Dartmouth: Stolen City, Stolen Promise

Dartmouth, the City of Lakes. I miss that more than you know, having lived here all my life. Unfortunately, my city was stolen from me and 70,000 others without so much as a non-binding plebiscite.

A forced, dictatorial, city-county amalgamation was inflicted on hundreds of thousands of citizens, not in Uzbekistan, not in Libya or Russia, but here in Canada by the Province of Nova Scotia.

Communities more than a hundred years older than the Province or Country they are located in were dissolved without any Democratic procedure or consent. Is that even legal or constitutional?

I question HRM’s legitimacy, and apparently, so do the voters, with participation rates at historic lows, despite e-voting and desperate attempts to give those who aren’t citizens a vote.

If only it were possible to have an effective accountable municipal government here, but with 16 representatives serving gerrymandered districts, that don’t reflect the neighborhoods or cities they are carved into, across a municipality half the size of Lebanon – it’s clear we won’t with the status quo.

If only it were possible to live in a Nova Scotia where the municipal level of government, the level of government supposedly most representative of and accessible to the people, wasn’t structured in such a way as to make that laudable goal virtually impossible.

The City of Dartmouth, City of Halifax, Town of Bedford, the dozens of communities throughout Halifax County. Those are communities that matter, with neighborhoods that matter, inhabited by citizens that matter.

The good old days are worth fighting for, regardless of those who wish to view amalgamation through revisionist history and rose-colored glasses.

And fight we will.