Author: Richard Starr

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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Post-election reflection #1: So long to a Liberal monopoly

Last winter, in the midst of the SNC-Lavalin scandal, I confidently predicted during a session of political gossip that the Liberals would lose half of their 32 seats in Atlantic Canada. Lucky for me, no one forced me to put money on it. Last week’s election, with the Liberals holding all but six of their seats in this region came as a surprise, at least to me. Back in February I thought that the image tarnishing from SNC-Lavalin and the cringe-worthy India trip from a year earlier would combine with the shortcomings of the Liberal record to at least...

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Election 2019: Big parties downplay health care issue

Although polling has found that it ranks as one of the top issues for voters, health care has received little attention during the current federal election campaign. As Global News reported last week, a poll by Ipsos found that 35 per cent of respondents rated health care among their top three election issues, ahead of climate change at 29 per cent and affordability and taxes, tied at 26 per cent. The public opinion finding gave weight to complaints from doctors and other health professionals who lamented the absence of health from the list of topics chosen to frame the...

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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, a former radio and TV producer and weekly newspaper editor, and the author of three non-fiction books. Starr has lived in Dartmouth for more than 30 years.

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