•   
  •   
  •   

Canada Where the streets have explorers' names, some Halifax residents call for change

15:41  16 may  2021
15:41  16 may  2021 Source:   thecanadianpress.com

COVID-19 restrictions in Nova Scotia are tough, but they could get tougher: premier

  COVID-19 restrictions in Nova Scotia are tough, but they could get tougher: premier HALIFAX — With Atlantic Canada's worst COVID-19 outbreak showing no signs of letting up, Nova Scotia's premier warned Thursday he might impose tougher restrictions to reduce the rapid spread of the deadly virus. Premier Iain Rankin told a virtual news conference he has grown frustrated with residents and visitors who aren't taking the pandemic seriously, despite the fact the number of active cases has jumped from 111 two weeks ago to 1,309 on Thursday. "I don't know what more I could say to Nova Scotians to make sure they take this issue seriously," he said after a cabinet meeting.

HALIFAX — When builders created Halifax’s distinctive Hydrostone neighbourhood more than a century ago, they chose to honour celebrated explorers. There are streets named after William Grant Stairs, Christopher Columbus, John Cabot and Henry Morton Stanley, among others.

a house that has a sign on the side of the street © Provided by The Canadian Press

But now some residents are taking a closer look at the legacies of the men the streets are named for, part of a national trend examining whether people honoured on the country's maps are worthy of celebration.

“We live today in a society that does not honour explorers and what they did,” Frances Early, a retired Mount Saint Vincent University history professor, said in a recent interview. “We live in a society that understands that we live on unceded territory of the Mi'kmaq people. If we are going to commemorate, we need to commemorate appropriately.”

Halifax airport CEO hopes for more on-site COVID testing 'sooner rather than later'

  Halifax airport CEO hopes for more on-site COVID testing 'sooner rather than later' HALIFAX — The chief executive of Atlantic Canada's largest airport is hoping for COVID-19 testing for arriving passengers "sooner rather than later," as an added measure to combat Nova Scotia's third wave of the pandemic. The Halifax International Airport Authority first proposed the testing system at Stanfield International Airport in January. The current system, which has been used for temporary foreign workers, sends the incoming passengers to a designated area for testing before they leave the building.

Early lives on Stairs Place in the Hydrostone, named after the Halifax-born explorer who was instrumental in some of the most violent expeditions across Africa. A few blocks over is Columbus Place, which is just down from Cabot Place.

She said the street names weren’t chosen by the city or its citizens but by the construction company that built the housing after much of the area had been levelled by the Halifax Explosion in 1917. It was a time when the military town of Halifax was enamoured with all things British and imperial.

“Many of the streets are named after explorers to honour white explorers, and it provoked absolutely no discussion,” Early said. And as a local figure, Stairs made for a great addition alongside the likes of Columbus and Stanley, a British explorer of Central Africa.

Mississauga–Streetsville MP Gagan Sikand still on leave; staff won’t answer basic questions

  Mississauga–Streetsville MP Gagan Sikand still on leave; staff won’t answer basic questions It’s been more than half-a-year since Gagan Sikand last opened his laptop to take part in Canada’s virtual legislature. The Mississauga–Streetsville MP has been on an approved long-term medical absence from Parliament since October 30, but questions about how his departure is being handled have been met with silence. In February, The Pointer first reported Sikand’s medical leave of absence. The move has been approved by the Liberal Party’s Chief Whip and bureaucratic staff are still being employed to handle the day-to-day management of the MP’s office.

Jonathan Roberts, a history professor at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, said in a recent interview that Stairs was a leading figure in several trips to attempt to “pacify” parts of Africa. Stairs' journals outline the strategy he adopted on his travels, which included ambushing villages and killing thieves who stole from his encampment.

Like Early, Roberts wants the city to reconsider the names of Stairs Place and Stairs Street. In April, he went to the neighbourhood to shoot a video in which he recounts the life and legacy of the colonialist. In it, Roberts reads a passage from Stairs' journals, which were published after his death in 1892. 

“It was most interesting lying in the bush and watching the natives quietly at their day’s work … all as it was every day until our discharge of bullets, when the usual uproar and screaming of women took place,” the journals read.

Ontario investigating 2 long-term care homes following allegations residents died of neglect during pandemic

  Ontario investigating 2 long-term care homes following allegations residents died of neglect during pandemic Ontario is investigating two Toronto long-term care homes where the Canadian military reported residents died of neglect, not COVID-19, during outbreaks last year. Minister of Long-Term Care Merrilee Fullerton said multiple inspectors are working with the coroner's office at Downsview Long Term Care Centre and Hawthorne Place Care Centre, interviewing staff and medical directors to verify reports that residents died of dehydration and malnutrition. Inspectors visited the homes on Monday, the ministry said.

Roberts said he wanted to inform residents of Stairs' notoriety, and he has created an online petition to have the street renamed. “There are grand gestures of decolonization and there are incremental, small acts of decolonization and I want to do, at least, a small act if I can contribute,” Roberts said.

Roberts and Early's efforts reflect a growing conversation around names and the place they have in society, said Lauren Beck, a professor of Hispanic studies at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick. She said the “moral anxiety” around names has shifted over time with our values.

Beck is tackling the issue in her upcoming book, "Canada’s Place Names and How to Change Them," which she expects to see published in 2022. The book looks at names across the country through racialized and gendered lenses.

In a recent interview, Beck said some of the earliest names in Canada were informed by Christianity and were often named after saints by early explorers and settlers. “The landscape of the Americas not only becomes Christianized in many ways, but also quite masculine in a European sort of way,” Beck said of the early development of Canada.

Actors, Athletes, and a Gamer: A Breakdown of Olivia Munn's Dating History

  Actors, Athletes, and a Gamer: A Breakdown of Olivia Munn's Dating History In case you haven't heard yet: Olivia Munn and John Mulaney are dating.

In her book, Beck said she will address how names are given, the power to legitimize and maintain a name and a strategy to change names in a way that doesn't alienate too many people.

“Many of the names on our maps, when they do celebrate people, many of those people are wealthier people, or they're politicians who have a very specific role in our society,” Beck said. “What would we call our places if we were given the opportunity to make them welcoming and inclusive, reflective of the population, rather than just one demographic?”

Last year in Halifax, a task force recommended the permanent removal of a statue dedicated to city founder Edward Cornwallis and the renaming of a street and park honouring him. The task force concluded public commemoration of Cornwallis, the British officer accused of practising genocide against the local Indigenous population, is incompatible with current values.

Coun. Lindell Smith, whose district includes the Hydrostone neighbourhood, said in an interview Friday that concerns about street names in the area have not been put to council. He said he supports replacing the explorers' names but still needs to get feedback from residents.

“We’ve gone through processes where we've looked at the historical context of street names and asset names, so it's not a process we don't know how to do,” Smith said of the city. “I think it might be a good time to have those discussions if they're coming forward.”

For Early, the Hydrostone street names represent values that are no longer held by the people of Halifax.

“What does commemoration signify? Why do we name streets and buildings after people?” she asked. “We do this because at any given moment, we are acknowledging people or events that we respect or want remembered in our society.”

“Nothing stays the same, does it?” she added. “Society moves on.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2021.

- - - 

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Danielle Edwards, The Canadian Press

Israeli city where Jews and Arabs have lived as neighbours now seeing unprecedented violence .
The mixed city of Lod, in central Israel, is under a state of emergency after uncharacteristic violence broke out last week between Jewish and Arab Israelis in response to fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza. At first glance, the Israeli city of Lod in central Israel seems like it's just shut down for a siesta. The weather is hot, the shops are shuttered and even the call to prayer from a nearby mosque seems ready for a nap. But the husk of a burnt-out car sits on one street in the centre of town, and there are scorch marks on a synagogue just around the corner from it.

usr: 6
This is interesting!