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Halifax Port Authority Worries Prolonged Rail Blockade Could Cause Permanent Damage

Halifax Port Authority Worries Prolonged Rail Blockade Could Cause Permanent Damage

By Andrew Macdonald

The Port of Halifax is worried its international shipping reputation could be damaged because of blockades of CN Rail’s tracks in Ontario.

Lane Farguson, spokesman for the local port authority which oversees the two container terminal operations in Halifax Harbour, warns an inability to move cargo will see shipping lines divert to competing ports such as New York, perhaps permanently.

“Once cargo routes are altered, it is difficult, and sometimes impossible, to restore them,” Farguson tells The Notebook.

The blockades on the main CN Rail line are a show of solidarity for the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, whose hereditary chiefs oppose the construction of a 670-kilometre natural gas pipeline through northern British Columbia.

Halifax’s port is seen as a ‘discretionary port’ because it has a smaller population catchment area than ports in New York and Montreal, both of which are closer to consumers.

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Halifax Port & Blockade: Shipping CEO Andy Abbott Warns It May Take Time To Win Back Business From Competing U.S. Ports

Halifax Port & Blockade: Shipping CEO Andy Abbott Warns It May Take Time To Win Back Business From Competing U.S. Ports

By Andrew Macdonald

With the CN Rail blockade continuing near Belleville, Ont., the Port of Halifax over the last two weeks has been unable to process export or import cargo.

Cargo from Ontario and the U.S. Midwest has not been able to move on CN’s Eastern Canadian network because of the rail blockade, and import cargo from Southeast Asia and Europe can’t be processed in Halifax and delivered to customers.

Until now, Atlantic Container Line (ACL) has maintained calls here, but company CEO Andy Abbott told The Notebook this week that two of its ships, Atlantic Sail and Atlantic Star, will bypass Halifax on their way to Europe from New York.

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MacPolitics: Will Chris MacInnes Be Premier Stephen McNeil’s Campaign Manager For Third Time?

MacPolitics: Will Chris MacInnes Be Premier Stephen McNeil’s Campaign Manager For Third Time?

By Andrew Macdonald

Chris MacInnes is rather silent on a question I asked him the other day: Will he serve as campaign manager for Liberal Premier Stephen McNeil?

It’s a topical question, especially as the popular two-term premier has told Cape Breton media an election could be called as soon as this summer.

Should MacInnes perform the campaign duties, it will see the Victoria County lad, now a Halifax resident, reprise a role he performed so well in 2013 and in 2017.

As campaign manager in 2013, MacInnes helped the Liberals topple the one-term Darrell Dexter NDP regime.

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MacPolitics: Part II – Liberal Strategist Chris MacInnes Is A History Making Electioneer

MacPolitics: Part II – Liberal Strategist Chris MacInnes Is A History Making Electioneer

By Andrew Macdonald

Halifax resident Chris MacInnes is co-chair of the federal Liberal Party’s election readiness committee and helped Justin Trudeau and the Liberals won a second term in the Oct. 21 election.

And, his services will be needed if that minority government falters.

In 2017, MacInnes made Nova Scotia political history when, as campaign manager, he helped guide Nova Scotia Liberals under Stephen McNeil to the first back-to-back Liberal majority since the days of Angus L. Macdonald who won in 1945, 1949 and 1953.

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MacPolitics: Halifax Herald Editorial Finds Premier McNeil In Strong Pre-Election Position

MacPolitics: Halifax Herald Editorial Finds Premier McNeil In Strong Pre-Election Position

By Andrew Macdonald

In case you missed it, the Halifax Herald wrote an editorial the other day about our popular premier, Stephen McNeil.

McNeil is riding high in opinion polls. Significantly, two polling companies since the fall have McNeil gaining traction over the Progressive Conservatives and NDP.

Under the headline, “Stephen McNeil’s changing fortunes”, the Herald editorial notes:

“Somehow, Stephen McNeil finds himself in the most stable political situation among Atlantic premiers.

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Pew Research Poll: Republicans Believe Trump Will Win Re-Election, But Democrats Upbeat

Pew Research Poll: Republicans Believe Trump Will Win Re-Election, But Democrats Upbeat

An American political think tank founded by the Pew family, some of whose members summer in seaside Chester, recently carried a dispatch suggesting that 80 per cent of Republicans believe President Donald Trump will win re-election in November. A scary thought, but it could be true. Here is the Pew Research Centre’s dispatch on Trump’s re-election efforts. it’s worth a read:

As Voting Begins, Democrats Are Upbeat About the 2020 Field, Divided in Their Preferences

• Democrats uncertain about prospects for defeating Trump

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MacPolitics: Veteran Political Journalism Giant Al Hollingsworth: “Tim Houston Adopting Wrong Strategy To Keep His Policy Ideas Secret Until Election Time’

MacPolitics: Veteran Political Journalism Giant Al Hollingsworth: “Tim Houston Adopting Wrong Strategy To Keep His Policy Ideas Secret Until Election Time’

By Andrew Macdonald

MacPolitics: Al Hollingsworth Claims Tim Houston Does Have Well Thought Out & Well Planned Election policies

The grumbling from some members of the NS PC party is that NS PC leader seems devoid of bold policy ideas on which he would base his campaign to become premier of Nova Scotia.

This is not me making this up.

In fact, recently I carried a letter to the editor written by a member of the NS PC Policy Committee, who claimed Houston was devoid of any ideas or bold policy pronouncements.

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MacPolitics: Hamm Political Aide James Mitchener To Play Key Role In PC Leader Tim Houston’s Election War Machine

MacPolitics: Hamm Political Aide James Mitchener To Play Key Role In PC Leader Tim Houston’s Election War Machine

By Andrew Macdonald

Trailing in the polls and just wrapping up his first year as NS PC leader, Tim Houston is beginning to cobble together his campaign team.

Cameron MacKeen is co-chairing the Tory election effort as talk comes Liberal Premier Stephen McNeil will call an election as soon as this upcoming summer.

Cameron is a multi-generational Tory from the province’s power bastion, the Halifax Southend – his grandfather and then a father-in-law were former NS Liuetenant-Governors.

MacKeen backed Houston’s 2018 leadership rival, Cecil Clarke, but unlike other Clarke supporters has been welcomed into the Houston tent.

Another key cog of the Houston election effort is James Mitchener, who is now handling PC election readiness efforts.

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Ontario MP Marilyn Gladu On Illegal Rail Track Blockades

Ontario MP Marilyn Gladu On Illegal Rail Track Blockades

By Andrew Macdonald

Further to my opinion piece yesterday on the illegal rail track blockades, I see on twitter Ontario MP Marilynn Gladu has the same opinion to address the cross-Canada bad public drinking supplies for Indigenous groups.

And, she also has a common-sense approach to addressing illegal blockades which for the last two weeks have shut down the Port of Halifax.

With CN Rail unable to move containerized cargo – both export and import – longshoremen in Halifax are now sitting at home – and not collecting a pay cheque.

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MacPolitics: An Upcoming Chit Chat With Tory Leadership Contender Marilyn Gladu

MacPolitics: An Upcoming Chit Chat With Tory Leadership Contender Marilyn Gladu

By Andrew Macdonald

It took less than five minutes to bank an interview phone call with Marilyn Gladu.

She will talk to The Notebook on my day off, this coming Monday on her campaign to become the next leader of the federal Conservative party.

She is an Ontario MP, a 21-year long engineer by trade.

According to some of my Tory readers, she was by far the break away leadership contender at the recent NS PC AGM, held the other weekend at the Westin Nova Scotian.

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