Ice Wall, Irish Vale, 2019. Cape Breton Spectator photo.

Ice Walls of Yesteryear

March 20, 2019

As of Saturday, the Great Ice Wall of Irish Vale (and the Lesser Ice Wall of Irish Cove) were still attracting visitors (although no one has yet had the sense to start selling hot chocolate and popcorn, a great entrepreneurial opportunity lost in my opinion). I had thought the mediaRead...

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

March 1, 2019

Lord of the Dance The Cape Breton Post devoted three pages — including the entire front page — to the late John Allan Cameron on Tuesday, inadvertently giving new meaning to the phrase “slow news day.” The hook for the multi-page extravaganza? It’s been 50 years since Cameron’s first albumRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

January 18, 2019

Sister City A sharp-eyed Spectator drew my attention to an odd little fact in that terrible story of the Canadian sentenced to death in China. Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, a 36-year-old from Abbotsford, BC, was arrested in 2014 and found guilty in 2016 of participating in a drug ring that soughtRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

June 15, 2018

“No leasing land to China even for one day” I heard this story on Democracy Now as I was drifting off to sleep the other night and woke up the next morning thinking I’d dreamt it, but I looked it up and it was real. Here’s the Voice of AmericaRead More

Source: CBC

Mount Cashel, 30 Years Later

March 6, 2019

How many Catholics, I wonder, of those who continue to attend Mass at least weekly — praying, singing, listening to homilies and participating in the Eucharist — ever give serious thought to the ongoing and possibly greatest scandal in the Catholic Church’s history? Is it a case of “I’m alrightRead...

University graduation ceremony, Ottawa. (Photo by Faustin Tuyambaze tfaustin [CC0] https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/
via Wikimedia Commons)

Why You Shouldn’t Buy Your Child’s Place in University

March 20, 2019

I have been thinking a lot about John Rawls’ theory of justice, in part because I am working with a fourth-year student on her honor’s thesis, but also because I’ve been watching the college admissions scandal unfolding in the United States (a scandal I find at once fascinating and appalling).Read...

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

September 7, 2018

We’re baaaa…aaaaaaack How was your summer? Mine was fantastic. It was full of swimming and reading and barbecue and blackberries and crossword puzzles and G&Ts and cribbage and reunions with long-lost friends and rock-skipping sessions with visiting nephews and one glorious, heartfelt, bonfire sing-a-long to Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded MeRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

March 22, 2019

Budget This week, I’m going to focus on the federal budget tabled Tuesday by Liberal Finance Minister Bill Morneau and discuss a couple of points of particular interest to Cape Bretoners. The first is the government’s decision to double (for one year only) the gas-tax revenue available for infrastructure spendingRead...

Farewell Lunch at the Schatzalp at the Annual Meeting 2019 of the World Economic Forum in Davos,January 2019 ©World Economic Forum / Pascal Bitz

Guess What Just Happened in Davos?

February 20, 2019

I‘m not even going to pretend that I pay serious attention to the World Economic Forum (WEF), which is held annually in Davos, Switzerland and which attracts thousands of the world’s rich and famous — including political, business and cultural leaders — to the tiny ski resort to carry outRead More

Other News

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

March 15, 2019 at 8:00 am

Thin Blue Island Researching this week’s stories on the Cape Breton Regional Police Service (CBRPS) I ran across a (lengthy) profile of the service which included this amazing paragraph: Although only a small Island, Cape Breton’s beauty, hospitality and culture has made it one of the top vacation destinations worldwide.Read More

David B. Gleason from Chicago, IL [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

Close the Pentagon, Feed the World!

March 13, 2019 at 11:54 am

In 2003, Peace Quest Cape Breton launched a modest campaign for a ‘Pentagon Vacation’: a two-week (336-hour) reduction in the US Defense Department’s annual budget of $379 million (all figures in US dollars)– a saving, calculating 14 days at a Pentagon Hour (PH) rate of $42 million/hour, of around $14Read More

Sydney's frozen harbor.

Mayor Clarke Takes Back the Port File?

March 13, 2019 at 11:52 am

When CBRM Mayor Cecil Clarke began mulling a run for the leadership of the provincial Progressive Conservative Party back in December 2017, he appeared on the CBC’s Information Morning Cape Breton and was asked by host Steve Sutherland if a win would put progress on the Port of Sydney containerRead More

Glen Innes Soldiers' Settlement Estate - receiving instructions in pruning, 1921.(

Photographic Collection from Australia [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Gardening Tips: Pruning Time

March 13, 2019 at 11:50 am

What to do this week With the prolonged cold weather, there was some serious pouting going on in my house. I wasn’t sure there even should be a column this week and maybe I’m still not certain. But if, like me, you are greatly cheered by a few days ofRead More

Fast & Curious: International Women’s Day Edition

Fast & Curious: International Women’s Day Edition

March 8, 2019 at 11:12 am

Note: In honor of International Women’s Day, I set out to profile Women Unlimited, a women’s group founded in Sydney in the early ’80s. I discovered the group had been formed from the steering committee of a conference held in Sydney around that time and the conference itself was soRead More

When the Emergency is Chronic

When the Emergency is Chronic

March 6, 2019 at 12:52 pm

On February 11, the government of Nova Scotia announced it was “pleased to see” that “Nova Scotia’s economic outlook continues to be positive.” The joy, expressed in a press release from Finance and Treasury Board Minister Karen Casey, was sparked by Statistics Canada’s January Labour Force Survey which showed theRead More

Source: CBC

Mount Cashel, 30 Years Later

March 6, 2019 at 12:50 pm

How many Catholics, I wonder, of those who continue to attend Mass at least weekly — praying, singing, listening to homilies and participating in the Eucharist — ever give serious thought to the ongoing and possibly greatest scandal in the Catholic Church’s history? Is it a case of “I’m alrightRead...

Editorial Content

Editorial Content

March 6, 2019 at 12:48 pm

Many years ago, when I was in journalism school, we were taught that the Op-Ed pages were something to which reporters should aspire. Getting a column or being tasked with writing editorials was the reward for having paid your dues (and honed your craft) as a working reporter. Even theseRead...

What News of Novazone?

What News of Novazone?

March 6, 2019 at 12:47 pm

“Hopefully, the [feasibility study by Chinese construction giant CCCC] will be completed by July and we will be able to fast-track construction for opening for business in 2019,” — Port of Sydney CEO Marlene Usher, April 2016 “If all goes well, we’ll be putting a shovel into the ground inRead More

Dwight Sipler from Stow, MA, USA [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Gardening Tips: Early, Leafy Greens

March 6, 2019 at 12:45 pm

What to do this week Right about now is when I finally get tired of frozen and winter root vegetables and start to crave a bite of some tender, fresh greens. Even diligent sprouting of lentils and cress do not assuage the appetite for leafy greens, though they are wellRead...