Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Sea change

Future site of the NSCC waterfront campus, Sydney. (Source: Province of Nova Scotia

A spectator (you know who you are) pointed me to this item from the tender for architectural and engineering services for the new Marconi Campus on the Sydney waterfront (before, I might add, it was also picked up on by the Cape Breton Post):

Climate risks include increased frequency and severity of storm events, sea level rise, larger seasonal variations in temperature, and the impact of such events on building occupants and the surrounding community.

I think bidders should be asked to explain, in 200 words or less, why we are putting new infrastructure on the waterfront in 2019.

On second thought, I think the premier should be asked to explain that.


Postmedia’s hard right

If you have yet to read this Canadaland piece about Postmedia’s concerns that its flagship newspaper — the National Post — is not sufficiently conservative and its plans to remedy that situation you really should.

Especially since Postmedia content is being piped into the Atlantic Provinces daily via the Saltwire Network which opted for the Postmedia news service over Canadian Press because CHEAPER. (You really do get what you pay for, sometimes.)

Postmedia CEO Andrew MacLeod.

Postmedia CEO Andrew MacLeod.

Canadaland reporter Sean Craig writes that as we head into the fall federal election, Postmedia “has given a directive for all of its papers to shift to the political right, in an unprecedented, centralized fashion.”

The story contains lots of information that will raise your eyebrows but the factoid that made mine practically jump off my face was this one:

Jordan Peterson has been working on a secret project out of the fifth floor of Postmedia’s offices.

(For reasons I cannot explain, I picture him at a huge pipe organ, like Chief Inspector Dreyfus in that Pink Panther movie, playing “Tiptoe Through the Tulips.”)

Read the piece, it’s worth it.

And then remember it whenever you read anything labeled “Postmedia” in your daily paper.


Cruise blues

Do my eyes deceive me, or has the Cape Breton Post finally started casting a critical eye on the cruise industry?

Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion, Sydney, Nova Scotia

Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion, Sydney, Nova Scotia

Not one but two stories in the August 12th edition of the paper raised questions about the value of cruise tourism to local businesses.

The first was a front page condemnation of the wisdom of chasing after cruise tourism by Kevin Hardy, who is closing his seafood restaurant on the Louisbourg Highway (a highway traveled by buses filled with cruise ship passengers on their way to and from the Fortress) after another disappointing season.

While Hardy reserves much of his ire for the CBRM’s high commercial taxes, he also calls out the cruise shippers:

Hardy said building tourism by focusing on the cruise ship industry doesn’t help most small businesses in the CBRM.

He said passengers don’t spend money on food because their tickets include meals.

“Adding a second berth won’t do anything,” he said. “The tourists aren’t spending money off the boat.

“Why would you buy fish and chips from Kevin Hardy if you’ve already spent your money on your cruise ship ticket?

“The chef on the boat has a three-foot prime rib waiting for you when you get back.”

Further on in the paper, reporter Keigan MacLeod talks to disgruntled Louisbourg businesspeople who say cruise tourism is doing nothing for their businesses.

The Post has previously done little more than cheer-lead for the industry, printing the bloated “economic impact” numbers (all based on cruise industry estimates of how many passengers and crew members disembark at each port and how much, on average, they spend) without question. It’s nice to see it awake from its slumbers and question the industry blah-blah but it’s too bad the questions weren’t asked before we spent $20 million on a second berth.


From the “No Kidding?” Dept

I’d like to say I was surprised to learn that federal bureaucrats were doing somersaults to try and find funding for Ben Cowan-Dewar’s airport in Inverness but I can’t.

Because I wasn’t.

Which isn’t to say I don’t appreciate this story — good on the Chronicle Herald’s Aaron Beswick for spilling the beans.