Halifax

Waye Mason For District 7

Well, no blog posts for a while!  Why you ask?  Because this happened today: Today I launch my campaign to become the councillor for the new District 7 Peninsula South Downtown. In just over eight months, on October 20th 2012, the citizens of Halifax Regional Municipality will have a chance to vote for change. As the councillor for District 7, I will provide the leadership, commitment, and vision that our community needs. Thank you for – read more –

Halifax

OPENFILE: St Pat’s decision reveals ethics deficit at HRM

Tuesday, HRM Council voted in a 13 to 9 vote to once again confirm the sale of the St Patrick’s Alexandra school property to the Jono developments. Staff had prepared a report, as requested, outlining options regarding, both in this case and the last decade of surplus school disposals, HRM’s failure to follow the policy it had enacted in 2000. Tim Bousquet at the Coast called foul on the staff report, stating that the either – read more –

Commercial Use
Halifax

OPENFILE: The New Bridge Terminal – Hope for Transit That Works

Right now, the best example of HRM “getting it right” is probably the construction of the new Dartmouth Bridge terminal. The current “terminal” deserves quotes around its description. HRM is replete with clusters of bus shelters, some heated, most not, with the grandiose designation of “terminal.” Anyone coming from a larger city, or accustomed to taking the Dartmouth Ferry, finds the label “terminal” misleading at best.

Halifax

OPENFILE: The windows are closed, again

Reality TV is still a big deal, right? Sure, sitcoms are ascendant (my favorite is Community, of course) butSurvivor is still on, The Amazing Race is a huge hit, and of course almost every show on the Food Network. As of last night, my favorite reality show is HRM Council. Watching them debate reconsideration of the sale of St. Pat’s-Alexandra School was an intense roller-coaster ride, like some CBC version of an old West Wing episode. The short version is: after making the – read more –

Halifax
Halifax

OPENFILE: HRM misses the point with the St. Pat’s-Alexandra decision

If you’re not familiar with Gottingen Street, the uproar around the St. Pat’s-Alexandra School site redevelopment simply might not make sense to you. For the tens of thousands who drive past the neighborhood every day going to and from work, the community is a mystery. In just a few decades, the street has declined from being a shopping Mecca bigger than today’s Spring Garden Road to a dead zone many choose to avoid.

Halifax

OPENFILE: Peter Kelly, Newsmaker of 2011

It seems inarguable that mayor Kelly was 2011’s Halifax newsmaker of the year, and not in a good way. Try as I might to find another angle, or another way to spin it, the most recurring theme this year in Halifax politics was the mayor’s role in the various scandals and leadership crises that plagued HRM for much of 2011. I didn’t blog much for the first three months of the year, but things changed – read more –

Halifax

OPENFILE: UARB decides for HRM. Again.

On Tuesday the great and powerful Utility and Review Board delivered its verdict on the shape of the municipal districts in the next election in HRM. The UARB—as its’ friends know it—had already decided on the size of council back in the summer. Downsizing council from 23 to 16 required re-districting, and the UARB had ordered HRM to report back with a proposal. The UARB is an appointed provincial board, where more and more power has rested since its predecessor – read more –

Education

OPENFILE: NSCADs gotta know when to hold ’em

If you like NSCAD, the current situation has been hard to talk about. It is kind of like having a friend—smart, accomplished, successful, arguably world renowned— with a gambling problem. A smart friend, who you admire, who is about to lose her house because she is running out of money and time. NSCAD has $21 million annual budget, a $19 million dollar debt, and has run deficits of $1.4 million last year and $2.4 million this year. The – read more –

Halifax

Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of Occupy NS?

I’ve always been interested in the way the public makes itself heard by the people we elect. When I moved back to Halifax to go to university, I dove right in to the discourse—from the Common Plan, to municipal reform, then going to the Dalhousie campus plan meetings—all before the Christmas of my first year. I remember saying to my father how exciting it was to live somewhere big enough to be able to do – read more –

Halifax

Finger pointing and passing the buck; just another day at City Hall

“Camouflage is a game we all like to play, but our secrets are as surely revealed by what we want to seem to be as by what we want to conceal.” —Russell Lynes Unlike the last month or so, this time, when I write “there’s nothing to report about council,” it’s not because our elected municipal government was meeting in secret, but because they didn’t meet Tuesday night. Nevertheless, council landed back in the news – read more –

Commercial Use

From the Facebook page of Peter Kelly, Mayor

This dialog, take from Mayor Peter Kelly’s public Facebook page, was captured around 9:55pm the night of November 11, 2011. Update – it has not been deleted, the nice folks at the Mayor’s office have only deleted the stuff on the top page, not the commenting on the Remembrance Day photo album.  That is now 280 comments long. I have taken care not to edit this, at all.  Not one bit.  I think it speaks – read more –

Commercial Use

Defence of the Status Quo nothing new in “Slackers”

I grew up a navy brat, fed a steady diet of Napoleonic War era novels like Hornblower, Aubrey Maturin, and Sharpe. But I also grew up reading Canadian novels from another era, the Battle of the Atlantic.  Hal Lawrence’s Bloody War and James Lamb Corvette Navy are two books that capture the experience of a colony becoming a nation, a token force becoming a world renowned navy. Reading these, I learned something later reinforced by Stephen Kimber’s – read more –

Commercial Use

HRM District Proposals – the good, the bad, the ugly.

The fat is in the fire now!  People are seeing that downsizing from 23 to 16 councillors will really redefine the representative districts boundaries.  People can see what they will gain, and what they will lose.  Staff quietly put the proposed boundaries for the smaller 16 representative council online late Friday, at quitting time or there abouts. This meant that alert internet nerds (like me) were able to break this story and have a field day dissecting – read more –