MODG updated on sunken boat

GUYSBOROUGH – In December, this newspaper reported that a sunken fishing boat was tied to the Tickle Wharf in Canso. To the dismay of local residents and fishers, the vessel has not yet been removed.

The issue of the sunken boat was added to the regular monthly Municipality of the District of Guysborough council meeting agenda on Feb. 15 by Warden Vernon Pitts.

MODG CAO Barry Carroll told council that Cape Breton-Canso MP Mike Kelloway had been in contact with the MODG about the boat in early February. At that time, Kelloway told MODG that it had been determined that the owners of the vessel were First Nations, “and they don’t have the financial wherewithal to do it [remove the boat] themselves. So, they [federal government] are issuing the tender.

“It will be removed soon, I heard,” said Carroll.

Councillor Dave Hanhams added that he had heard it would be removed by the middle of the month.

Deputy Warden Janet Peitzsche said of the situation, “People are just livid.”

Sources in Canso told The Journal on Monday afternoon, Feb. 20, that the vessel hadn’t yet been removed and a sheen from fluids leaking from the boat had formed on the water.

In other business, the MODG adopted the 2023-2028 strategic plan and a financial guidance strategy; both documents are available on the MODG website under “Government” and then “Reports.”

Under appointments to boards, two councillors will move to new positions. District 7 Councillor Hudson MacLeod will now sit on the Eastern Counties Regional Library board and District 3 Councillor Neil DeCoff will sit on the Transportation Association of Guysborough board.

DeCoff gave a report on the Waste Management Liaison Committee, noting that Green Fund applications were open. The committee will grant monies, up to $2500, to successful community group applicants until the funds available, $20,000, are depleted. Committee members ask that all applications be typed, not handwritten. Any monies in the fund not used within the designated year will not be rolled over into the next funding year.

Councillor Paul Long, once again, brought the plight of the community health board’s (CHB’s) need for volunteers to the council table. He said there are four or five active members for a board that should ideally have nine to 15 members.

In the ensuing discussion about recruitment to the CHB, DeCoff asked if health care professionals were allowed to sit on the board and was told that according to the rules set by the province, they could not.

Upon learning this information, DeCoff tabled a motion, which passed unanimously, that a letter be sent to the province asking that this restriction on CHB volunteers be removed.

Under the file of the Guysborough Area Stakeholder Working Group, Long reported that many of the recent emergency department closures at Guysborough Memorial Hospital (GMH) were due to nursing, not doctor shortages. He also reported that, while there had been interviews, no one had been hired to fill the facility manager position at GMH that was left vacant last year upon the retirement of Leona Purcell.

Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal