Just 24 hours after announcing a deal to save the NewPage paper mill in Port Hawkesbury had collapsed, the province and the company announced they'd come to terms and the mill could be producing paper again by early October. Premier Darrell Dexter made the announcement Saturday evening much to the relief of residents of the Cape Breton town. But outside of Port Hawkesbury there's concern about what taxpayers are getting themselves into. It's lip stick on a pig says the Taxpayer Federation's Kevin Lacey who has long opposed government bailouts to corporations. Using taxpayers money is wrong and is a bad deal says one of many opposing online comments on various websites. Another predicts the mill will shut down in a couple of years and taxpayers will be left holding the bag. Even the vice president of the union representing NewPage workers has his reservations. Archie MacLachlan says folks won't really believe the deal is done until paper is actually rolling out of the mill. I'm glad for the people who work at the mill, many will now get to keep their jobs. The question remains however, at what cost?
Public transit will be the focus of a mayoral debate tonight. Hosted by the Planning and Design Centre the candidates will respond to questions about how we get around in HRM. It will deal with everything from Metro Transit buses to commuter rail. The session begins at 630 this evening. With just 4 weeks now until election day, it's time to start paying attention to what these mayoral candidates are saying about the issues facing our city.
If Facebook popularity's any indication, Tuxedo Stan would be our next mayor. Stan however is a cat but he's gathered some 4500 likes on Facebook compared to mayoralty front-runner Mike Savage with just about 2000. Retired vet Hugh Chisholm is Stan's campaign manager. He says their effort is focused on a lack of a low cast spay and neuter program in the city. He says the Savage and Tom Martin camps have offered their support. Halifax is one of only a few cities in the country without such a program. It's long overdue.
Residents in Lunenburg County will find more healthy eating alternatives offered in area recreation facilities and at public events. The new policy will see more fruits and whole grains offered and few fries and chips. The community's effort comes on the heels of last week's Stats Canada report indicating 1 in 3 Canadian youths are oveweight or obese. It has prompted a debate on measures needed to combat the issue. I raised the issue of a fat tax on my radio show Friday afternoon, an extra cost for cheeseburgers and such. It both sends a message about unhealthy eating and would help cover health care costs for the obese. It's already a measure in some jurisdictions. Denmark for example now taxes junk food. Considering the rising obesity levels, it's an idea that needs to be considered.
Have a great day. Get involved. Abnd if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.