Mayor Peter Kelly has certainly touched off a real firestorm with his suggestion downtown bar owners and the province aren't doing enough to deal with binge drinking. The Dexter government says show us the proof. The Restaurant Association's Gord Stewart wonders if the mayor hasn't lost touch with the reality of what's happening in the downtown where various efforts have been put into place to deal with drunken patrons. And the bar owners say they do not intentionally serve those who have had too much. I don't doubt them, but the anecdotal evidence suggests otherwise. I've heard from a slew of folks who say you can be three sheets to the wind and still get served in many downtown bars. The bars may be doing everything they can to deal with the problem. Perhaps it's just not enough.
A caller to my News 95.7 radio show yesterday suggested bars set up breathalyzers and have everyone entering first blow into it. Another answer might be raising the drinking age, at the least it would keep some of the more immature off the streets. Nova Scotia's chief public health officer thinks we have a culture these days where booze is a necessity to have fun. He told my News 95.7 radio show yesterday one answer might be to ban liquor advertising. We've all seen the television ads featuring sexy bodies having a great time while a bottle of beer or liquor is predominantly featured. We don't allow cigarette advertising. Food for thought.
Many folks feel the Utility and Review Board has been little more than a rubber stamp for Nova Scotia Power's ongoing rate increases. But there was a hearing yesterday that indicated a different attitude. Nova Scotia Power wants to keep under wraps much of an audit done on the utility. It says the report is flawed and is defamatory. Few agree and even the chairman of the Utility board remarked that keeping such information from the public was "really quite chilling." Stay tuned in a few weeks for a decision on the matter.
Gas went up 3.9 cents overnight, more than most predicated. But according to gas price watchdog Dan McTeague, prices should have actually dropped. He says prices are falling in unregulated markets after Hurricane Isaac's damage was much less than expected, but in regulated markets like Nova Scotia we'll have to wait a week now before we catch up. Regulation here is costing motorists millions extra a year.
The Canadian Paediatric Society has re-kindled the debate over the driving age for ATV's. The society wants anyone under 16 banned from driving the off-road vehicles, suggesting they're not safe for kids under that age. A quarter of all ATV-related deaths and a third of its injuries involve kids under 15. If you can't drive a car until you're 16, why can a minor of any age under that be able to drive an all terrain vehicle.
August 31st, summer went by fast, too fast.
Have a great long weekend. Get involved. And if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.