Historian Nolan Reily chronicles how one hundred years ago workers in Amherst, Nova Scotia, —women and men, union and non-union—shutdown the town’s industries. Even the mechanics in the local garage went on strike. It was a community strike, just like the one that had started four days earlier in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
In early May this year Mi’kmaq leader Keptin Sark returned the Order of PEI that he had been awarded to the provincial legislature. He wants the name of Jeffrey Amherst – a notorious British General responsible for distributing blankets infected with smallpox amongst the Mi’kmaq and other Indigenous peoples in the 18th Century – removed from the historic site at Port-la-Joye at Rocky Point, across the harbour from Charlottetown. Neither the provincial nor the federal Liberals are listening.
Today Amherst councillor George Baker received a 90-day suspension for uttering the infamous racist slur. Some people in the Black community had hoped for a lot more, and now they feel dejected and alone.
Sometimes no news is good news, but that is not the case with the Town of Amherst’s inability to call a meeting to deal with councillor and mayoral hopeful George Baker’s racist slur.
George Baker, the Amherst councillor who uttered a racist slur, was in serious trouble before. That time the town weathered the storm, and doing so may well be the towns current strategy as well. That would be a bad idea, says the Amherst resident who lodged the original complaint.
Amherst can’t manage to censure a racist councillor in its midst, who meanwhile congtinues his run for mayor. Yesterday a police board meeting scheduled to discuss a reprimand was cancelled due to lack of quorum.
The N-word is NOT JUST ANOTHER WORD. It is our history of segregation and slavery embodied. It is my grandmother not being able to eat at the table with everyone else, it’s the family friend being stopped by the police four times as he was walking home. An Amherst resident on the George Baker saga and what it tells us about racism in Nova Scotia.
NSGEU president Jason MacLean calls upon councillor George Baker to abort his run for mayor, and discusses racism and privilege in his speech at the Rally for Diversity in Amherst.
There will be a large rally for diversity in the Town of Amherst tomorrow. George Baker, the racist councillor who used the ‘n’-word will not be the focus of the rally, but his behaviour definitely was a wake-up call.
A sitting Amherst councilor and mayoral candidate used the ‘N’-word, but it was purely accidental, he explains. He has no plans to suspend his campaign, let alone resign.