Not reviewed by Halifax Media Co-op editors. copyeditedfact checked [?]
CITIZENS TAKING THE BULL BY THE HORNS AND STANDING UP TO, NOT COWTAILING, TO POOR CORPORATE DECISIONS
Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.
Produced by "Homes, not Hondas" Facebook site
Petition at Java Blend Photo credit: Brenden Sommerfelden
I woke up at 7:30 a.m. to Don Connelly on Information Morning announcing Peggy Cameron who spoke eloquently about the issue of development in Halifax, most recently set on fire by the Steele Motors Group wanting to demolish a north end neighbourhood (some seventeen, mostly soundly- structured homes and rental units among the buildings). Somewhere on Facebook or on the radio--sleep-filled rising into consciousness prevents the memory of which--sent me pedalling out the door to Java Blend where I read (or heard) that a print petition would be there to sign on the North End Housing Demolition Resistance.
Sure enough, Halifax North council candidate, Brenden Sommerhalder was holding the peoples' court (at least the peoples' voice) collecting signatures to present the petition to council in the coming days. I signed and chatted a wee bit. Then someone from my distant past--the owner of Yum Bakery--stopped to say hi though I didn't recognize him at first (I did say "distant" past). I told him that I buy a gallon of his peanut butter at The Grainery every year and he said I looked alive and well. I asked him if he would care to sign the petition because a car dealer wanted to raze seventeen houses to put up a parking lot. He said "I'll have to think about that. I'm a businessman so I like to weigh these things. The stronger side will come out ahead." "Profound insight," I thought bemoaning the conservatism running through this province. Then I ordered my decaf and observed. Soon after, as Brenden was speaking at length with a couple who had signed, I saw a big man sporting a scowl, staring at them. Sure enough he walked over and said, "Why are you doing this? This company is bringing work to the area and making things nice." He pressed forward at the man of the couple who calmly stated his position. His wife (I presume) quipped "A parking lot is not going to create jobs." He shot back, his chin punching the air, "You just don't understand." and stomped off.
I thought about Nova Scotia in terms of "the rich businessman as hero" here. I remembered parroting my Aunt's disdain for Irving when I lived in Saint John and people saying "Don't say anything bad about Irving. He's done a lot for New Brunswick!" (and a million times more for himself), I thought. It's like a feudal mentality here and a microcosm of the whole world in this latter day Epoch of the Sociopaths--those who rule on the shrine of the bottom line--no matter who they stomp on to get more and more, their thirst for money never quenched as "want" never is. I was reminded of the few (among many "nays") who presented FOR Joe Ramia and the Nova Centre being shipwrecked on the rare, intact 18th century grid sea of downtown Halifax. It was like they were on all fours, praising Caesar. The majority were not listened to (80% of the hundreds of postings at the Chronicle Herald were against this location). I passed King Joe (grinning from ear to ear) and His Serfs striding up the hill after the vote (One councillor having spouting, "We got lots of streets, give'im Grafton!") as gravity took me down.
It's the mentality of low self-esteem that makes people cow tail to the 'big men on campus', like Americans are flocking to Donald Trump, as if allying with these mentally defective (in terms of emotional intelligence) Darth Vader doyens, who have got to where they are by tramping on the people who turn around and favour them, makes them feel big when they must feel so small. Then, with a puffed up facade they chastise any citizen who dares to speak up against these kind. I remember John Risley spouting off that he hadn't taken a cent of a hand-out like these bums in the film industry when McNeil (a dud of a doyen if there ever was one) killed a $143 million (net) film industry last year. Then, the real hero--a journalist with acumen and guts--dug down and produced all the interest free loans and grants that Risley had eaten of at the trough of the big talkers and resource tsars.
If citizens didn't organize and resist people who only seem to consider money and power (Please correct me if I'm wrong; I'd rather be happy than right!"), we'd never get past seeing the virtues of humanly-flawed individuals that sometimes harm a quest for creating a more liveable world. At this juncture in time, despite the prophecy of Joni Mitchell unfortunately still coming true, it's not more places for cars for which we need to prostrate ourselves.