1. Steve Craig
Steve Craig won the byelection for MLA in Sackville-Cobequid. (Preliminary results are above.)
The district has long been solidly NDP, so a PC victory is notable, but I wouldn’t read too much into it. The NDP candidate, Lara Fawthrop, didn’t have Craig’s name recognition, and Craig is more on the “progressive” side of the Progressive Conservative party than most of the mouth breathers who ran for the party leadership last time around. The most telling thing about the election, I think, is the Liberals’ poor showing.
(As an aside, I already see people blaming the Greens for the NDP loss. Cut it out. It’s not up to the voters to fall in line behind your party loyalty; it’s up to the candidate and the party to win over the voter. No one owes you a vote.)
I remember that in 2012, I interviewed all the candidates for the Sackville council seat; Craig was by far the most intelligent and savvy, and I wasn’t surprised when he won the seat. On council, he’s been mostly about good governance — he didn’t go far enough in his role as chair of the police commission, but he did at least talk about asserting commission power over the police force.
Craig doesn’t strike me as a party man — he’s too independent of mind to take marching orders behind the leader, I think — but as Graham Steele argues, even the best are corrupted by the system. It’ll be interesting to see how he performs at Province House.
2. Choo-choo a no-go
“One councillor’s commuter rail dream has been stopped dead in its tracks,” reports Zane Woodford for Star Halifax:
After an in-camera discussion on Tuesday, Halifax regional council voted unanimously to direct staff “not to pursue commuter rail service further … due to the infrastructure requirements and associated financial implications, as well as operational considerations and restraints.”
“Obviously this is not a good day for me or my district or development or people,” [Bedford councillor Tim] Outhit said after the vote.
“I believe what we had was a chance to do something with commuter rail that was transformational.”
Outhit said the federal and provincial governments were supportive of commuter rail, but they couldn’t come to a deal with CN.
“We just couldn’t agree to the terms and conditions that CN, who owns the track, would want,” he said.
3. Data points
One data point:
A photo, taken by Steffen Olsen from the Centre for Ocean and Ice at the Danish Meteorological Institute on 13 June, showed sled dogs wading through water ankle-deep on top of a melting ice sheet in the country’s north-west. In the startling image, it seems as though the dogs are walking on water.
The photo, taken in the Inglefield Bredning fjord, depicted water on top of what Olsen said was an ice sheet 1.2 metres thick.
A second data point:
The average global temperature in May was 1.53 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 58.6 degrees F, making it the fourth-hottest May in the 140-year record (May 2016 ranking as hottest May to date), according to scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. Last month was also the 43rd consecutive May and 413 consecutive month with above-average temperatures.
A third data point:
“Scientists believe that global sea levels could rise far more than predicted, due to accelerating melting in Greenland and Antarctica,” reports Matt McGrath for the BBC:
The long-held view has been that the world’s seas would rise by a maximum of just under a metre by 2100.
This new study, based on expert opinions, projects that the real level may be around double that figure.
This could lead to the displacement of hundreds of millions of people, the authors say.
A fourth data point, from yesterday’s city council meeting;
Young people are going to start tearing stuff down.
“Former IWK Health Centre CEO Tracy Kitch has elected trial in provincial court on charges of fraud over $5,000 and breach of trust,” reports Michael Gorman for the CBC:
Kitch was not in Halifax provincial court on Tuesday, but her lawyer, Joel Pink, estimated the trial would take three to four weeks. Pink declined to comment as he left the courtroom.
“There’s nothing to report today,” he said.
Trial dates are scheduled to be set July 2, at which point an official plea is also expected.
Crown attorney Peter Dostal said the expected length of the trial reflects the intention of calling between 25 and 35 witnesses and the need to go through “a fair amount of documents.”
5. Convention centre
“Local businesses hoping to recoup sales losses incurred during the construction of the Halifax Convention Centre may have to wait a little longer than expected to see their returns,” reports Elizabeth McSheffrey for Global:
When the Argyle Street centrepiece opened a little more than a year ago, it brought the hope of financial redemption for some neighbouring restaurants, which saw foot traffic decrease while the 120,000-square-foot facility was being built next door.
But the convention centre is expecting a quiet summer, with just one event booking in the month of July and none in August, prompting some concerns that lucrative lunch hours could soon become fewer and farther between.
But the convention centre was going to make us all rich!
6. Panglossian vox pop at the Herald
In contrast to the above business owners complaining that the area around the convention centre is dead,
Heather Laura Clarke did a streeter for the Chronicle Herald — “We asked a random assortment of Halifax residents what their thoughts were on Halifax’s population, business, innovation, and infrastructure growth, and the direction our city is headed” — and every last person she talked to, all nine of them, had nothing but positive things to say.
I was especially gobsmacked by this guy:
I don’t expect everyone to think that the Nova Centre is a crime against architecture — wait, I do expect that — but I guess opinions can differ. Still, “one of his favourite buildings he’s ever seen” [sic]? I mean, OK, maybe he’s never been to Paris or Venice or New York, but there’s more interesting architecture to be found in Spryfield, not to mention by simply walking around the south end.
Dylan Corkum: you gotta get out more, buddy.
More.” Mostly, it’s filled with “sponsored content” — from Mediacorp Canada Inc.; the Forest Lakes development; and of course, from Duggers — along with fawning pieces from Heather Laura Clarke with headlines like “Northwood employees thrive on warmth of relationships“; “Employees attracted to Emera’s innovative opportunities“; and my favourite, “Entrepreneurial spirit flowing through Clearwater employees.” I like this interest in employees, but I’d argue they’d be helped more if Clarke clamoured for a living wage or better union protection.‘s streeter is found in a Herald section called “Connect Collaborate Prosper,” which is found on the website under the heading “
We all gotta eat, I suppose.
* On Thursday, I was made aware that
Public Information Meeting – Case 21982 (Wednesday, 6:30pm, Dartmouth North Community Centre) — a small rezone at 20 Sea King Drive (near Albro Lake). More info here.
Transportation Standing Committee (Thursday, 1pm, City Hall) — Tim Outhit has a problem with the #91 bus going down Oceanview Drive.
Active Transportation Advisory Committee (Thursday, 4pm, HEMDCC Meeting Space, Alderney Gate) — agenda
Point Pleasant park Advisory Committee (Thursday, 4:30pm, City Hall) — here’s the agenda.
Youth Advisory Committee (Thursday, 5:30pm, Youth Power House, 1606 Bell Road, Halifax) — agenda.
No public meetings.
Community Services (Thursday, 10am, One Government Place) — the committee will discuss “protection of confidential information.” Witnesses are Tracey Taweel, the deputy minister at Community Services; Vanessa Chouinard, the executive director of policy and newfangledness; and Maria Lasheras, the chief information access and privacy officer.
Health (Thursday, 1pm, Province House) — Janet Hazelton of the Nova Scotia will discuss the Nursing Potential Report.
The structure of yeast Ddi2 reveals its role in an oxidative/chemical stress response pathway (Wednesday, 4pm, Theatre B, Tupper Medical Building) — Stanley Moore from the University of Saskatchewan will speak.
In the harbour
As of 6:30 this morning, the Alakai ferry is still in Charleston, South Carolina
08:00: USCGC Biscayne Bay, U.S. Coast Guard ice breaker, sails from Old Coast Guard Base for sea
08:25: Grandeur of the Seas, cruise ship with up to 2,446 passengers, arrives at Pier 22 from Bar Harbor, on a nine-day, roundtrip cruise out of Baltimore
10:00: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, arrives at Pier 41 from St. John’s
14:00: JSP Levante, cargo ship, sails from Pier 31 for sea
18:30: Grandeur of the Seas sails for Baltimore
05:30: Atlantic Sky, ro-ro container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Liverpool, England
08:00: Zaandam, cruise ship with up to 1,718 passengers, arrives at Pier 22 from Sydney, on a seven-day cruise from Montreal to Boston
11:30: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, moves from Pier 41 to Autoport
16:00: Atlantic Sky sails for New York
16:00: Zaandam sails for Bar Harbor
16:30: Oceanex Sanderling moves back to Pier 41
I’ll be on The Sheldon MacLeod Show, News 95.7, at 2pm.
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