Freelance

Stephen McNeil’s Liberals have made a mockery of the notion of public accountability. So now the opposition parties need to step up and do their — and our — job. The column originally appeared in the Halifax Examiner February 4, 2019. Stephen McNeil’s Liberals have made a mockery of the notion of public accountability. So […]

Hello,  So… I’m one of 12 Nova Scotia writer-volunteers taking part in — wait for it — a “writing relay event.” On Feb. 19, each of us will take a turn creating 200 words of a collective short story before handing off to the next relay writer. And so on. And so on.  It’s a little […]

In 1970, a dozen outside experts came to Halifax for a week to turn the city ‘upside down.’ Last week, a local group played excerpts from ‘Encounter on Urban Environment,’ the NFB’s documentary on that cataclysmic week in Halifax, and discussed whether it’s time for another upside-downing. This column first appeared in the Halifax Examiner January 28, 2019. I […]

Last week’s expert-panel report into the province’s flat-lining long-term care system offered a clarion call for the government to finally fix our ailing long-term care system. But the panel didn’t provide a clear, costed pathway to do that, in part because the government didn’t provide it with enough useful data about the existing problems and […]

In his own Trumpian, alternate-fact world, MLA Gordon Wilson wants us to believe the public accounts committee can’t venture beyond the narrow confines of published auditor general’s reports when examining public spending because… well, that would be against the law. Time for Wilson to re-read the “law.” This column originally appeared in the Halifax Examiner […]

“People don’t like to talk about race, culture, bias,” Bayview Community School principal Lamar Eason explains, adding elliptically: “Doing your job can lead to questioning the people employing you. Understandably, people get defensive. But [race relations officers] are not there just to support schools; we’re also there to support students and their families. There can […]

It isn’t the jury’s verdict from 1998 we should be remembering, but the fact the RCMP and prosecutors finally chose to believe women over one of the country’s most powerful political men. And, more important, that women — lots of them — stood up for other women, and said ‘me too’ before #MeToo. Maclean’s, December […]

Is Halifax Liberal MP Andy Fillmore just one more mindlessly reliable yes-vote for whatever Justin Trudeau’s Liberals propose or oppose? Or could he fill what is now a political void and champion a non-partisan attempt to make sure our parole system helps those who deserve it while protecting the rest of us from dangerous offenders […]

Back in the fall of 1968, Stokely Carmichael’s mere presence scared the hell out of Halifax. Are there lessons for today? The column first appeared in the HalifaxExaminer December 3, 2018. Last month, the Bank of Canada released its new $10-banknote featuring an image of Viola Desmond, the iconic Canadian civil rights pioneer who refused to give […]

The parole board agrees dangerous offender William Shrubsall is still a danger. So why grant him full parole? Good question. Bad answer. The column first appeared in the Halifax Examiner November 27, 2018. “After considering the following information, the Board has decided to take no action on your day parole and to grant full parole […]