You knew something was not quite right when reports began circulating about the hundreds of free tickets being handed out for this summer''s Black Eyed Peas concert on the Halifax Common. There'd also been rumours about financial issues with the McCartney concert the previous summer. Yesterday, Harold MacKay made it official. He closed up shop at Power Promotional Events and is out of the concert business. Too bad. I liked Harold and he really tried to bring us the big concerts. He was a go-getters, something this city needs. Don't forget, Harold is also the fellow who brought us the Halifax Mooseheads hockey team, the Moosehead Grand Prix and concerts featuring the likes of Paul McCartney and Keith Urban. But the concert business is a fickle business with lots of money on the line. It just didn't work out for Harold. Too bad.
I'm told there will be no concerts on the Common next summer. It has to do with the speedskating oval now under construction there for the 2011 Winter Games. The track will be dismantled in the spring and the field rebuilt so it won't be ready in time for a summer concert. That will give someone time to step into MacKay's shoes and line up a 2012 summer concert. Concert promotion is a risk, but with the right act it can be a money-maker. The Black Eyed Peas were not that act, at least not in Halifax. Bring in someone like Bruce Springsteen however, and people will pack the place.
Ross Landry says it's not true. Nova Scotia's justice minister says allegations of drug use by Pictou County RCMP officers while he was the staff sergeant in charge of the detachment are unfounded. An anonymous letter alleges Landry did nothing about allegations of drug use, sex parties and mis-use of weapons, but Landry insists those matters were dealt with. He was testifying before a Nova Scotia Police Review Board hearing on the firing of Stellarton police chief Amby Heighton. He's appealing his dismissal and the letter detailing the allegations was entered as evidence. Landry says he believes Heighton was it's author.
The evidence at the hearing does seem to indicate Landry acted on the allegations, and indeed, some officers were disciplined. But was there an actual sex party? Or drug use, including one officer's wife associating with drug dealers? Stellarton town cop Paul Pentz told the hearing yesterday the allegations were common knowlege within Pictou County police circles. If that's the case, there's a lot more to this story than we are hearing right now.
It seems they'll stoop to any low in Ottawa these days. Canadian Press reporter Murray Brewster is reporting today more Canadian military veterans are coming forward with claims their confidential medical information was being widely distributed by bureaucrats at Veterans Affairs and many believe it was an effort to smear their reputations. Veterans like Nova Scotia's Dennis Manuge have been calling for a public inquiry into the department but so far the government's refusing. But as more proof comes forward of this inappropriate use of private medical information, and public anger grows at this shocking treatment of our military veterans, the Harperites might have no choice.
Have a great day. Get involved. And if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.