Archive for November, 2018

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

November 15, 2018 at 1:15 pm

Dissecting a decision Three things struck me about a recent decision by Nova Scotia Privacy Commissioner Catherine Tully. The decision involved what was then called Nova Scotia Waterfront Development Corporation Limited (WDCL), a provincial crown corporation originally responsible for land development, primarily around Halifax Harbour. In late 2015, the WDCLRead...

Talkin ‘Bout Remuneration (Part I)

Talkin ‘Bout Remuneration (Part I)

November 14, 2018 at 11:23 am

Mayor Cecil Clarke’s contention that discussing council remuneration in camera (and treating elected officials as “personnel”) is a longstanding CBRM practice sent me scuttling to the “CBRM Mayor and Council” clippings file at the McConnell library this past week, where the first thing I discovered was that controversy over theRead...

CBRM Solicitor Says Council Can’t Discuss Pay In Camera

CBRM Solicitor Says Council Can’t Discuss Pay In Camera

November 14, 2018 at 11:21 am

If only they’d rung their solicitor. CBRM regional solicitor Demetri Kachafanas confirmed for the Cape Breton Spectator on Tuesday what a political scientist and a provincial municipal affairs spokesman have both already said: the CBRM council cannot go in camera to discuss its own pay. In an emailed response sentRead...

XV Ordinary Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment (Vatican Media)

Synod Response to Sex Abuse Scandal Falls Short

November 14, 2018 at 11:19 am

More than 250 bishops from around the world came together at the Vatican from October 3-28 for the XV Ordinary Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment. Also invited to participate were 30 young people, chosen (one assumes) for their engagement with the faith, representatives of bothRead...

Construction on CBRM boardwalk. 13 Nov 2018 (Spectator photo)

Under the Boardwalk…

November 14, 2018 at 11:17 am

I’ve been wondering what’s going on down on the boardwalk and yesterday I finally got off my duff and went down for a closer look. It’s rather startling:     I emailed CBRM spokesperson Jillian Moore on Tuesday to find out what exactly is being built and she sent thisRead...

Letter to the Editor: Breaching Governing Legislation

Letter to the Editor: Breaching Governing Legislation

November 14, 2018 at 11:15 am

In recent published comments, Mayor Cecil Clarke suggested that because the Municipal Government Act (MGA) was ignored in the past it is perfectly acceptable for our current elected representatives to continue thumbing a collective nose at a statutory mandate to follow the rules. What the Mayor and Council repeatedly didRead...

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

November 9, 2018 at 10:00 am

In camera The CBC’s Tom Ayers doesn’t seem to like closed doors any more than I do and this week he kicked one open (figuratively, not literally) at the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Ayers reported on Thursday that the CBRM Council has discussed its own compensation in secret four timesRead More

Top (Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert welcomes Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy Vice Adm. Mark Norman for an office call at the Pentagon. (U.S. Navy Photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Julianne F. Metzger/Released)
Bottom: Bottom: MS Asterix naval replenishment ship, post-conversion.

Of Ships And Men (Or Rather, Man)

November 7, 2018 at 1:08 pm

This week, I decided to focus my attention on two (luckily related) stories I’m interested in. Stories I’ve been following for years (eight years for one, one year for the other) but following in a kind of hit-and-miss way. Like I was watching Game of Thrones, but only when IRead More

Photo by Bogdan. [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Regulating Cannabis, CBRM-Style

November 7, 2018 at 1:06 pm

In the wake of the federal government’s decision to legalize cannabis (which happened on October 17), CBRM Council asked staff to produce an Issue Paper considering “the implications of the CBRM introducing more stringent provisions regulating the consumption of cannabis in public places than the Province imposed with its amendmentsRead More

Vladimir Putin and John Bolton, Kremlin, 23 October 2018 ( [CC BY 4.0  (], via Wikimedia Commons

Gallows Humor in the New Cold War

November 7, 2018 at 1:04 pm

Last November I lamented ‘The Lost Art of Arms Control,‘ the abject failure to build on the platform left by the last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, and US President Ronald Reagan, who famously urged Gorbachev to “tear down” the Berlin Wall dividing Europe into nuclear-armed camps. Nearly 30Read More