Thursday, 22 February 2018

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.”

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.”

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. 

Blankets infected with smallpox were handed by early settlers to indigenous peoples as a biological weapon. That’s no joking matter, writes Jackie Davis, who earlier this week went to a local pub where a white comedian thought otherwise. “Comedy should not be exempt from criticism. It should not be a cover for complete ignorance,” she writes.

Reporter Rebecca Hussman braved last Tuesday’s snowstorm and attended a panel on environmental racism and the law. “The weakest link, they thought, is the African Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaq communities, so therefore we will locate anything and everything we’ve got to get rid of in and around those communities. We know they have no large incomes. We know their levels of education is lower. So let’s locate this dump over here…we don’t care.”