1. Rich woman says we should cut taxes on rich people
The Liberal government hired Laurel Broten, a lawyer and former Liberal Ontario cabinet minister, to review Nova Scotia’s tax system. Her report was published yesterday. It recommends that we eliminate the top tax bracket on those with incomes of more than $150,000, while doing away with the tax rebates on diapers and tampons.
In short, discredited Reagan-style trickle-down economics.
If you need any more evidence that the Ivany Report will be used to justify attacks on working people, here’s what Broten wrote about her proposal to do away with the top income tax bracket:
As the Ivany Commission emphasized, innovation and risk taking hold vital keys
to a prosperous economic future in Nova Scotia. The OECD points out that high
top marginal tax rates reduce the payoff for risk taking, so reducing them should boost entrepreneurship and innovative activity in the economy. 30 A boost to entrepreneurship—rewarding risk-takers, dreamers, doers, and builders—is exactly what Nova Scotia needs, and another emphasis of the Ivany report. Nova Scotia needs more people who will stay here or come here to create jobs, strengthen the economy, and build a prosperous future. An important way to do that is to rebalance the risk-reward imperative. This recommendation will provide $36 million in annual tax relief to Nova Scotians.
Too bad Broten didn’t recommend a tax break on Jagermeister, because we’re going to need multiple shots for every citizen in order to swallow this nonsense.
Where to start? First of all, “dreamers” and rich people don’t “create jobs.” You know who creates jobs? Customers. Regular people with everyday jobs who have cash to spend. It’s that cash that “risk-takers” figure out how to appeal to and “build” their fortunes on. That’s why we need good-paying, union-protected jobs for as many workers as possible: because those workers are the bedrock of the economy. Without them, our economy is a race to the bottom, as we rely increasingly on ever-lower paying jobs in whatever slave-labour hellhole we can find them in, and loot the collective social wealth that took decades and centuries to accumulate.
I note that Broten quit her well-paying job in Ontario and moved her family to Halifax despite our supposedly onerous high taxes on people like her, giving the lie to her argument that she and her fellow rich people are scared away from the place. In truth, like all people of her class, she has no problem working the political circuit to land positions to continue her privileged lifestyle. She hadn’t even finished unpacking before she was handed a $50,000 contract from the Department of Finance (that’s from the last fiscal year, ending April 1,) and being appointed to a SMU advisory board. Meanwhile, her husband, Paul Laberge, was hired as senior counsel for…Emera. Yea, that’s some serious risk-taking, better give those people a tax break.
2. Holly Bartlett
Yesterday, the Halifax police released their response to the Quebec City Police Department’s operational review of the Halifax PD’s investigation into the death of Holly Bartlett. I dropped what I was doing (my city council recap) and ran over to the police department for Chief Blais’ press conference, and then spoke with Holly’s family last night. As soon as this Morning File is published I’ll write an article about all this. Check back to the home page later this morning.
3. Driver charged
The 23-year-old driver who struck and killed a 74-year-old pedestrian in Portland Estates last month has been charged with failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk and with operating an unregistered vehicle. If convicted, he’ll be fined $693.95 and $176.45.
4. Wild Kingdom
“At one time, there were an estimated 7,000 moose in mainland Nova Scotia, but now that number is believed to be below 1,000,” reports CTV, which explores why the animal is threatened.
Seals sometimes rape penguins.
Parker Donham is a big fan of the new roundabout by the Halifax Common, and has an aerial photo of it to prove it.
2. Agricola Street
Stephen Archibald celebrates the redevelopment of the liquor store complex on Agricola Street, which now includes Cyclesmith and the parenting store Nurtured. ” I think of it as a hipster trifecta: bicycles, babies and booze,” he writes.
3. Broten will be ignored
Graham Steele pans Laurel Broten’s tax review recommendations as politically unviable.
4. Chronicle Herald
Some unknown person has created a Friends of the Chronicle Herald Newsroom page on Facebook. I highly recommend you go over there, like it, and follow along.
5. Linden Lea
I’ve written a couple of times about this the proposed Linden Lea development in downtown Dartmouth, without much reaction. But now, says Kate Watson, a citizens group has formed and come out in opposition to the project.
Active Transportation Committee (4pm, City Hall)—the committee will be looking at the Macdonald Bridge bike lane, among other issues.
Standing Committee on Resources (9am, Room 233A, Johnston Building)—Alan Grant, the Executive Director of Agriculture and Food Operations Branch in the Agriculture Department, will be asked about the strawberry industry.
Legislature sits (2–8pm, Province House)
Thesis defence, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Thursday, 9am, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building)—PhD candidate Courtney Weir Stairs will defend her thesis, “Functions and Origins of Mitochondrion-Related Organelles in Anaerobic Protists.”
Land Exploration Seismology (Thursday, 11:30am, Milligan Room, Room 8007, 8th floor Biology Tower, Life Sciences Centre)—Peter Cary will talk on “Known knowns, Known Unknowns, and Unknown Unknowns in Land Exploration Seismology.”
Rumours (Thursday, 2:30pm, Room 319, Chase Building)—Abbas Mehrabian, a mathematician from the University of Waterloo, will talk on “Bounds for randomized rumour spreading protocols.”
Adaptation (Thursday, 3:30, Fifth Floor Lounge in the Biology wing of the Life Sciences Centre)—Rowan Barrett, from McGill University, will talk on “The experimental genomics of adaptation.”
Eukaryotes (Thursday, 4pm, Theatre D, CRC Building)—T. Martin Embley, from the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, will lecture on “Investigating the Origins of Eukaryotes: An Evolving Synthesis.”
Climate Change, Oil Sands and Marine Navigation (Thursday, 7pm, Ondaatje Auditorium, McCain Building)—Julie Gelfand, who is the Commissioner for the Environment and Sustainable Development, will be speaking.
Medieval Islam (Thursday, 7pm, Room 1009, Kenneth C. Rowe Building)—Maria Subtelny, from the University of Toronto, will lecture on “Rules for Rulers: Political Ethics in Medieval Islam.”
Planetarium show (Thursday, 7pm, Rm. 120, Dunn Building)—”Andromeda and the Autumn Sky.” Five bucks at the door.
Thesis defence, Engineering Mathematics and Internetworking (Friday, 9am, Room 430, Goldberg Computer Science Building)—PhD candidate Farzaneh Naghibi will defend her thesis, “Serviceability Limit State Design of Deep Foundations.”
Has anyone else noticed a department name creep at Dalhousie? At some distant point in the past Organic Chemistry morphed into Biochemistry, and now into Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. We can’t just have Mathematics for Computer science, but rather Engineering Mathematics and Internetworking, because “internetworking” must trigger some google alert somewhere. The centuries-old field of Civil Engineering is now Civil and Resource Engineering because of oil money, I guess. I wish the university would avoid this continual degradation of the language.
Thesis defence, Chemistry (Friday, 10am, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building)—PhD candidate Laura Albrecht will defend her thesis, “Local Stability Analysis of Hydrogen Bonding and Other Non-covalent Interactions.”
Brains (Friday, 12:10pm, Room 104, Weldon Law Building)—Jennifer Chandler, from the University of Ottawa, will talk on “Brains on Trial: Neuroscientific Evidence in Canadian Criminal Cases.”
Empty space (7pm, CIBC Auditorium, Goldberg Computer Science Building)—Toronto artist David Rokeby will talk about “The Secret Life of Empty Space.”
Sonya Novkovic (Thursday, 2pm, Room LI135, Patrick Power Library)—Novkovic, from the Economics Department, will discuss her book, “Co-operative Innovations in China and the West.”
Henry Veltmeyer (Friday, noon, Room 227, McNally North)—Veltmeyer will talk on “Natural Resource Extraction as a Model of Development: A Blessing or a Curse—or an Economic Opportunity?”
Randy Newman (Friday, 2:30pm, Sobey Building Room 260)—No, not that Randy Newman. This Randy Newman is from the Department of Psychology at Acadia University. He explains:
Research in my lab combines traditional behavioral measures with event-related brain potential (ERP) and eye tracking methodology in order to provide a comprehensive view of language processing. There has been a longstanding debate in reading research as to the nature of phonology’s role in activating the meaning of written words, especially amongst skilled readers. My talk will focus on experiments that have taken advantage of the homophony of the English language to clarify phonology’s role in reading. Aside from the impact of phonology on reading, there is mounting evidence to suggest that acquisition of orthographic knowledge shapes phonological representations
. Given the primacy of spoken language both in human evolution and in child development, it may seem counterintuitiv e that orthographic knowledge would influence how we process speech. My talk will also discuss recent work in my lab that has begun to explore the nature of orthographic effects in spoken language
John Stackhouse (Thursday, 7pm, Alumni Hall)—the former Globe & Mail editor will talk on “Byte- sized democracy: Can the Internet save our democratic media and our political system?”
Over 800 scientists from around the world have co-signed a letter urging Stephen Harper to end “burdensome restrictions on scientific communication and collaboration faced by Canadian government scientists.” Here’s the letter:
An Open Letter on Science to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper
To: Prime Minister Harper
As scientists outside of Canada committed to international cooperation in confronting threats to the planet and human health, we urge you to remove excessive and burdensome restrictions and barriers to scientific communication and collaboration faced by Canadian government scientists.
Meeting today’s complex environmental and public health challenges requires the full participation of scientists around the globe. But recent reports (i, ii, iii) highlight a rapid decline in freedoms and funding extended to Canadian government scientists, which make it more difficult for them to continue research, communicate scientific information and expertise, and collaborate internationally.
A recent New York Times editorial, referencing the rapid development of the Alberta oil sands, went so far as to describe new communications restrictions on government scientists as “an attempt to guarantee public ignorance.”
Canada’s leadership in basic research, environmental, health, and other public science is in jeopardy. We urge you to restore government science funding and the freedom and opportunities to communicate these findings
“For more information, read this blog post, or the three reports referenced in the letter: The Big Chill: Silencing Public Science, A Survey, Vanishing Science: The Disappearance of Canadian Public Interest Science, and Muzzling Government Scientists: A Threat to Democracy,” explains the Union of Concerned Scientists, which wrote the letter and is organizing the ongoing collection of signers.
In the harbour
(click on vessel names for pictures and more information about the ships)
Elektra, car carrier, Southampton, England to Autoport, then sails for New York
Bahri Jeddah, con-ro, Baltimore to Pier 31, then sails for Port Said
Chesapeake Highway, Emden, Germany to Autoport
Zim San Francisco, container ship, New York to Pier 42
Seabed Prince, offshore survey, Montrose to Pier 27
Bess, car carrier, Emden to Autoport
Hope to see some of you at the John Stackhouse talk tonight.