Thursday, 22 February 2018

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.”

Heritage Day in NS is also a “retail closing day” which means that almost all stores excluding drug stores, restaurants, cafes, bars, and gas stations must remain closed. If there is a union where you work, you will be paid for this holiday. However if there is no union, it’s a little more tricky. Don’t just assume your boss knows. In this article Judy Haiven explains exactly what you are entitled to.

There are solid signs the proposed Goldboro Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant in Guysborough County is getting ever closer to ramping up. This is bad news for people who worry about climate change as it raises doubts about Nova Scotia’s ability to meet its greenhouse gas (GHC) reduction targets.  Independent researcher Ken Summers did a deep dive, and this is what he discovered.

“I am angry! I am outraged! But mostly, I feel cheated for myself and for my students; because we are being robbed of a sound educational system. A system that recognizes that all students function at different levels and at different speeds and they are not just a cookie cutout from the same cookie cutter. A system that embraces uniqueness. A system that is not perfect and needs changes but is far from deteriorating into the abysmal cesspool of incompetent teachers and substandard test scores that the Liberal government and Dr. Avis Glaze’s report would have the public believe.”

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.

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.

Episode 3 of Sadie Beaton’s wonderful Shades of Green podcast focuses on the work of the Alton Gas water protectors. “Join us at the Treaty Camp to get a taste of what it’s like on the front lines of a movement that is so much bigger than stopping a single project. Let’s listen and reflect on what what stopping a natural gas storage project has to do with Indigenous self-determination, how the Peace and Friendship treaties might help us understand how to build just relationships with the land and each other, and what it means to be a treaty person.”

Judy Haiven writes “The mainstream media in Canada tell us that each murder of an Indigenous person is unique, and each tragedy stands on its own. But we cannot look at these cases in isolation. There is a pattern here, which becomes more and more weighty and oppressive with each death.  We, as white settlers, have to see the murders of Indigenous people in Canada the way Indigenous people see them —as genocidal.”