Three youngish white men at a music festival. The man on the far right wears a Minor Threat t-shirt and cartoonish white sunglasses, and is singing into a mic on a stand. Two other people with festival bracelets stand beside him, mouths open in song also.
Jason Schreurs (right) and friends at the annual Fest punk festival in Gainesville, Florida. Credit: Contributed by Jason Schreurs


1. “The entire process was terrible”

A line drawing of a group of varied people, of different skin tones and genders, facing forward, looking very sombre. Above them are the words, "I was sexually assaulted and the police failed me."
Credit: Iris the Illustrator; models from Unsplash.

Yesterday, the Examiner launched a new series, in which survivors of sexual assault tell their stories, and describe how the police handled the investigations into their cases.

From today’s story:

I did report my case to the police. The entire process was terrible. Every officer I encountered was so insensitive. I was interrogated and made to feel like the situation was my fault. I went to multiple sessions with the police and nothing was done, so I dropped the case. 

For my sanity and healing process, I felt it did not make sense for me to pursue the case anymore. 

Click or tap here to read “Survivors in their own words: ‘I was interrogated and made to feel like the situation was my fault.'”

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2. Province assesses communities as high risk for fire — but doesn’t tell them

Caution tape is wrapped around charred trees, with yellow and green weeds growing in the foreground.
Fire damage on Bonsai Drive, just over a kilometre from Madeline Symonds Middle School, is seen on Monday, Aug. 21, 2023. Credit: Zane Woodford

If the province determined that your community was at a high risk for wildfire, wouldn’t you want to know?

“For at least 10 years,” Haley Ryan reports for CBC, “the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Renewables has been assessing communities for fire risk — but the results aren’t always getting to the people who would be most affected.”

Ryan interviews Kara McCurdy, “the lone wildfire prevention officer for the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables.” McCurdy is the person who’s done the assessments, and agrees the system could be improved. Generally an assessment is requested by a local fire chief or a community group, so the assessment goes to them — and then it’s their job to disseminate it.

“It is kind of a roundabout way to do it. You know, when you think of it, it’d be nice to have all this in place when the community is developed, period,” McCurdy said. 

The Summer of Endless Rain makes the Spring of Drought seem like a long time ago, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need to prepare for wildfires. We need to prepare for wildfires and floods.

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3. International students and housing

An architectural rendering shows NSCC and the Woodside waterfront against a cloudy but colourful sky.
A rendering shows the residence being built at the Ivany Campus, to the left of the main building. Credit: NSCC/FBM

International students are being blamed for the housing crisis, while also being among its most vulnerable victims, York University professor Tania Das Gupta said on a recent episode of CBC’s Front Burner podcast.

The episode opens with student Harshal Bhasgauri, who is trying to find a place to live in or near Toronto, so he can continue his studies in data science at George Brown. He isn’t having any luck — and often landlords don’t even respond to his queries. He’s even offered to pay six months rent upfront. “I’m super scared that I’m going to be homeless soon,” he says.

Das Gupta tells Front Burner host Tamara Khandaker that international students are “running into scams almost at every stage” — from the agents who inflate fees and pocket the difference, to landlords who pack them into illegal lodgings and charge them for services like repairing toilets. She also notes that international students often serve as migrant labour as well.

Asked about Housing Minister Sean Fraser’s comments that the number of international students should be capped, Das Gupta said:

I think that this is a very tricky thing. Students are being talked about as though they’re commodities. There’s not much consultation with the international students themselves. My concern is that we are linking immigration and immigrants to the housing crisis, and my feeling is that this reeks of racism. You know, just like in the past, we’ve heard of arguments where we’ve linked immigrants to various social problems like poverty, like unemployment to disease and these kinds of things. So, there are two different issues housing and immigration. And yes, migrants and immigrants are also suffering because of the housing crisis, but they are also being scapegoated for the housing costs that are inflated right now…

I would rather put the emphasis on creating affordable housing and also regulating these scam artists and these scam private colleges that take advantage of students and so on. I think the government needs to wake up and regulate them and have more inspections of these institutions rather than to put caps on on students.

Because even if we put caps on students, those problems would continue. It doesn’t
mean that more housing, more affordable housing is being created.

Now that we have had nearly three decades with essentially no social housing built, the onslaught of opinion pieces on the foolishness of any public role in housing is in full swing: don’t you dare even think about it.

I saw a particularly fine — if wildly laughable — example of the genre in the Financial Post last week, by columnist and U.S.-billionaire-funded right-wing Fraser Instituted-funded cadre William Watson.

The main reason we have a housing crisis, you see, is that governments have made it impossible for landlords to make a living, and the culture as a whole excoriates them, so nobody wants to own rental housing anymore.

Uh, OK.

Watson writes:

If anyone has ever seen a news report, especially on CBC, in which the landlord’s side of the story is told fairly, and the difficulty of dealing with deadbeat or destructive tenants is given appropriate weight, please let me know. I watch a lot of news and I’ve never seen it — no doubt because reporters are more likely to be tenants than landlords.

I mean, I wrote a Morning File bit a while back on how landlord associations feed sob stories to media, and media outlets gladly oblige.

Maybe Watson’s problem is he is “watching news” instead of, you know, reading. He might have noticed CBC stories sympathetic to landlords, like this one, or this one, or this one, or this one. I know. Research is hard. Maybe Watson couldn’t find the stories because Facebook won’t allow links to Canadian news sources.

Are reporters more likely to be tenants than landlords? No clue. Why bother with facts when you can just assume? And what happened to the media elite trope?

Getting to the core of the argument though, the main issue is “social justice warriors”:

Of course we have a rental housing crisis. Who in their right mind would want to be a landlord these days? Social justice warriors are all over you for making your living by ripping off poor people — which is actually a terrible way to make a living since poor people have so little to rip off. And governments are all over you enforcing zoning and construction codes and, in five provinces, imposing outright ceilings on the price of the product you’re trying to sell. Usually there are escape clauses that allow you to raise rents when you’ve undertaken various kinds of improvements. But you’ve got to argue these before a tribunal that has your economic fate in its hands and is unlikely to be staffed by people sympathetic to the entrepreneurial class.

The word “splutter” comes to mind.

What’s the solution? Well, Watson knows what it isn’t:

The one thing we don’t need is the federal government to start building houses or apartments, as seems to be the at least implicit object of much TV commentary… We have a housing market. It lets buyers and sellers make their own choices. Let’s let them do that.

Free market solutions all around. Let’s take a drink.

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4. Trans kids are victims of a “dirty battle in our culture wars”

A middle-aged white man with salt-and-pepper hair and a beard, stands at a microphone while people behind him smile and applaud.
Thomas Mulcair appearing with NDP candidates in August 2015. Credit: By Asclepias – This file has been extracted from another file, CC BY 3.0,

Tom Mulcair may have been a wishy-washy politician with a rictus grin who led the NDP to federal electoral disaster, but there is nothing wishy-washy about his recent CTV commentary on provincial politicians using trans kids as political tools.

Mulcair refers to the “pathetic, ham-fisted campaign of New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs” and calls efforts to forcibly out trans kids a “particularly dirty battle in our culture wars.”

It’s worth reading Mulcair’s piece in full, but I will quote from its last few paragraphs here:

Social cohesion requires understanding and respect. Dividing people one against the other is much easier and it works!

LGBTQ2S+ issues are complex. Just the terminology can be daunting. But society is evolving in its understanding of those complexities. Debates that were held in Parliament not so long ago, as to who can use which washroom, will probably appear quaint in a couple of generations.

In the meantime, as long as there is a political advantage to be gained playing to fears, prejudice and the unknown there will be people like Scott Moe, Blaine Higgs and Pierre Poilievre who’ll try to profit politically. They’ll claim that they’re doing something noble. They’re not fooling anyone. All they’re doing is promoting discrimination and intolerance in the hope of winning votes and it’s ignoble.

Halifax-based lawyer David Fraser noted on Mastodon last week that’s what missing from all the sound bites in stories about parents’ rights is that “children’s rights… prevail over ‘parental rights.’ A kid who wants to exclude parents from an important, deeply personal issue is exercising their human and Charter rights.”

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5. Sure, why not mine copper in CBRM?

A "Location & Infrastructure" map showing parts of Sydney and North Sydney, with labels including "Maritime climate amenable to year round operations" and "Paved, Government maintained roads."
Slide from a Nova Copper presentation on a new mine, as it appeared in the Cape Breton Spectator.

In the Cape Breton Spectator, Mary Campbell takes a look at a proposal that would see CBRM selling land it owns for a copper mining operation.

There is a lot going on in this piece, from how the item snuck onto the CBRM council agenda, to the terrible proposed terms, to some of the absurd claims of the proponents.

Here is a taste:

The company actually begins its corporate presentation with assurances about its commitment to “continuously exceed ESG [environmental, social and governance] targets and initiatives set for the mining industry,” for example, that its mine will be within 15 km of “rail and three deep–sea cargo ports with commodity terminals.”

This presentation is intended for “sophisticated and qualified readers only,” but would a truly sophisticated and qualified reader believe that this proposed mining site is within 15 km of functioning rail? (I mean, I guess you could truck your copper and pyrophillite to the Sydney coal pier then put it on a train and send it to the Lingan Power Plant but why would you do that?)

The presentation also touts Nova Copper’s “ongoing engagement with local first nations, communities and suppliers.”

But the members of Keep Coxheath Clean have had no communication with the company and if there have been consultations with the Mi’kmaq, MacDonald made no reference to them in his Issue Paper.

Elizabeth Marshall, an Eskasoni elder, told me on Monday that the first she had heard about the project was when it appeared on Tuesday’s meeting agenda.

Like the Examiner, the Cape Breton Spectator is solid local journalism supported by readers, and I encourage you to subscribe.

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Scream Therapy: Talking punk and mental health with Jason Schreurs

Three youngish men at a music festival. The man on the far right wears a Minor Threat t-shirt and cartoonish white sunglasses, and is singing into a mic on a stand. Two other people with festival bracelets stand beside him, mouths open in song also.
Jason Schreurs (right) and friends at the annual Fest punk festival in Gainesville, Florida. Credit: Contributed by Jason Schreurs

This item mentions sexual abuse and suicidal thoughts.

“Punk rock saved my life,” Jason Schreurs writes in his new book, Scream Therapy: A Punk Journey Through Mental Health.

Schreurs, who lives in B.C., is in Halifax reading from the book and taking part in a Q&A on mental health and punk at the Central Library on Friday. Saturday he will be at the Halifax Anarchist Book Fair, and reading at a post-fair all-ages show at the skatepark on the Common (details below).

A longtime mainstay of the Victoria punk scene, as a performer, fan, music writer, and distributor, Schreurs was diagnosed with bipolar at age 46, after a 19-day psychotic break, fuelled by mania.

He had tried growing out of punk, working as the editor and publisher of a local paper, but that life was just not a good fit. In the book, Schreurs writes:

I… put unreasonable pressure on myself to become an upstanding member of society, whatever that means. The more I think about conforming, the more life jabs my ribs.

In Scream Therapy, Schreurs combines memoir with interviews — many drawn from his podcast of the same name. He speaks with people including mental health professionals from punk backgrounds and musicians about their mental health, the embrace of the punk scene, and the need for non-judgmental therapists and other mental health professionals from diverse backgrounds.

Cover of the book Scream Therapy: A punk journey through mental health, by Jason Schreurs. The cover image shows a beat-up, dented microphone and coiled mic cord.
The cover of Scream Therapy

Schreurs largely wrote Scream Therapy as a student in the King’s MFA in creative non-fiction. The book was set to be published by Toronto-based Mansfield Press, but Schreurs pulled out of the deal, opting to publish and distribute himself, punk-style. In addition to the book and Scream Therapy podcast, he also facilitates a support group for people with bipolar.

I spoke with Schreurs late last week, in advance of his visit to Halifax. This conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Philip Moscovitch: What do you mean when you say punk rock saved your life?

Jason Schreurs: I was living in a small town [Powell River, B.C.] where I didn’t feel like I fit in, and I didn’t know what I was supposed to be doing. There were people all around me that I didn’t understand or identify with. I found punk rock and skateboarding when I was about 13, and it just opened up a whole new world for me. It just gave me a purpose. Finding punk rock really grounded me. I could sit and listen to it in my room when I was feeling like garbage. I could put it on the ghetto blaster and could be skateboarding with my friends, and it was pumping us up. Without it, there was no energy, there was no spark. There was no life in some ways. And so in this sense, you know, metaphorically, it changed my life. It saved my life.

I do deal with bipolar and of course with that comes depression. And there’s been times in my life where I felt so low that… what else could I do other than go back to the music, and the comfort of the music? The inspiration of the music lifted me back up into a place where I felt like I could be a human in this world.

PM: A recurring thread in the book is your BC Punk Jams improv music tour, leading up to your psychotic break and diagnosis. Tell me about why it’s important.

JS: That was all about me feeling like if I don’t do this, I’m going to be at home and I’m going to kill myself, or I’m going to do something that’s just going to destroy my life or burn it up. And I’m going to cause all kinds of problems with my family and my partner. Bipolar comes with depression, which is really awful, and then mania, which is very erratic and kind of dangerous and risky. So, for me to go on that tour — it was my way of staving off this crisis that was coming. I didn’t even know what bipolar was at that point. So, I was trying to stave that off with the music. And it was working, and it was working, and it was working — and then it didn’t work anymore.

Any coping mechanism has an expiration date on it, whether it’s drinking alcohol or going to punk shows and loving it, with your friends screaming along and having the time of your life. Eventually, whatever you use to cope is going to crack and break if you’re in a situation where you’re having mental health issues or not able to manage your mental health issues.

PM: Were you surprised at how many therapists you found with a punk background?

JS: Well, I’ll start by saying that it was a complete left-field thing that I was able to find so many folks [to interview] that were part of the mental health field and had a punk rock background. And that became a really huge part of the book. You know, this idea that not only are punks looking for therapy and support, the folks they’re getting it from actually were punks or they are punks. And then it made sense. Like, of course people who are in social work are going to be punks, because you have to be sensitive, and you have to care about people, and you have to be empathic.

I didn’t really find a counsellor that I would consider to be a punk, but I found people that would use punk-informed therapy, which to me means therapy that is individualized — where they listen and they’re not just talking over you, and they’re not saying you should do this, and you should do this, and you should do this. As soon as a counsellor says that, I’m done.

I had this 70-hour a week job that was just eating at me in a corporate environment. I thought that was my life, but it wasn’t, and it was killing me. And so to have counsellors recognize that and say, “You don’t have to be working this job. Is it making you happy? You seem to be into this punk stuff, and from what you’re telling me, it’s like you’re going against all that. So why are you buying into that?

Now, where does the money come from? I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure that out.

PM: And you don’t have the corporate job any more.

JS: I have an amazing quilted life where I have two part-time jobs, where I work an hour or two a day, and then I come back and I write, I do my podcast, and I do all my book stuff. And I do volunteer work for mental health. I’m just quilting together this life that is my own life. And that’s punk rock. It’s the most punk rock thing that there is.

A middle-aged white man with short graying hair, wearing a ballcap and punk band shirt. He stands in front of shelves of books at a library.
Jason Schreurs at the Camas Bookshop in Victoria, during his book tour for Scream Therapy, in May 2023. Credit: Contributed by Jason Schreurs

PM: Tell me about how you used social media, especially Facebook, as a coping mechanism, and what your relationship to social media is now.

JS: My experience became delusional. I have a sexual abuse history from when I was a kid, and it just became my rallying point. I was going after people on that. I was a vigilante. I was protecting my friends and myself. It was like, I’m going to save people. I’m the saviour. And it got to the point where I was going after people on social media, and it got really nasty. I was starting these campaigns, like, if you’ve been sexually abused, message me. I’ll help you. I’m going to go after the person that did it. Like, how screwed up is that?

I had 4,000-something friends, and it was just all-consuming. Did I know it was a problem? Well, I knew how much time I was spending doing it, and that was a problem. I was neglecting my family, and my partner, and myself.

It seemed righteous. It seemed like I was doing the punk gods’ work. I was in this vigilante mode, to the point where I started to really feel ill and really get unwell around it. And even after I was diagnosed and laying on the couch — you know, sledgehammer-to-the-head style depression — I was still aching to go on there and say, “Look! I’ve been diagnosed bipolar. Look at me! I’ve got news! I’ve got news!”

At this point, I don’t do any of it at all. There’s a Scream Therapy Twitter thing, but there’s crickets chirping over there. There’s nothing going on. Ultimately, I think I’m way better off now. I don’t follow the news. If some celebrity dies, I find out a week later. I had to ask my wife recently, what is this QAnon thing people keep talking about?

PM: Facebook is definitely not very punk.

JS: When you’re at a punk rock show, they may be singing about these political issues and that’s a good learning tool, but the energy is what carries it. You’re not sitting around by a keyboard getting into fights with people. You’re actually learning and experiencing through this music, and through the screaming, and the thrashing, and there’s the moshing. All these things create this energy ball. It’s actually a very cool environment that’s safe, where people are taking care of each other. And to me, that’s so much more interesting and fun than whatever this thing is going on on the computer.

PM: You had a book deal, and I read that it fell apart. What happened?

JS: The contract was never signed, which is always kind of sketchy for me, and ultimately the person just wasn’t able to execute getting it out, and the release date was coming up, and I had booked a tour already and I was doing all the marketing and publicity work myself. At the ninth hour, I said forget it, I’m doing this myself. I know how to put out records. I know how to put on shows. This is exactly the same concept, just on paper.

Jason Schreurs reads at the Central Library on September 1, at 4pm, in Room 301. A book signing and Q&A on punk and mental health, with writer and former CBC Radio host Jo-Ann Roberts follows. Schreurs will also be at the Halifax Anarchist Book Fair, which runs Sept. 2 from 10am to 4pm, outside the former Spring Garden Road Memorial Library.

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A plethora of plates

A montage of a huge variety of licence plates from American states. They include one with a medical logo, one with a dinosaur, and one that says "University of Kansas."
Some of the more than 8,000 licence plates available in the United States.

A few weeks ago, one of my kids went to Maine for the weekend. After returning, he was chatting with someone else who had been to the state recently, and said something like, “Did you notice how many different licence plates they have there?”

Then, last week, I happened across a blog post by Jon Keegan called “All of the 8,291 License Plates in America.

It seems American states have thrown open the door to all kinds of plates.

Keegan includes a search box, where you can search for plates from every DMV in America. I found “Friends of coal” plates from Appalachian states, sheet metal workers’ plates from Illinois and Maryland, and baseball-related plates from New York, Mississippi, Ohio, South Carolina, and Montana (which has two of them).

And it turns out Maine is actually a bit of a laggard. It offers 49 different plates, including “Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital,” “Lighthouse Trust,” and, of course, “Lobster.”

Maryland is number one in plate options, Keegan writes:

Maryland ranks 19th in the United States with an estimated 2022 population of 6.1 million residents. But Maryland leads the pack when it comes to the number of license plates it offers drivers. I counted 989 distinct plates listed on the Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles’ website.

Maryland caving enthusiasts will be glad to know they can pick a “National Speleological Society” plate (although only one such plate was issued between 2018 and 2022). Likewise the “American Sewing Guild”, “Baltimore Yacht Club” and “Westie Rescue, Inc.” are among the organizations with only a single plate issued during this time period. Maryland “Barbershop Quartet Singers” did slightly better with three plates issued in this time period, just ahead of “Baltimore Rock Opera Society’s” two plates.

Hawaii has only a few plates, but they sure look good.

Other states have an Alice Cooper plate (supporting his music charity) and a Dolly Parton plate (supporting her children’s book charity).

Three licence plates, honouring Alice Cooper's Solid Rock teen camp (Arizona), Dolly Parton's Imagination Library (Tennessee) and something called "Patches Pal" from Washington, featuring a clown.

Keegan also gets into lawsuits over plates, and using them to political opinions. You may recall the Grabher case in Nova Scotia (or, mercifully, have forgotten it), but this isn’t about personalized messages. Back to Keegan:

Recently, a group of atheists in Mississippi sued the state when the governor changed the state seal to include the words “In God We Trust”, which appeared on the standard license plate design. The plaintiffs objected to the fact that there was no alternative design without the slogan without having to pay an extra fee for a special plate. The court found that the plaintiff’s free speech argument was valid, but recently the Governor introduced a new standard plate that does not mention God, rendering the case moot.

There are anti-abortion licence plates, and (far fewer) pro-choice plates.

The whole deal on these things, of course, is money. Charities and states benefit from people choosing the plates. And, in the U.S., horrifyingly, the cost of manufacturing the plates is nearly nil, since they are for the most part made by prisoners — slave labour.

Having all these plates with their own messages and URLs can lead to unexpected trouble.

Witness the case of the 800,000 people driving around with Maryland plates commemorating the War of 1812 that direct you to an online casino based in the Philippines.

Jason Koebler wrote about this for Vice a few months ago:

In 2012, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, Maryland redesigned its standard license plate to read “MARYLAND WAR OF 1812.” The license plates, which were the default between 2012 and 2016, have the URL printed at the bottom. 

Sometime within the last year, stopped telling people about how Marylander Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the national anthem “The Star Spangled Banner” after watching British ships bombard Fort McHenry in Baltimore during the War of 1812 and started instead redirecting to a site called, in which a blinking, bikini-clad woman advertises “Philippines Best Betting Site, Deposit 100 Receive 250.”

Nova Scotia has more plates available than I thought. The province’s “Licence Plate For Motor Vehicle” website lists 26 plates, but many of them refer to the type of vehicle, or designations including veteran, volunteer firefighter, and amateur radio operator (?). Interestingly, the list on the page includes the Gaelic, conservation, and Acadian plates, but the Mi’kmaq licence plate, introduced in 2018, does not appear.

Then again, Access Nova Scotia’s driver’s licence renewal page opens with, “Beginning April 1, 1994, all Registry of Motor Vehicles began issuing photo driver’s licences.” So maybe a five-year delay in updating the page is not all that long.

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No meetings

On campus

No events

In the harbour

02:30: One Blue Jay, container ship (145,251 tonnes), sails from Pier 41 for New York
03:30: MSC Sariska, container ship, sails from Pier 42 for Barcelona, Spain
05:00: NYK Nebula, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Saint John 
05:30: Atlantic Sea, ro-ro container, sails from Fairview Cove for Liverpool, England
06:30: Liberty of the Seas, cruise ship with up to 4,414 passengers, arrives at Pier 22 from Saint John, on a nine-day roundtrip cruise out of New York
09:00: Discovery, research vessel, sails from BIO for sea
12:00: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, moves from Pier 31 to Pier 41
18:00: Liberty of the Seas sails for New York
00:30 (Friday): NYK Nebula sails for Southampton, England

Cape Breton
07:00: National Geographic Explorer, cruise ship with up to 162 passengers, arrives at Louisbourg from Saint-Pierre, on a nine-day roundtrip cruise out of St. John’s
12:30: National Geographic Explorer arrives at Baddeck
18:30: National Geographic Explorer sails for Cap-aux Meules (Magdalen Islands)


I keep meaning to get to writing about the industrial pig farming collapse.

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Philip Moscovitch is a freelance writer, audio producer, fiction writer, and editor of Write Magazine.

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  1. My Dad used to have an amateur radio operator license plate on his car. It was his radio call sign, and his amateur radio club had a “phone patch” that he could contact by his radio and patch in to make a phone call, which was before cell phones (in my memory at least) so we would occasionally get a call from him where we would have to say “over” at the end of our sentences so he could reply. He was (and still is) involved in Search and Rescue as a volunteer communications person, and that was the main purpose of having the call sign plates. And also all your cool ham radio friends could radio to you when they saw you drive by I guess? I found them a little embarrassing as a kid but also was and still am proud of my dad’s Search and Rescue work.

  2. Weird. I read the license plate story with interest because I am one of those geeks who constantly says, “Oh look! They’re from ____.” Since we live half the year in Colorado where they have a lot of different plates, I got to wondering how many, so I searched and searched. Not even the DMV site could tell me, so I gave up. Well, wouldn’t you know it? Hours later, this from News Channel 9 in Denver popped up in my feed.
    Colorado has some catching up to do.

  3. People need housing whomever they are, where ever they are from, and for whatever reason they are here. The market won’t do it and William Watson from the Fraser Liars Institute knows that. Why does anybody even pay attention to that bunch anymore? We know government involvement works but, again, there has been a conscious decision made by politicians, the corporate sector, and the main stream media to talk about the housing crisis but not to solve the problem by proven methods.

  4. “International students are being blamed for the housing crisis”

    This sort of rhetoric is a thought-terminating cliché. Nobody wakes up in India or Nigeria or wherever else and thinks “I am going to spend an incredible amount of money and time travelling halfway around the world to make housing marginally more expensive for Canadians by adding to the demand side of the equation”. They are just doing what is best for themselves and their families within the legal avenues available to them.

    Maybe I am naïve, but presumably, part of the role of government is to put the needs of those people who are presently legal residents of Canada ahead of hypothetical future legal residents. We have a national housing crisis and despite the protestations of business owners that they “just can’t find workers”, the job market isn’t so hot right now.

    The idea that universities and other educational institutions should be able to enroll as many students as they want, and expect society to foot the bill for it simply doesn’t stand. These institutions are not sacred and can and should be regulated. If some of them close their doors or scale back – good. Too many people I know racked up enormous debts earning degrees that turned out to have no value in the labor market and will suffer the consequences for the rest of their lives. Too many people I know are in living situations they hate because of the housing shortage. When rent regulations end, I will see some of my friends leave Halifax because they won’t be able to afford it. People who have secure housing might feel differently about it, but for my generation homeownership is a pipe dream without serious familial wealth, and the prospect of spending the rest of your life competing in the rental market with international students is daunting. Go on Facebook marketplace and see some of the living arrangements that people are in.