Mayor says big news coming this week from Ottawa

Digby Mayor Ben Cleveland is taking a suitcase load of scallops with him to Ottawa for a conference on tidal energy.

A delegation from Digby is headed for Ottawa to talk tidal and serve scallops.

Mayor Ben Cleveland, Deputy Warden Jim MacAlpine, port manager Jeff Sunderland and renewable energy coordinator Terry Thibodeau were slated to leave Tuesday of this week to attend the annual conference of Marine Renewables Canada.

There are several reasons for making the trip, the mayor said.

“One is to continue the focus on tidal (power) for Digby and southwest Nova,” he said. “The province has set the rate that they’re going to pay for power generated from tidal. Industry has been waiting for that to be set, so they can now look at ramping up.”

The conference – whose theme is Prototyping Technology, Prototyping an Industry -- will bring together government and industry people, including manufacturers, over a two-day period.

There will be centre-of-excellence roundtable discussions, said Mayor Cleveland, who will speak at a reception on Wednesday.

He said he would “talk a little bit about Digby’s efforts over the last three or four years and where we’re at in regards to identifying a site in the region for this industry to take place and talk a little bit about the supply chain and the skilled workers that we have here.”

While in Ottawa the Digby group was planning to meet with a delegation from Scotland.

“Scotland has been taking the lead on tidal power,” Mayor Cleveland said. “They actually have units in the water, testing and producing power, so we’re meeting with them at the high commission’s office.”

The mayor said he is “quite optimistic” about the tidal power initiative for the Digby area.

On the day before the local group was scheduled to leave for the nation’s capital, the mayor said “a couple of announcements” were about to be made “that will have a bearing on Digby County,” but he said he could not say more.

The mayor is taking along a load of Digby scallops and dulse to be served at the Wednesday reception where the mayor will speak.

“The hotel’s going to prepare them with recipes that we’ve sent along,” Mayor Cleveland said.

Story by: Eric Bourque

The Yarmouth Vanguard

November 18, 2013