‘Art of the deal’ know-how missing in Cape Breton Regional Munici

‘Art of the deal’ know-how missing in Cape Breton Regional Municipality

During a number of years with the Federal Government; I’ve had the good fortune to work in the technology field, transferring knowledge and knowhow from the Communications Research Centre in Ottawa to receptive business partners throughout Atlantic Canada. Our reach was Atlantic Canada but the need or willingness to work with us mostly came from the business community in Newfoundland. Suffice to say that the initiatives or projects if you will, generally required 3 partners at the table; one with the knowledge; one with the money and one with business opportunities. There was an “ART of the DEAL” at play where all players contributed and all gained in achieving success for their organization. Project concepts were drafted and the financial and project deliverables formalized through a memorandum of understanding. This left designated officials to work their magic; iron out the details , formalize timelines and agree to design requirements.

From all appearances the “ART of the DEAL” and know-how are sadly missing in CBRM. The Marty Chernin file; along with on-going decision delays on the Library file are testament to poor visioning and lack of clear direction from our supposedly “leaders”. I wrote in previous correspondence to the POST “leaders are dealers of hope”. I see little hope at this point from CBRM!! Its first line of business should be to develop a clear vision and time line to approve projects. Irrespective of who’s at fault, approval delays of years is not good for the project proponents nor the image or credibility of CBRM. CBRM needs to develop a clear service delivery statement and exercise the ”ART of the DEAL” in bringing the funding partners to the table on this important file.

A few years back there was a call for Proposals on a Federal SMART Cities initiative. The first round called for the development of a proposal outlining the scope and ideas for a SMART city initiative, which would then be followed by formal proposals with funding from the Federal Government. At the time I made a formal offer to help develop the SMART city initiative for the CBRM. Disappointing, but my offer was never acknowledged. In Nova Scotia the town of Bridgewater won a $5 million dollar prize to develop their project

I understand that there will be a call for RFP’s to develop the Harbour front. Wouldn’t it make sense to have a vision piece outlining what CBRM sees as potential Harbour front development opportunities. This then would give possible developers guidance as to what would be acceptable development proposals. And please do acknowledge respondents to the RFP.


Marty Chernin is the embodiment of the “ART OF THE DEAL”. He brings to the table the essential elements to any project. He has a proven track record and demonstrated success in building large scale projects; he has financial acumen and can leverage his money bringing federal and provincial and other business partners to the table. He is also well know and respected in the business world. And finally, he lives here; employs scores of Cape Brertoners’ and cares deeply about our Island. If I’d had the opportunity to do Business with Mr. Chernin when I was with the Fed’s; I’d have done it in a heartbeat.


Martin MacLellan
Sydney River

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Debbie Keating Follow Me
This article pretty much sums up the state of affairs in CBRM. We have people with little or no expertise in development running the show for years with no vision and no long range plan. Council has relied on this management accepting anything that crosses the table. To think that we had an offer by Martin to develop the application and enter the smart cities competition and the opportunity ignored was is shameful!!! We all have a list of missed opportunities, crazy decision making not to mention inappropriate hirings with no competition or application processes. Total incompetence and lack of ethics on senior management time and time again. There needs to be an immediate performance evaluation with regards to staffing at “City Hall” and if necessary an overhaul of personnel for us to move forward. It is a long time coming… I nominate Martin to begin that process.
Martin MacLellan My Post Follow Me
Thank you Debbie for your kind words and vote of confidence in me. I suspect the power brokers in City hall are seriously not interested in anyone poking the bees nest; let alone yours truly. They have a vested interest in the status quo and we're more likely to see climate change before changes in CBRM. :-)) Mind-you Houston has alleged a complete overhaul of municipal governance; so that being the case there may be changes down the road.
Cheryl Campbell Follow Me
If anyone can answer my question please do- why doesn’t Chernin build his apt. complex without the library? He would probably get the go-ahead for that. Does he just want the library built so the city (tax payers)will pay for it?
Debbie Keating Follow Me
Cheryl at no time has anyone suggested that Marty Chernin would benefit from a Municipal library being build on that site. As a matter of fact, he was giving part of his land for the library. The project would have enhanced his property with a library on site next to his housing project. But that is it. He looked upon this as his final legacy, having built so many of the buildings in the downtown core. The advantage of his company in charge of the new library build, was that it met the criteria for federal money used for sustainable new builds in the country, as he proposed a state of the art complex. And Mark Eyking had committed 40% federal funding as his legacy contribution….but Derek Mombourquette had his own agenda with the addition to Centre 200 (not approved by council) and management at CBRM went along with this agenda. Even with this new council, the mayor (huge liberal supporter in the last election) and Mombourquette convinced council to vote against the development of the specs. This is how we lost the library. And now council has once again voted down Marty’s proposal to build the complex!!! Nowhere in this country would you find a municipality that doesn’t support development like this (Marty has proven time and time again that he is here for this municipality) and CBRM shamefully continues to shoot themselves in the foot. Insane, isn’t it???
Mathew Georghiou Follow Me
I don't want to get in the middle of this one, but I don't think this is an accurate reflection of what really happened with these various projects.
Martin MacLellan My Post Follow Me
Mary Campbell has often reported on the antics and council meetings of CBRM and is an excellent source for factual information. If you don't have access to her site capebretonspectator.com? I can perhaps forward relevant info!

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