Fossil Fuels

Donkin mine. (Photo via Morien Resources Inc image gallery http://morienres.com/photo-gallery/)

Nova Scotia Power Plans 2nd Round of Donkin Coal Tests

September 13, 2017 at 11:46 am

It may be dark as a dungeon way down in most mines, but the sun always seems to be shining on Donkin — at least, that’s the impression you’d get from the coverage of the coal mine in the Cape Breton Post. Take the latest front-page ode to the mine’sRead...

A Short History of Blame: Regulation by Internal Responsibility

A Short History of Blame: Regulation by Internal Responsibility

September 6, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth (and final) in a series of essays by Susan Dodd on Nova Scotia’s history of blaming coal mining accidents on the miners themselves — a history that finally changed in the wake of the Westray disaster. You can read the first and second andRead More

Springhill, 1956, Draegermen entering pithead. (Source: Nova Scotia Archives https://archives.novascotia.ca/)

A Short History of Blame: The Doctrine of Progress

August 30, 2017 at 12:04 pm

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of essays by Susan Dodd on Nova Scotia’s history of blaming coal mining accidents on the miners themselves — a history that finally changed in the wake of the Westray disaster. You can read the first and second essays here. ThisRead More

Miners at Dominion #6 Colliery, Cape Breton, 1920. (Source: Beaton Institute https://beatoninstitute.com/dominion-13)

Letter to the Editor: ‘Getting Out the Coal’

August 30, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Editor’s Note: The following letter was received in response to Part One and Part Two of Susan Dodd’s “A Short History of Blame” series. There is no doubt mining was a dangerous occupation, particularly where gas was close to the operating surfaces and loose stone led to cave-ins. A goodRead More

A Short History of Blame:  Reckless, Imprudent Miners

A Short History of Blame: Reckless, Imprudent Miners

August 23, 2017 at 11:47 am

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of essays by Susan Dodd on Nova Scotia’s history of blaming coal mining accidents on the miners themselves — a history that finally changed in the wake of the Westray disaster. You can read the first essay here.   hat weRead More

Photographic postcard of a miner operating a long wall machine. (Source: Beaton Institute Digital Archives https://beatoninstitute.com/)

A Short History of Blame: Accident Reports from NS Mines

August 16, 2017 at 11:40 am

y undoubtedly unhealthy interest in formal reports on industrial accidents started the summer after my first year of university when my family’s copy of the report of the inquiry into the loss of the Ocean Ranger and its crew—including my oldest brother, Jim—arrived at our house. (I’ve told this storyRead More

CB Post Downplays Donkin Safety Issues

CB Post Downplays Donkin Safety Issues

August 9, 2017 at 12:04 pm

News that the owners of the Donkin Mine have been hit with 29 safety violations and 10 compliance orders since operations began in February received markedly different coverage from the CBC and our local, pro-coal, daily newspaper. Here’s the story as it appeared on the CBC website: And here’s theRead More

New Waterford No. 12 Colliery/Westray

Donkin Mine Violations: Failures of ‘Learning?’

August 9, 2017 at 12:02 pm

“It was tragedies like that, unfortunately, that led to better health and safety regulations in the mines and made it a lot safer for generations to come,” said Bob Burchell, the United Mine Workers of America’s (UMWA) interim international representative for Canada, on the eve of a July 25 ceremonyRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

May 5, 2017 at 10:15 am

Economic Development I heard CBRM Mayor Cecil Clarke discussing economic development with Steve Sutherland on CBC Cape Breton’s Information Morning on Thursday. The mayor raised a number of issues I will write about in greater detail in next week’s edition — chief among them, his incredible admission that the CBRM has neitherRead More

By Frank J. (Frank John) Aleksandrowicz, 1921-, Photographer (NARA record: 8452210) (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

That ’70s Crisis

March 22, 2017 at 12:50 pm

“Tartan and coal” proclaimed the front page of the Cape Breton Post, rather cryptically, on Saturday and I couldn’t resist trying to guess what the headline referred to before I actually read the article: the world’s worst ice cream flavor? Sydney Academy’s Class of ’57 prom theme? Alexander Graham Bell’s terriers?  Read More