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Local union members planning demonstration over new health legislation Monday

Some local union members are gathering in Aulds Cove Monday afternoon to show solidarity with their counterparts gathering in Halifax.

Provincial government officials intend to introduce legislation Monday that will merge the province's district health authorities and change the collective bargaining process.

Spokesperson for NSGEU local 94, Elizabeth Matheson, is spearheading the demonstration scheduled to take place in along the highway in Aulds Cove from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Matheson says union members want the choice of who represents them in the collective bargaining process.

She says it's a democratic society and government officials are stripping union members of their rights by introducing this piece of legislation.


Canadian Forces veteran ready to take on Peter MacKay in next federal election

The Liberal challenger in Central Nova says the incumbent Conservative MP can be beat.

David MacLeod will represent the party in the next federal election.

The election is scheduled for October of next year but there is speculation it could be held earlier.

The Canadian Forces veteran and Antigonish resident defeated Derek Hawes at a nomination meeting in Stellarton Saturday.

MacLeod tells The Hawk he's ready to take on long-time MP Peter MacKay.

"After 17 years his main accomplishment is 15.5 per cent unemployment," he says. "If you're in office that long I would think that you would put a whole lot of effort in to your riding."

MacLeod says he thinks he can win the election.

"I really think Peter MacKay can be beat simply because he hasn't cared for Central Nova."

MacLeod says he plans to get out and meet people in the riding in the months leading up to the election.

"Since I've been here I don't think Peter has actually been around to knock on doors," he says. "I think it's that face-to-face contact that’s going to make the difference."

MacLeod says he really starting considering politics in the spring based on what he found when he moved back to the area five years ago.

He says many friends moved away and there weren't many young people because there are no job opportunities.


Committee chair says group members will apply to take ownership of former school soon

The chair of the Heatherton Development, Cultural and Wellness Association says fundraising efforts are going very well.

Association members are trying to take ownership of the former Reverend H. J. MacDonald School in Heatherton from municipal officials and turn it into a community centre.

Ed MacDonald, the chair of the committee, tells The Hawk they raised another $5,000 at their latest pledge drive Wednesday.

"That puts us in excess of $190,000, which is very good," he says. "That's working very well towards our goal (of $250,000)."

MacDonald says there's a flea market at the school Oct. 4 and a silent auction fundraiser with music and entertainment Oct. 26.

He says fundraising will remain important if they're successful in taking control of the building.

"It's ongoing, it has to be organized, it has to be run properly," he says. "There'll be lots of bills to pay and we'll have to be inventive on how we raise our funds."

MacDonald says there's been a tremendous amount of support, and he expects that will continue to grow.

He says they've applied to Antigonish Co. municipal officials for tax exemption status, and they'll formally apply to take ownership of the building if and when that's approved.


Man facing impaired driving-related charges expected in court

A man charged with several impaired driving-related counts is scheduled to return to court Monday.

Port Hawkesbury RCMP say officers arrested a man who was passed out in the driver seat of a pick-up truck in a parking lot on Sydney Rd. in the town in July.

They say Vincent Tyler Owen, 44, faces charges related to care and control of a vehicle while impaired and driving while revoked.

Owen, who also faces impaired driving-related charges from June, has been charged with six offenses in total.

His case opened with an arraignment hearing in August; he's expected for election-and-plea in Port Hawkesbury Provincial Court.


Teen charged after vehicle theft, crash scheduled to return to court

A suspect arrested in connection with a vehicle theft and collision in Antigonish is expected to return to court Monday.

Police say someone stole a vehicle following a break-in at a home in Antigonish Co., then got into a minor crash in August.

Police charged Zachary Graham, 18, of Colchester Co. with motor vehicle theft, theft, break-and-enter, flight from police and two weapons offences.

Graham pleaded guilty to the break-and-enter charge in August; he pleaded guilty to motor vehicle theft, flight from police, and one weapons count Wednesday.

He's scheduled for sentencing in Antigonish Provincial Court; the theft and other weapons count are expected to be dealt with at that hearing.

Graham made his first appearance in the case in August, and was sent back into custody.


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