Tom Ayers


Tom Ayers has been a reporter and editor for more than 30 years. He has spent the last 16 years covering Cape Breton and Nova Scotia stories. You can reach him at

Latest from Tom Ayers

CBRM clears path for commercial development at historic church

Cape Breton regional councillors have voted unanimously to eliminate the need for the 140-year-old Sacred Heart church to create more than 80 parking spaces before converting to a business and fine dining venue.

CBRM to start looking for new police chief

Cape Breton Regional Municipality Mayor Amanda McDougall says the municipality is starting the formal process of seeking a permanent chief to replace Peter McIsaac, who has been on sick leave since the summer of 2019.

Cape Breton aviation company hopes to fill void in the sky

Celtic Air Services president Dave Morgan says he always planned to add airplane charters to his business, but the pandemic grounded scheduled flights out of Sydney airport, creating a market opportunity he couldn't pass up.

Parking issue must be resolved before renovated Sydney church can open, says CBRM

An empty 140-year-old church in Sydney's historic North End neighbourhood is set to reopen as a business and entertainment venue, but first the property has to go through a public hearing on parking.

Blood collection in N.S. hospitals down due to pandemic restrictions

A Nova Scotia New Democratic Party MLA says some constituents are worried about delays in getting appointments for in-hospital blood collection. The party says a recent freedom of information request shows the number of collections is down 17% across the province and 24% in Cape Breton.

Investigation finds raw water went to some Inverness homes after Hurricane Dorian

A taxpayer and a councillor say they've been vindicated after the Nova Scotia Environment Department confirmed that a power outage caused by Hurricane Dorian in 2019 resulted in untreated water going to some homes in Inverness. The taxpayer is now calling for an investigation of the county council.

Nova Scotia gas, diesel retailers win small hike in retail markup

A Cheticamp service station's owners had been asking for an increase of three cents per litre in the retail markup of gas and diesel, but the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board is only allowing an increase of three-tenths of a cent on full-service fuel and four-tenths of a cent on self-serve.

Public to weigh in on Sydney doc's request to open practice in residential area

Cape Breton Regional Municipality staff say the planning rules allow some home-based businesses in residential zones, but not stand-alone commercial operations. They say approving Dr. Margaret Fraser's request would open all residential areas throughout CBRM to businesses.

CBRM approves mayor's political hires, but not without debate

Former mayor Cecil Clarke was often criticized for using his budget to hire a communications adviser and an executive assistant. Newly elected Mayor Amanda McDougall wants to do something similar, but plans to hire an Indigenous adviser and a community consultation co-ordinator.

CBRM hopes to kickstart proposed Sydney library as costs climb

A consultant's report shows the estimated cost of a proposed new library for Sydney has climbed to roughly $32 million. Cape Breton regional councillors are hoping to start discussions with potential funders, but CBRM's top administrator says increased operating costs will be a challenge.