Housing

Poverty Remains Long After Christmas is Gone

Poverty Remains Long After Christmas is Gone

December 16, 2020 at 12:49 pm

Christmas is nigh and the good and the generous have been hard at work throughout our communities, making sure that each and every family awakens to everything it takes to make the day a joyful one. They’ll have food and toys and clothing and all will be fine — forRead More

Homeless encarmpment, Northeast Portland (Photo by

Shelter from the Coming Storms

November 25, 2020 at 11:49 am

I don’t really know the situation today, but in the 1950s, working for the church especially as a secretary, I got to know those who were referred to as “stemmers.” They were the dedicated few who every so often rang the glebe house doorbell in search of a dollar orRead More

Rent control rally, Antigonish, NS, 7 November 2020 (Source: Twitter)

Housing in the Headlines

November 11, 2020 at 10:17 am

If writing about poverty, homelessness, food banks and the need for a guaranteed annual income (GAI) could solve any of the problems associated with such matters, I would surely have solved a few over lo! these many years I’ve been contributing to the Spectator. The battle cry at the momentRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

November 6, 2020 at 10:45 am

I Swear I discovered the CBRM was planning an in-person swearing-in ceremony for mayor and council not from CBRM communications but from a reporter for another news outlet I happened to bump into in front of Sobeys on Tuesday night. Honestly, as a form of communication, it’s not ineffective. TheRead More

All the Pretty Pictures

All the Pretty Pictures

November 4, 2020 at 10:25 am

I’ve been thinking about what constitutes “journalism” lately and I’ve decided it all boils down to asking one question — and asking it repeatedly — and that question is: “Is it true?” In no area is that question more appropriate right now than that of proposed “developments” for downtown Sydney.Read More

Hugh Segal (Photo by Milan Ilnyckyj / CC0 https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/)

Hugh Segal Wants to Turn CERB to GAI

June 24, 2020 at 1:04 pm

This past week, I listened to a podcast from the Conference Board of Canada’s “Bright Future” series featuring my old friend (meaning, someone I quote frequently), Hugh Segal, who has for years (since he “had hair”) been a fierce proponent of guaranteed annual income (GAI). Asked by host Michael BassettRead More

David Shankbone / CC BY-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)

Failing the Homeless and Vulnerable

April 22, 2020 at 11:20 am

“We need firstly some very basic things happening. We need access to portable toilets in our communities, so people can at least go to the bathroom, with wash stations so they can sanitize.” — Janet Bickerton, Ally Centre of Cape Breton, 30 March 2020, CBC interview   As noted above,Read More

Timely Lessons from Ontario’s BI Trial

Timely Lessons from Ontario’s BI Trial

April 22, 2020 at 11:18 am

I had started to write this column before I’d heard news of the horrendous shooting incident in our province. Nothing I could write would have any effect on those whose lives have been lost, those who were injured or those who are left to mourn. Least of all, would anyRead More

Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, COVID-19 Update, 19 April 2020

NS COVID-19 Update for 19 April 2020

April 19, 2020 at 6:21 pm

Daily briefing Today’s briefing began with both Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang sending condolences to the those affected by today’s live-shooter incident in Portapique, NS, and I can’t believe I just had to write that sentence, but here we are. Dr. Strang then announced five deaths related toRead More

COVID-19 Update for 29 March 2020

COVID-19 Update for 29 March 2020

March 29, 2020 at 6:14 pm

Editor’s Note: A story unfolding as rapidly as the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t lend itself to weekly coverage so the Spectator is going to experiment with a daily COVID-19 update. This content will not be paywalled, so if you find it useful, feel free to share it. I intend to continueRead More