Following the Savage Liberal provincial government's forced municipal amalgamation on April Fool's Day of 1996, I found myself appointed to the HRM logo committee and later to the coat of arms committee.
The logo committee didn't design the logo, but worked with several designers and filtered through their firms' proposals. A couple of prospects were then sent on to council, which selected the "lighthouse" design that we have seen everywhere since. With lighthouses and a very long shoreline, this design was seen as representative of the new HRM. The four waves lapping the shore of "our" lighthouse stood for the four municipal units (Bedford, Dartmouth, Halifax and Halifax County) that were brought together to form HRM.
So while most of us were not satisfied in calling this municipality "HRM," I was surprised when the present council called for a new brand. The result is not bold–and I don't care who says that it is–it is bland. It also is incomplete and indecisive.
In a time when high school as well as university graduates are criticized for not being able to spell or write properly one would expect that at least municipalities would identify themselves fully, leaving no half-measures to the imagination. Maybe HRM should fire up its branding iron and give it another go. —Tony Edwards, Bedford
the feds pt i
Stephen Harper's "victims' rights" bill is so blatantly cynical, I finally understand why he walks around with that permanently smug, Cheshire-cat grin plastered across his piehole. I mean, sure, the Liberals are going to kick his ass next election, but come on! Is this really how he wants to go out: on a series of pandering, political manoeuvres, "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing?"
The bill, as law, supposedly ensures that a crime victim is kept in the loop, as his or her case proceeds from arrest to incarceration and eventual release of the perpetrator. Not bloody likely, friends!
I'm no cop or lawyer, but, I have seen them on TV. If one thing can be said about these guys, it's that they're extremely reluctant to divulge any information about cases to the public. I'd expect a party as secretive and paranoid as Harper's not to ignore that fact. And, since crime victims, as a rule, are members of the public, it's the height of cynicism, I'd say, to be making them promises that he knows the justice system will almost surely have no intention to keep.
Even more ludicrous is the notion that said victims will also be made "whole," financially. I'd love to know from where our prime minister (he of the university degree, in economics, mind you) thinks the cash for victim compensation will be coming.
What's the government's ingenious plan here? Does it intend, perhaps, to make it a mandatory condition of parole that each and every felon (regardless of criminal history and years served, I guess) will relinquish the number of his Swiss bank account, to the court, prior to release?
I know I'm only scratching the surface of this proposed legislation, but it's more than enough to leave me with a single, nagging question: What friggin' colour is the sky on Harper's planet? —Bud Hunter, Halifax
the feds pt ii
First fish, then what?
So, we have the same federales who crippled the cod fishery, permanently, now very quietly approving genetically modified salmon for "our" seas ("The making of Atlantic salmon," Feature by Erica Butler, April 17).
It's nightmarish (correct me if you've been corporately modified). Once everything in the near future has been GMed, they'll start to work improving consumers so we can buy more and work for less.
End scenario: a gargantuan heap of trash, not excluding what we will be ourselves. Do silicon-based lifeforms have the only viable future, or is there any evidence for intelligence carrying on in its present carbon-based manner? —Scot Jamieson, via email