Oh dear. The newly acclaimed mayor of Port Hawkesbury, Brenda Chisholm-Beaton, hasn’t even been sworn in yet and already people are clamouring to dig up dirt on her.
“It’s a little strange our new mayor, who as you probably know owns a restaurant here in town, likes to spend her spare time bad-mouthing the competition,” writes one resident. “A little small-minded, dontcha think?”
Included in the email was a link purported to be of some restaurant reviews the 42-year-old posted a few years back on the website TripAdvisor. And most of them aren’t complimentary. But the strangest thing is, the writer seems to go out of her way to make it sound like she’s not from the area.
“These gals (the wait staff) seemed more attentive to ‘the locals’ and kind of acted like we were an inconvenience,” reads a two star review of Papa’s Pub dating back to 2012.
“I now stop at the Rose Garden when in Port Hawkesbury, they seem more careful and have always gotten my order right,” reads a another two star write-up, this time of the China King — owned, not incidentally, by outgoing mayor Billy Joe MacLean — dating from around the same time, some months before she was first elected to council in October of 2012.
Reached for comment, Brenda admits she posted the reviews, and in hindsight regrets leaving them, considering the position she now holds.
“I represent all of our businesses now and all of our residents and they are all important to me as mayor elect of Port Hawkesbury,” she tells me via email, adding that she now refrains from leaving reviews on a public forum unless they can be positive.
As for the sneaky-sounding tone of her reviews, she says it’s just a misunderstanding.
In the case of Papa’s, she says she meant ‘locals’ to mean the more frequent visitors to the resto; in the latter case, she admits she might have made a mistake.
“I think I probably meant to write, ‘When I eat in Port Hawkesbury’.”
Brenda opened the current number-one rated restaurant in Port Hawkesbury on the website, the Fleur de Lis, with her dad Archie Chisholm in 2004.
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