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September 19, 2011

Tell us your story ideas! What should the HMC cover this Fall?

Halifax News

What stories, events, people, and issues are not being covered in Halifax and Nova Scotia?  What struggles and voices are being marginalized in the corporate press?  Tell us your grassroots story ideas! 


Offshore Research Gets Boost from Pengrowth-Nova Scotia Grant

A Dalhousie University master's student is working on new technologies to find oil and gas off the coast of Nova Scotia with help from the Pengrowth-Nova Scotia Energy Innovation Grant.

Darragh O'Connor has won this year's grant for his research examining elements of specific sediments that make up the
Mesozoic basins off Nova Scotia. His research will allow past reservoirs to be re-examined and help judge the potential of current ones.

"This grant will allow me to contribute to Nova Scotia's offshore energy industry by using innovative technologies to help identify potential hydrocarbon reservoirs," said Mr. O'Connor.

"It is important to government to support the research and education of our province's students," said Energy Minister Charlie Parker. "The research funded by the Energy Innovation Grant will provide unique industry opportunities that will continue to develop Nova Scotia's growing energy sector."

The Pengrowth-Nova Scotia Energy Innovation Grant was established in 2005, as part of the Pengrowth-Nova Scotia Energy Scholarship program. It was originally the Pengrowth-Nova Scotia Petroleum Innovation Grant, but was renamed in October to reflect its support of Nova Scotia offshore, onshore and renewable energy sectors.

Up to four grants, valued at $15,000, may be awarded each year to students pursuing a master's degree in energy-related studies at a Nova Scotia university.

The deadline for the 2012 Pengrowth-Nova Scotia Energy Innovation Grant is Jan. 20. For more information, or to apply, visit www.gov.ns.ca/energy .

"Pengrowth is proud to partner with the province in furthering the education of Mr. O'Connor," said Jim MacDonald, director of Pengrowth's East Coast operations. "I am confident that this research project will provide a better understanding of new offshore opportunities that will lead to greater success in the province's energy industry."

Pengrowth Energy Corporation, Pengrowth Management Limited, founded in 1982 by Jim Kinnear, chairman and CEO of Kinnear Financial Limited, and the province of Nova Scotia have invested $3 million in the scholarship program.

Mills & no more mills

Mills are in the news. Here's an unreported angle that could be very important in choosing who takes over the NewPage mill in Port Hawkesbury, passed on to me by someone who's been speaking with a lot of folks affected by the mill closure in Cape Breton.

In talking with the mayor of Port Hawkesbury, the warden and the union (CEP), the most unique or untold story he heard from the union guys. They have become convinced that NewPage, when they bought the mill, didn't know what they were buying. Stora had left the mill, after fulfilling their 50-year plan, in good shape to continue as a very profitable mill: they had put in place the technology to produce a very high-grade magazine paper (glossy) that was tremendously profitable. This technology was the best glossy paper maker in Canada--the 2nd best in the world. However, when NewPage took over the plant, they changed that asset into something that was not as profitable. Using their own computerization, which was older and less sophisticated, required 20 more people to work to produce a lower grade paper.

Anyway, the moral/thrust of the story is that when an investment company is able to come in to a community without knowing much about what it's investing in, it can be disastrous. When people and natural resources are going to be tremendously affected by the decisions made by a corporation, we (governments) need to at least know what that corporation's plan is, and keep that corporation accountable. It looks like the mill will be sold very soon, and this message should get out to Dexter et al: that no-one knew anything about what NewPage was doing, and that NewPage wasn't held accountable to anyone about making idiotic business decisions, is pretty bad governance, and he can't let that happen again.

If you're interested in writing this story, the HMC can get you names and numbers of the P.Hawkesbury CEP Local reps, as well as local businesspeople/contractors who've not been paid because of NewPage's bankruptcy.

HRM Community Councils

What are the HRM Community Councils? How are they structured and how do they function? What issues do they deal with?

Bank of Canada pre1974

This one concept could be the focal point that all the diverse groups in the Occupy movement could latch onto to strike at the heart of the criminal beast here in Canada.

If you want to know how the bankers and the politicians are pulling off the scam, watch this video. It's an interview with Bill Abram, a retired professor whom spells out the history of the "Bank of Canada Act".

Bottom line, our politicians sold us out in 1974, prior to that the BOCA had done us well by getting us out of the Depression, paying for WWII, paying for each WWII vet to go to college, building the Trans Canada Highway, the St. Lawerence Seaway, and the Canadian National Railway system, all without significant debt.

After the IMF and World Bank worked over our politicians in 74 our government began funding themeselves by borrowing from International Bankers. And the debt zoomed up to now $550 Billion. The compounding of interest is the majority of what is owed, a ridiculous theft allowed by every finance minister since 74.

The good thing about this is all we have to do is force politicians to obey the law laid out in the BOCA and not borrow money from International Banks to fund our government.

Part1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jghiU55O5eY&feature=related

Part2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyHpaHo71mQ&feature=related

Part3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ixeDP5LEEQ&feature=related

Part4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLtretltL3I&feature=related

SMU lecture

Did you cover the lecture today at SMU titled "Israel Settlements and Palestinian Bid For Statehood" ?

Yes, I believe someone

Yes, I believe someone recorded it.  There should be something posted soon.

sounds great. thanks.

sounds great. thanks.

Affordable housing

An email from a reader:

I think it’s about time somebody did a story about the lack of an affordable housing strategy for either Nova Scotia or for Halifax Regional Municipality. Lots of young couples would live downtown, but nobody can afford to.


Emailed from a reader

The friends I'm staying with brought my attention to this case of yet another condominium in the North End:

The neighbourhood is very much against the project. (see details below)

There's a "joint public hearing" this Tuesday 6pm at City Hall.

When they told me about this I thought of the media coop, wondering if this is a story you'd like to cover - or combine it to a bigger story about housing in the North End?



More details:
- The bulding occupies the maximum space on the lot. There is no green space.
- It's across the Shambhala school, the height of the building will shade the playground. The garage door (94 parking spaces) will be on Russell, across the playground.
- Their "traffic impact statement" is based on observing traffic on only one day "from 7:30 to 9:00 AM and 3:30 to 5:30 PM on Wednesday, September 29, 2010".
- There used to be a church there, now it's combined with another parish in the North End. When the company bought the lot from the church, it was not a fixed price. There was an amount given at the beginning, and then the rest of the money depends on the number of units that the new building will have. That puts pressure on church members to speak in favor of the project at meetings - church members who are against it are being pressured not to speak.

HMC Story Ideas

Below are some of the minutes from the HMC's Sept 13 story meeting.  Feel free to join us every Tuesday at 5pm At Humani-T (young and agricola) or add your story ideas to the list!

Stories we're working on:
Kendall-  working on angles for a story on services for people with disabilities.
-Story on public housing?
Ella-  working on angle for Sodexo boycott story.  Link this to the history of anti-union practices at King's, and/or focus on alternatives food movements such as the Loaded Ladle.  Perhaps two stories!
Jim-  Bayers Road public meeting tomorrow night!  He and Jane distributed a ton of copies of the Tide to residents.
Melissa-  Re-Imagining the heart of the North End.   Going to do an audio piece. (interview Jessie Jollimore-Nutritionist)
Moira- Went to Pictou Landing and there are tons of story opportunities there!  (Effects of pulp mill toxic waste on a native reserve)
-her story is about a mother who is fighting to keep her child at home who has multiple disabilities (Jordan's principle)
Miles- is going up to Pictou Landing Monday and Tuesday.  He will report on as many stories as possible. 

Stories Up for grabs!
-International Security Conference- they are recruiting students to volunteer there.
-100 service canada jobs are closing in Cape Breton- Less jobs in rural NS and less access to welfare.
-Car Free day- Natascia is interested?!
***New Player Joins Nova Scotia's Onshore Oil and Gas Industry***  Could be a good story for next pitch.

The site for the Halifax local of The Media Co-op has been archived and will no longer be updated. Please visit the main Media Co-op website to learn more about the organization.