Day 2 of the Russell MacKinnon trial yesterday with some interesting revelations. The former Liberal MLA is facing charges of fraud, forgery and breach of trust in connection with the MLA expenses scandal. A woman who worked for MacKinnon was on the stand yesterday. Nicole Campbell testified in the fall of 2005 MacKinnon offered her a $3000 bonus if she bought his car. She agreed and paid $1000 for it. Nice deal. MacKinnon's one of four politicians facing charges stemming from the auditor general's review of expenses. Two have already pleaded guilty, former Liberal Dave Wilson and ex-Conservative Richard Hurlburt. Independent MLA Trevor Zinck will go to trial in June. MacKinnon's trial continues today.
Take yourself there is the theme of the province's new tourism marketing strategy. The campaign's geared toward outdoor enthusiasts visiting Nova Scotia for the first time. Apparently research shows first time visitors spend more money than returning tourists. The $5 million campaign will see ads in Ontario, Quebec, the New England states, the UK and Germany. I've only seen one of the ads. Stack it up against those great Newfoundland tourism ads and Nova Scotia's effort pales in comparison.
There's excitement within HRM's Roman Catholic community after Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope yesterday. He'll now be known as Pope Francis the First. He's the first ever pope from the Americas. Once the dust settles after yesterday's vote, Pope Francis has his work cut out for him facing calls for reform and dealing with the on-going controversy of priests charged with sex crimes against children and revelations the church has covered up many of the cases.
The Dexter government has for the first time rejected an application to build a fish farm. Snow Island wanted the farm in Shoal Bay on the Eastern Shore but concerns about the risk to wild salmon has prompted the fisheries minister to turn down the bid. Snow Island calls it a sad day for aquaculture and says the government has turned its back on development on the Eastern Shore. Anti-fish farm activists like Marike Finlay of the Association for the Preservation of the Eastern Shore are applauding the decision calling it wonderful news. She's now hoping the government will reject another Snow Island application for a fish farm in Spry Harbour. One has to wonder however how much of a role a looming provincial election had on the Dexter government's decision to reject the Shoal Bay bid considering its unqualified support for the aquaculture industry even in the face of growing opposition to fish farms.
Nathan MacKinnon didn't miss a beat last night. After missing 14 games with a knee injury, the Mooseheads sniper returned to the lineup last night and scored 35 seconds into the game. MacKinnon picked up another goal and two assists leading Halifax to a 6-2 win over Cape Breton. Just two more games are left in the regular season for the Mooseheads, both at home. The playoffs start a week tomorrow. Tickets for games 1 and 2 go on sale today.
And congrats to Saint Mary's hockey Huskies coach Trevor Steinburg named the CIS coach of the year last night in Saskatoon where the nationals are set to begin. It's Steinburg's 4th coach of the year win. SMU forward Lucas Bloodoff was named CIS player of the year last night. The 4th ranked Huskies play thier first game Friday against the loser of today's game between Alberta and Waterloo.
Have a great day. Get involved. And if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.