This column originally appeared in the Halifax Examiner July 9, 2018. “Border disputes do not go away; they fester. And when other factors push them back to the surface — the discovery of valuable resources, an assertion of national pride, a mishap at sea — the stakes can suddenly rise to a point where […]

This column originally appeared in the Halifax Examiner July 2, 2o18. My Examiner column last week seemed to set off a modest Twitter tempest, mostly because its subject, Coun. Shawn Cleary, chose to respond to what I wrote and didn’t write (even when he didn’t seem to realize I’d written it); and then to respond in scattershot […]

This column originally appeared in the Halifax Examiner June 25, 2018. “We don’t build buildings because of public opinion. We build them for good planning… And so I think this is a good thing for us… In terms of the design, I think we’ve mitigated most of the concerns…” —Councillor Shawn Cleary June 19, 2018-06-22 […]

This column originally appeared in the Halifax Examiner June 18, 2018. Talk about buzz kill. At its meeting Tuesday, Halifax city councilors will consider a staff report recommending ever more stringent controls around the cultivation and consumption of cannabis to make sure no one gets the notion there is anything remotely recreational or fun — certainly, definitively not  fun— […]

This column originally appeared in the Halifax Examiner June 11, 2018. Start with this: a July 11, 2017, CBC news story entitled “Lack of Psychologists Delays Youth Sentencing More than 6 Months.” The story quoted Brandon Rolle, the managing lawyer at the youth office for Nova Scotia Legal Aid who pointed out that the IWK Health Centre was […]

This column originally appeared in the Halifax Examiner June 4, 2018. HOUSTON: The motion is that the Public Accounts Committee meet on June 13th, June 20th, and June 27thto address these three topics of the Auditor General’s report in a timely fashion.  CHAIRMAN: Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye… Contrary minded, Nay…  The […]

  This column was first published in the Halifax Examiner May 28, 2018. Last week, Halifax City Council again/still/always decided to re-re-re-write its planning bylaws on the fly for the greater good and increased profit of a private developer whose books it didn’t bother examining, let alone asking to glimpse once, maybe upside down on […]

This column originally appeared in the Halifax Examiner May 22, 2018. Mount Saint Vincent University grappled this month with a complex web of issues that will feel uncomfortably familiar to academics at plenty of other Canadian universities: how to (belatedly but quickly) increase the numbers of professors from traditionally under-represented Indigenous and other marginalized communities; how […]

This column originally appeared in the Halifax Examiner May 14, 2018. Why am I not surprised? Last Monday, Halifax police dropped all charges against the 19-year-old they’d arrested less than a month before for “unauthorized use of a computer with fraudulent intent.” The fact is this case has been a cock-up from the beginning. Even before the beginning. Perhaps […]

This column originally appeared in the Halifax Examiner May 7, 2018. You can draw a neat, straight line. Start with the October 5, 1971, front page of the Halifax Chronicle Herald, with its photo of a beaming Premier Gerald Regan holding a tiny vial of oil supposedly sucked to the surface during offshore drilling off Nova Scotia. […]