Have island, will rusticate

Interest in owning islands is on the rise. Are people seeking the quiet life or simply trying to escape societal woes?

Have island, will rusticateBorn and raised to the age of eight in the largest, noisiest, sharpest-elbowed city in Canada, I gave no thought to the pastoral life of country folk I’d occasionally see on CBC television during the supper hour. All that began to change in 1971 when my father managed to acquire a 10-acre piece of land…

Towing the party line in the Internet age

It’s worthwhile remembering that before the Internet, instant messaging, social media and meme merchandising, depending on where you lived, almost nothing was private

Towing the party line in the Internet ageOne morning in the late 1980s in the middle of Nowheresville, a young woman, prompted by a profound sense of neighbourliness, impressed a couple of city girls by introducing them to her new pony, all of 12 hands tall. At the sight of the hoofed beast loping down the stone path towards our family homestead,…

One patient, one record: the folly of Nova Scotia’s latest health plan

The plan seems to depend on methods developed in part in other countries that rank poorly for health services delivery

One patient, one record: the folly of Nova Scotia’s latest health planIs anyone surprised to learn that credit reporting agencies, Facebook and retail stores scan many sources and gather your personal information? Although many people have several credit cards, several loans and deal with many retail merchants, the credit reporting agencies have no difficulty aggregating your information, from all sources, to learn all about you. They…

Gigging it in the free world

The gig economy is gaining traction, for better or worse. Who needs benefits or job security when you can work on a high wire?

Gigging it in the free worldAre you weary of your reliable job? Do your paid vacation, company pension plan and full medical coverage leave you cold? Are you pining for the sort of precarious work that only self-employment can promise? Well, friend, you’ve come to the right place. Here, at GigsRUs, we won’t bore you with bromides about workplace security,…

Innovation is a lot like life, with all its ups and downs

Despite government hyperbole, small businesses know that innovation is difficult, costly and sometimes reveals unfortunate truths

Innovation is a lot like life, with all its ups and downsA handy term that invokes sweet dreams of big scores for small businesses everywhere is ‘innovation.’ Government officials, burdened with the otherwise boring work of economic development, are obsessed with it. Its mere mention, they think, virtually guarantees a contact high. Hey folks, their websites screech, roll up and read all about our “Superclusters Initiative,”…

Into the great wide open: Nova Scotia’s space ambitions

A planned spaceport on the East Coast would launch eight satellite-carrying rockets annually by 2022

Into the great wide open: Nova Scotia’s space ambitionsOn some glittering summer’s day, this decade or maybe next, you might find me rusticating on the back deck of my ancestral home overlooking Nova Scotia’s great, grumbling Chedabucto Bay – as deep and dangerous as the firmament itself. There, I will hoist a late-afternoon drink, cast my eyes toward the town of Canso and…

Greenhouse gas emissions on the decline in Canada’s electricity sector

Electricity sector is playing in reducing Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions

Greenhouse gas emissions on the decline in Canada’s electricity sectorGreenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in Canada’s electricity sector have declined by 34 per cent since 2005 and further reductions are expected, says the Conference Board of Canada in a new report released on Tuesday. “Canada-wide, the electricity sector is undergoing fundamental transformation. In each province, electricity generators are playing a leadership role in the move…

Pieridae Energy ramps up LNG project on East Coast

CEO Alfred Sorensen talks about moving the Canadian industry from its infancy and servicing a growing international market

Pieridae Energy ramps up LNG project on East CoastAlfred Sorensen is CEO of Pieridae Energy. What is Pieridae Energy and what does it do? Sorensen: Pieridae Energy is Canada’s only fully-integrated LNG company. We are looking to build the US$8 billion, 10-million-tonne-per-year Goldboro LNG liquefaction facility off the East Coast near Halifax to supply much-needed natural gas to Europe. In a nutshell, our…

Equalization inequalities must be addressed

Encouraging short-term stability at the expense of economic performance and fairness is folly when alternatives are available

Equalization inequalities must be addressedIn recent years, equalization and other regional subsidies have captured the attention of many Albertans. Much useful research has been done at the University of Calgary and by the former Wildrose Party. There has been extensive comment in Alberta’s media on Canada’s fiscal arrangements, including equalization. Issues connected with regional subsidies are important to all…

New coalition seeks to create a compelling LNG narrative for Canada

The group is hosting a session on Jan. 15 in Calgary to gauge interest. So far, nearly two dozen organizations plan to attend

New coalition seeks to create a compelling LNG narrative for CanadaCanada's oil and gas industry long ago lost control over the narratives that shaped the worldview of its oil sands sector. Sadly, that perspective includes much of Canada. The sector is constantly reacting to competing narratives expertly controlled by outside forces much more proficient at storytelling than we’ve been. As a result, Canada's global reputation as…

Bad public policy chokes out economic growth

Nova Scotia's continued ban on fracking isn't supported by evidence. And it has severely curtailed spending and job creation

Bad public policy chokes out economic growthWith an estimated 1.6-plus-trillion cubic feet of natural gas under foot, Nova Scotian policy-makers are choking out economic growth potential with bad public policy. Their hasty decisions regarding the not-so-new technology of hydraulic fracturing (or fracking, which has been around since the 1950s) were justified by claiming to have been based on incomplete, unavailable or…

School choice a good first step to quality education in Atlantic Canada

Adopting the Alberta charter school model would give parents and children more choice and allow them to enjoy the benefits of competition

School choice a good first step to quality education in Atlantic CanadaCanadians experience the enormous economic benefits of competition daily. For most consumer goods, over time, Canadians pay less and get more. Businesses compete to offer customers the best products at the lowest prices; those with offerings that consumers judge unsatisfactory are eventually forced to go out of business. As long as there’s competition, consumers are…

Halifax and Vancouver the gateways to a nation

A comparison of east and west portals to the Canadian adventure, then and now

Halifax and Vancouver the gateways to a nationI spent most of a recent week in Halifax. It was my first real exposure to the Maritime’s major portal of immigration to North America. Its 400-year story from Mi’kmaq homeland to contemporary cosmopolitan city in some respects parallels Vancouver’s much shorter role as western portal to Canada (about 160 years). It’s hard to know…

Federal carbon tax seems destined to fail

P.E.I. has added itself to the list of carbon tax opponents, following Premier Doug Ford of Ontario. And the list is growing

Federal carbon tax seems destined to failIf there ever was a federal carbon tax consensus in Canada, it's now dissolving. Rumours of its death have been floating for some time, but the recent Prince Edward Island announcement rejecting it has the feel of an unofficial invitation to its wake. Did the smallest provincial jurisdiction in the country kill Prime Minister Justin…