The Annual General Meeting of Attic Broadcasting Co. Ltd.  Will Be Held On April 7, 2015 in Room G-12 of the Avard-Dixon building. The Meeting will begin at 7:30 pm and will include the presentation of annual reports, the presentation of financial reports, and the election of the 2015-2016 Board of Directors. ALL MEMBERS ARE INVITED TO ATTEND. ALL PROGRAMMERS ARE REQUIRED TO ATTEND. FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT THE STATION MANAGER: chma@mta.ca

CHMA spoke with Elijah Manchester, who moved back to New Brunswick after spotting a listing for a vacant church in Dorchester. The asking price was under $60,000, prompting Manchester to dream about a home with lots of space for projects, a music venue, a workshop. Manchester says he was excited to build something that could have injected some life into the shrinking village of Dorchester, and eventually attract more young people to relocate there. “Places like Austin and Portland used to look like Dorchester,” he says, “before they became cultural hubs…”

The whole thing fell through when the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation denied him insurance for the mortgage, on the grounds that the church building didn’t look like a traditional residential property.

“I wasn’t scared of the challenge. The bank said ‘We’re good for the money if it’s insured, but otherwise it’s just a risky investment that we’re not interested in.” says Manchester.

“The story isn’t over. I really like the idea of bringing a younger crowd to a community like Dorchester… The future of Dorchester looks really bleak at this point, but I think that it’s cheap enough for someone like me to make it work… the added bonus of maybe attracting more people my age (I’m in my late 20’s, by the way) really appeals to me.”church

Sheila Watt-Cloutier, the Inuit activist who credited with launching the first international legal challenge against climate change and dedicated her life to advocating for the ecological interests of Northern peoples , returned to Sackville yesterday to launch her memoir, The Right to Be Cold. The majority of the writing for the book was done while Watt-Cloutier was a visiting scholar at Mount Allison University in 2011.

We asked her what she’s been up to since retiring from her career in international politics, and what hope she has for the future of carbon emissions regulation. Watt-Cloutier says that the Council of Parties of the United Nations has been slow to create binding legislation, and may even be an “obsolete” vehicle for change. She says micro-scale, regional and national interventions to slow the pace of climate change are a source of hope.

Watt-Cloutier commented on the student-led campaign at Mount Allison University to divest the school’s endowment from fossil fuels. She says that it is important for people to take principled stands, even if they may not see immediate results.

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We spoke with JJ Bear, Mayor of Dorchester, on the morning after the first public session in the Anglophone East School District’s sustainability study, which could lead to the closure of the school later this year. The District made a presentation on Monday, March 9, to an audience of more than 100 community members, including data on projected expenditures, enrolment, and academic performance at the school.

Bear says he’s concerned with the timeline of the sustainability study, with the District Education Council slated to provide a final recommendation related to school closure to the Minster of Education and Early Childhood Development on April 22nd, 2015.

“There hasn’t been a promise that all members of District Education Council will be present at the next meeting; there were only three last night. They’re going to be making a major decision in April, only 8 days [after] the public consultation,” Bear says. “I’ve been working for government for many years, and nothing happens that quick. It leads to a perception that they’ve already made up their minds.”
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Wade Settle says that if the District Education Council decides to close Dorchester Consolidated School, Dorchester students will lose access to the school breakfast program.

Dorchester resident, parent, and long-term volunteer with Dorchester Consolidated School’s breakfast program, Settle is a member of the ad-hoc committee that formed last week to try to save Dorchester Consolidated School, a K-8 facility in the village of Dorchester, New Brunswick. The school is currently subject to a sustainability study that will evaluate whether or not the school will remain open. Anglophone East District Education Council chair Tamara Nichol said in an interview last week that the sustainability study came about when the Minister of Education encouraged districts to “look for efficiencies” and reduce spending.

Settle says he’s concerned that the logistics of bringing students who live in Dorchester to neighbouring Sackville for school would prohibit them from being involved in the before-school breakfast program, or after-school extracurriculars. “As it stands,” says Settle, “my high schooler’s bus arrives at Tantramar High after the bell rings.” He’s also concerned that the above-average rate of parental involvement in enrichment activities, which enables art activities, concerts, and a survival skills class, is jeopardized by the potential transfer of Dorchester Consolidated’s 66 students to Sackville-area schools.

“I believe that this is an attack on rural New Brunswick,” says Settle. “It’s not for the good of the students, its about the province’s bottom line.”

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On February 17, 2015, the Anglophone East School District’s District Education Council voted to conduct a sustainability study on Dorchester Consolidated School. Late last week, the District announced a timeline for determining whether to close the school or keep it open. CHMA spoke with Tamara Nichol, the Council’s chair. Nichol says that the impetus to study the school’s possible closure came from discussions between the Chairs of the province’s District Education Councils and the provincial government, at which she was encouraged to “look for efficiencies” within the district. The discussions between the districts and the provincial government come during New Brunswick’s Strategic Programme Review, which seeks to improve the province’s finances by 600 million dollars. “This council has never gone through this process before,” says Nichol. She has yet to determine exactly how she will balance the need to stabilize finances and the impact that the school has in the community. The District will be holding a public meeting for parents, students, and community members to have their say on the potential school closure in early April. tamnich

Ron Byrne has become a recognizable figure on the Mount Allison campus over the past several years. Whether it is within his capacity as Vice President of International and Student Affairs, or just his general presence, he has become well known with the student body and beyond. It was recently announced that Mr. Byrne would be leaving his position with the university to persue other options. Boardwalk Staff Reporter Jisun Kim met up with Mr. Byrne to discuss his time at Mount Allison and what the future holds.
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The former fire hall and police station on Main Street in Sackville is the subject of a feasability study commissioned by the Town of Sackville. Town Councillor Shawn Mesheau introduced a motion at January’s council meeting to consider non-commercial uses for the building. Council was split 4-4 on the motion, and Mayor Bob Berry cast the deciding vote in favour of the motion.

CHMA’s Scott Brown interviews Councillor Mesheau about the future of the former fire hall building. Mesheau says that the Town is considering developing the building as a focal point for community activities. Mesheau says he’s concerned that if the Town of Sackville continues to wait for a private-sector purchaser make an offer on the decommissioned building, the Town will eventually be saddled with the costs of demolition.

Meshaeau says that the Town has tasked Renaissance Sackville with updating a 2011 feasibility study for developing shared use of the building, including an survey of community groups that might have a stake in a shared facility that would be part office space, part venue for meetings, performances, and events.

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A 2008 artists’ rendition of what the former fire hall could look like if used by community groups. The image was presented by STRUTS gallery, a group that offered to buy the building for a dollar in 2008.



 

 

 

 

On February 10, 2015, the CBC released the results of a survey of 84 Canadian universities’ data on sexual assault reporting. With 14 formally registered incidents between 2009 and 2013, Mount Allison University was found to have the second highest rate of reporting in the country.

CHMA interviews with students, staff, and administration at Mount Allison found a near-consensus that cross-institutional comparisons yield little useful information. And headlines like “Mount Allison Leads Province in Reported Sexual Assault” do little to tackle underlying issues or illuminate the path ahead for a campus community seeking change. The study, however, has sparked a dialogue within the institution and the university community about sexual assault. Students and administration say that it may be time to re-evaluate the University’s policy and procedures regarding sexual harassment and assault.

This hour-long audio documentary is our contribution to the conversation. We spoke with Ron Byrne, Vice President of International and Student Affairs for Mount Allison, with Melody Petlock, the Sexual Harassment Advisor employed 15 hours per week by the university to respond to the needs of students related to gender-based violence, and with a number of students.

We tried to ask important questions that seemed missing from the conversation. How does the University as an institution and a community track use of sexual assault services? How does it evaluate itself? How can students be included in the conversation? How much can a single 15 hour per week advisor position do to address both prevention and after-care for survivors of harassment and assault? What kinds of transformation do administrators, students, and staff hope to see, both at a policy level and a cultural level?

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On Thursday, January 29th, the Mount Allison University Women’s and Gender Studies society held a meet and greet event at the Pond, the MTA campus pub. Staff reporter Emma Bass attended and spoke with the WGST society president, Katharyn Stevenson, to gain some insight into what the event was all about and discuss any upcoming society events. Additionally, Bass was able to speak to a number of people who attended the event and ask why they were there, as well as what their connection to the WGST society was.

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