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Nova Scotia town is next to lose its women

When the women left Tatamagouche, N.S., Jimmy LeFresne watched with foreboding.

When the women left Tatamagouche, N.S., Jimmy LeFresne watched with foreboding. “Once the buses were gone, it was silence, like a void. There was no jumping for joy. Then it kicked in: ‘They’re gone, so now what?’”

LeFresne, 50, owns the north-shore town’s Train Station Inn; he’s also the elected councillor. When CBC TV’s The Week the Women Went whisked the sleepy community’s ladies away to a luxury hotel, they took his staff with them.

“I had to tell the men of the community, ‘I need help here!’” he laughs. “I had another councillor come over, I had the local RCMP cooking meals. It was quite something. Some coped very well and some ... struggled, we’ll say.”

Like many in the 700-person town, LeFresne had a microphone on at all hours. “You tried to be on your best behaviour, but there are times when things just fall about. All of a sudden, you’ve done something and you think, ‘Oh my land, it’s on film.’”

He hopes the program will show people Tatamagouche is not the dying East Coast community of stereotypes.

“We’re far from that. If a wrench is thrown into the mix, we deal with it,” he said. “If you talk to anybody in our community, we don’t think it’s a slow pace, because we’re going full-tilt all the time.”

Asked how he thought a Week the Men Went would go, LeFresne burst out laughing. “I think (the women) would notice. There’s two sides to the story.”

Cal Shumiatcher, the executive producer, says he wanted a “romantic” location in the Maritimes.

“Tata just shone — we had so much fun,” he explains from his Vancouver office. “It’s wonderful when people open up their lives and show you what they’re about.”

On TV
• Season 2 of The Week the Women Went starts tomorrow at 8 p.m. on CBC TV.

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