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Coming up roses: Bayside Travel Centre CEO puts passion into new development

Rose Paul is the CEO of the Bayside Development Corporation. Born and raised on the Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation, Paul is thrilled to showcase the Bayside Travel Centre to the world.
Rose Paul is the CEO of the Bayside Development Corporation. Born and raised on the Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation, Paul is thrilled to showcase the Bayside Travel Centre to the world. - Contributed

‘It means the world to me to see this through’

AFTON STATION, N.S. —

Rose Paul has been told by others to go big or go home.

She took their advice on both accounts – but in her own kind of way.

“I stayed home and made it big,” Paul said proudly when talking about the new Bayside Travel Centre, which opened in June on the Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation in Afton Station, Antigonish County.

“It means a great deal to me; it means the world to me to see this through. And I had every intention, and every passion and ambition I could hold on to, to see this come to fruition.”

Paul is the CEO of the Bayside Development Corporation – a business arm for the Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation – which oversaw the development of a 16,000 sq.-foot, multi-business centre just off Exit 36 B on Highway 104.

“It’s been a vision (of mine), professionally,” said Paul, who was raised on the First Nations community. “I think I just want to see something big and new and exciting, but I guess my key priorities ensure that we’re developing something that would have long-term sustainability, not only to support the revenue generation of it – of course, that’s a big part of it – but to also accommodate jobs and new opportunities.”


The Bayside Travel Centre, which opened in June, offers many services, including fuel, restaurants and a convenience store. - Contributed
The Bayside Travel Centre, which opened in June, offers many services, including fuel, restaurants and a convenience store. - Contributed

Bayside offers a bevy of services, including a commercial Cardlock operation as a convenience for long-haul truckers on the Trans-Canada Highway to and from Cape Breton and Newfoundland and Labrador. It also includes retail gas, a convenience store, and an NSLC agency store – the only one in a Mi’kmaq community in Atlantic Canada. Mary Brown’s Chicken and Taters and Tim Hortons restaurants will open their doors soon, and the Bayside Entertainment Centre – a VLT gaming operation owned by the band – is also on site.



Paul said she got the idea for the centre while travelling throughout Canada and seeing other regions with similar set-ups where people enjoyed the convenience of one-stop shopping for a variety of services.

“I saw a lot in the Quebec and Ontario regions, and for Atlantic Canada, I said, ‘geez, you can’t really see that’... and thought that would be kind of nice if we could just do everything in a one-stop-shop. And that’s what we ended up doing. We ended up putting all our resources under the travel centre and we ended up developing six partnerships out of it.”

The centre will be an economic boon for the local Mi’kmaq community, as the development corporation will support programs and services on the reserve with money generated from lease agreements with restaurants, and fuel and alcohol sales.

The centre is also a win for the area in terms of employment. About 100 jobs will be created and most positions will be filled by Paqtnkek community members.

Paul said she is proud of her community for supporting a state-of-the-art centre in the region.

“The community said yes to doing this and we’ve definitely been working very hard to make sure that the community is happy with what they felt was going to come forward for the benefits of Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation and their membership.”


The friendly staff at the Bayside Travel Centre. - Contributed
The friendly staff at the Bayside Travel Centre. - Contributed

Did you know?

The centre also offers truckers the opportunity to rest and relax after long hauls behind the wheel. Among the amenities for truckers include a lounge with a big-screen television and couches and washrooms with large-sized showers. A parking lot behind the building also provides ample space for overnight stays.


Bayside Travel Centre offers a commercial Cardlock service as a convenience for long-haul truckers. - Contributed
Bayside Travel Centre offers a commercial Cardlock service as a convenience for long-haul truckers. - Contributed

Bayside Travel Centre. - Contributed
Bayside Travel Centre. - Contributed

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