1. Bridge shuttle bus
Halifax Transit has published its twice-annual tweak of bus schedules. The biggest change is a huge one: In anticipation of impending evening Macdonald Bridge closures during reconstruction, as of today, after 6:30pm Sundays through Thursdays, all the buses that normally cross the bridge won’t. Instead, riders will transfer to a shuttle bus.
What this means is that all Dartmouth-bound riders travelling on all those Spring Garden Road/Barrington/Gottingen corridor buses — the #s 1, 10, 14, 41, 61, and 159— will get off at Scotia Square and transfer to the shuttle, which will stop at the
Metro X MetroLink stop in front of the mall.
People who normally catch the airport bus (the 320) behind the mall, will now instead catch the bridge shuttle in front of the mall (at the
Metro X MetroLink stop), then transfer to the 320 in Dartmouth.
The shuttle will travel down the Gottingen route the #1 usually takes, stopping at all the existing stops en route to North Street. This means if you normally take the #52, you can transfer to the shuttle closer to the bridge. The published information doesn’t make clear if you can simply get off at the North Street stop by the bridge, or if you have to get off up the hill and walk over to the Uniacke Square stop — ask your driver.
If the Macdonald Bridge is open, the shuttle will go directly over the Macdonald to the Bridge Terminal. If the Macdonald Bridge is closed, however, the shuttle will swing over the MacKay Bridge, then stop at the Highfield Park Terminal en route to the Bridge Terminal.
All the above information works in reverse for Halifax-bound Dartmouth riders.
The shuttle is a big inconvenience, but there’s an upside: because the shuttle will run every 10 minutes, Halifax Transit is in effect implementing the last half of my proposal that the #1 be a high-frequency route, and the only route that crosses the harbour, while all other routes feed into it. Hopefully, through the bridge closures, riders will get used to the system, and managers will see that it actually works. When construction is over, the same shuttle can be extended all the way up Spring Garden Road, and the other buses redeployed elsewhere. That’s my dream anyway.
Metro X MetroLink stop in front of Scotia Square should make one proud to be Canadian. It is the best and most orderly queuing in all the nation, with a single straight line of dozens of well-behaved commuters extending sometimes for 50 metres along the sidewalk. But I’m sure those orderly lineups will fall into disarray once the shuttle starts stopping there.
It’s relatively warm today (-5 to zero), so get out and put salt everywhere.
The Chronicle Herald has locked out its 13 pressmen, and is now working the presses with managers and scabs. A union press release states that:
Management announced the lockout of the 13 staff at 4:30 p.m., shortly after it was informed that pressroom members of the Halifax Typographical Union (HTU) voted to accept monetary concessions.
Martin O’Hanlon, president of CWA Canada, the HTU’s parent union, said the company’s behaviour is bizarre and mean-spirited.
He also said it is grossly irresponsible of the company to lock out employees and hurt its brand at a time when it claims to be struggling financially.
“I have never heard of a company locking out workers offering to negotiate concessions. This shows how much they care about their ‘valued’ employees,” O’Hanlon said.
“All along, the company has been threatening to lock us out unless we agree to concessions. And then, as soon as we agree, they lock us out anyway. How do you deal with an employer like this?”
HTU President Ingrid Bulmer said the company’s goal is clearly to bully and intimidate staff until it gets everything it wants.
“Well I have news for the company,” Bulmer said. “Our members are united and they will not be bullied.”
The company is demanding a four-year wage freeze and a number of major concessions, including reneging on a binding commitment made in 2007 to provide early retirement to eligible long-term employees. This follows the elimination of 17 jobs in the newsroom last fall.
The union is willing to return to the bargaining table immediately. Barring that, the two sides are to appear before the provincial Labour Board on Tuesday for a hearing into a bad-faith bargaining complaint against the company.
The fight for workers today is no longer to maintain their wages, but to keep their retirement benefits. People made life decisions about employment and agreed to salary levels based in part on retirement benefits. It’s unconscionable to pull those promised retirement benefits at the end of a worker’s career.
4. Surviving racism
African Nova Scotian women talked last week about the daily racism they’ve experienced, and its effects on their health. This article is behind the Examiner’s pay wall, and so available only to paid subscribers. This article is behind the Examiner’s pay wall, and so available only to paid subscribers. To purchase a subscription, click here.
“The US is looking more like what we believed is the third world,” says Branko Milanovic, the former lead economist in the World Bank’s research department who is now writes about income and wealth inequality. Milanovic spoke at Dalhousie Friday, and Examiner reporter Moira Donovan was there. This article is behind the Examiner’s pay wall, and so available only to paid subscribers. To purchase a subscription, click here.
1. Scottish dormers
Following up his post on storm porches, Stephen Archibald draws our attention to another distinctive Nova Scotian element: Scottish dormers.
2. Health care
Because firing arbitrator James Dorsey and forcing through their own view of which unions should represent which health care workers give fuel to a court challenge, health minister Leo Glavine and the Liberal government have set back the streamlining of health services a decade, says Stephen Kimber.
Executive Standing Committee (10am, City Hall)—amazingly, the entire meeting is in camera, as the committee makes citizen appointments to city committees and discusses the future employment of CAO Richard Butts. The rumour mill at Toronto City Hall is telling me that Butts has applied for the open City Manager position in that city.
Accessibility Committee (4pm, City Hall)—here’s the agenda.
North West Community Council (7pm, Bedford Hammonds Plains Community Centre)—a public hearing for the proposed redevelopment of 771 and 773 Bedford Highway.
Pavilion at The Oval—after much delay, the city is offering the tender for construction of the pavilion at The Oval. Back in 2012, the city issued a request for proposals for design of both the plaza and the accompanying building, but with the sense that things were going too fast for design of a building, that tender was cancelled. Since then, the plaza has been built and named after a beer company that paid pennies on the dollars of the construction price, and the city went into super consultation-with-citizens mode for design of the building. Here are some pretty pictures of what is said to be the final design for the building, but I can’t check them against today’s tender offer because it is only available to those willing to pay 100 bucks for it, so I can’t give any more details. Closing date for the tender, however, is March 12.
No public meetings.
On this date in 1990, Buddy Daye became the first African Nova Scotian Sergeant-at-Arms in the legislature.
Air Pollutants across Canada (Monday, 10:30am, Room 304, Dunn Building)—Craig Stroud, from Environment Canada, will talk about “Trends in Toxic Volatile Organic Air Pollutants across Canada: Observations, Regional Air Quality Modelling and Source Apportionment.”
Senate meeting (4pm, University Hall, Macdonald Building)—here’s the agenda.
Medicine for Melancholy (Tuesday, 5pm, Dalhousie Art Gallery)—the 2008 director Barry Jenkins. “Twenty-four hours in the tentative relationship of two young San Franciscans also dealing with the conundrum of being a minority in a rapidly gentrifying city.”
Racial profiling in Canada (Tuesday, 6pm, Room 303, Student Union Building)—”The Association of Black Social Workers in conjunction with the School of Social Work, the Black Student Advising Centre and the James Robinson Johnston (JRJ) chair presents lecture series on ‘Racism is Killing Us Softly.’ The guest speaker at this lecture is Anne Divine. Facilitator is Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard.”
Biomedical Visions (Tuesday, 7pm, Dalhousie Art Gallery)—the first of four lectures over coming days:
Anyone who is interested in the intertwined histories of art and science, medical representation, the philosophy of science, the concept of nature and the body, the theory of art, the role of illustration in art history and the history of the book, the application of crafting techniques within contemporary art, the place of vision in biomedical research, the epistemology of drawing, theories of the imagination, anatomical dissection and anatomy labs, semiotics, aesthetics, and the optics of science (among many other related topics) will need to come to this copiously illustrated, and fascinating set of talks at the Dalhousie Art Gallery. Taken together, these talks point toward an understanding of the history and practices within biomedicine and anatomy, to which both the contemporary art and historical materials featured in Anatomica belong.
Cindy Stelmackowich, guest curator, is giving Tuesday’s introductory lecture and tour of Anatomica.
A group of people with mobility issues is planning to protest the sad state of Halifax sidewalks:
Our sidewalks are entombed in snow and ice. Getting around on feet is difficult and dangerous. Getting around in a chair can be nearly impossible. Those of us with mobility impairments are in danger. Bus routes are inaccessible. Curb cuts can’t be crossed because they are piled high with mountainous snowbanks. Being a pedestrian is unsafe for all of us, and this issue is disproportionately affecting people with disabilities. We say – enough is enough!
While we recognize that individual plow drivers and citizens are working hard, the city is not doing enough.
We demand the municipal government provide clear sidewalks! We demand safe conditions for pedestrians! We demand better use of our tax dollars!
On Friday Feb 27th meet us at the parking lot across the street from the Halifax North Memorial Library, 2285 Gottingen St. at 4:00 PM. At 4:30 PM sharp we will move slowly up Gottingen St, from the library to the corner of Gottingen and Falkland. Because the sidewalks are unsafe, we’ll be taking to the streets!
The group has started a Facebook Page and is posting many pictures of ice-blocked sidewalks.
In the harbour
I’ll have a preview of tomorrow’s city council meeting posted later today.