Rants & Raves
We discuss rights wrongs, social media sensations and more
RAVE: For women entrepreneurs. Annette Verschuren has built up quite a resume during the past 30 years, including stints as co-owner and president of Michael’s craft stores for three years and president of The Home Depot Canada for 15 years. Now the North Sydney native will join 10 businesswomen from Canada and the United States to form the Canada-United Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders. Another member of the council is former Judique resident Deborah Gillis. Two Cape Bretoners! How cool is that? They even spent time at the White House last week for a roundtable discussion that included Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a certain Twitter-happy U.S, president. Oh well, not every day can be perfect.
RAVE: For righting wrongs. An old adage that states “it’s never too late to correct a mistake” was exhibited last week when the province pardoned and honoured former Mi’kmaq grand chief Gabriel Sylliboy of Whycocomaugh who had been convicted of illegal hunting in the 1920s. Like the only posthumous pardon in Nova Scotia history, for civil rights pioneer Viola Desmond, this action should serve as a powerful reminder of the many contributions our First Nations communities have made to this province. Ironic, too, that the pardon occurred on the same day that Darren Googoo was appointed chair of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, making him the first Mi’kmaq school board chair in the province’s history. Another encouraging sign of progress.
RAVE:: For social media sensation. Frankie MacDonald, Cape Breton’s world-famous amateur weatherman, received a Silver Play Award from YouTube recently for having more than 100,000 subscribers to his “dogs-and-wolves” channel. All told, his online weather videos have been viewed more than 24 million times and he has more than 46,000 followers on Twitter. We’re not sure where the Whitney Pier celebrity would rank on a list of best-known Cape Bretoners but he has to be a leading contender. Way to go, Frankie!
RAVE: For cool ideas. Loved Parks Canada’s outdoor skating party held at Fortress Louisbourg last weekend. The weather cooperated and hundreds of people turned out for the occasion. Hopefully, it becomes an annual event but if so here’s a suggestion, The ice surface may need to be a whole lot bigger next time.
RAVE: For job well done. Plenty of snow fell in Cape Breton last week, including upwards of 50 centimetres last Monday and Tuesday. But credit goes out to all the snowplow drivers who managed to keep the main arteries relatively clear despite atrocious weather conditions. It’s the only reason our newsroom managed to have all hands on deck the morning after the major storm. More white stuff fell mid-week but by the end of the week things were getting back to near normal. At least until the next storm comes our way.
RAVE: For museum support. Great to hear about the $175,000 federal funding announcement to help the Old Sydney Society renovate the former BMO building and turn it into a museum and community facility. The building, located on Charlotte St. in Sydney, was built in 1899 and is a registered municipal heritage property. It could open as soon as April 1 and we predict that in time it will prove extremely popular with tourists and local residents alike.