The Maritime Anchor https://maritimeanchor.ca NB, NS, and PEI News and culture. Thu, 12 Nov 2020 16:22:04 +0000 en hourly 1 https://i0.wp.com/maritimeanchor.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Maritime-anchor.png?fit=29%2C32&ssl=1 The Maritime Anchor https://maritimeanchor.ca 32 32 149839001 Folk & Roots Duo TOMATO/TOMATO Are All About the Groove in Their New Single, “Better at Leaving” https://maritimeanchor.ca/folk-roots-duo-tomato-tomato-are-all-about-the-groove-in-their-new-single-better-at-leaving/ Thu, 12 Nov 2020 16:22:04 +0000 https://maritimeanchor.ca/?p=402 Canadian folk and roots duo Tomato/Tomato are all about the groove when it comes to their newest track, “Better at Leaving” — available now!

The track is the next to land from their forthcoming album, It’ll Come Around, set for release this November 20th, and features funky drums, bass, and stereo guitars. Motown-inspired strings for good measure keep the song …

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Canadian folk and roots duo Tomato/Tomato are all about the groove when it comes to their newest track, “Better at Leaving” — available now!

The track is the next to land from their forthcoming album, It’ll Come Around, set for release this November 20th, and features funky drums, bass, and stereo guitars. Motown-inspired strings for good measure keep the song delivering good vibes beginning to end.

“When we began writing for the album, we weren’t quite sure what direction we would be heading,” John McLaggan shares. “We were, though, feeling strong pulls back to our roots.”

For John, that was how he grew up listening to mix tapes his father made for him, complete with generous helpings of The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Buddy Holly, and loads of other early rock n’ roll in between. For Lisa McLaggan, who grew up in Chicago, it was a draw to early influences of Motown and the Blues.

“The direction for It’ll Come Around was solidified when a long-lost family heirloom returned to our lives,” Lisa adds. “In 1974, John’s Uncle David died tragically at the age of 19 in a gas station explosion. John never had the opportunity to meet his Uncle, but he knew they shared a love for the guitar.”

“I’d always wondered what happened to his guitar,” John says. “After we moved into our new home, the 40-year mystery was solved, however: as it turns out, our neighbour had the guitar and generously agreed to a trade!”

Inspired by this connection to his family’s past, John soon finished writing the album on the newly acquired ’64 Fender Stratocaster in their home base of Saint John, New Brunswick.

“It turned out to be the missing piece of the puzzle,” John says. “Everything else just fell into place.”

Recording It’ll Come Around involved a return to Nashville to work with producer, engineer, and multi-instrumentalist Jon Estes. The McLaggan’s spent six days recording the majority of the instrumental parts with some of the city’s finest before returning home to round out the vocals. The final result is a high-energy roots-rock album with a vintage vibe.

Tomato/Tomato have toured nationally as well as to Australia and the UK. They’ve received multiple nominations from the East Coast Music Awards, Music/Musique New Brunswick, and the Canadian Folk Music Awards, as well as awards for Group Recording of the Year, SOCAN Song of the Year, and the well-deserved Hardest Working Artist Award.

Their fifth release, It’ll Come Around arrives at the end of a year where the title’s message of optimism feels both relevant and needed, and follows 2019’s Canary in a Coal Mine, 2017’s Pinecones and Cinnamon, and both of 2016’s So It Goes and I Go Where You Go.

“Better at Leaving” is available now. It’ll Come Around is available November 20th, 2020.

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“Prologue” to Blood in the Water by Silver Donald Cameron https://maritimeanchor.ca/prologue-to-blood-in-the-water-by-silver-donald-cameron/ Thu, 24 Sep 2020 18:03:06 +0000 https://maritimeanchor.ca/?p=365 Prologue

“It was in 2013 that Phillip Boudreau was dropped – allegedly – to the bottom of the sea, but his neighbours would not be entirely surprised if he walked out of the ocean tomorrow, coated in seaweed and dripping with brine, smiling.

“After all, Phillip had often vanished for long periods during his forty-three years, and he …

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Prologue

“It was in 2013 that Phillip Boudreau was dropped – allegedly – to the bottom of the sea, but his neighbours would not be entirely surprised if he walked out of the ocean tomorrow, coated in seaweed and dripping with brine, smiling.

“After all, Phillip had often vanished for long periods during his forty-three years, and he always came back to where he’d grown up – Alderney Point, at the edge of the Acadian village of Petit de Grat, on Isle Madame, Nova Scotia. Afterwards it would turn out that he had been in prison, or out West, or hiding in the woods. Perhaps the police had been looking for him and he’d have tucked himself away in other people’s boats or trailers, or curled up and gone to sleep in the bushes of the moorland near his family’s home, his face coated with droplets of fog. He and his dog often slept in a rickety shed outside his parents’ home, where the narrow dirt road ends at the rocky shore of Chedabucto Bay. He’d even been known to hollow out a snowbank and shelter himself from the bitter night in the cold white cavern he’d created.

“He was a small man, perhaps five-five, with a goatee and a ready smile. He usually dressed in jeans, sneakers, a windbreaker, a baseball cap. Whenever he was released from prison, word would go around Isle Madame: Phillip’s out. Lock the shed, the barn, the garage. Phillip’s out. If your boat’s missing, or your four-wheeler, talk to Phillip. If you want a good deal on a marine GPS, an outboard motor, a dozen lobsters, check out the Corner Bridge Store and Bakery. Phillip likes to hang out there. He ties up his speedboat, Midnight Slider, at a little dock nearby.

“Some people loved Phillip. He could be funny, helpful, kind. He was generous to old people, good with animals, gentle with children. Other people hated and feared him, though they tended to conceal their feelings. If you crossed him he might threaten to sink your boat, shoot you, burn down your house. He could make you fearful for the safety of your daughter. Would he actually do anything violent? Hard to say.

“If you went to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in nearby Arichat, they would tell you they couldn’t do much until he actually committed an offence. Perhaps they’d tell you that you could get a peace bond, a court order directing Phillip to stay away from you and your family and your property. From time to time the Mounties would arrest Phillip for “uttering threats” – or for any of a dozen other offences – and send him back to prison. But he’d be out again soon enough, and if you’d helped put him inside, watch out.

“So most people quietly avoided Phillip, carefully steering around him the way a lobster boat navigates a rocky shoal.

“He did a tidy little business in hallucinogens and was available as a vandal for hire, particularly with respect to lobster traps. An Isle Madame lobster trap is a baited wooden cage weighted with rocks and lying on the sea floor. It’s tied by a long slender rope to a buoy that floats at the surface. The fisherman hooks the buoy, hauls up the trap, and removes his catch; then he rebaits the trap and drops it overboard again. The trap is worth about $100, but the value of the lobster it catches can be in the thousands of dollars.

“Nothing prevents a poacher from hauling someone else’s traps in the middle of the night and selling the lobsters as his own. And if the buoy rope is cut off, the owner can’t even find the trap. If I have a grudge against you, what better way to harm you than to slide out at midnight and cut a bunch of your traps? But if you catch me at it the outcome won’t be pretty. So I don’t want to take a chance on doing it myself, I can always hire Phillip.

“Phillip Boudreau was by no means the only man who ever cut traps in Petit de Grat, but he was the dominant figure in that line of work. He would also take credit for things he hadn’t done, just to bolster his reputation as a crafty rascal operating by stealth and beyond the reach of the law. A Fisheries officer who confronted him had the tires of his car slashed. When he bought new tires, those were slashed too. Phillip? Try to prove it. If you confronted him, he’d just smile.

“Phillip could make your life a misery – but if he was your friend and thought you needed something he would provide it, whether or not he owned it. So you had to be careful about idly voicing your desires.

“And then, from time to time, he would disappear – for days, or weeks, or months. But he always cropped up again.

“There had been attempts to kill him – conspiracies, even. But on June 1, 2013, he was said to have drowned – and not by thugs or druggies but by highly respected local fishermen. A lot of people thought the very idea was ridiculous. Phillip was wily and resilient and swam like a seal. Trying to drown him would be like trying to drown a football. No doubt he was hiding out again.

“But he was never seen again.”

 

By Silver Donald Cameron, published by Penguin Random House in 2020. Buy the full book on Amazon (or other major retailors).

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Jeff Gay Turns His Gaze to Relationships in New Album, Stargazer https://maritimeanchor.ca/jeff-gay-turns-his-gaze-to-relationships-in-new-album-stargazer/ Tue, 22 Sep 2020 23:40:36 +0000 https://maritimeanchor.ca/?p=356 Canadian Americana folk-country rocker Jeff Gay is looking way up in his new album, Stargazer, including single “XOXO” — featuring multi-award winning singer/songwriter Christina Martin — each available now.

Many of tracks on Stargazer wade into the darker depths of romantic relationships, and “XOXO” is no exception. “Honestly? I was thinking about women I’ve known through the years who’ve told …

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Canadian Americana folk-country rocker Jeff Gay is looking way up in his new album, Stargazer, including single “XOXO” — featuring multi-award winning singer/songwriter Christina Martin — each available now.

Many of tracks on Stargazer wade into the darker depths of romantic relationships, and “XOXO” is no exception. “Honestly? I was thinking about women I’ve known through the years who’ve told me stories about their partners threatening suicide as a way to try and hang onto them,” Gay shares, immediately delving deep into the inspiration behind the song. “As much as I despise this idea, and that kind of man, I really wanted to try and get into the head of a person who would do this.

“I imagined a sort of self-absorbed individual while songwriting, or someone with a real depression or mental illness, but it’s truly open to interpretation of what type of individual’s perspective is shared; like, maybe it could be you? Or maybe he’s just looking for that impossible person to put the stars in his crown?

“I think one line says it all: ‘I love, and I grieve, and I always feel bad,’ as if his trouble should be his lover’s problem.”

Jeff Gay got his first foray into singing as a young soprano, even singing with Symphony Nova Scotia on one occasion. The Cole Harbour-based singer/songwriter soon moved to rock, taking part in BARK alongside Matt Mays in 1994, and some many years later, country-rock outfit, The Legendary Golden River Show Band. Through his years, he’s released critically acclaimed albums, including 2008’s Jeff Gay and Special Blends’ Kindly Requests, and Cuban Rum via Hungry Records in 2017.

2020’s Stargazer sees the Nova Scotian folk-country rocker taking to all instruments as well as lead vocals himself, while ushering in backing harmonies from the likes of Christina Martin, Laura Merrimen, Norma MacDonald, Ronok Sarkar, and more. His band features Curtis MacPhee, Maxwell Cranford, Brett Waye, and Drew Debay, and the album was produced by Jeff MacDonald.

“At this point, I feel like every album is just a response to the last one,” Gay considers, name checking Cuban Rum. “I was super pleased with my previous effort, and I even remember saying in an article that, with it, I felt like I’d found my ‘album template’ — short, 40 to 45 minutes in length, with nine or ten songs.

“Meanwhile, though, songs are accumulating,” he laughs. “And also, because every album is a response to the last one, I wanted to go less understated. Ya, know… Make a big statement!”

For Gay, that was part of the mission to create a body of work inspired by Prince’s Sign O the Times and Marvin Gaye’s post-divorce tome, Here, My Dear. “That is the album Gaye had to record as a condition of his divorce with Barry Gordy’s daughter, Anna,” Gay considers. “Here, My Dear runs the gamut of emotions, but the concept is all the feelings that come up in a divorce situation. He even sings at one point, ‘why do I have to pay attorney fees?,’ like he’s working through something in the recording studio.

“It’s raw and got to the heart of the subject matter in a very convincing way to me.

“When I was in my early 20s, I tried to write a concept album about a relationship,” he continues. “The idea was abandoned, but I guess I always had it in the back of my head. With the creation of Stargazer, I told a friend I wanted it to replace Paris, France as the romantic capital of the universe. (I told you I was thinking about making a big statement!)

“This is a very personal album to me; it’s like Here, My Dear without the divorce.”

Stargazer and “XOXO feat. Christina Martin” are available now.

 

Press release courtesy of Eric Alper

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An Interview With “Blue to Blue” Artist, Cat LeBlanc https://maritimeanchor.ca/interview-cat-leblanc/ Mon, 21 Sep 2020 19:53:20 +0000 https://maritimeanchor.ca/?p=348 Cat LeBlanc interviewed By Shaylynn Hayes

As an Acadian myself, I’m curious since you’re a LeBlanc, are your ancestors Acadian?

I am Acadian on my father’s side. A LeBlanc family tragedy resulted in the language and heritage being lost to a large degree. My mother is Irish. She was born in Grand Falls and became a French teacher. She lives …

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Cat LeBlanc interviewed By Shaylynn Hayes

As an Acadian myself, I’m curious since you’re a LeBlanc, are your ancestors Acadian?

I am Acadian on my father’s side. A LeBlanc family tragedy resulted in the language and heritage being lost to a large degree. My mother is Irish. She was born in Grand Falls and became a French teacher. She lives in Miramichi. I’m fascinated by my heritage on both sides.

How have the Maritimes and Atlantic Canada influenced your music?

My Atlantic music influences are varied: Roch Voisine, Édith Butler, Julie Doiron, Lisa Richard, Debbie Adshade, Jenn Grant, and Lennie Gallant mash-up with my more global music influences: Dan Hill, Jewel, Kate Bush, Enya, Julee Cruise, Joni Mitchell, Édith Piaf, The Weather Station, Billie Holiday, Sting and Björk.

Are there local artists that you’ve found inspiring?

There are so many talented music artists right in my city and in NB. I follow and listen to the following artists, and more! Colin Fowlie, Debbie Adshade, Cross Cut, Free to Grow (Jeff Patch), Jaclyn Reinhart, Kylie Fox, Apryll Aileen, Bleum, Troy McLaggan, Young Satan in Love, Honey Gut, Frantically Atlantic, Open Strum (Michel Goguen), Brent Mason, The Tortoise, The Hare & The Millionaire (Matt Carr), Ryan Hillier, Maria Bourgeois, Jessica Rhaye, Krista Shannon, Wangled Teb, Peter Hicks, Moon Joyce, Matt Comeau, and ZWERG.

Has it been challenging as an Atlantic-Canadian artist? Do you think it’s harder here than it is in say, Toronto or Boston?

It is super challenging to get your music and your brand out there, and get noticed. There are so many other music artists doing the same thing. If I hadn’t been discovered and supported by people who know more than me, I would not know how to go about it all. It can be very overwhelming. The advice my management has given me is to think globally. They want to put my music out into the world and diversify it through commercials, films, and artistic projects. I love that idea, but knowing nothing about it, I need their help and education. It’s the best of both worlds. I can be involved in my local music scene as I love my music community and have many friends I collaborate with while always keeping my eye on the broader Canadian and International music scene. I have been paired with international artists including Dan Hill who have mentored and helped me take my music to the next level. It’s been eye-opening and a great learning experience.

What inspired the songs on Blue to Blue?

My debut album Blue to Blue is born out of my fascination with the bloom of friendship, my belief that there is something out there beyond us in the stars, my need to understand how love can turn into hate, and my pain at how people are treated as they grow older. My song arrangements are sometimes stripped down to just one or two instruments to support my lyrics and vocals, but I also favour heavily saturated instrumentation in some of my pop songs that would translate well into film scores.

“River Winding Through Your Hands” gives me a definite folk-vibe—I would love the story about the inspiration behind this song. Honestly, I was in tears listening the first time and played two times in a row. Are you deeply spiritual yourself?

I am spiritual. I feel things very deeply, and I have a lot of empathy for people and their challenges. All my songs are deeply personal and reflect my hurts and joys and the hurts and joys of the people I love. Sometimes people tell me they find my songs mysterious, but that is not my intent when writing my songs. They flow out of me. River Winding Through Your Hands is about escaping darkness and bravely venturing into the world as a free soul after being a captive. It’s about being able to bend and flow into a new life and survive challenges and heartbreak. The song is very reflective of how I feel personally.

Having an album release in 2020 must-have its challenges—how have you adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic?

I was happy with my Blue to Blue EP launch event in February of this year. Up until it started, I thought nobody would show up, and then in typical Fredericton fashion, everybody showed up at once at the last minute. It was a fantastic launch, and my mom and friends were there too, which made it perfect. My band, who are terrific, took my songs to a whole new level in our live performance.

My biggest disappointment has been canceling my music tour in Italy. I was scheduled to go on my first mini tour ever, and I was going to perform as a solo artist. All my venues were booked and waiting for me. Then, the pandemic struck.

During the pandemic, I’ve spent most of my time outside of my job, taking masterclasses with music artists, music managers, and music supervisors, working on my guitar, writing, learning more covers, and strengthening my guitar skills. I have also been practicing on my new electric guitar and recording.

What advice do you have for up and coming local artists?

I would pass on the same advice given to me: treasure your local music community and support it and its artists while making your way out there into the global music market. Diversify your music, take classes to learn more about the music business and all the different things you can do with your music. Do more than perform live and go on tour, think commercials, films, and more. Be an influencer, have an online presence, have a brand, and promote your brand.

Also, listen to different genres of music, think outside the box.

Is Fredericton a good city for a musician? Why or why not?

Fredericton is rich with music and music artists. It’s a very supportive community for music, much like all of New Brunswick. It would be nice to have more female journalists covering female music artists. It would be nice to have older musicians and music artists focused on more. Outside of that, I find the community very supportive and always willing to lend a hand to help each other.

Your voice is haunting, truly. Have you always known you were a singer?

No. I sang by myself in my room and didn’t want to do it beyond that. My mother encouraged me to do more with my music and had me performing at five years old. My early and later years were spent performing, and I didn’t always enjoy it, to be honest; it was stressful. I appreciate how supportive my mother was now that I am older as I enjoy singing now and feel that my years of singing with her support have developed my style and helped me hone my song writing.

 

Media links:

Music NB: https://mailchi.mp/musicnb/music-in-nb-musique-au-nb-feb-19-fv-2020?fbclid=IwAR38dC6cP56h_5zjQaJ1kUgJv-hWw3OqHDw4k1PD2E-9VBgCiCoOKiwQcE0

For purchase: https://catleblanc.hearnow.com/?fbclid=IwAR1cD3iHyg6WXHIoP-TSjwluGLxMLUrChLnhCx5KQBNbKh9u0nbQapXBchg

Side of the Road music video for the song of the same name on Youtube. https://youtu.be/gmhvIgrJFik

Side of the Road music video on Facebook: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cat.leblanc.9/videos/10158197993995979/UzpfSTU0NzQzMDk3ODozMDYwNjExMjk0OTk0MTQ6MTA6MDoxNTgzMDQ5NTk5Oi0zMjcyOTg3MzU1NTk4MDQ0Nzk3/

Another World Album: https://open.spotify.com/album/6vVmhSf78RdxPWeKEsP1GJ?si=D2O1_5_dT7azGoeZQ3PgbA

Artist Website: https://www.catmaryleblanc.com

Facebook Artist Site: https://www.facebook.com/catmaryleblanc/

Facebook Personal Page: https://www.facebook.com/cat.leblanc.9

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/catleblancsongbird/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/catinahat

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/catleblanc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Maritime Artist Kylie Fox Talks Music, Inspiration, and her New Album https://maritimeanchor.ca/kylie-fox/ Sat, 19 Sep 2020 14:35:55 +0000 https://maritimeanchor.ca/?p=341 Shaylynn Hayes interviewed maritime singer Kylie Fox about music, and her upcoming work.

What was your inspiration for “Avocado”?

There is a trending app my friend was using a while back that tracked her pregnancy through videos that would consistently compare the size of the fetus to a fruit or vegetable, which is hilarious. I was lucky to catch the …

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Shaylynn Hayes interviewed maritime singer Kylie Fox about music, and her upcoming work.

What was your inspiration for “Avocado”?

There is a trending app my friend was using a while back that tracked her pregnancy through videos that would consistently compare the size of the fetus to a fruit or vegetable, which is hilarious. I was lucky to catch the screening of the video for the sixteenth week of my friend’s pregnancy, which told us her daughter had eyelashes, eyebrows and was the size of an avocado. It got me thinking about how I would feel if I was growing a person, and all the things I’d wonder about them and the relationship we’d have. It made me think about my own mom.

What inspired “Cool Feet”?

I wanted to surprise my friend with a song for her wedding! I made a list of questions and interviewed the groom. I was looking for something personal and quirky from his answers…I asked him what he missed about my friend when he was working on the fishing boat for days on end, and he responded with “her cold feet”. I thought this was pretty odd, so I set out to write a song about my friend’s feet. I played it during the speeches and her brother helped accompany it. It was pretty incredible.

What’s it like being a maritime artist?

I love being a maritime artist because a lot of the musicians in these parts know each other, and an incredible community exists, especially here in Fredericton where I’m currently living. Everyone plays in each other’s bands, knows each other’s songs, and sees each other out running errands. It’s wholesome. With the majority of music being consumed online, as long as I can be versatile and tour, I don’t think a move to a bigger city would change the outcome of my career in a way that I’d compromise my life here for. I do think we have to work harder in the maritimes to get heard elsewhere though.

Do you feel there are significant challenges in the maritimes for musicians?

The challenges would be competing for the same audience that Toronto-based or Montreal-based artists have an easier time getting in front of. The majority of Canada’s population is central, so maritime artists have to put up a lot of money to tour centrally, getting over the eight hour abyss between New Brunswick and Quebec City. I also wonder if we are expected to pose some of the stigmatized “east coast” sounds people associate us with, like kitchen party folk music, and fiddles. I’m proud of that, and to be from a part of Canada that has such a defined musical culture, but I wonder if the title “East Coast” gives audiences an inaccurate idea of what to expect from us.

Which singer/songwriters inspire you?

Locally, I’ll say Christina Martin, based in Nova Scotia. She has the most incredible hustle I’ve ever witnessed from an independent artist. She’s become a great mentor to me, and she makes great music. On a larger scale, I’m inspired by Fiona Apple, Joni Mitchell, Ani DeFranco, Alanis Morissette..gals who make weird and beautiful music, and do it with absolute depth and honesty. They don’t waste a word, and they dont waste anyone’s time. And that’s a short list of the ones I love.

What advice do you have for other singer/song-writers in the area?

Make small, achievable goals. Once you play your first show, try to play your first festival. Don’t try to get too ahead of yourself or you might get overwhelmed and impatient. Also, treat it like it’s your full time job, and then sometime soon it will be.

Where do you draw most of your inspiration?

My environment plays a huge role in my writing. I write using images, and the images inform the listener of the feelings present in the song, and can help them picture the story. All stories in my songs are experiences I, or someone close to me, has had, and what I’ve learned from them.

What song playing right now on the radio is your favourite?

WAP. Is it on the radio? Probably not… preach sisters. Locally, I’ve recently discovered Jennah Barry and have been loving her song “I See Morning”.

How has songwriting been during the pandemic? Has it been inspiring or caused setbacks?

I was doing a songwriting residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts when the lockdown struck, so I came home a didn’t pick up the guitar for a while because I was grumpy the pandemic interrupted my incredible time in Banff, and was having too much fun quarantining, making forts and doing puzzles. The biggest setback during the pandemic was actually when I broke my pinky playing catch and couldn’t play guitar for two months. That was a true bummer. I felt emotionally cooped!

When can readers expect new music?

My full length album Green is available now on all streaming platforms!

Website: https://kyliefox.us/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KyliefoxMusic

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_kyliefox_/

 

Listen to Avocado now…

 

 

 

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Normand Chouinard’s Tale From Sea to Harmonica https://maritimeanchor.ca/from-sea-to-harmonica/ Tue, 15 Sep 2020 10:00:07 +0000 https://maritimeanchor.ca/?p=314 By Normand Chouinard

I decided to make Nova Scotia my home while I was in sea cadets. We had a summer training camp at HMCS Acadia in 1962. I found Nova Scotia beautiful. I was from Montreal at this time. I joined the regular navy in 1966 in Montreal. They had a recruiting center on St Jacques street in the …

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By Normand Chouinard

I decided to make Nova Scotia my home while I was in sea cadets. We had a summer training camp at HMCS Acadia in 1962. I found Nova Scotia beautiful. I was from Montreal at this time. I joined the regular navy in 1966 in Montreal. They had a recruiting center on St Jacques street in the center of Montreal. Being the oldest of a family of 7, I had to go and fend for my own. I was allowed to finish my grade 10 and then I was on my way to Cornwallis as I was bilingual. This is what got me in Nova Scotia. I didn’t know at this time I would spend the rest of my life here.

Once in Halifax, the party was on. I met experience sailors and was introduced to rum. Hootenannies at the fleet club… My trade was Sonarman. After leaving the Weapon’s school, I was posted to Gatineau… a proud looking ship part of the “Barber pole squadron. Commander Hughes later to become Admiral was the captain. I was privileged to have served under such a knowledgeable skipper.

My first trip was a NATO trip… gone for 6 months. When I came back, I was posted to St Laurent. This is where I learned to be a good seaman. I got my Leading Seaman tg2 on her. This is also where I got to meet the girl who was to become my wife and after all these years, we’re still together and we also have three kids that take care of us. My daughters are in Ontario and my son doesn’t live very far from us. We are lucky to have them. They’re our pride and joy. Nowadays I’m 73 years old and my wife is 71. My kids are 47, 45, 43. All born in July. This is my actual situation. When the kids were born, I went submarine. I qualified on Okanagan in 1969. Then I was posted to Ojibwa for a full cycle. Then I was posted on Onondaga while she was in refit. I went from this boat to my tq 5a sonar course and became a sonar technician. Upon completion of this training, they needed a sonar technician on Skeena, as she was going on NATO. A beautiful trip that lasted 6 months.

Upon my return, I was posted to Okanagan. We went back to England for 3 months. Then I was posted back to Skeena since I was bilingual. By then I had been promoted to Petty Officer second class. When Skeena went in refit, I took all the operators to Stadacona and trained them intensively on sonar operation. I had been a sonar instructor there before. We won the submarine shield. We had a tremendous time on this ship. At the end of this posting I was posted to the language school in Windsor park. This was my last posting. I keep a very good souvenir of everybody working there. After retirement, I did 17 years with the corps of commissionnaires and then I retired fully.

Since I was 15 years old, an old Irishman living on the third floor of the apartment building where I live had taught me to play harmonica, mostly Irish, Scottish airs. I expended my repertoire to include fiddle jiggs and reel and I joined to other musicians and we started playing in retirement homes. The idea was to bring a little happiness to peoples that in quite a few cases had been placed there against their will.Placed in there, abandoned, in the broom closet, quite a few were furious. Eventually, bit by bit, they got used to us and our undisciplined ways of playing and they took a liking to us. You could see the feet going, keeping rhythm with what we played. They would forget their misery for a little while. This made us feel good. We kept on doing this until this COVID 19 showed up. I was decorated by the Governor General for this.

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Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton on the “Dark Side of Politics” https://maritimeanchor.ca/mayor-brenda-chisholm-beaton-on-the-dark-side-of-politics/ https://maritimeanchor.ca/mayor-brenda-chisholm-beaton-on-the-dark-side-of-politics/#comments Mon, 24 Aug 2020 22:39:56 +0000 https://maritimeanchor.ca/?p=318 Written by Port Hawkesbury Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton

Editor’s Note: Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton is up for re-election. If you live in Port Hawkesbury, don’t forget to vote (for your chosen candidate) and help democracy flourish! Your voice, your opinion, and your ideas are invaluable. Never forget that!

Bill Dunphy wrote an editorial in the Oran this past week entitled, “Why Should …

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Written by Port Hawkesbury Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton

Editor’s Note: Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton is up for re-election. If you live in Port Hawkesbury, don’t forget to vote (for your chosen candidate) and help democracy flourish! Your voice, your opinion, and your ideas are invaluable. Never forget that!

Bill Dunphy wrote an editorial in the Oran this past week entitled, “Why Should She Run?” He articulates his answer as follows; “She should run because she can. It’s up to the rest of us to ensure that she can – safely and free of all the abuse and stereotypical bullshit that they face.” Bill then goes on to promote the Leadership School for Women – a gender equity project I was proud to help organize in Membertou this past weekend.

I waged an inner battle with myself about whether or not to share my own experiences. I decided that if we want things to change, not just for women, but any politician who has been a victim of this kind of poor behavior, then we must talk openly and honestly about “the dark side” of politics.

In my experience, I want to point out that this “dark side” of politics is not perpetuated by all men, nor by men alone; some women can also be disrespectful, hurtful, and disparaging.

Here is my experience with the “dark side” of politics.

I have received a range of threats, both directly and indirectly, since I became an elected official.

Severity ranged from threats to have me “kicked off council” to “I’d be sorry” or would “regret it” if I didn’t stop posting information on social media that refuted misinformation (particularly during the Destination Reeves Street Project).

I’ve been referred to as “that stupid blonde B*tch” (our Council chambers double as a small concert venue and have very good acoustics).

When I was fighting for our regional airport’s future survival on behalf of our Council and other Strait Area Councils, I was targeted several times and received disturbing private messages and offensive public posts for two months straight, and in the months that followed.

Over the past year, a man was sending me extremely disturbing texts, and posting equally disturbing misogynistic public posts on my social media Mayor’s page under a variety of pseudonyms (thank you to the RCMP for stopping him).

It isn’t very nice when you get messages like, “tell her I’ll make sure the next six months will be the worst of her life.”

I could share more, but you get the picture.

Aside from threats and name-calling are the accusations.

I’ve been accused of soliciting seniors to vote a certain way in exchange for dinner tickets for the Cape Breton Christmas for Seniors. My father Archie is still upset about this; dad and I donate almost $10,000 worth of food to feed more than 500 seniors and volunteers each year, and have done so for the past five years. I have dedicated 100s of hours of time to organize this venue, as have others, to collaborate and coordinate to transport seniors, buy and wrap Christmas gifts, organize entertainment, decorations, prep, and cook – all which is required to make it a success each year. The Town donates the venue and Town staff and the Evergreen Club have taken on the registrations. The accusation diminishes us all because this event is the result of teamwork and done for the love of our seniors.

I’ve been accused of being “self-serving” and “in conflict” regarding Destination Reeves Street. The Fleur-de-Lis was not one of the businesses who participated in, or benefited from, the facade program. Several business owners did, my father and I were not one of them.

I could again share more, but you get the picture.

This past weekend, more than 100 women joined virtually and in person for a leadership school for women. So many other strong powerful women shared their stories and used their voices to encourage and inspire more women to leadership.

Bill Dunphy also used his voice to talk about what he is witnessing and recognizing as poor treatment of women in the political sphere.

In truth, I consider myself one of the luckier women in politics, despite what I’ve experienced. I have the support of many citizens who stand with me – women and men who see my worth and recognize my hard work; men and women who defend me when they see or hear what Bill Dunphy describes as “abuse and stereotypical bullshit” towards female leaders.

As for the people who feel it is okay to blame me, threaten me, accuse me, say I am “over my head” or think that because I am a woman that I am an easy target, well, do your best. Launch your negative whisper campaigns. Use all of your Trump-like strategies to chip away at my character. Say all you want because the ones who will believe you are the ones who have never supported me anyway. And that’s okay. I’m not going to be everyone’s cup of tea!

But before I end this post, I want to set a few things straight.

A Mayor is not a dictator.

You might have been led to believe that, but guess what? Did you know that before a meeting agenda is finalized, it is sent to all of council to add their own items should they wish? Each elected official around the Council table has equal opportunity to help determine our strategic direction each year, negotiate the budget each year, and play an active role in the progress of our Town. Agendas, every motion, every decision is voted on. It is a democracy.

Oh, and it wouldn’t be an election without an impassioned discussion about Reeves Street.

Some people love it, and some hate it. For those people who hate it – who gets the blame?
Before you decide – let us look at some basic facts…

Reeves Street is a Provincially-owned road.
The road diet is a “pilot” and not yet set in stone.
The Province is collecting data on speed/number of accidents, and will consult with the Town before a final decision will be made.
The Destination Reeves Street Project (road diet pilot and all) was unanimously endorsed by this term’s Council.
Town staff worked hard to leverage this $5 million dollar project with federal and provincial dollars without Council having to increase taxes to pay for it; additionally, it only cost us 10 cent/dollars (10% of the total cost).
Lastly, “if” the new road design does not reduce speeding or reduce accidents – the Province will put it back as it was, at “no cost” to the Town.

Thus, Reeve Street is still in progress.

In the past 7 years, my response to the “dark side” of politics has been to laugh and make light of it (I get that from dad). Other days, when I can’t find anything funny or ridiculous about this bad behavior, I eventually vent to friends who hear some not-so-politically-correct responses (I get that from my spicy Acadian mother). Another trait I inherited from my mom was broad shoulders and a thick skin.

Everyone has different coping mechanisms. I am always working on ways to balance the positive experiences about being an elected official with the negative experiences. This post is part of that journey. It is not an easy thing to show any kind of vulnerability, especially as a politician.

My favorite Michelle Obama quote is, “When they go low, we go high.” Therefore, I forgive all of the people who have spoken poorly to me, or about me. I forgive the people who have threatened me, or scared me. Life it too short for anger and grudges. And maybe in my anger I have offended my offenders. I’m not perfect. No one is. No one prepares you for the “dark side of politics.”

Why am I sharing? At the leadership school, many brave strong women with many years of experience shared their own experiences with the “dark side” of politics in hushed voices, in the hallways, and in between sessions. Some shared them out loud.

So I will attempt to answer Bill Dunphy’s million dollar question “Why should she run?”

I run because I want to make a difference in our home Town. I want our children to have a reason to stay if they want to. I want to be part of a plan to grow a better economy so families can return, and newcomers can make Port Hawkesbury their forever home. I want to see our Town’s citizens not have to worry about housing, loneliness, hunger, mental health, and aging in place. I want to be part of ensuring all citizens – from our youngest to our oldest, feel welcome and belong. I want to see our Town be the most inclusive, most active, most accessible, most musical and artistic place to live. I want to see our Town fully connected with our neighboring municipalities, so that we have a strong town that sustains our rural neighbors and they have strong rural communities that sustain our Town. I want to see our waterfront reach its full potential; I want to see it diversified in new and wonderful ways for citizens, visitors, businesses, our NSCC Nautical Institute, and industries. I want to see our Strait of Canso zone flourish so we can seek out new opportunities and innovate for our future using our regional transportation hub of rail, road, air and port here in the Strait and Western Cape Breton to attract new industry and businesses.

In short – I run because I can, and I should. I have a Master’s degree that specializes in Community Economic Development. I am a business owner of 17 years. I have worked these past 8 years building relationships inside and outside of our Town.

I run because my love for our Town is greater than all the bad experiences combined.

I find it exhilarating when I can see positive changes occurring before my eyes that will benefit our Town for generations to come. I remember meeting with Tom Gunn in 2013 and speaking about how important a safe walkway would be for NSCC students. Being an integral part of the plan to build an active transportation trail – to safely connect NSCC and Embrees Island to our Town – is something I am so proud of, and I know our entire Council is proud too. There are so many other examples I will share with you in the next couple of weeks.

With that, I will end with a simple request.

Raise your voices, and expose the truth about the “dark side” of politics.

The proponents of divisive and negative politics only have power if you continue to let them.

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“Unqualified” Appointment of Kevin Cormier to Head of NB Libraries https://maritimeanchor.ca/unqualified-appointment-of-kevin-cormier-to-head-of-nb-libraries/ Sun, 31 May 2020 18:46:45 +0000 https://maritimeanchor.ca/?p=305 FREDERICTON, N.B – Premier Blaine Higgs has the highest approval rating (source) of Premier’s across Canada, due to his active response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Global News, “The level of support means Higgs is the most approved of premier in not just Atlantic Canada but across the country.”

This does not mean that the Higgs government …

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FREDERICTON, N.B – Premier Blaine Higgs has the highest approval rating (source) of Premier’s across Canada, due to his active response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Global News, “The level of support means Higgs is the most approved of premier in not just Atlantic Canada but across the country.”

This does not mean that the Higgs government has been free from controversy—his adversary literary lovers across New Brunswick. The appointment of Kevin Cormier to the head of New Brunswick’s public library system has caused public concern and concern of the prior head.

Sylvie Nadeau told CBC News, “It remains incomprehensible and unacceptable to me that the government of New Brunswick considers that it is acceptable to appoint people without the officially approved qualifications … as long as it can claim the legality of the appointment through a loophole such as the [corporate] talent management program.”

Michael Christie, a New Brunswick resident, is concerned with this appointment.

“To me it is a simple matter of trust in the government and its increasing role in my everyday life,” he said, continuing, “I want to trust the Government to make informed decisions about subjects like say public health, and I still do, but when appointments of an appearantly unqualified person go unchecked or properly questioned then that trust wanes.”

Numerous New Brunswick residents have spoken out against the appointment of Kevin Cormier on social media such as the New Brunswick subreddit, and on the professional-oriented platform Linkedin.

One Reddit user, Jeff, a provincial employee in New Brunswick believes this appointment should have been reviewed at the very least.

“I think this appointment should definitely be reviewed. If he’s not qualified and was chosen over other applicants that were, it’s a no-brainer.” He said, continuing with, “I’m a provincial employee myself. My understanding has always been that unsuccessful applicants are notified by mail and given an opportunity to challenge the decision.”

The government has said there will be no review of the appointment, despite questions of Kevin Cormier’s qualifications. His LinkedIn profile is the only online presence of his past work and schooling.

His education listed includes 1 year at Schulich School of Business at York University in 2005, and Moncton Flight college from 1998-2005. Cormier’s past jobs include the CEO of Kings Landing Corporation from 2011-2019 and various advertising jobs.

Silbie Nadeau believes this is not enough to qualify for the position.

According to CBC News, “Nadeau received an email from Kelly Cain, the deputy minister responsible for human resources, Finance and Treasury Board, which was copied to the premier, Steeves and Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder, who is responsible for libraries. In the email, Cain thanked Nadeau for her “input” on the matter but said the appointment of the new executive director of the library service “was done through careful consideration and in accordance with the Civil Service Act.”

This is not the first time that Cormier has faced criticism for his role at public service jobs in New Brunswick. According to a CBC News article, Comier gave away 100s of books from the historical site Kings Landing. These books were donated to Value Village in Fredericton.

According to the article, “Darrell Butler helped build up the Kings Landing library over more than 40 years as the chief curator and manager of heritage resources.”

“I walked in one day and said, ‘Gee that looks like a book that I donated to Kings Landing.’ And I opened it up and there was my name inside the book, so I knew it was the book that I had donated.” He told the CBC.

The article goes onto say that, “Butler estimates “hundreds” of books worth “well over $50,000-$60,000” were lost.”

We attempted to reach Kevin Cormier for comment, but we did not receive a response.

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3 New Cases of COVID-19 in Long Term Care Home in NB https://maritimeanchor.ca/3-new-cases-of-covid-19-in-long-term-care-home/ Sun, 31 May 2020 18:01:52 +0000 https://maritimeanchor.ca/?p=298 BREAKING NEWS

FREDERICTON, N.B — Dr. Jennifer Russell, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Premier Blaine Higgs held an emergency COVID-19 briefing on May 31st.

There are three new cases of COVID-19, all confirmed in residents of a long-term care facility, Manoir de la Vallée in Atholville New Brunswick. All of the cases go back to the confirmed case of …

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BREAKING NEWS


FREDERICTON, N.B — Dr. Jennifer Russell, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Premier Blaine Higgs held an emergency COVID-19 briefing on May 31st.

There are three new cases of COVID-19, all confirmed in residents of a long-term care facility, Manoir de la Vallée in Atholville New Brunswick. All of the cases go back to the confirmed case of a healthcare worker who failed to isolate upon return from Quebec for “personal reasons”.

All of the infected individuals are over the age of 80.

“There are now 12 active cases in the province, all in zone 5, but there is a possibility that it can spread beyond that region because we know that the incubation period is 14 days,” Dr. Russell said. “We have a two week period ahead of us where we’re going to be watching very carefully what happens in that region and all around us.”

“Every corner of the province needs to be vigilant”. – Dr. Russell

The government has tested over 2,000 residents who did not have symptoms. The province is only going to be testing persons with two symptoms.

COVID-19, however, has been present in individuals with no symptoms, and some doctors have reported that the symptoms vary in person to person.

Dr. Russell suggested that we should not hold the blame on one person, but instead should focus on what we can control, such as wearing masks or disinfecting our homes.

Premier Blaine Higgs said that just yesterday more than 1300 tests were conducted, the highest number in one day since the pandemic began.

Premier Higgs suggested that all New Brunswickers have a mask with them at all times, the same as they would their keys and wallet. If physical distancing is not possible, all residents should then take it upon themselves to wear a mask.

Questions directed to Premier Higgs were answered by Dr. Russell instead. It is unclear why Higgs did not answer directly.

Most of the questions revolved around testing, self-isolating, and checkpoints for those traveling in and out of zones. Dr. Russell mentioned it is concerning, but did not mention further government action on limiting travel.

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Self Isolation is Not Too Much To Ask of Travelers https://maritimeanchor.ca/self-isolation-is-not-too-much-to-ask-of-travelers/ Thu, 28 May 2020 01:43:44 +0000 https://maritimeanchor.ca/?p=290 The New Brunswick government has confirmed 3 new cases of COVID-19 [read more here], two of which are from direct contact with a “medical professional” who failed to self isolate after going to Quebec for personal reasons. One of those infected was 90 years old, and considering COVID-19s track record with senior citizens, this news is worrisome.

I have …

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The New Brunswick government has confirmed 3 new cases of COVID-19 [read more here], two of which are from direct contact with a “medical professional” who failed to self isolate after going to Quebec for personal reasons. One of those infected was 90 years old, and considering COVID-19s track record with senior citizens, this news is worrisome.

I have been starkly critical of the government for COVID-19 measures, and their grasping of power throughout this public health crisis. I wrote a piece for my blog entitled, “How Covid-19 Measures Are A Violation Of Human Rights”. I am very aware of the nuances of public health vs. the human right to movement, to travel, and for personal choice. As I said in that piece, “the point is to always question which rights are being infringed upon and why.” In this case, the right to travel is blatantly a risk to public health – proven by the outcome.

COVID-19 is so easy to catch that one person leaving the province was able to infect two others – with more likely to come. It was reported that this individual is a medical professional (of all things) who worked for TWO WHOLE WEEKS after returning. Who were these people wrongly exposed at their most vulnerable?

I will always be worried about government control and civil liberties. However, 14 days isolation in your own home is not a punishment. It is not detainment, nor is it a lot to ask of somebody who deemed their travel so necessary to Quebec, that their own health was set aside for the trip. Whatever the “personal reasons” were – and I cannot comment on what I don’t know – I cast my doubts that it was worth infecting a 19 and 90 year old back home, and perhaps many more to come.

The public has every right to be upset that a healthcare professional – the exact profession that is meant to protect us and help us through COVID-19, was spreading the disease based on their own personal interests. I am deeply disturbed and saddened by the action of this individual. While New Brunswick has had less cases than most of the country—Quebec, the province this individual visisted, had more than the entire country with 40,000+.

I don’t know if there should be charges for this individual. I do think this is a question that needs to be answered by judicial practices, by human rights lawyers, and by the greater public. It’s a tough situation we’re all in, but in the meantime, on a personal human level – I am disappointed.

At the very least, if this person still wanted to travel, they could have taken 2 weeks from their life to protect others. Instead? They risked the lives of numerous persons, the true impact yet to be discovered.

I think now is a time where we should reflect on our own actions. The greatest threat to our small province will always be our borders. I am worried that those who own cottages between the provinces will lie about isolation, they will continue to have their vacations or visit relatives despite the risks. I am from Nova Scotia and unable to see my own family, but that doesn’t mean I will risk the lives of others to do so.

Perhaps border closures are a human rights violation in some ways, but article three has always been stacked, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” There is a reason why life comes before liberty and security.

 

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