Despite Efforts, Government Has Not Yet Killed Downtown

Right now many Haligonians are afraid for the future of the heart of our city.  “Barrington Street looks like a war zone!” some cry.  “No new commercial buildings of note in two decade!” proclaim others.  “There is not enough parking!” say still others. There was even less parking than usual on Friday night, rather, there was fear, anger, miss-communication, and clear signs why the downtown we prize so highly is in danger of being undone by thoughtless bureaucracy and in-effective read more

The Most Important Election In A Generation: Will The Youth Vote?

Sometimes I write about politics, sometimes I blog about fluff.  Today I am writing not to ask you to vote, or tell you to vote, I am begging you to vote on Monday.  Especially those of you under 35 or so, and even more especially if you are under 25.

HRM and the Election: What Is Important?

In nine days, after next weekend, HRM & Canada goes to the polls. At one time it seemed like the nation would sleepwalk through another meaningless election and end up with largely the same result as the last few times. Out East, from a municipal point of view Ottawa might as well be the moon.  The palace on the Rideau is where during the disgrace of a Minister Raitt’s Press Secretery Jasmine MacDonnell we learned she was paid the same read more

Election 2011 – The Election in HRM So Far

As I said in my last post, I love me an election.  Something about the mechanics of it has fascinated me since childhood.  The issues, the debate, the gaffs.  Especially those.  Love those gaffs. Election 2011 is still brand new, but there is a lot to learn about how the parties see Halifax and Nova Scotia, and what could be in store for the municipality.

HRM and the Federal Election – A Resource

I love me an election, I do. I will have a longer post coming sometime early next week on my take on the ridings in HRM. Until then, I have put together a resource for riding maps, descriptions, candidates and their websites and twitter feeds, if they have them. You can find the Election 2011 resource here.

On Ticketing, Loans, and Economic Impact

Well, looks like a federal election is going to swamp the media for the next 45 days.  This means that the Halifax concert scandal will slide off the front page for the next while.  Before I go back to blogging about things I want to see in Halifax, as opposed to what I DO NOT want to see, I want to wrap up with a resource piece about how concerts work from a money perspective. I know Councilors and staff read more


Oh the questions I have! I am wondering if the new HRM Auditor General can tell us: 1 – how many other HRM cheques are written that are not put through finance dept?  If the CAO can get cheques written without oversight, why should I believe that these loans to Power Promotions are the only ones? 2- How many cheques are written based on a letter from the CAO that have no account to be drawn on, that are effectively read more

Could rail be the boost Halifax needs?

About fifteen years ago I attended a meeting at city hall on passenger rail. The presenter Transport 2000 and the proposal was modest.  About $25 million to refurbished Budd RDC cars, run them in and out from Bedford during rush hour only. A rep from Metro Transit was on the panel, but was a reluctant participant. His argument was summed up as “if you are going to buy the damn things, make sure you replace my aging bus fleet first.”  read more

Halifax Can Do Anything, We Just Can’t Do Everything

A wise woman once said “you can do anything, but you can’t do everything.”  It was my Mom, quoting her friend Linda, who was inadvertently quoting Hans Glint, the self help coach. This statement keeps coming to mind as Halifax heads into budget season and as the Canada Games come to a close, games that appear to have been successful by most measures.

FACT CHECK – how do Nova Scotia education funding and teacher student ratios rate nationally?

One of my frequent posters and I have been arguing about “selective use of facts” so I went looking for better facts, facts that are inarguable and impartial. Facts are actually not hard to come by. Three google searches found this page – Summary Public School Indicators for Canada, the Provinces and Territories, 2001/2002 to 2007/2008 at Statscan. Statscan uses the full amount spent on P-12 education, including money raised through any other source, municipal or federal.  The latest year read more