Archive for February, 2022

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

February 25, 2022 at 10:34 am

Fiddling while the world burns? I don’t know about you, but every time I find myself doing something that does not involve contemplating the darker aspects of the Freedom Convoy or the horrible developments in Ukraine or the increasingly obvious manifestations of climate change, I feel like I’m being aRead More

Budget Workshop: Market Value

Budget Workshop: Market Value

February 23, 2022 at 12:24 pm

Watching the February 16 presentation to CBRM council by staff of the Property Valuation Services Corporation (PVSC) I was struck by how often the presenters — Dave Penny, director of roll data and maintenance; Adam Hanna, assistant director of roll and data maintenance; and Lloyd MacLeod, director of assessment forRead More

Budget Workshop: Everyone Hates Property Taxes

Budget Workshop: Everyone Hates Property Taxes

February 23, 2022 at 12:21 pm

Welcome to Part II of what has turned into a two-part series based on the first half of a two-hour CBRM council budget workshop. Just me, working my magic, folks. Those rising Nova Scotia house prices described in Part I led to a 10.8% overall increase in residential assessments acrossRead More

About Those Protests…

About Those Protests…

February 23, 2022 at 12:19 pm

I spent the bulk of my time this week thinking about property taxes, but as this short month draws to an end, it’s time to address a subject I’ve been actively avoiding: the so-called “Truckers’ Convoy.” Not having been in Ottawa or on the Coutts, Alberta border in person, I’veRead More

Wheat seeds germinating. (Photo by Oksana Lastochkina, own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons(

Gardening Tips: Stratifying & Scarifying

February 23, 2022 at 12:17 pm

Editor’s Note: I noticed the seeds on display at the hardware store this past weekend and realized it was time to bring back the gardener, so here’s a column that first appeared on 22 February 2017.   What to do this week This week I want to talk about stratifyingRead More

Letter to the Editor: Keep the CAP

Letter to the Editor: Keep the CAP

February 23, 2022 at 12:15 pm

Finally we are seeing common sense being applied in the Council Chambers of City Hall. Darren Bruckschwaiger, Earlene MacMullin, Cyril MacDonald and Gordon MacDonald are using the God-given common sense that the CBRM taxpayers cannot afford higher taxes whether in the form of raising taxes or lifting the CAP. NowRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

February 18, 2022 at 10:30 am

Whirlwind Tours I signed up for emails from Entrée Destinations because they promised “stories” from all parts of Canada — including Nova Scotia — and I was curious to see how they’d portray us. (Okay, full disclosure: I wanted to see how trite and clichéd their portrayal would be whichRead More

District Energy: I Surrender

District Energy: I Surrender

February 16, 2022 at 12:21 pm

This article is me, metaphorically waving a white flag. I have tried to get an answer to a pretty simple question — when did CBRM council decide to throw its weight behind a $38 million district energy project for downtown Sydney?  — but it has proved ridiculously difficult. The questionRead More

Remembering the Ocean Ranger

Remembering the Ocean Ranger

February 16, 2022 at 12:19 pm

Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the sinking of the oil rig, Ocean Ranger, off the coast of Newfoundland with the loss of the entire crew—84 men, my brother Jim among them. The Spectator is marking this anniversary by republishing the preface to my 2012 book, The Ocean Ranger: remaking the promiseRead More

What’s Not to Lichen?

What’s Not to Lichen?

February 16, 2022 at 12:17 pm

I received a press release yesterday from two groups, the Forest Protectors and Extinction Rebellion Mi’kmaki/Nova Scotia, with the subject line, “DNRR [Department of Natural Resources and Renewables] Survey finds more rare lichens in Last Hope forest.” The groups, as the CBC’s Michael Gorman reported this week, count about 50Read More