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 NSCAD Board itself projects a read more


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


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


Facts and clarity hard to find in education discussion

Education continues to be a burning issue in Nova Scotia. The issue is vast, engaging people from the parents wait for the snow delayed “cut summit” between NDP Minister of Education Ramona Jennex no scheduled for Tuesday, to the 2,000 plus post secondary students demanding a tuition freeze during Wednesday’s blizzard. The snow is not the only blizzard affecting all sides of the education debate. A veritable white-out of confusion, misinformation and conflicting facts has obscured the debate.


Education crisis – can a “sustainable” education system actually educate anyone?

Education is suddenly a front burner issue in Nova Scotia.  In an article in Wednesday’s Herald, Premier Dexter had this to say: Dexter said the province has to come to grips with declining enrollments in schools. He said the first place the boards are to look for savings is in administration. “The simple reality of the matter is that we’re working with the boards, we’ve told them where we have to get to,” he said. “If we’re going to have read more


Where Did the Big Concerts Go? – Concerts in HRM Part 4

So, what is our goal?  Bring huge acts as tourism draws to Halifax and put us on the map?  Two thoughts: First – let us reflect on the words of my friend, Ben Pearlman.  He is King’s College educated, former Halifax Pop Explosion Talent Director and now promoter working at Collective Concerts in Toronto, one of Canada’s largest independent concert promotion companies.


Chronicle Herald | Hearing the Music in Opposite Land

Note: This article was published in the Thursday, April 15th 2010 issue of the Chronicle Herald on the Op/Ed page. Here we go again. Pundits, operators, bureaucrats and politicians across opposite land will mobilize to support or deride the newly revealed government handout for the Paul McCartney concert. Welcome to just another day in opposite land. In 2006, the Rolling Stones came to Halifax, and just before the show the media uncovered the Province’s handout to a private company for read more


High dudgeon in the arts and culture world!

Apparently some people were still talking about a $1.1 million cut to the Culture Division by the NDP government. While I was one of those people, I quickly called around and got the straight goods – most of the cut is through one time programs being over, or funding responsibility being moved to other divisions. So luckily I was able to talk about that on the CBC on budget day. However, I got a great email from Joella just now, read more


Education – the biggest crisis the next government will face.

I have tried to write some kind of editorial style blog post for days and days, and so far, no dice. I think I am so frustrated, angry and disappointed about the state of P-12 education in Nova Scotia that it is just to hard to boil it all down. Whoever wins the election on Tuesday is going to have to deal with the greatest crisis we have faced in decades. Education is failing across Nova Scotia. The public school read more


School Board Election Looms, Public Yawns.

Republished from wayemason.ca The school board elections are a short two weeks away.  In Halifax, the new, smaller Board means fewer seats, but the last few years of controversy seems to mean more interest and more candidates.  Election signs and pamphlets abound. It has been some time since I have written about education.  Call it a combination of burn out on the issue, and an interest in returning to anonymity.  Like dozens of parents, I spent hundreds of hours lobbying, read more