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April 20, 2018

The Arms of Nova Scotia - Now and Then

The way ahead for Nova Scotia involves fundamental changes.


                1625                                                 2018

I like heraldry, but it isn't a forward-looking exercise.

In 1625 heraldry the unicorn was the symbol of Scotland. The unicorn was chosen because it was seen as a proud and haughty beast which would rather die than submit, just as Scots would fight to remain sovereign and unconquered.

Just what the First Person is doing is unclear, but his hand is clasped by a mailed fist above.  Military symbols abound - an arrow, a chain, a helmet.

The motto is MUNIT HAEC ET ALTERA VINCIT; One defends and the other conquers.  It expresses a top down, antagonistic, great-chain-of-being world view that just won't work in the 21st century.

In 2018, people are leaving.  Old ways of thinking - witness the Convention Center - lead down the path of financial ruin.  Ditto the model of social support endorsed by the Department of Community Services.  We need to reward participation, economic success and education.  Instead, we encourage dependency, poverty and isolation.

Not many people get this.  In his welcoming address to the Accessibility Advisory Board, Justice Minister Mark Furey said "We will expand accessibility in employment, education and the delivery of consumer services and programs.........Our partnership will help create a more accommodating and compassionate province."

What he meant to say is "We need people, ideas, customers, entrepreneurs, team members, immigrants and fairness.  Compassion won't get us where we need to be.  Now, make it happen!"

Some of the smartest Nova Scotians I know are on the Access Advisory Board.  They can get us to where we need to be if we embrace their vision.  They don't need compassion, they need our attention.

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