1. “Guess you’re staying in Ontario.” Discuss.

That’s an inside King’s joke in the headline there. You’ll have to have like $8,630 a year to get it though if you didn’t already.

“The board of governors at the University of King’s College’s in Halifax has approved a proposal that opens the door to a $1,000 tuition hike over a two-year period for its popular first-year program.”


Didn’t Socrates say something about an education obtained with money being no education at all? I don’t know if he did actually, I just Googled “Plato education quotes money” so I could make another inside joke about King’s tuition fees and that came up in the images printed on top of pictures of his face, so you know it’s legit. I was hoping for a Plato quote from a cat. And then I spent like 30 seconds on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy trying to figure out if Socrates really said that or if it’s like all the fake quotes attributed to Mark Twain, and then I realized I don’t work at King’s anymore so I don’t have to know things about philosophy now. Or about anything really, being unemployed and everything.


Ha, and kids could pay $8,630 for quality research skills like that!

Seriously now, according to the article on, King’s had an 8.4% drop in enrollment for the 2015-2016 school year, following a 9.3% drop last year (hmmm, I must be working with a different definition of “popular” than CBC.)  Student Union president Alex Bryant calls this tuition hike a “blatant cash grab” and points out:

“King’s is disproportionately populated from students from wealthy backgrounds, that’s something we’ve acknowledged in our public documents as something we want to work on,” he said.

“We’re not going to be able to work on that while we keep raising tuition fees. Those students won’t come, they don’t apply because the sticker price will be too high.”  


Someone in the comments helpfully linked to this chart showing the average fees for tuition in Canada by province. The Canadian average for 2015 is $6,191, up 3.2% from last year. Nova Scotia shows the largest fee increase over the last year at 5.2%. At least we’re number one at something. They should make a chart for whitest university in Canada.

Hey, while I was Googling around trying to make jokes about ye olde sons of Anglicans, I found this site which has some interesting documents and numbers from King’s College before those traitors to the Republic decamped to Canada. Apparently 46% of the Board of Governors from 1754-1775 were “merchants” and another 7% were “landowners/merchants.” Here is the board today.

Here is the text of an advertisement from 1754 which notes at the bottom that “The charge of the tuition is established by the trustees to be only 25 s. for each quarter.”

Here is some old-timey shade being thrown between Princeton and King’s over fundraising. “In reading that part of the Address you first gave us, I was considering whether a display of the Doctor’s Ability and Skill in Composition might not be the motive for this Republication-or to inform the Public, of the Place of his Birth, near Edinburgh, of his Connection with the Members of the University of Glasgow. The Contents naturally led me to think so…”

YouTube video

Instructional video on definition of “shade” for classically educated King’s alumni from “wealthy” backgrounds. Just kidding, everyone watches Paris is Burning in Sociology class.

2. MOAR buildings!

Meanwhile, over at Dalhousie (temporary motto: “At least King’s looks worse than us in the news right now”), a new learnin commons (typo but it’s funny.  Y’all gittin some larnin up in there?) opened due to a donation from the McCain family.

Dalhousie president Richard Florizone spoke during the event about how the space will help not only science students but all on campus, as well as people in the community, have a place to collaborate.

“It’s urgently needed and it’s such a thrill to see it become a reality today,” Florizone said.
Hey, remember when people in the community, particularly low-income people, “collaborated” in the clinic space so male dentistry students could learn, and then they only suspended those students for a month and wouldn’t tell the patients whether the man attending them wanted to chloroform and rape them?

I mean, look, it’s not my money, but I wish someone would donate tenured faculty positions or “adequate salaries for adjuncts” or even “subscriptions to academic journals for the library.”  Pretty soon we’re going to have all new buildings and no actual faculty to teach anything.

But cool, the rooms are sound proof. Now students have a safe space to discuss their drug deals.


3. If it’s brown, put it down

The first lines of this CBC article about a break in the Potlotek First Nation water main are appalling:

Black water, brown water, yellow water.

In the First Nations community of Potlotek, commonly known as Chapel Island, the colour of the water changes seemingly with the seasons.

A recent CBC news investigation revealed that “Two-thirds of all First Nation communities in Canada have been under at least one drinking water advisory at some time in the last decade…The numbers show that 400 out of 618 First Nations in the country had some kind of water problem between 2004 and 2014.”

“It’s absolutely outrageous,” said Cindy Blackstock, director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and associate professor at the University of Alberta. “That very absolute necessity of life is being denied to a whole group of people in this country as wealthy as ours.”

“You end up with a real sense of despair and stress in these communities,” she added, “and it could be alleviated by one simple promise…provide everyone a good glass of water, and stop discriminating in service provision.”

This is a great article on the hypocrisy of the “reflection pools” at the Human Rights Museum in Winnipeg.

“While the $350-million national museum showcases the ideal of human rights, aboriginal people suffer the deprivation of basic rights every day. As a stark example of this contradiction, the very operation of the museum – it’s use of water and electricity – infringes directly on our right to exist as viable communities in our homelands.”

Harper, of course, rejected water as a human right:

The truth is that a right to water convention at the UN would act as a counterweight to those who want to sell Canada’s water for profit and is a more likely explanation of Canada’s continued opposition.”

image from theportableartist
image from theportableartist

4. Reverse Vehicleism

Proof that cars are being unfairly maligned as aggressors! A PEDESTRIAN was ticketed after being hit by a car. This one incident of course proves that pedestrians were at fault all along. Yes, soon these useless flesh tubes will be eliminated and the world will be ruled by metal!

Hey, is 69 really “elderly” now? That’s like sort of my mom’s age (okay, not quite) and I don’t think of her as “elderly.” I mean, re-elect Harper and 69 probably won’t even be eligible for Old Age Security.

5. We are about as smart as dogs, but less agile

Three Halifax athletes will be participating in the canicross and bikejoring championships in Quebec. “Both sports involve dogs in harnesses pulling athletes or the bike.”

YouTube video

Guess this dog probably isn’t qualified to be a champion.

On Oct. 11, Canning firefighters and the Kings County high-level rope rescue team – including Canning, New Minas and Waterville and District crews – successfully rescued a dog that had fallen down a steep cliff on the trail.

Officials responded to the original alarm shortly before noon after the dog tumbled over a cliff, according to Canning Deputy Chief Jeff Skaling.

Fortunately for the dog, Skaling said, it had only fallen around 100 feet.

“It was able to crawl back up about 50 feet, but couldn’t get any further” as the cliff is almost vertical by that point, he added.

Clearly we need more signs so that tourist dogs will know that cliffs are dangerous!

YouTube video

Only needs $8,630 and King’s is next!

This headline cracked me up last week: “Two German hikers, one German Shepherd, rescued from McNabs Island.” Guess the German Shepherd was too young to shepherd.

Probably a tea house could have prevented that.

6. Let’s not mention the curse

As you can maybe tell, there’s not a lot of local news this weekend. (Actual text I sent today: “Maybe someone will do something racist before like 5 so I have something to write about.” OMG the race card, it is real!)

The Macdonald Bridge is closed to replace the deck segment, so that will put everyone in a great mood.

YouTube video

Calming topical musical interlude.

You can follow the progress of the construction on “The Big Lift” on Twitter. Hopefully that account doesn’t get overrun by pissed off drivers/bus riders. It could all go badly wrong.

7. God either hates or loves cats

On the one hand, a church collapsed on this kitty’s head. On the other hand he was saved!

He’s like a real life meme-kitty!


Omg, is that a little cast?

Quick! Someone put some clever/funny words on top of him!

(Suggestion: “Fuck you Tim Bousquet! Tampered candy did this to me!”)


1. Cranky Letter (asides) of the Day

From the Pictou Advocate:

The fundamental tenet of democracy is ‘One person, One vote’! That’s if you meet the rules the Harper government has imposed on many hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting voters.

It would seem that if you received your voter eligibility card in the mail (last) week (watch for it), you would be given the opportunity to vote at your designated polling area by just showing up with your voter card. Not so.

You must produce certain identification material before you will be given a ballot – never mind if you have lived in the area for 55 years and are known by the people running the poll and recognized by all of them that you are one and the same person as on the card and on the official list and live at the address on the official list.

The Harper changes require that you prove who you are by showing documents acceptable to them. Only then will you be given the opportunity to participate in the democratic (?) process of government by the people, of the people and for the people.

All voters should be aware of this Harper rule change and make sure you are meeting their rules. I write this to all the citizens in Central Nova and beyond who will want to exercise their franchise in this most important election only because of my personal experience at the special poll at the electoral office on Westville Road staffed by local people, of whom most were known to me and I to them.

This is not their fault. This is the fault of a government that does not use common sense to have election laws for voters that encourage and make it as easy as possible to vote. The result in my case was that a form had to be completed by me and the person swearing I am who I am (my wife) and yet at least four of the electoral office staff knew me personally.

So be prepared for the Election Day polls (advanced polls have already passed) and make sure you have the proof with you that you are who you are.

Mr. Harper’s democracy (so called) and Minister Pierre Poilievre (remember him?) said these changes to the Election Act were rammed through Parliament to make it “easier for Canadians to participate in the democratic process.”

You will be the judge of that absurd statement. Sadly, in many cases, it’s too late for hundreds of thousands across the country to do anything about. Hopefully, this ‘heads up’ will be helpful to those fellow citizens who would otherwise have had their say for their choice.

With the greatest respect for our democracy but not for those who tamper with it!

Jack MacIsaac, New Glasgow

2. Another letter

From the Amherst News Citizen-Record

As a Christian, I must be concerned with what all the political candidates believe in certain vital areas. Elections ought not to be about personalities and promises, which will eventually bankrupt our country, but with truth and the common good of man. There are many issues, but I would like to look at three very important ones.

First, what is the candidate’s view on abortion? No matter what some doctors and judges say, the Bible and common sense tell us that life begins at the moment of conception. We are all human, so I understand that mistakes are made, but adding abortion to an unplanned pregnancy is about the worst mistake any person can make. This procedure not only takes the life of the little one but leaves physical and emotional scars that a woman will never get over.

Thankfully, there is forgiveness and healing available in the Lord.

I know our politicians and judges have made laws regarding these things, but that does not make these things morally right or acceptable. History is strewn with man-made laws that should never have been made in the first place.

Secondly, what is the candidate’s view on homosexuality? We live in a somewhat free society and if people want to live in a homosexual relationship, they have that choice. However, what is happening in our country is that many within the gay community are trying to stop all opposition to their life-style, calling it bigotry, intolerance and gay bashing.

The Bible says nothing good about the homosexual life-style, therefore soon the Bible will be condemned as hate literature, and anyone daring to question this life-style will be severely punished. Because the homosexual movement has gained much political and legal power, many within their group say that the iron shoe is now on the other foot and will crush anyone who dares get in their way.

Thirdly, what is the candidate’s view in relation to the nation of Israel? Someone has said that if you believe the Bible for no other reason, then you must believe it because of the nation of Israel, for no nation has faced such trials and persecutions as Israel and survived for thousands of years.

In the Bible, God has promised to acknowledge and prosper those nations that stand with Israel and to bring evil to those that bring harm to this tiny nation, and history shows that God has made good on His promises. This is not to condone everything the Jewish people have done and do, but by and large the Jews are a persecuted people, and even today anti-Semitism is rising all around the world. I believe one of the reasons our country is so prosperous compared to other countries is our present stand towards Israel.

Hopefully this has brought a Christian and Biblical perspective to our voting.

Phil Gilbert, Maccan

El Jones is a poet, journalist, professor, community advocate, and activist. Her work focuses on social justice issues such as feminism, prison abolition, anti-racism, and decolonization.

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        1. Uh, now I feel like I have to clarify that I wasn’t being serious. Just in case anyone thinks I endorse anything in that letter.