Voice+of+the+City
Saying goodbye to a changing city

Saying goodbye to a changing city

We need to encourage people to chase new opportunities, while welcoming those ready to make Halifax their home.
Halifax has many rites of passage.

No, Christians are not being persecuted in Canada

Church vandalism is not an excuse for religious leaders to spread fear.
I was late to the story on Easter Sunday.

Hiring white men in Toronto to tell our stories: A part of our heritage

Historica Canada shortlisted a local filmmaker’s Heritage Minute pitch on Lucy Maud Montgomery, then gave the idea to someone else.
Heritage Minutes: If you lived in Canada in the ’90s and had a TV, you’re probably familiar with them.

Employee abuse is a structural problem


The conditions for sexual misconduct are baked right into the operation of most businesses.
In the wake of every big #MeToo story, from Hollywood to Halifax, there is a temptation to figure out what went wrong. Who knew and did nothing?

Liberals pay lip service to feminism while failing survivors on campus, again.

To use feminist rhetoric taken from grassroots organizations to acknowledge rape culture on campus, and then block legislation that would support survivors is liberal hypocrisy at its finest.
As I sat in the gallery of the provincial legislature and heard Patricia Arab, MLA from Fairview-Clayton Park, paying lip service to feminist ideals while simultaneously arguing against legislation that students have been demanding for years, I felt sick. On the eve of International Women’s Day, the Liberal government had once again stonewalled legislation that would support survivors of sexualized violence on post-secondary campuses.

Take back the streets

There is growing recognition that we have to reinvent streets and undo the damage caused by the dominance of the automobile over the last 70 years.

Shift Conference Wednesday, February 28-Saturday, March 3 Dalhousie School of Planning 5410 Spring Garden Road free dalhousieplanningconference.webs.com The form and structure of cities is changing.

Trust has to be earned on province's education reforms

Teachers only have two options: sit back and let the government tear apart school administration and hope things are better after. Or fight.
Stephen McNeil’s government is looking to railroad Nova Scotians into an overhaul of school administration based only on some thinly supported recommendations from a partisan education consultant.

Work boots and Blundstones: Development in Dartmouth

The working poor are dug in and will hold their ground tenaciously even as the rents get jacked up by gentrification.
When I was a kid, they used to just leave stuff to sit and rot in Dartmouth. It has long been ignored as a treacherous wasteland.

End prison segregation now

Atlantic Canada has the highest use of solitary confinement in the country. Is this about to change?
“We won!” exclaimed the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, regarding the BC Supreme Court ruling January 17 against sections of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act that allow for indefinite solitary confinement. In the frustrating, protracted, and so-often disappointing battle for prison justice in this country, it is, of course, a win, and to be celebrated.

Politics and misogyny at the Nova Scotia Legislature

Three times I dove into politics with relish. Three times I left feeling a bit less as a person.
It is 1990. I am so young that my face looks like a blank slate in my official Legislature ID photo.

I know what support feels like, and now I feel it slipping away

Midwives are what new mothers need and deserve, so why can't this province offer them a reasonable compensation?
Can you imagine how it feels to be only 24 years old and you need to wear an adult diaper to catch the gushing blood dripping between your legs? Do you know how it feels to have cracked and bleeding nipples upon a rock hard chest, beneath a frantic newborn baby stuffed into a baby carrier with the tags still on it?

Halifax is smarter than Vancouver and it's time to prove it

Spot-rezoning was the beginning of the end for livability in Vancouver. Halifax is travelling down a similar and dangerous road.
When I left Vancouver a year ago to settle into my new life here in Halifax, I was so relieved to think of never having to speak in front of city council ever again. Seven long years of fighting for livability and affordable housing in Metro Vancouver left me drained, depressed and defeated.

Men, boys and mental health

Toxic masculinity can create a barrier to seeking help, with devastating consequences.
Recently I was on a hike with a male client who was sexually abused by his father and was currently struggling with chronic depression, an addiction to prescription drugs and under-employment. Walking side-by-side this particular morning, we happened across a bullfrog—likely injured from some predator—dragging a bloodied limb behind.

A very expensive welcome mat

An excerpt from The Mill: 50 Years of Pulp and Protest
In 1964, when he presented the mill as a “very pleasant” Christmas gift to the province, [Premier] Stanfield neglected to mention what the province was giving Scott for Christmas. As part of the deal, enshrined in the Scott Maritimes Limited Agreement Act of 1965, was the offer from the province to Scott of 230,000 acres of Crown land in Halifax County, on which grew some of the finest standing timber left in the province.

A case against holiday giving

The current model we have for helping those in need is broken.
It’s impossible to look around and not see that our society is broken—or to be invited to fix it, one can of soup at a time. Especially at this time of year, charity is presented as the best way to help those in need.

The problem with consent

Women’s role in sex is still primarily framed—in the legal system and in society—as gatekeeper to men’s desires.
When it comes to rape, the idea of consent is necessary but fundamentally flawed. It is primarily a legal term that has failed women in Canadian criminal law and its popular use in dialogue around sexual assault misses the point.

Lessons from December 6

One hundred years ago, warship munitions ignited and killed 2,000. Twenty-eight years ago, 14 women were killed at École Polytechnique. How violent must violence be to hold our attention, and become the catalyst for change?
There are some dates that just have baggage. December 6 has SO much baggage.

Citizens of the disaster

An extended excerpt from historian Jacob Reme's book on the bureaucratic limitations of the Halifax Explosion relief efforts.
Even as the fires raged on December 6, 1917, many Haligonians were seized by a sudden generosity. “Citizens came in large numbers ‘flocking’ to give us places to put people,” reported Frank Gillis, an alderman from Ward 2 in the South and West Ends and chair of the relief committee’s transportation subcommittee.

Student-led campout put divestment back on the table at Dalhousie

There are no more excuses, Dal. It’s time to divest.
A few days ago I addressed the Dalhousie board of governors on an issue that hasn’t been discussed in that room for three years: fossil fuel divestment. Students made it impossible for the university to ignore the issue any longer by staging a week-long campout on the quad in front of the iconic Henry Hicks building—where Dalhousie's president's office is.

Today I saw justice, if only for a moment

I watched my daughter stand up and speak out for all the other victims of human trafficking in this city.
Today I watched a young woman show up, prepared to testify about the atrocities that have happened at the hands of trash bags, abusers, modern day slave traders. Today I watched as a brave young woman stepped forward to speak out about Halifax’s “dirty little secret.”

Under-mining Nova Scotia’s protected wildernesss

The unspoiled nature that makes this province special must never be handed over to private interests.
I’m a Haligonian. And like most Haligonians, I’ve had to work pretty darn hard to find a way to stay here.

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In Print This Week

Vol 25, No 47
April 19, 2018

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