Category: All Posts

COVID-19 and the art of managing the news

A week ago during question period in the Nova Scotia legislature the leader of the opposition accused  the Premier of delaying the monthly release of  the primary care wait-list because it contained bad news. A few hours later – and about a week after the normal delivery date – the list was released. And sure enough, the news was bad.   The number of names on the “Need A Family Practice Registry” increased by over 5,500 in September, a jump of five percent. But by the time the news came out  late Friday the legislature had adjourned for the weekend....

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For the record: although told repeatedly governments failed to prevent discrimination against disabled

Before Omicron and protesters took over the news cycle, Nova Scotia’s new PC Premier was facing criticism for his about-face on defending in court the Province’s treatment of people with disabilities. After initially declaring that people shouldn’t have to take government to court to make it “do the right thing” Tim Houston did just that to Nova Scotians with disabilities who need supports and services to live in the community. In October the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal wrote the latest chapter in a long-running saga, confirming a Human Rights Board of Inquiry  finding of discrimination in the Province’s  treatment of persons with disabilities. Houston indicated at the time his government would accept the  ruling as “the right thing to do, the human thing to do.” But those words turned out to be only half true.  The government is accepting the court decision to uphold the human rights complaint of discrimination by the province against Beth MacLean, Joey Delaney and Sheila Livingstone. But in a surprise move the government filed a last-minute application to the Supreme Court of Canada for leave to appeal the Nova Scotia court’s finding of systemic discrimination affecting hundreds of others.  In its application for leave to appeal to the SCOC the province makes a number of arguments, a key one being whether government or “human rights adjudicators” should be “the administrators of disability benefits.”...

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2021 Election reflection:Atlantic Canada leads move to the right

Elections Canada was still busy counting mail-in ballots into the weekend, so analyzing the fine detail of the mostly status quo federal election is a work in progress. However, aside from the disappointment probably being felt by many partisans of the three major parties – it seems they all hoped to do better – the most ominous development was at the political margins. The Green vote collapsed and the anti-vax, anti-immigrant and pro-gun PPC saw its vote total triple. In 2019 the Greens attracted 1,189,607 votes, 6.5 percent of the total. The PPC, on the ballot for the first...

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The old normal: Good news and bad on poverty and incomes

Economic fallout from the pandemic may change things, but the latest Statistics Canada data on income and poverty levels in Nova Scotia run according to form, with one major exception. The Canadian Income Survey (CIS) for 2019 shows a further drop in the province’s child poverty rate – a steep one. As described here, child poverty became a political embarrassment for the McNeil Liberals two years ago when the CIS revealed that while child poverty rates across the country were falling, they went up in Nova Scotia in 2017. The stigma eased a bit last year when the CIS...

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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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