Ray BAtes: My argument today is that with regional inequalities we must change our urban-versus-rural mindsets. Be it COVID-19, the out-migration of residents, our aging population, the destruction of natural habitats or the reduction in local amenities, Nova Scotia is undergoing a transition into new ways of living that are being accompanied by revised needs and required services.

Ray Bates: When our autoimmune systems become reactive to “triggers” those catalysts will prompt our bodies to combat what it perceives as threatening. Those reactions could possibly result in ailments that have severe negative impacts on our bodies and tragically for our lives. I

Ray Bates: Recognition of historical Mi’kmaq place-name should become a common practice exhibited by governments and communities. History cannot be changed but it can be truthfully recognized with positive outcomes via respectful actions.

Ray Bates on trash in our environment: Our mission is to participate now and not burden future generations via our lack of actions to resolve the causes and effects of what soils our regions and destroys environments.

In March 2020 many often-overlooked truths abruptly entered into our lives; the one made abundantly clear was that we are in this together. We must support each other as we learn how to improve the conditions conducive to our collective wellbeing.

Ray Bates on COVID-19 lessons learned. “The first is the importance of an adequate health care system for all. The existing inadequacies and inequalities that have been jarringly exposed because of COVID-19 must be corrected and replaced with services that will enable us to defeat this pandemic and also to be ready for the next one when it rears its deadly head.”

“We must be extremely cautious with its endorsement of business proposals that allude to a mystical pot of gold and not be seduced by economic rhetoric. ” Ray Bates on how to revive rural Nova Scotia’s economy by attracting new residents and given current ones a reason to stay.