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February 2014 Archives

Nova Scotia Power Petition

Blanche Robinson

Posted by Robert Doublett

In the next day or two you may see a petition asking you how you feel about Nova Scotia Power and the issue of contracting out maintenance jobs.

It is the brainchild of Blanche Robinson.  Robinson is from Cape Breton, lives here now, but for much of her working life was out west, in Manitoba with the telephone company.  

We asked her why she decided to start a petition.

Listen audio (runs 4:56)

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CBRM Church Demolitions

Keith Brown

Posted by Robert Doublett

Today many people in CBRM, especially New Waterford, are mourning the demolition of three churches in the area. One of them is a bit of an icon, St. Alfonse's.

There was a community group to try and recover and save the building, but to no avail.

Listen audio (runs 8:57)

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Tompkins African Heritage Celebrations

Linda Bryden and Samina Haq

Posted by Robert Doublett

As a part of African Heritage Month students at Tompkins Memorial Elementary from grades primary to six sang and played a variety of African Spiritual songs, folk songs and instrumental pieces.

We were there to share in the celebration and bring you the sounds and voices of the day.

Linda Bryden is the schools music teacher who organized the event and Samina Haq is a grade 5 student.

Listen audio (runs 5:45)

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Point Aconi Lighthouse Burned

Barry MacDonald: President, NSLPS

Posted by Robert Doublett

The Point Aconi lighthouse burned to the ground, according to Cape Breton firefighters, but they don't know when.

Florence Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bill Capstick said the lighthouse is isolated so no one noticed the fire.

The fire department received a call Sunday afternoon when someone discovered the gutted structure.

Capstick told the CBC he believes the fire occurred in the last few days or since the last precipitation because there is no snow covering the burned remains.

He said the landmark lighthouse is a loss for the community. The fire is considered suspicious and the police and fire marshal are investigating.

According to the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society, the white, glass-fibre lighthouse was built in 1989.

Barry MacDonald is President, of the NSLPS.

Listen audio (runs 7:35)

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Kiev Concerns

Father Roman Dusanowskyj

Posted by Robert Doublett

The escalation in violence in the Ukraine has caught the world's attention in recent days.

Yesterday, dozens of people were killed as security forces fired on anti-government demonstrators in the capital city of Kiev.

Among those watching this week's events are the many people with Ukrainian heritage here in Cape Breton. Father Roman Dusanowskyj is Priest at the Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church in Whitney Pier.

Listen audio (runs 10:29)

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Help Your Self

Séan McCann

Posted by Erin Ashley

St. John's musician, Séan McCann, has balanced a solo career with membership in the immensely popular band, Great Big Sea.

His latest solo effort took him on a difficult journey. He spoke with Wendy about the long hard road to "Help Your Self".

Listen audio (runs 11:34)

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Frenchvale Firechief Fears the Worst

Chief Mark Voutier

Posted by Erin Ashley

The fire chief in Frenchvale is a very worried man.

Chief Mark Voutier says one of their ageing fire trucks is in such bad shape he's concerned about it's response time in the event of a fire. He says the department has been asking for a replacement for the past five years.

Voutier is speaking out now and asking Cape Breton Regional Municipality to fast track a replacement truck. He's been promised a meeting on the issue soon.

Chief Voutier spoke with George Mortimer.

Listen audio (runs 5:38)

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Mavis Gallant's Cape Breton Connection

Professor Mary K. MacLeod and Jim St. Clair

Posted by Erin Ashley

Mavis Gallant, the internationally celebrated Canadian short story writer who lived and worked for most of her life in Paris, has died, according to her publisher, Doug Pepper of Signal/McClelland Stewart. She was 91.

"Without exaggeration she was one of the finest writers Canada has ever known. Witty, brave, honest, fiercely independent, Mavis was a stunning writer who transformed the short-fiction form. She was also a woman ahead of her time, blazing a trail of independence that took courage and determination that inspired legions of other authors who count her influence as seminal to their own careers," Pepper said.

onsidered one of Canada's finest writers of short fiction, Gallant is known for collections such as Montreal Stories, Going Ashore and 1981's Home Truths, which earned her a Governor General's Literary Award.

Listen audio (runs 15:10)

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Viola Desmond Day

Wanda Robson

Posted by Robert Doublett

Nova Scotia's first February holiday in 2015 will recognize civil rights icon Viola Desmond.

The holiday's name will change every year based on a list of student submissions of significant people, places and events that have helped shape Nova Scotia. The campaign invites Primary to Grade 12 classes across the province to submit a general name for the holiday that instills pride in being Nova Scotian and a suggestion that recognizes a significant cultural and/or historical contribution to Nova Scotia.

Desmond, a black Halifax businesswoman was wrongfully jailed and fined in 1946 for refusing to give up seat in the white peoples' section of a New Glasgow movie theatre.

Wanda Robson, a civil rights activist of note herself, is Viola Desmonds sister and we reached her at home in North Sydney today.

Listen audio (runs 4:03)

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Proud Voice Cape Breton

Ross Hunter and Madonna Doucette

Posted by Robert Doublett

Occupy Wall Street and Idle no More were social movements growing out of social media. 

Now with changing demographics Pride Cape Breton and the Island LGBTQ community is reforming and revitalizing itself with the help of social media.

Listen audio (runs 9:54)

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2014 3M National Teaching Fellowship.

Dr. Patrick Maher

Posted by Robert Doublett

Dr. Patrick Maher, associate professor of Community Studies, Cape Breton University has been awarded a 2014 3M National Teaching Fellowship. This award is considered Canada's top teaching honour.
The Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) and 3M Canada partner to recognize exceptional contributions to teaching and learning at Canadian universities. The community of 3M National Teaching Fellows embodies the highest ideals of teaching excellence and scholarship with a commitment to encourage and support the educational experience of every learner.
This is the first 3M award for CBU.

Listen audio (runs 6:51)

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The Vagina Monologues

Dr Jodi McDavid

Posted by Robert Doublett

The Vagina Monologues will be presented this weekend at Cape Breton University.  The presentation is a 'pay what you can' event to raise money for Transition House

The play itself has run somewhere in North American continuously for almost 20-years and is a collection of narratives read by women of various ages and experieces. It is celebrated and controversial all at once. Now one leaves the theatre unaffected

Dr Jodi McDavid is an instructor at CBU and presenting this performance.

Listen audio (runs 10:33)

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Nova Scotia's Loss and Opportunity

Ray Ivany & Keith MacDonald

Posted by Robert Doublett

The message is not comforting at all, Nova Scotia is in the early stages of what may be a
prolonged period of accelerating population loss and economic decline.  However, on the plus side, its not too late to do something about it.

Today, Ray Ivany, the head of the Nova Scotia Commission on Building the Economy, sounded the alarm, and Keith MacDonald isPresident and CEO with the Cape Breton Partnership

Ray Ivany audio (runs 8:07)

Keith MacDonald audio (runs 11:07)

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Keek Messenger Warning

Corp. Christian Hochhold

Posted by Robert Doublett

For those of you who try to keep track of your kid's internet activities, it never seems to end. First we had to worry about Facebook, and sites like twitter, and ASK.FM and now, Keek Messenger.

Corp. Christian Hochhold from the RCMP in Nova Scotia watched all of these sites development, and investigates crimes in these spaces when they occur. He tries to help parents and kids understand what dangers there are on the internet.

Listen audio (runs 9:22)

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Seeking Council - Feb. 10th, 2014

Clair Detheridge and Eldon MacDonald

Posted by Robert Doublett

We recently re-launched our weekly "Seeking Council" feature here on Mainstreet.

It's a chance for us to touch base with representatives from around the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, and find out what's making news in their district.

Each Monday we're inviting two regional councilors into the studio for a chat.

Today, I'm joined by Clair Detheridge and Eldon MacDonald.

Claire represents District 4, which takes in Point Edward, Westmount, part of Coxheath, Sydney River and part of Prime Brook. Eldon represents District 5, which includes Sydney from Sydney River to the north end, Shipyard, Membertou and part of Mira Road.

Listen audio (runs 14:05)

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Skysquirrel Technologies

Richard Van der Put

Posted by Robert Doublett

A start-up company in Cape Breton is getting a lift from Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation.

ECBC is loaning Skysquirrel Technologies 200-thousand dollars. The company is based in Inverness, and makes unmanned aerial surveillance vehicles or UAVs.

Listen audio (runs 3:57)

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Snow Rage and City Workers

Alan Clark

Posted by Erin Ashley

CBRM employees are worn with snow removal. We spoke with the head of city works, Alan Clark to find out what's been put on the back burner.

Listen audio (runs 8:58)

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Diana Whalen's Budget Talks

Diana Whalen

Posted by Erin Ashley

Snow or no snow, Nova Scotia's finance Minister has been on the road today asking people what they want, and don't want to see in the province's upcoming budget.

But these talks aren't just pre-budget this Minister plans to be on the road all year and would have said so this morning, had the weather not interfered with her schedule.

Listen audio (runs 8:58)

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Heimdall Networks

Jim Deleski

Posted by Robert Doublett

Jim Deleski of Sydney has spent last couple of years raising more than $1 million in angel funding and began developing a software company that protects corporations and governments against distributed denial-of-service attacks.
The company will provide a cure for a huge pain point as distributed denial-of-service attacks have plagued more governments, companies and organizations in the past few years.

These attacks swamp an organization's website and/or network with unwanted traffic, disabling all its online functions.

They have become more frequent because of the development and distribution of relatively simple tools needed to make the attacks.

Listen audio (runs 7:03)

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Cape Breton's Employability Partnership

Sandy Fergusson and Greg Boudreau

Posted by Robert Doublett

We all know it's hard to find a job in Cape Breton. One local organization makes that easier for people who have disabilities, disadvantages, or addiction issues.

Sandy Ferguson and Greg Boudreau work with the "Employability Partnership" they they help folks get back into the job.

Listen audio (runs 9:26)

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New Dawn's Innovation Fund

Erika Shae & Rankin MacSween

Posted by Robert Doublett

RRSP season is upon us and we only have until the 3rd of march to decide where we are going to invest our money.

Numbers show that Cape Bretoner's invest quite heavily in RRSP's which is why the gang at New Dawn had the idea that if put together a fund that would keep money in Cape Breton but provide Cape Bretoner's with the advantage of that capital and the advatage of an RRSP it might be a good idea.

They came up with the innovation fund.

This year they're asking again that We our money at home working with innovative business in our communities.

Listen audio (runs 6:01)

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Life without a Veteran's Affairs Office

Cecil Roy

Posted by Robert Doublett

Now that Veterans Affairs offices across the country have closed, veterans wonders what's next? What do veterans do if they already live somewhere where there's no VA office?

The government says - in Sydney and the other eight communities - it's now posting a client service agent from Veterans Affairs at the nearest Service Canada location.

To talk about life without a Veteran's Affairs office, Mainstreet Halifax's Stephanie Domet reached Cecil Roy. He spent thirteen months in Korea during the Korean War and he lives in Yarmouth.

Listen audio (runs 6:21)

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Public Consultation regarding Trinty Western

Rene Gallant: President of the Nova Scotia Barrister's Society

Posted by Robert Doublett

The Nova Scotia Barristers' Society says it will hold a public consultation on whether to recognize a law degree from Trinity Western University, the controversial Christian school in the Fraser Valley, B.C., with a policy against same-sex relationships.

Whats behind this is a six page form that students at Trinity western sign. All students at Trinity Western University must sign the TWU Community Covenant Agreement, which contains a clause requiring abstinence from "sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman."

You have until Friday to let it know you want your opinion known, either provide a submission in person in Halifax or by writing.

Listen audio (runs 7:37)

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