships. They have “building partners” like the “American giant Bechtel.”Read More

Property Taxes: Exemptions, PILs & Lord Durham

Property Taxes: Exemptions, PILs & Lord Durham

April 12, 2017 at 12:00 pm

This week, in our ongoing exploration of property taxes in Nova Scotia generally (and the CBRM in particular), we’re going to look at exempt properties, payments in lieu of taxes (or PILs) and  stuff I forgot to tell you last week, not necessarily in that order. We’re doing this becauseRead More

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

The McConnell: Upstairs and Down

The McConnell: Upstairs and Down

April 12, 2017 at 11:57 am

Librarians, in my experience, are often bearers of good news. For example, last year, while spending a day in the country, I dropped into the local library just to have a look around. The librarian was friendly and helpful, and not only informed me that I could borrow items thereRead More

Students testing soil fertility, circa 1816. (Source: By OSU Special Collections & Archives : Commons [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons)

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters: Week 14

April 12, 2017 at 11:56 am

What to do this week This week, we continue with the soil nutrients I introduced last week. We are left with N, P and K. I would like to give you an idea of what you can expect to see in your plants if your soil is deficient in theseRead More

Cape Breton Stories, Yours for the Asking

Cape Breton Stories, Yours for the Asking

April 12, 2017 at 11:55 am

Having lost several hours last week browsing the online archive of Cape Breton’s Magazine, I was pleased to hear from Ron Caplan, the founder of that publication, about his latest venture. Caplan’s Breton Books has (with the help of Canada 150) created an eBook called Great Cape Breton Storytelling and,Read More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

April 7, 2017 at 10:00 am

Like two ships that pass in the ice The port [of Sydney] has a series of natural advantages that distinguish it from other East Coast harbours. For example, it is the first port of call in North America for vessels transshipping from the Suez Canal. In addition it is aRead 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

Property Taxes: A Primer

Property Taxes: A Primer

April 5, 2017 at 1:15 pm

We’ve got to talk about Nova Scotia’s Capped Assessment Program (CAP). No, wait! Don’t leave! I know taxes pack that special one-two punch of boring AND painful, but I will do my best to keep the discussion interesting and we really, really do need to talk about the CAP because it’s makingRead More

Stained-glass window, McConnell Library, Sydney, Nova Scotia (Spectator photo)

The McConnell: More Than a Library

April 5, 2017 at 1:10 pm

It’s still a wonder to me that I can, from home or anywhere with internet access, go to the Cape Breton Regional Library’s website and search all Nova Scotia public library catalogs for a particular book I want to borrow, or just browse the collections to find something interesting, makeRead More