Have your say about affordable housing

The lack of affordable rental housing in St. Margaret’s Bay is a serious ongoing problem. You are invited to share your views on this important issue through a brief survey that will take less than 5 minutes to complete.

Nancy Gilbert, chair of the St. Margaret’s Bay Housing Coalition, says the group is working towards the development of a “much-needed multi-generational residential community. We are looking for people interested in modestly priced rental accommodations to complete the survey. We hope that this project will allow people of all ages and abilities to support one another within a neighbourhood community.”
If you are interested in affordable housing for yourself or for a friend or family member, please consider completing this survey. The submission deadline is November 6 at 8 p.m.

To access the survey, go here: https://forms.gle/Po2TYuJc2ZY4FzXw8

Printed copies of the survey are available at the Community Enterprise Centre, 5229 St. Margaret’s Bay Road, Upper Tantallon.

For more information, contact Nancy Gilbert by email.

Flu shot more important than ever this year

Even if an annual flu shot isn’t part of your usual self-care routine, this is the year it absolutely should be, says Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. While the flu shot won’t protect against Covid-19, it will help reduce the number of people getting influenza, which will reduce pressure on the health care system.

Unlike previous years, you have to make an appointment at either doctors’ offices or pharmacies to get the shot, which is available now.

Meanwhile, Dr. Strang says Australia’s experience during their flu season, which is earlier than ours, indicates precautions against Covid-19, especially frequently washing and sanitizing our hands, wearing a mask, maintaining physical distances as needed, and avoiding crowds, will very likely reduce the number of cases of influenza this year.

Lions Club medical equipment lending program

The St. Margaret’s Bay Lions Club has an extensive collection of medical equipment it’s eager to lend out to Bay residents as needed.

One happy and grateful user of the Lions Club medical equipment program is shown in the photo. Bridget Fitzgerald (seated in scooter) of Upper Tantallon is joined by (from left) Lions Blaine MacDonald, Doreen MacDonald and Leonard Bugbee, who is the club’s social services chairman.

Barbara Way, the club’s president, says inventory includes wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, canes, medical boots, commodes, bedpans, k-dishes and hospital beds. The available inventory changes somewhat, depending on what is presently out on loan, but all the equipment is loaned out at no cost to those who need it. Borrowers must arrange for someone to pick up and drop off any borrowed equipment, as the Lions Club is not able to do so.

For more information, contact Lions Club members Parkesh Kapoor at parkeshkapoor@hotmail.com or Leonard Bugbee at bugbeel@eastlink.ca.

Bay Seniors Friendly Neighbour Program offers free grocery and Rx delivery to eligible residents

The Seniors Association of St. Margaret’s Bay is ready to help community members who are presently not able to go out to get their groceries, medications and other pharmacy items because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Association is providing FREE delivery by carefully trained volunteers using the highest standards of safety. This service is available to other community members in addition to seniors, who live in the St. Margaret’s Bay region. Participants will be invoiced at 3 to 4 week intervals, so no cash changes hands and you do not need to have or use a credit card to access the service.

See more information below on geographic area served, eligibility, and safety protocols. And please share this information with others you think may need this help.

The Bay Seniors Friendly Neighbour Program
If you need someone to pick up your groceries,
pharmacy items or medications, we’ll help!

We’re happy to provide this service if you do not currently have someone who can deliver to you, and one or both of these situations apply:
  • You do not have access to transportation.
  • You are not leaving your home at this time.
Our Friendly Neighbour Program volunteers will:
  • Pick up and pay for groceries for you from Sobeys or the Superstore, using a list our volunteer will take from you over the telephone.
  • Deliver your groceries to your door. You will only be invoiced monthly for groceries purchased for you. The shopping and delivery services are offered at no cost to you.
  • Pick up and deliver your pre-ordered pre-paid prescriptions to your door if the service is not available from your pharmacy.
  • Pick up and deliver non-prescription pharmacy items. You will only be invoiced monthly for items purchased for you. The shopping and delivery services are offered at no cost to you.
Our volunteers:
  • Have been carefully screened.
  • Have been thoroughly trained in contact protocols by an expert in the field.
  • Use a full cleaning protocol for their hands, vehicles and other items with which they are in contact during the pick-up and delivery process.
  • Have a full cleaning kit, including gloves, wipes, sanitizer and disposal bags.
  • Will deliver your items using recommended physical distancing.

Because of very limited safe handling supplies (sanitizer, wipes, gloves) and limited funds to operate the program, we must restrict it to the geographic area bounded on the east by Highway 103 exit 4, west to Highway 103 exit 6, south to East Dover and north to Pockwock Road.

For more information or to set up a delivery, please call 902-221-8388 and leave a message.

What Bay Businesses are Offering During COVID-19, and more!

We know it isn’t business as usual for either customers or businesses during these COVID-19 days, but it’s wonderful to see how many Bay businesses are finding creative and careful ways to keep serving our community. Please share all that and more on Discover St. Margaret’s Bay (see specific links below)!

Our volunteer website team is still available as usual to review posts, answer questions and solve problems.

Include the word COVID in your post, as appropriate, for website visitors searching that keyword.

Businesses may self-post in our local directory. Each post allows for your website link and a printable PDF, which may be information on your current offerings, or other information you wish to share.

During COVID-19, we are also encouraging area businesses to describe how you’re still serving the community on our bulletin board.

Are you holding a virtual event? Tell everyone about it on our community calendar.

Our content editor wants your stories for our blog:

News stories should be one or two paragraphs, preferably with a photo or graphic.

Reflections should be personal, not business-oriented, and should capture something you want to share about life in the Bay—why you moved here, why you stay here, your favourite walk, encounters with wildlife, and other stories that make this beautiful area such a great place to live.  Reflections should be 150 to 300 words, accompanied by a photo of the author or an illustration relevant to the story.

Suggested COVID-19 safety for neighbourhood deliveries

Below, in response to requests received to share these, are the safety protocol the Seniors Association of St. Margaret’s Bay uses to provide delivery assistance to members.

The following precautions are suggested to help you deliver groceries, medicines and other urgent needs in a safe manner for both you and the recipient. By avoiding touch and droplets in the air from a possibly infected person (or any person), your exposure remains low when making deliveries.

    1. Before you leave your house, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, dry your hands with a paper towel, and discard the paper towel in a covered waste receptacle.

    2. Organize your supplies to take with you: new bags that can be fastened, containing latex or vinyl gloves, disinfectant wipes, paper or plastic disposal bags and hand sanitizer to take with you.

    3. Put on your protective gloves.

    4. Wipe down your steering wheel, door handles, gearshift, keys and any other surface you touch in your car.

    5. Proceed to the grocery store, pharmacy, or other designated location, and pick up the order. Wipe your gloves with a sanitizer wipe or hand sanitizer.

    6. Leave the client’s order, preferably outdoors on their doorstep or, if necessary, just inside the door. Ring the doorbell, stand back 6 ft. (2 metres) and wait for the person to pick up their goods. DO NOT GO INTO THE RECIPIENT’S HOUSE OR ACCEPT ANYTHING FROM THEM.

    7. Wipe your hands with a disinfectant wipe when you get back in your car.

    8. If you are making a second delivery, remove gloves using a glove to glove/skin to skin technique: grasp outside edge of first glove near wrist and peel away, rolling glove inside out as you peel it off. Reach under the second glove with your now bare fingers and peel
      away the second glove the same way. Discard both gloves immediately.

      Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, dry with a paper towel and discard the paper towel in a covered waste receptacle or a paper or plastic bag, which you will then fold closed and discard safely.

    9. When you return home, wipe down your steering wheel, door handles, gearshift, keys and any other surfaces you have touched in your car. Follow step 8 above if making another delivery.

Please conserve your supplies – there is currently a shortage of all supplies.

If face masks are available:
Place mask over nose and under chin, moulding the metal piece to the bridge of your nose. Face mask ties and straps are considered clean, and can be touched by hands.

To remove the mask, pull mask forward, bending forward to allow the mask to fall away from your face, and discard the mask immediately .

IMPORTANT NOTE: This protocol has been developed by a health care professional. We share it here as a courtesy to community members helping family and friends. This protocol is not intended to replace professional advice for specific situations. The Seniors Association of St. Margaret’s Bay is training delivery volunteers to the highest possible standard, as outlined here. Even though that standard may exceeds necessary precautions in most situations, we are committed to keeping our entire community, including our volunteers and our members as safe as possible.

PLEASE check with the Canadian government’s official COVID-19 website for more complete guidelines.

Practical help during the COVID-19 outbreak

Bay Seniors now offers Friendly Neighbour program
Need help getting groceries or other necessities? Contact us!

The Bay Seniors Association is working to connect residents eager to be of help with seniors who may need assistance due to self-isolation guidelines and reductions in services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Volunteers will pick up groceries, pharmacy items and household goods (e.g., laundry soap, pet food, lightbulbs, etc.) and deliver them to those who are unable to do so because of health or transportation issues during self-isolation.

Please, don’t hesitate to reach out. Public health continues to reinforce the importance of social distancing and social isolation in controlling the spread of this disease. Seniors, those with chronic heart, lung and kidney disease, and those with certain other medical conditions have been strongly advised to limit their exposure to public spaces. Accepting help from our neighbours at this time is not accepting charity–it is simply good sense, and helps to protect everyone in the community.

If you have recently returned from a non-Canadian destination, please remember that you are required to self-isolate at home for 14 days, even if you do not have symptoms of illness.

To request service, or for more information on the Friendly Neighbour initiative, please email neighbours@bayseniors.ca or leave a message at 902-820-3334. We ask that all parties observe safe social distancing, and of course volunteers must be symptom-free.

How area businesses are helping keep seniors safer

Thank you to local retail stores, including Sobey’s, Lawton’s, the Superstore, Redmond’s Home Hardware, and the NSLC, for offering special shopping services to seniors and those with serious health conditions:

  • Sobey’s, the Superstore and Lawton’s are reserving the first hour of each day, from 7 to 8 a.m., for seniors and immunocompromised shoppers. The stores have also implemented extra overnight cleaning protocols.

  • Redmond’s Home Hardware is offering a shop-by-phone service. Residents may call the store to place their order, and Bay Seniors Friendly Neighbour volunteers will deliver the purchases.

  • The NSLC is offering their first hour, now 10 to 11 a.m. for seniors and those with chronic health conditions, asking other shoppers to wait until later in the day.

Do you own or manage a local business? Please let us know what you’re doing during the COVID-19 outbreak to help keep our community safer. Email sharon@bayseniors.ca.

Protect yourself from fraud

It’s heartening to know so many people are willing to help out in
times of need, like this one. But, sadly, there will always be bad
apples in every barrel. The RCMP and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre say
that to safeguard ourselves from fraudsters during the COVID-19
outbreak, we should:

  • Not deal with any person or organization we don’t know, especially if they initiated contact with us. If we need information or help, we should reach out to trusted sources.
  • Not click on email links and attachments we are not expecting, and that come from unknown or suspicious sources.
  • Never give out personal or financial details.

Some scams that have already been reported in Canada include people making fraudulent offers of duct cleaning, air filters or household decontaminants to protect against COVID-19, people pretending to represent utilities and demanding payment, others offering to test for the virus or claiming to have a preventative or treatment, and those offering masks and sanitizers in exchange for a supposed donation to a real charity that they do not represent, among other scams.

The bottom line? For current, accurate information on the COVID-19 situation, visit Canada Public Health or watch and read news from reputable news agencies. If you are contacted by phone, email or in person by someone you suspect is committing fraud, do not give out any information or confront the source, but report the contact to the RCMP or the Canada Anti-Fraud Centre.

No volunteer from the Bay Seniors Friendly Neighbour initiative will ever contact you offering service. To access the program, please email neighbours@bayseniors.ca or leave a voicemail
message at 902-820-3334. That way, you can be sure you’re dealing with someone authorized by Bay Seniors to provide help.

Let’s meet up on Facebook: Bay Seniors wants to hear from you

Tell us what you’re reading or watching on TV right now, share your pantry ingredient recipes, and post photos of signs of spring. We’re all in this together! www.facebook.com/bayseniors

Your tax questions answered by CRA: January meeting follow-up

Now that they aren’t available in post offices, where can we order paper copies of tax guides or forms?
Orders placed for the 2019 Income tax package will be shipped during the week of February 17, 2020.

To order these, go to: Order forms and publications or call CRA’s General Inquires at 1-800-622-6232 TTY: 1-800-926-9105.


What medical expenses can I claim, and how can I maximize the tax benefits of these?
Go here for full details: medical expenses


Is there additional help and information for those who are self-employed  or own a small business?
Yes! The CRA offers free one-to-one visits and group seminars for small businesses and self-employed individuals across Canada through its Liaison Officer Service. You can request more information or an appointment here: Canada.ca/liaison-officer


Where can I get software for filing my taxes online? 
Go here to find software for filing returns: Certified software for the 2019 NETFILE program


Reminder from Melissa:
“As I mentioned at your meeting, through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program, community organizations host free tax clinics, where volunteers file tax returns for eligible people. For more information go to Free tax clinics or call 1-855-516-4405.”

UPDATE: CANCELLED – Bay Expo registration for exhibitors and vendors now open

UPDATE: Due to COVID-19, Bay Expo 2020 has been cancelled. Read more here.

Bay Expo is accepting registrations for area businesses, crafters and not-for-profits to participate in this year’s Expo, taking place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 9 at the Estabrooks Community Hall in Lewis Lake. 

Carl Breckenridge, who co-chairs the event’s organizing committee with Patrick Charlton, said, “We have volunteers calling on area businesses, but many home-based businesses and crafters have historically reached out to us to register.” Breckenridge adds that exhibit and vendor space sold out last year, “so those interested in participating may want to get in touch soon.” 

Changes for this year’s Expo that will be of interest to exhibitors include wider aisles, improved table space and increased social media. 

Bay Expo, which has been held annually since 2014, is put on by the Seniors Association of St. Margaret’s Bay. The event showcases services, products and programs offered in the Bay area, and includes exhibits from service providers and not-for-profits, as well as items for sale by local businesses and crafters. Bay Expo attracts visitors of all ages, and last year Breckenridge says over 500 community members came through the door. 

The event also includes a flea market, used book sale, children’s activities and snacks, as well as a silent auction. Breckenridge notes that local businesses have been generous in supporting the silent auction. Businesses donating items to the silent auction will be acknowledged in signage beside each item. Breckenridge says “tabletop items are preferred, as these can be better displayed and are popular with bidders.” 

Prospective sponsors, exhibitors, vendors and auction item donors can get more information at bayexpo@bayseniors.ca or by visiting bayseniors.ca/bayexpo

Bay Area loses ‘community catalyst’

Doug Poulton and his wife Sandra (above) during the time they owned the White Sails Bakery.

Doug Poulton, the inspiration behind many community activities in and around St Margaret’s Bay, died suddenly on December 22. He was 71.

Doug’s initiative prompted the formation of the Seniors Association of St Margaret’s Bay, and he later served as president.

He was instrumental in creating the St Margaret’s Bay Chamber of Commerce and the Hammonds Plains Business Association.

Heather Cochrane, a past president of the Seniors Association, described Doug as ‘a community catalyst’, someone who was adept at identifying a need within a community and getting people to work together to find a solution.

In 2014 Doug was named Citizen of the Year by the St Margaret’s Bay Lions Club. The award was given for his volunteer work in the community.

Doug had deep roots in his community. He and his wife Sandra were long-time residents of Glen Haven. For 20 years he ran the White Sails Bakery in Tantallon. When he sold the bakery he focused his business interest on real estate with Enter Realty.

He was involved with the St Margaret’s Bay Regional Tourism Association, the St Margaret’s Bay Business Association, the Whynachts Cove Environmental Society, and Relay for Life.

In 2012 he offered himself as a candidate for District 13 (Hammonds Plains – St Margaret’s) of HRM.

At the time of his death, Doug and Sandra were living in Mill Cove.

Donate to Support For Sandra Poulton

The community is raising funds that will go directly to Doug’s funeral expenses as well as transition support for Sandra his wife, who depended on Doug for her livelihood and care.

This generous and caring man gave so much of himself for the betterment of the community, it is time for the community to show some support for Sandra in his memory to ease the worry and burden on those left behind.

Doug Poulton: memories of a man with a knack for getting people to work together for the community

Doug Poulton (2nd from right) and other directors of the Seniors Association in July 2011. From left John McKee, Joan Murray, Carol Evans, Heather Cochrane, Doug, Edward Bottrell. (Fred Dolbel took the picture).

From Heather Cochrane (treasurer, past president, Seniors Association)
In 2009 Doug convened a community meeting to discuss seniors’ housing in the Bay area. He was in the process of selling his business, White Sails Bakery, and was well aware of the lack of housing options for seniors in the St. Margaret’s Bay area.

Doug had a pretty good idea of needs in the community, not only housing, because the Food Bank was located on the upper floor of his bakery.

The community room at Superstore was filled to capacity.

From that meeting a small group was formed and met after closing hours at the bakery. Doug would place a plate of bakery squares on the table to aid the brainstorming and list making.

From that an association was formed with the goal of making a seniors- friendly community.In retrospect Doug could most accurately be described as a community catalyst: he was able to identify a need and then the community would step up to make it happen.

From John Glover (owner, Redmonds Hardware, past SMB Chamber of Commerce director)
Doug Poulton was a man truly committed to his community. As the founder and long-time owner of White Sails Bakery, he was a well-known entrepreneur who felt the local business community needed a voice.

He was the driving force in starting the St. Margaret’s Bay Chamber of Commerce and was its first president. He was also instrumental in starting the Hammonds Plains Business Association.

Doug was passionate about shopping locally and never shy about expressing the importance of it. The business community has lost a true friend.

From Fred Dolbel (Vice President, Seniors Association)
A personal anecdote attesting to Doug’s persuasive abilities: in mid-2009 I dropped into White Sails Bakery (Doug and Sandra’s shop) with a friend who was buying a few loaves of bread. I did not know Doug before then.

I came out of Doug’s bakery with a loaf of bread – and as a newly minted volunteer to help form a seniors association.