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  #801  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2013, 2:16 AM
Hali87 Hali87 is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
And now the truth has come out - the group involved in this boondoggle was unprepared to do anything concrete and had their hands out to the provincial and federal govts for a substantial dole of public funds. Now since they are apparently unable to complete an application form or write a proposal that showed how this thing could be funded long-term, it sits on its new site ready to be vandalized. No surprise that the taxpayer is on the hook for this mess. Ridiculous.
Where does it say that the HT asked the provincial or federal gov't for funds? Is there an article or something?
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  #802  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2013, 2:20 AM
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Biggest irony... these heritage types are the first to say that NS Power is a monopoly and a bunch of overpaid executives that are overcharging for power, stealing from the public, etc.
That's not untrue, though. Maybe not NSP specifically, but the current state of the power utility (ie. Emera is accountable to shareholders who may or may not live in NS, essentially controls 100% of the electricity available in NS, and owns electrical utilities in other jurisdictions) means that Nova Scotians are paying significantly more for electricity than we might be otherwise. This is also terrible for industry, and is one of the reasons that the mills are all shutting down and/or getting bailed out.
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  #803  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2013, 11:17 AM
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Where does it say that the HT asked the provincial or federal gov't for funds? Is there an article or something?
CBC ran an article last night about it, although it looks like it may be more the Metro Non-Profit Housing Association that is looking for money. I imagine the Heritage Trust still has some involvement? Or was their role just lining up the Housing Association and dumping the house on them?

Quote:
Historic Morris House project hits funding snag

A project to move an old Halifax house across town and convert it into a youth home has hit a snag.

Some of the funding for the 249-year-old Morris House has not come through as expected. That that means the projected fall 2013 opening of the house will be pushed back until at least the spring of 2014.

Recently, a request for $100,000 in provincial funding was turned down by the Department of Community Services. An application for $500,000 in federal funding for the project was also rejected.
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Story here
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  #804  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2013, 2:22 PM
worldlyhaligonian worldlyhaligonian is offline
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That's not untrue, though. Maybe not NSP specifically, but the current state of the power utility (ie. Emera is accountable to shareholders who may or may not live in NS, essentially controls 100% of the electricity available in NS, and owns electrical utilities in other jurisdictions) means that Nova Scotians are paying significantly more for electricity than we might be otherwise. This is also terrible for industry, and is one of the reasons that the mills are all shutting down and/or getting bailed out.
Its true of everything in Nova Scotia though! Our rates aren't helped by groups like the HT getting something for their own ends.

Also... I don't agree with the mills period. Its a sunset industry! Lets give that bailout money to tech startups!

Doesn't surprise me funding hit a snag, although the given HT's experience and amount of free time, I thought they may be clever enough to rig the system as they have in the past.

I guess its easier to argue against things from happening and obstruct policy as opposed to actually doing anything / creating positive change.
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  #805  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2013, 5:21 PM
Hali87 Hali87 is offline
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Originally Posted by worldlyhaligonian View Post
Also... I don't agree with the mills period. Its a sunset industry! Lets give that bailout money to tech startups!
I can't say I'm enough of an expert to really argue for or against the bailout of the mills, but there's a bit of a problem with this logic. In theory it would be relatively easy to replace the lost jobs/economic activity with new high tech startups should the forestry industry be allowed to die. The problem is, how many loggers and millworkers do you think would realistically be able to work in the high tech sector? By high-tech I assume you mean computer programming and hardware design. High-tech startups would do very little for the actual individuals affected should the paper industry suddenly collapse.
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  #806  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2013, 5:34 PM
Drybrain Drybrain is offline
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I can't say I'm enough of an expert to really argue for or against the bailout of the mills, but there's a bit of a problem with this logic. In theory it would be relatively easy to replace the lost jobs/economic activity with new high tech startups should the forestry industry be allowed to die. The problem is, how many loggers and millworkers do you think would realistically be able to work in the high tech sector? By high-tech I assume you mean computer programming and hardware design. High-tech startups would do very little for the actual individuals affected should the paper industry suddenly collapse.
That's the difficulty in NS, isn't it? Trades and resource extraction are becoming less important to the overall economy, but to follow free-market logic and allow them to just die abruptly will be too painful for the people and communities that rely on them. But the opposite—artificially inflating flagging economies with government investment in dying industries—is no solution, since it'll only prolong the inevitable and leave us even more unprepared for the future.

How do we transition, rapidly, to a white-collar, educated, "creative class" (there aren't enough scare quotes in the world to surround those words, but you know what I mean) economy, while easing the pain for the workers left behind?

I don't know, exactly. Just asking.
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  #807  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2013, 7:32 PM
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That's the difficulty in NS, isn't it? Trades and resource extraction are becoming less important to the overall economy, but to follow free-market logic and allow them to just die abruptly will be too painful for the people and communities that rely on them. But the opposite—artificially inflating flagging economies with government investment in dying industries—is no solution, since it'll only prolong the inevitable and leave us even more unprepared for the future.

How do we transition, rapidly, to a white-collar, educated, "creative class" (there aren't enough scare quotes in the world to surround those words, but you know what I mean) economy, while easing the pain for the workers left behind?

I don't know, exactly. Just asking.
This is fundamentally Nova Scotia's systemic problem for the last century. Every single government has vacillated between propping up dying industries, and hoping on the bandwagon of the latest economic saviour.

It is painful to change directions, and there is no doubt that the effect of that needs to be mitigated, but at some point we have to acknowledge that we are just falling farther and farther behind.
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  #808  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2013, 7:38 PM
worldlyhaligonian worldlyhaligonian is offline
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Originally Posted by Hali87 View Post
I can't say I'm enough of an expert to really argue for or against the bailout of the mills, but there's a bit of a problem with this logic. In theory it would be relatively easy to replace the lost jobs/economic activity with new high tech startups should the forestry industry be allowed to die. The problem is, how many loggers and millworkers do you think would realistically be able to work in the high tech sector? By high-tech I assume you mean computer programming and hardware design. High-tech startups would do very little for the actual individuals affected should the paper industry suddenly collapse.
The problem is we are becoming a paperless society. What you propose is actually everybody subsidizing people that shouldn't have jobs if it were up to the market. The longer we do this, the more generations we create of the people that have structural disbenefit you suggest.

It would be better off to take the bailout money, fund retirements for all these millworkers, and let the forestry industry not be a major employer in NS going forward.

Young people aren't lining up to do this kind of work... its exactly the issue with governments intervening. When the gov subsidizes the shit out of it, rural people decide to go do it instead of maybe getting an education in a more viable growth industry.
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  #809  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2013, 8:22 PM
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Originally Posted by beyeas View Post
This is fundamentally Nova Scotia's systemic problem for the last century. Every single government has vacillated between propping up dying industries, and hoping on the bandwagon of the latest economic saviour.

It is painful to change directions, and there is no doubt that the effect of that needs to be mitigated, but at some point we have to acknowledge that we are just falling farther and farther behind.
This is very true, and I think the "economic saviour" attitude is just as bad as propping up dying industries. There may be "good" times from windfall natural resource royalties and the like but the pattern of under-performance in NS isn't going to be corrected by stuff like that.

The province should be focusing on home-grown businesses and entrepreneurship. Even if the goal were to create high tech jobs, I think the province would get a lot more out of small business loans and targeted education funding. Much of the difference between a place like Halifax and, say, San Francisco, is just that it's much easier to get funding on good terms in California because the big investors are there. Another problem is that NS has high tuition and relatively poor funding for programs like Computer Science, even though they say they want high tech jobs. They think the way to fix the problem is to hand over millions to companies like IBM or RIM; there may be some room for that but it is the same old "plantation economy" format of past decades.

The attitude that government funding is a zero sum city vs. countryside battle is also really damaging and wrong. People in Halifax buy tons of stuff from rural NS. 2/3 of the population of the province is pretty much a part of the local HRM market and is tied very directly to its fortunes. There are also lots of opportunities for entrepreneurship in rural areas; it's easier to sell goods from rural NS around the world than it ever has been. The wine industry is one example where having the right skills and some capital can dramatically increase the value of goods produced in a rural area.

NS has also done a terrible job of encouraging immigration. Some people try to excuse this away by arguing that the economy is bad or that immigrants only want to go to big cities, but this does not explain why PEI attracts far more immigrants per capita than NS does. A more likely explanation is that the immigration levels could be higher and aren't because immigration is being mishandled by the province (which, by the way, had to send out refunds to hundreds of mentorship program participants).
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  #810  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2013, 9:08 PM
Drybrain Drybrain is offline
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NS has also done a terrible job of encouraging immigration. Some people try to excuse this away by arguing that the economy is bad or that immigrants only want to go to big cities, but this does not explain why PEI attracts far more immigrants per capita than NS does. A more likely explanation is that the immigration levels could be higher and aren't because immigration is being mishandled by the province (which, by the way, had to send out refunds to hundreds of mentorship program participants).
I think I mentioned this somewhere else on the forum, but the whole immigrants-like-big-cities thing is increasingly untrue in Canada. Small prairie cities are seeing the biggest increases in immigration, and Toronto's immigration levels have been cut in half in the past ten years.

NB and PEI have also dramatically increased their immigration levels in recent years—David Campbell is an economist in Moncton who's done some writing about this, and his theory about why NS hasn't seen as much of an increase (though our immigrant retention is way up, which is also extremely important—the people who come here increasingly tend to stay) is that rural Nova Scotia is still feeding people into the city, so the need for immigrants isn't as acute as in NB, PEI, etc. I don't know if he has any data to back that up, but it's his theory, anyway.
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  #811  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2013, 9:39 PM
worldlyhaligonian worldlyhaligonian is offline
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I think I mentioned this somewhere else on the forum, but the whole immigrants-like-big-cities thing is increasingly untrue in Canada. Small prairie cities are seeing the biggest increases in immigration, and Toronto's immigration levels have been cut in half in the past ten years.

NB and PEI have also dramatically increased their immigration levels in recent years—David Campbell is an economist in Moncton who's done some writing about this, and his theory about why NS hasn't seen as much of an increase (though our immigrant retention is way up, which is also extremely important—the people who come here increasingly tend to stay) is that rural Nova Scotia is still feeding people into the city, so the need for immigrants isn't as acute as in NB, PEI, etc. I don't know if he has any data to back that up, but it's his theory, anyway.
Sounds about right.

Sask has alot to do with how hard they are trying to get people to come. Anybody can work in that part of the country.
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  #812  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2013, 11:21 PM
Hali87 Hali87 is offline
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Originally Posted by worldlyhaligonian View Post
The problem is we are becoming a paperless society. What you propose is actually everybody subsidizing people that shouldn't have jobs if it were up to the market. The longer we do this, the more generations we create of the people that have structural disbenefit you suggest.
Where, in that quote, did I propose anything? I just offered a reason why I don't think the paper industry should have been allowed to, as someone already put it, "abruptly die" with no plan in place for the futures of those currently employed by the industry. Of course paper is on the decline but there are other uses for wood, and the plant in Port Hawkesbury is a specialized plant that is apparently one of the best in the world for making gloss paper, a product that will probably continue to exist even once the post office and photocopier are obsolete. I don't think that Nova Scotia shouldn't be developing new industries. I just think it's much more complicated than "well the forestry workers can just become computer programmers, right?" I don't see the forestry workers as a group that will unfortunately have to lose out big-time in order for the rest of the province to progress. To me the attitude that "some individuals must lose out big-time in favour of the greater good", is pretty unacceptable and not a very good approach, especially when those individuals are almost all blue-collar workers of modest incomes and little training. It would be different if they were all millionaires with PhD's, but they're not.
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  #813  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2013, 11:30 PM
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What is annoying about the mills is how the unions fought for wages that could not be sustained and the workers priced their product out of the market. Now the rest of us (some of us who took less in order to keep our jobs) are paying to keep them employed. I have no sympathy.
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  #814  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2013, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
David Campbell is an economist in Moncton who's done some writing about this, and his theory about why NS hasn't seen as much of an increase (though our immigrant retention is way up, which is also extremely important—the people who come here increasingly tend to stay) is that rural Nova Scotia is still feeding people into the city, so the need for immigrants isn't as acute as in NB, PEI, etc. I don't know if he has any data to back that up, but it's his theory, anyway.
I haven't seen any of this writing, but rural migration to Halifax is a substantially smaller source of growth than in other cities in the region. People coming from outside the province are a much larger share of newcomers. This is what I'd expect; a lot of people from areas like CB tend to head straight for Alberta if they decide to leave. Something like shipbuilding may change that if the province manages training in CB properly and if the employment generated lives up to expectations.

The proportion of foreign-born in Halifax is also higher than in other cities in the region.

My impression is that NS just botched its primary strategy for attracting immigrants. As a result, it has suffered damage to its reputation and hasn't had an effective program in place for as long as other places.
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  #815  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2013, 7:04 PM
worldlyhaligonian worldlyhaligonian is offline
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What is annoying about the mills is how the unions fought for wages that could not be sustained and the workers priced their product out of the market. Now the rest of us (some of us who took less in order to keep our jobs) are paying to keep them employed. I have no sympathy.
That's exactly how it works. They don't care about the fact you are paying for them.
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  #816  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2013, 7:51 PM
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The Morris house move is featured on tonight's episode of Monster Moves on HGTV. It's on multiple times starting at 6pm.
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  #817  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2013, 1:21 AM
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If you missed the show on TV, you can watch it online here:

http://www.hgtv.ca/massivemoves/vide.../full+episodes
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  #818  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2013, 2:29 AM
Drybrain Drybrain is offline
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Cool to see some of the difficulties they faced. (Funny too, to see that whoever did the animated bits seems to imagine Halifax with a lot more Brooklyn-style brownstones and rooftop water towers than it actually has!)
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  #819  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2013, 2:44 AM
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One thing I wondered was why they waited until one of the coldest nights of the year to move the house.
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  #820  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2013, 2:59 AM
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One thing I wondered was why they waited until one of the coldest nights of the year to move the house.
Pffft... How else do you get drama from moving a piece of crap across town! lol
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