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Saturday, January 16, 2021

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Local warnings, cancellations and closures

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To report cancellations or closures, email news@sixrivers.ca or phone / text 902-614-3000

Listen to Six Rivers Radio HERE for current updates during storm or extreme conditions.

Report power outages to 1-877-428-6004.

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Info Laden Meeting at County Council

Info Laden Meeting at County Council

Info Laden Meeting at County Council

Info Laden Meeting at County Council

The Municipality of Cumberland Council met via zoom for its first meeting of 2021 tonight and the new councillors were treated to a heavy dose of background information.
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Pugwash Addresses Parking and Traffic Concerns

Pugwash Addresses Parking and Traffic...

Pugwash Addresses Parking and Traffic Concerns

Pugwash Addresses Parking and Traffic Concerns

Pugwash has a parking problem, not widespread but in a tiny, important area.
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Missing Pugwash Man Found Safe & Well

Missing Pugwash Man Found Safe & Well

Missing Pugwash Man Found Safe & Well

Missing Pugwash Man Found Safe & Well

A Pugwash man, missing since Friday, has been found by the RCMP.
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Oxford Arena Lays Down the Welcome Mat

Oxford Arena Lays Down the Welcome Mat

Oxford Arena Lays Down the Welcome Mat

Oxford Arena Lays Down the Welcome Mat

The Oxford Arena is open. The community group, spearheaded by the Oxford and Area Lions Club, has leased the facility from the town and quietly opened its doors today to programs and visitors.
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RCMP Alert Says Shooting Suspect Arrested

RCMP Alert Says Shooting Suspect...

RCMP Alert Says Shooting Suspect Arrested

RCMP Alert Says Shooting Suspect Arrested

Police have arrested a man, without incident, as investigation of a shooting in New Brunswick raised fears in Amherst.
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Police Issue Emergency Alert for a Shooting Suspect

Police Issue Emergency Alert for a...

Police Issue Emergency Alert for a Shooting Suspect

Police Issue Emergency Alert for a Shooting Suspect

Mobile phones, TVs, and other devices rang out of the silence this morning with a broadcast alert across the emergency system.
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Oxford Readies for a Special Council Election

Oxford Readies for a Special Council...

Oxford Readies for a Special Council Election

Oxford Readies for a Special Council Election

Voters in Oxford will go to the polls once again, at the end of this month.
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Relaunch of Oxford Arena Still on Ice

Relaunch of Oxford Arena Still on Ice

Relaunch of Oxford Arena Still on Ice

Relaunch of Oxford Arena Still on Ice

The Oxford Arena is ready to go under new management, just waiting for the paperwork.
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Chief Medical Officer Honoured for Excellence

Chief Medical Officer Honoured for...

Chief Medical Officer Honoured for Excellence

Chief Medical Officer Honoured for Excellence

Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health has been named the 2020 Lieutenant-Governor's Award for Excellence in Public Administration.
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Wallace Presents a Virtual Christmas Eve Service

Wallace Presents a Virtual Christmas Eve...

Wallace Presents a Virtual Christmas Eve Service

Wallace Presents a Virtual Christmas Eve Service

A Christmas Eve event in Wallace, 45 years in the making, has been re-invented in this year of COVID-19.

Top Stories

Mark Rushton
/ Categories: News

Oxford Arena Proves Again to be a Thorny Topic

The Oxford Arena was the subject of discussion at last night’s town council meeting. Council decided in June to keep the arena closed for the 2020-21 season due in part to a financial crunch, and to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That decision didn’t sit well with many residents, who sought a volunteer-run solution to make the recreation centre available again for skating, hockey and other uses this winter.

A group of community members have come up with a plan, volunteers and some financial support. They say they just need the go-ahead from the town to make it happen.

Oxford councillors heard from staff that the town’s insurance agent and lawyer have both raised concerns, and council is proceeding very cautiously, while recognizing that time is of the essence.

Councillor Wade Adshade wondered if the rush to reopen the arena is a prudent course of action. He was on the council that approved closing the facility, and suggested it would be better in the long run to work with the community members who are showing an interest in the facility to make plans for the long-term operation of the facility, with the town at arm’s length, but not until next season.

Adshade noted that public usage of the facility has been in decline for years, and every year it has been a challenge to find the funding to keep the arena operating. 

He is pleased that there are people in the community who are showing an interest, but Adshade is concerned that it is late in the season to start the reopening process, particularly with an uncertain COVID-19 winter ahead of us.

Councillor Brenton Colborne said he understands that the community group is aware of the challenges and believes it is capable of making it work, at no cost to the Town of Oxford.

Councillor Paul Jones supported the community’s proposal, if it can guarantee that the town won’t face legal or financial risks.

Chief Administrative Officer Rachel Jones noted added complications with the two unionized staff members who were laid off with the arena’s closing. If the arena returns to operation, it’s likely they could bring a grievance against the town, regardless of who is operating the facility.

Oxford Mayor Greg Henley said that if someone is able to come up with private funds to run the arena, the town should see if there’s a way to make it happen.

In the end, council decided to explore a lease arrangement with a community group to operate the arena with the main criteria: $2-million of insurance coverage, the completion of a risk assessment by the insurance provider, a guarantee that the group will abide by all public health orders and that no costs would be incurred by the town.

Discussions between town staff and the community group will continue to see if an arrangement can be made under those terms.

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Events This Week

Saturday, January 16, 2021 3:00 PM

Chase the Ace at the Pugwash Legion, now open on Saturdays.

Monday, January 18, 2021 10:00 AM

Walk and Talk every Monday and Wednesday at the Wentworth Recreation Centre.

Monday, January 18, 2021 6:00 PM

Monthly meeting of Oxford Town Council at 6 pm in the Town Hall.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021 12:00 PM

Baked Fresh Wednesday in support of Big Lake Camp. Click HERE for details.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021 6:00 PM

Pugwash Fire Department Toonie Draw, the 50/50 community fundraiser. Click HERE for details.

Thursday, January 21, 2021 7:00 PM

Bingo at the Wentworth Recreation Centre. Limited to the first 50 people. Public health rules in place.

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