Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Joanne Bealy considers the state of the world and our province and issues a call to action. “We need people who don’t usually speak out to join those who do and for everybody to stand together for the good of all of us. It’s time to let it be known that the disenfranchisement of minority groups, intended or not, is not OK. One step forward, maybe two back, but on we go. We can have the country we want and deserve. It is our choice.”

Recent changes to the Child and Family Service Act have made the fight against child poverty even more difficult, writes Alec Stratford, executive director of the NS College of Social Workers. Shortened judicial timelines, the expansion of the definition of neglect and the overall lack of resources have amounted to greater penalization of families struggling to afford the cost of housing, food, childcare, clothing and transportation.

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Danny Cavanagh, the president of the NS Federation of Labour, offers a short and powerful statement against fascist violence, white supremacy, racism, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism. “Sisters and brothers, we cannot stay silent in the face of such hatred and we know that the future of our society and children are at stake if we don’t intensify our fight against discrimination, hatred and violence.”

Dashonn States was only 22 years young when he died this June as the result of a single car crash. Dashonn was merely a passenger, not the driver, but his family says even after his death he continues to face racism and disrespect as the case winds its way through the court system. This morning a rally at the Windsor courthouse demanded justice and respect for Dashonn’s memory.

A long interview with Robert Wright, one of the African Nova Scotians who earlier this year demanded that the practice of carding be suspended. We talked with Wright about why carding generates such anger among Black Nova Scotians, the over surveillance of Black communities by police, the white indifference to the issue, how anger at police better be directed at politicians, and why carding is ineffective. More than anything we talked about racism.

Sadie Beaton, Community Conservation Research Coordinator at the Ecology Action Centre, asks Mayor Mike Savage that no more precious time be wasted in getting rid of the Cornwallis statue. “Reconciliation can only begin when settlers and their governments and institutions truthfully reckon with the sometimes painful history of these lands. This history has allowed settlers to be the main beneficiaries of both the care with which Mi’kmaq communities have cared for these lands and waters, and the genocide that Cornwallis and others perpetuated.”

Historian Elliot Worsfold on Cornwallis and similar “renaming” debates: “historians should remind the public that these spaces, be they literal or ideological, have been known by many names and by many people throughout Canada’s history. Reclaiming those spaces through removing names, statues, or other symbols is more often a return to that place’s historic roots than those decrying the erasure of history often realize.”