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The Macdonald Notebook is your source for exclusive Business & Inside Politics publishing every Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday.

The Latest Issue

Exclusive: Prominent Commercial Broker Tom Gerard On The Job – Brokers $24M Windmill Road Apartments – The Prize Is A City Hall Approved Tower Development Site
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Exclusive: How Hot Is The Metro Halifax Real Estate Scene? Well, How About A Cole Harbour Split-Entry Bidding War – 23 Offers Collected
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Exclusive: Frank McKenna’s 20th Annual Shindig At Fox Harb’r Will Be One For The History Books – Will Obama Or Hillary Clinton Speak?
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Wednesday’s Edition, Below
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A Message From The Notebook: ‘From The Bottom Of My Heart Thanks For Sticking With The Notebook In a Global Meltdown & In Pandemic Times’
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Development: Meet Tim Moore: The Halifax Apartment Developer
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Jim Mills & CO At Office Interiors Undertakes Significant $7.5M Construction Of New Burnside HQ – Mills Says He Is Unfazed By The Pandemic
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Kevin Pelley Is ‘The Great Innovator’: Pivots Kohtech’s Windows Debert Plant To Provide COVID-19 Retail Shields
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Alison Strachan: Don’t Let (American) News Break To The Point Of Breaking You
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Pollster Don Mills & Furniture Mogul Jim Mills Raise $200,000 For Arthritis Society of NS – But Celebrity Roast Re-Scheduled To 2021
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Development: Jim Mills On Life Living In A Box: Latest To Occupy Posh Pavilion Condos By Jim Spatz
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Gotta Love It: There’s An Old-Fashioned Newspaper War In Halifax – The Notebook News Scoops Being Scalped By Another Media Outlet Days Later
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Putting The $52M Toronto Star Sale Price Into Perspective: The Time Conrad Black Offered To Buy The Halifax Herald For $100M
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Encore: Book Excerpt: The Time Conrad Black Bought The HFX Daily News For $20M From Harry Steele
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Cottage Life: Attn My Millennial Readers: Chester’s ‘Tiny Mansion’ Goes On The Market – A Real Deal At $232,000
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A Nova Scotian Vacation: Top Ten Things To Do In Canada’s Ocean Playground This Summer
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Summertime Is Made For The Beach: Exploring The Best Beaches In NS, NB & Of Course The Beach Province Of PEI
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Past Editions, Below
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Breaking News: MacPolitics: Tory John Hamm Faced Tough Conservative Leadership Choice – Back Close Friend O’Toole Or Support Hometown Candidate MacKay? – Now Endorses MacKay
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MacPolitics: For The Record, Here Is John Hamm’s Statement Endorsing Peter MacKay
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MacPolitics: Former PC MP NS South Shore’s Peter McCreath: ‘No Need To Twin HWY 103 – Just Hire Additional Mounties To Issue More Speeding Tickets’
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Monday Edition, Below
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Charity Gift-Giving: An Idea From Tom Rose & Partnership With Sara Napier’s United Way Has Helped Raise $6.7 M For Newly Created Atlantic Compassion Fund & Counting & Growing
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Sunday Edition, Below
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Residential Real Estate Still Hot In HFX Commons & City’s Northend – Despite Pandemic Times – Says Realtor Rosie Porter
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Real Estate Also Hot In Halifax Southend – Realtor Meghan Laing Says
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Our Sunday News Scoop: Halifax Port: That $12M Crane Being Shipped To Southend Container Terminal Delayed Off Coast Of Africa
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Premier Stephen McNeil & Highways Minister Lloyd Hines Usher In Golden Era For NS Road Builders – A Title Once Given To John Buchanan
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103 HWY: NS Highways Minister Lloyd Hines Offers Reasons Twinning Paving Tender Results In Bids $5 Million Lower Than Department’s Own Budget Estimates
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Don Mills: 103 HWY Twinning Tenders Ought To Have Been Issued In Winter – Criticizes McNeil Government Tardy Tender Practices
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That Extra $230 M In Road Building Work Does Not Include Twinning To Bridgewater Nor The Canso Causeway – We Asked The Question Of HWYs Minister Hines
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Development: Joseph Arab Wants 16-Storey Tower Built At Gottingen Street’s Victoria Hall
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Development: Danny Chedrawe Parlayed A 6/49 Lotto Win To Becoming A Noted City Condo & Apartment Builder
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Development: What’s Next For Danny Chedrawe: Cruikshank’s, Bens Bakery & Mills Bros. Projects In The Works
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Development: Danny Chedrawe: Part III: A Look At His Developments Over 30-Years
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Development: Sam Nahas & Greater HFX Partnership Explain Why So Many Developers From Lebanese Community In Halifax
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Notebook Archives: Before He Died, John Buchanan Confessed: ‘I Could Not Say No To The Voters’
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Saturday Edition, Below
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Realtor Rosie Porter Sells Andy & Karen Lynch’s HFX Abode Over Facetime – Ontario Buyers Did Not Tour It
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Our Saturday News Scoop: HFX Hospitality Titan Dennis Campbell: ‘We Will Launch Harbour Hoppers & Other Tour Boats July 1st – But Revenues Will Be Down By 75%’
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Discover Halifax’s Tourism Exec Ross Jefferson: Advertisement Campaigns To Encourage Nova Scotians To Vacation Locally
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Discover Halifax Tourism Agency Forecasts $2.3 Million Hit – Part II With Ross Jefferson
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Alison Strachan: Sifting Through Photographs & Thinking About A Vacation Close To Home
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MacPolitics: Will NS Premier Stephen McNeil Call A Fall Vote?
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MacPolitics: PC Leader Tim Houston Encourages Nova Scotians To Vacation Locally
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MacPolitics: Over 60% Of Nova Scotians Favour Liberal PM Justin Trudeau, Poll Finds
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MacPolitics: Tory Premier Blaine Higgs Rides To Historic Popularity Levels In New Brunswick
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Home Chef Gary’s Maritime Recipe: Fabulous Fiddlehead Soup With Spiced Pecans
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Wednesday Edition
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Cottage Life: Richie Mann On Pros & Cons Of Northumberland Strait Cottage Ownership
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MacPolitics: Cecil Clarke: Broad Support Province Wide

By Andrew Macdonald

Despite not being a declared contender for the Progressive Conservative leadership race, Cape Breton Regional Municipality mayor Cecil Clarke has assembled support from card-carrying Tories right across the province.

As mentioned elsewhere in this edition of The Macdonald Notebook, Halifax Tory operator David Henderson is working to elect Clarke, while Haligonian party strategist Chad Bowie will run the Clarke campaign.

And, then there is Clarke support from high ranking backroom operator Cameron MacKeen, a very close chum to Peter MacKay, and a former national director of the Conservative party in Ottawa.

You can’t get more blue-blood in Halifax than Cameron, whose grandfather was a lieutenant-governor, and whose father-in-law also served a lieutenant-governor. Cameron’s late dad, widely respected David MacKeen, was a key backer of former prime minister Brian Mulroney.

Cameron’s friendship with Peter MacKay goes back to their days at Acadia University and many are wondering if MacKay will also back Clarke, the two term CBRM mayor.

MacKay was a powerful minister in the 10-year Harper regime, and held the Central Nova seat in Pictou County from 1997 to 2015 before retiring from politics. He is now a corporate lawyer in Toronto.

Clarke was in the John Hamm government, and many political pundits say he did a good job as Speaker of the Legislature during the Rodney MacDonald minority regime.

Clarke won a by-election in Sydney in 2001, when he was considered an also-ran candidate against then provincial NDP leader Helen MacDonald who was seen as the front runner. She lost to Clarke, and then resigned as NDP leader, paving the way for Darrell Dexter to take the party helm. He went on in 2009 to form a government that Liberal Stephen McNeil would defeat in 2013.

Clarke’s backers include powerful Tory MLA Alfie MacLeod, who knows how to win elections, but Clarke supporters are not just concentrated in his native Cape Breton — his support is truly province-wide.

“There is a big team across the province that is committed to Cecil,” says one of Clarke’s backers, who did not wish to be named for this article.

In Halifax, prominent Tories have given their name to a website, www.draftcecil.ca. In addition to Henderson and Cameron, other metro Tories endorsing Clarke include up and coming Tory operator Kyle MacIsaac, a lawyer at McInnes Cooper.

Kyle is a third generation Tory. His grandfather served in the 1960s as Tory MLA for Guysborough.

Kyle is the son of influential John Hamm and Rodney MacDonald cabinet minister Angus ‘Tando’ MacIsaac, who served as Antigonish MLA.

The fact Kyle is supporting Clarke is leading to much speculation his dad Tando is also going to endorse Clarke.

Tando’s close Tory associate is Bobby ‘Daz’ Chisholm, who is also likely on board with Clarke’s candidacy. Bobby Daz, now living in Arisaig, was the most powerful backroom player in the Rodney MacDonald regime, serving as MacDonald’s chief of staff.

Bob Daz and Tando carry a lot of weight in the Tory party in Antigonish, and would most certainly deliver a lot of votes to the Clarke team at a PC leadership convention.

Other prominent Clarke supporters in Metro Halifax include Halifax Chebucto residents Sean and David Phillips, both former PC candidates and prominent in the Tory backrooms.

“It appears much of the Rob Batherson network is moving towards Cecil. But Rob is going to take his time deciding,” says a Clarke organizer. Batherson is a Halifax businessman, who ran in Halifax Citadel in the last election.

Up and coming PC toiler, lawyer Richard Norman, who practices with Cox & Palmer is working for Clarke. He is a past president of the PC association in Halifax Armdale.

Clarke’s support base includes former Colchester North MLA Bill Langille, and there is also support for Clarke down on the South Shore, as top Tory Donna Malone is backing the Sydney mayor’s expected leadership bid.

She is the president of the Lunenburg West Tory association.

Rodney MacDonald’s former transportation minister Brooke Taylor, in the Musquodoits is lending his name to Clarke’s campaign. That puts Taylor at odds with another Musquodoboit Tory, Andy Smith, who is a keen organizer for PC leadership contender Tim Houston, one of two officially declared contenders. Valley MLA John Lohr is the other declared candidate.

“That’‘s a blow to Andy that Brooke Taylor has come out for Cecil,” says a Clarke top tier organizer.

(Taylor, who was a master of the 30-second media clip, recently saw his 40-something son die over the holidays after suffering a massive heart attack.)

Party stalwart Joyce MacDougall, a Caper, is backing Clarke, while another prominent Caper, Port Hawkesbury lawyer Adam Rogers, is going to stay neutral and take on a position overseeing the leadership convention. He is part of a committee that includes Argyle-Barrington MLA Chris d’Entremont.

Clarke has recently been touring the party, meeting with card carrying Tory members.

To no surprise, Sherry Richard of Colchester North is keenly backing Clarke. She was a former aide to Brooke Taylor.

Clarke is also getting a big endorsement from long tim and very popular politico Gerald Keddy, who served as South Shore MP from 1997 to 2015. His wife, former Rodney MacDonald cabinet minister Judy Streatch, will lend considerable electioneering skills to Clarke, as well.

“We have lots of South Shore support,” says the Clarke organizer. “It’s looking very good.”

The Clarke organizer says there is “also a lot of support in Jamie Baillie’s Cumberland South. That includes Dan Smith, Russell Fisher, and Troy and Jodie Henwood, who are all part of the Baillie network.”

Pat Nickerson, president of the PC association in Shelburne is on the Clarke bus, too.

Trevor Cunningham, president of the Tory association in Yarmouth is working for Clarke, and John Carey, former MLA for Kings West is voting for Clarke.

Argyle-Barrington Tory organizer Cathy Clarke has also come out to endorse Cecil Clarke.

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