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.”

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.

We featured Brent and Donna, the Sheet Harbour couple on income assistance, in an earlier story about the terrible state of disrepair of their public housing unit. Community Services used to pay their entire power bill, but last week they contacted me because all of a sudden they are saddled with a $60 monthly share. They don’t know why, and they don’t know how they are going to deal with it.

Recently the Municipality of the District of Guysborough asked the province to lift the moratorium on fracking. Alexander Bridge has been on a mission to tell the world that the municipal council doesn’t speak on behalf of all its residents, and in fact never bothered to find out what people think about this plan.This is Alexander’s letter to Lloyd Hines, his local MLA and minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

In January council members of the Municipality of the District of Guysborough asked the Province to lift the fracking moratorium. Not so fast, writes Guysborough County resident Alexander Bridge, there was no consultation with residents. it is time to extend an invitation for serious dialogue with those people you represent. The Fracking issue would be a great place to start.

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.”

Applied to current events, no march on Saturday will be better than any other. However, ensuring that there are marches in rural as well as urban areas is crucial in signifying both difference in lived experience and togetherness in the struggle for female empowerment, writes Lori Oliver. She then takes a closer look at two key problems for women in rural Nova Scotia are difficulties accessing abortion services and a higher rate of domestic, intimate partner violence—both of which disastrously intersect with how women continue to earn, on average, 87 cents to men’s $1. Barriers faced by racialized groups are even more severe.

If your apartment is too expensive, or badly needs repairs, and moving is out of the question, then things aren’t likely to improve in the foreseeable future. Statistics Canada census data released in November 2017 shows that the number of households in core housing needs in Nova Scotia continues to go up, while the trend in the other Atlantic provinces is moving downward.

Scotch Village, in Hants County, has a long history shaped by its original Mi’kmaq inhabitants, Acadians, African Nova Scotians, and Planters’ descendants.  In July 2017 people from these communities met to commemorate and celebrate their diverse but intersecting histories.The event makes for a fascinating Weekend Video, and a very appropriate one to ring in the new year. The event was organized by my beloved sister in law Carolyn van Gurp, and it features many inspiring people like Dorene Bernard and Dr. Afua Cooper, to name just a few.