1. Supported living

Photo: Halifax Examiner

This item is written by Tim Bousquet.

In 2013, the Nova Scotia government accepted a report titled “Choice, Equality and Good Lives in Inclusive Communities: A Roadmap for Transforming the Nova Scotia Services to Persons with Disabilities Program.”

That 56-page report clearly identified the reliance on large institutions to house people with disabilities as a growing concern. It read, in part:

With some 1,100 people living in large congregate care facilities, Nova Scotia is more likely than other provinces to support people with disabilities in large congregate facilities. Significant public funds continue to be spent on an institutional model – a model that universally has been proven to produce less than quality outcomes for persons with disabilities (in comparison to supported community living) and a model that has been unequivocally rejected by persons with disabilities.

For the most part, the funding mechanisms for the SPD program are not based on principles of self-determination and do not provide for sufficient flexibility. The individualized funding currently available through Direct Family Support (DFS) and Independent Living Support (ILS) is not adequate to purchase appropriate levels of support to maximize independent and supported living in the community. Consequently, more expensive and inflexible options have to be found in more institutionalized environments. With funding largely attached ‘bricks and mortar’ rather than to people, social and economic inclusion is thwarted more than would otherwise be the case. The consequence is lost opportunity for the innovation, responsiveness and cost-efficiencies that come with individualizing supports.

One goal of the roadmap was to have “no expansion to ARCs/RRCs/RCFs [the various forms of facilities for people with disabilities]; new investment directed only to issues of health and safety.” Another was to “Coordinate with Housing Nova Scotia to ensure plans include measures for sufficient affordable and accessible housing to meet demand of people with disabilities.”

The roadmap contained a broad range of proposals that would support people living with disabilities in the community, including by way of employment and direct funding. The goal was simply to make life better for people, but along the way the public costs of such supports would actually decrease, because it’s less expensive to have people living in the community than in large institutions.

But here we are in in 2020, and the number of people with disabilities on waitlists to enter supportive living programs increased, not decreased. According to an Open Letter to the Finance Minister from the Community Homes Action Group:

The current government adopted the Roadmap Report and a 10-year time frame for significantly increasing community-based supported living options while decreasing reliance on large institutions. So far, however, the allocation of resources from government needed to create community capacity has been woefully inadequate. Wait lists for services continue to grow – from 1100 in 2015 to 1300 in 2017 to nearly 1500 last year. This is because the badly needed investments by government have not been forthcoming.

The bulk of the wait list is made up of those seeking a small-option home (four or fewer residents) or independent living support. In response to the need for hundreds of small-option (community) placements, the government has so far committed to only eight small-option homes across the province to serve about 30 residents. The first four of those homes were promised in the 2016 budget, a second batch of four was announced in budget 2017 and the same eight-home package was reiterated in budget 2018. The budget of 2019 included no money for new homes.

The absence of any new investment in community home capacity last year was doubly disappointing in light of the Emerald Hall Human Rights Inquiry that had weeks earlier found the government had clearly violated the human rights of three Nova Scotians for many years by failing to provide the resources necessary to allow them to live in community, not locked away.

The lack of action on this file has reached crisis proportion.

Today is Budget Day at the legislature, and, says Wendy Lill, the chair of the Community Homes Action Group, the government should make a multi-year funding commitment today.

2. Government-sponsored Aquaculture Conference not open to the media

An underwater photo taken in an aquaculture cage with high densities of fish. Courtesy Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF)

This item is written by Linda Pannozzo.

This year, the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (DFA) is partnering with the Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia to put on the Seafarmer’s Conference, on “the trends, benefits and growth” of the fishing and aquaculture industries, but the event is not open to the media.

The conference, being held February 25-27 at the Halifax Convention Centre, promises to be “the largest yet, attracting more international speakers and local industry members than ever before,” boasts the government press release.

Yesterday, after receiving the government notice about the conference, I contacted the DFA to find out about attending some of the sessions. I had sent two previous requests to attend, the first about two weeks ago via the Seafarmer’s Conference web site itself, and again yesterday to Marilyn O’Neil, the conference manager, but heard nothing back from either. Yesterday afternoon, DFA Media Relations contact, Bruce Nunn replied:

The Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister’s conference is organized as industry-to-industry discussions, rather than an open forum. Dan Davis and I are working to arrange interviews with the minister and with guest speakers who wish to take part in interviews outside of the conference sessions. We may be able to provide you with the speakers’ PowerPoint presentations; it may depend on the individual speakers’ wishes…Also, you may be interested in touring the trade show.

The release goes on to include a number of “quick facts,” mostly about the value of the lobster industry and its exports — it’s the one commercial fishery that might have the most to lose from an expansion of aquaculture here, an irony that was apparently lost on the government’s communications staff.

In the release, Tom Smith, executive director of the Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia, was quoted saying: “This will be the largest fisheries and aquaculture conference in Canada, bringing together a diverse group of delegates and representatives of farmers, fishers, academia and supplier partners from around the world.”

The lack of media access at the conference does not bode well for the public who was promised greater transparency when it comes to aquaculture practices and regulation in this province. Back in 2013, the governing NDP appointed a panel to come up with recommendations to make the regulatory system more rigorous and appointed Meinhard Doelle and William Lahey, who recommended a “fundamental overhaul” of the regulatory framework, stressing the importance of transparency, public trust, and social licence.

The NS regulations were subsequently updated in 2015 based in part on the advice and recommendations from the independent report, says Nunn, and public input is one of the areas the government contends is much improved.

But the move to keep the media out of the conference sessions, discussions, and presentations raises questions about whether the government is serious about being transparent and whether its role as a promoter of aquaculture will compromise its role as regulator.

Of particular interest to me were presentations and panel discussions on the lobster market, disposal management strategies, economic generation and development, marine debris and ghost gear, adaptation to climate change, supporting development in rural areas, aquaculture development among First Nations, and traceability (of escaped fish).

Cermaq Canada is also one of the presenters with a session titled: “Seafood – The Blue Economy; The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.” Last year the Nova Scotia government granted the Japanese-owned company an “option to lease” in a number of areas in the province including the Chedabucto Bay region near Guysborough, St. Mary’s Bay near Digby Neck, Green Bay to Mahone Bay, and St. Margaret’s Bay. Cermaq is currently in the “scoping phase” of the process, to “collect information,” and “share information” and is required to hold at least one public meeting near the potential site location.

It is proposing a $500 million expansion to develop 20 open-pen Atlantic salmon farm sites, two hatcheries and a processing plant. To justify a NS operation it says it needs an annual production of 20,000 metric tonnes of fish — an amount that’s roughly equivalent to what the company currently produces in British Columbia. According to provincial and federal data, it would increase the number of salmon farms in this province from 8 to 28 and would more than double the current levels of production.

For more on Cermaq’s expansion proposal and what it could mean for NS take a look at Mitsubishi’s Fish: Japanese-owned Cermaq Canada Eyes Nova Scotia for Mega Fish Farm Expansion, Putting the Province’s New Regulatory System to the Test.

3. City wants your input on rapid transit strategy

A look at the four new routes that are part of the proposed rapid transit strategy. The city is asking for residents to have their say on the proposed plan. Photo: Rapid Transit Strategy

Yesterday, the city launched a survey asking residents about a proposed rapid transit service that would include a new ferry and four new bus routes. Maggie-Jane Spray, a spokesperson with the city, told Cassidy Chisholm at CBC the proposed rapid transit strategy is about moving people around the city fast and efficiently.

Of course, Halifax is a growing city and making sure we’re able to meet the demands and move people where they need to go, quickly and efficiently, is a top priority.

The new ferry would carry 150 passengers and travel between Mill Cove, Shannon Park, Larry Uteck and downtown Halifax. A ferry was considered for between Bedford and downtown Halifax in 2006, but the city couldn’t find any funding for it.

The new routes would cover stops along Dunbrack to Dartmouth Crossing, Herring Cove to Spring Garden Road, Lacewood Drive to Robie Street, and Portland Street to downtown Halifax.

Spray tells Chisholm if the strategy is adopted, the new system will be in the works over the next 10 years.

The survey will be online until March 8.

4. Indie theatre network launch complaint against Cineplex

A screening at the Carbon Arc Cinema in the Museum of Natural History. Carbon Arc is one of several indie theatres in Canada launching a complaint against Cineplex over its zoning practice. Photo: Carbon Arc Cinema

Halifax’s Carbon Arc Independent Cinema is one of several indie Canadian theatres filing a complaint with the federal competition bureau against Cineplex. Emma Smith with CBC says the Network of Independent Canadian Exhibitors is accusing the theatre company of using a practice called zoning to keep new releases out of independent theatres. Carbon Arc is volunteer-run and shows movies every Friday night in the fall and winter at the Museum of Natural History. Its founder Siloën Daley spoke with CBC’s Information Morning:

We’re fighting for our audiences to have the opportunity to see great films, and to support local Canadian-made films because we’re passionate about it and we want to build community.

Daley says they’d like to screen some of the new releases, but they have to wait until Cineplex makes its own decision on screenings.

Because they have over 16,000 screens across Canada, they’re able to say they might show a movie and to sort of sit on it during its theatrical period and the independent cinemas may miss out on this theatrical window while Cineplex is deciding.

In an email to CBC, a spokesperson says it’s up to distributors where the movies are screened. Daley tells CBC that some distributors have been threatened by Cineplex “to have other big titles pulled if certain films are made available to independent cinemas.”

The complaint against Cineplex is being led by Rio Theatre in Vancouver.

5. Archives launch resource for African Nova Scotian history

The Sankofa, an adinkra symbol signifying the importance of learning from the past, along with the tagline “return and get it” is on the welcoming page of the Nova Scotia Archives’ new online resource, Looking Back, Moving Forward: Documenting the Heritage of African Nova Scotians. Photo: Nova Scotia Archives

Today, the Nova Scotia Archives is launching Looking Back, Moving Forward: Documenting the Heritage of African Nova Scotians, an online resource that will include all kinds of records such as court documents, photographs, newspapers, maps, and so on. It’s a free, searchable resource available to anyone. New documents will be added every year. Here are some “quick facts” included in the Archives’ press release about the launch:

You can start your search here.

The Archives also share lots of excellent photos on its Facebook page. 


1. A lesson in acknowledging and remembering the poor in death

In yesterday’s Morning File, Phil Moscovitch shared a story from CBC written by Jonathan Fowler, an anthropology professor at Saint Mary’s. I saw that piece, too, and then read this piece, Built on History-Old Cemeteries, a response to Fowler’s article by Brenda Thompson, who’s researched poor houses in Nova Scotia and wrote about them in A Wholesome Horror: Poor Houses of Nova Scotia (she has a blog on her research, too).

We talked on Sunday night about her work. Thompson is an anti-poverty activist who says she thought poor houses were only in England. When she learned of the poor house in Marshalltown outside of Digby, not far from where she lives, she started researching and writing about poor houses across the province, including those in Halifax. There were 32 poor houses in Nova Scotia at one point, with at least one in every county except for Guysborough. The building of the poor houses followed a municipal act in about 1880. Thompson says before then, the poor were sold at annual pauper auctions. She says a young woman named Charlotte Hill was sold at one of these auctions and was murdered. Her death prompted a public inquiry that led to the act creating the poor houses. Prior to poor houses, Thompson says there were about nine alms houses that were run by churches. The house in Marshalltown was an alms house. Thompson is an incredible resource on the history of poor houses and says these poor houses criminalized poverty.

The poverty comes before the criminal activity, not the other way around.  We haven’t learned that.

The last poor house in Nova Scotia to close was the one in Dayspring. It closed in 1980.

Thompson says as for those who died while in the poor houses, many were buried in unmarked graves, not in coffins, often buried naked rather than in a shroud. She says in Halifax, bodies of those in the poor houses were donated to the medical school at Dalhousie. Donating bodies to science was uncommon at the time because of religious beliefs.

That was a horror beyond horror for them but they didn’t have a say because they didn’t have the money.

There are monuments at the cemeteries of poor houses elsewhere in the province. Thompson got a photo of the monument from the former poor house in Yarmouth. It’s at the end of the airport runway and not accessible to the public. Thompson had to climb over fences to get a photo of it.

A group of residents in Yarmouth County had this monument erected in memory of inmates of the Arcadia Poor House who were buried in unmarked graves here. The monument is near the runway at the airport and not accessible to the public. Photo: Brenda Thompson

There’s another one in Greenwich in Kings County remembering those poor house residents who lived there. Thompson says a monument is not just to acknowledge the dead.

It reminds us we don’t want to go there again and we have to change things.

I’ve been following a Facebook group, Marshalltown Alms House – Voices of Hope, for more than a year now. The group was started by Brenda Small in 2015, who was researching her grandmother Mildred (Ring) Rice, who was at the Marshalltown Alms House for 38 years. Why Mildred was committed to the house, Small doesn’t know, but she says her grandmother was a prisoner there, incarcerated against her will. Small says she remembers her mother taking her to the house. She stayed in the car, though, and wasn’t allowed inside. She does remember waking up from naps in the car to see people from the house looking at her in the car.

The people who lived at the Marshalltown Alm House, pictured, were buried in unmarked graves. Members of a Facebook group, Marshalltown Alms House – Voices for Hope, are working to identify the dead here and are hoping to get a monument erected in their memory. Photo: Facebook/Brenda Small

The Facebook group includes a number of members whose ancestors are buried in the cemeteries there, which are now open fields now owned by Jerry Schofield, who Small calls a “treasure” because of his willingness to help those looking for family history in the unmarked graves. One member of the group says he can use a dowsing rod to find the gravesites. Using records from the Admiral Digby Museum, Small and her cousin, Faye, have compiled a list of some of the people buried here. Often there are no names. Small has found entries like “colored child” or “unknown man.” I’d say much of the work of saving these cemeteries around the province and honouring those buried there is done by people like Small. They are such a crucial part of researching our history.

Small’s grandmother is buried next to her grandfather in a plot behind the Church of Christ. Small visits the grave often, but also helps others find if their ancestors are there.

I feel some days that I’m overwhelmed because people are trusting me with the deepest, darkest secrets of their families. I never drive by there that I don’t have tears in my eyes.

Harold Ritchie was born in Halifax but lived at the Marshalltown Alms House with his grandparents who were the caretakers there. He lived there from 1943 when he was three weeks old, until he left in 1963. He’s almost 77 now and still remembers the stories from there, even the stories after he moved out, including when an America bought the property with plan to put strawberry fields there. The fields were bulldozed then and while Ritchie was living out of the province, he says had he lived here, he would have tried to put a stop to that work.

You should respect any cemetery or anyone who is buried in the ground. To me, anyone buried in the ground, that’s sacred place. I’d love to see a monument or something there and the place cleaned up. Today, it’s hard to get anything done.

Small’s Facebook group has been working to get a monument to honour those buried at the cemeteries there. Small says there are about 200 bodies buried there. At one point, the cemeteries were at risk of being paved over by a new project on Highway 101. The highway was eventually rerouted and Small says that maybe the outcry from the public and her Facebook group may have influenced that decision.

Small would like to see a monument in the fields where those who were at the Marshalltown Alms House are buried. She says there will be at least a blessing this summer that will include those from all the local churches.

That’s about as good as it’s going to get but it’s better than nothing.

As for the poor house cemeteries in Halifax around Spring Garden and Grafton Park, Small says the city should also erect a monument for the poor house dead and include story boards and photos of the poor houses.

Obviously, when you build a city over the remains of 20,000 people and you pave that you have lost respect for those people and it makes me angry. Put [a monument] there and let people have a few quiet moments of respect as they are walking across those bodies.

There is no way you can make this right. To me, some things are wrong no matter what time in history they occur.

I could have talked with Thompson, Small, and Ritchie for hours. And someone should. I think they all have lessons we need to hear about how we treat the poor and the most vulnerable in life and death.

2. The new head of the N.B. public library doesn’t have library experience

Kevin Cormier is the new executive director of the New Brunswick Public Library Service and doesn’t seem very qualified for the job. Photo: Kevin Cormier/Facebook

Okay, I know this is New Brunswick news, but this got some people I know fired up yesterday. Bobbie-Jean MacKinnon with CBC New Brunswick reported on Kevin Cormier, the new executive director of New Brunswick Public Library Service. The story is that Cormier doesn’t seem to have any of the qualifications for the job, including no experience working in a library or even the “essential” degree.

According to the CBC story, the job posting (and we know I love to search these) lists “essential qualifications” as a master’s degree in library and/or information studies from an American Library Association-accredited program. According to his LinkedIn profile, Cormier has one year of studies at York University’s Schulich School of Business in Toronto and a few years at Moncton Flight College. On, he also describes himself as “a passionate fella” and he loves “making awesome things happen.”

(insert eye roll here)

Cormier spent the last year working in the province’s Executive Council Office. CBC learned Cormier was hired through the Corporate Talent Management Program. Executives are appointed by the deputy minister of the Treasury Board.

Oh, the former executive director of the province’s library system, Sylvie Nadeau, was a provincial librarian. She recently retired.

The CBC story quotes a couple of women who are trained in library science and work in public libraries in the province. Courtney Pyrke, who has a master’s degree in library science, worked at the Saint John Free Public Library, and is doing their PhD at the University of New Brunswick, says the hiring of Cormier was surprising. (They sound pretty qualified!)

It doesn’t sound like he has any experience even working in a library let alone having a degree in library science, so I think that’s troublesome for the profession to not really understand, I guess, the theoretical concepts of librarianship.

Joann Hamilton-Barry, who recently retired as a librarian and who has a masters in library science, says the appointment is “like hiring an economist to head a social work department.”

This happens all the time. Women know this happens all the time. When I shared this story yesterday, I said the qualifications for a job are flexible when the candidate is a male, but females are expected to have the specific experience. When a job posting says a combination of education, experience, and training may be considered, we know that applies only to certain people, like passionate fellas who allegedly do awesome things.

When I shared this on Twitter, a follower said those who “schmooze and sell” get looked at before those who can actually do the work. Go back to that “making awesome things happen” bit.

Cormier didn’t give CBC an interview and I expect he’s lying low until this blows over. Then, we’ll all be back to business as usual, unfortunately.


Iris the Amazing and I recently had lunch at the Garden Food Bar and Lounge at Clyde and Queen streets near the Halifax Central Library. Iris noticed the restaurant’s washrooms, which, besides having shiny golden toilets, were gender inclusive. I noticed similar washrooms when I was at The Library Pub and Merchant Wine Tavern on Main Street in Wolfville when I was there about a month ago. The washroom at the Garden Food Bar is accessible with a larger stall and sink for those who need them, whereas the washrooms at the Library Pub were in the basement at the bottom of a set of tricky stairs.

I talked with Kourash Rad, owner of the Garden Food Bar, about the washrooms and he says customers haven’t had issues with the facilities, although on occasion a male customer will ask if those are the correct washrooms for them to use (at first glance, the sign looks more like the traditional female symbol, than the male symbol used on washroom doors).

It’s not a big deal. We should take steps to be as inclusive as possible. [The washroom] is an expression of where society is and really needs to be.

When I asked Rad what he calls the washrooms, that is all-gender, gender neutral, or unisex, he responded with “We call them washrooms.”

Good answer.

The washrooms at the Garden Food Bar and Lounge on Clyde and Queen streets in Halifax is all-gender and accessible. And they have golden toilets and faucets. Photo: Garden Food Bar and Lounge

A few years ago, when I was at a restaurant in Digby, I was waiting to use the single-user female washroom and noticed the very similar single-user washroom for males was available. I didn’t use it but thought, “Why shouldn’t I? What is the difference? Do they make business deals and calculate all that extra pay in there?” I simply had to go and should have. I also have a bladder condition. Next time I’m using that washroom.

I reached out to Halifax writer and author Lezlie Lowe who wrote No Place to Go: How Public Toilets Fail Our Private Needs. The idea for that book started back in 2005 when she wrote a story about public washrooms for The Coast. Back then, Lowe was a young mom taking her infant and toddler to public washrooms that didn’t accommodate their needs. With some research, she says she found a “small, but very vocal group,” demanding better public toilets.

Nobody wants to be the person protesting for better toilets but it’s really important.

Some of the better examples Lowe found in her research were the Portland Loo, a public toilet designed by the city of Portland, Oregan, that’s free to use and accessible 24/7. The loo is also large enough inside to fit a bike for cyclists or a stroller for parents with kids and has potable water on the outside for handwashing.

For Lowe, accessible single-use washrooms available for all genders simply make sense.

To me, why wouldn’t you have that? That’s what everyone has in their homes.

Truly inclusive washrooms are very hard to find. Lowe pointed out to me the washrooms at Garden Food Bar don’t allow for those users who, for religious or cultural reasons, can’t share intimate spaces with those of the opposite sex.

A perfect washroom, she says, should be free for the public to use, can be easily found through proper signage, open when it needs to be open, including for vulnerable users like those who live on the street, have an all-gender space, but also separate spaces specifically for those who are female-identified or male-identified users. The washrooms should also have double the provision for women (who urinate more frequently than men and take twice as long to use the washroom.)

She’d also like to see washrooms that accommodate for all ages and abilities and include features like stools for kids who need to wash their hands at the sink.

Lowe says the washrooms at the Halifax Shopping Centre are decent, although users have to buzz in to use the family washroom. And when she had a book signing at the Halifax Central Library she, of course, checked out the washrooms there, which included double the provisions for female washrooms.

Lowe says one of her favourite public washrooms is in Bryant Park in New York City. Those washrooms are free to use and are staffed by attendants, some of whom Lowe interviewed for her book.

It’s amazing. It’s a really beautiful bathroom.

One of the most disappointing public washrooms she’s seen is in Halifax on the north Common. That washroom, which she calls a “disgrace,” is not winterized and only available for use from May to October because, you know, no one needs to pee in the winter.

I think it’s embarrassing and disappointing there’s not an appropriate bathroom on the Common.  It’s sadly under-serviced.

Lowe says she received angry responses to her book, many of which were about the cost of public washrooms. But she says, the cost of washrooms — like a bench, or a public park, or transit — should be covered because we all have to go.

It’s not cheap, but it’s necessary. You can’t leave your house in the morning and not pee until you get home again at night.

Okay, pee break time!

Oh, and whatever washroom you use, please wash your hands.




City Council (Tuesday, 10am, City Hall) — Councillor David Hendsbee wants to protect dogs from the noise of fireworks; Councillor Lindell Smith wants to start the process to creating sobering centres instead of tossing people into the drunk tank.


Heritage Advisory Committee (Wednesday, 3pm, City Hall) — two properties — 10175 Highway 7 in Salmon River  and 6047 Jubilee Road — are being considered as potential heritage sites.



Human Resources (Tuesday, 10am, One Government Place) — a per diem meetiing.

Legislature sits (Tuesday, 1pm, Province House)


No public meetings.

On campus



Thesis Defence, Biology (Tuesday, 9:30am, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building) — PhD candidate Barakat Al Rashdi will defend “Contribution of the Voltage-gated Sodium Channel Nav1.6 and Toll-like Receptor 2 in the Pathophysiology of EAE.”

Are healthcare and incarceration compatible? Women’s experiences seeking care inside prisons(Tuesday, 12pm, Room 266, Collaborative Health Education Building) — Martha Paynter and Sarah Tessier will talk. More info here.

Thesis Defence, Post-Professional Masters (Tuesday, 1pm, Room 322, Forrest Building) — Jen Davis defends “The Lived Experience of Occupational Therapists Who Supervise Students With Disabilities.”

Proteus Saxophone Quartet Masterclass (Tuesday, 4:30pm, Room TBA, Dal Arts Centre) — more info here.

Value and California’s Public Libraries (Tuesday, 5:30pm, Room 3089, Rowe Management Building) — Cheryl Stenström will talk. More info here.


Voice with ORA Ensemble (Wednesday, 11:45am, Sculpture Court, Dal Arts Centre)

Implication of a Novel Subpopulation of Platelet-Derived Microparticle in Inflammatory Diseases (Wednesday, 4pm, Theatre A, Tupper Medical Building) — Luc Boudreau from Université de Moncton will talk.

Mariana Prandidi Assis.

Mini Law School: A brief history of women’s human rights (Wednesday, 7pm, Room 104, Weldon Law Building) — Mariana Prandini Assis will talk.

Today, women’s human rights are a widely known and accepted concept. However, this has not always been the case. The understanding that ‘women’s rights are human rights’ is the result of a long and well-orchestrated struggle. Yet, gender as a central category of international human rights law is being questioned by conservative groups uniting against the so-called ‘gender ideology’.

From the struggle for recognition to the current war on gender ideology, Assis will examine the process by which women’s human rights have been enshrined in international human rights law and ask what can be done differently to respond to the current gender backlash.

Saint Mary’s


Maritime Culture of Interaction: Harbors and Maritime landscapes in Hellenistic Greek World(Tuesday, 2:30pm, L173) — Lana Radloff from Bishop’s University will talk. According to Brock News, her research in part looks at  “the role of coastal settlements within the maritime network of ancient Greece and examine[s] how the ancient Greeks used urban planning and environmental resources to preserve and control access to sea routes as their communities grew and evolved.” Sounds pretty interesting to me.

Lumumba (Tuesday, 5pm, Loyola L188) — screening for the African Heritage Month Film Festival. More info here.


Kickoff Event: AquaHacking Challenge 2020 in Atlantic Canada (Wednesday, 12pm, in the lounge named for a transnational consumer goods company in the building named for a grocery store) — from the listing:

AquaHacking is an exciting tech competition where young innovators across Canada team up to develop new and innovative solutions to tackle urgent freshwater and marine water issues.

This year, Atlantic Water Network at Saint Mary’s University is proud to be bringing AquaHacking to all four Atlantic Provinces for the first time. Through this competition, we’re launching an ambitious search for the most innovative solutions needed to tackle critical water issues on the east coast.

This event marks the start of an exciting eight month-long journey where talented young innovators will work to develop implementable solutions for 5 critical water issues affecting freshwater and marine water health in Atlantic Canada.

More info and buzzwords here.

The history of urbanism and racism in Halifax, 1880–2010 (Wednesday, 8pm, Atrium AT 101) — Ted Rutland from Concordia University will talk (in French via Livestream from an Alliance française conference in Toronto) about how 20th-century planning and modern urbanism have affected racialized communities here, drawing from his 2018 book, Displacing Blackness: Planning, Power, and Race in Twentieth Century Halifax. More info here.

Mount Saint Vincent


Vincent’s Restaurant (Wednesday, 4:30 – 7pm) — Tourism & Hospitality Management students will make you dinner at this student-run teaching restaurant. Reservations required. For menu options, pricing, and alternate lunch and dinner dates click here.

Black Coffee (Wednesday, 5pm, Art Gallery, Seton Academic Centre) — from the listing:

Sip a hot cup of joe and engage in a critical and honest discussion about race and community. Through a graphic facilitator, attendees will participate in unpacking the topic “Pulling the Race Card.”

More info here.

In the harbour

05:00: Budapest Bridge, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from New York
05;00: East Coast, oil tanker, sails from Irving Oil for sea
11:30: Tropic Hope, container ship, sails from Pier 41 for Palm Beach, Florida
11:30: Budapest Bridge sails for Rotterdam


I’ve had some pretty good road trips this winter, thanks to some lovely weather and temperatures above zero. On the weekend I was at Peggy’s Cove. A week ago I went to Victoria Park in Truro. Last month, I went to Grand-Pré National Historic Site. The museum wasn’t open, but you can walk around the grounds any time. I’d like to see more museums and businesses open year round, even for limited schedules.

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 don’t go to Peggy’s cove often but It seems like the only public washrooms are in the gift shop restaurant. Are there others elsewhere?

    1. There are composting toilets by the visitor information centre, but I am not sure if they are open in winter. I believe upgrading the toilets is one of the things the new provincial cash is being used for.

  2. There is only one reason that a government funded conference (or any conference for that matter) would be closed to the media. It means there are things going on which they do not wish to be made public. So often Government these days forgets why it is a government and who it is they represent.

  3. If Halifax is so flush with cash, why not spend some of it on a proper memorial to the dead under the Halifax MEMORIAL library site?
    And better services and infrastructure. We settle for such a low standard – there are better streets and roads in Kabul.

  4. HRM sold the St Pats high school site on February 4 for $$37,610,000. The sale has not yet been revealed by HRM. Green space is worth a lot of money.
    A slew of downtown apartment buildings were sold 2 weeks ago for over $359 million, they were assessed at $175 million – rent increases will be on the agenda quite soon.
    HRM is flooded with cash thanks to property sales and the deed transfer tax of 1.5%.

  5. Compare the attitude of the aquaculture summit to the Gear Innovation Summit DFO hosted at the Convention Centre in mid-February. It was also an industry-to-industry event organized by a government agency. When I contacted DFO about attending they said no problem, just show up. When I signed in, a communications person asked if there was anyone specific I wanted to talk to, and then brought over a senior policy adviser. The fisheries minister had left, but I was told they could put me in touch if I wanted to get a quote from her. I was also, of course, free to just walk around and attend any sessions I wanted to, as were the several other media people there.