Author: Richard Starr

Chéticamp Act Two: The slippery slope of protected ridings

As discussed in part one, over the last ten years two boundaries commissions, one special commission and a Court of Appeal reference have wrestled with the question of how to improve the chances for Acadians and African Nova Scotians to be elected to the Nova Scotia legislature. It may have seemed that the matter was settled when the legislature responded positively to the finding of the court and the advice of the two most recent commissions. In late 2019, the legislature approved new electoral boundaries, including a handful of districts with populations falling 25 per cent or more below...

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Chéticamp Act One: the dilemma of “effective representation”

Chéticamp, the Acadian community on the western edge of the Cabot Trail, is a lovely place. The village’s website nails it in describing “a traditional Acadian fishing village situated along the picturesque Cabot Trail, nestled between the majestic highlands of Cape Breton Island and the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.” But picturesque and majestic natural beauty can only go so far, it seems. Chéticamp, with a population of about 5,000 in the village and its environs wants its own representative in the Nova Scotia legislature and is going to court in pursuit of that objective. Word last...

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Trudeau government’s Climate Accountability Act passes to the sound of one hand clapping

Accompanied by much damning with faint praise, the Trudeau government’s climate change legislation passed third reading in the House of Commons last week. A few minutes after midnight on June 23 – just ahead of the first record-breaking heat wave of the summer – the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act was approved by a vote of 204 to 114. Then it was off to the Senate where the committee assigned to conduct a pre-study had already concluded that the incoming Bill C-12 is “weak and will not lead to actual reductions of GHGs.” Flaccid as the act is, the...

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Update on vaccine nationalism: It’s time to think globally

Three months ago, as discussed here the media and political worlds were in a flap about Canada’s snail’s-pace COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Some claimed that we were well back in the pack, with as many as 51 other countries vaccinating at a faster rate. At best, according to the oft-cited Our World In Data, Canada was 17th, well behind leading countries Israel, the United Arab Emirates, the U.S. and the UK. Particular umbrage was taken about the fact Canada trailed such unlikely places as Chile, Serbia, Romania, Poland and Morocco. And among rich countries, self-identified as the G7, Canada was second...

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Zombie Federalism Two: Following the money to the usual places

My recent post on the controversial history surrounding the regional impacts of federal government taxing and spending promised to address claims by the National Post that the Trudeau Liberals are courting votes in Atlantic Canada with “Cadillac handouts.” The accusation stemmed from a single piece of data – that in 2019 federal spending in Atlantic Canada exceeded revenue collected by the equivalent of $6,400 per capita. The simple answer to whether that factoid proves the Liberals are spending big in this region to shore up electoral support is “no.” In fact, the dataset from which the 64-hundred-dollar exposé was...

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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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