CBRM: Don't Go Breaking Our Hearts

Don’t Go Breaking Our Hearts

Many of us who live in Cape Breton have advocated for a new central library for a long time.

It does not have to be a fancy space that you can ski-doo to from the harbour.

It should be a cultural hub. The Antigonish/Pictou library, for example, has over 100 regular monthly events. Aspiring poets and activists can reveal themselves at open-mic nights, tiny babies can visit other tiny babies and hear about the ABCs, older kids can learn to paint, older adults can do chair yoga – and, yes, there are light refreshments.

There should be books.

Communities of poverty benefit from great libraries because their services are free, and their resources help build stronger families.

I almost spit out my tea when I read that most of the CBRM Council, and Mayor McDougall, have let a project to add services to Centre 200 cut into line in front of the new library project.

CBRM is responsible for the Sydney library building – for the painted-over windows that will not open; the roof that leaks when it rains – staff put out buckets as needed; the unbearable heat in the summer (though they will at least be putting in an air conditioning) and more.

But you know, it is the lack of clear communication that has and continues to swirl around this project that could make a library supporter cry into their soup.

Derek Mombourquette, the MLA for Sydney/Whitney Pier, has stated that if CBRM Council wants to make a new library its priority, then they should do so by telling the provincial government exactly this. Our last municipal government, and yes, it was far less competent than our current one, never did tell the province that their priority was a new central library. 


Consultant reports have been completed that state clearly that we need a new central library. Mayor McDougall has said that the provincial and federal governments are more interested in the Centre 200 project. And, MP Mike Kelloway is on the record saying that he is not aware of any preference for the Centre 200 project over the library project at the federal level. 

So what is happening? 

Inquiring minds deserve to know. Soon. 

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Lloyd Allan MacPherson Follow Me
Question - why isn’t the former Holy Angels mentioned as a contender location for a library? It already has one of the larger makerSpaces in North America and a growing tool library? With The Convent next door, you would think this would be a perfect addition?
Debbie Keating Follow Me
Reflections of scratching my head over “fire station located where???” and bewildered over just WHO is making independent decisions acting like THEY are the voice of the elected. We finally thought we had councillors around the table who didn’t sleep and nod at the mayor’s scheming in the back room with the boys....a change to have representation and a voice for constituents and now this? They have allowed Mombourquette to do a bait and switch (credit: Mary C) pushing an agenda he believes will garnish those previous 100 votes he needed last time to give him power? Where has he been during the library conversation in the community? The voice of the people has emphatically been heard - and it represents our impoverished youth who struggle with not only literacy, but deprives them of a system that allows them to be socially interactive participants in a level playing field with those rich kids that play organized sports!! They are barely surviving in this world. To focus now on an entirely new build is unconscionable and councillors need to state where their independent priorities are. I need to hear from each one that this is their preference over a library!!! As Mombourquette has stated he is waiting for direction from council ( are you kidding me? He has just thrown them under the bus?) The people are so sick of this back room scheming for personal agendas to get re-elected. Haven’t we had enough of this? Isn’t it time to let the people speak? I say we have a plebiscite to give the people a voice on this one before it is too late. We own the land for the library on the waterfront. We have a brilliant design which will draw people from far and wide to see the representation of not only our musical heritage (fiddle and drum) but our connection to the land and our partnership with our indigenous community. It is not a hard sell... That vs a pickle ball court for when school gyms are closed? Really? When we have this chance to showcase so much and serve so many?

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