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When The Cows Comes Home

By Wyn Jones

Earlier this week a friend drew my attention to a Provincial Government release. It was issued from the office of the Minister for Agriculture, Keith Colwell and declared that the government intends to amend the Fences and Detention of Stray Livestock Act. The amended act will remove the responsibility from municipalities to respond to situations involving stray livestock.

The huge sigh of relief from Mayor Savage’s office could be heard out as far as the remotest rural reaches of HRM. It should, however, be noted that the Provincial Government, regardless of its many faults, has at least been able to demonstrate the ability to amend bad and outdated by-laws. Perhaps this is an irony completely missed by HRM politicians and bureaucrats.

In an extensive interview in the Chronicle Herald on October 19th, our re-elected Mayor was given the opportunity to tout the fact that Halifax is the second fastest growing economy in Canada and that the city’s population growth is being driven by the fresh influx of young people under the age of 39. By that, of course, he means downtown, where new glass towers are sprouting like weeds.

But in reality, only the older and well heeled can afford the rental or condo prices, forcing these new arrivals to seek their living accommodation further and further away from the core. In the whole of the interview, Mayor Savage concentrated his remarks in obvious reference to downtown. His one final admission, that Halifax is the biggest physical municipality in the country, seemed like an afterthought. He failed to mention however, that 22% of the total population of HRM living amongst the wandering livestock, out here in the boonies, would dearly love to share in bountiful rewards showering on just one small physical portion of HRM.

With the massive amounts of money now available from the funds the HRM was using to protect us from marauding cows and sheep, the long-suffering rural minority may finally get a bigger cut of the pie. In the meantime, we must find what comfort we can from the knowledge that now it’s the Provincial Government that will bear the burden of ensuring our protection from all the sheep and cows wandering aimlessly through the streets and byways of the Eastern Shore.

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