Freelance

Fifty-three residents died in Northwood’s long-term care home during COVID-19. Long-term care residents accounted for 92 per cent of all COVID-19 deaths in Nova Scotia. And yet the premier sees no need for a public inquiry, legislative oversight, legislation… anything. Does that make you feel better? Premier Stephen McNeil at the virtual post-cabinet meeting scrum, […]

We are in a moment. It has forced us to rethink what we mean by policing, and by public safety, and to begin to reimagine a world in which public safety does not necessarily mean a cop with a gun killing someone with whom he is supposedly conducting a “wellness check,” or six cops with […]

We’re right to speak out about the murder of George Floyd and about the global pandemic of state violence against black people, but we — white people — also need to act locally. There’s plenty for us to do right here in our own backyard. Call it the dance of the dodge. “We need to […]

Our long-term current crisis in long-term care, now in the spotlight because of COVID019, is the result of lots of choices governments have made. We need a public inquiry to hold them accountable, and to make share our long-term care future is better than its past. Choices? Crushing health care unions versus investing in long-term […]

You need to appoint a public inquiry into the recent mass murders in Nova Scotia. Now. Yesterday. It needs to be open and transparent and broad-based. I have a few suggestions. You’re welcome. Roadside memorial in Portapique to the 22 victims of the mass shooting that began there. Photo: Joan Baxter Dear Premier McNeil, I […]

I’ve spent a good chunk of my columnist’s career mocking Peter MacKay without ever having spent time in his company. And then I did. He seemed generous, thoughtful, far more complex than I’d given him credit for. But then he got back into politics. And became ‘that’ Peter MacKay again. Is it the person or […]

Manitoba’s First Nations reached out to Cuba even before COVID-19 because they need healthcare help. So do we. In February — before the coronavirus changed everything about everything for everybody — Jerry Daniels, the Grand Chief of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization, which represents 34 First Nations in Manitoba, led a delegation to Havana to meet […]

In 1972, the legislature’s spring session last 54 sitting days. In 2020, it lasted 13. It seems we have nothing to discuss. The last time I covered the Nova Scotia legislature on a regular basis, Gerald Regan was the premier. It was a simpler time: even before now-museum vintage fax machines and VCRs but also […]

The difference is that, in the case of opioids, the harm creators are the drug’s makers and distributors. In the case of VLT gambling, they’re governments themselves. And that creates a world of difference when it comes to which harm-maker governments decide should be punished and which should be protected. Give Stephen McNeil’s Liberals an […]

Why is it so hard for Stephen McNeil to acknowledge mistakes were made, let alone admit he or anyone in his orbit ever does anything wrong? The latest Hugh MacKay drunk-driving allegations offer a premier case study in Trumpian counterattack, obfuscation and butt-covering. Stephen McNeil insists he knew nothing, his chief of staff did nothing […]