How citizens can force inquiries into Northwood and Portapique

The Short Version

Nova Scotians who want inquiries into the tragedies at Northwood and the RCMP’s response to psychopathic killer Gabriel Wortman should contact our chief medical examiner, Dr. Matthew Bowes. The address is NOTE: I’ve received conflicting advice from varying sources about the correct email address. I recommend using the one above and addressing your message to Dr. Bowes. Justice Dept. staff will redirect it to the right mailbox.

Nova Scotia Medical Examiner Service
Dr. William D. Finn Centre for Forensic Medicine

51 Garland Avenue
Dartmouth NS B3B 0J2

Phone: 902 424-2722
Toll Free Phone (NS): 888-424-4336 Fax: 902 424-0607
Toll Free Fax (NS): 866-603-4074 


The Long Version

Over 35 days beginning April 17 Nova Scotia endured two mass casualties that killed 75 people. Fifty-three victims were residents of Northwood’s long-term care home in Halifax. Even more helpless were the 22 who died in Gabriel Wortman’s insane shooting and fire-setting rampage.

Northwood’s management of COVID-19 and the RCMP’s response to Wortman both need public inquiries. We are already past the point where memories begin to change and records mysteriously disappear. Still, Premier Stephen McNeil — who is surfing a wave of popularity and has two years before he has to call an election — has done nothing.

But Nova Scotians are barking up the wrong tree if they want those inquiries. Instead we need to demand action from Dr. Matt Bowes, our chief medical examiner.

Bowes has the legal authority to launch inquiries and, I would argue, two ethical imperatives for doing so: the Canadian Medical Association’s professional code and the oath he took on accepting his job “to faithfully perform all such duties as devolve upon me in the office of chief medical examiner … for the Province of Nova Scotia without fear, favour or partiality and according to the best of my knowledge and ability”.

Those duties include Section 26 of the Fatality Investigation Act, which says Bowes can “recommend” that his minister launch a “fatality inquiry”. And in very next section the law says that upon receipt of Bowes’ recommendation the minster “shall” make the inquiries happen.

This means Citizens contacting the CME could create a lot of consternation for the premier. True, McNeil could probably find a way to shut Bowes down, but recent experience shows a heavy-handed response to a well-intentioned civil servant can be a highly visible and politically ugly business.

Further, Bowes’ minister is Mark Furey, a retired RCMP officer, which is akin to being a retired priest — you’re never really off the force. If he buries a recommendation from Bowes he’ll have to explain to us not only why he’s breaking the law, but also why he is not in a conflict of interest.

The one person I feel a little sorry for in this scenario is Bowes. If he gets enough demands for an inquiry from Nova Scotians, he’ll be caught between his duty as CME and a couple of very angry political bosses. But that’s why he gets the big bucks. Very big, actually, by Nova Scotia standards.

Happily, there’s an easy way out: the premier can publicly commit to holding both inquiries as soon as possible, without musing about whether the RCMP is a federal responsibility. Nova Scotia has a 20-year contract for RCMP services worth roughly $2 billion, so we’ll do our own inquiry, thanks very much.


Sadly, although I can read statutes, I am not a lawyer. Don’t let that stop you. Tell your friends.

De Adder gets the treatment

The offending political cartoon.

Cartoonist has met the enemy and he is us

The social media scolds bagged some big game last week, extracting an apology from cartoonist Michael de Adder for an innocuous cartoon (above).

The cartoonist was calling out Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cronies for their treatment of former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould.

A boxing ring was the perfect setting, because Trudeau gained notoriety as an amateur boxer by knocking the stuffing out of domestic-assaulter Sen. Patrick Brazeau in a charity match.

So far, so good, but de Adder made the mistake of portraying JWR as gagged and bound, symbolizing the fact she was (maybe) legally gagged by solicitor-client privilege and (perhaps) bound by cabinet solidarity. I don’t feel bad for de Adder. He dishes it out and he should be able to take it. But I can’t help wondering about the scolds.

Their reaction is pretty much summed up here in a Tweet that appears to be from John Cleese.

Well, de Adder’s drawing wasn’t doing that. If you enjoy violence against any gender, I recommend the entertainment industry, including best-selling books.

Below are some possible explanations for de Adder’s scolds.

• Because they interact with him on Twitter, de Adder has become an extension of their egos. With this cartoon, he has damaged those egos and must be brought into line.

• The cartoonist is part of an “elite.” This offends those who believe themselves to be intellectually or socially superior. They, like the rich, believe they have achieved their status through merit. By contrast, they see de Adder is a one-trick pony, unworthy of his status. He must therefore be humbled.

• Think of it as psychosomatic, a restricted vision caused by existential adherence to beliefs or causes. The scolds can only see the lower left corner of de Adder’s drawing, causing them to believe the artist is making light of violence against women.

• Others can see the entire cartoon, but cannot grasp its context.

• Or, they are aware of the context but choose to ignore it because willful blindness enhances their cause.

• This is closely related to the propagandist tactic of erecting a straw man and attacking it with full force. In this way, one can inspire outrage against de Adder without having to address substance.

• The above tactic is typically supported by constant reinforcement lest the targets get a chance to think for themselves. For this, Twitter is the best tool in the box.

• De Adder is a journalist, and journalists are seen by many as know-nothing, would-be intellectuals. But even would-be intellectuals, we’re told, are enemies of the people and common sense. Therefore they must humbled. (See Stephen Harper, Donald Trump, the Khmer Rouge et al.) NB: I say this with greatest respect for the broader know-nothing community, which has always been a source of fellowship and inspiration.

Lastly, de Adder is a threat to authoritarians from the entire political spectrum. So, in time, he may regret his insouciance still more. Let us hope his apology will be enough to keep his head from sitting atop a pike or rolling into a wicker basket designed by Louis Vuitton.


Data “breach” update

Search warrant sealed

Also: buy a razor!

Your correspondent was surprised to learn today the warrant used to search the family home of a 19-year-old in connection with the alleged breach of Nova Scotia’s access to information website has been — literally — sealed.

scales of justice

According to Halifax police, the search
was executed April 11 at a Connaught Ave. home where the 19-year-old lives with his parents. The son was arrested for “unauthorized use of a computer” but has not been charged.

Search warrants become public documents once they have been executed and a report has been made to the issuing judge. It’s part of the public scrutiny that the courts actually welcome.

But police can apply to have a warrant, and the associated documents, sealed, sometimes forever. The term is literal: all the relevant documents are placed in a “packet” which is then, yep, sealed.

A police spokesperson said it was done in this case to “protect the integrity of the investigation”.

For detail-lovers, here’s an excerpt from the Criminal Code’s Section 487.3, which Turpin Labs’ legal division believes is relevant to the case:

A judge can seal a warrant …

(a) if disclosure of the information would:

(i) compromise the identity of a confidential informant,
(ii) compromise the nature and extent of an ongoing investigation,
(iii) endanger a person engaged in particular intelligence-gathering techniques and thereby prejudice future investigations in which similar techniques would be used, or
(iv) prejudice the interests of an innocent person; and

(b) for any other sufficient reason.

NOTE 1: Section 487.3 is silent on the issue of provincial governments creating a circus by incorrectly saying they had withheld news of the “breach” at the suggestion of the police.

NOTE 2: To the clerks at Hfx provincial court — why didn’t you simply tell me the documents had been sealed instead of putting me through hoops?

NOTE 3: Visual advice for fugitives hoping to evade detection by Halifax Regional Police — dudes, buy a razor! Scroll down to the photos to see why.

“Dear Leader” runs the show

Participatory dictatorship in Nova Scotia

Author Stephen Kimber complained in the

Moseley, Ebenezer Tilton
Ebenezer Tilton Moseley, independent member of the NS Assembly, 1874

Halifax Examiner Monday about the lack of consultation in deciding how to spend Nova Scotia’s $250 million offshore windfall.

But Kimber imagines that Nova Scotia’s system of government is a participatory democracy, whereas in fact it’s a participatory dictatorship.

And the dictator (“Dear Leader”) is the premier.

This may be why so many eligible voters find something else to do on Election Day — they know that democracy occurs only on the day we choose our Dear Leader. He, and I do mean “he”, will rule for the next four years, depending on his appetite for another election at any given time. (This assumes a majority government. Minority governments weaken Dear Leader’s grip somewhat, which is why voters like them.)

Here’s how it works.

Let’s say someone named Susan has caught your eye as an intelligent, caring member of your community. You and a group of other citizens convince her to run for the House of Assembly.

At first, Susan toys with the idea of running as an “independent” candidate. But then the historian in the group points out the last political rookie to be elected as an independent was Ebenezer Tilton Moseley, in 1874. (We’ve certainly had independent MLAs before, but only after they’ve been turfed out of their party for things like fraud.)

So, the first thing Susan must do is choose one of the three big parties to run for. To keep it simple, let’s further assume Susan joins the ruling party (the Party) and wins the right to be its candidate for your riding.

Accepting that nomination will likely be the last independent decision of her political career in Nova Scotia.

Susan will have to faithfully toe the Party’s line throughout the election campaign. If the Party believes the premier is still powerful enough to win it a re-election, then he will draw most of that line himself.

Once elected, Susan will typically take a seat in the back of the House where she will do and say exactly what Dear Leader wants. If she doesn’t, the premier will likely never appoint her to his cabinet. This is important because going from MLA to cabinet minister would boost her salary by 50 per cent to a total of about $150,000. This is just one of many jobs around the House that Dear Leader and other party leaders can offer their MLAs. They all come with extra cash, starting at about $10,000.

If Susan steps too far off the Party line, she should probably plan on running and being defeated as an independent in the next election.

However, Susan is free to speak her mind at meetings of the Party’s caucus, which is a group comprising the Party’s elected members and, rarely, outside luminaries. But you and your group will never know what Susan says in caucus because the discussions are secret. (In caucus, no one can hear you scream.)

You and your group may get little tidbits occasionally because you’re insiders, but even then you can’t be sure you’re hearing the truth.

As for the voters, well, obviously they’re in the dark. Susan tries to compensate for this by keeping a high profile in the community and helping people deal with the government. This makes her “a good constituency woman.”

Now let’s say that Susan plays the game well and Dear Leader gives her a job in his cabinet as the Minister of Roads.

At last, Susan’s got her hands on the levers of power. She can seek advice from a legion of professional, non-partisan civil servants, make decisions and give them marching orders. The civil servants will implement her decisions even if they disagree with her.

However, she can’t do anything Dear Leader doesn’t agree with on pain of banishment to the backbenches, or worse.

Susan will have an “executive assistant” to help her with constituency matters. However, depending on the premier, her EA’s real job may be to keep tabs on her. If she does or plans something that might hurt Dear Leader or — worse — the Party, her EA will snitch on her. (The Party is everyone’s meal ticket and must be protected at all costs. It also has mystical qualities that only its members can appreciate.)

Still, all in all, Susan has an opportunity to “make a difference” and the person best positioned to help is her deputy minister. Typically, the deputy is a talented, non-partisan person who can run a department of hundreds on a day-to-day basis and also has the savvy to keep Susan out of trouble.

The deputy works where the political rubber meets the non-partisan road without being drawn into politics.

It’s a critical job in a well-functioning Canadian democracy. The right combination of minister and deputy minister can get a lot of good work done.

However, deputy ministers are hired and fired by the premier. So, if Dear Leader really wants his way, he’ll get it.

Many believe the decision-making process in Nova Scotia is convoluted and time-wasting, which is a hallmark of a democracy. But in the final analysis, it’s actually a straight line that begins and ends with the premier.

It’s true that the other nine provinces and Parliament work largely the same way, although the federal Party now has to deal with an increasingly independent Senate.

And just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean it’s right for Nova Scotia. Nova Scotians can change our system to something that better suits our values. In Kimber’s case, that includes more consultation. Me, I’d like to see Dear Leader come down a peg or two.

It would be great to hear some other ideas on this. Comments to this blog are moderated and real names are required.


A confederacy of dunces?

The loathsome dismissal of Halifax’s planning chief


One of the truly loathsome things you can legally do in a workplace is fire someone without giving them notice or a reason, which is what the City of Halifax did to planning chief Bob Bjerke on Aug. 22, just four years after he started the job.

Legally, senior staff had no obligation to discuss it in advance with the Mayor Michael Savage or Council, so they didn’t. They could have done so as a matter of courtesy, given Council’s obviously critical involvement with the city’s planning. At the very least, it would have been professional to give a heads up to Savage, who was elected to lead Council and the city.

The reptilian style of Bjerke’s dismissal suggests that a small group of people had been quietly undermining him for a long time. This is a common office dynamic: members of a cabal constantly reinforce each other’s distaste for someone until, finally, they are all convinced their victim doesn’t deserve civil treatment, such as a chance to improve his perceived poor performance. Such as what professional HR people do. But Bjerke got neither notice nor explanation, rendering his dismissal a fait accompli before anyone could stop it and making it harder to mount a case of wrongful dismissal.

The tactic also liberates plotters from unwelcome advice. For example, given Savage’s responsibilities, wouldn’t it have been wise to ask him what impact the summary dismissal of such a key director would have on Council’s planning agenda and the city’s reputation? As a politician, answering those questions is part of Savage’s skill-set and ought to be in his job description. There’s the rub, of course. What do you do if the mayor affirms senior staff’s authority to dismiss someone, but advises against it? Answer: you change course or prepare to write a bigger severance cheque than you planned.

So, Bjerke was treated like garbage. You can admire the tactic, but not the tacticians.

By coincidence, Council hasn’t met since Aug. 15, the week before Bjerke got the ax, and won’t meet again until Sept. 5, two weeks after. It’s possible councillors will say nothing on that occasion because staff hiring and firing are outside their purview. But they ARE answerable if the planning process goes off the rails, again, so they may have some pointed questions about whether they are being well-served by senior staff.

Staff will remind Council and the public that the topic is a “personnel matter” and so, according to the city charter, it must be debated in secret. That is wrong: the charter gives council the OPTION to meet in secret, but does not REQUIRE it.

Next, we’ll be told council can’t discuss it publicly because of solicitor-client privilege. Again, this is wrong. Solicitor-client privilege binds the SOLICITOR to secrecy, but the client is perfectly free to discuss her own business, even if her lawyer is opposed to the idea.

We may also be told open discussion would prejudice the city’s position in the (likely) event of litigation, again costing taxpayers more money. Me, I think it’s worth the price just to get a peek at City Hall’s inner workings.

As a mere civic peasant, I’m not meant to know about Bjerke’s performance and I don’t. But the despicable process of his dismissal does bring to mind a quote from Jonathan Swift: “When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.”


Yes we can: Revoke pols’ hospital privileges

Architectural drawing of an upgraded hospital building in HRM

For far too many Nova Scotia politicians, the interests of their party outweigh those of the people who vote for them. This is why citizens hold them in such low regard. So, if we want see the Halifax’s hospital and outpatient services upgraded to modern standards, we will have to wrestle the project away from our political class.

An independent authority would do, but not the NS Health Authority, which was born wearing the political stink of 2013 campaign politics. Problem is, the task of creating the authority would fall to partisan politicians, who hate to put distance between themselves large amounts of money or power.

A case in point is the Efficiency Nova Scotia Corporation, which lost its legislated independence and revenue stream shortly after the Liberals took over in 2013. The money was about $45 million a year tacked on to electricity bills, where government couldn’t get at it. The corporation’s short-lived independence was the result of consultations in which the public was clear that ENSC should be free of politics.

ENSC had its own Act because, the thinking was, it would be too embarrassing for a government to repeal it. Turns out it wasn’t a problem for Stephen McNeil’s Liberals, who killed the law six months after they were elected and seized control of ENSC.

ENSC’s other problem was that it was an NDP creation and thus inherently unacceptable to Liberals, just as the NDP loathed the Conservative-crafted Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act. What saved that act from repeal was its unanimous passage by a House that wasn’t really paying attention. It’s harder to repeal an act you voted for.

The QEII redevelopment project involves hundreds of millions, which presents both an opportunity and a problem for Nova Scotia partisans. The opportunity is obvious: the  budget estimate starts at around $714 million, according to a 2009 Capital District Health Authority PowerPoint you can find here. The problem is, no sane politician campaigns on a promise to spend that kind of money in Halifax. You would win more votes by promising a mandatory puppy-cull.

Oh, and all the rooms would be private and have big windows, something proven to pay for itself in shorter recovery times, but nonetheless hard to explain to a certain class of voters.

Why am I so cynical about this? Because all three major parties have had a crack at the  project since 2009 and all three have dropped the ball after an election. And self-serving political parties are the reason. In a better world, new governments would pick up important projects where their predecessors left off. But not in NS.

To wit: the PCs got the 2009 plan just months before an election and turned a blind eye. The NDP appears to have ordered the project cut by half (see below) just before the 2013 election, although unlike the other parties, they did consult the public on the plan. The Liberals won’t even discuss the cost, preferring to add up all the bits sometime in the future and THEN tell us. Or they don’t want to be accountable for it. Or it wouldn’t fly in rural NS. Or they have no idea.

And don’t think the Liberals jumped on the job right after they were elected. They announced “their” plan in April 2016, borrowing heavily from earlier work, after wasting 2.5 years amalgamating nine health authorities.

Just for example, this is an excerpt from the “final report” the NDP had in front of them in May 2013. If you’re a lover of detail, here’s the full version, but prepare for a long download.  It’s worth your time, though, because it’s the standard we should be aspiring to. (I expect, as with the NDP, whoever is in power will prefer something much cheaper.)

For a quick fix, here is a single page from the report illustrating with a photo of the concept the planners had hoped to emulate, with some explanation.

Or, here’s a cropped version of the picture:

Banner Page Hospital in Arizona, an example of what the defunct CDHA aspired to.

This could have been ours by 2015, if the NDP or Conservatives had been interested.

What happened, you ask? Here’s a clue — just a clue — from a subsequent draft report dated August 2013, two months before a general election, but likely never seen.

"To develop cost reduced scenarios within a fixed budget assumption, several major potential space/ bed capacities were explored ... Project budget is $360m."

In other words, Capital Health had been told to slash the project cost. To see the impact of that budget cut, you can look here. Of download the full document.

What to do? Well, the groundbreaking Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act was passed by a Conservative minority government. The power dynamics of such governments often produce creative results. The job of citizens is to persuade the party holding the balance of power that it’s in their partisan interests to force the winners into de-politicizing the hospital project if they want to stay in power.

Yes we can.


NS has the most doctors per capita in Canada

Canada physicians per capita

The 261 number is about the same as the United States, but much lower than France (330) or Italy (420)*, two of the top-rated health systems in the world.

However, there are subtleties to this that will never be discussed in an election campaign, if ever. For example, Doctors NS argues the high ratio here is driven by the need to treat patients from other Atlantic Provinces. Perhaps, but other provinces will have unique challenges, too, such as vast territories to cover.

The detail-oriented among us are invited to see the Physician Resource Planning report submitted to the Dept. of Health and Welfare.

*OECD (2017), Doctors (indicator). doi: 10.1787/4355e1ec-en (Accessed on 05 May 2017)

VG fix starts at $714 million

Slide 16 CDHA w border smaller
Presentation for Treasury Board, April 22, 2009

Two days into the election, no one seems to want to talk about the all-in cost of bringing hospital services in Halifax up to contemporary standards. In fact, about a year ago, the premier said it would be “irresponsible” to speculate about that.

But at Turpin Labs Irresponsible R Us. So I say the cost starts at $714.1 million, as of 2009, and rises with inflation.

My source is a PowerPoint deck by the Capital District Health Authority intended for presentation to the Treasury Board on April 22, 2009 — the waning days of Rodney MacDonald’s Conservative government.

It’s fun to imagine what the reaction to that must have been. The Tories were going to call an election in two months and no sane Nova Scotia politician would go to the polls with a plan to spend that kind of money in Halifax, even if many of its specialized services are used by all Nova Scotians.

And yet the $714 million number is in the ballpark. By comparison, a new 172-bed hospital slated for completion in Grande Prairie in 2019 looks like it will come in around $740 million. (I don’t know why Albertans tell taxpayers the cost of their hospitals. They’re just wild and crazy, I guess.)

By contrast, my information comes from a document obtained through the province’s tedious and execrable freedom of information process. You can download the deck below. The red circle on Slide 16 is mine.

TL Treasury_Board_Master_Plan_Presentation_April_22_2009.

You may hear that the 2009 and subsequent proposals that each of the previous three governments have seen were too expensive because of “frills” such as single-patient rooms with large out-facing windows. But research shows these features accelerate healing so much that they pay for themselves in reduced patient-load.

The deck says the earliest feasible target for vacating the Centennial and Victoria wings at the VG site is 2015. Yep, that’s right. It could have been done by 2015.

When Darrell Dexter’s NDP took over in June of 2009, the CDHA asked for a meeting the same day. But the Dippers appear to have sought minded-boggling budget cuts that in the end rendered the project moot.

Next up, Stephen McNeil’s government in 2013. They wasted maybe two years amalgamating the province’s nine health authorities, accidentally neutering Halifax’s in the process.

Finally, in April 2016 they announced a “plan” that was mostly cherry-picked from previous proposals. Hell, the Terms of Reference weren’t prepared until a month after the announcement. You can download that below:

Terms of Reference QEII Steering Committee May 25 2016

For an irresponsible comparison, here’s a TOR template:

TOR template-download

Here are some excerpts from the 2009 proposal:

  • An aggressive “push down and out” of hospital services into robust, interdisciplinary and highly integrated community health services centres.
  • Less about architecture, more about interpersonal networks and relationships in a wide array of services – i.e. community health centres and family health teams 
  • Strategically located throughout our communities in locations that respond to community needs. 
  • A mental health master plan.    
  • And Phase 2 – 2018 to 2026:
    A menu of alternatives based on projected needs with flexibility to adapt to: 
  • changing priorities and funding opportunities 
  • Fitness, wellness & commercial building on VG campus 
  • Expansion of Cobequid Health Centre 
  • Freestanding, comprehensive suburban ambulatory centres 
  • Comprehensive community health centres on new sites 
  • Further expansion at HI, VG and DGH sites 

Will the next government follow through this time?

Here’s something George Moody, a health minister in the 1990s, said to the late, lamented Halifax Daily News around the turn of the century: “We’ll never get the health system working right until all the political parties agree on a plan that goes beyond a four-year mandate.”

So, my advice for voters is be cynical, be very cynical.

Carbon tax: you can get PAID twice

T-Labs refs call B-S on carbon tax whining:

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil got it wrong when he said Nova Scotians would “pay twice” under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax. Actually, many of them will GET PAID TWICE unless McNeil tries a cash-grab.

In fact, the biggest risk to Nova Scotians is that their own government will spend the tax money on useless, cockamamie projects.

Stephen McNeil, premier

McNeil threw a fit when Trudeau said Canada would have a carbon tax starting in 2018 if the provinces don’t do anything on their own, which they won’t.

McNeil whined that Nova Scotians will have to “pay twice” to fight climate change, which is killing us, because we have already paid so much for the progress we’ve made to date reducing power company carbon emissions. He was backed by his human survival minister, Margaret Miller, who walked out of a federal-provincial conference in protest.

For clarity, by “paying twice” McNeil can only mean that we paid once through our higher power rates caused by renewables and cleaner air, and now must pay again through Prime Minister Dr. Evil’s carbon tax.

It’s a beloved story: Nova Scotians getting the shaft.

But at Turpin Laboratories, our Referees Division is blowing the whistle and calling “bullshit”. Here’s why:

In 2007, in a spasm of long-term thinking unnoticed except by then-Human Survival Minister Mark Parent, the N.S. Assembly passed sweeping environmental legislation that included bringing down GHG (carbon) emissions from power generation. At the time, Nova Scotia Power’s emissions were 10,648,422 tonnes per year.

Without that intervention it’s a good bet we would be emitting at least that much today, and probably more, despite some high-profile plant-closings.

So, let’s imagine that 2018 rolls around and we are emitting the very same $10,648,422 tonnes per year. How much would we pay in Trudeau’s dastardly carbon tax over the next nine years? The total would be $3,550,874,250 (see chart below).

However, our power emissions are currently just 6,772,769 tonnes. If we assume that rate from 2018 through 2026, our total carbon tax would be $2,370,469,150. The difference is $1,180,405,100. That is, Nova Scotians would SAVE  $1.2 billion.

Put still another way, Newfoundland, which today has emissions very close to what we had in 2007, would pay $1.2 billion MORE than Nova Scotians.

The difference is Nova Scotia’s reward for getting an early start. Sorry, but it’s just not the same as “paying twice”.

Also, the carbon tax revenues will not leave the N.S. economy. The feds will remit the funds back to the province. That’s where the real danger lies: instead of using it to lower provincial income tax, as B.C. does, our government could well use it to reward the province’s high rollers with projects like football stadiums or, say, a massive convention centre for Yarmouth or New Waterford.

On the other hand, if the province in fact lowered its income tax, regular folks would get a tax break and, if they actually reduced their carbon footprints, they would save money on gasoline and electricity.

In other words, they would get PAID twice: tax-break + energy savings = paid twice.

But we’re not done. Our political thinkers would have you believe that Nova Scotia is the only province to address GHG emissions. But Turpin Labs has discovered there are actually 10 provinces in Canada (who knew?) and some of them have reduced their GHGs, too.

Yes, Nova Scotia is tops with a commendable 29% since 2005. But N.B. (say it ain’t so) is right behind us at 27%. Ontario’s number is 19%. The Yukon is 40% (see chart below).

So, N.S. politicians, please stop pleading special case, grow up, and figure out how best to use all that new tax money coming your way. Hint: give it back to the people who paid it.