The Port of Sydney is HIRING! AGAIN!

The Port of Sydney Development Corporation -- a non-profit corporation 100% owned by the Cape Breton Regional Municipality -- is hiring, AGAIN!

Can you prioritize, multi-task and meet deadlines in a fast-paced work environment? If, say, you went to China in August and promised to report to the municipal council on your return, would it take you six months (and counting) to do that?

Can you be "creative and innovative in a versatile operation?" Could you, for example, rewrite Cape Breton maritime history to suit our purposes? Do you know what "Nova" means? Can you think of an "innovative" way to move double-stack rail cars across the Ottawa Brook rail trestle?

(Source: NERAIL North American Rail Photo Archive)

If so, you should apply for this job:

(And I mean, somebody in the goCapeBreton community really should, and let us know if you actually get an interview!)

Administrative Assistant

Administrative and Support Services


Port of Sydney Development Corporation

Sydney, Nova Scotia

Employment Opportunity

Administrative Assistant
Full Time Position

Qualifications

  • Ability to prioritize, multi-task and meet deadlines in a fast-paced work environment
  • Ability to be creative and innovative in a versatile operation
  • Have strong verbal, writing and editing skills and have a full understanding of communication tools
  • Strong organizational and communicative skills
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Excel, and desktop publishing applications
  • Ability to work productively with little supervision to perform general office duties ["with little supervision!"]

Submit Resumes to Port of Sydney Development Corporation

PO Box 327, Sydney, Nova Scotia, B1P 6H2

Please quote competition number AA0209-CB when applying.

Deadline for submissions:February 22nd, 2016

Here's the original posting.

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David Mitchell Follow Me
Sounds like its getting top heavy .
Michael MacNeil Follow Me
Mary you forgot that they should be knowledgeable in environmental green technology so that they can try and bluff the Federal government to waste any money from the Federal infrastructure money that Cape Breton might get. Why invest that money in Cape Breton when we can give it to companies all over the world including companies that were made up for this sole purpose.This is unbelievable and needs to be stopped. Is there any of our Federal,Provincial,or Municipal Representatives seeing what is happening with tax dollars in Cape Breton since Sydport was purchased????? It is time for you to speak up
David Mitchell Follow Me
If the line was purchased it certainly is on the greener side with less truck traffic on the 105 and constant repaving with all the Nfld traffic , it is an asset that needs to be locally owned ,not the same old offshore profiteering as has been done so many times in the past.
Mary Campbell My Post Follow Me
I am actually a big rail fan, David. I think upgrading the railway makes more sense than twinning the 105 or the 104. We need to start thinking of the railway as the 105's awkward, older twin :)
David Mitchell Follow Me
The clock is ticking with the Railway possibly continuing on with their plans for abandonment which of course means they may be in a position to lift the rails for scrap value. Seems like we got a raw deal on that one too as the province injected money to keep the service from St Peters Jct to Sydney in operation, ,it was supposed to help with their maintaining the line and track improvements , would be interesting to see what they actually spent ,sounds like another costly infusion of our cash with nothing to show for it ,what we just blew on the Nova Star ,could of paid for a new ferry..
madeline yakimchuk Follow Me
I'm gonna be funny here, and border on mean, but I am just having fun. After all, they are not listening to me anyway... to add to Mary's focus points: - an ability to priories might be useful, maybe convince the bosses to change priorities completely - communications being mentioned twice does indicate they need help with communication - meet deadlines, like, for instance, remind the bosses about promises to report and inform - little supervision, as Mary points out, is quite alarming. What are the bosses doing anyway? - and I honestly chuckled with seeing the term "desk top publishing" for the first time in maybe 20 years... although my reaction to MS Office might just be because I am an Apple user, but I could have sworn that Excel is actually a part of Office... proof that this is fluff too... not well thought out, just a string of buzz words, some dated, strung together to make things look pretty. Let's see who gets hired.
Peter Sheehan Follow Me
You are quite right. It is not a very good advertisement .I found it far too generic. Would love to see the full job description and what other positions this position works with/for . Job ads today, especially for government , tend to be generic . You seldom see specifics about education , year experience , never typing speed any more , seldom mention software , often don't mention salary . MS Office does include Excel but is it desktop publishing ?? How much publishing does this organization do anyway ??
Wayne O'Toole Follow Me
So...one of Cecils political allies needs a job or one of their kids? Lets watch and see who gets this job...bet its rigged.
Joe Ward Follow Me
I would like to see the next mayor and council commit to filing a standard form relationship disclosure document. No new hires or business relationships could be entered unless all prior business or personal relationships with other members of the CBRM were disclosed. Take for example: http://www.capebretonpost.com/News/Local/2015-02-03/photo-4030745/Usher-to-head-new-port-of-Sydney-board/1 I suppose I'm recently returned to Cape Breton and out of the loop, but if the suggestion that Marlene Usher (CEO, Port of Sydney Dev Corp) and Marie Walsh (CFO, CBRM) are indicated as being sisters - that's a good thing to be aware of. Perhaps old news to many of you. But it does make for quite the entanglement between Cecil's contractual appointments by Usher after losing his MP run against Eyking; then getting elected mayor and appointing Usher in return, and also her sister. Note: I'm basing this on a single comment in the CB Post that I noticed. So if it's not correct, please post a note of correction here. :)
Michael MacNeil Follow Me
Your correct Joe
Joe Ward Follow Me
One note of correction to my previous comment. Marie Walsh has been Director of Finance for the CBRM since 2007. So she predates Cecil Clarke's mayorship of 2012-2016. Also, thank you, Michael.
madeline yakimchuk Follow Me
I've been back for 11 years, but I was away for 32 so I didn't know that Joe. In a small place like CBRM I guess we are all related, so getting the job is not my biggest concern... it is open and fair competition, and if the sister gets the job, she should have the skill to do the job.
Joe Ward Follow Me
Agree, open and fair competition is an absolute must. But none of us can escape bias, so we definitely need to be aware of the relationships that exist. Just having that information out there can act as a reminder not to go too far. Maybe help "keep them honest". I'm very curious about all the other relationships that exist.
Michael MacNeil Follow Me
I think this article and the comments fits well in this conversation http://www.capebretonpost.com/Business/2016-02-12/article-4435206/Commercial-tax-relief-not-on-horizon-in-Cape-Breton-Regional-Municipality/1
Joe Ward Follow Me
The way that article reads, it made me think of David Carradine: A guy who probably had many years of *kung fu* left in him, but instead finished himself off with some auto-asphyxiation. Given his particular private interests, it probably seemed like a good idea to him at the time, until the last bit of air was gone from his brain and he was without an opportunity for recovery. More businesses and increasing business valuation can help offset the drop in total gross commercial tax revenues after reducing the tax rate... if we actually grow the business sector instead of disincentivizing it. It's the old 100% of nothing is nothing type deal. I can tell you, those comments definitely read like the thinking process of a general accountant, and certainly not that of a business strategist. It's not about hanging onto to every nickel one can grab. It's about strategic investment and ROI. If they're working on their own charter, then get it done. The port is only showing progress in the public relations and marketing department.
Peter Sheehan Follow Me
wayne : Employers , especially government , today, are far more conscious of human resources management issues than ever. Conflict of Interest policies should be well known in every public service organization. Anyone in management knows the signs of potential conflicts , so whenever interviewing , should a potential conflict arise , it is the job of that interview team to deal with it. Many companies are family owned and will have family working with and for family. This is not acceptable to taxpayers when it comes to the public service though , as everything in government has to be at a higher standard , even an arm's length relationship may not even be acceptable in some situations .
Wayne O'Toole Follow Me
Completely agree Peter. I worked a quasi government exec job and we were heald to a high standard that way. I had two qualified persons with same last name and before hiring had to prove no relation. We also were held to very extreme but acceptable transparency and bidding processes. Everything was accessable to public at no cost...because of this we ran very smooth. We have persection of conflicts now with the port/CBRM andnot a word. Marlene Usher, hired by Cecil...she hired Cecil for a bigposition after he lost the fed election...has no port experience...seem like returning a favor. One sister worked for CBRM the other now port leader...again could be normal if it had been disclosed and justified but it hasn't been. Other conflicts...CME is given $25,000 for a "study" with no supporting data on this and then is handed Archibalds wharf for way under value. The other group throws $150,000 and is given sole rights to port....do these not look fishy? Cecil double dipping travel expenses...or sorry not double dipping but chosing wallets...one day its the ports wallet, the next its CBRM.
Peter Sheehan Follow Me
Wayne : It seems like this is the way of life in Nova Scotia and on Cape Breton when it coms to politics and the way the taxpayer money is managed by councils and provincial departments and the politicians of the day ; and it is also the way some of the senior bureaucrats operate . They do all kinds of things that smell to high heaven but there never is a consequence . ECBC should not have been dismantled but over and over you could see why the politicians were worried that a scandal might break . So who was at fault ? ECBC did it to themselves ; not likely every employee , but certainly the senior ones , and where have they gone and what consequences did they face ?? Between ECBC , that CB Growth Fund of several million(was it $200 million) , the CB partnership fund , millions are flowing through CB but try to find where it went , let alone what has been the result . Wish you luck . Is tourism really improving since 2000? is employment? are exports? real estate values ? Commercial taxes ??? Who knows ??? $300 million from cruise ships ??
madeline yakimchuk Follow Me
someone just asked me about this job, so I followed the link you have in the article to check it for them... the link doesn't seem to be active anymore.
Peter Sheehan Follow Me
Another example of lack of transparency in government . Not one level of government publishes their organization charts , their list of positions and their related job descriptions and pay levels ; and this information is sitting on their internal computer systems day in and day out. Why do they intentionally hide such information ?? The best effort is that in some provinces they now have passed laws to publish the list of the people and "positions" that are paid over $100,000 but it doesn't happen anywhere in Nova Scotia. Isn't it awful that you have to look like the "bad guy" when you try to ask about how they spend your money ? Isn't it awful that here you have this big ports project and you can't help but feel there's something just not right . Is it the project ? Is it the people ??? Something is wrong somewhere .
Stephanie Langley Follow Me
We need a public forum on this whole port file! Get the players up there and have the tough questions answered! Too much money is being spent with very little transparency. I would really like to hear a good debate on its plausibility!
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Michael MacNeil Follow Me
You are so correct and we also need a public forum on the CBRM wanting to remove the Tax Cap and gaining more control of our tax system. Right now we are almost double the business tax for a business compared to Halifax. The spending needs to stop and our taxes have to lower. http://www.capebretonpost.com/News/Local/2016-02-17/article-4439528/Councillors-seeking-assessment-of-controversial-program/1 http://www.capebretonpost.com/News/Local/2016-02-17/article-4439570/Airfare-to-China-tops-CBRM-mayors-2015-expense-list/1
David Mitchell Follow Me
Is the Chinese delegation waiting till the ice blocks the harbour or the trees are leafing out :) ,spring is just around the corner , hopefully wont be the big ice jam problems like the last couple of winters
Paul Carrigan Follow Me
Good afternoon, The Port of Sydney hiring another employee is a good thing. There has not been anybody pre- selected for this job. The Port has many applicants to review and from there the best candidate will be chosen. It is difficult reading these posts. During the busy cruise season there are 17 people working at the Port. All in which have spouses and dependents. All of which have been hired through the interview process. Please consider the "Human Factor" when commenting. There are no hidden agendas, we want what you want. Prosperity for all. The container terminal potential is real. There have been no promises made, however the work going into trying to make a future for all of us continues. Thank you Paul Carrigan
Wayne O'Toole Follow Me
And there have been no "politically appointed" positions? So how did Marlene Usher get her position? She has no port experience right? Did she not employee Cecil Clarke in his prior position? Was there a hiring process for her job? How about the current board of directors in which Cecil appointed himself and all others are political appointments with no port background. I am sure there are many who were hired but the process for bigger jobs has been appointment. One has to wonder when certain people get $200,000 positions with little to no experience in the field and was connected with our mayor if thos is common practice. Or perhaps if the mayor opened the non disclosures and became transparent one wouldn't have to question. As well if you had read the recent article it seems CBRM paid our mayors trip to China not the port...double dipping must be fun especially when you are holding both wallets. His trips associated with port should not be taxpayer funded period.
Wayne O'Toole Follow Me
As well...17 may not seem like a bad number of employees but add that we have invested over $100,000,000 so far and thats not impressive and thats "cruise ship business" not container terminal. One has to be a critic of a 30 yr, 100 mil project with so far very minimal impact (actually none from the terminal side". Also one has to question and make logical conclusions when all data is hidden and secrets are the big thing.
Mathew Georghiou Follow Me
Paul, it's really great to see someone who works at the Port of Sydney participate in these Port discussions. I know there was an open Q&A session on goCapeBreton.com in Dec/Jan and that was a great start, but the personal interaction is always best. I have not commented on any of the Port discussions myself and instead chose to be a somewhat impartial observer, so I can best understand all sides of the opportunity and challenges. I have read every comment on every post on goCapeBreton.com and most of the articles published in other media too. Your participation and comment is what has now compelled me to jump in and try to make some attempt at bridging both sides. So, I hope that you and all others reading this will see my comment as a good-faith attempt to help both sides and our community (rather than me taking sides). So, here goes ... You are SO right that there is a big human factor that should be considered with all criticism of the Port. Good people trying to do good things for our community need our support and encouragement. But, I think I can safely say that the people posting questions and criticisms are finding it just as hard to write such things as you and your colleagues are having with reading them. Both sides are "hurting" in some way. Knowing many of the people involved, and having read every single comment, I can say that many of the people posting/commenting are not chronic complainers. They are simply people that want to know what's what and what's not. And, when that information is not being made available, it causes problems. Because, at the end of the day, it's public time and money that is at play and Cape Breton has a long and highly-public history of seeing money for economic development not deliver on promises. ....continued in next comment....
Mathew Georghiou Follow Me
... continued (part 2 of 2) ... To further exasperate the issue, many people believe that the information being disclosed by CBRM and the Port of Sydney is injected with, dare I say, propaganda, rather than focusing on straight-up facts. And, I have to say that as someone with deep professional experience in business and business communications, I can't disagree with them. Hence, the root of the problem. The solution is simple. More communication. Clear facts. No propaganda. The Port has to use a proactive communication strategy, not a reactive one. And, anything that involves public money (including hiring) has to be promptly and fully disclosed. These are the ingredients of professional and meaningful public communications. Following this recipe will reduce public uncertainty and criticism. For sure, it may not eliminate it, but most reasonable people will certainly start to give you the benefit of the doubt and that's a win for Cape Breton. You have already taken the first step by publicly participating in this discussion ... I hope you will continue and encourage your colleagues to do the same. We all want the same thing ... for our community to succeed.
Wayne O'Toole Follow Me
Well said Matthew. I personally am tired of bring called negative for wanting simple answers that should be readily available. I don't blame workers at the port...unlessthey are indeed "political appointees".I am in life the ultimate optimist but in CB politics have tipped to realist and sometimes pessimist...because I have seen ponzy scheme after ponzy scheme drain us over and over and without real data and information and not propagandaas mentioned this looks like another scheme. Until the books are open and transparency run wild why should I blindly support an idea and hold back critism. 1) our Mayor should not be signing non disclosures when its our tax invested 2) no more secrecy 3) proper bid specs on sales of public land 4) community input i.e Archibalds wharf...community strongly opposed but the Mayor didn't care (and where are the jobs?)...this harbour/port idea is 30 years in the planning and over $100million public funds...imagine 10 x $10 million start up projects at 100 good jobs a piece. Well rounded economic benefits and spin offs and not "all eggs in one basket".
Mary Campbell My Post Follow Me
Well said. Criticizing our leaders for their lack of transparency around the port file is not the same as criticizing the people who work at the port. I would also add that the "human factor" is always present for me, because I think about the one in three children in this municipality living in poverty and wonder why we're not focusing more of our energy and resources on them. That's always a subtext to my port posts.
Wayne O'Toole Follow Me
Exactly Mary...I as well am huge on the "human factor" but because I critic the port I again am a "negative or nay sayer taking cheap shots from the cheap seats". I see the effects of poverty, drug addiction, and crime daily in my community. We do nothing, offer little and ignore this but this port/container terminal idea is suppose to make everything better...well its just about 30 years and sorry but its much worse now and spiralling fast. I am a 44 year old with disabilities with a 17 yr old and 7 yr old...I do ok because I did well younger and had protection for just this...my inability to work but what about a friend of mine...disabled and gets $800/month and has been waiting 3 years for housing...is that not "human". What about the child in my old neighborhood, 6 maybe 7 who used to sneak into peoples homes to get food until he was caught and we told him to come anytime and fed him pretty much daily...human enough. To critic the leaders (I use this loosely) of the container/port project should be expected because of how they are operating. And yes, looking at "who is hired" is crucial as a few top dogs have no experience but are rolling in salary and are political allies/friends of the mayor (even old bosses). I worked corporate security for over 20 years and can tell you when there are too many secrets 9/10 times there is a reason.
Peter Sheehan Follow Me
Taxpayers are becoming more concerned at the way governments at all levels are spending the taxpayers money .Governments are not responding to the taxpayers by using technology to educate , to communicate , and explain government revenues and expenses . The data is sitting on computer files, so it is not that the data is not available. Crown Corporations have always been even farther away from the taxpayer , but the taxpayers have realized that far too often Crown Corporations can be profitable or can be costing , but because they have their own rules on salaries and perks and pensions, they are now looked at with higher expectations as they all will claim that they run like a business far more than government. If taxpayers cannot get answers to reasonable questions ,than why ???
Joe Ward Follow Me
It's great to see you post a response, Paul, and I appreciate your candor. Openness of information and being comfortable with maintaining a dialogue is vital. If you feel that there is misinformation cycling within the community, the only way to correct it is to engage with those who feel the topic is important and actively discuss it. The Q&A that your team participated in here before was a great step forward. The communication itself has value, regardless of whether or not everyone leaves with universal agreement - or agreement at all. Certainly, we're all aware that isn't an obtainable goal. However, open dialog is a completely achievable goal. As others have said, there is certainly a human factor here. However, it is for every member of this community. It could be argued that the 17 working on your team will be among the least affected by a failure for port strategy to come to fruition (as it relates to a container terminal). As Mr. O'Toole indicated, this isn't a new project or new objective that simply isn't being given a chance. It's been a lofty ambition for the CBRM for a long time. To date, the preparatory dredging of the harbour is arguably one of the only tangible steps forward. Yet it was a public expenditure, not an investment by private industry. Those with real experience in the port industry have expressed great skepticism of the viability of the port. This was the case with Neil MacNeil. When his report was hidden for 7 months rather than explaining to the community why MacNeil's expert opinion wasn't valid, those that made that decision were rightly rewarded with the commensurate level of distrust such a misstep warrants. What other response could possibly have been expected? (Cont'd)
Joe Ward Follow Me
Part II: Of course, proponents may counter that Bechtel and CCCC are port industry experts and are onboard with the project. But they are ultimately large scale contracting firms who are, of course, willing to take on projects in the scope of hundreds of millions to billions in costs - for profit. The project is as viable to them as is the ability of the HPDP to bring together the financing to pay for it. But remember that Bechtel is also well aware of the status of all other ports and the types of activities they are undertaking (or being undertaken by others) to prepare for larger ships. And they are involved with projects that are designed to avoid dredging and working with inner harbour constraints by exploring "offshore ports" (see link below). https://capebreton.lokol.me/bechtel-coy-about-payment-for-port-work#comment-2424 So while they promote supposed competitive advantages for building out the port here, they simultaneously work with other regional partners to erode that same competitive advantage, long term (5-20 years). Port of Sydney Corp, the CBRM, and HPDP are asking the community to put a great deal of confidence in a group of stakeholders who do not possess clear port expertise. That includes Usher, yourself (perhaps), Mr. Clarke, and everyone on the mayor's executive team - as far as I'm aware at present. It also includes Barry Sheehy of HPDP. Though he speaks quite authoritatively on the topic, none of you have every been able to present any tangible information about his past experience working with port operations. How are we to distinguish between actual expertise, and that of perhaps just an intelligent, affluent retiree who got bored watching the waves crash in Gabarus? (cont'd)
Joe Ward Follow Me
Part III: I do see that your LinkedIn profile lists "Certified Port Executive". Given the conversation about the new biz development hire in the past month, I am curious if that title came as a result of the same 5-day certificate program he attended, or if that was something that was a part of your degree at Dalhousie or some other program? That is not intended to be sarcasm or a slight. It's a sincere observation and question. That whole Cape Breton Post article was a communications failure if someone actually decided it was a good idea to try to characterize that certificate as it was. It took away from the idea that a talented young biz development professional was hired and given a requisite crash course, and made it seem as though his qualifications were being overrepresented. Whether that was an oversight, a strategy, or simply too short of a telephone interview with the local journalist is uncertain. With your background in Human Resources, I want to bring a up a different perspective on the human factor here. All political agencies prone to do so have to stop thinking that critical feedback is somehow something to ignore or dismiss. In Human Resources, you have to maintain the morale with your employees through effective communications. And as a political figure, the citizens you serve are actually less so employees and much more so the role of shareholders. In fact, without the tax base, none of you have any of your positions. So rather than suggest they are off base or negative or in the "cheap seats" (as the mayor did), why not engage them and try to bridge the gap? Share requested information; provide counter arguments to those you consider off base? (cont'd)
Joe Ward Follow Me
Part IV: With social media growing every day, and platforms like goCapeBreton able to empower the community voice, this kind of feedback isn't going away. So rather than oppose it or resent it, why not make the best of it? Consider it objectively. Give citizens respect as the valid stakeholders that they are. There's a high probably that it's been a very long time since you, Usher, or Cecil Clarke had trouble paying a bill. As political figures, you've accepted a role that puts you in the public eye. And for as long as humans have organized into structured societies, those who take on the leadership roles do (and should) be the subject of criticism - and, of course, admiration and praise as well - when appropriate. So I personally am worried that this "If not the port, then what?" strategy has a great opportunity cost. Just as Mary noted, I too am also worried about those children living in poverty, and the immense stress on families living paycheque to paycheque (if they have one) - wanting to live here but struggling to figure out a viable way to do so. Rebranding Sydport to Novaporte doesn't put oil in their tank or groceries in their cabinets. If you political stakeholders continue to keep information hidden behind NDAs, be condescending towards public feedback, and offer token progress just sufficient enough to get picked up by the CB Post or Herald - then you can't reasonably expect that people won't take notice or ask questions. Let's get on the right track by doing some real communicating: Q1. What is the status of CCCC and the delegates they were sending (or have already sent)? Are they still involved? Q2. Who did the rebranding consulting for the port name? If there was a consulting fee, how much was it, and who paid the invoice? Q3. Was the name Novaporte approved by CBRM council? Q4. Is the Port of Sydney Corp up to date on its leasing payments to the CBRM that were in arrears? ###
David Mitchell Follow Me
Your right on the money Joe, lots of unanswered questions and the railway abandonment deadline has to be dealt with pronto .
Paul Carrigan Follow Me
Good morning Joe, to be clear the CPE course is a 5 day course offered by MacDonnell. The instructor is Captain Jeffrey Monroe. Captain Monroe is well respected in the industry. The course is recognized by the Engineering Institute of Canada. We encourage certain management employees to take this course and others as "Professional Development" in an effort to learn terminology, best practices and risk management. When we quote the CPE designation,it is not to misrepresent credentials, it is a recognized designation within the industry. It should be noted that The Port of Sydney (formerly Sydney Ports Corporation) terminal, operational and management employees and grounds are self sustaining. The revenues generated from Cruise and Imperial Oil bunkering pay our employees. People may not know that all fuel that comes to the island goes through our port. The Cruise Industry contributes upwards of $30 million dollars annually to our economy. Therefore the past 10 years in cruise alone there has been close to $300 million go back into the economy. Our CEO, whom by the way is a senior manager (CA,CPA) has been seconded to the Port through ACOA and the CBRM. We are very pleased with Marlene's leadership. The Port of Sydney and its employees work very hard to maintain this business. Support by your readers would be so good at this time. While I can't respond to all comments I am willing to answer questions through you Joe. If you want to compile a list of 10 top questions please do and I will respond in due course.
Wayne O'Toole Follow Me
I question the 5 day course as making someone knowledgeable and experiencedin "port development. Yes, continuing education is good but does not make one an expert. Second plewse explain this 30 million into our economy...I highly question this...30 million gross before costs? Where do these numbers come from?
Joe Ward Follow Me
*** I apologize in advance for the length of the reply. *** Hi Paul, I actually support key members of your team taking that course. I think it's vital, as (in fairness) there really is no indication of any particular port-related expertise that anyone has disclosed. And that's problematic for obvious reasons. However, you may actually be impacted by a very unfortunate naming convention for such a light, short-term course. While it sounds as though it's something of a diploma level commitment (1-2 years of continued education study) by name alone, it's not. So imagine if some local folks took their WHMIS and CPR training, but it was called: Certified Engineering Safety Executive They would have achieved valuable and necessary skills, but the title still would be misrepresentative of the level of knowledge and skills accumulated in such a short course. So again, very valuable to your team, but very unfortunately named. And it should never end up as the lead in to a new hire announcement article in the media. Community Engagement What you're doing right now, Paul, is *very* important. It's the level of separation between Port of Sydney Dev Corp and those active in the community - including modern social media forums - that creates a larger gap than necessary. However, I think you stepping forward to engage with us (as you also did with the previous Q&A topic) is commendable and a very smart strategic move. When you first drop the wings into the fryer, there's a bit of a hiss. But that dissipates and the end result is something very good hitting the plate. So I'd ask you not to be discouraged by the initial hiss. More frequent communication will certainly help resolve that. (cont'd)
Joe Ward Follow Me
Part II: From reading the various discussions and articles here (and from the water cooler type discussions that result with your team and stakeholders), you probably see all kinds of information that you think is off base or erroneous. And the only way to correct it is by doing what you did as of yesterday. Dropping in, and answering questions. There are many intelligent, professional people in their respective fields, particularly here at goCapeBreton, who really care about this community. And when constructive feedback (including criticism) arises, that is the source of origin: caring about the community. Just within this conversation there has been a lot of information shared. And without clarification, there are actually some very concerning new elements regarding the flow of funds between the Port of Sydney Dev Corp and other stakeholders. If there was ever a great time to communicate, you certainly picked the right one. We should all work together to take this opportunity to resolve all these questions about these new items noted. They come from a committed member of the Cape Breton public. FOIPOP requests are not the way to go. The minute those have to be filed to get access to public information, you immediately take on the tone of dishonesty or lack of transparency (deserved or not). And, it's a valid perception. Why else would public information be withheld? Port of Sydney Development Corporation is *entirely* owned by local taxpayers. Unless of course, clarity on the funds injected by HPDP or CME result in some alternative interpretation of that ownership relationship. Among the most active and valuable contributors here is Mary Campbell, who is a professional journalist. I note that specifically because I would like to defer the questions that you offered to answer for me as an informal liason to be those that she presented here: https://capebreton.lokol.me/the-mysterious-port-of-sydney-development-corp-budget-1 (cont'd)
Joe Ward Follow Me
Part III: Mary has actually raised a few more questions than the 10 cap. However, they are well researched and so on target that it would be an investment of your team's effort that would far outweigh any value that you'll build through the public relations and media strategy that is underway. That campaign is ok, but it does little to resolve the greater concerns that exist and will continue to materialize within the community - if we don't begin more frequent and open communications. As you can see from the view counts on this topic, there is wide public distribution here that rivals and often exceeds the viewership that can be expected in printed media. Many of those articles just get lost. So when you engage here, all those 7,000+ views in articles like these become *your* audience as well. I think there are some valid challenges to the estimates of economic impact by the cruise industry, though I would certainly be happy to learn that your estimates were correct. (cont'd)
Joe Ward Follow Me
Part IV (Final): Beyond that, these new line items of concern in the Port of Sydney Dev Corp accounting are the highest priority. Explaining these will go a long way toward building greater transparency and trust. So I really hope that you consider the immense value in providing each of Mary's questions with full feedback: https://capebreton.lokol.me/the-mysterious-port-of-sydney-development-corp-budget-1 Doing so will ensure that any misinformation will not perpetuate from here forward. And while there will likely be many more subjects of debate, such is the nature of community engagement. Regardless, with engagement and communication, the community always grows for the better. I'm only a citizen contributor here at goCapeBreton. It's my preferred place to contribute, as my career expertise is in Social Media Marketing and online communications, and I'm committed to "sticking up for the little guys". So I don't speak for the site or any of the other contributors. But collectively there is a large audience that is built up by all the contributors. I hope that you take the opportunity to engage with everyone who contributes here in a reasonable way. This tends to be a zone of strong debate and lots of information cycling, but very few instances of out of line behavior. So it's a great way for you to get your message out to the community, and to utilize each of us as conveyances for any new information of public concern. ###
Paul Carrigan Follow Me
Thank you Joe, I will have a look at the questions that Mary has asked and work on getting answers.
Joe Ward Follow Me
Sorry for the late reply, Paul. I was hit by a a week long flu bug. Really appreciate you following up on the questions. If we zero in on that stuff, I think we can definitely make some solid progress, and perhaps clear up some misunderstood or misinterpreted data.
Michael MacNeil Follow Me
Good evening Paul, I notice that your post was at 1:20 pm. Where I work, at 1:20 pm we are all quite busy. We get a coffee break at 3:00 pm, so it makes me wonder being a Tax Payer. What do 17 people do in the middle of Feb to market Cruise Ships? Why do you need another? Actually What do 18 people do in an office during the "busy cruise ship season" ? Do any of you work on the pilot boat that takes the ship into the harbour? Do any of you tie up the Ship? Do any of you empty the Garbage containers after the Cruise Ship leaves? Just curious because i was thinking about applying for the job. The real Human Factor in CBRM right now Paul is People without jobs and children living in poverty.
Peter Sheehan Follow Me
I expect that pretty soon we will receive a list or organization chart of the 17-18 jobs mentioned and then an explanation how that salary budget produces a revenue for CBRM. When a cruise ship docks, who do they pay and how much? What their passengers spend when ashore is not really known and none of that spending is paid to CBRM . The main revenue is in the spin off economy, but who really knows how much that is ? So 500 come ashore and then come back to their ship . Who do they report to /show receipts to ,about how much they spent ?? Customs ? DCBA ?? Port of Sydney ??
Paul Finney Follow Me
According to TIANS and the Atlantic Canada Cruise Association, post-cruise surveys indicated an average of $60 spent per passenger while ashore. Therefore, in 2010, 50,000 reported passengers spent $3 million. And last year's 90,000 passengers injected $5.4 million into the local economy. It's not exact but it's something. But the figure reported above is $30 million. I'm not sure where the difference of $24.5 million comes or the $300 million figure over 10 years. Maybe someone will correct me.
Joe Ward Follow Me
I'm curious what is the typical percentage of passengers that come ashore. Is it a very high percentage at every port? Their methods of survey would be interesting to know as well, to gauge accuracy. And it would be also useful to know how Mr. Carrigan's estimates were developed.
Peter Sheehan Follow Me
How do they know what passenger spends ashore ??? They really don't . Most tourism statistics are not very accurate as they are not based on a real "counting" . Only a few provinces count the heads in the beds anymore, and that room nights sold is the best and more accurate count we have . A couple of visitors spending $60 day is not nearly as good as ones that stay for a whole week and may spend $300 a day. What did these cruise ship people buy ? $300 million in T-shirts or artwork ? The NS total annual tourism income is supposed to be $2 billion , so $300 million of that is the Sydney cruise ships?
David Mc Donald Follow Me
Heard of Lunch Buddy?
madeline yakimchuk Follow Me
I have never felt the need to unlike a comment before but this qualifies... since I think "unlike" is anonymous by default, I thought I would own up to it.
Sherry Finney Follow Me
Please let me relate my own experience surrounding transparency with the Port file…. At the December 2, 2014 council meeting of CBRM, councillors were presented for approval a proposed port budget for the period December 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015. How much in advance of the meeting councillors had to review and discuss the details is anyone’s guess, but during the meeting itself, there were no questions raised specific to the individual budget lines. I considered them with interest, however, and three lines in particular caught my eye. They were: Expenditures – Consulting Services - $50,000 Funding – 1) CME Consulting Fee $25,000 and 2) Commitment of Private Funds $150,000 Unfortunately, there were no explanatory notes for the above three items and this didn’t sit well with me. As a residential and commercial tax-paying citizen and business owner in the CBRM, I am, of course, interested in how tax dollars are spent. CBRM has the highest commercial tax rate in the province (see Vital Signs Report 2013) and I would like to know that there is transparency involved in how public tax dollars are spent. So, the fact that our Port was taking on private investors (un-named) caused me some discomfort. I also wondered what form of consulting services the Port was doing for CME to earn the 25K in consulting fee. Finally, I questioned who was being paid the $50K in consulting services. And for clarification, CME is Canadian Maritime Engineering. This is the ship repair company to which CBRM recently sold, for $200,000, Archibald Wharf, a 8.6 acre North Sydney waterfront park and business centre, developed by community volunteers in the 1990s. Subsequent to the meeting, I emailed the CBRM Economic Development Officer to request the details of the private investor. I was told “I can’t identify the individual without their agreement”. I then asked if I could find out through a FOIPOP request and was directed to the CBRM Clerk. Continued...
Sherry Finney Follow Me
So, with my $5 cheque ready, I began to fill out the request. My specific questions were: 1. Who is the individual who committed $150,000 in private funds? 2. What services did the Port provide CME in exchange for consulting fee? Please provide contract. 3. Who was paid $50,000 in consulting services? Please provide contract. In early June, I had submitted my request. The following paper trail occurred: June 9 – received a letter from the municipal clerk acknowledging receipt of my FOIPOP request. In the letter I was told “depending on the time required to retrieve and prepare the requested information, it is hoped that will be able to provide a disclosure decision to you within the timelines contained in Part XX of the Municipal Government Act, i.e. 30 days from the date of receipt of the application.” July 3 – received a letter and was told “the records requested by you contain information whereby the disclosure of which may affect the interest of third parties…a decision about whether to give you access to the records will be made within 30 days of the date of this letter.” July 21 – received a letter that it “was recently determined that there is another third party that must be notified…in relation to the contract for the $50,000 in consulting services…notice has been forwarded to the additional third party.” “A decision about whether to grant you access to the records will be made within 30 days.” July 28 – received a letter stating “my access has been partially granted. The third parties have 20 days in which to seek a review by a Review Officer of this decision.”
Sherry Finney Follow Me
The final letter I received was dated August 19, 2015, approximately two and a half months after my initial request. The response received for the above noted three questions was: 1. Harbour-Port Development Partners committed $150,000 in private funds. 2. There were no services provided to the Port to CME in exchange for the $25,000 consulting fee, nor was there a contract. This amount was one of the eight elements included in the proposal outlined in John Whalley’s Issue Paper dated December 1, 2014. “CBRM will use $25,000 of the funds from the sale for on-going port development costs.” 3. CBRM paid Business Cape Breton (BCB) the $50,000 for consulting services. BCB contracted with a third party for these consulting services; there was no contract with CBRM. After reading the answers to my questions, I can’t say that I’m satisfied with the detail provided. I’m still unclear as to why proceeds from the sale of Archibald Wharf would be included in the Port budget as a CME consulting fee? Further, I still don’t really know much more about the $50,000 consulting fee paid out. It seems I have more questions now than before. If the Port paid BCB $50,000, one would expect there should have been a contract for that, and should that not have been provided to me as per my request? If BCB, in turn, subcontracted that work, then there should have been a contract for that. I still don’t know who was paid the $50 K and what it was for? Were CBRM council members aware of whom made the $150,000 commitment of private funds in the Port on December 2 when they voted to approve the budget? When council voted in July 2015 to give Harbour Port Development Partners exclusive rights to market the Port of Sydney, were they unduly influenced by the fact the partners had made a prior commitment of private funds? Is this process of first accepting investment money and then approving HPDP as a partner with exclusive rights a bit backwards? Wouldn’t you first decide whom you were going to begin a relationship with and then accept their investment?
Sherry Finney Follow Me
Should there be a defined, transparent process in place to accept private investment in entities, such as the Port, that are felt by the general public to be within the realm of public operations/assets? I am curious to know what others think of my questions. Are they reasonable expectations of a public, non-profit agency? In an earlier commentary I posted to this site, I questioned the degree of transparency demonstrated by CBRM. This observation was based on public comments by several councillors as well as research by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. In a 2010 survey on financial transparency, CBRM was ranked 73 of 100 Canadian cities, but this got even worse in 2013 when they slipped 23 spots to rank 96 of 100. To complete their ranking, Frontier uses such criteria as providing additional commentary and statistics and definitions for expenditure line items, among others. In a January 5, 2016 article in the Chronicle Herald, Mayor Clarke said that “think tanks, such as the Frontier Centre publish an annual openness report in which Cape Breton Regional Municipality consistently ranks low, but that’s because of the way the municipality reports information.” Yes, that’s exactly right. It’s because of the way CBRM reports information. The current method is not sufficient for the taxpayers or independent organizations like Frontier. We, the commercial and residential taxpayers are requesting transparency.
Michael MacNeil Follow Me
Wow !!! We have to ask Mark Eyking, Rodger Cuzner and Steven McNeil,Where are the Auditors,Investigators and RCMP? I have to ask the News Networks When is this whole port file from the sale of Sydport to present day China Vacations going on the National News?
Wayne O'Toole Follow Me
Been done, all of the above and pretty much the same response...sorry we have nothing to do with municipalities. Sad but there is absolutely no accountability, except of course voters. Our best bet for a more open and transparent government is to remove 90% of the current crew
Mary Campbell My Post Follow Me
Your questions are fantastic -- and the answers you've received are very, very interesting...
David Mitchell Follow Me
Hopefully we get to see the money trail, as since these are public funds we certainly have the right to know ,and all the fine details of the contract between CBRM , Port of Sydney and the Montreal based marketing team.
Joe Ward Follow Me
What does "commitment of private funds" mean? I assume they can't sell shares to private interests? A loan? A gift? Other? Note: Usher told Mainstreet Cape Breton that the Port of Sydney Dev Corp has paid Bechtel approximately $159,000, very close to the $150k line item amount contributed from HPDP. I think they have a lot of explaining to do. There should be absolutely no funds changing hands without a contractual agreement that outlines what those monies are for. GREAT work, Sherry. It's wonderful to see that the era of transparency is well underway, even in a small regional place like ours. Paul Carrigan - maybe you could explain some of these items to your public shareholders.
Wayne O'Toole Follow Me
In a time where social media and internet is so widely used, it is difficult to maintain secrecy Joe and this is quite apparent just here on this site. I don't believe I have ever been rude, or disrespectful in my quest for answers and accountability, but it seems when someone like myself and others begin asking the right questions then its an automatic "nay sayer" tag. In this day and age, in a time with such access to information you would think any efforts taken for the port would want to be highly publicized. Why hide things? We should know where every cent of taxpayer money goes, and every success and yes every failure. We should have community groups expressing ideas, discomfort if needed and able to monitor step by step each and every little action. Again I say, I have worked on 100's of million dollar projects for billion dollar companies and if shareholder wanted information it was provided. We, the citizens of CBRM are the Shareholders for any public money or any public assets and we are not allowed the data to decide if its wise spending or clear waste or misallocation of our investment. In the private world the CEO and other big players would be removed, in this case the CEO being our mayor.
David Mc Donald Follow Me
Paul, I would like to thank you for taking the time to come out onto a public forum and deal with all of us disgruntled Capers, I see that your intentions are good, I did not know that the Port bought in oil for all the Island. This is the Kind of stuff that everyone needs to know
Wayne O'Toole Follow Me
It is great that someone is taking time to comment however I see no answers. I debate that $300 million was put into our economy and would like to be proven wrong. Also, we have received oil before the port, so who are the saving going to if their are any at it certainly is not citizens. Another note...if oil is now brought in by ship does that not mean money just shifted from trucking/rail jobs and companies? You certainly cannot account for that as new money right? Aa for the "disgruntled capers" comment...why is this necessary? Another "cheap shot from the cheap seats" to anyone wanting answers to long overdue questions. Why does wanting accountability and transparency equate to disgruntled?
David Mc Donald Follow Me
I love my seats Wayne, I really doubt that you know much, You come across as someone that is extremely disgruntled and you are probably the the reason I mentioned 'Disgruntled'. If I were to venture a guess, you come across as someone that is professinally disgruntled
Joe Ward Follow Me
I think you just masterfully used your posting opportunity to get grunted by dissing the disgruntled. I think this should be called #metagruntling ;)
David Mc Donald Follow Me
Haha, quite a good one Joe, You must mean Gruntled!
Wayne O'Toole Follow Me
Well actually I have been very successful in life and am now disabled but thanks for the attack...shows who you are. I suppose though I amdisgruntled with our Mayor and some consel members but justifiably. So are you sugesting we just close our eyes and "pray" that everything is good? And as for your guess its 100% wrong but you know what they say about assumptions...if you have anything intelligemt to add I suggest doing so but angry comments with not an ounce of debate seem more your style.
David Mc Donald Follow Me
Dear Wayne, I do not want you to feel upset, I wish you all the best and feel that your misfortune is undeserved. Going back to my point, I appreciate that Paul took the time as we all should to reach out to us. This is neither the forum nor the place that anyone needs to accept attacks from. He seems like a nice person to reach out to this forum knowing the potential for backlash. I checked his title, he is the General Manager for the POS. I do not think that he would be reaching out of GOCB unless he cared
Wayne O'Toole Follow Me
He mau be a nice guy and has reached out however no questions have yet been answered and my misfortune?I am quite fortunite to be honest but I sense a condecending tone. I would recommendyou perhaps read through all the "truth" Mary is writing and debating if you have insight that isn't here instead of pushing buttons andantagonizing...doesn't help your cause...and agaim maybe syop hiding behind a fack name/profile. This is a good place to debate without need to target those who disagree and get valid points across and expect debate back
madeline yakimchuk Follow Me
This personal attack by Dave on another commenter (Wayne) has just been reported by me. This is entirely personal and unnecessary.
Wayne O'Toole Follow Me
Doesn't fiss me. I know who I am and why I am an activist. It is insulting though when decent dialogue is happening and someone desides to become personal and doesn't debate. Its common when you ask the right questions to stir up some hatred...one has to wonder why? This wasn't his first attack and not all were at me. Its sad that instead of partaking in dialect some feel the need to turn it into a"bar fight" and that alone loses any ground they had. His profile was created today...did Mary's new article hit a nerve? They sending in some bashers to try and divert the conversation? My questions still stand, my cautiousness surroundingit as well...even more so when people chose to deflect by inappropriate means.
madeline yakimchuk Follow Me
it may not bother you Wayne but it is not acceptable that someone with a very common name who joined goCapeBreton 11 hours ago behaves like this to any of us. It should be reported to protect other people, if not you. Otherwise it is not worth it to further engage with this individual.
Joe Ward Follow Me
With Mary's article getting over 7,000 hits and growing, let's all maintain focus on the core - and very important - topic. As far as ad hominems go, those comments rank at the level of a single stale, plain vanilla Tim Bit... in a world that slings double chocolate dips through pitching machines. Or less absurdly stated: Every once and while a partisan response will come along. A little irritation here or there doesn't need to take us off topic. Wayne's been a strong and active community advocate for long enough to not be phased by generic slights.
David Mc Donald Follow Me
I am not surprised by the 7000 hits, she does write very entertaining fiction
Wayne O'Toole Follow Me
Someone feels the need to antagonise here. One has to wonder why? Please explain howMary has written fiction? Would also like to lnow who we are talking with so real profile and name would be nice
Michael MacNeil Follow Me
It sounds like the same guy who wrote The port is a no brainer in the Cape Breton post. And you know that article started off with the french settling here sounded like Barry Sheehy http://www.capebretonpost.com/Opinion/Letter-to-the-Editor/2016-02-14/article-4435070/Developing-port-a-no-brainer/1
Wayne O'Toole Follow Me
So one jas to wonder David...if you love your seats, then you likely are not im the cheap seat section amd with a profile seemingly fake, on a nrand new account, who yoi may be. Getting something from the venture? Told yo come distract from valid qiestions and convern and the disgruntled by reason....well you have actually fueled the fire more then tamed it . And thendosappeared when called out. Thede tactocs of name calling are old school and have little effect on the new way, througj social media of bringong things to the masses and opening some eyes. Marys posts have been paramount and catching attention amd support flast. Cecil has pushed away a great deal of voters for next election and by not winning by that much italone could end his politocal career...we shall see who candidates are soon enough.
Paul Finney Follow Me
The ad hominem approach of shooting the messenger is not cool.
David Mc Donald Follow Me
Let's Get back to the point, I just thought it was unreasonable and unacceptable that some decent guy who took the the time to reach out is being attacked. A little more respect and dignity is all I preach!
Wayne O'Toole Follow Me
Nobody attacked him. The issue being discussed jas to do with how the project is being is being handled by mayor/big players. There was no attack on this person. The questions and concerns are valid.
madeline yakimchuk Follow Me
David, with all due respect, you were the first person to write a personal attack on this thread.
Wayne O'Toole Follow Me
This is exactly my thought. David you should practice what you "preach" in regards to respect and dignity. The actual point of said article and discussion is questioning the port project and its lack of transparency and its loads of questionable issues and the discussion was asking for answers to an otherwise secretive spending of taxpayer money. So yes lets stay on topic...haven't seen any questions answered yet so lets keep on track to getting those answer.
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