The still-unfolding story behind last year’s firing of new NSCAD President Aoife Mac Namara fits all too neatly into the ongoing story of business as usual in Nova Scotia. Pity. It all seems, well, so … Nova Scotian. Let’s begin way back in the late 1960s and early seventies when a local developer named Ben […]

I used to think of myself as a free speech absolutist. I still do… mostly. But I’m now a little less absolute in my absolutism. Let’s take a look at two recent close-to-home cases. I used to think of myself as a free speech absolutist. I still do… mostly. But I’m now a little less […]

Premier Iain Rankin needs a do-over after a gaffe-prone first few months in office. His government’s gradual re-opening gives him another chance to make a better impression. On Friday afternoon, Premier Iain Rankin announced what he describes as a five-phase plan to allow too-long shuttered, increasingly restless, can’t-wait Nova Scotians to resume something approximating normal […]

How do you distinguish between anti-maskers intending to flout health restrictions in the name of their “freedom” to infect themselves and others and organizers of a COVID-safe car rally intended to protest violence against Palestinians? You don’t, say police. But should they? On the morning of Friday, May 14, 2021, Nova Scotia government lawyers — […]

The society claims it wants to “eliminate or mitigate systemic discrimination” in its organization. But will it really come to terms with its Lyle Howe legacy? “There’s something happening here,” Stephen Stills once wrote. “What it is ain’t exactly clear.” Here in this case is inside the traditionally somnambulant corridors of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ […]

What does a recent human rights case — and HRM’s lack of response to it — say about the state of race in Halifax in 2021? On the morning of Jan. 24, 2017, Gyasi Symonds, a provincial department of community services caseworker, did what many of us routinely did in pre-pandemic times. He went for […]

How do Ottawa and First Nations mutually agree on the best way to organize Atlantic Canada’s most lucrative fishery to serve the economic interests of Indigenous communities and those of traditional non-Indigenous commercial fishers without undermining the industry’s commercial viability or environmental sustainability? It won’t happen so long as Ottawa insists it alone knows best. […]

Is the Veterans Affairs department’s internal review of its handling of the Lionel Desmond murder-suicide relevant to the current Nova Scotia inquiry? Yes. Are there lessons to be learned? Almost certainly. Time for Ottawa to stop playing jurisdictional games and make it public. Some days you read something, and you just have to shake your […]

The real questions for Harjit Sajjan should be these. Has the world become a better, safer place after more than a decade of Canadian-funded Halifax International Security Forum schmooze fests? And are there better ways to invest tax dollars to achieve that end? No. And yes. When I first read the news that Harjit Sajjan, […]

During a Chamber of Commerce state-of-the-province event last week, our new premier postured back at the chamber’s posturing about his government’s budget. But should we have faith he means what he says? Gavin MacDonald’s introduction was full of the expected whinging and woe-is-us, and — of course, as always — it arrived with its own […]