Freelance

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 […]

It’s the end of February, so it must be time for Bay Ferries to announce the start of this year’s summer sailing season between Yarmouth and Bar Harbor. And for the rest of us to ask if it will really happen this year. Perhaps not exactly as advertised. Always read the fine print. Shall we […]

Tax cuts for businesses, increases for minimum-wage earners, cute photos with kids… There must be an election coming. Premier Stephen McNeil speaks to reporters, Thursday, January 9, 2020. Photo: Jennifer Henderson Let us count up just a few of the reasons Premier Stephen McNeil will call a provincial election before the end of 2020. Start […]

Why aren’t we doing something to try to change decades of data — “comparative drop-out rates, school suspension rates, graduation rates, academic averages achieved” — that show African Nova Scotian students aren’t reaching their potential in our school system? Whatever the reasons, it’s time to stop allowing the failures of the past to keep repeating […]

Was Lionel Desmond a victim of his war demons? Or was he a villain, a perpetrator of domestic violence who murdered his own family? Or both? We may never know. Lionel Desmond and his wife Shanna with then-infant daughter Aaliyah. “Speak not ill of the dead man.” Spartacus “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is […]

The province banned street checks. The police chief apologized. But nothing’s really changed. Earlier this month, former police officer Maurice Carvery says police turned his routine traffic stop into an example of racial profiling. “They haven’t stopped; they’ve only changed.” Red lights flashing in your rearview; a high-pitched siren’s we-we-we-waaaahhh from somewhere behind your head, […]

When a young black woman accused the Halifax police of racially profiling and abusing her in connection with an alleged shoplifting incident at Walmart last week, officials did what officials do. They obfuscated, they passed the buck, they pretended to take it seriously. I still don’t know nearly enough about what actually happened inside the […]

“‘Truth and Reconciliation’ versus ‘the Murdered and Missing’” was intended to be a serious academic lecture by one of Canada’s most esteemed poets and social justice truth speakers. Somehow it all went wrong. George Elliott Clarke I don’t know George Elliott Clarke well, but I have known him for a long time. Back in the […]