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Police say no threat to public after helicopter was used for investigation

RCMP say they used a helicopter to assist in an investigation in the Quad Counties Monday morning.

They say the operator was contacted to do a flyover at around 8 a.m.

The helicopter was seen in the Monastery area.

Strait Regional School Board officials say RCMP contacted administration at East Antigonish Education Centre/Academy- they implemented hold-and-secure procedures as a precaution for an investigaion in the larger community.

SRSB officials say staff were dismissed around noon; no students were present as it was a Regional In-service Day.

RCMP say there is no threat to the public.


Construction progressing on We'koqma'q community centre

The chief of the We'koqma'q First Nation says progress is being made on their new community hall and fire department.

Rod Googoo says construction on the facility has been underway for a few months, and the roof has been installed.

Band members lost their former building in a fire in Dec. 2015.

Googoo tells The Hawk everyone is excited for the opening of the new structure.

"They're all excited, they're looking forward to seeing it; they see it going up piece-by-piece every day," he says. "They're looking forward to having a community centre available to the community again- everybody's excited, we only build something like that once in our lifetime."

Googoo says the new building will have lots of space and Wi-Fi, which the old location didn't.

He says the building is essential for band members.

"It's really the hall that has been the heart and soul of our social gatherings," he says. "Weddings, birthdays, Halloween parties, you name it- everything like that has always taken place at our community hall."

Googoo says the cost of the facility is expected to be roughly $2 million.

He says they've had a lot of other work in the area, so they didn't have people to take on the job, but they hope to have a grand opening in March.


Local artists earn folk music awards

There were some local winners at the Canadian Folk Music Awards in Ottawa.

Antigonish's Cassie and Maggie won the Traditional Album of the Year award for "The Willow Collection."

They were nominated in four categories.

Scott MacMillan and Colin Grant were named Instrumental Group of the Year for "Good2Go"; Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy were also nominated in that category.

Photo credit:


Fraser says lots of emotion still exists about proposed tax changes

The Member of Parliament for Central Nova says he heard lots of emotion from community members at a tax reform information session in Antigonish Wednesday.

Sean Fraser says when proposed tax changes came to the forefront initially, federal officials heard lots of reservation- especially from the small business community, and some adjustments were made.

He says locals want to make sure changes won't have a negative impact on small business growth.

Fraser tells The Hawk he heard from passionate people in the local area at the discussion- they want things to be planned before changes happens.

"There was a number of things we heard- there was some real emotion that still exists in the small business community in Antigonish and across Canada quite frankly," he says. "They want to ensure that any measures that are adopted are given the time to be well-thought-out and ensure that they're not capturing all small businesses."

Fraser says residents want more information about the possible changes.

"The one other thing that I heard loud and clear, was that we need a little bit of certainty for the business community," he says. "At present, there's still some details to be released; we'll see that when draft legislation is actually tabled in the House of Commons."

Fraser says we could see something for certain proposals in the next federal budget- likely in February or March.

He says there could be draft legislation for a portion of proposals that could come before then.


Work on new transmission towers almost done

Officials with Nova Scotia Power say transmission tower work across the Strait of Canso should be finished soon.

Tiffany Chase, a spokesperson with the utility, says tower construction is complete, and they've been transitioning navigational lights from the old towers to the new, taller towers.

She says they've engaged multiple local contractors for tower construction, and investment in the local community has been well above $5,000,000.

Chase tells The Hawk the work brings an important backup to customers.

"The existing lines that were on the towers that have always been across the Strait of Canso now will be separated onto two separate circuits," she says. "If we have an outage affecting that circuit, we can switch to the other line and provide that backup supply of power to our customers between Cape Breton and mainland Nova Scotia."

Chase says the next step is to string the power line on the new towers; they're planning to start that soon- there's some more planning that has to be done.

She says work will allow our province to receive energy through the Maritime Link Project.

"This new line that we have across the Strait of Canso that will be supported by the new transmission towers that people are seeing constructed over the past several months will enable the addition of that new renewable energy."

Chase says significantly windy conditions could slow down the work, but weather-dependent, they hope to have the project finished in December.

Photo credit: Nova Scotia Power (


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