Talking With ‘Closing Sysco’ Author Lachlan MacKinnon

Talking With ‘Closing Sysco’ Author Lachlan MacKinnon

April 28, 2021

There’s a passage in Lachlan MacKinnon’s book, Closing Sysco: Industrial Decline in Atlantic Canada’s Steel City, in which a former steelworker, Adrian Murphy, describes what it’s like to visit Open Hearth Park, the greenspace that’s replaced the plant in the heart of Sydney: I was there a couple of times withRead More

The Latest on the Library

The Latest on the Library

February 3, 2021

Have you read latest CBRM Central Library study? Anyone outside CBRM reading about the private developer who has been given control over the project would probably write it off as fiction, but we know better, don’t we? The study in question is the service, programs and operational plan commissioned fromRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

April 23, 2021

Wrong side of the tracks? I was walking home from the grocery store the other evening and as I passed the site of the former train station on Dodd Street, I remembered a tidbit of information I’d picked up during CBRM council’s special meeting on March 31, the one heldRead 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

Who’s Afraid of MAID?

Who’s Afraid of MAID?

April 21, 2021

Ralph Surette’s April 3rd column in the Chronicle Herald hopes to convince us (especially those of us who are over the hill?) that now that a revised MAID (Medical Assistance In Dying) law has passed, a large portion of our population, “the frail, the elderly, the poor and terminally ill”Read More

What If This Is A Computer Simulation?

What If This Is A Computer Simulation?

April 14, 2021

There’s a wonderful pair of linked episodes in Star Trek: The Next Generation which, together, raise some deep and interesting philosophical questions with deep ethical implications. Both episodes take place within the confined space of the holodeck (a place in which the computer simulations are so real that crew membersRead...

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

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

May 7, 2021

Tattoo news This week’s story about Mildred Brown’s tattoos raised many questions for me, but one of the first that occurred was: how unusual was it for a working-class woman to have tattoos in 1929? Brown had not one but five, all professionally done. It’s a subject I hope toRead...

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

Premier Iain Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang, NS COVID Update for 27 April 2021.

COVID-19 Update: NS Shuts Down for 2 Weeks

April 27, 2021 at 5:57 pm

During today’s COVID-19 Update, Dr. Robert Strang and Premier Iain Rankin announced a province-wide shutdown or circuit breaker that will go into effect as of 8:00 AM tomorrow (Wednesday, April 28) and remain in place until at least May 12. “We are in a race between the variant and theRead More

NS Premier Iain Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang, COVID update 2021.04.26

NS COVID-19 Update for 26 April 2021

April 26, 2021 at 6:26 pm

The third wave is here and I thought it might be a good idea to bring together all the information I’ve been tweeting out piecemeal about COVID these past few days. Given the admirable job Tim Bousquet at the Examiner does covering the briefings — and the daily press releasesRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

April 23, 2021 at 11:00 am

Wrong side of the tracks? I was walking home from the grocery store the other evening and as I passed the site of the former train station on Dodd Street, I remembered a tidbit of information I’d picked up during CBRM council’s special meeting on March 31, the one heldRead More

Wednesday Short Takes

Wednesday Short Takes

April 21, 2021 at 12:38 pm

Hail to the chief Robert Walsh, erstwhile acting chief of the Cape Breton Regional Police Service (CBRPS) has been named chief. I’m filing that under “O” for “Of course.” On the plus side, if they ever launch a Family Feud: Municipal Edition, we’re ready.   Something’s brewing We’re getting ourRead More

Canappalachia

Canappalachia

April 21, 2021 at 12:36 pm

I‘ve been learning about Appalachia (beginning with how to pronounce it) through a variety of means lately and what keeps jumping out at me are the similarities between that region and our own (by which I mean, variously, Cape Breton, the Maritimes and the Atlantic Provinces). These similarities include theRead More

Who’s Afraid of MAID?

Who’s Afraid of MAID?

April 21, 2021 at 12:34 pm

Ralph Surette’s April 3rd column in the Chronicle Herald hopes to convince us (especially those of us who are over the hill?) that now that a revised MAID (Medical Assistance In Dying) law has passed, a large portion of our population, “the frail, the elderly, the poor and terminally ill”Read More

Unofficial Earth Day flag featuring The Blue Marble photo of Earth taken by the Apollo 17's crew. (Dcoetzee, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Earth Day Choice: Urgency or Complacency?

April 21, 2021 at 12:32 pm

Most people on the planet are trying to make a living one way or another. We all need the essentials of life and they all come from Mother Earth — food, clothing and shelter. Our current geologic time period has been called the Anthropocene because it is the age duringRead...

Common Eastern Bumble Bee By Ryan Hodnett - CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=77407413

Gardening Tips: Birds and Bees (and Berries)

April 21, 2021 at 12:30 pm

Editor’s Note: We’re dipping into Michelle Smith’s archives to provide timely tips for gardeners.   What to do this week If you are thinking about reducing the area of lawn you have to mow, or any other sort of larger landscaping project, you might want to do your bit to encourageRead...

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

April 16, 2021 at 9:45 am

Shots! I’m betting when you read that you knew I was talking about COVID vaccine and not tequila. That is a sad but I hope not enduring effect of the ongoing pandemic. I got my first AstraZeneca shot on Monday. On Tuesday, I had a sore arm and fatigue seriousRead...

Biotech Dreams

Biotech Dreams

April 14, 2021 at 12:51 pm

Ever since reading Linda McQuaig on Connaught Labs — the “public” lab that McQuaig argues, convincingly, could have helped Canada fight the COVID-19 pandemic had it not been privatized by the Mulroney government in the ’80s — I’ve been thinking about the value of publicly owned businesses and looking atRead More