The price of gas is now back over the dollar a litre mark. The province’s Utility and Review Board took the rare step of invoking the Interrupter Clause overnight to boost the price by 6.5 cents a litre. Gas now goes for a minimum of $1.01.8 cents a litre in Cape Breton. The price of diesel remains unchanged at a minimum of $1.07.3. Last night’s price jump might not be the last, this week. The UARB will still make its regular weekly price adjustment overnight, tomorrow.
The Cape Breton Regional Municipality has hired Marlene Usher as CEO of its Sydney Ports Corporation. Usher has been seconded from her job as executive director general at the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. CBRM chief administrative officer Michael Merritt says the municipality created the job and hired Usher to offer “strategic guidance” and enhance marketing efforts for future port development. ACOA and the Sydney Ports Corporation will share the cost of Usher’s salary and benefits, which amount to $200,000 a year, over a three-year renewable term. However, the CBRM will cover the Ports Corporation’s share until the new port board is financially viable. Mayor Cecil Clarke justifies the expense based on Usher’s expertise in the field and what he describes as the comparable cost of hiring three or four private consultants to do the same job.
The Nova Scotia SPCA says it’s closed the file on the case of six abandoned puppies that were found in Whitney Pier in November. The Society says that three months of investigation have lead to no viable suspects in the case. The puppies were found near the Cape Breton Branch of the SPCA on November 15th, and the Society says it believes that whoever abandoned the animals wanted them to be found. The five surviving puppies were recently adopted after being cared for at an animal shelter in Halifax. The SPCA says that it will re-open the case if any individuals with first-hand knowledge come forward, and are willing to provide a detailed statement and attend a court hearing.
Provincial regulators plan to use the interrupter clause to change gas prices overnight, and reports suggest that the adjustment will involve a significant increase. The Utility and Review Board announced today that it would invoke the clause, which occurs when market prices differ by six to eight cents a litre above or below the weekly price change. The impending change will come after today’s surge in crude oil futures and a rebound in oil prices over the past few days. In London, Brent crude for March delivery went up by three and a half percent earlier today, while in New York, light, sweet crude for March delivery went up by 3%. Oil prices have gone up about 10% over the last two sessions—something that’s being attributed to expectations that supply will go down with a major decrease in drilling activity in the US. However, Citigroup futures analyst Tim Evans tells Market Watch that the latest rebound might not be enough to offset a projected 1.5 million barrel per day surplus in the first half of this year.
Classes are cancelled in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board today as rain and wind continues to pound the Island, this morning. The Marconi Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College is closed today as well as Etoile de l’Acadie in Sydney. Police are warning drivers about water-covered this morning. The Cabot Trail from Pleasant Bay to Big Intervale is closed today because it’s impassable and the Englishtown ferry isn’t running because of the weather. Marine Atlantic has postponed all sailings until just before midnight tonight and this morning’s 7:55 flight from Halifax to Sydney has been cancelled. Meanwhile, 351 Cape Breton customers are without power at this hour. An outage in Sydney on the George Street to Argyle Street area is affecting 202 customers and Nova Scotia Power says the estimated restoration time is 11:15 this morning. 149 customers in an area from Whycocomagh to Strathlorne are due to have their power back by 9:00. And, Regional Council’s General Committee meeting scheduled for 10:30 the morning has been postponed until 3:00 the afternoon due to the bad weather.