Rants & Raves
We discuss the Kutcher report and harbour developments
For steps in the right direction. Good to see the provincial government accept all seven of Dr. Stan Kutcher’s recommendations designed primarily to identify and bridge gaps in mental health support for young people in Cape Breton. Health Minister Randy Delorey says the government will work towards implementing them all, starting with $192,000 set aside to immediately hire two more guidance counsellors and a social worker for the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board. In the wake of three local middle school students who have died by suicide in the past few months the help can’t come soon enough, but is it enough to effectively deal with a complex and growing problem? Some parents who talked to the Post this week don’t think so and they could be right. But status quo was not an option. We say this is a good starting point.
For poor judgment. With all due respect, we disagree strongly with Health Minister Randy Delorey when he defended the government’s decision to hold the news conference regarding the Kutcher recommendations in Halifax rather than Sydney. Delorey argued that getting the information out and the actions the government is taking superseded any necessity of releasing the information in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, which is where the teen suicides occurred. He also mentioned something about scheduling and timing. Didn’t matter, apparently, that many Cape Bretoners, parents and health professionals among them, might have wanted to attend the news conference. Didn’t matter that the underlying message some heard, unfairly or not, was government officials were too busy to make the trip. After all, how well would it fly if the government held a Halifax-centric news conference in Cape Breton? We like NDP Health critic Tammy Martin’s suggestion that Delorey and Education Minister Zach Churchill hold a public meeting in CBRM to answer any questions the public may have about the report.
For harbour opportunities. More good news on the Sydney harbour front this week, both spin-offs from the much-needed go ahead of the second cruise ship berth. First off we had expedition cruise ship company One Ocean Expedition announcing that it had acquired a new ship that will use Sydney as its home port commencing in the fall of 2018, a development that will inject millions of dollars into the local economy and bring additional visitors to Cape Breton. This was followed by a story in the Post about a 300-seat outdoor dining room-lounge currently being built on the Sydney waterfront by local businessman Danny Ellis. And don’t forget that Atlantic Ambassatours Ltd., a Halifax-based company, is planning to bring a Harbour Hopper amphibious vehicle to Sydney for the months of September and October. Yes, the Sydney waterfront is becoming more vibrant all the time.