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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

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Busy Night: Two Oxford Meetings in One

Busy Night: Two Oxford Meetings in One

Busy Night: Two Oxford Meetings in One

Busy Night: Two Oxford Meetings in One

A longer night than usual for Oxford Town Councillors, as they gathered for not one, but two meetings last night. 
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New Pugwash Library Opens on Monday

New Pugwash Library Opens on Monday

New Pugwash Library Opens on Monday

New Pugwash Library Opens on Monday

The new $2.198-million Pugwash Library will open its doors to the public on Monday.
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MLA/Minister to Address Wentworth Concerns

MLA/Minister to Address Wentworth...

MLA/Minister to Address Wentworth Concerns

MLA/Minister to Address Wentworth Concerns

The Protect Wentworth Valley Committee (PWV) will host another public meeting next weekend to press their concerns about the proposed mega wind project for Higgins Mountain.
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Shubenacadie Sam: Go Back to Bed

Shubenacadie Sam: Go Back to Bed

Shubenacadie Sam: Go Back to Bed

Shubenacadie Sam: Go Back to Bed

Shubenacadie Sam says go back to bed for six more weeks of winter.
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Miners Suffer Critical Home Loss

Miners Suffer Critical Home Loss

Miners Suffer Critical Home Loss

Miners Suffer Critical Home Loss

The Springhill Coal Miners dropped an important game before a home crowd on Saturday, as the visiting River Valley Lumberjacks skated to a 4-2 win.
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Shots Fired in Springhill Apartment

Shots Fired in Springhill Apartment

Shots Fired in Springhill Apartment

Shots Fired in Springhill Apartment

The RCMP responded to shots fired within a Springhill apartment on Saturday.
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Town and County Join in Garbage Biz

Town and County Join in Garbage Biz

Town and County Join in Garbage Biz

Town and County Join in Garbage Biz

Big changes to garbage collection in Cumberland County are set for next year.
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Province Funds Local Doctor Search

Province Funds Local Doctor Search

Province Funds Local Doctor Search

Province Funds Local Doctor Search

The provincial government is providing funding to help community organizations recruit and retain healthcare professionals, to the tune of just over $175 thousand dollars in Cumberland County, with Pugwash receiving $25 thousand and change. 
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Top Stories

Bill Martin
/ Categories: News, Editorial

Mr. Premier - It’s What the People Want

EDITORIAL

When something happens that is so egregious that it riles the public sensitivity, you might think a seasoned politician would recognize the signs of danger.

For example, Canada’s worst mass shooting in history has kindled a demand for answers of who, what, and why in the hope that such an event, one that shocked Nova Scotia from Portapique to Enfield, would guide us to ensure such a tragedy never happens again.

From the days that followed the murder spree, family, friends, and community began demanding those answers in a call for a public inquiry. Now, three months later, the federal and provincial governments respond with a watered down version of investigation called a “review panel” without power to compel witnesses or deal with those who are uncooperative or worse, untruthful.

In a world of politics, it is no surprise to see a statement like this, “Victims wanted a public inquiry, the community wanted a public inquiry and the people of this province have asked for a public inquiry. Yet this government has failed all of us and this government has failed to listen. A panel is this government taking the easy way out. It's this government failing the victims; it's this government denying justice to an entire generation of Nova Scotians.”

Sounds like something you might hear from an opposition MLA, and in fact it is. However, the statement is a quote from Stephen McNeil when he was an opposition MLA back in 2013 when the then NDP government called for a review instead of an inquiry into the racially charged issues surrounding the Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children.

Different issue—same response.

It seems that governments are wary of public inquiries because they do not have control over the narrative. What if the inquiry uncovers something off the beaten path, who can steer them to the preferred conclusion? Of course, that is precisely the point of a public inquiry, it is not supposed to be steered, it is after all public.

The events that erupted in Portapique, April 18 and 19, are disturbing to say the least. If there ever was an issue that deserves to be thoroughly researched in the hope of finding recommendations to avoid even the slightest re-occurrence, Canada’s worst ever mass murder should be it.

As soon as the two Liberal governments, one federal and the other provincial, announced a review, the outrage erupted. Mark Furey, the Attorney General of Nova Scotia and his federal counterpart, Bill Blair, the Minister of Public Safety tried to see their idea by heaping praise on the three people named to conduct the review. But nobody was upset with those highly qualified individuals, they were upset with the process.

People had been clear, just as they were in 2013 when everybody except the government wanted a public inquiry.

Neither Blair nor Furey could defend their position. No matter how many times they repeated the exemplary credentials of the named panelists, they could not replace the need for an open inquiry with authority and guts to ask the tough questions of whomever they thought needed to answer.

Like so many times when government makes an unpopular decision, the bob-and-weave strategy just doesn’t cut it. And just like governments before them who have become so practised at not answering questions, they forget this is not question period in the house, this is real life with real people who more than want to know, they demand and deserve to know.

This latest smoke and mirrors, this blatant obfuscation only leads to more questions. What does government want to hide? The answer should be nothing, they should have nothing to hide and nothing to gain by keeping the public in the dark. Yet, all the fingers now point to the two governments, working in tandem, to deny public access to the truths that tear at the heart of a grieving community.

Only one voice spoke in favour of a review panel, only one group, and that was a spokesperson for the RCMP. The one agency charged with the responsibility of investigating not only the actions of Gabriel Wortman, but also of those who pursued him and killed him after a thirteen hour night of horror, is the one voice that welcomed a review instead of the more powerful public inquiry.

Given the chance, we should add why to that question in the growing list of concerns put before the national police force.

Yes, Mr. Premier, your statement in 2013 was entirely appropriate and it is just as true and appropriate today. 

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  • All Saints Springhill Hospital’s Collaborative Emergency Centre is closed today (Tuesday). 

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Radio This Week

Event List
Tuesday, January 3, 2023 12:00 AM

Listen to Morning Talk Replay. Click HERE to listen to recent interviews from our archive.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023 9:05 AM

Tory Rushton, Minister of Natural Resources, is on Morning Talk each Wednesday at 9:05.

Thursday, February 9, 2023 9:05 AM

Murray Scott, Mayor of Cumberland County, is on Morning Talk every Thursday. Listen at 9:05.

Thursday, February 9, 2023 10:45 AM

Pastor Mark Collins, faith leader, is on Morning Talk every Thursday at 10:45.

Saturday, February 11, 2023 8:00 PM

Saturday Night in a Harbour Town, featuring traditional East Coast music, airs every Saturday at 8 pm on Six Rivers All Hit Radio and Six Rivers Country.

Sunday, February 12, 2023 9:00 AM

Sunday Wrap, the week in review, is aired on the Six Rivers Radio Network every Sunday morning. Listen at 9:00.

Sunday, February 12, 2023 2:00 PM

A special replay of Saturday Night in a Harbour Town with host Eric MacEwen is heard every Sunday at 2 pm on Six Rivers All Hit Music and Six Rivers Country.

Events This Week

Wednesday, February 8, 2023 10:00 AM

Pickle Ball is played every Wednesday from 10 am to noon at the Wentworth Recreation Centre.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023 11:00 AM

The Pugwash Fire Department will host a COVID Vaccine Drop-in Clinic from 11 am to 2 pm for those 5 years and over. No appointment necessary.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023 6:00 PM

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

Thursday, February 9, 2023 11:00 AM

The Wallace Community Centre will host a COVID Vaccine Drop-in Clinic from 11 am to 2 pm for those aged 5 and over. No appointment is necessary.

Thursday, February 9, 2023 1:00 PM

Walk and Talk is held every Thursday at 1 pm at the Wentworth Recreation Centre.

Thursday, February 9, 2023 7:00 PM

Bingo is held every Thursday at 7 pm at the Wentworth Recreation Centre.

Saturday, February 11, 2023 10:00 AM

Pickle Ball is played every Saturday from 10 am to noon at the Wentworth Recreation Centre.

Saturday, February 11, 2023 2:45 PM

A Public Meeting, hosted by the Protect Wentworth Valley Committee, will be held at the Wentworth Recreation Centre from 2:45 to 4:00 pm to discuss the proposal for a mega wind farm on Higgins Mountain. Special Guest will be Tory Rushton, the Minister of Natural Resources and the MLA for the area.

Sunday, February 12, 2023 2:00 PM

Hope Centre Online is a worship service every Sunday at 2:15 pm. Click HERE to join on Zoom. The room opens at 2 pm.

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