Federal

Security screening at the Clinton Engineer Works. Lie detector test, circa 1945 (By Ed Westcott, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Why Does the CBRP Use Polygraph Tests?

April 19, 2017 at 11:50 am

In my never-ending quest to discover just what $25 million buys the Cape Breton Regional Municipality in terms of police protection, I recently visited the police force web site, which features this little collage of photos in its header: Yes, our CBRM cops, calling in expired plates (left), patrolling wooded areasRead More

Property Taxes: Exemptions, PILs & Lord Durham

Property Taxes: Exemptions, PILs & Lord Durham

April 12, 2017 at 12:00 pm

This week, in our ongoing exploration of property taxes in Nova Scotia generally (and the CBRM in particular), we’re going to look at exempt properties, payments in lieu of taxes (or PILs) and  stuff I forgot to tell you last week, not necessarily in that order. We’re doing this becauseRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

April 7, 2017 at 10:00 am

Like two ships that pass in the ice The port [of Sydney] has a series of natural advantages that distinguish it from other East Coast harbours. For example, it is the first port of call in North America for vessels transshipping from the Suez Canal. In addition it is aRead More

Painting by Mary Riter Hamilton, (cropped), “Isolated Grave and Camouflage, Vimy Ridge,” May 20, 1919 (Source: Library and Archives Canada, CC by 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

Vimy Ridge: Victory or Vortex?

March 29, 2017 at 12:25 pm

On 9 April 2007, after a $20 million, two-year restoration project, the Vimy Monument, the centerpiece of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France, was reopened to the public. In an elaborate ceremony also marking the 90th anniversary of the assault on Vimy Ridge, Prime Minister Stephen Harper told aRead More

Canadian Taxpayers Federation's Federal Director Aaron Wudrick, seen here at the 17th annual Teddy Waste Awards. (Photo by Matthew Usherwood, iPolitics http://ipolitics.ca/2016/02/27/canadian-taxpayers-federation-blasts-mps-for-voting-to-increase-office-budget/)

Who’s Afraid of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation?

March 29, 2017 at 12:15 pm

I had CBC radio playing in the background on Monday and an item about property tax assessments in New Brunswick came on and the next thing I knew, I was listening to Kevin Lacey of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF). I didn’t actually catch what he said but I can guess withRead 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

Port of Sydney Development Corp AGM, 15 December 2016. (l to r: Board chair Michael Merritt, CBRM Mayor Cecil Clarke, Port CEO Marlene Usher)

Port Board Drops Year’s Worth of Minutes

March 8, 2017 at 12:00 pm

I checked the Port of Sydney web site this week and did a spontaneous jig of joy around the old control center (which is what I call my office since I added the second desk and the map of the world): they’ve posted a whole year’s worth of board meetingRead More

Doomsday Clock, 2.5 min to midnight.

Disarmament or Doomsday? UN Responds to Nuclear Emergency

March 8, 2017 at 11:40 am

On March 27, over 130 states will meet at UN headquarters in New York to commence negotiations, mandated by the General Assembly last December, on a treaty outlawing nuclear weapons. This country, alas (see my January column, ‘Divided Nations: Canada Ducks Disarmament Challenge’), will be joining most of its NATORead More

The Ethicist: Transparency (Part II)

The Ethicist: Transparency (Part II)

February 8, 2017 at 1:35 pm

I have been a member of a number of ethics committees in local health care organizations for a number of years. Entering an ethics meeting at one of these institutions shortly after Christmas, I was surprised to see boxes of chocolates all over the staff room. When I asked whetherRead More

Transparency in Action: Destination Cape Breton Association

Transparency in Action: Destination Cape Breton Association

February 8, 2017 at 1:30 pm

Transparency is so rare in Nova Scotia that most people recognize it only by its absence. Our region is home to a number of organizations that rely largely (if not entirely) on public money and yet are not in the least accountable to the public. To me, they’re like bigRead More