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: 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


OccupyNS Eviction Coverage and Opinion – A Summary

Some reading for those that wish to know more: Start with Bethany Horne’s excellent summary of issues around the camp. Read Parker Donham’s summary of a Senseless and Unnecessary Use of Power.  Surf his site for more feedback. Read and listen to Tim Bousquet’s of the Coast’s interview with Mayor Peter Kelly, and then read Dan Arsenault from the Herald’s interview.  Both show the power and frustration of politico’s slavishly sticking to the talking points. Finally, we go back to Parker’s site to read read more


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 for itself, that the 193 read more


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 book on Halifax during the read more


What Should Happen Now?

Well, tomorrow council is meeting, behind closed doors, to discuss what the heck they are going to do now with the concert scandal report. What should happen is a process that is clean and transparent, free of concerns of impropriety and manipulation. The first thing council needs to do is move back into the public eye.  Not after a lengthy debate, and regardless of what the over cautious lawyers in HRM’s employ might say.  Peter Kelly is not a staffer read more


Peter Kelly – Take Responsibility

The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves. – Ray Kroc – founder of McDonalds Today has been another day full of media and discussion.  Many memorable moments, talking about the issues raised and the meaning of the concert scandal report delivered by HRMs Auditor General. Listening to Peter Kelly today, I was struck over and over again by the incoherent almost rambling defence he is mounting.  Others have written about this, at the read more


What is the Mayor’s job, really?

I think it is important to talk about the role of the Mayor in light of the damning concert scandal report released by the HRM Auditor General today. My friend John Wesley (citizen at large) was just on CBC talking about how the Province decided that the Mayor was a figurehead.  JW talked about the Mayor’s job being that of ribbon cutting and parade leading.  He went on to say the real culprit in this farce is Trade Centre Limited. read more


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


Construction, Economics, & Government Handouts in HRM

There are only a couple of arguments that the “pro-dev at all costs” folks kept throwing out.  The least compelling one was the argument that it has been twenty years since a commercial building was built in downtown. Buildings are approved all the time.  According to Peter Kelly, one million square feet of office space is approved for construction in downtown.  None of it is being built, not because the city “lacks moxie” or is “too negative”.  It’s because the read more