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Municipal and Mi'kmaw leaders discuss state of Cape Breton

A two-day conference for all of Cape Breton's municipal officials and Mi'kmaw leaders gets underway in the Town of Port Hawkesbury Thursday.

Brenda Chisholm-Beaton, the mayor of Port Hawkesbury, says the fifth annual One Cape Breton: Future Forward Leaders' Summit will be a chance for officials across the island to collaborate and discuss ideas and issues.

She says they've extended invites to Mi'kmaw leaders in the past, but this is the first time they'll all be present.

Chisholm-Beaton tells The Hawk a variety of views is important.

"We really are the closest to the people in terms of government," she says. "Nobody knows the community better than we do."

Chisholm-Beaton says there's a sense of excitement to have all voices heard.

She says it will be an open-floor.

"That's the beauty of this summit- it's completely unscripted," she says. "It's unique in that all of its participants will be asked to show up, roll up their sleeves, and get down to work."

Chisholm-Beaton says it's important to determine the current state and the future of the island, and what it would look like if they all collaborate and work together.

The event wraps up Friday.

 

Antigonish Co. municipal officials say new commercial development will create jobs

The warden of Antigonish Co. says a new commercial development is good news for the municipality.

Representatives with Nova Landing announced their new development along Hwy 104, at Exit 32, will include a KFC, Irving Grab n Go and Robin's Donuts last month.

The site will also be the new home to the Antigonish Visitor Information Centre.

Owen McCarron, Warden, tells The Hawk local employment will get a boost as a result.

"We're probably looking at probably upwards of a couple dozen jobs, which is good news for residents in and around the county," he says. "These are a combination of full-time and part-time jobs which will be good for students and people that are looking for work in the area for sure."

McCarron says there's potential for further development at Nova Landing as well.

He says the work is a major positive for the municipality.

"Well obviously it's good news for the county to see Nova Landing starting to take shape with construction that has been happening the last couple of weeks," he says. "Three business going to start up in that location certainly bodes well for the county."

Construction is underway; company reps have said they could have an opening date as early as the end of December.

 

Warden says cell service remains major concern

The warden of Antigonish Co. says he had a good meeting with one of the MLAs in the municipality.

Owen McCarron says he met with Antigonish MLA Randy Delorey in early November.

He says they touched on a number of topics.

After November's regular municipal council meeting Tuesday night, McCarron said cell service in the municipality was a major point of discussion.

"We just see in a lot of areas throughout the county there is dropped service and no service," he said. "People travelling abroad coming into our communities that expect to have cell service when they get there find out they don't- it's certainly, for us, an important issue and we're going to continue to press it."

McCarron said officials with the provincial government need to work with service providers toward a solution.

He said poor cell service also affects potential business owners.

"We're getting more and more calls on it," he said. "It impacts businesses that want to set up in rural communities as well."

McCarron said they also talked roads, and adding an extra DOT supervisor to the region.

He said he wanted to get an early start on discussions for the upcoming road maintenance season, and they also discussed the recently completed Fairmont Rd. project.

   

More affordable housing coming to Antigonish

Members of the Antigonish Affordable Housing Society say things are progressing with their new building.

Colleen Cameron, the society's chair, says financing was in place in early November.

She says the building will have 10 units- six two-bedroom units and four one-bedroom units.

Cameron tells The Hawk they're trying to bring the community together.

"We also are having a community room where people have a place to gather," she says. "We're not just about building buildings- we're about building homes for people and building community, (so) this community room is very important."

Cameron says they're launching a fundraising campaign in hopes of getting $250,000, and they're also a finalist in the Aviva Community Fund competition.

She says the need isn't clear at first glance.

"In Antigonish, it doesn't look like it, but we have a number of people that struggle on low income," she says. "People that are working full-time on minimum or slightly above minimum wage struggle for rent."

Cameron says they're preparing the slab, and hope to have things filled in before the snow comes.

She says they could have new residents in the building by May with some luck on their side.

 

Suspect in threats case has hearing adjourned

A man charged in relation to an Inverness Co. dispute is scheduled to return to court in December.

Murray Pattingale, 53, faces charges of uttering threats, unsafe storage of a firearm and causing a disturbance; the Pleasant Bay man, whose case opened in court in January, is entering into a peace bond agreement in the case, and was expected for a status update in Port Hawkesbury Provincial Court Tuesday.

He wasn't in court, and his case was adjourned until Dec. 19.

Wayne MacKinnon, 70, of Pleasant Bay, who pleaded not guilty to a count of uttering threats in January, also entered into a peace bond agreement in the case.

Cheticamp RCMP say officers were called to a threats complaint in Pleasant Bay in December.

They say they arrested one man at a home and seized a number of unsafely stored firearms; they arrested another man later that same day.

   

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