Tag Archives: Nova Scotia

Slavery and Reparations: African Nova Scotia, Canada and Beyond

Updated October 27

Dalhousie University and the University of King’s College, together and in partnership with the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia are pleased to announce an online event focused on the theme of Slavery and Reparations: African Nova Scotia, Canada and Beyond. This event is being held in preparation for the 2023 Universities Studying Slavery Conference, which will take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia (see below).

Monday, November 1 – 2-4pm EST & 5-7pm EST

Featuring panelists (2-4pm EST): Cikiah Thomas (Co-ChairInternational Working Committee, Global African Congress); Delvina Bernard (PhD-candidate, International Development Studies, Saint Mary’s University); Dr. Andrea Douglas (Director, Jefferson School African American Heritage Centre)

Keynote lecture (5-7pm EST) by Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies and the leading international scholar on reparations.

Register at http://register.bccns.com

For more information: https://ukings.ca/events/pre-conference-event-for-2023-universities-studying-slavery-conference/

Dalhousie University and the University of King’s College, together and in partnership with the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia are pleased to announce an online event focused on the theme of Slavery and Reparations: African Nova Scotia, Canada and Beyond. This event is being held in preparation for the 2023 Universities Studying Slavery Conference, which will take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia (see below).

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In Memoriam Robert Devet

A reflection by Tony Seed*

Robert Devet, 1954-2021

This reflection was written on October 13 and expanded on October 17. Some 400 people gathered at an outdoor memorial meeting to honour the life of work of Robert Devet held in Halifax on Thursday evening, October 14.

Robert Devet was born in Holland in 1954 to a progressive, anti-fascist family. His maternal grandfather, Hendrik Koch, was a family physician in a poor working class neighbourhood in Amsterdam who championed the rights of women to have control over reproduction and a political activist in the international communist movement who also moved to the Soviet Union for a period. After having been taken prisoner in 1941 fighting the Hitlerite German occupation of the Netherlands, he died in 1942 in the Nazi concentration camp Neuengamme near Hamburg. His name is on the national list of honour in the House of Parliament in The Hague. Robert Maarten de Vet was a son of Huibert A. de Vet (born in 1920) and Sophia Louisa Jacoba (“Pop”) Koch (born in 1918). Both his parents took part in the heroic resistance of the Dutch people in different ways. His father was an expert forger of documents used to get Jews to safety and his mother was a member of the communist party (CPN) during and right after World War II and worked on its newspaper De Waarheid. Robert was part of a broad wave of youth who came forward in the Sixties to oppose the racist and fascist South African apartheid regime and the American war of aggression against Vietnam. In a reflection, his sister Hélène de Vet writes that “especially his mother, but in a certain way also his father, were independent and outspoken people. They were neither conformist nor bourgeois. We like to think that all of us children have inherited some of this contrarian ‘family’ attitude.” [1]

Robert emigrated to Nova Scotia with his partner Maria van Gurp from Halifax in 1979 where they soon married. He worked as a civil servant with Service Nova Scotia in information technology. After Maria passed way and his retirement, without any formal background in journalism he began writing for the Halifax Media Co-op in 2012. In stylistic terms, his writing was simple, straightforward and to the point. He was a faithful interlocutor who conducted interviews with respect. Colleague Hilary Lindsay notes that he authored over 300 articles between September 30, 2012 and December 19, 2015. He was without a doubt motivated by the direction of the anti-social, neoliberal agenda of the Nova Scotia government, which he experienced first hand. His last series of articles for the Halifax Media Co-op supported the almost two-year-long strike of newsrooms staff at the Halifax Chronicle Herald, part of the Saltwire media monopoly, which he backed up by participating on the picket line of his colleagues.

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Mi’kmaq water protectors are winning some battles

For close to a year and a half, Mi’kmaq water protectors have had an encampment, Truckhouse #2, alongside the Windsor Causeway of Highway 101 in Nova Scotia to monitor government compliance with tidal water flows vital to fish habitat in the macro tidal estuary of the Avon River. Through their resistance and organizing work they are winning some battles.

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Nova Scotia: The right to work safely is essential to keep COVID-19 under control

November 2020. NSGEU President Jason MacLean addresses press conference on dealing with second wave of COVID-1

Interview with Jason MacLean, the President of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees’ Union by Workers’ Forum online newspaper.

Workers’ Forum: There are virulent outbreaks of COVID-19 across the country. Can you tell us what the situation is in Nova Scotia?

Jason MacLean: We have here the Atlantic bubble that makes our area a little bit more unique than other areas of Canada. Continue reading

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Shameless cartoon from la-la land

This is a shameless cartoon from the Halifax Chronicle Herald, owned by the regional media monopoly Saltwire:

Canada is deeply involved in a humanitarian crisis. The role of the Canadian government – and that of Nova Scotia, regardless of the relatively low number of cases (1,089) – is unconscionable. Internationally, it provides a good cop, bad cop human face for the Trump presidency and U.S.-led aggression. Nationally, in the last week 14,882 new cases were announced, 22 per cent more than the previous week. It is one thing to mock U.S. imperialism; Canadians deeply distrust American politics. The people of Nova Scotia face the same challenges as all of us and are fighting for the rights of all. The editorial message is: Long live the “Atlantic bubble” – an exceptional island of social peace exempt from a global humanitarian crisis.

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Nova Scotia: Demand for public inquiry into Northwood tragedy

The Need to Enforce Rights: Accountability is a serious concern. Introductory commentary by Tony Seed to an interview by Workers’ Forum with Jason MacLean, President of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees’ Union (NSGEU).

The lack of accountability on the part of governments at all levels for what is happening to the people is a serious concern. There is no doubt that decisions that governments have taken and are taking have created the conditions for the dramatic and tragic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health and safety of the people in Canada no less than the United States. Thirty years of anti-social offensive in health care and social services – with massive cutbacks, increased privatization, further concentration of decision-making power in ministerial hands and the marginalization and exclusion of the experience and opinions and demands of frontline workers, have wrecked the capacity of the health care system to face the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading

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The need to fix long-term care: Workers demand public inquiry into 53 Northwood deaths in Halifax

At the end of June, the Nova Scotia government announced it is conducting a review of the COVID-19 death toll at the Northwood Manor long-term care facility for seniors in Halifax.

Northwood Manor is a huge facility, with close to 600 residents and 400 workers caring for them, where 53 residents died this spring of COVID-19. Hundreds of residents and workers were also infected. Continue reading

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Nova Scotia healthcare workers demand assurances on safety equipment

Nova Scotia’s health care Council of Unions is calling on government and employers to sign onto a safety protocol that ensures frontline workers are protected and supported during this unprecedented time. #nspoli Continue reading

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Nova Scotia: Situation underscores the necessity for the leadership and voice of the working people at all times

Without mobilizing and unleashing the initiative and power of the working class, the fight against the pandemic is seriously undermined and weakened | K.C. ADAMS

The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU) is the largest union in the province of Nova Scotia, representing the individual and collective interests of over 30,000 public and private sector employees. NSGEU members work in the civil service, centres of education, universities, hospitals, liquor stores, correctional facilities, municipalities, and other organizations across the province. Continue reading

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Canada and the First World War

On the occasion of the centenary of the end of World War I, TML Weekly has been producing an excellent series of informative Supplements on the war and related matters of concern. This is the second in the series. Click for No. 1 (How the First World War Out); No. 2 (Canada and the First World War); No. 3 (British Movement of Conscientious Objectors); No. 4 (Contributions and Slaughter of Colonial Peoples in World War I);  No. 5 (Steadfast Opposition to the Betrayal of the Workers’ Movement); No. 6 (Poems on the Occasion of the Centenary of the End of World War I – Moments of Quiet Reflection.

Conscription
• Opposition to Conscription in Canada and Quebec
• The Case of Ginger Goodwin
• Recruitment of Indigenous Peoples
• Black Construction Battalion

Internment
• The War Measures Act and Internment of Canadians

Independent Labour Politics
• Registration, Conscription, and Independent Labour Politics, 1916-1917 – Martin Robin Continue reading

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For your information: Data on Nova Scotia’s economy and workforce

Workers’ Forum is providing below information on Nova Scotia’s economy and workforce, as well as that of neighbouring Maritime provinces. The aim is to combat the disinformation spread by the monopoly media and cartel political parties about the economy which obscures the integral role of workers in producing all the social wealth. Continue reading

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Snow squalls, snow fences and the privatization of highways: ‘It is time to draw a line in the snow’

A lake effect snow squall (snowsquall) drops heavy snow over Sudbury on Feb. 27. Lake effect squalls are noted for their persistence and linear banding, producing blinding visibility on Highway 400 yesteday.

An awesome lake effect snow squall (snowsquall) drops heavy snow over Sudbury on February 27, 2014. Lake effect squalls from Georgian Bay are noted for their persistence and linear banding, producing blinding visibility on Highway 400.

The following reflection was written on February 28, 2014 but for some reasons was not published at the time. I am posting it now in the midst of the extreme cold weather front that is gripping Canada and the United States.

The view from Blantyre

By TONY SEED

WHEN extreme weather event strikes, the reporting of the media proceeds from the premise of the insurance companies: it is a supernatural “act of God,” a natural disaster divorced from the social conditions made by man. It has become a genre and given a name – disaster journalism. It was all so “unexpected.” Hurricane Katrina? Just blew in suddenly from the Gulf. That ice storm in Atlanta? The weather suddenly shifted upstate in the morning. That tsunami in the Indian Ocean? No-one at the U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii had the phone number of the Sri Lanka president and hence the island received no warning. Thousands of people, mainly poor fishers, along the eastern and southern coastline were engulfed by the deep blue sea, as if an act of Buddha. Due to the large number of victims, that far-off disaster did make the evening news. These were not “accidents”; natural disasters became crimes. Continue reading

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Sighting. Enjoy life – Nova Scotia edition

Thanks to Tim Bousquet and Parker Barss Donham for bringing this drone-enhanced vacation video of New York-based Victor Chu‘s trip to Nova Scotia to light. The video is dedicated to Chu’s late father, Jia-li Chu, who apparently always wanted to visit the province, but died before managing to do so.

“You’re left wondering why Tourism Nova Scotia can’t capture our province as skilfully as this,” writes Parker. Continue reading

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Event. Living in the Promised Land – The African Nova Scotian Struggle for Justice and Self-Determination

170228-halifax-africannovascotianstruggle

Tuesday, February 28 — 3:30 pm
Theatre C – Sir Charles Tupper Medical Bldg.
5850 College St.
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The Case Against To Kill a Mockingbird

mockingbird down and outOn February 19, news agencies announced the death of the American author Harper Lee. The Toronto Star warmly eulogized a writer “whose child’s-eye view of racial injustice in a small Southern town, To Kill a Mockingbird, became standard reading for millions of young people and an Oscar-winning film.” Published in 1960, it received the Pulitzer Prize and George Bush awarded Lee the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom in a ceremony held at the White House. In 2015, fifty five years later, Robert Murdoch’s HarperCollins published Lee’s Go Set A Watchman, only her second novel but actually written prior to Mockingbird. Watchman sold more than 1 million copies and was described as “the fastest selling” book in HarperCollins’ history. It was called a “fraud” and an “epic money grab” in the New York Times.

In 1996, “intense community pressure” by the African Canadian community in Nova Scotia successfully managed to remove this and two other novels from the Department of Education’s list of recommended, authorized books. They meant that they could no longer be purchased from the provincial government.

In 2002, a committee consisting of parents and educators, seconded by members of the Black Educators’ Association (BEA), recommended that the book “be removed from school use altogether.” Further, the community courageously boycotted a theatrical production in Halifax on the basis that it did not reflect the black experience and falsified historical reality. Continue reading

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Halifax and War – the Castine Fund; Dalhousie University and the spoils of war

Dalousie.Castie cairnIn the early 19th century, George Ramsay, the ninth Earl of Dalhousie and Nova Scotia Lieutenant-Governor at the time, wanted to establish a Halifax college open to all, regardless of class or creed.

The spoils of war helped fulfill his dream. During the War of 1812, Castine, a small port in Maine, was being used as a base by American privateers who harassed ships along the Eastern Seaboard. In August and September 1814, Sir John Coape Sherbrooke sent a Royal Navy force and 500 British troops to conquer Maine and (again) establish the colony of New Ireland. Continue reading

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In Memoriam – Reginald Maloney

Photo by Cheryl Maloney

June 6, 1941 – December 3, 2013 | Photo by April Maloney

A Reflection by Tony Seed

On Tuesday, December 3, 2013, Keptin Saqamow Reginald Maloney, 72, left us forever when he passed away in Colchester East Hants Health Centre in Truro, Nova Scotia, surrounded by family and close friends.

A respected Elder, political leader, Chief, proud Mi’kmaq warrior and a friend, Chief Maloney was a leader in the epochal battle of the Mi’kmaq nation in defence of their hereditary rights and to affirm their right-to-be. Continue reading

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For your information: About the Halifax International Security Forum

Haligonians rally against threats of war against Syria, September 7, 2013

Haligonians rally against threats of war against Syria, September 7, 2013

THE Halifax War Conference, aka the Halifax International Security Forum, held its first meeting in November 2009. The conference was part and parcel of the NATO aggressive military alliance to reconfigure itself with a “new security doctrine” to replace that of “humanitarian intervention” introduced during the 1999 aggression against Yugoslavia and the first absorption into NATO of states of the former Soviet bloc.

In a statement issued to oppose the first conference in 2009, CPC(M-L) pointed out:

“The demand for this ‘new doctrine’ is impelled by the crisis of NATO itself. After eight years of occupation of Afghanistan under the pretext of opposing terrorism, NATO has been unable to quell the important resistance of the Afghan people. The people of Afghanistan refuse to accept NATO’s ‘international security assistance’ and the peoples of NATO’s member countries have not been convinced of the nobility of the war or NATO’s present course and its raison d’être.”

The current website of the Halifax War Conference describes its history as follows: Continue reading

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The Gaels in Nova Scotia | Na Gàidheil an Albainn Nuaidh

Cuireadh - 24 An Giblean 2013 - Invite - April 24 2013 Continue reading

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Legacies: Lives lived / past progressive – Peter Bowman

PETER BOWMAN, Editorial, Shunpiking Magazine

• My Thoughts on Pete Bowman by MARRIE BERKELAAR

• Biography by The Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone Continue reading

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News blackout on largest-ever US Homeland Security exercise within Canada

By TONY SEED

HALIFAX (April 19, 2005) – From April 4 to 8 US Homeland Security carried out a massive exercise, “Exercise Triple Play,” which included the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, home of the strategic port of Halifax where US President George W Bush “visited” on December 3, speaking to 300 mainly homeland security personnel at Pier 21.

According to a press release on the Homeland Security website, the exercise was the largest ever conducted by the US, involving some 10,000 people at various levels of government in the United States, 19 Canadian federal departments and agencies as well as Britain. The irony of all of this is that, after such an intensive mobilization at the expense of millions of dollars, you couldn’t tell it by the media. A Google search reveals that there has so far been a complete media blackout in Canada on the exercise following the initial announcement one month ago.

This raises the question: was this exercise a “preventive” exercise or a totally criminal blackmail of gigantic proportions? Continue reading

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Entering the 21st Century

By TONY SEED

Upfront Editorial. Shunpiking Magazine, December-January, 2000, No. 31

AS WE APPROACH the threshold of the year 2000 – an illusory date that has long served as a synonym for the future that is about to become the present – we inevitably reflect on the past and take stock of our region, country and world. All the media is prophesying the beginning of a new millennium, but as I glance through the news reports one of the first things which strikes my mind is: what are they talking about? Here at Shunpiking we do want to give significance to the new millennium, too – but without sentimentality, nostalgia or angst, and with some objective criteria.

What has been accomplished in Nova Scotia and the Maritimes in a fundamental way during this century? What do we want to achieve in the future? Continue reading

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A road less travelled

The following article, and exchange with Tony Seed of Shunpiking Magazine, was published on Novanewsnet, the online site of the University of King’s College School of Journalism, Thursday, 12 February 1998. Continue reading

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A CHIC form of highway robbery

By TONY SEED, Shunpiking Magazine, No. 16

EARLY last week, a jogger turned onto Barrington Street in downtown Halifax.

The street was virtually deserted as he paced past the Grand Parade, and rounded the corner of City Hall to head up Duke Street to Citadel Hill.

Suddenly, he had to pull up. A barrier crossed the sidewalk.

Beside City Hall, the former Trans-Info stall had been coverted into … a toll booth operated by Canadian Highways International Constructors (CHIC). Continue reading

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Discovering Winter

DiscoveringWinterHeaderV2

By TONY SEED

NOVA SCOTIA beds down gradually for the winter, in stages. A little fog, a little rain. And slowly pulled over us, from north to south, a fluffy white blanket. We like to be covered and snug for Christmas. But there are vagaries, mostly between the Fundy/Northumberland and the Atlantic sides of the province. Some areas stubbornly refuse the blanket – Metro, eastern and especially south-western Nova Scotia at times and Brier Island more often than not – but by January most of the province is under wraps. Three winters ago, it was great. We have temperate, mild Maritime winters, with gradual changes, unlike the extremes of Newfoundland, Moncton and Amherst at the head of the Bay of Fundy, or the freezing sleet of Canso, which is another story. Seldom a winter without two or three mid-winter thaws. Then there was last winter’s “open”; we were the mildest province in Canada – the lakes didn’t freeze, hardly any shoveling … good for the driveway public, not so for the kids, ski-trekkers and ski-dooers.

snows.woodsharbourThat first snow changes everything. It is as if all the clutter in our landscape has been swept beneath a rug. The horizon is clearly defined and the sky seems to expand with the cold. And while much is hidden by winter, much is also revealed. Without leaves, trees and homes reappear with stark intimacy. Our maintains seem higher than squat. Flowers, grasses and weeds lie back and the true lay of Nova Scotia emerges. One sees so much further. At times we look over great seas of white. As the temperature drops, the scent of pine, balsam and salt air intensifies. The moon hangs in the sky illuminating the brilliance of Orion and Sirius.

Do Nova Scotians change in the winter? Out-of-doors, under an astonishingly varied collection of heavy clothing, personalities recede. There is less small talk and a brisk formality takes over; conversation is clipped in the cold, clear air. Yet indoors, winter can be the most cordial of times. The warmth we share, created specifically for our comfort, thaws our reserve and encourages our conviviality. In the deep drifts of blizzards, we rough-house, ignoring the cold. Nowhere is this more true than in the hearth and homes in the country. We think the people of Nova Scotia reflect the landscape … similarly, yet somehow different in winter.

Unlike society, it is seemingly beyond man’s control, the source of pleasure, inconvenience or, as with the Ocean Ranger, avoidable tragedy.

Source: Shunpiking Magazine, Volume 1, Number 1, December 3, 1995

http://www.shunpiking.org/winter/discov-winter-ts.htm

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Shunpiking… The Cottage Country Trail

By TONY SEED and TAMMY MCDOW*

There is a place …

Hidden between Highways 101 and 103 lies a majestic piece of Nova Scotia; peaceful freshwater lakes, rolling, clean countryside, relatively untouched wilderness and some very special people. It is a place of peace and tranquillity, of community, and of renewal. It is a place of pride in one’s roots. And it is easily accessible from all local tourist roots in Nova Scotia.

THE ENDURING SETTLEMENTS and landscapes of inland Nova Scotia have welcomed the gentle rays of day for almost 400 years. Continue reading

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