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Hamm is where the heart is

Mike Fleury is thinking about leaving.

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Every so often, the provincial government will pause from its daily work, take a curious glance around the province, and eventually pose the question, “Hey—where the heck are all the young people?” (And occasionally, “Do you kids still listen to that Puff Shady? Is he still hip?”) There are some signs that the provincial government is making an effort to keep young Nova Scotians close to home, including the recent boost to the provincial minimum wage (the majority of minimum wage jobs in Nova Scotia are held by young workers). This week, former premier John Hamm announced his own theoretical strategy to keep young people in the area: charge ’em to leave! During a Tuesday legislature committee meeting, Hamm remarked, “We have traditionally been a training ground for other jurisdictions and maybe we should look more aggressively at saying, ‘If you stay in Nova Scotia, that’s great, but if you don’t stay in Nova Scotia, maybe there’s an indebtedness that you take on by taking the training that was paid for partly by the Nova Scotia taxpayer and take it to another jurisdiction.” Cool plan! If anyone could use a little extra debt, it’s fresh-out-of-university emigrating young people. Hamm later clarified his comments by saying he didn’t necessarily mean enforcing a penalty for absentee Nova Scotians—it could also mean offering a premium for those who choose stay. Well, why didn’t you say so in the first place?

Money ain’t a thing

Sticking with the province, Rodney MacDonald and his fellow (former) Conservative leadership candidates released the details of who-paid-what-to-whom during the recent Conservative leadership race. Nova Construction was MacDonald’s largest corporate donor, contributing $7,500 to MacDonald’s cause. So who was MacDonald’s biggest political supporter? Himself, it would seem. MacDonald put up $10,000 of his own cash to support his campaign. Not to be outdone, second place finisher Bill Black beat Rodney ten times over; Black put $100,000 towards his own campaign. The conclusion? I’m far too poor to lead the provincial Conservative party.

Method to the madness

The Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists made headlines this week by pulling several popular medications off Nova Scotia shelves, making them only available by special request. Any products containing pure ephedrine or pseudoephedrine have been effected. The move came after a federal recommendation that many popular cold medications (such as Sudafed Decongestant) can be manipulated to help cheaply produce homemade crystal meth. Meth has emerged as a major problem in many urban centres across Canada. In reaction to the story, Halifax police and provincial RCMP have commented that Halifax doesn’t have a major meth problem compared to some other Canadian municipalities, but it’s still wise to take the precaution.

Head of the class

On April 6, the oft-feuding Halifax Regional School Board appointed a new chair in Gary O’Hara. Barring any unforeseen catastrophes, O’Hara will continue as Board chair until internal elections are held in October. In a press release, O’Hara said, “As chair, I want to open the lines of communication with all education partners and be a good listener.” Godspeed, Mr. O’Hara.

Appoint your news tips: michaelf@thecoast.ca

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