Author: Richard Starr

Memory Lane: When cutting sulphur dioxide pollution was all the rage

There was a blast from the past this week when Jennifer Henderson reported for the Halifax Examiner that the McNeil government is intending to let Nova Scotia Power increase its emissions of sulphur dioxide, aka SO2. This news emerged as a byproduct of the main story about approval by the Utility and Review Board of a modest jump in electricity rates to cover increased fuel costs. Turns out the proposed increase – about 1.1 per cent a year over three years – would be greater but for the willingness of the Liberal government to degrade air quality with more...

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Lowered political temperature bodes poorly for warming climate

The sweet sounds of reconciliation between the re-elected Trudeau government and the leaders of the oil-producing provinces, which began immediately after the fall election, are continuing apace. After an earlier meeting in Ottawa with Scott Moe during which he delivered a conciliatory message to the truculent Saskatchewan Premier, Justin Trudeau last week sent his ministers on mollifying missions to the lions’ dens of Calgary, Regina and Edmonton. Very little has come out about the Edmonton tête-à-tête between Jason Kenney and Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland. The news clips, which looked tame enough, were mostly about the now-settled CN Rail strike...

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Despite Sustainable Development Act rhetoric Nova Scotia coal use increases

I don’t know enough about our provincial Liberal government’s overall record on the environment to pronounce on it with any confidence. I have, however, been following their performance on climate change. I know how I feel about it, but finding the right word is a challenge. Perhaps adjectives like “duplicitous” or “contemptuous” are too strong. But consider this. A couple of weeks ago the legislature approved the Sustainable Development Act. Introduced and passed over a mere five sitting days, it was panned by the opposition as a step backward for overall environmental stewardship but touted by the government as...

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Post-election Reflection #3: Whatever happened to the Climate Emergency?

As discussed a couple of weeks ago, health care, identified in an Ipsos poll as the main issue, was barely raised by the main parties during the election campaign. Climate change, ranked number two in the same poll, came up more often – mainly to highlight absence of a credible climate policy in the Conservative platform. But since the election, discourse about climate change has joined health care near the bottom of the political agenda. Consider what’s been happening in the two-plus weeks since the election. Early last week, 27 young people from Our Time made news when they...

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Post-election Reflection #2: The alienated west

Trying to sum up the federal election results and reactions in Alberta and Saskatchewan moves one to aphorism and metaphor. “Cutting off the nose to spite the face” comes to mind as an apt description of the vengeful dispatching of every Liberal candidate between the Manitoba and British Columbia borders, leaving the two provinces without representation in the cabinet or government caucus. And the one about the guy who, convicted of murdering his parents, begs the judge for clemency because he’s an orphan, captures the reaction to the realization that the ballot box tantrum could well leave the two...

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Richard Starr, The man behind the Point

About Richard

RICHARD STARR has had careers as a journalist, public servant, broadcaster, political staffer and freelance policy adviser. He is author of numerous newspaper and magazine articles, appearing in everything from Atlantic Insight to Atlantic Progress. A lifelong student of Maritime history, Starr is married to playwright and former MP Wendy Lill. They live in Dartmouth.

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