Kimber's Nova Scotia (May 13, 2007)

Kimber’s Nova Scotia

May 13, 200


The puck-buck starts here

Terry Hines believes he knows how to “reclaim Windsor as the birthplace of hockey.”

No, the former president of the town’s Hockey Heritage Society hasn’t discovered the “smoking puck” at the bottom of a pile of smelly gear in some musty basement that will finally, definitively, once and forever prove the first hockey-not-hurley game in North America was played right here in Windsor, and not in French—… oops Montreal, or Kingston, or Dartmouth, or whatever other community unfairly claims the distinction that rightly belongs to Windsor.

Unfortunately, Hines’ plan to reclaim the bragging net for Windsor is more bureaucratic. He wants to merge the town’s visitor’s centre with its hockey heritage centre putting them under one roof in a new high-traffic development that would reduce costs, open up more display space for shinny artifacts and naturally stream visitors from the information centre to the hockey museum next door.

Although the 12-year-old hockey heritage centre is an important town tourist attraction “that has brought thousands of hockey purists to the area since Windsor was identified as ‘the birthplace of hockey’ almost two decades ago,” the centre is… uh, closed these days for lack of volunteers to run it.

Despite all of that, planning is going ahead for yet another local puck project, this one called the International Hockey Heritage Centre, which officials insist “should complement… not compete” with the local centre.

For visitors? Or volunteers?

Who let these guys out of the legislature?

First it was Rodney MacDonald wandering the byways of Cape Breton, promising your tax dollars to school projects his officials hadn’t intended to green-light until the premier saw the whites of student protestors’ eyes and counted the black “X’s” of their parents’ ballots. He was followed by his education minister, Karen Cash-Carrier Casey, doing much the same from Middleton to Riverside, dissing-with-faint-praise student protestors even as she handed their schools money.

Last week, Environment and Labour Minister Mark Parent’s took his turn as the government’s designated rural vote chaser. The King’s North MLA announced plans to patch and repave that “vital transportation corridor” between Kentville and Port Williams, and spiff up Route 221 from Blackhole Road to Route 359 between the “dynamic communities of Sheffield Mills and Centreville.”

Not to be forgotten, the official opposition has also now set out on the pre-next-year’s election trail (will it never end?).

Darrell Dexter, the leader of the Halifax-based socialist hordes, showed up recently as the guest speaker at the annual meeting of— wait for it — the Digby Area Board of Trade.

Dexter, the first NDP leader ever invited to address the local business group, criticized the MacDonald government for failing rural Nova Scotians..

A few days later, Dexter was in the traditionally NDP-unfriendly Annapolis Valley, touting the possibilities of agriculture, fishing and forestry.

“There are opportunities for wealth creation in the traditional industries,” Dexter told a gathering of party supporters in Kentville, noting that growing concern about the environmental costs of trucking produce from faraway places offers opportunities for local farmers to profit from the concerns of small-g green, city socialists who want to do the right thing. “Most people understand that buying local will return to the producer, strengthen the sector and invest in the farm,” he said.

Dexter isn’t the only citified New Democrat venturing into that “other” Nova Scotia these days.

On Friday, NDP MLA Percy Paris was scheduled to put in an appearance in Joseph Bishara’s Grade 5 class at Yarmouth Central School. As part of a “newspaper exploration” project, the students had written letters to Paris, the province’s only black MLA, talking about issues such as racism, inclusion and equity, and inviting him to visit their school.

“I can’t begin to tell you how moved I was to receive your package of letters,” replied Percy, who recently made headlines after he criticized some of his fellow MLAs for making him feel unwelcome at the legislature. “These notes speak volumes about [your] understanding, kindness and generosity… In short, you made my day!”

And a double-double for my friend Casanova

Robert Chetwynd celebrated the end of six months’ house arrest with a coffee. Well, more than one. Last week, Chetwynd set out on horseback for a celebration-protest tour of southwestern Nova Scotia Tim Hortons outlets.

On Tuesday morning — after an earlier stop in Yarmouth — Chetwynd and his horse Casanova trepidatiously trotted up to the takeout window at the Barrington Tims — also known as… the scene of the crime.

Three years ago, the courts ordered Chetwynd to stay away from the coffee shop. And then, the next year, he was arrested and charged with close to two dozen different offences in connection with a bizarre incident in which police used pepper spray to subdue him after he rammed a police cruiser with his horse when police tried to arrest him for violating the order.

Chetwynd, known locally as Jell-O Head, explains he staged his latest protest because he wanted the Barrington Tims to lift its ban against his use of a nearby rest spot and hitching post, and apologize to him for its past sins. But the local owner-operator, David Arenburg, says there’s no ban as far as Tims is concerned, and he doesn’t know what all the fuss is about. “We have gone out of our way to try and accommodate him,” he told the Yarmouth Vanguard, “and have reached out to him on numerous occasions.”

In fact, there were no hassles — just plenty of stares — when Chetwynd rode up to the takeout window on his horse and ordered a large coffee. Although he held up the proffered cup in triumph, his exultation appeared to be short-lived. He didn’t even drink the coffee, giving it to a friend instead.

“This has all cost me a lot of money,” he declared as he rode off into the day.

Shelburne Place, Chapter 87A…

Just when you thought the twisted tale of Shelburne Place couldn’t get any more twisted, there’s another turn of the loose screw.

Shelburne Place, as you may know, is the name for a new but still secret redevelopment project proposed by a still unnamed developer for the already named former youth detention centre facility in Shelburne… if you can follow all of that. But Team Shelburne, the inter-municipal agency set up to mastermind its transformation, is bogged down in infighting and arguments over who knows the name of the developer, the secret handshake and other matters of momentous moment.

Well, if that wasn’t enough, last week Ocean Produce International gave notice it plans to sue Team Shelburne, alleging “the fraudulent conveyance of the lands and premises locally known as Shelburne Place.”

Rewind. Shelburne-based Ocean, which is the world’s largest producer of an algae used in neurological research, has been in a legal battle with Team Shelburne’s municipal partners in the South West Shore Development Authority for seven years. Apparently, it doesn’t want proceeds from the sale of Shelburne Place going anywhere until its own $4-million damage claim is dealt with.

Paging Howard Winds

The Port Hawkesbury Reporter described the air at a recent Strait regional school board meeting as “thick with tension” after board members emerged from an hour-and-fifteen-minute closed-door session to discuss “sensitive matters,” and tried to begin the public portion of their meeting.

While much of the ensuring discussion “remained vague and cryptic,” it seemed clear enough — from the questions they asked staff and the comments of one member — that there are “issues” between the board and some staff members.

During the public portion of the meeting, in fact, board member Brenda Gillis asked superintendent Phonse Gillis to look into reports a senior staff member had been heard making disparaging remarks about an elected board member.

Not nice.

After the meeting, Gillis tried to put the best face on it all. “Overall,” he said, “I think if you look at how the board is moving forward, I think we are making progress.”

Isn’t that what members of the Halifax school board said just before the education minister fired them all?

Speaking of dysfunctional relationships

The Chignecto-Central regional school board isn’t winning friends at Pictou county council.

Since January, council has been trying to schedule a meeting with board officials to get an update on how they’re spending the council’s money.

The board twice declined Pictou council’s invitation for a face-to-face session, inviting it instead to a general meeting in Truro on May 23 with all of the other councils that contribute to its budget.

That doesn’t sit well with Pictou councillors. “It blows me away they want to meet at 3:30 p.m. on a Wednesday,” Leonard Fraser told the New Glasgow News. “They must think we make a living on doing council work, and that’s just not true. We’re paying them a big cheque through the year and the least they can do is come here.”

Council has decided to write board officials again, asking them to attend one of its own meetings this summer. Perhaps it will be third time lucky?

How long before this turns up in an ad?

Cameron O’Brien, an autistic seven-year-old who couldn’t previously form words into a coherent story, has been “saved” by the bright lights, noisy toys and new technology at Sydney’s Wal-Mart store.

“He told me 20 things he loved about Wal-Mart,” his resource teacher Lisa Kelly explained, “and then we bought a typing program which talks back to him, so he spent two weeks writing the letter and listening to it as he wrote it.”

Last Tuesday, Cameron read his one page story about his love for the store to a group of 25 Wal-Mart employees. Afterwards, the store manager presented Cameron with an employee name tag and a gift certificate.



  1. Hi, I just wanted to clarify a couple of points.

    It wasn’t the American Humane Society that spoke with the Standing Committee on Fisheries – it was the Humane Society of the United States. They are two separate organizations.

    Secondly, Gerald Keddy is not in a position to declare the commercial seal hunt humane, considering members of the Standing Committee were stuck on a Coast Guard vessel at least 100 METRES away from the slaughter. Due to ice conditions and maneuvering of sealing boats, the only way to reliably observe this year’s seal hunt was from the air, which is exactly how I observed. I was in a helicopter directly over the sealers and seals, getting an unimpaired, close-up view of the slaughter, and I can assure you that what I saw was decidedly NOT humane. Seal pups were shot and left to suffer for long periods of time; seal pups were beaten about the face and body with illegal weapons; conscious seal pups were stabbed through the head with metal hooks and hauled up onto boats where they were thrown in piles of dead and dying seals – that’s just a small sample of what I witnessed myself and it was all captured on videotape as I watched and is available on HSUS’s video website (go to and choose from the channel navigator ‘Press Room’ and ‘Seals’ and click on each video to play).

    I witnessed countless violations of the Marine Mammal Regulations which resulted in unacceptable suffering. Sealers did not ensure the seal was dead or insensible before being hooked or left on the ice, by palpation of skull or eye-reflex test. Oftentimes because of ice conditions, sealers simply leaned over the side of the boat, stabbed obviously live and conscious seals through the head and hauled them onboard. During all of this, we saw no evidence of DFO monitoring or regulating the slaughter. There was *no* DFO presence while these atrocities were occurring. No monitoring; no regulating. Mr. Keddy either could not have seen this from his faraway location or – more likely – chose not to see this so he could continue government rhetoric that the seal hunt is “humane, closely monitored and tightly regulated”.

    I would also like to point out that while government claims shooting is more humane than clubbing (the oft-used phrase is “90% of seals are shot and not clubbed”) shooting is just as cruel as clubbing, if not more so. Videos from this year’s seal hunt speak louder than words in this respect. I suggest anyone who is in doubt follow the link above and watch the videos, particularly from April 10th. There can be no doubt in the minds and hearts of compassionate people after watching the evidence that this is a truly inhumane “hunt”.

    Thanks and have a great day.

    Bridget W. Curran
    Atlantic Canadian Anti-Sealing Coalition


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