Larry Haiven on when a raise isn’t a raise, the journalists who fall for it, and what made us lower our expectations so drastically that we now accept cuts to our incomes and becoming poorer as our lot in life.
Provincial governments everywhere, including Nova Scota, have introduced legislation that removes workers’ rights to collective bargaining. Not one of these union-busting laws will likely survive a Charter challenge. But that’s not the point, writes Larry Haiven.
Larry Haiven asks how prepared our health care system was for the demands of the current COVID-19 pandemic. If a system runs close to emergency at the best of times, how can it respond to a real emergency? An emergency like COVID-19?
Thoughtful presentation by Larry Haiven to an all-party committee reviewing a proposal to eliminate capped property assessments in Nova Scotia. “Our fear is that, allowed to run free, tax assessment based on the vagaries of the market could seriously damage a wonderful, diverse and still-affordable neighbourhood,” said Haiven.
Judy and I and our two sons have fought our entire lives against all forms of discrimination, racial and anti-Semitic. And we have paid for it. During one incarnation of the Ku Klux Klan in Toronto where we organized resistance, somebody broke into our apartment and painted anti-Jewish slogans on the walls. My bruises from confronting white supremacists have healed. But, even in my 70s, I am still willing to challenge hatred and bigotry wherever I find it. Disappointingly, several of the attacks have come from the institutional Jewish organizations that felt uncomfortable with our criticism of Israeli policies and actions.
Larry Haiven takes a closer look at the dispute between the Crown Attorneys and the government. “The Premier and the attorney general are spreading key misconceptions, fed by the public’s (and the media’s) unfamiliarity with the process and economics of collective bargaining. To be sure, these matters can be complicated. But that’s no excuse,” he writes.
Larry Haiven: I have a modest proposal, which I think is almost directly analogous to the decision of Halifax Regional Libraries to deny a free venue to the Radical Imagination Project to show films critical of the police without ‘the other side.’
Larry Haiven on a proposed development at Spring Garden and Robie, an impressive facade failing to hide four towers of 30, 26, 20 and 16 storeys on a single city block. “Using a bit of heritage as the fig leaf for rampant and unheeding development is becoming the latest shell game in Halifax,” writes Haiven.
On February 20, Nova Scotia teachers will vote whether or not to engage in a strike to protest changes in the system of public education meant to remove elected school boards, further enfeeble the union and impose government control. Larry Haiven takes a closer look at that notion of an illegal strike. “Sometimes you just have to show that, as Mr. Bumble says in Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist, “The law is a ass – a idiot.” It is not at all uncommon in Canadian labour history for workers to give that message to employers and the government,” he writes.
The new collective agreement for provincial civil servants decided by an Arbitration Board is not the victory the labour movement claims it is, writes Larry Haiven. At the end of the contract workers will be earning less than they are now, how much less will depend on the inflation rate. And that’s not taking into account the freezing (and removal for new employees) of the “long-service award.