Sydney native and former Nova Scotia Liberal Leader Vince MacLean has a new government job. According to an order in council from November 27th, MacLean has been appointed as Chair of the Nova Scotia Electoral Commission. The 69 year-old was first elected to the House in 1974 and went on to lead the Grits from the mid-80’s to 1992. The New Democrats say that the appointment is disappointing because of MacLean’s connection to a controversial trust fund that dated back to Gerald Regan’s premiership in the 1970s. NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald says that the appointment flies in the face of the McNeil Government’s election pledge to restore public trust in government. MacLean’s five-year appointment took effect on Monday. He’ll be paid 250 dollars per day for Commission meetings, and will be reimbursed for expenses incurred in fulfilling his duties. The Order In Council says that MacLean’s reimbursements will not exceed that normally paid to members of the civil service.
Regional Councillor Kevin Saccary says it looks like the sale of the Donkin Mine to the Cline Group is a done deal. Saccary was responding to word that the province has signed an order-in-council transferring the Donkin mine lease to the new American owners. The company’s intention to take over 75 percent majority share in the operation was announced in August. Saccary says representatives of the Cline Group told him at a meeting two weeks ago to expect to see activity at the Donkin Mine site, early this month. He adds the company is ready to invest $200 million in capital costs to start the operation. The chair of the local liaison committee for Donkin, Hugh Kennedy says a community meeting with the Cline Group is tentatively set for next Tuesday night at the Donkin Legion.
Regional Council has approved the controversial sale of Archibald Wharf in North Sydney. The Northside Business Improvement and Development Association is against the plan to sell the recreational space, saying there’s other land available along the waterfront. The proposed deal will see ship repair company, Canadian Maritime Engineering buy the property for 200,000 dollars and kick in another 50-thousand to improve local recreational facilities. Area Councillor Clarence Prince says the case for the sale is an expected 50 to 100 new jobs and other economic benefits. Part of the proposed sale includes community consultation. An open house will be held on December 13th at the North Sydney Seniors and Pensioners Club. And a special meeting of council will take place on December 19th where changes to the municipal planning strategy in connection to the sale will be discussed.
Regional Police say a 79-year-old man suffered life threatening injuries after a brutal attack in a Sydney business, yesterday. Police say officers were at the Regional Hospital on another matter when they learned about the incident. They add the man had driven himself to hospital with what they describe as serious wounds from a suspected knife attack. They say the man was at a property rental business at 105 Bentinck Street when another man entered the office and attacked him. They add the suspect then took off with several items from the business. Police say the injured man may need further treatment in Halifax and their investigation continues.
The preliminary hearing for a Glace Bay man charged in the death of Brett Elizabeth MacKinnon got underway yesterday. 39 year-old Thomas Ted Barrett faces a count of second degree murder in the case of the 21 year-old Glace Bay woman who died in 2006. Her remains were found by hunters at the old No. 11 dump site in the Passchendaele area of Glace Bay in 2008. The Crown is expected to call even witnesses during the preliminary hearing which is expected to continue all week. Barrett is also charged with second-degree murder in connection to the May 2012 death of Laura Jessome from Bras d’Or. He and his co-accused, Morgan James MacNeil from Glace Bay, are scheduled for a preliminary hearing in that case in June.