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D'Escousse community centre upgrade funding announced

Provincial officials announced an investment in D'Escousse.

Cape Breton-Richmond MLA Michel Samson was in the community Friday evening on behalf of Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Tony Ince to announce a grant under the Community Facility Improvement Program.

The D'Escousse Civic Improvement Society will get $28,653 for upgrades to their centre's kitchen and bathrooms.

All told, provincial officials say they are putting over a million dollars toward upgrades to 48 community facilities throughout Nova Scotia with the grant program.


Strait Area Transit officials announce reduced Richmond Co. service

Officials with Strait Area Transit have announced they're reducing their Richmond Co. service to one third of its current level.

In a release issued Friday afternoon, the co-operative announced that since there was no funding boost for rural transit in Richmond Co.'s municipal budget for 2016-17, service would drop from 60 to 20 hours per week as of Tuesday.

That means there will no longer be service to L'Ardoise, St. Peter's and River Bourgeois.

The routes will be scaled back to dial-a ride service for two hours each in the morning and afternoon for the area stretching from Isle Madame to Port Hawkesbury.


Provincial, federal officials announce funding for Antigonish affordable housing

Provincial and federal officials are pledging $100,000 toward building four more affordable housing units for families and persons with disabilities in Antigonish.

Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard made the announcement Friday afternoon at the People's Place Library.

Riverside Estates will feature two two-bedroom homes, and a pair of one-bedroom units.

Both ground-floor units will be accessible for persons with disabilities.

Officials with the Town of Antigonish donated the land for the project, while both the Sisters of St. Martha and the Municipality of Antigonish Co. have pledged $100,000.

The building will be managed and operated by the Antigonish Affordable Housing Society, whose stakeholders are already planning to build ten more units on adjacent lots.

The AAHS is expected to hire a contractor in the coming weeks so the Riverton Estates project can get underway.


Bear Paw pipeline construction permit approved

Officials with the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board have approved a company's application for a permit to construct a pipeline in the Quad Counties.

UARB members issued their decision Friday in the case of Bear Paw Pipeline Corporation.

Company stakeholders want to build a 62-kilometre-long pipeline to carry liquefied natural gas from Point Tupper to Goldboro.

Their application was approved but is subject to conditions related to the pipeline's permitting, construction and design.

UARB members also imposed additional conditions following the intervention of the Native Council of Nova Scotia regarding routing, consultation and safety.

Bear Paw officials proposed that construction is to start by Dec. 31, 2019, and UARB members agreed to that commencement date.


StFX official says lack of federal funding for projects is unfortunate

An official at StFX says the university's Green Campus Sustainability Project cannot go forward because federal officials have declined to provide funding.

In a news release issued Wednesday, StFX officials announced their counterparts with the federal government will not provide funds for either project they submitted for consideration through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF)- the Sustainability Project and the Institute of Government Project.

Andrew Beckett, the university's vice-president of finance and administration, tells The Hawk the Sustainability Project can't be trimmed down to a smaller budget.

"Unlike the Mulroney (Institute of Government) Project, it's not possible to scale this one- it's sort of an all-or-nothing type exercise," he says. "If the money's not there, then we're not able to proceed, so we're going to consider other options in terms of trying to look at ways to reduce our energy costs."

Beckett says the project would have reduced operating costs and greenhouse gases, while also improving the look of campus by replacing old infrastructure.

He says university officials asked for $20 million through the SIF to help cover the cost of the $45 million project.

Beckett says the money they were going to put toward the project would have been generated through energy savings.

Wednesday's release indicates the project would have put more than $2.5 million in operating costs toward academic and student development.

Beckett says they were told early on the plan to build the Mulroney Institute fell outside the criteria for the SIF, so they wouldn't get the $15 million they requested.

He says they'll have to adapt their plans.

"Without that funding in place, we've got to revisit the programming requirements and re-scale the project so that we can proceed with the monies that we've got available."

Beckett wouldn't say how much provincial government officials are contributing for the Institute, or how much has been raised through donations so far.

He says a re-imagined version of the project will hopefully go before the Board of Governors for approval in September, with construction starting as early as April.

Beckett says the Institute could be finished by late 2018.


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