A burning rage
An alarming email today tells me the biomass furnace at Port Hawkesbury Paper, run by Nova Scotia Power, has been operating at full blast, 24-7, for months. This in spite of what premier Stephen McNeil told us just a few months ago, and even while the mill itself was closed for two of the last four weeks due to lack of sales for glossy paper.
The softwood biomass in Cape Breton is nearly exhausted, so they are now gearing up to mass-cut old growth hardwood—maples, beech and birch—at a very very low stumpage cost to PHP. They will chip that hardwood and truck those chips to Irving in Sussex and Saint John, NB. The empty trailers will load softwood sawdust and shavings and haul that back to Port Hawkesbury at NS taxpayer expense.
They will cut 100-year-old sugar maples that could be tapped every spring to make maple syrup, which can be exported. The carbon credits from those same trees can be auctioned off once a year at about $19 per tonne of carbon absorbed.
Is this how we want our resources managed? To be nearly given away? This is unacceptable to everyone except the department of natural resources and the Liberal Party in Nova Scotia. I am enraged! —Don Wilson, Brule Point, NS
Drug audit a drag
The in-house drug audit by Halifax Regional Police, and supported by the police board, is now showing what a lapse in judgement it was in not supporting an independent audit by the NS Department of Justice ("A decade late, Halifax police close the book on its Drug Exhibit Audit," Reality Bites story by Jacob Boon, posted Jan 16 at thecoast.ca).
If there was any set of circumstances that needed public confidence in the police and the oversight process, it was this one. Members of the public in HRM are simply not buying the results of the audit because it lacks independent oversight.
Serving members and past members of the Halifax Regional Police did not get a comprehensive, independent audit, which would have helped ease the public backlash toward those members and the police service in general. Oversight of police was overlooked in this instance. —Jim Hoskins, retired HRP staff sergeant
In arm's way
It seems that bishop Frederick Henry of Calgary doesn't think it is appropriate to display the human body in its natural form. He has criticized the Body Worlds RX exhibit for its lack of dignity, saying: "We have crossed the line into the realm of entertainment, questionable art and commercial showcases." This exhibit is currently appearing at the NS Museum of Natural History, getting positive feedback. Most felt is was an interesting and educational experience.
However, bishop Henry apparently finds it fine to take the forearm of Francis Xavier and ship it all over the world, displaying it in various venues and in an actual "showcase." One can only stand back in awe of this example of hypocrisy. The legally donated bodies in the Body Worlds exhibit are contained in a special covering, and were donated for this actual purpose by the people who are on display. It is doubtful that St. Francis signed any legal forms back in those days.
The bishop also alludes to the church's concern for the body even after the soul leaves, and preserving the God-given dignity of a human person. Throughout history, the Catholic religion and many others have used public shaming and the deprivation of dignity—albeit mostly on living humans. Anyone who attended Catholic public schools and orphanages, especially the Indigenous peoples of this country, can confirm this as fact.
So it seems the old adage that refers to the danger of throwing hard objects in dwellings made of glass holds true. —Frankie Foster, Halifax
Due to an editing error, we spelled resident Michael Gaudette's surname as "Gaudet" in the City section story "20/25 vision: No decision yet on Willow Tree tower," by Jacob Boon. We apologize for the error.