“Canada’s top general has condemned the actions of a group of Armed Forces members who disrupted a spiritual event on Canada Day marking the suffering of Indigenous Peoples at a statue of Halifax’s controversial founder, Edward Cornwallis,” report Adina Bresge and Michael MacDonald for the Canadian Press:
Gen. Jonathan Vance, chief of the defence staff, called the incident “deplorable” and said the men will be removed from training and duties while the incident is investigated.
On Saturday, the group of men were clad in black polo shirts with yellow piping — one of them carrying a Red Ensign Flag — as they approached singing “God Save the Queen,” one Mi’kmaq organizer said. The Canadian Red Ensign, which bears the Union Jack in the corner, was the national flag until it was replaced by the Maple Leaf design in 1965.
The men said they were members of the Proud Boys, a self-declared group of “Western Chauvinists.”
Alt-right hero Milo Yiannopoulos likes to pose with the hand sign, as he did in this photo in front of the White House. Former Breitbart writer Mike Ma used it at an event celebrating Trump’s election. Jim Hoft and Lucian Wintrich of the conservative blog The Gateway Pundit, which leans alt-right, posed with it in the White House press room.
It’s unclear exactly how the OK symbol got started as an alt-right meme, but it may trace back to a version of “Smug Pepe,” a meme in which Pepe holds his chin. In one variation he’s instead making an OK hand gesture, reminiscent of Trump.
This specific Pepe started circulating in online communities of alt-right and Trump supporters in early 2015, according to Don Caldwell, a senior editor at Know Your Meme.
“Around that time, Pepe depictions that were kind of Trump-related started to appear on 4chan’s politics board,” he said. “Trump supporters seemed to circulate these Trump-like depictions of Pepe, and then Donald Trump himself around mid-October tweeted one of them.”
Also, just to be clear, the staff at Bearly’s have no association with the wankers, and issued a statement yesterday:
FYI: Bearly’s has nothing to do with these dinks, and does not endorse them or their message. They took this picture on a busy day with one waitress on duty who didn’t know what they were all about, and who is mortified that she didn’t know to put a stop to it.
Bearly’s has always been a place where everyone is welcome and will continue to be that way.
2. Natural gas
Until this year, most of the natural gas used in Nova Scotia came from the Sable Island gas field. But now, as the offshore gas industry collapses, Heritage Gas is looking to increase sales and keep prices low by importing gas from the U.S. and western Canada to the Alton Gas storage project.
Reporter Jennifer Henderson pieces together all the parts of the complex equation.
The article is behind the Examiner’s paywall. Click here to subscribe.
3. Hey man am I drivin OK?
With the legalization of weed approaching, the federal government is going to sponsor a $1.9 million annual ad campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of drug impaired driving (DID). As explained in a tender issued this morning, the ad campaign will target people aged 16 to 24 and their parents, with the goal of reducing the percentage of people who think it’s OK to drive while stoned. The tender claims that:
Public Opinion Research found that 27% of Canadians who have ever used cannabis indicated they have driven a vehicle while under the influence of cannabis at some point in the past, with the number being higher (42%) among recent cannabis users1. 35% of Canadians also reported that they have been a passenger in a vehicle driven by someone under the influence, a figure that rises to 70% among recent cannabis users. Focus group research conducted by Health Canada corroborates this, with a few participants stating that they felt that some people they knew were better drivers when they were under the influence of cannabis compared to when they were sober.
The success of the campaign will be measured by as-yet-undefined social media measurement strategies (whatever that means), calls to 1-800-OCANADA (presumably about weed, not for boat licences), the number of people asking for material, and coverage of the campaign in media.
4. Sewage plant disaster redux
The City of Charlottetown is getting a brand new sewage plant, reports the Daily Commercial News, and guess who’s in charge.
“We know not everything is going to be affordable,” says Charlottetown chief administrative officer Peter Kelly.
“But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look at everything.”
I particularly like the plan to turn the biosolids produced by the plant into a tourism destination:
The existing plant’s biosolids are highly rated and about 4,000 wet tonnes are removed by a contract for agricultural use.
Using sunlight supplemented by sustainable source energy, the city hopes to dry the biosolids further to 50 per cent and add value to the final product to further offset costs.
“We’re also looking at an atrium, like a greenhouse, where the public could come and enjoy the flowers and plants of a botanical garden,” says Kelly.
“It would be serene with music perhaps and somewhere to come, especially in the winter when we don’t get a lot of sun.”
What could possibly go wrong?
Mostly I posted this item just an excuse to use that picture above. I took it when Halifax’s sewage plant first opened in 2008, as part of the $300 million Harbour Solutions project. The photo shows some sort of vent in front of the plant that was quite literally held together by plywood, bailing wire, and duct tape. A few months later, on January 14, 2009, the plant had a catastrophic failure.
5. Yarmouth ferry
“Engine troubles will force the ferry service between Yarmouth, N.S., and Portland, Maine, to run a little slower and less frequently this month,” reports Paul Palmeter for the CBC:
One of the Cat’s four engines is out of commission, which means the ferry isn’t running at full power though it remains in service.
“Under this modified schedule, the vessel is completing five round trips per week as opposed to the six trips originally scheduled for the month of July,” Bay Ferries said.
The high-speed ferry normally takes 5½ hours to make the crossing between Nova Scotia and Maine but now takes an additional hour.
The extra hour is a big deal. Before the mechanical problem, the boat departed Yarmouth at 8:30, but passengers were told to be at the ferry terminal by 7:30. That didn’t leave much time for early morning shopping or even breakfast in Yarmouth. Those on the return boat arrive around 10:30pm. Change those times by an hour on each end, and it means that people will be hitting their hotel beds in Yarmouth a bit earlier to catch the morning boat and sleeping in a bit later to recover from the evening trip. That’s that much less business for downtown Yarmouth.
6. Cornwallis Park
The city this morning issued a tender for Phase 3 of the Cornwallis Park redevelopment. This phase is primarily for a plaza on the southwest corner of the park, near the curve in Hollis Street.
7. Halifax Common
“I LOVE Halifax’s tradition of free outdoor concerts!” writes filmmaker Thom Fitzgerald:
When I was deciding whether to settle here, my enjoyment of Natal Day concerts on Citadel Hill was a genuine draw. I even think it remains possible that the Common is not a terrible venue.
But we really need to employ some collective intelligence in approaching this in the future. This happens every time, free concert or $150 concert, big swaths of the park are left unusable until they are fixed — which most often is after summer is over.
This is, frankly, a lack of professionalism on the part of organizers and [some members of the] work crews, in combination with a complete disregard for the people of the community.
The Common offers a large gravel section big enough for a stage. It now also has a large concrete “plaza,” and the park is surrounded by roads that can be home to a stage, some of which were closed for the concert anyway. This destruction is completely unnecessary. There are so many better options within 100 meters of this set-up.
Staging an event in Halifax has become as lost an art as carving marble. Someone call their grandparents and ask how they had those great big concerts without destroying everything in their wake.
8. Queen’s Marque
A reporter, I don’t know who, filed a Freedom of Information request asking for “All records from January 1st 2017, to the present pertaining to the impact of the Queen’s Marque development on the Halifax waterfront on tourists/tourism.” This was a reasonable question. A gigantic construction project is blocking off a major part of the waterfront for two years, so shouldn’t someone be trying to understand what impact that will have on tourism?
We do not have the information you asked for…
After a file search, we have located no records responsive to your application… Please be advised that Tourism Nova Scotia has not completed any studies or assessments, nor had any discussions regarding the Queen’s Marque project and its impact on tourism.
Ask them about golf, tho. I bet they know about golf.
Just my periodic reminder… the Nova Centre is supposed to be up and running on January 1, less than six months from now, and there’s still no named operator for the hotel.
Federation of Canadian Municipalities Advisory Committee 2018 Conference (Wednesday, 3pm, City Hall) — exactly what it sounds like.
North West Planning Advisory Committee (Wednesday, 7pm, Sackville Public Library) — here’s the agenda.
Point Pleasant Park Advisory Committee (Thursday, 4:30pm, City Hall) — here’s the agenda.
No public meetings.
Plakoglobin (Wednesday, 4pm, Room 170, Collaborative Health Education Building, Halifax) — Qinyan (Andy) Song will speak on “Structural Characterization of the Interaction Between p53 and Plakoglobin.”
Bridging the Divide: Engaging States and Armed Groups in the Protection of Children (Wednesday, 7pm, Paul O’Regan Hall, Halifax Central Library) — Roméo Dallaire will speak.
IWK Research Rounds (Thursday, 7:45am, IWK Temporary Auditorium) — Andrea Bishop will speak on “Improving Transitions from the Emergency Department to Home by Engaging and Partnering with Parents.”
In the harbour
6am: ZIM Alabama, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Valencia, Spain
6:45am: USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, U.S. nuclear aircraft carrier, sails from anchorage to maybe bomb some place, or maybe just back to Norfolk
7:45am: Grandeur of the Seas, cruise ship with up to 2,446 passengers, arrives at Pier 22 from Saint John
9am: USS Winston S. Churchill, U.S. naval destroyer, sails from Dockyard for undisclosed location; also undisclosed: why the U.S. names warships after British politicians
10am: USS San Jacinto, U.S. naval cruiser, sails from Dockyard for undisclosed location
3pm: George Washington Bridge, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Norfolk
4:30pm: ZIM Alabama, container ship, sails from Pier 42 for New York
7pm: Grandeur of the Seas, cruise ship, sails from Pier 22 for Baltimore
It was a busy weekend in Halifax Harbour:
I’ll be on the Sheldon MacLeod Show, News 95.7, at 2pm. Sheldon won’t be there, though. There’s a guest host, but I forget who it is.
A reader this morning cancelled their subscription because of El Jones. It’s no big deal — people are certainly free to subscribe or not for their own reasons, and I’m not about to try to orient our articles to satisfy some random reader. We do what we do.
I only draw attention to this one reader because the departure was made publicly, in the comments. More often, if a reader wants me to know that they’re unsubscribing because of Jones or because of something I wrote, they email me personally. Also, you’d be surprised at the number of people who email to tell me they’re not subscribing in the first place because of Jones, as if I would a) care or b) believe them; mostly they’re just ranting. So it goes.
Anyway, if you want to help recoup the cost of the few subscriptions we lose because we publish El Jones, you could do so here. Or, you could take advantage of the new joint subscription deal between the Halifax Examiner and the Cape Breton Spectator by clicking the photo below. Thanks much.