Troops of the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade going ashore to establish a beachhead. Bernières-Sur-Mer, Normandy, June 6, 1945 By Tylerweatherill - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=67783443

A Box Full of Books

September 11, 2019

My summer 2019 reading followed a truly strange and definitely unexpected path, one with an interesting and educational, if horrifying, twist that saw me become absorbed in the devastation and death of war. It began with a paperback, torn into two pieces and lacking a back cover, hidden away amongRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

September 20, 2019

Picnic for the Planet News that 250+ media organizations have pledged to do a week of climate change coverage in the lead-in to the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York on September 23 has made me vow to pull up my socks and make a point of includingRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

October 4, 2019

The Irvings The latest installment of Dynasties, the Canadaland Commons series on Canada’s wealthiest families, focuses on the Irvings and, as my sister said, “It’s the plot of Succession!” She’s right — only the Irving saga is weirder than the HBO series about an “American global-media family that is notRead More

Red dress, Potlotek First Nation, 9 June 2019

MMIWG: Two-Eyed Seeing

August 21, 2019

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a series of articles about the conclusions of Canada’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) inquiry. You can read the first one here, the second here, the third here and the fourth here.   How might reclaiming the rightful “power andRead More

Sculptor Timothy Schmalz with his work 'Angels Unawares' Photo: Facebook

Angels Unawares

October 2, 2019

Timothy Schmalz, a renowned Canadian sculptor, has a reputation for producing pieces of art that are influenced by the Bible, including “Homeless Jesus,” a sculpture of a man sleeping on a park bench, wrapped in a blanket and identifiable as Jesus by the wounds on his bare feet. The workRead More

"Friends," oil on canvas, by Jerry Weiss, CC by 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en, via Wikimedia Commons

On Friendship

September 18, 2019

Earlier this week, as of this writing, I lost a very dear friend and her death has made me reflect on the ethical dimensions of friendship. Most contemporary moral philosophers agree that there are three major ethical approaches in the Western philosophical tradition, utilitarianism, Kantianism and virtue ethics. Surprisingly, itRead More

Jail is…Great?

Jail is…Great?

April 17, 2019

When I saw the headline “Life in lockup“on the front page of Tuesday’s Cape Breton Post I was impressed — a full, front page story (and two additional pages inside) exploring life in the Cape Breton Correctional Facility? SaltWire actually doing a valuable “deep dive?” Excellent. And then I readRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

October 11, 2019

Chief Paul responds… The press release Albert Barbusci issued last week announcing his plan to establish a waste plastic-to-fuels plant in his “logistics park” in Edwardsville included the following quote from Membertou Chief Terry Paul: As active partners in SHIP, the reduced carbon footprint of our facilities is key toRead...

Bill and Melinda Gates (source: The Giving Pledge website)

Sharing the Wealth

June 5, 2019

You may have noticed that some American billionaires are actually anxious to give away some of those billions to help those who fall, well, billions short of having a half-decent chance at something even close to the good life. Are the guys with the big bucks “bucking for the finals”Read More

Other News

The Positive Change Jar

What Happened to Our Positive Changes?

October 2, 2019 at 1:04 pm

Writing this week about CBRM Mayor Cecil Clarke’s recent climate change op-ed, I had reason to go and look at his 2016 campaign platform — his “100 More Positive Changes” for the municipality. Imagine my surprise when I clicked on the link — which I’d saved as part of thisRead More

Oak seed/leaf.  Photo: Supportstorm - Own work, Public Domain https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8340734

Getting the Garlic In (And Other Pre-Freeze Garden Tasks)

October 2, 2019 at 1:02 pm

What to do this week With that nip in the air at night, it is time to think about planting bulbs. Especially those of the good Stinking Rose, otherwise known as garlic. You can plant garlic and other bulbs any time from now to the end of October. Sometimes youRead More

What the Court Said…

What the Court Said…

October 2, 2019 at 1:00 pm

A spectator drew my attention to the published decision in Cape Breton (Regional Municipality) v. Nova Scotia (Attorney General), 2019 NSCA 77. That was the CBRM’s attempt to get the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal to overturn the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board’s (NSUARB) decision in the case ofRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

September 27, 2019 at 10:06 am

Fact Box On September 18, the Cape Breton Post carried a short article under the headline, “Payroll rebates for Cape Breton metal fabrication company.” The story — a reprint of a Nova Scotia Business Inc (NSBI) press release — explained that East Coast Metal Fabrication (2015) Inc (ECMF) had receivedRead More

Rail corridor, second berth, Sydney, NS, 2019.09.25 (Spectator Photo)

Port of Sydney May Buy Rail Corridor Near Second Berth

September 25, 2019 at 12:08 pm

The Port of Sydney Development Corporation is “discussing” the possible purchase of “rail corridor adjacent to the second berth lands,” with Genesee & Wyoming (G&W), the US-based company that owns the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway (CBNS). Christina Lamey of the Port of Sydney confirmed the discussions forRead More

Rail Subsidy Rides On Port Development

Rail Subsidy Rides On Port Development

September 25, 2019 at 12:06 pm

“December will likely be the decision month about the future of a subsidy preserving Cape Breton’s rail line,” Cape Breton Post, 19 September 2019   Do you get the feeling we’re being allowed to listen in on a private conversation between Nova Scotia Business Minister (and Glace Bay MLA) Geoff MacLellan,Read More

Bean burger (cropped). (Photo by Maximilian Paradiz from Amsterdam, Netherlands [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0 via Wikimedia Commons)a

And Now, a Word from Your Planet: Burgers

September 25, 2019 at 12:04 pm

In my most recent Fast & Curious column, I mused about my preference for non-meat burgers that don’t masquerade as meat and a spectator pointed out that what I was actually saying was that I preferred whole foods to processed foods and that we happen to have an expert onRead More

Court Dismisses Whalley Appeal

Court Dismisses Whalley Appeal

September 25, 2019 at 12:02 pm

Former Economic Development Manager John Whalley’s civil suit against the Cape Breton Regional Municipality for constructive dismissal was the first (and to date, only) court case I have ever covered — but boy, did I cover it. I attended the trial in August 2018 (four full days, and a briefRead More

Kartoffeloptagning (studie) - 1911 By Jens Birkholm - bruun-rasmussen.dk, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=68613890

It’s Harvest Time, You Tubers!

September 25, 2019 at 12:00 pm

What to do this week With wind and cold in the forecast – and supposing you haven’t already been hit by frost – it’s time to get serious about the winter food supply. I mean, you‘d better start digging your potatoes and getting them down into the cellar. If youRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

September 20, 2019 at 9:30 am

Picnic for the Planet News that 250+ media organizations have pledged to do a week of climate change coverage in the lead-in to the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York on September 23 has made me vow to pull up my socks and make a point of includingRead More