City council yesterday approved in principle a plan that could see multi pad rinks built on the Halifax peninsula and in Dartmouth to replace several older rinks in the city. The proposal carries an $85 million price tag but council's decision doesn't go that far, it allows for staff now to figure out budgets, timelines and potential building sites. The new facilities would be similar to the BMO Centre on the Hammonds Plains Road. A committee handling the issue is recommending the Halifax Forum site as a location for a new Halifax rink while across the harbour, they're talking about possible sites at Dartmouth Crossing and Shannon Park. There's little doubt new rinks are needed to replace the Bowles, Grey, Devonshire and Lebrun facilities but council could have a fight on its hands over the historic Forum that's played huge role in the city's sports scene for decades. The Forum's received upgrades to host Canada Winter Games events and for university hockey. It has been the setting for some great sporting moments in the city's history, from hockey to boxing. It would be a big mistake to lose it.
Councillor Jerry Blumenthal's persistence has paid off. City council yesterday decided yesterday to offer free Metro Transit bus rides for seniors. It's something Blumethal has been pushing for sometime now, only to see it rejected on several previous efforts. But he stuck with it and it paid off. It's just a pilot project right now, lasting three months. Seniors will be able to get on a bus at no charge Tuesday's between 10am and 3pm starting next month. But council was also told Metro Transit has no means of counting the number of seniors who actually use the service, prompting councillor Reg Rankin to wonder how difficult it will be to end the service. I wonder about the $50,000 price tag for the pilot project. Why would it cost anything when the buses are running during those times with very few passengers on board?
Metro Transit says it plans a ridership count on all its routes this fall. Moncton's Codiac Transpo buses have electronic passenger counters, but Halifax's buses are not similarly equipped. A story on the CTV supper hour news last night suggests the new airport bus service, now 3 months old, is a money-losing effort so far. Typically only 3 to 7 folks use the new bus run to and from the airport and downtown Halifax in the afternoons. During peak hours only about 15 people take the bus. In fact, only 2 of Metro Transit's many bus runs actually make money, the #1 along Spring Garden and the #41 from Dartmouth to Dal.
It has been hot and humid for much of this month, but that hasn't stopped some idiots from leaving their dogs in their cars while they pop in to a store for some shopping or to run a few errands. There have been 45 calls to police and other officials so far this month about dogs stuck in cars, 4 on Monday alone. Temperatures inside a car can hit up to 50 degrees in a matter of minutes in this kind of weather, putting a dog's life at risk if its left inside for any length of time. Smarten up people.
Wouldn't you like to get your hands on however was responsible for the injuries to a 2 year old dog now under the Bide Awhile shelter's care. CBC's supper hour news last evening told us the dog had 50 pellets in its head. It lost sight in one eye as a result. The dog's okay now and is awaiting adoption, but one veterinarian told the newscat it's shocking and "just unbelievable that somebody would do that to a dog." A similar story of abuse comes out of Saint John where a dog was found in a box, coated in its own feces and covered with maggots. It's legs were also broken. Unfortunately in this case the animal was too far gone to save and had to be put down. A shelter spokesman says it could have been a different story had the animal's owner brought to to them long before leaving it in the box outside the shelter the other day. What prompts someone to treat an animal like that?
NDP veterans affairs critic Peter Stoffer is welcoming the appointment of a dietician to check out the food quality at the Camp Hill Veterans hospital in Halifax. As Stoffer toured the facility yesterday, Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney announced the appointment to "review the quality of the food provided at Camp Hill." Veterans at the hospital have been complaining the food they're served is bland and tasteless and they want, and deserve better. Blaney also sent an assistant deputy minister to the hospital Monday to look into the situation. Let's hope when the review's done, the veterans get their wish for some decent food.
Have a great day. Get involved. And if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.