Thursday, 22 February 2018

Meet Sophia (not her real name), who lives with a painful illness, raises a son who lives with developmental disabilities, and does all that on a $156 monthly personal allowance, after rent and power bills are paid, and an arrears to Community Services is dealt with. Please let that sink in. $156 per month.  At the bottom of the story we tell you what you can do to help change this.

A third party review, released today by the NSTU, calls into question the research methods, analysis and results of the Glaze report. The authors of the review conclude: “The high-stakes associated with these recommendations amount to a massive reform of the educational system. Before proceeding, the methods and data should be made public so that an independent stakeholder can reanalyze the data to ensure the findings are valid and reliable.”

Budget pressures force public libraries in Cumberland County to reduce hours. Expect more announcements like this as the government is slowly squeezing public libraries in rural Nova Scotia, just to save a couple of pennies, really. To quote the Cumberland County deputy chief librarian Chantelle Taylor, ““We offer this precious little jewel of a service, it does pretty good with the little money it gets, and nobody seems to recognize this fantastic thing.”

Reeny Smith is a singer / songwriter from Preston, only 25 years old, and incredibly talented. You can see Smith, joined by other excellent songwriters live at the Gottingen Street Library this Thursday. Don’t miss it. It’s free!!!

Gottingen Street, one of Halifax main thoroughfares, used to extend into the far North End. But in 1981 Halifax Council voted that the northern segment of Gottingen Street, beyond the Young Street intersection, now be called Novalea Drive. The reasons behind that decision were tainted by racism and prejudice, and a survey of residents’ opinions conducted by the City purposely excluded most residents who lived along the street. Maybe it’s time to make things right again.

News release by Alton Gas water protectors: “Sipekne’katik/Fort Ellis — Alton Gas has posted signs outside the Treaty Camp at the Shubenacadie River naming water protectors on site as trespassers and criminals. Grassroots Mi’kmaq water protectors have been holding down a protection camp at the Shubenacadie River for nine months to prevent Alton Gas from dumping thousands of tons of salt brine into the sacred river every day. They are outraged by Alton Gas’ bully tactics and intent to resume work on the project without allowing Sipekne’katik to complete its community consultation process.”

Asking teachers and others who work in the school system directly what it is that works in today’s schools and what needs fixing, now there is a novel idea. Members of Educators for Social Justice (ESJ) are doing exactly that. We talk with Pamela Rogers, a member of ESJ, about the questions, the responses so far, and why it is so important to add an undiluted teachers’ voice to the current discussions.

The federal government continues its efforts to deport Abdoul Abdi, the young man who came to Nova Scotia at the age of six, with his sister and two aunts, as jointly-sponsored refugees who fled Somalia. Abdi had asked Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety, to suspend the deportation hearing while the Federal Court hears a constitutional challenge of the Minister’s decision to deport. The Minister refused this request and instead asked the Immigration and Refugee Board to proceed with a deportation hearing, hislawyer writes.