A Christmas wish list for Queens County

OPINION

By Scott Costen

I’m not sure Santa reads the Queens Observer, but if he does, here are a few last-minute gift ideas for Queens County.

New Liverpool library

The building that houses the Thomas H. Raddall Library should have met the wrecking ball years ago. It is dank, dilapidated and depressing. Bereft of any vision for the library’s future, council voted twice the past two years to renew its costly lease agreement with absentee landlord Sherman Hines. The current renewal period ends Dec. 31, 2019. Hopefully Santa will leave blueprints for a beautiful new library under Mayor David Dagley’s Christmas tree.

Rebirth of Privateer Days

With the resignations of its executive director and executive committee members, Privateer Days is facing an uncertain future. New leadership is desperately needed to save the annual event, which provides entertainment, economic stimulus and a well-deserved nod to Liverpool’s rich privateering history.

Cannabis sales license for Aqualitas

Brooklyn-based cannabis company Aqualitas received its cultivation license from the federal government in January 2018, but is still waiting to be green-lit for sales. The company already employs more than 60 people and its workforce is expected to be in the hundreds when fully operational. Here’s hoping CEO Myrna Gillis finds a sales license under her Christmas tree.

More support for the economically disadvantaged

Poverty levels in Queens far exceed provincial norms, which are themselves appallingly high. Nova Scotia has the lowest minimum wage in the country and some of the stingiest social assistance benefits. Maybe Santa could leave a conscience under Premier Stephen McNeil’s tree. Successive budget surpluses are nothing to cheer about when so many people have so little.

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