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 or choice staff presented council read more


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.


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 citizens from the community supporting read more


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.


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 when the concert scandal erupted in read more


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 was created in 1909. The board read more


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