1. Whitman running for mayor

Matt Whitman announced his run for mayor. He says he’s unblocking everyone he blocked on Twitter.
Matt Whitman announced his run for mayor. He says he’s unblocking everyone he blocked on Twitter.

Matt Whitman is running for mayor in next year’s municipal election. Zane Woodford with The Star Halifax was at City Hall where Whitman announced his mayoral bid.

I am absolutely convinced that my love for this great city, coupled with my determination to do right by you, its citizens, will make me an excellent mayor.

Whitman tells Woodford his platform will focus on “celebrating and honouring the past,” “spending wisely,” and planning for sustainable growth.

He also plans on using a digital campaign and avoiding traditional campaign signage.

Whitman is well known for his blocking of just about anyone on social media, including reporters. In Woodford’s article, Whitman says he’s only blocked those who are “aggressive or offensive,” and not those with differing opinions. After his announcement yesterday, Whitman says he’s unblocked many people.

Last night, I sent out a tweet asking if anyone was still blocked by Whitman. The notifications continue to light up on my phone with most of those responding saying they were still blocked. Only a couple said they had been unblocked and followed by Whitman yesterday. Those who told me they were still blocked included Waye Mason. I guess he’s blocked so many, this unblocking process will take some time. A lot of those who said they were #BlockedByWhitman said they never interacted with Whitman on Twitter. Whitman has never blocked me, but he stopped following me last year some time.

Tim is still blocked.

Tim is #StillBlockedByWhitman Photo: Tim Bousquet/Twitter

Is there an #UnblockedByWhitman hashtag yet?

2. Legislation sets new emissions targets

Premier Stephen McNeil says the Sustainable Development Act will make Nova Scotia’s emissions targets the most aggressive in the country. Photo: Jennifer Henderson
Premier Stephen McNeil says the Sustainable Development Act will make Nova Scotia’s emissions targets the most aggressive in the country. Photo: Jennifer Henderson

The fall sitting of the legislation wrapped up yesterday with the passage of new legislation with emissions targets Premier Stephen McNeil say are the most aggressive in Canada.

This bill will lead the country in greenhouse gas reduction and in getting to net-zero.

The Sustainable Development Goals Act was passed by a vote of 46-0.

Under the new law, gas emissions will be cut by 53 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. That would give Nova Scotia a net-zero carbon footprint by 2050.

Presenters at the legislature committee on Monday said the province should aim for net-zero emissions by 2030. The Ecology Action Centre wanted the emissions targets to be amended to 58 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. NDP leader Gary Burrill called the targets a “failure.”

Does this line us up with Nova Scotia doing its part for 1.5 degrees? It is the consensus of expert opinion that it doesn’t, and that’s why the government’s initiative is a failure.

The legislation include a fund that will help communities fight climate change while growing their economies.

3. Nova Scotia-born hip-hop music exec killed in shooting

Ryan Lorde aka Littles the General was killed in a shooting in Georgetown, Ont. Tuesday night. Photo: HipHopCanada

Nova Scotia-born hip-hop artist and music executive Ryan Lorde otherwise known as Littles the General was killed in a shooting in Georgetown, Ontario last night. Lorde was 36. HipHopCanada shared a story on Lorde’s career:

As an artist, Littles was a vocal member of the Toronto-based group, The Offense, who famously took on Drake and The Wise Guys in what is considered Drake’s first official rap beef. He made music for several more years before switching his focus to management and promotions.

Most recently, Littles had been championing the sounds of some incredible talents including Mississauga’s Syph of Nu Money Gang and budding Toronto artist, Dutch Revz. Littles reached out to us regularly to make sure we got behind their new releases. He’s also worked with various other well known Canadian acts over the years including Sayzee and Devon Tracy.

Halton police tell CBC Lorde’s death was a targeted shooting. There have been no arrests.

4. Geese attack senior

The geese at Sullivan’s Pond know how to use the crosswalk but go afoul with park visitors. Photo: Twitter
The geese at Sullivan’s Pond know how to use the crosswalk but go afoul with park visitors. Photo: Twitter

Willow Webb was attacked by several geese at Sullivan’s Pond last week, reports CBC’s Anjuli Patil. Webb, 87, talked about the attack in an interview with CBC’s Maritime Noon yesterday.

They were all after me, pecking me.

Webb says she’s now looking for two women who helped her after the attack. One of the women helped Webb up from off the ground and the pair took Webb in their car to her home where an ambulance was waiting. Webb is now in the hospital with a broken elbow and a hip injury.

She also says she won’t go back to the park without protection.

I wouldn’t go that way again without something to hit them with, hard.

The geese spend every winter at Hope for Wildlife after volunteers from the wildlife rehab organization round the geese up. Four new geese were introduced to the Sullivan Park flock last year. They spent last winter with the original six Dartmouth geese. At last year’s pre-winter goose rodeo, Hope Swinimer with Hope for Wildlife talked with CTV about the new geese.

There definitely is a pecking order with the geese and we need to respect that. The city thought it would be a really good idea, and I totally agree with.

When I was searching for photos of the Dartmouth geese, I found this WikiHow page on how to stop a goose attack.

5. State of emergency at crane site renewed

The collapsed crane was removed from where it fell on South Park Street, but a state of emergency remains in place. Photo: NSTIR

Even though the crane on South Park Street in Halifax was removed, the localized state of emergency for the area was renewed for another two weeks. Chuck Porter, minister with emergency management, announced in a release yesterday.

Although the crane has been removed safely, there is still work to be done to clean up the site.

The area under the localized state of emergency include Cathedral Lane, and bordered by Brenton Street, Brenton Place and Spring Garden Road.

Meanwhile, the crane inspired Halloween costumes for a few Haligonians including this couple Stephen Cooke spoke with at The Chronicle Herald, and Mandy MacArthur:

From a tourist attraction to Halloween costume, the fallen crane on South Park Street inspired a lot of Haligonians. Photo:


1. Taking sexy back on Halloween

It’s Halloween and sexy costumes for women continue to be a frightening tradition.

I like Halloween and usually check out the stores with my kid and I also notice many of the costumes marketed toward women are sexy versions of those marketed to men. There are the classic costumes like cop and firefighter, but those costumes for women are in sexy versions. These sexy costumes get more ridiculous each year. Perhaps the most ridiculous one I noticed online this year is the sexy corn outfit. And it’s a hot seller.

Sexy corn on the cob: Not a kernel of truth here. Photo:

There are others like sexy Bert and Ernie, sexy Bob Ross, and sexy Chinese takeout.

On its website, Spirit Halloween, which has a store in Halifax, has a category for women’s sexy costumes, but no similar category for men. I noticed the cop outfit for males is less expensive than the sexy cop outfit for females. Also, there’s no doctor costume for females, yet several sexy nurse costumes.

In this piece, Maura Judkis at the Washington Post talks about the origins of the sexy costume for women.

The rise of the sexy Halloween costume probably began sometime after the 1960s, but its biggest pop culture moment came in the 2004 movie “Mean Girls.” Cady, the naive heroine, arrives at a Halloween party dressed as a gory bride of Frankenstein only to find the popular girls dolled up as a sexy bunny, sexy cat and sexy mouse. Oct. 31, she realizes, “is the one day a year when a girl can dress up like a total slut and no other girls can say anything else about it.” Sex-advice columnist Dan Savage once called the yearly display of flesh a “Straight Pride Parade.” “Halloween is now the big public celebration of straight sexuality, of heterosexual desire,” he wrote in 2009.

Judkis also talks with Pilar Quintana-Williams, a designer with Yandy, one of the top makers and sellers of these costumes for women. This year’s offerings including sexy Buzz Lightyear, sexy pizza, and Miss Impeachment. This summer, the company pulled its Native American costumes from its website, but didn’t apologize for making them, even after petitions and protests outside its headquarters. Last year, the company stopped selling and apologized for its Brave Red Maven outfit, which was inspired by the red cloaks in Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale.

These costumes are problematic because of the influence they have on young girls. Judkis also talks with Rebecca Bigler, a retired professor from the University of Texas, who in one study found the grades of young girls suffered when they became concerned about being sexy, including with their Halloween costumes.

They spend less effort trying to be competent because they’re trying to look sexy and putting that effort to their appearance.” And Bigler argues that trends for adult Halloween costumes end up influencing the design of girls’ costumes, which, in turn, prime girls to obsess over appearance in their teen and adult years.

Who know what next year’s Halloween sexy offerings will be? I’m afraid to find out. Of course, we shouldn’t be telling women what to wear, but the push to make every costume for females sexy is scary indeed.

2. Pre-Pinterest Halloween

Halifax lawyer Barbara Darby writes about the Halloween celebrations of yore (okay, the 1970s), which were a lot more basic than today’s Pinterest-inspired celebrations.

I too am a kid of the 1970s, so Darby’s recollection of Halloween sounds familiar:

I grew up firmly middle-class and my Hallowe’en grievances were not scarring. But as for consumerism and creativity, it was far more Woolco™ than Michael’s™. We had plastic masks that carried a high risk of suffocation, the type that either got hot and sweaty about 8 seconds after donning, or had the dental-floss-gauge elastic break so it was undon-able about 3 houses down the street. (Who am I kidding? It was long before dental floss or fluoride, even.)

Shown here: a now “vintage” mask that I recall wearing. “White for Night,” Cinderella, “flame-retarded” with “large eye-holes.” A store-bought costume was, however, a rarity: polyestery, hospital-gown styling: sleeves, flimsy tie at garotte-level and warnings more about melting than burning man incidents.

This Cinderella mask really made its wearers sweat.

I was convinced that the only thing that could possibly give away my true identity was the fact that often at the end of October, before the globe warmed, it was freezing on the prairie, and we were required to put on parkas under the garb, completely ruining the illusion that I was, in fact, Cinderella.

Darby also details some legal cases with Halloween matters, including one with a New Brunswick man, a Mr. Monteith, who was charged with mischief for breaking a cheap cedar fence, which he then used to to fire up his Halloween bonfire. The provincial court judge dismissed the case and the province appealed.

It seems the police were looking to end Halloween crime, while the defence argued it was just Halloween fun. But this case wasn’t a debate over Halloween.

The actual issue was whether the police had a right to fingerprint Monteith.  Mischief is a charge that can proceed as a less serious summary offence (no fingerprints, up to 6 months in provincial jail) or a more serious indictment (fingerprints, up to 2 years federal jail).  The police can take fingerprints when they have reasonable and probable cause to believe they’ll proceed with an indictment.  Without this belief, they are unreasonably searching Monteith and seizing his prints, violating his Charter rights.  Monteith was acquitted.  The AG was ordered to pay his costs of $750 and buddy from the office was sent down to fix the fence on the taxpayer’s dime.

The Court also observes that the decision to appeal this case was not “likely an attempt by the Attorney General to end Halloween traditions, although that is what it must look like to some.”


Delilah Saunders talks about her pregnancy and being an Indigenous mother. Photo: Delilah Saunders/Nova Scotia Advocate

Delilah Saunders writes a moving piece for the Nova Scotia Advocate about her pregnancy and what it means to be an Indigenous mother.

My role and duty as an Indigenous mother – and a single mother, is one I’ve been preparing for by acknowledging the historical trauma, my personal trauma and untangling all of it so it doesn’t manifest in a way that hurts those around me. My life’s work has been highlighted with awards, community acknowledgement and incredible support from many. Now, it’s ultimate culmination is to be expressed in the life I provide for my child and through ensuring my child doesn’t have to heal from their childhood and from my trauma.

Saunders talks about how her birthing team will help her through her pregnancy and her suboxone treatment. Saunders takes suboxone for opiate addiction. She was on dilaudid for pancreatitis and chronic pain after battling organ failure for a buildup of acetaminophen in her liver. Saunders says she asked her doctor if she’d get a visit from child welfare because she’s on suboxone.

With her reply began a whole new series of worries. She told me that they will visit after the birth of my child because I sought treatment for an addiction built on doctor’s orders. She also told me that we will build a portfolio that consists of my doctor’s visits, therapist’s notes and any information that pertains to my pregnancy and treatment plan. This portfolio is what I will present to the social worker who will show up at my door following the birth of my darling bundle of joy.

Saunders talked with other mothers who are also on suboxone, but don’t have the same worries because they are white. And while she talks about her fear of losing her child, she’s also looking a future where her child won’t have to fear the same.

I just hope that if my child decides to become a parent they don’t have to live with the fear my great grandparents had to live with after their children were plucked from their arms, or my grandparents’ fear when my mom, aunties and uncles were shipped to school, and the new fear I share with my parents that social services will come for my children.



No public meetings Thursday or Friday.



Legislature sits (Thursday, 1pm, Province House)


Legislature sits (Friday, 9am, Province House)

On campus



Building Networks with Cuba for Sustainable Fishing and Marine Conservation (Thursday, 7pm, Ondaatje Theatre, Marion McCain Building) — a talk by Valerie Miller from Cuban Oceans Program, Environmental Defence Fund, Austin, Texas.

Cuba is home to some of the healthiest coral reefs in Caribbean and with almost 25% of its coastal waters under protection, is a leader in marine conservation. For almost 20 years, Environmental Defense Fund has collaborated with Cuban partners to jointly advance ocean science, management and conservation and create a bridge between our two countries. The environmental challenges that the U.S. and Cuba must face together are serious, including overfishing, degradation to coral reef ecosystems and the impacts of climate change. Our partnerships create opportunities for managers, scientists, and fishers to exchange experiences and learn from each other, bringing the U.S., Cuba and other neighboring nations together around our shared resources. Together we are building networks that advance cooperation around the shared goals of marine conservation, sustainability and science-based management. While showcasing Cuba’s magnificent marine life, I will review our recent initiatives and the resulting advances in science and conservation, how Cuba is leading the way as an environmental advocate across the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean and future opportunities for continued collaboration.

The Cuban Revolution at 60 International Conference (Thursday and Friday, 7pm, McInnes Room, Dalhousie Student Union Building) — a three-day symposium featuring forty internationally renowned Cuba scholars, policy-makers and policy analysts. From the listing:

The three-day symposium will be highlighted by addresses by two of the key players in the historic 2014 re-opening of relations between Cuba and the United States. Josefina Vidal, now Cuba’s ambassador to Canada and then Cuba’s chief negotiator with the Americans, and Jeffrey DeLaurentis, the first US ambassador to Cuba following the renewal of relations, will each offer personal reflections on what happened then, and what isn’t happening now.

Attendees will also learn the results of the very latest research into a controversial and mysterious ailment reported by some US and Canadian diplomats in Cuba. Dr. Alon Friedman, a ground-breaking neuroscientist at the Dalhousie University Brain Repair Centre who recently led a multidisciplinary study into the so-called “Havana Syndrome” for Global Affairs Canada, will present his findings at the conference.

Leading Cuba specialists from Cuba, the UK, Latin America, Europe, the United States and Canada will also participate in a series of panels to assess the successes and challenges of the Cuban economy, Cuba-US relations and Cuba’s international relations. Other panels will focus on climate change and ecological challenges facing the island, as well as social change, including issues of race, gender (in)equity, health and sexual diversity.​

All sessions free and open to the public. Saturday’s session is in the auditorium named after a bank, Marion McCain Building. More info and registration here.


Noon Hour Piano Recital (Friday, 11:45am, Room 406, Dal Arts Centre) — students of Peter Allen will perform.

FLPs, Silylenes, and Polymers Containing Heavy Main Group Elements (Friday, 1:30pm, Room 226, Chemistry Building) — Eric Rivard from the University of Alberta will speak.

Saint Mary’s


No public events.


National Retail Newfangling Awards (Friday, 11:30am, Halifax Marriott Harbourfront) — the third annual celebration of retail excellence and newfangling. Tickets here, $75, $500 for a table of eight.

Priyamvada Natarajan. Photo: G.A.M. Miller

Mapping the Heavens: The Radical Scientific Ideas that Reveal the Cosmos (Friday, 7pm, McNally Main Theatre Auditorium) — Priyamvada Natarajan from Yale University will talk.

Our cosmic view has been rapidly evolving. Until 1914, we believed that we were unique and alone in the universe. In addition to demonstrating the existence of other galaxies, in the 1920s the astronomer Edwin Hubble also discovered that our cosmos was in motion. Since then we have been rapidly uncovering many other features of our cosmos—the existence of dark matter, black holes, dark energy, extra-solar planets—that have fundamentally transformed our current understanding of the cosmos. Dr. Natarajan will focus on two of these radical ideas, dark matter and black holes, and examine how despite being deeply contested, they were eventually accepted. Mapping the seen and the unseen elements in the universe continues to help us refine our understanding of the cosmos and our place in it.

Free, register here.

In the harbour

05:00: Mol Paramount, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Norfolk
05:00: JPO Aries, container ship, arrives at Pier 41 from Lisbon, Portugal
06:45: Anthem of the Seas, cruise ship with up to 4,180 passengers, arrives at Pier 22 from Saint John, on a nine-day roundtrip cruise out of New York
07:30: CSL Tacoma, bulker, sails from National Gypsum for Baltimore
11:00: Hansa Meersburg, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from New York
11;45: JPO Aries sails for New York
12:00: Vega Fynen, container ship, arrives at Pier 41 from Palm Beach, Florida
15:00: Elka Eleftheria, oil tanker, arrives at Irving Oil from Saint John
20:30: Anthem of the Seas sails for New York
21:30: Mol Paramount sails for Dubai


Photo: Suzanne Rent

I made my Halloween costume — it’s a living wage, because there’s nothing scarier than what some employers are paying in Nova Scotia.

Suzanne Rent is a writer, editor, and researcher. You can follow her on Twitter @Suzanne_Rent and on Mastodon

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  1. I always get a chuckle out of candidates seeking the role of Mayor and making lavish promises of improving this or that and making sweeping changes. Fact of the matter is, the Mayor of Halifax presides at meetings of council. gets his or her picture taken and waves the Halifax flag at various events. That is about it. The Mayor has no more power than a council member, in fact sometimes less. It is a figure head role at best.

  2. Whitman’s racist dog whistle of “celebrating and honouring the past” and his completely meaningless “determination to do right by you” make him a great candidate for mayor. He’s the kind of guy whom we could count on for a Cornwallis statue atop every new unaffordable, ugly, non sustainable building in HRM.

  3. Whitman is not running for Mayor…like many others in the past he’ll change his mind in and seek re-election as a councillor after the media have given him a lot of free publicity. Oldest trick in the municipal election book.
    Mayor Savage turns 60 in May 2020 a month after Senator McInnis turns 75 on April 9. At that time Trudeau will be looking for a partisan Liberal to fill the vacancy; or perhaps he will appoint a woman and then 50% of Nova Scotia Senators will be women.
    Time for a female mayor in HRM because it is 2020.