• The Coast
  • Posts
  • 🗞️ Political failure continues to cause homelessness

🗞️ Political failure continues to cause homelessness

Plus, new policy says no more cellphones in N.S. classrooms

Good morning Halifax,

Today might be a provincial day of mourning for teens who I’m sure are still reeling from the news that as of this fall, they will no longer be able to have their phones in class. 

The big announcement came yesterday from the minister of education and early childhood development. Students in both junior high and high school will be able to use their devices during breaks and over the lunch period, depending on rules laid out by individual schools. Elementary students won’t have access to them at all during the school day.

Despite the inevitable teen angst, banning cellphones in class has precedent for dramatically altering school culture in Halifax. Armbrae Academy, for example, said that the change has been “night and day” after mandating that phones be locked away.

With the current climate in HRM schools being what it is, this new policy will hopefully translate to some positive shifts.

Have a restful weekend,

– Julie

🌡️ Traffic & Weather

Today: 🌦️ 21°

Tomorrow: 🌧️ 15°

Next Day: 🌧️ 20°

🚗 Driving, biking or busing today? Check out the current traffic conditions and ongoing road closures.

CITY COUNCIL

Political failure continues to cause homelessness

📸 Credit: Matt Stickland / The Coast

One of the main sticking points in the homelessness issue is that council is genuinely, jurisdictionally, pretty powerless to do anything about the main issue(s) causing homelessness.

Very simplistically, the housing crisis will not abate until everyone has a home, and the province needs to invest massively in public housing if Tim Houston wants to end homelessness.

Councillors are quick to point out that building out public housing is not in their jurisdiction, and they are correct when they make that argument. Councillor Tony Mancini was also correct when he expressed reservations about the city's plan to spend money to try and mitigate the provincial failure. He argued that the province needs to foot the bill because they’re the ones creating homelessness in the first place.

🤔 Need To Know

🚙 The Downtown Halifax Business Commission presented its pitch for improving the city’s downtown core. The document includes 17 recommendations under four main pillars — improving accessibility to the harbour, neighbourhoods, entertainment and transportation—with no plans to address parking.

🎵 Get ready to immerse yourself in the hypnotic rhythms of Steve Reich’s epic Drumming, with Architek Percussion, tonight at Scotia Festival of Music!*

*Sponsored Post

SPONSORED BY HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY

The HalifACT community update is an overview of the many projects that are happening in the municipality as part of our once-in-a-generation climate action plan.

EDUCATION

Atlantic School of Theology becomes first Christian university to sign pledge against improper use of NDAs

📸 Credit: Twitter / ASTheology

The Atlantic School of Theology–or AST–in Halifax - Kjiputuk has become the first Christian university in Canada to sign the “Can’t Buy My Silence” university pledge, on Tuesday, June 4. 

The university pledge reads “(W)e [our vice-chancellor and higher education provider] commit to not using Non-Disclosure Agreements to silence people who come forward to raise complaints of sexual harassment, discrimination, abuse or misconduct, or other forms of harassment and bullying.”

“We know that there are a number of Christian universities, amongst them Crandall University and Regent College, that have struggled with the use of NDAs to cover up sexual complaints,” says co-founder of the Can’t Buy My Silence campaign, Canadian law professor, Julie Macfarlane, in a video posted Tuesday. “We know now that AST will not be among them.” 

AST is the fourth Canadian university to sign, following the lead of two other Nova Scotia schools, The University of King’s College and Acadia University, who were then joined by Columbia College in British Columbia. 

The Can’t Buy My Silence campaign was co-founded by Macfarlane and Zelda Perkins, who broke her non-disclosure agreement in 2017 as a former assistant to Harvey Weinstein. The campaign has a simple goal: to bring about “legislative and regulatory change that will make NDAs unenforceable for anything other than their original purpose – the prevention of sharing confidential business information (‘intellectual property’) and trade secrets.” 

The campaign’s website says NDAs are “unnecessary for protecting victim identity…catastrophically damaging to innocent parties and immoral when they hide harmful information from the public.”

In a press release from AST on Tuesday, university president, reverend Dr. Heather McCance, says signing this pledge is “the right thing to do,” and that “healing requires truth telling.” 

McCance continues by saying that, “while of course we hope that no one associated with AST has been harmed by abuse or misconduct, we also believe that signing on to this pledge will mean that conversations and decisions arising from any situations of harm can be more transparent and valuable for all concerned.”

Learn more about the university pledge here.

🗞️ In Other News

🌊 As blue-green algae season approaches, the provincial NDP is calling on the government to create a Provincial Lake Advisory Commission to focus on lake conservation and protection. 

🚨 A former Nova Scotia paramedic is facing child pornography charges for a second time. Todd Allen Sawler, 52, has been charged with several offences after police searched his home in Eastern Passage.

💙 A N.S. mother is speaking out this Men's Mental Health Awareness Month about a need for better access to support for those in crisis. In Canada, suicide is disproportionately a problem for men as social stigmas make it difficult to ask for help. 

🔥 Canadian federal, provincial and territorial forest ministers have signed a national strategy that aims to raise awareness of wildfire risks across the country. 

⚖️ A judge has thrown out charges against two people accused of harassing the province's chief medical officer during a protest against COVID restrictions outside his home, ruling their rights were violated because it's taken too long to bring them to trial.

🗓️ Things To Do

Looking for something to do this week? Check out these Coast picks:

🗓 Science of Beer: Ready to hop into a world of brews and science? Join Discovery Centre’s ‘Science of Beer’ event where you’ll meet Nova Scotia’s craft brewing wizards, sample top-notch beer and discover the science behind a pint. | June 8 | 7pm

🗓 Halifax Wanderers Home Game: Come cheer on the home team as they take on Pacific FC at the Wanderers Grounds. | June 8 | 3pm | From $29

🗓 World Ocean Day: This celebration is part of a global effort to promote ocean knowledge, connection, conservation and sustainable use of marine resources. This free, family-friendly event features a variety of engaging activities and exhibits from ocean partner organizations. Explore interactive booths, try your hand at ocean-themed crafts and games and marvel at the “Ocean, Freshwater, and Us” giant floor map of Canada. | June 8 | 10am | Free

Have an event to share? Let us know at [email protected].

⚓️ What’s In The Harbour

➡️ The Oceanex Sanderling container ship leaves Halifax for St. John’s at 6pm.

🛳️➡️ The Silver Arctic container ship arrives in Halifax from St. Pierre at 7:15am and leaves for St. Pierre at 6pm.

🛳️ The Hellas Revenger oil tanker arrives in Halifax at 6:15pm.

🛳️➡️ The Contship Art container ship arrives in Halifax from New York at 10am and leaves for Kingston at 10pm.

🍴 Where To Eat & Drink

🤌🏼 Indulge in a plate of Italian perfection at the Bicycle Thief’s with the Gnocchi di Patate: expertly sauteed with local wild mushrooms, summer truffle crema and finished with parmigiano.

🌯 Big, bold, beautiful burritos are on the menu at Antojo Tacos + Tequila: house-made rice, pico de gallo, green onion, corn, mixed cheese and protein of your choice (chicken, carnitas, chorizo or mushroom).

👀 In Case You Missed It

🏫 The Healthy Relationships for Youth Program teaches students about healthy relationships as a way to mitigate gender-based violence; to be proactive rather than reactive, and ultimately, to make kids feel safe at school. The Coast’s Julie Lawrence spoke with Anita Stewart about how the program works and why it should be mandatory in all schools across the province.

🚲 Steve MacKay has been cycling in the city for the last 15 years. As construction on the North End Bikeway Corridor continues—the city’s project to create a safe route for cyclists from the north end to downtown—MacKay has chosen to remain on his route through Agricola Street. The Coast’s Brendyn Creamer has more on the North End Bikeway Corridor and who it’s intended for.

🛍️ Theft is on the rise in downtown Halifax, according to the Spring Garden Area Business Association.

That’s it!

Thanks for reading The Coast Daily today.

If you found something useful, consider forwarding this newsletter to another Haligonian.

And before you go, let us know:

What did you think of today's newsletter?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Join the conversation

or to participate.