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December 2023 - Our Councillors Are Excellent.

Colchester is one of the few places people are willing to move, not because of our geography of being in the centre of about 2-milliojn people who are within 90 minutes drive, but because residential and commercial property taxes are among the lowest in the province. Lower taxation is the result of good governance over recent decades.

The existing and previous council’s have worked diligently to deliver the best that was possible. Lately Colchester’s council has been consumed with "Plan It" meetings, and working toward adoption of a province-wide land use by-law, which the Province tasked all municipalities to development County Wide Planning and the implementation of Land Use By Laws (LUB). Colchester’s new LUB is expected to be ready for adoption at end of 2024.

Along with LUB has been amendments to the existing Wind turbine by-law, which became a priority, because a rash of wind turbine farm applications was appearing the horizon. One proponent, EveryWind Fuels/RES got their in the water prior to announcements of wind turbine bylaw amendments were addressed by council.

The pressure on Colchester Councillors, increased beyond LUB public meetings with wind turbine amendments. The by-law amendments were up for second reading on November 16 committee meeting. One stipulation in the amendments, when passed would put a pause on accepting any new applications for wind development until the county wide planning exercise was completed and the Land Use By Laws were put in place. 

Because is started its application early, EveryWindFuels would not be included in the "pause" until LUB was adopted. An amendment to the second reading by-law was made by Councillor Benoit, seconded by Lomond, which would have included EverWindFuels in the Pause. They were not successful on this motion, it was defeated 7 to 4, the other two councillors in favor were MacKenzie and Sandeson. Which means EverWindFuels can proceed with planning and it’s Environment Assessment.

Next motion before council was second reading of bylaw amendments, which passed unanimously.

I mention Councillor Lomond, not that others aren’t deserving, but for statements she made during council.

Writing in her column, she writes, "I heard all sorts of feedback on this situation, some interested, some positive, some unsure but undoubtedly the majority that I heard from were individuals not in support of moving forward with development blindly without having the greater county wide strategy in place.  I have a duty to listen to my constituents, ALL of them- all walks of life, all socio-economic backgrounds, cultures, races and communities.  This is why you have elected me.  I cannot assume the thoughts of the "silent majority" nor will I put words in the silent voices.  I have asked in every way possible for feedback on our planning exercise and on the topic of wind development.  For 2 years I have been on a soap box talking about wind. 
I voted to pass second reading of the proposed amendments of the Wind Turbine Development By Law to "pause" because I was confident that I did my duty as an elected official on behalf of the people I represent.  I listened, attended every information session I was able to and muddle through my own research.  I wish there was a way to please everyone, but alas, that will never be the case.  If you have comments, feedback or concerns please reach out.

Lomond, in her third year as a novice councillor, deserves compliments she indicated she did her home work; listened, then voted on what she felt was best in the overall picture. She was also willing to say "you can’t please everyone all the time.

Wind turbines and green energy is not going away. Colchester seems to have the winds and topography demanded by turbines. In fact, when LUB is adopted watch for a race to the approval office.

Councillor Wade Parkers who for years has been generically against wind turbines, has softened his position to "accept the fact wind turbines and green energy is here to stay. Essentially Colchester won’t be able to stop it, so it must extract the best deal possible.

We’ve asked for future articles from Protect Wentworth and EverWindFuels. - Maurice


November 2023 - Has the pin been pulled on the grenade?

For several years we have been getting this uneasy feeling that some groups or individuals with lots of power and determination, for their own benefit, have been slowly plotting to reduce or, in some cases, eliminate totally individual or perhaps an entire society’s rights.

For years, I have had then uneasy feeling pre-WW II, similar thoughts against USA had been contemplated, or had been started. This past week my presumptions were confirmed. I’ll explain in a moment.

Being a newsy, when I watch television, it is a news network. CNN and MSNBC are my favourites. One evening, Rachel Maddow, an American television news program host and political commentator. Maddow hosts The Rachel Maddow Show, a weekly television show on MSNBC. She announced publication of a new book, PREQUEL, Prequel: An American Fight Against Fascism. She revealed that in the 30’s Germany was working with a group of congressmen, senators and prominent business people to overthrow the USA government. In fact, some politicians were kicked out of their party. Some of the culprits actually faced jail time.

Remember the adage, what goes around comes around? Is it ironic that 80+ years later United States faced a similar situation on January 6th. That’s not the worst of it. Learning what they did wrong in 2020, they are at it again with greater intensity to win in 2024.

The shame of it all, national polls in USA have Trump running neck-n-neck with Biden, even though Trump is facing four indictments, and many other legal battles. IKs that because Biden is weaker than we thought, or is the USA not so lily white as the World’s leader for democracy?

Add to that the Republican who controls Congress is heading towards three weeks of being leaderless, causing Congress to a halt.

Then on October 7th, Israel and Hamas, started firing thousands, upon thousands of rockets and killing almost 4,000 people. Yemen and Lebanon have started firing missals into Israel. The entire mid-East is like a time bomb with a very short fuse. Anything could happen in an hour or two.

Of course, we should not forget about Ukraine and its battle with Russia. Their battles have not been as much in the forefront since October 7th. But their war is still there, and they need the Republicans to chose a new speaker and quickly approve additional funding and armaments. Meanwhile, while the Republicans are in self-destruct mode, Biden is sending a request to Congress for $105-Billioj in funding for Ukraine Israel, southern border and other causes.

Here at home its not easy. India and Canada are honing their knives for a battle, and of course our relationship with China get worse every week.

So, we all know about grenades, I checked the dictionary. A grenade is an explosive weapon typically thrown by hand, but can also refer to a shell shot from the muzzle of a rifle or a grenade launcher.

The heading on this piece asked the question. Please help me decide, or assist to ensure the pin has not been pulled on the grenade. Or is it worse than that, maybe a bomb?

Now that my rant is over, it’s time to focus on some very good news here at home. In this issue you will find citation on almost a dozen outstanding people or groups, who were recognized by the Lieutenant-Governor at the 2023 Provincial Volumeters recognitions. We published the successful municipal volunteers for the Fundy region, comprising Cumberland, Colchester and East Hants. In this regional there are thousands of dedicated volunteers. All of them are winners and appreciated in their home community. Unfortunately, only a few get called to the podium.

The other group who were recognized were almost a dozen, who had extra reasons to celebrate Small Business Week. They received certificates and awards at the annual Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce Small Business Awards ceremony on Thursday, October 20th. The 2023 award ceremony was historical in two ways. It had the largest attendance of members in memory. The second and most important historical aspect involved being held in Legends located in the Millbrook Power Centre.

Have a good month, start getting ready for Christmas. - Maurice


October 2023 - Chignecto Isthmus Must be Top Priority

The last three columns have in a minor way become an on-going serial in that they have focused on catastrophic events around the world. First focus, in July issue, suggested "if it has happened somewhere, it could happen here" Suggesting we should be alert as to what is happening, because thinking, "It won’t happen here – WRONG!!!

I started recalling some of the 1950’s mining disasters In Springhill. In the same column, I progressed to the current worry should the winds blow just the right way; we are at high tide, and get another Fiona or a stronger Fiona what might happen on the Chignecto Isthmus. All government levels from Victoria to St John’s and in between must step up to the plate and now. The $800-million to $1-Billion it will cost to rectify over 5 years is small in comparison to the economic disruption of $1.2-Billion that would occur in just 12 days. Mathematically at $1-Billion economic damage per day. Three months without an operational Chignecto Isthmus would total $100-Billion.

We can complain all we want about the 17cents per litre from the Carbon Tax; about the rising cost of "just" living with escalating cost of food, heat & electricity; mortgages and rents approaching $2,000 per month, or shortage of suitable housing.

As electors we need to keep the pressure on all politicians and public servants to finalize a redevelopment plan for Chignecto Isthmus and finalize it now. WE need to become as forceful, even to the point of being semi-radical to ensure a solution is put in place within a few months and tenders called to start re-development.

In the August version, I focused on the torrential rains which brought flooding to Windsor area and took out bridges and sections of roads in South Maitland and many areas of the province.

We were not advised, but if we had been watching CNN and other American channels covering similar flooding damage a week or less prior, we might have been better prepared, or at least not so surprised.

In September’s version, I expressed my fears of what might be ahead in 2024 and 2025. The massive damage caused this year from wildfires Yarmouth and Tantallion to mention closeness, or BC and NWT. Our traditional thoughts of Yellowknife is cold, severe cold, desolation and mosquitos as big as horseflies when the weather does turn warm.

Imagine the requirement of having to move 20,000 people out of Yellowknife in a few days. Whjat’s happening and what can we expect in a year or two. I’ll repeat my 2024/2025 fear: If the current climactic situation continues for the next couple of years, Nova Scotia is in big trouble. Wildfires like what happened in Yarmouth County and Tantallon will be small by comparison from all the downed wood and thousands of acres of forest holdings damaged in last fall’s Hurricane Fiona. Wonder what discussions are planned or have been held by the Federal, Provincial governments with Municipalities of Colchester, Pictou and Antigonish Counties at the table.

Here is my basic formula for a plan to redevelop the Chignecto Isthmus. Governments must be prepared to spend up to $800-Million maybe $1-Billion to rectify the problems. Resolving the impasse could be easy. NB & NS pay 50% ($200-Million) on the first $400-million; 20% each on the next $400-Million. Feds pay 100% of all costs in excess of $800-Million.

Allocations on $800-Million: NB: $180-Million; NS: $180-Million and Feds: $440-Million. With Feds paying 100% of all costs over $800-million. If final tab was $1-Billion, feds would pay a total of $840-Million of $1-Billion.

In previous three months I have focused on how we need to prepare and realize what could happen if storm patterns; volumes of rain in a storm increases, and how a "Storm of Devastation" could affect our economic livelihood should the Chignecto Isthmus be compromised.

However, I did not expect we would have several Nova Scotians in Morrocco to celebrate the Cliffs of Fundy GeoPark at an early September conference involving 1,500 delegates from 50 countries have the conference shortened due to a massive 6.9 earthquake. Such is the life of Mayor Christine Blair, Dr John Calder, Caleb Grant and others on the Cliffs of Fundy GeoPark team.

Recounts of the experience by Blair and Calder can be found, with photos on Pages 16 and 17.










September 2023 - Total destruction – Are we next?

Three months ago when I started writing about "if we see things happening elsewhere" I didn’t anticipate it to be the main theme for at least three issues, maybe more. It was a gem of an idea which quickly gained traction primarily because certain things happened which were almost identical to what was included in the previous article.

July issue revolved around our common thoughts "It won’t happen here". Traditionally, even though we are aware of things happening elsewhere, we default to "it won’t happen here, we’re in Nova Scotia.

It’s time we sat up and took notice. Here’s an example: When I was in elementary school, as I remember it, one of the panels in a comic strip showed the character watching television on a wrist watch. At the time far fetched and impossible.

40 years later not only were cameras in wrist watches; James Bond had spy cameras embedded in the buttons on his shirt.

if you see things happening elsewhere; brace your feet, and get prepared. Not only might it or something very similar will happen here.

The August version of Rees’ Pieces continued the basic theme, but changed to "it has happened". Massive flooding from typhoons in Asia, happened in much smaller way with 300 Mil of rain within 12 hours from Peggy’s Cove across the province touching westerly part of HRM (Bedford & Lr Sackville) to St Croix and Windsor.

Result: Millions of dollars in damage and a segment of the population not prepared. Will take years to resolve all flooding issues.

Two weeks later four hours of torrential rain caused "minor" flash flooding in Truro, and washing out a portion of Hwy 215 at South Maitland, where 18 hours earlier, repairs were completed reopening Hwy 215 from flooding two weeks prior. The latest washout took four long days to complete.

The extensive heat dome lasting several weeks was not as severe here as many states south of the border. For 15 days straight Phoenix suffered temperatures in excess of 110 degrees. Every day, CNN would report "in excess of 100 people under heat alerts today".

Next on the list is Wildfires in Canada, USA and around the world. Canada has seen 13-Million hectares ravaged by fire (10 times the average over 10 years). In Yarmouth County and Tantallon hundreds of homes and businesses were lost.

This week wildfires on Hawaii’s island of Maru has killed 93 people in the town of Lahaina with at least 1,000 people remain missing. Over 2,200 homes and businesses reduced to ashes with estimates to rebuild estimated at $5.53-Billion just for the resort city.

Here’s my 2024/2025 fear: If the current climactic situation continues for the next couple of years, Nova Scotia is in big trouble. Wildfires like what happened in Yarmouth County and Tantallon will be small by comparison from all the downed wood and thousands of acres of forest holdings damaged in last fall’s Hurricane Fiona. Wonder what discussions are planned or have been held by the Federal, Provincial governments with Municipalities of Colchester, Pictou and Antigonish Counties at the table.

Potential total economic collapse: Two prominent people, acting like toddlers having an ego spat in a sandbox, are putting our livelihoods and future at risk. Justin Trudeau and Tim Houston are the sandbox spatters.

Nova Scotia is being exposed to serious consequences over who will pay for the preventative maintenance on the Chignecto Isthmus. Governments must be prepared to spend up to $800-Million maybe $1-Billion to rectify the problems. Economic studies suggest a 12 day interruption would have a total value of $1.2 billion. The preventative work will take at least 3 years to complete. Resolving the impasse could be easy. NB & NS pay 50% ($200-Million) on the first $400-million; 20% each on the next $400-Million. Feds pay 100% of all costs in excess of $800-Million.

Allocations on $800-Million: NB: $180-Million; NS: $180-Million and Feds: $440-Million. With Feds paying 100% of all costs over $800-million. If final tab was $1-Billion, feds would pay a total of $840-Million of $1-Billion.

Let’s put them in the sandbox, sell tickets to watch; knock their heads together. Only rule can’t leave until agreement is reached.



August 2023 - Kidnapped or not, it happened..

When I look around at all the emerging technologies I instantly get lost in the quickness and magnitude they get enough traction, one could say "We were kidnapped".

Even though we appear to be happy with the newness of all these technological advances, the creative inventors have a few things to learn.

A couple of hundred years ago or less, our forefathers with nothing but determination, hard work, a cross-cut saw, or perhaps a hewing axe, they shaped large beams to build a house, barn, or sailing ship. Many of those houses are standing today and in better shape than ones constructed 30 years ago. (Mine was built in 1831/1832, second oldest in the village). Even after Juan, White Juan, Fiona and this past weekend’s rain store, it’s still standing.

Compare the foregoing to the results of new buildings – hospitals, schools, apartment complexes and single family dwellings, built at significant cost, but comparatively are pieces of junk, possibly full of mold and could collapse anytime.

We will be busy recovering, primarily flooding for a long, long time. I have empathy for those who are trying to salvage family possessions. Receiving up to 300mm, as some areas did, is equal to 10-12 inches or rain in less than 24 hours (basically 12-16 hours).

In South Maitland, 8km from my quaint spot, the road was washed away leaving a hole approximately 30 feet wide across two lanes of traffic to a depth just over 30 feet. Normally, in summer, even brook trout would have to carry water, just to keep wet.

The intensity of the storm was not focused on Maitland, the eye was an hour to the west in St Croix and Windsor, after making landfall at Liverpool venturing through Queens County toward Peggy’s Cove then across the westerly side of Halifax to Bedford and Lower Sackville and onward.

I mention the storm track, because a friend and myself were in the midst of it not far from Peggy’s Cove in the late afternoon leaving the area around 6:30 pm. Yes, it was a wild one. In addition to torrential rain, the real dangers were driveways washed into the middle of the highway and deep pools (2 feet or more) of water across the pavement.

Some of the foregoing is a prelude to my comments about the July 21/22 rainstorm. Was it expected? (to a smaller degree) YES. Did we anticipate the magnitude? No.

Those who had watched CNN and other American television channels, we were aware of similar rain induced devastation in Vermont – one place receiving about 12 inches rain in less than nine hours; severe flooding in parts of New York and Boston.

Knowing such storms travel to the East, why were we all asleep? Did we think it could not or would not happen here. (Refer to last month’s column – "If it happens elsewhere it can happen here).

Why is what I ask? Where were all the meteorologists? Where were our public servants, who manage Emergency Measures? Where were elected provincial politicians, who are responsible for setting policy and management on our behalf?

Of an approaching 1-million people in Nova Scotia why was not even one person sounding the alarm?

Which brings me back to the point our engineers and tradespeople can’t hold a candle to what our forefathers achieved with their hewing axes and post and beam construction methods.

To drive my point home and prove without possibility of debate, let me report on a few things about the Saxby Gale. Check out the online account for yourself especially: Letter to the Editor, Sept. 16, 1869,


If in doubt draw your own conclusions at:

The Saxby Gale was a tropical cyclone which struck eastern Canada's Bay of Fundy region on the night of October 4–5, 1869. The storm was named for Lieutenant Stephen Martin Saxby, a naval instructor who, based on his astronomical studies, had predicted extremely high tides in the North Atlantic Ocean on October 1, 1869, which would produce storm surges in the event of a storm.

Never forget: It’s not that it "MAY happen. IT HAS. - Maurice



July 2023 - Rees’s Pieces - It won’t happen here – WRONG!!!

I wasn’t sure where to start, or the topics I should try to cover this month. Still deliberating even though I’ve started.

We used to find comfort in saying, "It won’t happen here". That comment would come from catching the news about something that went horribly wrong. However, I learned at an early age things can happen. I remember on one occasion my father, who was normally, quiet, calm and had it together was in a totally different frame of mind.

To help set the scene, he emigrated with his family at the age of 16 from Wales in 1927. Apparently in that era, there was a lot of coal mining in that area of Wales. On the farm outside Woodstock, as a youth I grew up without electricity until I was in early teens.

Listening to the radio was only at certain times because it was battery powered; batteries cost money and we didn’t have much of it. Even at 10-11 years old, I detected a different mood and for a few days father would listen intently to every newscast. If memory serves me correctly I thought it was 1957, but on checking Springhill Mine Disasters it could have been ’56 or ’58.

I researched a bit and found the following:

The 1956 explosion occurred on November 1, 1956, killed 39 coal miners, but 88 others underground were rescued because of improved equipment. Prior to the blast, a mine train was hauling a load of fine coal dust up to the surface of the Number 4 colliery for removal from the pithead, and encountered a heavy flow of ventilation air being forced down the shaft by surface fans. The flow of air disturbed the contents of the ascending train cars and spread fine (and highly flammable) dust throughout the air of the shafts of No. 4. Before the train reached the surface, several cars broke loose and ran back down the slope of No. 4, derailing along the way and hitting a power line, causing it to arc and igniting the coal dust at the 5,500-foot (1,700 m) level (below surface).

Springhill mining disaster may refer to any of three deadly Canadian mining disasters that occurred in 1891, 1956, and 1958 in different mines within the Springhill coalfield. In the 1891 accident, 125 died; in 1956, 39 were killed; and in 1958, there were 75 miners killed.

On November 1, 1956, 118 men were working deep in Springhill’s No. 4 mine, when six cars of a loaded coal trip being pulled by a cable to the surface broke away and went hurtling down the slope. The cars jumped the track and crashed into an armoured steel cable carrying 2200 volts of electricity. 

In the evening of October 23, 1958, a bump wracked No. 2 mine in Springhill. The underground earthquake sent floors, ceilings, and walls to meet each other, opened great chasms, poured coal and debris into open spaces to completely block levels, and cut off all communication below 7800 feet. In the immediate aftermath, 81 men made their way to the surface. Then from the deeps was only silence.

It was the disasters in Springhill which reminded father of similar disasters back in his homeland.

Using Springhill as an example, "Yes, It Can Happen Here!" takes us out of our comfort zone that "It Won’t Happen Here".

Times and the climate are changing. We need to prepare for what is coming or will be coming our way. Climate change will bring rising tides: Hence all levels of government must be prepared to spend up to $800-Million maybe $1-Billion to rectify the problems on the Chignecto Isthmus. Economic studies suggest a 12 day interruption would have a total value of $1.2 billion. The preventative work will take at least 3 years to complete.

Think of the other things we thought would never happen here: Groundhog ’76; Hurricane Fiona, (google Saxby Gale); wildfires in Yarmouth County, and Tantallon; gangland slaying and mass murders, we’ve had Canada’s largest. See in this issue: untaxed cigarettes and drug smuggling; making 3D printed guns.

Get prepared. Change your thinking.

If you read about it elsewhere…



June 2023 - What a hectic last few weeks?

I can not remember when we have experienced such turbulent times: an unusual winter with very little snow; the weekly newscasts about the Mass Murder Commission; ongoing problems with healthcare with very little traction toward betterment; inflation and the rising cost of rent, furnace fuel and gasoline – all of which will always be out of our control. Regardless how much we complain these three things are what pinches our pocket books the most. I’ll get around to discussing food a bit later.

Rising rents / mortgage / cost of accommodations, for all intents and purposes are beyond our control, unless we are willing to make fundamental changes. Some changes are possible.

HOUSING / ACCOMMODATIONS: If you are locked into a mortgage/ line of credit or lease, it is more difficult. There is a housing crisis and to save your own skin maybe you should search for a roommate / rent out a room, or make a decision to take on the responsibility of helping grandparents, parents or a senior friend. Not the way your planned it, but better than you being homeless, or stubborn letting your financial “deck of cards” collapse.

ELECTRICITY / FURNACE FUEL: These are problems and will continue until global, national and provincial governments stop giving grants and tax concessions to multi-nationals, implement a sur-tax on excess profits and convert what would normally go to very profitable multi-nationals into some form of assistance to those who are middle income down to those suffering from poverty. Privately all we can do is change light bulbs, turn off the lights we no one is in the room. We can find a sweater and extra socks and turn the thermostat down two or three degrees.

GASOLINE / VEHICLE USAGE: We need a vehicle to get to work. gasoline prices are killing us. Cut the cost byh “car pooling”; drive only when necessary; walk to the store or remember to pick up the bread and milk on the way home. For those who have access use public transportation. Use it. If adventurous or capable and it’s possibile start using a bicycle.

FOOD AND GROCERY STORE: Now let’s talk about food, or trips to the grocery store. Yes, food costs are rising, but in Nova Scotia, we need to temper our comments with gentleness. We have farmer friends who are also struggling.

The costs faced at the check out is far less than half for food. Toilet tissue, paper towel, laundry and dish detergent, razor blades, deodorant, although necessary, are not food. Instead of $4.99 for four bran muffins, spend the time with friends or family member and bake your own. (You’ll get a dozen or more for the same or less).

Soda Pop, Pepsi or Coca-Cola, why spend $1.99 or $2,49 for 500ml or 710ml, when you can buy four 2 litre bottles for $5.00 or less. Have you looked at packaged cereal lately? It’s not healthy for you and should be treated more as a chocolate bar (so much sugar and artificial fillers).

What happened to Oatmeal Porridge, or Red River Cereal? We grew up on it, every morning with homemade bread toast and jam. If when a toddler was getting old enough to feed themselves, if that is what you served them, they, like us older folk will love it. Conclusion: It’s not in their diet, because you don’t know how to make it; are too lazy or think you don’t have time. If you are not into making bread, then please be considerate enough for your child’s health to get up and make a batch of biscuits. Where’s the molasses?

Is that enough preaching from this senior publisher for this month?

Now let me tell you are lucky to be reading this issue, right on schedule which we established in September 2021.

In mid-May, about two weeks ago, we suffered a computer crash. No computer for six days. Lost a lot of data, or can’t find it. However, with new computer and very long three days we got to the printer on time. We will call this “OUR LUCKY ISSUE”. This being the 60th year in publishing our record is intact: Not into missing publishing deadlines. - Maurice




May 2023 - Add Profit Controls to Rent Control

Everyone is concerned and often complaining about the cost of food. Yes, it has sky rocketed, and appears out of control. Seems like retailers, not just food, but across the spectrum have learned the habit of how to increase prices. Basically, it’s raise the prices, putting their hands over their ears so they don’t hear the screaming.

Cost of food is not the real problem, although is it a contributor. Our increased cost of living centres around things totally out of our control: price of gasoline; electricity; clothing; beer and wine; rent; bank charges; mortgage costs and many more.

The governments are reaping the benefits. I just wish all levels of governments would take care of the residents by bringing down the "big hammer" on companies who are making excessive profits. I have a suggestion on how it might be done, but I’d also bet there is not one level of government willing to give my suggestion a second thought.

In Nova Scotia Houston’s government imposed "rent controls", which supposedly would ensure major increases in rent were not possible. However, we have learned there are so many ways to get around what was intended it’s not a small crack that only a mouse could squeeze through. No, the holes or cracks are large enough to drive a moving van.

If rent controls were supposed to work, let’s consider things at the other end. Let’s fight for "Profit Control" on every business. So now let’s do a bit of math to explain: If a company’s sales volume was $1-Million and they netted 10%, there would be $100,000 profit. In the next year sales doubled to $2-Million, there should be $200,000 profit. All fair and good.

Now let’s explore this: If sales stayed at $1-Million, but profit increased to 13%, profit would be $130,000. Reasons why, I am not going to explore. If there we had a "Profit Control" program, perhaps companies should be made to pay (an additional tax) of 50% of the increased profit.

Those are small numbers for today’s business. Imagine the dollars involved, in companies doing $900-Million. If they had excess profits rising to 13%, their excess profit would be $270,000, of which $135,000 would be paid to the "Profit Control Account".

Under my method, the amount of monies paid would be MEGA bucks.

By applying to all businesses, one of two things will happen: First, additional money will be raised from the excessive profit tax. That money should be used to provide a national health care program for dentistry or paying for all prescriptions. Just a thought.

The second thing which would happen and is probably the most important. Everyone, including business executive loathe paying a cent more than required. Once in place, the program would slow down the rapid increases passed along to customers. If you apply these ways to theory, if not one red cent was paid into "Profit Control Account".

You might ask what is the long term benefit? It eliminates inflation. Gets us out of the mess we are in. I’d bet, across the board, prices would be reduced. We would be more competitive on a global basis, allowing us to reap the benefits from global investments.

My second hatred, is waste. It is estimated 40% of the food grown is wasted, or left to rot in the fields. If that problem could be solved one of two things would happen: We’d have lots of food, so nobody went hungry, or we could create more jobs to process the 40% of wasted food and feed more of the world.

All this theory, if turned into reality, would have only two results.

Canada would be inflation free. People around the world would look "in awe" at Canada as the primary (#1) global food supplier.

My other moment of happiness involves the Mass Murder Commission has delivered it’s final report. Not that I agree with or think they went far enough, but it’s over.

Now we can move forward with HEALING. - Maurice


April 2023 - Danger: Complacency may hurt

There are so many items I thought about voicing my opinion this month my head started to spin. At the top of the list was the political mess south of the border; then immigrants coming into Canada (favourable); constant rise in living cost – heat, groceries, accommodations and the hidden fees for various services. Each time I started to do some research, I got distracted, and my thought remained just that – a thought.

Part of the reason I abandoned some of them my thoughts were on the negative side. I prefer positive thoughts centred around how lucky we are to live in Colchester or Cumberland counties. That does not mean everything is rosy.

If we chose to complain, we can always complain about the weather. Everyone has an opinion about it. Where we are the luckiest, is we do not have extremes. We get all hyped up about a pending winter storm forecasted to drop a foot or so of snow, with extremely high winds. We spend a couple of days fretting about the next storm however, when it comes it last a few hours, often overnight, and then what happens?

The next morning, the sun is out, winds are non-existent. Our faces turn red with embarrassment because we think, "what was yesterday’s fuss all about".

We go through all this agony, without having to worry about tornados in the middle of the night, as Tennessee just experienced with up to 200 mph winds; a tornado staying on the ground for an hour and ten minutes destroying everything in sight for 59 miles and over 25 people losing their lives. Consider California some areas in the high mountains getting 10 feet of snow in one storm, or nearer the coast, pelting rain dropping 10-12 inches in less than 16 hours. Flooding and future disasters.

Yes, we are lucky. Very lucky.

However, our luck causes us to be complacent. Complacency if we let it become to large a part of our lives can be detrimental in the long run.

This next topic is something each property owner best pay attention and become vocal letting your feelings or fears be known.

Subject: Land Use Bylaw. In Colchester we have been lucky not having zoning or restrictions on land use. However, that is about to change and change fast. The province has mandated all municipalities must develop a Land Use Bylaw. Whether we like it or not, there is no way out. It is almost impossible for people in the city to relate to the needs of more remote areas. They also expect people to understand the gravity of the situation within 6 weeks. Three months is more desired timetable.

I am suggesting landowners: "Pay strict attention what is coming down the pipe. Make sure you study information sent to you; be sure to attend public meetings. Be seen, be heard. Once a bylaw is passed it is hard to make changes.

Council has retained Upland Consulting, Halifax to navigate the engagement process with local residents. Upland made a presentation to council on March 7th. My concern is not with the consulting firm, but with the shortness of the timelines. The plan was launched on March 13th. Engagement with the public ends in April. In June Upland will provide an Engagement and Recommendations report.

Engagement plan calls for public survey; Online Interactive Map; four open houses; four pop-up events and topic specific online group discussions.

Land use will vary by area. What is needed in Salmon River is different than Economy, Tatamagouche, or Masstown.

My concern most of sites mentioned for the open houses were more populated areas. Some councillors mentioned that. Let’s see how they dig in their heels. I believe, each 11 electoral district should have at least one open house.

PLEASE: As an area group and individually, pressure your councillor to hold a public meeting in your area. Also, get on your "High horse" - take the time to write or email all: municipal office; mayor, all councillors, even though only one represents you.

If you don’t act, you will live with the consequences, if the bylaw is detrimental to the county or your area. - Maurice





March 2023 - Congratulations Premier Houston

Granted he has been getting a lot of heat for several factors, including his government’s inability to provide the quick "fixes" he promised during the election campaign, which resulted in his winning a large majority.

If for a moment we forget about perceived short comings, it is time to congratulate the Premier for a recent decision to supply a monthly column to the community newspapers. Not sure how many of the papers expressed interest in carrying the column, when a communications staffer from his office called to inquire if the Shoreline Journal and South Cumberland News would be interested. My immediate reply was YES.

Hard for me to say no, because for years on many occasions, I suggested to politicians and even their staffers, they needed to have a regular presence in the smaller papers. Not everyone subscribed to the provincial daily, My argument was they were missing a large audience. Additionally, with senior politicians taking time to supply a column it would give rural people a feeling they mattered.

Such a presence on those pages could possibly indicate those in power recognized them. For far too many decades, there was the impression, political parties focused only on the larger population areas.

All media has undergone major transitions since the enlarging advent of the social media. Nothing has been uprooted more than print media, as media buyers turned their focus toward electronic press.

A renewed focus on the newspapers serving the rural and remote areas of the province may have started on November 28th. This is the end of February, and I can attest a change is starting to become visible, but it is not growing by leaps and bounds and there is a lot of ground to make up, if we were ever to get back to the levels enjoyed a decade ago.

Why did I suggest November 28th? That happens to be the day, when the provincial daily stopped delivering the paper to rural convenience stores for resale or delivering a single paper to a home which had a six day a week subscription. Here’s an example. If you travel from Truro to Parrsboro there is not one place to buy a daily paper, and not one home got an early morning delivery of a single copy to enjoy with the first cup of coffee.

Over half the province (area) and close to that in population could not read the provincial obituaries or work away on a crossword puzzle. Once they realized it, and it finally started to sink in the communications experts at all political parties were vulnerable for cardiac arrest. We are missing about half of our audience, what do we do now?, would be their coffee break chatter.

Maybe political animals might start to recognize the importance of rural areas are to the province and their ability to fill the ballot boxes with their candidate’s name.

If you care, about your rural area and the attention is may receive in the future, I suggest you write, call or mention these facts to your MLA. He or she will have difficulty reaching you, but singularly can remind them we are still here, and WE DO MATTER.

On another matter, which is very promising. In early February, Colchester council received a public presentation from several astout business people who outlined their plans and hope to start a real estate development on 160+ acres in Bible Hill, which over a 15 year build out could add 2,200+ residential units to a very tight real estate market.

The shortage of housing, particularly the affordable type, has driven prices through the room, and will curtail other economic development in areas which are not able to provide housing for new or expanding businesses. Because of our geographic location if Colchester can supply the housing, we will grow in other areas at the expense of others.

Based on population ratio Colchester equates to 10% of HRM. 2,200 units in Bible Hill has the same impact as 22,000 in HRM. The 5 Points project is not the only one in the area. How soon will Colchester be the provincial leader in affordable housing development? - Maurice



February 2023 - It’s Far From Over

To get an understanding of all the various situations we face each day, it is appropriate to ask: What is appropriate, acceptable in a public setting and needs to be asked?

Answer: The complete truth.

I ask the question because of the deplorable event which occurred in Amherst on New Year’s Eve, when Allison Leah Holthnoff died after waiting 6-7 hours for emergency treatment at the Cumberland Regional Health Centre.

A bit more of the background. Earlier in the day, Allison was not feeling well. The situation worsened when she collapsed on the floor.

Because of previous problematic ambulance service (never showing up when called), Allison’s husband decided to take her to the health centre. He carried her into the ER on his back and placed her in a wheelchair.

It’s not clear what actually transpired in the following 6-7 hours, except at times she was laying on the floor in excruciating pain, because it was too painful to sit in the ER chairs.

Finally ER staff took her into a room, but she still had not been seen by a doctor. As her condition worsened, they resuscitated her three times, and finally determined she had severe brain damage, due to lack of blood. She was kept on life support until her three children arrived to say their "good-byes".

In support of the family, kin, and community, enter Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin, independent MLA for Cumberland North, who wrote a letter to health minister, Michelle Thompson asking for an investigation.

Not having received a response from health minister Thompson, for almost a week, Smith-McCrossin posted the letter on her Facebook page. Still no response.

However, about midnight on January 6th she received an email (not a phone call) from the Justice Department threatening legal action, because they claimed her Facebook posting contained the person’s name, age, and some limited health information.

Instead of only the having health department, management and staff at the Upper Nappan, we have the Justice Department wading into this horrible situation. What is also deplorable is the current government has openly displayed how "insensitive" they are. What is also in-excusable is there is no indication Health Minister, Michelle Thompson has made any effort to personally contact the family.

At the very least, as premier and the front person for nearly 1-million Nova Scotians, Premier Houston, t’s mworseshould have made personal contact with the family. His lack of action sends a very large message to the rest of us how much compassion he lacks. while the rest of us are compassionate and mourning as Nova Scotians do.

Houston was elected on a promise to "fix healthcare". Meanwhile, he has not shown the expected level of compassion as he has not contacted the family.

Holthoff’s passing is bad enough, but to have the Justice Department jump in threatening legal action about sharing identity and personal information on Social Media.

Give me a break. It’s not like the details were secret.

Holthoff’s name, photos and many personal details were all over the print, radio, and television media. Smith-McCrossin did not reveal anything which was not already public knowledge. What has happened to this family is inexcusable and an public investigation should be held with results shared with the general public. It appears the results will be shared with the family and not the public.

Instead of expending energy trying taking to "cover up" it would be appropriate, if all levels of government would promise transparency and confirm all details will be made public. We all feel sorry for the remainder of the ER staff who for the rest of their lives will wear a portion of the guilt on what transpired in Upper Nappan on New Year’s Eve.

If for no other reason both Thompson and Houston should contact the family to show support for their hard working staff.

Smith-McCrossin was justified in the actions she took.

Unfortunately, unless drastic steps are taken, Holthoff will probably not be the last.

The public has a right and should be relentless in their efforts calling for a fully disclosed public inquiry.

I hope management at the Health Centre and others have lawyered up. This matter is far from over.  - Maurice


January 2023 - Control your own destiny

No matter who you talk to there is a lot of concern about where we are headed politically, economically and will society be able to stop climate change so we don’t cause major environmental and biodiversity changes. Add to that list, inflation and rising interest rates, which could cripple us, before we have a chance to implement our version of how we can help achieve successful outcomes to what faces us.

With those concerns, we are like frogs, which lily pad do I jump to next?

The consequences could be so catastrophic we don’t know where to turn. My assumption, based on the style of life we have grown accustomed, we are most vulnerable with the political direction. The rapid surge of the populist movement is just starting to gain traction and be more visible in Atlantic Canada.

As a comparative, for decades we thought or perceived Albertans as "rednecks" who have openly showed disgust to those provinces who received equalization grants. Even some politicians who served at the federal level carried a similar attitude. Remember the comment "freeze in the dark"?

With Jason Kenny no longer premier, it didn’t take long for his female replacement and her team to show their true colours, by introducing proposed legislation to allow them to ignore federal laws, policies and directives if not totally in Alberta’s interest.

Thankfully, there were enough "true Canadians" within the confines of the oil patch kingdom who created enough blow-back, she was forced to do a hasty make amendments to tone things down.

We are not out of the woods yet. There are pockets of "populism" across Canada and we might have some major battles on our hands. In the nation’s capital there is enough to keep us sitting on the edge of our seats. Although not an Albertan, there’s one political leader who openly wanted to make changes to Bank of Canada; remove the Governor, and put more emphasis on crypto currency.

That leader’s credibility started to drop went massive crypto failures caused many super rich people to lose trillions from their amassed fortunes. One by-election in Ontario’s 905 corridor might not indicate a trend which may lie ahead. However, it may cause many to question the sanity of us going down a similar road. Part of a defense to the election outcome might be, "Don’t blame me. Even as leader, I did not step foot into the riding during the campaign".

Provincially, even though most of us could find reasons to be upset with Nova Scotia Power, and/or Emera, I wonder about the wisdom picking a fight. Over the long term is it viable and still possible to win the war and be assured of a successful outcome? It’s possible to win the occasional "brownie point", but long term success is where we should focus our efforts.

Holding NS Power to a 1.8% regiment might save us for a few months or couple of years, but if the bond rating agencies intercede, we might pay a lot more for a long time. If bonds are downgraded, borrowing costs rise dramatically. Think of it this way. Most of us have hit rough times. It takes a lot more effort and long time to recover.

I’m more concerned about "going with the flow" and not upset the apple cart to the point of destruction. A smoother road, even with a few "potholes" is much preferred.

If we wish to get ahead, there are many things we could do individually and as a society which would bring us to a more comfortable future. We could lower our expectations by buying a used vehicle rather than a shiny new one every few years. We could delay major purchases, or adopt a more gradual plan for upgrading. We could dramatically lower the cost of food, by freezing, preserving, making jam rather than rushing to the grocery store to get a pint of very expensive raspberries in the middle of January.

Want to eliminate inflation?

Adopt an in-the-home and lifestyle of "REDUCE, REUSE AND RECYCLE. Take control of your own destiny. MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR. - Maurice





MMaurice Rees, Publisher
The Shoreline Journal
Box 41, Bass River, NS B0M 1B0
PH: 902-647-2968; Cell: 902-890-9850