A Cape Breton Regional Councillor says the CBRM’s image isn’t being helped when council’s schedule is changed without public notice. District 11 Councillor Kendra Coombes tells Local Xpress such schedule changes are one of the factors that have led some people in the municipality to think council is too secretive. Councillors normally meet on the first and third Tuesdays of every month for general committee and full council meetings, but the two meetings are being combined into a single session for July and August, and there was no public notice when a general committee wasn’t held on the first Tuesday of this month. Coombes’ comments are the latest in a series of criticisms relating to how council meetings are organized. Councillor Ray Paruch raised similar concerns over the winter, and Mayor Cecil Clarke has been criticized for the number of in-camera meetings council has held. On the latest schedule changes, Clarke says he has the prerogative to alter the schedule, and he adds he’s done so to accommodate councilors and staff during the summer months. Clarke notes there were no summer meetings for a time before he came into office. The clerk’s office usually posts notice of council meetings on the Friday before they take place. Clarke says the next council meeting is now expected to take place in the third week of next month.
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Drivers are paying a bit more at the gas pumps today. Regular unleaded went up by 1.6 cents a litre when regulated gas prices were reset overnight. A litre of regular gas now costs a minimum of $1.06.7 in Cape Breton. Diesel went up by 1.4 cents. It’s now going for a minimum of 96.6 cents a litre on the island.
The Health Authority says the Emergency Department at the Northside General Hospital in North Sydney will close today and will reopen on August 2 at 8am. The Health Authority says the closure is because there is a lack of doctors to cover the shifts. They go on to say if you have an emergency to call 911 or go to the nearest ER and for non-emergency advice to call 811.
One analyst is predicting gas prices will go up by about a cent a litre this week. Regular unleaded went up by just over a penny in New Brunswick overnight. Diesel there went up by seven tenths of a cent. In Cape Breton, regular unleaded is now going for a minimum of $1.05.1 per litre, while Diesel is selling for a minimum of 95.2.
The director of two local youth centres is asking people to sponsor a child as his organization tries to get enough food to feed the children they see. Dave Sawler runs the Undercurrent Youth Centre in Glace Bay and Sydney. He says many of the kids who show up at both facilities have been on the streets all day and are hungry, but he adds stable funding is needed to be able to feed them. Sawler goes on to say they’re starting a sponsorship program where people can adopt a child for 35 dollars a month, and 90 dollars a month will be able to support a family of children. Sawler estimates the centre in Glace Bay sees about 400 kids a week, while about 200 use the centre in Sydney that opened in February.