New Chamber president looks to needs ahead

·3 min read

SHEET HARBOUR – Retired senator Tom McInnis is back at the helm of the Sheet Harbour and Area Chamber of Commerce and Civic Affairs for the coming year – a post he held before serving as senator. McInnis was acclaimed.

Residents gathered at Royal Canadian Legion Courcelette Branch 58 for the chamber’s AGM on March 3 to elect a slate of officers for the organization.

McInnis addressed the group, speaking of his commitment to the Eastern Shore, where he was born, raised and educated.

“I have long had a deep and serious interest in the future of this area,” he said. “The chamber is an integral part of the development of the business community of the area.”

Gone are the days of having government “… handing out projects,” McInnis said. “None of this is easy but now the community decides what we develop and what we are going to do.”

The new president outlined initiatives and projects that have been in the works for the organization.

“We will revisit projects we have been developing and I’ll ask the directors to work with me for further development. The list includes: an amphitheatre; Heritage Memorial Park; Provincial Park in Moser River; walkway and lighting of the West River Falls; town square at MacPhee House; bring MacPhee House Museum back to what it was; waterfront development; and trails association for trails through the woods from bridge to bridge.”

The Eastern Shore, McInnis noted, is in a growth spurt – with the rapid sale of houses and influx of new residents, many of whom are finding it a challenge to find a house. “We have newcomers who are building or purchasing homes, who are consumers … bringing children to our school population – and who are using the essential services.”

The slate of directors was upped to 12.

“Limit directors to 10?” McInnis questioned. “No – we have a lot of work to do and directors will assist projects get underway. We welcome newcomers who bring experiences from other areas where they have lived. We will capture their best knowledge and ideas and use them to the fullest extent.”

The intent, McInnis advocated, is “…to attract people to the area and to keep them in this area.”

McInnis spoke of the progress of the $10-million project for the new Eastern Shore Lifestyle Centre, of which he is board chair, and acknowledged HRM District 2 Councillor David Hendsbee’s endeavours working with the Eastern Shore Lifestyle Centre Society board.

“There is a lot of talent here and this group can realistically get a lot of things done.”

The membership acclaimed the following officers First Vice-President Mark Snyder, Second Vice-President Randy Tilden; Corporate Secretary Susan Weatherby and Treasurer Marilyn Munroe. Directors are Jack Marshall, Sandy Moser, Rebecca Atkinson, Dawn Howe-Power, Candace Mackean, Anthony Turner, Meryl Atkinson, Meryl Atkinson, Janet Briggs, Anthony Farris, Peter Stein and Greg Cross.

A report from outgoing president Ed Empringham stated: “This year, because the board was meeting virtually via web conferencing, we tried to provide our committees with direction and limits so they could move forward with their projects within the parameters given by the board and to report back to the board at each meeting. As always, individuals stepped up during the year when we needed them…”

The AGM concluded with a presentation regarding the dismantling of the Deep Panuke Offshore Gas platform from Darren Webster and Kevin MacIsaac of RJ MacIsaac Construction, contractor for the dismantling and recycling of the platform.

Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal