Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

December 18, 2020

The McNeil Show As I write this morning, I’ve been watching Premier Stephen McNeil set a land-speed record for opening and closing a session of the Nova Scotia legislature. In addition to worrying about the Lieutenant Governor (who sounds like he ranks among those at highest risk from COVID), I’veRead More

The Shore Road Sessions stage. (Photo by Buddy MacDonald)

Shore Road Sessions: Bright Spot in a Dark Season

October 28, 2020

Like many people since the advent of the coronavirus, Shauna Walters found herself with more downtime than usual this spring, so she used some of it to landscape the back yard of her home in Whitney Pier. Unlike many people, she looked around at the finished space and saw —Read More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

November 13, 2020

Vaccine Dream News that Pfizer has a vaccine that is 90% effective against COVID-19 cheered people and markets alike this past week (airline and cruise line stocks leapt for joy). But there are so many caveats attached to the discovery that I’m pressing pause on my own jig of joyRead More

John Crosbie and the Promise of Oil

John Crosbie and the Promise of Oil

January 22, 2020

“You have driven my husband wild with your book!” This is how Jane Crosbie welcomed me on my first visit to Government House in Saint John’s, Newfoundland in 2012. When my book The Ocean Ranger: Remaking the Promise of Oil came out, the then-Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador roaredRead More

Poverty Remains Long After Christmas is Gone

Poverty Remains Long After Christmas is Gone

December 16, 2020

Christmas is nigh and the good and the generous have been hard at work throughout our communities, making sure that each and every family awakens to everything it takes to make the day a joyful one. They’ll have food and toys and clothing and all will be fine — forRead More

Defining Madness

Defining Madness

December 9, 2020

A few years ago, one of my colleagues told me a funny story. One of his students had said to him, “It’s a good thing that someone invented universities. Otherwise, there would be no place in the world for people like you to fit in.” I was thinking about thisRead More

Sydney’s Casino at 25: Gambling Addiction

Sydney’s Casino at 25: Gambling Addiction

December 16, 2020

Editor’s Note: Sydney’s casino turns 25 this summer and to mark its quarter-century, Rob Csernyik has been taking an in-depth look at the promises — and realities — of casino gambling in Cape Breton. In Part III, he focuses on the question of addiction. (Read Part I here and Part IIRead More

FOIPOP Findings: Introduction

FOIPOP Findings: Introduction

January 20, 2021

You know the story: back in July 2015 I submitted an access to information request to the Cape Breton Regional Municipality asking for all port-related communications between Mayor Cecil Clarke, CAO Michael Merritt, the mayor’s communications staff (basically, Christina Lamey) and port promoters Albert Barbusci and Barry Sheehy from 1Read...

Homeless encarmpment, Northeast Portland (Photo by

Shelter from the Coming Storms

November 25, 2020

I don’t really know the situation today, but in the 1950s, working for the church especially as a secretary, I got to know those who were referred to as “stemmers.” They were the dedicated few who every so often rang the glebe house doorbell in search of a dollar orRead More

Other News

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

December 18, 2020 at 10:00 am

The McNeil Show As I write this morning, I’ve been watching Premier Stephen McNeil set a land-speed record for opening and closing a session of the Nova Scotia legislature. In addition to worrying about the Lieutenant Governor (who sounds like he ranks among those at highest risk from COVID), I’veRead More

NS COVID Update for 16 December 2020

NS COVID Update for 16 December 2020

December 16, 2020 at 3:56 pm

Briefing Both Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang began today’s briefing by expressing condolences to the families of the fishermen on a scallop vessel that went missing in the Bay of Fundy off the coast of southwestern Nova Scotia Tuesday. The body of one crew member of the ChiefRead More

What’s the Deal with School Gym Rentals?

What’s the Deal with School Gym Rentals?

December 16, 2020 at 12:53 pm

During this month’s meeting of the CBRM council,  49 minutes’ worth of discussion was devoted to a motion by District 6 Councilor Glenn Paruch that staff be directed to draft an Issue Paper on commissioning a study into the possibility of building a facility, somewhere in the CBRM, with twoRead More

Don’t We Have a Plan for Sports Facilities?

Don’t We Have a Plan for Sports Facilities?

December 16, 2020 at 12:51 pm

On 3 December 2014, almost exactly six years ago, CBRM awarded a $128,805 tender to TRACE Planning & Design of Moncton to create a Recreation Master Plan for the municipality. I did not think of this plan a week ago Tuesday, while listening to council discuss the need for aRead More

Poverty Remains Long After Christmas is Gone

Poverty Remains Long After Christmas is Gone

December 16, 2020 at 12:49 pm

Christmas is nigh and the good and the generous have been hard at work throughout our communities, making sure that each and every family awakens to everything it takes to make the day a joyful one. They’ll have food and toys and clothing and all will be fine — forRead More

One More FOIPOP Thing…

One More FOIPOP Thing…

December 16, 2020 at 12:47 pm

As you may recall, I asked the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) for clarification on the use of outside legal counsel to handle municipal access to information requests (I was inspired to ask for this clarification by the discovery that my 2015 FOIPOP to the CBRM regardingRead More

Sydney’s Casino at 25: Gambling Addiction

Sydney’s Casino at 25: Gambling Addiction

December 16, 2020 at 12:45 pm

Editor’s Note: Sydney’s casino turns 25 this summer and to mark its quarter-century, Rob Csernyik has been taking an in-depth look at the promises — and realities — of casino gambling in Cape Breton. In Part III, he focuses on the question of addiction. (Read Part I here and Part IIRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

December 11, 2020 at 8:43 am

Editor’s Note: I didn’t have time to cover council properly this week, so today’s short takes will focus on random things from the most recent meeting of the Cape8 Breton Regional Council.   Dress Code District 5 Councilor Eldon MacDonald had himself gift-wrapped for Tuesday night’s meeting: This works inRead More

FOIPOP File 93

FOIPOP File 93

December 9, 2020 at 12:51 pm

I learned a few things from the discussion of my 2015 FOIPOP application during last night’s CBRM council meeting. I learned that Jim Gogan of Breton Law Group handled my initial request in 2015 and is now handling the review. Regional solicitor Demetri Kachafanas revealed this in response to aRead More

A Drop of the Cure

A Drop of the Cure

December 9, 2020 at 12:49 pm

Back in April, CNN reported that the governor of the Kenyan capital city, Nairobi, was including small bottles of Hennessy cognac in COVID-19 care packages being distributed to citizens. He erroneously claimed the cognac would act as a “throat sanitizer” and help combat the coronavirus. Both the World Health OrganizationRead More