The Some Guy’s Dad theorem

HRM Mayor Mike Savage. Photo: Randal Tomada

When I was growing up in Halifax I came up with something called The Some Guy’s Dad Theorem: When one of those silly things that doesn’t make any sense happens in Nova Scotia, and particularly in Halifax, it’s usually because of Some Guy’s Dad.
Some made-up, evergreen examples:
Why is the airport so far from the city? Oh some guy’s Dad owned the land and his kid was friends with the Premier. Or, how did that monstrous building get approved? Oh, some guy’s Dad was a good friend of the Premier. Why is that school being built there? Oh, some guy’s Dad wanted to help out the Premer.
Some day when I’m feeling hopeful I’ll blame these things on Some Person’s Mom, but I think Nova Scotia still has a long way to go with gender equality.
So take Uber.  I just assume that some guy’s Dad is preventing Uber from being here. I don’t really care either way, though when I am caught in an Uber discussion  It takes all of my power not to say, please, please tell me again about that time you used Uber in Toronto and it was so great. It’s quite a yarn. Have you considered pitching a series based on this anecdote to Netflix?
That said, I can understand the frustration of those who want Uber here. It’s odd to me that no one on HRM Council seems willing to take on the all-powerful Taxi Lobby. I mean, what are they scared of? That the taxis will mobilize against them on election day? The only way municipal election turnout could be any lower is if taxi-drivers threatened to drive people to the polls.
I made the point to a friend of mine that instead of lobbying for Uber we should lobby for a transit system. Imagine my surprise when he informed me that we already had one! So that’s what those buses are for!
My stupid glibness and overuse of exclamation point aside, the main stumbling block to a better transit system, seems to be our local version of blue state vs. red state, 905 vs. 416, or mountain vs. valley people: Amalgamation.
If you have a big property in Hammond Plains or Musquodobit or Tantallon, which are now all parts of Halifax (oh sorry, Halifax Regional Muncipality) for some reason, you are more likely to not want any more funding going to Metro Transit for improvements, whereas if you live in a more urban area, you do.
And the Councillors of the suburban areas can and do outvote the Councillors in the downtown parts on this issue.
I guess if you live in more densely populated areas of HRM you can always try to walk  to work, but then you are asking to be run down by a completely blameless driver in their innocent automobile. Or, it’s the winter and you can’t walk because the sidewalks haven’t been cleared, again thanks to non-urban city Councillors voting against the ones from what used to be city wards.
Now to be fair, amalgamation did bring savings. I haven’t done the research but I’m guessing something like $20.
But HRM and its mayor, Mike Savage can’t do anything about transit, icy sidewalks , or anything to help the downtown areas and it’s because of amalgamation, which was forced upon us by the then Premier John Savage. Or some guy’s Dad.

This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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