Saturday, September 18, 2021



September 15 2021


AND THEY’RE OFF: A group of cyclists hit the trail during the annual Gran Fondo Guysborough Event – an initiative of the Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG) recreation department – which took place on Sept. 11. More than 150 cyclists participated, pedaling one of 35, 50, 90 or 120-kilometre routes. The celebration wrapped up with a barbecue and live music for riders and volunteers at the Chedabucto Lifestyle Complex Shinny Rink. See more photos in this week's edition.

Photo Credit: Ashley Cunningham

School enrolment up in St. Mary’s
ST. MARY’S – The new chief administrative officer of the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s is calling a dramatic one-year increase in local school enrollment “a fantastic signal” of a trend that’s already making the area “an incredibly attractive place” to live and work.

Cape Breton-Canso candidates face-off in debate
PORT HAWKESBURY – Cape Breton-Canso candidates in the federal election participated in a second debate on Sept. 10 at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre.

St. Mary’s questions ECRL in special meeting
SHERBROOKE – The Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s held a special council meeting to hear a presentation from Eastern Counties Regional Library (ECRL) CEO Laura Emery and Innovation Project Manager Dana Thomas on Sept. 8.


September 8 2021


BELLS OF ST. MARY’S: The Loyal and Antediluvian Bell Ringers of St. Mary’s gathered to Aug. 31 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of Operation Dervish, the first Arctic convoy of Allies in the treacherous Murmansk Run to Russia in 1941. The local church bell ringers joined an international effort that included the HMCS Sackville. From left: Jamie Anderson, Kristin MacKenzie (Rev.), Debbie Findlay, John Cameron, Debbie Findlay, Neil Black, and Keith Gallant. Missing from photo: Jack and Ruth Legge, Kyle Strongman. See story in this week's edition.

Photo Credit: Contributed

ECRL reps to meet with St. Mary’s council
ST. MARY’S – In a bid to address an ongoing and bitter funding dispute, Eastern Counties Regional Library’s (ECRL’s) top brass is meeting for the first time with representatives of the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s at a special session of council on Sept. 8 at 3:30 pm.

Guysborough-Tracadie MLA named agriculture minister
GUYSBOROUGH – Guysborough-Tracadie MLA Greg Morrow has been appointed as the province’s new agriculture minister.

Local Black councillor says she will judge by performance, not skin colour
GUYSBOROUGH – Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston named his cabinet on Aug. 31.


September 1 2021


Three-year-old Reckless, a border collie, navigates the obstacle course with agility instructor John MacKinley during a dog agility demonstration at Historic Sherbrooke Village on Aug. 28. The Village and St. Mary’s Genealogy Research Centre hosted the event. Visitors - and their canines - not only had an opportunity to enjoy the show but also participate in the training sessions.

Photo Credit: Angelina Jack

Landfill fire quickly contained; cause remains unknown
GUYSBOROUGH – Guysborough area residents awoke to the foul smell of burning waste and, soon after, a haze in the air on the morning of Aug. 26.

Mother and daughter reunite after 47 years
PORT DUFFERIN – When Bonnie Whitman answered the phone in December 2020 – she instantly knew by the sound of her niece’s voice that it was the call she had been anticipating for four decades.

Atlantic Gold mine delayed another two years
ST. MARY’S – As it awaits government approvals, Atlantic Gold now says its proposed gold mine near Sherbrooke won’t become operational until at least 2028, adding two more years to the opening of the already postponed project.


August 25 2021


COMMUNITY PRIDE: Eastern Shore residents came out in support of Sheet Harbour Sexual Health’s second annual Pride Walk on Aug. 18. The walk took place during the Sheet Harbour Lions Seaside Festival with participants walking along Main Street, brightly attired in rainbow colours. Danielle Jackson of Sheet Harbour Sexual Health coordinated the walk.

Photo Credit: Janice Christie

More familiar routine awaits students, staff
GUYSBOROUGH – “It’s time to start living more with COVID,” Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, said at a news conference announcing the back-to-school plan on Monday, August 23.

St. Mary’s seeks public input for climate plan
ST. MARY’S – Rising sea levels, extreme storm surges and extensive flooding are just some of the ways global warming will affect St. Mary’s coastal communities in the years ahead, warns the municipality’s first Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP).

New Country Harbour ferry arrives
COUNTRY HARBOUR – With its navy-blue hull gleaming in the waters of this quiet harbour, Theodore O’Hara is finally here and its skipper couldn’t be happier.


August 18 2021


YOU’RE NEVER TOO OLD FOR A CARDBOARD BOAT: Adults got in on the fun of the cardboard boat race that capped off River Day activities at Sherbrooke Village on Saturday, Aug. 14. Given the hot, sunny weather, a little splashing and a few dunks in the water were quite welcome. Pictured here in the heat of competition are (front to back) Andy MacKay, Dana O’Connell and Donnie Fraser. Earlier, participants enjoyed traditional country fair games including potato sack races, tug-of-war, and face painting. See more in this week's edition.

Photo Credit: Gina Smith

Blue wave sweeps across NS, PCs take local ridings
GUYSBOROUGH – A month is a long time in politics. When Premier Iain Rankin called a provincial election last month, with more than a year left in his government’s mandate, many pundits thought a Liberal victory was assured. As votes were counted into the night on Aug. 17, that assumption was seen to be in error.

Flemming leaves top job at Sherbrooke Village
SHERBROOKE – The sudden departure of Sherbrooke Village Executive Director Stephen Flemming is raising more questions than it answers as the living museum begins adjusting to life without its well-known boss of five years.

New doctor slated to start at GMH this fall
GUYSBOROUGH – News that Guysborough residents had long been waiting for arrived via a Facebook post on Aug. 15 from the Guysborough Memorial Hospital Foundation: “a new family physician joining our hospital and family practice starting this fall.”


August 11 2021


TRADITION OF REMEMBRANCE: Cub Scout Cole DeWolfe adds a donation from the local Scout troop to the small model of a fishing boat that is now part of the annual Seamen’s Memorial service in Canso, as RCMP Constable Jordan Bruce looks on. In addition to laying wreaths, many organizations and families offer donations that are used for the upkeep of the impressive memorial site in Canso. A large crowd came out for this year’s event on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 8. See story in this week's edition.

Photo Credit: Helen Murphy

Candidates promote platforms, exchange jabs at Mulgrave debate
MULGRAVE – With one week to go before election day, candidates for the Guysborough-Tracadie riding gathered in Mulgrave to take part in a debate hosted by the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Guysborough and Area Board of Trade.

Jim Hanifen celebrates 106 years
ANTIGONISH – Asked to share a little of his life story, Jim Hanifen ponders for a moment about where to start. With 106 years of memories to choose from, that’s understandable.

First orca proposed for whale sanctuary
PORT HILFORD – More than a year before it opens, the Whale Sanctuary Project (WSP) has a line on its first cetacean resident.


August 4 2021


EMANCIPATION DAY: A large crowd gathered for a moving inaugural Emancipation Day event in Boylston on Sunday, Aug. 1. The day is now recognized across Canada as an opportunity for learning and celebration, on the anniversary of the end of slavery in the British empire in 1834. Organizers – including NSCC student Alicia Clyke, pictured here at podium; Councillor Mary Desmond in back, emcee; and Catherine Hartling of the Upper Big Tracadie/Lincolnville Education Committee – offered up a program that garnered both cheers and quiet moments of reflection.

Photo Credit: Helen Murphy

Emancipation Day celebrated at site of former whipping post
BOYLSTON – “Did this really happen here in Guysborough?” Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG) councillor Mary Desmond said that’s a question we might ask ourselves when we learn of the treatment of Black Loyalists who settled in this area in the late 1700s. That included public lashings for minor infractions while they struggled to survive.

GMH palliative care room dedicated to memory of Elaine MacMaster
GUYSBOROUGH – Family members and colleagues of Elaine MacMaster gathered at the Chedabucto Lifestyle Centre on July 28 for a ceremony to dedicate the Guysborough Memorial Hospital palliative care room in her name.

District pursues chamber of commerce for St. Mary’s
ST. MARY’S – To help the area rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic and frame its economic agenda for years to come, the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s will kickstart efforts to establish a new chamber of commerce for local businesses as soon as next year.


July 28 2021


ART AND RECONCILIATION: A big crowd came out for the grand opening of the 2021 Indigenous Art Exhibit at the Sherbrooke Village Indigenous Art Centre on July 25. Speakers were Stephen Flemming (left), Historic Sherbrooke Village executive director; Kerry Prosper, Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw First Nation councillor and former chief; Daniel Christmas, Senator and senior advisor to Membertou Mi’kmaw Nation; Sean Fraser, Central Nova Member of Parliament; Marlis Lade, exhibit organizer; and Marg Hartwell, Sherbrooke Restoration Commission members. Full story in this week's edition.

Photo Credit: Contributed

Doctor shortage continues to impact ED service in Guysborough
GUYSBOROUGH – The closed sign has become a more frequent sight on the emergency department at Guysborough Memorial Hospital (GMH) in Guysborough this month. The hospital, which requires a compliment of four full-time physicians, is struggling with only one doctor, who has been supported by locums (temporary physicians) since the spring.

New Country Harbour ferry set to arrive
ST. MARY’S – The new, long-awaited Country Harbour ferry could be up and running as early as mid-August.

Canso daycare initiative elects board of directors
CANSO – Efforts to establish a licensed childcare centre in Canso took a step forward on July 19 with the election of a board of directors for the Canso and Area Daycare Initiative.


July 21 2021


FROM DREAM TO REALITY: Jenna George and her three-month-old daughter, Emma, were amongst those on hand at Chedabucto Place July 16 for a $500,000 provincial funding announcement for a new childcare centre in Guysborough.

Photo Credit: Lois Ann Dort

$500,000 announced for new childcare centre in Guysborough
GUYSBOROUGH – When MLA Lloyd Hines (Guysborough-Eastern Shore-Tracadie) announced his government’s $500,000 contribution towards a new childcare centre for Guysborough on July 16, the gasps of delight from the crowd of parents and advocates were audible.

Strait area vet forced into retirement due to findings of negligence
GUYSBOROUGH – A complaint was made to the Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association concerning the actions of veterinarian Dr. Sietse Van Zwol at the Highland Animal Hospital in Ingonish last August.

Contractors volunteer services to keep family safe, replacing bridge connecting Canso homestead to street
CANSO – If you drive through the community of Canso, you will likely never lay eyes on Robert Bond’s house, even though he lives on Main Street. Or you might say the entrance to his driveway lives on Main Street, but the house is approximately 500 feet off the road and requires crossing a brook to gain access.


July 14 2021


SOWING COMMUNTY SPIRIT: The community garden in Port Bickerton was a hive of activity on Canada Day as locals gathered to plant the first crop of vegetables and herbs. Lending a helping hand were Peggy Jack (left), Fern Kaiser (right), and Mackinley Jack. Read all about it in this week's edition.

Photo Credit: Contributed

MODG welcomes federal funding for small craft harbours
GUYSBOROUGH – The federal government is investing $14.6 million in small craft harbours in the region, including locations in the Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG).

More renewable energy projects on the horizon
GUYSBOROUGH – The provincial government announced on July 10 that a request for proposals (RFP) will be issued to attract low-cost and innovative solutions to supply 10 per cent of the province’s electricity from renewables, such as wind and solar.

St. Mary’s council won’t take sides on Archibald Lake
ST. MARY’S – Council for the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s is staying neutral on the wilderness area status of Archibald Lake, a position that has the president of the local river association accusing them of “shirking their duty.”


July 7 2021


PREMIER VISITS: Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin (left) joined Guysborough-Eastern Shore-Tracadie MLA and Minister of Transportation and Active Transit Lloyd Hines and Historic Sherbrooke Village Executive Director Stephen Flemming (right) for a tree-planting ceremony at a new accessibility park in the town’s centre on July 3. Hines said the occasion gave Rankin an opportunity to see the results of the living museum’s recent restoration project, one that received nearly $1 million from the province last year. Several community residents, along with councillors from the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s, attended the event.

Photo Credit: Neil Black

Proposed Goldboro LNG project shelved
GOLDBORO – It is back to the drawing board for a Calgary-based company that had its sights set on constructing a multi-billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) complex in Guysborough County.

Local marinas open for business
GUYSBOROUGH – Nothing says summer like boats in the water at local marinas. Despite the recent cool and rainy weather, many pleasure craft can now be found tied up at the Guysborough Marina, although the story is very different in Canso.

St. Mary’s names new CAO
ST. MARY’S – David Hutten, recently of Hartland, N.B., will take over as chief administrative officer of the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s, effective August 15.


June 30 2021


FERRY FAN: Seven-year-old Alivia Mansfield of Port Bickerton won a competition to name the new Country Harbour ferry. Having recently completed Grade 2, she was one of 120 students from St. Mary’s Education Centre/Academy who made contest submissions. On June 28, Lloyd Hines, MLA for Guysborough-Tracadie-Eastern Shore and Minister of Transportation and Active Transit, congratulated Alivia on her winning entry – Theodore O’Hara – which honours the first lighthouse keeper in Port Bickerton. The vessel, which is expected to arrive shortly, has been under construction at A.F. Theriault and Son Ltd. in Meteghan River since May 2019. Alivia says she is excited that she will be the first passenger on the new ferry.

Photo Credit: Mike MacIassac

Capturing the Acadian Joie de Vivre: Avery shares culture, tradition and folklore
LARRY’S RIVER – Do you know the Houdini of Larry’s River? Did you know that people used to pay fees for the best pews in church, those at the back? If you are interested in local tales featuring childhood hijinks, hair-raising brushes with death and everyday community life, Jude Avery’s most recent book Joie de Vivre-Love of Life should be on your ‘must read’ list.

St. Mary’s council defers decision on Archibald Lake
SHERBROOKE – Council for the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s will take 60 days before deciding whether to endorse Archibald Lake as a provincially protected wilderness area, temporarily derailing the St. Mary’s River Association’s (SMRA’s) hopes for a united front in its well-publicized campaign for the designation.

On the road again: road tests and Registry of Motor Vehicles office hours resume in MODG
GUYSBOROUGH – COVID-19 has scuppered many plans and delayed others, including getting a driver’s licence this spring. As the third wave of the pandemic retreats, approximately 4,000 road tests are being rescheduled across the province.


June 23 2021


CONGRADULATIONS CLASS OF 2021: Communities across Nova Scotia are celebrating high school graduates this week. In a year like no other, this crop of grads has shown resilience and perseverance in the face of uncertainty. Whatever the future holds, the Class of 2021 has already proven its mettle. Featured above, during the community celebration of graduates in Canso on June 19 is clockwise, from left side, rear corner: Sam Wilson, Guysborough Academy; Shara Keating, Guysborough Academy; Jade Newell, Canso Academy and Jacob King, cousin to Jade Newell and graduate in Dartmouth.

Photo Credit: Susan O’Handley

Desmond grew jealous, controlling in marriage, inquiry hears
PORT HAWKESBURY – Lionel Desmond’s behaviour at home grew more worrisome as the years passed, following the military veteran’s tour in Afghanistan, the Desmond Inquiry Fatality heard as it resumed evidentiary hearings in Port Hawkesbury on June 21.

MODG council unhappy about Stanfest move, organizers respond
GUYSBOROUGH –Councillor Fin Armsworthy amended the agenda by adding a discussion and later a motion about the Stan Rogers Folk Festival during the regular council meeting in the Municipality of the District of Guysborough on June 16.

Massive blaze consumes boat shed, blocks highway
MARIE JOSEPH – In one of the Eastern Shore’s largest and most dramatic fires in recent years, more than 30 responders battled searing heat and black smoke along a section of Highway 7, near Marie Joseph on June 15 where traffic was rerouted for hours.


June 16 2021


SHEET HARBOUR: Retired RCMP member Neil Parnell and his wife, Kim, an educational program assistant, read letters from students in Nunavut. Their daughter, Melissa Marshall, who teaches students in Grade 7, arranged a pen pal letter exchange between them and her students. It has proven to be an educational, exceptional and – in many ways – an emotional experience for the correspondents. Read their story in this week's edition.

Photo Credit: Janice Christie

Nature Trust protects more land along St. Mary’s River
ST. MARY’S – The Nova Scotia Nature Trust has purchased and protected 133 acres of environmentally sensitive land along the St. Mary’s River, the conservation organization announced last week.

Reimagining Stanfest: the show must go on
CANSO – For the second year in a row, Stanfest organizers have had to make the difficult decision to put the festival held in Canso on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But they are not throwing in the towel; just modifying the event to adhere to safety rules, while continuing to celebrate and share songs.

Eat like a sailor: chief cook elevates dining at sea
Barbecue grilled striploin steak, chicken jambalaya, beef stroganoff and cheese tortellini primavera: if you’re thinking this is a restaurant menu, you’d be wrong; these dishes are menu items, ones that can be found on the Canadian Coast Guard Service (CCGS) vessel Jean Goodwill.


June 9 2021


KNITTING WITH PURPOSE: 81-year-old Lois Josey was taught by her mother to knit when she was eight years old. She has enjoyed the hobby throughout her life and is currently joining other local seniors knitting mittens to send to school children in Rankin Inlet, Hay River in the NWT and Yellowknife. Read the full story in this week's edition.

Photo Credit: Janice Christie

Tourism operators face another season of uncertainty
CHARLOS COVE – It sure has felt like summer this past week. People are chomping at the bit to go somewhere; anywhere pandemic restrictions will allow. But tourism operators in Nova Scotia are worried that ‘somewhere’ may not be here.

Greg Morrow to carry PC banner in Guysborough-Tracadie
GUYSBOROUGH – A familiar voice to radio listeners in the Strait region is now the Progressive Conservative (PC) candidate for Guysborough-Tracadie in the next provincial election.

Country Harbour ferry service delayed
COUNTRY HARBOUR – Those who want to take the cable ferry between Country Harbour and Port Bickerton, whether to enjoy the scenery or shorten commuting time, will have to wait a little longer. Due to a delay in obtaining equipment, the return of the service has been pushed to mid-July.


June 2 2021


DOORS OPEN FOR HERITAGE ARTISANS: The skilled woodworking team at Historic Sherbrooke Village, which includes Rodney MacDougall (left), director of restoration and maintenance; Allan MacKeen, woodworking shop supervisor; and Keith Laybolt, woodworking shop assistant, will be completing two renovation projects at Province House in Halifax.

Photo Credit: Contributed

Mixed reactions to schools reopening
GUYSBOROUGH – It’s back to in-school learning for local students – effective June 2 – but not everyone likes the idea.

Sherbrooke woodworkers win Province House reno
SHERBROOKE – Fresh from their artisanal triumphs reconstructing Historic Sherbrooke Village, the living museum’s skilled woodworkers have landed prestigious gigs restoring two of Nova Scotia’s most important landmarks in Halifax this summer.

MLS selects local firms to design, build spaceport
Maritime Launch Services (MLS) has selected a number of Nova Scotian firms to advance design and preparations for construction of its rocket launch complex located near Canso.


May 26 2021


GAME ON: Guysborough neighbours Doreen Lombardo (left) and Rita Kennedy (right) agree on just about everything except hockey.

Photo Credit: Contributed

Neighbourly hockey rivalry breaks pandemic boredom
GUYSBOROUGH – “I think we might have the same politics, but I’m not sure, and I know one thing – we do have the same religion, so we are pretty compatible, other than hockey,” said Rita Kennedy of her neighbour Doreen Lombardo.

Whale sanctuary’s new visitor centre set to open
SHERBROOKE – The Whale Sanctuary Project’s (WSP’s) latest move to establish the world’s first beluga refuge here is taking shape at a house along the highway that serves as this Eastern Shore community’s main drag.

MODG looking for answers from ECRL
GUYSBOROUGH – Matters of concern regarding Eastern Counties Regional Library (ECRL) funding and service hours at branches in Canso and Guysborough continue to dominate discussion around the council table at the Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG).


May 19 2021


SIGN OF THE TIMES: A painted sign displayed on a tree along Highway #7 – between Liscomb and Sherbrooke – keeps residents up to date on government COVID-19 restrictions. The artist changes the message, from time to time, as the pandemic situation evolves.

Photo Credit: Janice Christie

MODG finalizing purchase of gas plant property
GOLDBORO – The Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG) is in the process of purchasing land where the now-decommissioned Sable gas plant operated.

Internet woes in the pandemic age
CANSO – Most people who live in rural Nova Scotia have experienced the buffering spiral when attempting to stream a movie. Before the pandemic, that was just an annoyance. But in this era of Zoom meetings and online schooling, this issue has been recognized for what it is: a critical failure of infrastructure that negatively impacts the economic, educational and social lives of those who choose to live in rural areas.

Sheet Harbour rocked by armed robbery
SHEET HARBOUR – As an investigation into an armed daylight robbery in downtown Sheet Harbour enters its second week, rattled residents here remain frustrated with what they say has been a lack of timely information coming from the RCMP.


May 12 2021


OLD-STYLE FARMING: The Glawson family, including 11-year-old Grace, operate a farm in Pleasant Harbour. Her father, Jeff, inherited the property from his long-time neighbour - the late Harvey Beaver, who also served as his mentor in agriculture. He is passing on those lessons to Grace and her eight-year-old brother, Michael, including how to operate this 1954 tractor that Beaver also gifted to the family. Read more about life on the Glawson family farm in this week's edition.

Photo Credit: Janice Christie

St. Mary’s lodges formal complaint against ECRL
ST. MARY’S – The Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s has lodged a formal complaint with two departments of the provincial government against the Eastern Counties Regional Library (ECRL) for “non-compliance” with the laws under which it operates.

MLS secures financing for spaceport launch vehicle, site prep
CANSO – Maritime Launch Services (MLS) announced Tuesday (May 11) that it has secured $10.5 million in financing for a launch vehicle and site preparation at Canada’s first commercial spaceport, designed to send small satellites into space, planned for the Canso area.

Canso Harbour Authority unsatisfied with DFO divestiture decision
CANSO – Fishers in Canso have been tying up and casting off from the Tickle Wharf for decades. They wanted it to stay that way, but a decision by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to divest that property has taken that option off the table.


May 5 2021


BIRTHDAY WISH COMES TRUE: To help celebrate her 91st birthday, Anna Ryan hoped to go for a drive in one of the trucks from the Town of Mulgrave Volunteer Fire Department fleet. Her wish came true on April 25, when veteran Chief Michael Breen took her for a trip around the community in the department’s new pumper truck. Ryan and her family has a rich history with the local fire service; she was an auxiliary member of the department for more than 40 years, while her late husband – Eric – was a long-time firefighter, who was made an honorary member in his retirement. See more about Ryan’s memorable birthday celebration – and the fire service’s new vehicle – in this week's edition.

Photo Credit: Contributed

Province gives conditional approval to Marine Drive realignment
GOLDBORO – Pieridae Energy Ltd. has received conditional approval for its proposed realignment of Marine Drive (Highway 316) for its planned Goldboro LNG project.

Retired CRA employee volunteers to help others file tax returns
SHEET HARBOUR – A desire to help people and a love of numbers led retired Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) employee and Sheet Harbour resident Jack Marshall to help others file their taxes for the past 12 years.

Mulgrave holds tax rates
MULGRAVE – In a year when there isn’t much good news, the Town of Mulgrave has delivered a bright spot to residents; for the second year in a row, tax rates will go unchanged at $1.23/$100 of assessment for residential customers, and $4.52/$100 of assessment for commercial properties.


April 28 2021


BOAT LOST, CREW RESCUED: Millan Boyd is captain of the fishing boat My Buddy, which was lost on the April 19 – the first day of the lobster season in LFA 31B – in waters off Whitehead, Guysborough County.

Photo Credit: Fallon Conway-Boyd

Rescue at sea: Community effort saves fishing crew, supports those impacted by sinking of My Buddy
WHITEHEAD, GUYS. CO. – “We are all just thankful that everybody made it out. Boats can be replaced, and gear can be replaced, but lives can’t,” Fallon Conway-Boyd said after her husband Millan Boyd’s boat sank on the first day of the lobster fishing season in Whitehead, Guysborough County.

St. Mary’s explores switching libraries
ST. MARY’S – Mired in a funding dispute with Eastern Counties Regional Library (ECRL), council for the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s is now shopping for a potential new partner, the neighbouring Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library (PARL), to run the cutback-saddled Sherbrooke branch, The Journal has learned.

Whale sanctuary prompts concerns about traffic
WINE HARBOUR – Three residents of this tiny St. Mary’s community are expressing new concerns about an international effort to make a home for as many eight beluga whales in their coastal waters and want local council to intervene.


April 21 2021


GETTING OUTSIDE: Amy Allingham of Sheet Harbour enjoyed an excursion to the Lions Playground with her sons, two-year-old Wyatt and 14-month-old Ashton, despite some dreary weather on Monday (April 19). “Every day the weather is good we are out – because the boys love the outdoors and going for walks,” Allingham, who is expecting a daughter in mid-May, said.

Photo Credit: Janice Christie

Outrage grows over library cutbacks
ST. MARY’S – Riding a crest of local outrage, Nova Scotia’s former privacy and information watchdog Dulcie McCallum is calling major cutbacks to Sherbrooke Library’s opening times nothing less than “an attack on children and poor people.”

Canso stakeholders respond to health services report
CANSO – The Canso Stakeholder Working Group – with members from the Canso and Area Development Association, Eastern Memorial Hospital (EMH) staff and physicians – met with Nova Scotia Health (NSH) representatives and Mary Jane Hampton, via Zoom on April 12, to provide feedback and further discuss a preliminary report on a health services model for EMH in Canso and Guysborough Memorial Hospital (GMH).

St. Mary’s CAO MacDonald to retire
ST. MARY’S – The only chief administrative officer St. Mary’s has ever known has an ample collection of fond memories – and few worries – as he prepares to explore the world of life after work.


April 14 2021


ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVE TO WIN—AGAINST COVID-19: Kaye Williams of Guysborough receives the Moderna vaccine at the Chedabucto Lifestyle Complex in Guysborough from experienced pharmacist Alison Myers. Read Kaye's vaccination story in this week's edition.

Photo Credit: Lois Ann Dort

MODG offers $100,000 incentive for doctor recruits
GUYSBOROUGH – The emergency dept. closed sign has been posted at Guysborough Memorial Hospital with increasing frequency in recent months, and the Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG) announced April 7 that it is prepared to make a bold move to reverse that trend; a move that puts hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table.

Fair or fowl
MULGRAVE – If you have ever attended a Town of Mulgrave council meeting you’ve likely heard about chickens.

Ship of dreams
ST. MARY’s – The chance to christen the new Country Harbour ferry, connecting the municipal districts of St. Mary’s and Guysborough, is bringing history alive for hundreds of school children and renewing community hopes for smooth sailing ahead.


April 7 2021


ICY EASTER: Julia Desmond poses for an Easter Sunday photo in less than springlike conditions. In Upper Big Tracadie, one of the results of a weekend storm that swept across the region was a heavy coat of ice that weighed down trees and power lines. Some communities experienced power outages that lasted 36 hours.

Photo Credit: Tara Lee Reddick

Status quo for St. Mary’s ratepayers
ST. MARY’S – Council in the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s has approved its budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year, one highlighted by no tax increases and a multi-million-dollar surplus.

Easter ice storm knocks out power for 36 hours
BOYLSTON – “It won’t happen again,” is what Shelley McGee-Wilson said of her less than perfect preparation for the ice storm that hit parts of Guysborough County Easter weekend.

Vaccines not yet available in St. Mary’s
ST. MARY’S – As pharmacies and clinics mobilize across the province this week to vaccinate residents against COVID-19, St. Mary’s residents will have to travel out of district to receive their shots, according to the most recent booking information from the province.


March 31 2021


SUGAR BUSH: Gary Simpson monitors sap production at the Lazy Maple Lodge in North Ogden, Guysborough County. The Simpson family has been tapping trees and making maple syrup in these woods for more than 30 years.

Photo Credit: Lois Ann Dort

Allegations of racism at CECGA
GUYSBOROUGH – Earlier this month, a student from Chedabucto Education Centre / Guysborough Academy (CECGA) posted a note to social media stating that, although she was not Black or a person of colour, she had seen her friends face racism at the school. The post specifically highlights the bystander problem, alleging that some students made fun of other ethnicities, while other students and teachers heard the comments and ignored them.

How sweet it is
NORTH OGDEN – The sun’s out, the snow is melting and the sap is running fast in North Ogden, Guysborough County.

Lawton’s fully booked for first round of vaccinations
SHEET HARBOUR – Residents were quick to answer the call put out by Lawton’s Sheet Harbour pharmacist, Tanya Smiley, on March 25 for those 75 and over to book appointments for their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.


March 24 2021


NURSING HOME VACCINATIONS: Milford Haven Home for Special Care CCA Marianne Hendsbee receives her COVID-19 vaccination from RN Sarabjit Kaur, director of care, during a recent immunization clinic at the Guysborough facility. Since late February, staff members have been getting vaccinated, while residents have been receiving their first dose since March 15. Designated caregivers were scheduled to receive their vaccinations during a two-day clinic this week, which was coordinated by the Health Association of Nova Scotia (HANS) and the Guysborough Pharmacy.

Photo Credit: Contributed

Boylston fire deemed suspicious
BOYLSTON – An unoccupied mini home on Reddys Hill, near Boylston, Guysborough County was damaged by fire on the night of March 17. An RCMP news release on March 18 stated that, “The fire is believed to be suspicious and the investigation is ongoing.”

MODG raises taxes to help offset lost revenues
GUYSBOROUGH – “No council likes to put up taxes,” Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG) Warden Vernon Pitts said March 17, after council approved a $0.06 increase in taxes across the board in its 2021-2022 budget.

Residents frustrated with lab booking system
GUYSBOROUGH – It’s been four months since Nova Scotia Health (NSH) implemented the new lab appointment booking system and, according to some patients in the Guysborough area, the kinks haven’t been worked out yet.


March 17 2021


MOVING THROUGH MARCH BREAK: The Walk for the Soul event – sponsored by the Municipality of the District of Guysborough recreation department and the Guysborough and Area Community Health Board was held Sunday (March 14) at Boylston Park. The event brought out almost 20 participants – of all ages – for a walk around Priest Island. More photos in this week's edition.

Photo Credit: Lois Ann Dort

Libraries close over March break
GUYSBOROUGH – “They should be open and providing programming for our kids. They are out of school for that week. It’s a lost opportunity for the library. There’s a lack of leadership there – there’s a definite lack of leadership.”

Library board seeks more money for same service
ST. MARY’S – The Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s is calling on the province to “investigate” Eastern Counties Regional Library’s (ECRL) recent request that the municipality pay $10,000 more per year for the same level of service, effective April 6.

Consultant proposes ‘flexible coverage model’ for local hospitals
GUYSBOROUGH – The communities of Guysborough and Canso got a look at health care consultant Mary Jane Hampton’s proposed health services delivery model for Eastern Memorial Hospital (EMH) in Canso and Guysborough Memorial Hospital (GMH) in Guysborough last week.


March 10 2021


PHARMACY ROLLOUT: The first COVID-19 vaccinations in a pharmacy in Nova Scotia took place Tuesday, March 9, at the Guardian Pharmacy in Spryfield. Jeanne Henneberry rolled up her sleeve and then gave a thumbs up. Vaccine clinics at various sites across the province, including Antigonish, will be operational the week of March 15 for those aged 80 and above.

Photo Credit: Communications Nova Scotia

‘We’ve got a site!’
PORT HILFORD – With an agreement in principle to purchase more than 100 acres of prime coastline near Wine Harbour, the Whale Sanctuary Project (WSP) took a giant leap forward last week in its plan to establish North America’s first wild refuge for formerly captive belugas.

Daycare for Guysborough?
GUYSBOROUGH – The community of Guysborough has a lot of great selling points for families looking for a rural lifestyle – pre-primary to Grade 12 education, full-service hospital, easy access to nature, reasonable house prices and a vibrant arts community – but it’s the thing Guysborough doesn’t have that can make or break the decision to settle in the area for some families.

Fitch Report released
GUYSBOROUGH – After calls from provincial opposition parties, the paramedics union and the public, the Fitch Report on the state and best practices for the Emergency Health Services (EHS) was released on March 8.


March 3 2021


RESTORATION: Craftsmen Allan MacKeen (left) and Keith Laybolt with one of the windows built in Historic Sherbrooke Village’s wood shop for the Exhibit Centre, part of a recently completed $1-million renovation project.

Photo Credit: Contributed

Sherbrooke Village completes $1M reno
SHERBROOKE – It’s taken eight months and a million dollars, but Historic Sherbrooke Village has managed to paint the town red … and green … and brown … and, indeed, every restoration colour the living museum can conjure to bring tourists back in a post-pandemic world.

Government and locals at odds about fate of 100-year-old shipwreck
DRUM HEAD – Almost 100 years ago, the steamer Scotia caught fire and sank off the shores of Drum Head, Guysborough County, while hauling $75,000 worth of cargo from Halifax to Boylston, Guysborough County.

Feds move to address polluting shipwreck
MARIE JOSEPH – The long and fateful sojourn of MV Caruso, beached below the highway outside this tiny St. Mary’s community, is coming to an end one way or the other.


February 24 2021


VACCINE ROLLOUT: Shelley Stewart, an ICU nurse, receives her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 from Public Health LPN Amanda MacDonald-Venedam Monday morning (Feb. 22) at St. Martha’s Regional Hospital. It was the first of six days of scheduled vaccination clinics – three this week and three next week – at the Antigonish hospital. Provincial health officials say the plan is to vaccinate 550 people each week, including Phase 0 hospital staff from St. Martha’s and the surrounding areas, long-term care healthcare workers, paramedics, designated first medical responders and First Nation healthcare workers.

Photo Credit: Nova Scotia Health Authority

Families share impacts of tragedy
PORT HAWKESBURY – Cassandra Desmond, Lionel Desmond’s sister, wrapped up her testimony at the Desmond Fatality Inquiry last Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 16, when she spoke about the day Lionel killed their mother, Brenda; his wife, Shanna and their 10-year-old daughter, Aaliyah, at a home in Upper Big Tracadie.

MODG concerned about library service
GUYSBOROUGH – What should have been a routine point on the monthly Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG) council meeting agenda, a report on the recent Eastern Counties Regional Library (ECRL) library board meeting, spurred a long discussion about the fate of the libraries in Canso and Guysborough.

Mulgrave program casts a wide net to reduce food insecurity during pandemic
MULGRAVE – One might say it was an ambitious plan, to create a meal delivery service to support older, vulnerable adults in Guysborough County experiencing challenges related to food security during the pandemic. Given that the county is geographically large and has a population of whom half are more than the age of 55, the idea took some planning to get off the ground. But with government funding – from the federal New Horizon Program, N.S. Dept. of Communities, Culture and Heritage Program and N.S. Department of Seniors – the board of directors of the Mulgrave and Area Medical Centre and a project advisory committee got Community Food Connections on the road delivering meals free of charge to the kitchens of more than 160 program participants.


February 17 2021


HEARTS FOR HELPERS: The new Hearts in the Park display in Sherbrooke honours those who have been helping during Covid-19. It’s near one of the entrances to the new accessible public garden, which was completed last year with financial support from the province through the Village’s Rural Institute for Cultural Heritage and Environmental Sustainability (RICHES) and an $8,000 grant from Accessibility Nova Scotia. Heart builders from left to right: Keith and Heather Laybolt, Brennon MacKay, Shannon O’Connell, Andy MacKay, Dana O’Connell (lead on park project), and Patricia MacKay. Story in this week's edition.

Photo Credit: Contributed

Family members’ testimony begins
PORT HAWKESBURY – “When I read this, I hear my brother’s cry for help.” Lionel Desmond’s sister Cassandra reflected on reading her brother’s words from a 2015 document as she spoke at the Desmond Fatality Inquiry at the Port Hawkesbury courthouse Tuesday, Feb. 16. In the letter – part of an application to Veterans Affairs for disability benefits – Lionel Desmond wrote about head injuries he sustained in military service and his search for help.

St. Mary’s forestry facing collapse
ST. MARY’S – The forest industry – which once employed hundreds of men and women across this lightly populated, densely wooded district – is collapsing under the weight of government policy, market turbulence and public opinion, say local operators.

Rankin readies to become 29th premier
GUYSBOROUGH – In less than a month, Iain Rankin will become the 29th Premier of Nova Scotia and, at age 37, the second youngest in the province’s history – the youngest was Rodney MacDonald, who became premier at age 34.


February 10 2021


SNOW HERO: Even though school was cancelled Monday (Feb. 8) – in the aftermath of a winter storm that blanketed the province, including the Sheet Harbour area – seven-year-old Kayson Boutilier kept busy, continuing his tradition of shoveling the doorsteps of senior neighbours. One of those grateful recipients is Helen Walsh, who says the youngster – often accompanied by his brother, Brady – shovels for her and other widows, including Diane Hiltz and Muriel Chittick. Kayson’s mother – Erin – says he loves waking up on storm days, so he can get to work shovelling out his neighbours.

Photo Credit: Helen Walsh

Funding supports Canso Seafoods expansion
CANSO – The Canso Seafoods plant addition should be up and running in April, increasing production and expanding the product line, with funding support from the province and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).

MODG still only unit with dedicated African Nova Scotian seat
GUYSBOROUGH – “It just seemed like the right thing to do,” says Lloyd Hines, who sits as the MLA for Guysborough-Eastern Shore-Tracadie, but was a councillor in the Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG) in 1994, when council applied to the Utility and Review Board (UARB) to create a seat to represent the Black communities in the municipality.

Addition to protected islands helps realize vision for Eastern Shore
SHERBROOKE – With protected status granted to 20 more sites across the province last week, one community leader here sees hope for what he calls the “sanctuary of the enlightened,” provided government continues to listen to its constituents.


February 3 2021


CROSSING THE BORDER FOR TREATMENT: Dale Pye, diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in May 2020, has a life-saving treatment waiting for him in Boston. His daughter, Shelly, will accompany him on the two-month excursion. His family and community are raising funds to help cover their expenses on this journey. From left Dale Pye, his grandson Jackson and daughters Shelly and Melissa (Jackson's mother).

Photo Credit: Wendy Pye

Atlantic Gold faces environmental charges
ST. MARY – Atlantic Gold, which intends to “mitigate any risks” associated with operating an open pit mine in the ecologically sensitive St. Mary’s River valley, has been arraigned on 32 counts of violating Nova Scotia’s Environment Act.

Family raising funds to send father to Boston for cancer treatments
PORT DUFFERIN – Diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in May 2020 – in the midst of the isolation period of the COVID-19 pandemic – 59-year-old Dale Pye of Port Dufferin is fighting a very aggressive and fast-growing type of cancer.

SMRA wants feds to back off Atlantic salmon
ST. MARY’S – With almost exquisite irony, the St. Mary’s River Association (SMRA) has joined other conservation groups in eastern Canada to oppose a federal effort that could formally list their cherished Atlantic salmon as a protected “species at risk.”


January 27 2021


LOOKING FOR ANSWERS: Derek LeBlanc, EHS regional manager for ground operations, addressed questions – via video link – from MODG council during its regular monthly meeting on Jan. 20.

Photo Credit: Lois Ann Dort

MODG unhappy with EHS answers
GUYSBOROUGH – Three times wasn’t the charm, so the Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG) invited representatives from ambulance provider Emergency Health Services (EHS) – Derek LeBlanc and Phil Stewart – to council, once again, to answer questions about the provision of service in the area.

Country Harbour ferry out of service until May
COUNTRY HARBOUR – Better now than during the summer is the general reaction from people in the Country Harbour area when it was announced last week (Jan. 20) that the Country Harbour ferry would continue to be out of service – due to mechanical problems – until May, when a new ferry comes into service.

Freedom of Information response ‘unacceptable’ – warden
GUYSBOROUGH – Last week (Jan. 21) the government relaunched its Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPOP) online portal, https://iaprequest.novascotia.ca.


January 20 2021


LET FREEDOM RING: Grade 5 students at Chedabucto Education Centre celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday (Jan. 18). Here, special guest Constable Nathan Sparks of the RCMP recites King Jr.'s history-making I Have a Dream speech.

Photo Credit: Contributed

MODG sells nursing homes
GUYSBOROUGH – As of 1:01 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, the Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG) was out of the nursing home business. That’s when a deal to sell Milford Haven Home for Special Care in Guysborough and Seaside Manor in Canso to GEM Health Care Group closed.

Spaceport plans delayed
CANSO – Maritime Launch Services (MLS) will not get liftoff as early as the company had hoped.

Special election boosts whales
ST. MARY’S – Riding a groundswell of support for a whale-friendly environment, and with just a hint of déjà vu, James Harpell became the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s newest council member Saturday night [Jan. 16].

St. Mary’s finances in the black
ST. MARY’S – Rural decline may be taking the stuffing out of public finances across Nova Scotia, but the Municipality of the District of Saint Mary’s is the picture of health thanks to sound financial management, says Chief Administrative Officer Marvin MacDonald.


January 13 2021


Community members gathered with District 2 Councillor David Hendsbee of the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), highway employees and engineer Michael Balsom in October to discuss safety concerns regarding Atkins Point Road in Harrigan Cove. Work has been done to prevent vehicles from sliding into the Atlantic Ocean.

Photo Credit: Contributed

Plans for Cochrane Hill mine delayed
ST. MARY’S – Atlantic Gold Corporation has delayed the opening of its Cochrane Hill mine by as much as three years, putting the controversial facility at the bottom of its list of immediate priorities.

Residents call for urgent action on unsafe road
HARRIGAN COVE – Atkins Point Road is a secondary road in Harrigan Cove with 30 residents in 16 homes. Initially a loop connected by a bridge, it has been barricaded by DOT since 2015 due to the breakdown of the abutment at either end.

Local ER closures increasing
GUYSBOROUGH – While the world has been bracing for a health care crisis due to COVID-19, Nova Scotia has been coming to grips with a health care crisis in the ER.


January 6 2021


SPLASH TO THE FUTURE: A pair of 11-year-old friends from Canso made a splash to start 2021. Grade 6 students Marlee Rhynold (left) and Taylor Boudreau participated in a polar bear dip for the first time on New Year's Day. Although COVID-19 health guidelines forced adjustments to these chilly gatherings across the province - especially when it came to the number of people who could participate, and with social distancing in mind - many, like Marlee and Taylor, were able to continue the tradition. See more photos in this week's edition.

Photo Credit: Melissa Richards

From trash to gas: Green things happening at landfill
The saying goes that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. In this case, trash is gas and that, in turn, is power – of the electric kind.

Bringing back the Belmont
A couple from Guysborough County has brought the iconic Belmont Resort and Golf Course back to life, if only virtually.

Mulgrave still waiting for action on dangerous intersection
MULGRAVE – The intersection in Aulds Cove linking Highway 344 to the Trans-Canada Highway has been a safety concern for many years, especially for the Town of Mulgrave; it’s the chief means of egress from the community.