1. Gloria McCluskey could not be more wrong
Last week Halifax council rejected a proposal to begin the planning process for developing the privately held land in the proposed Blue Mountain – Birch Cove Lakes wilderness park boundaries, agreeing instead to direct staff to find a way to buy that land. As I wrote the next morning, “the one no vote came from councillor Gloria McCluskey, who claimed her constituency is against the acquisition of the parkland because it isn’t in Dartmouth, and they can’t get there.”
Since then, park advocate Chris Miller directed me to 91 letters to council written by Dartmouth residents in support of the wilderness park. Yesterday, I linked to and quoted from a handful of those letters. Over and over again, Dartmouthians said they personally go to the wilderness and want to see it protected.
It’s sad that McCluskey’s last significant council vote is a mean-spirited anti-Halifax move, and doubly so when many of the residents she represents have risen above such parochial rivalries.
2. Ship of Theseus
“Nova Scotia’s sailing ambassador, the Bluenose II, is having a trouble-free sailing season this year,” reports Jean Laroche for the CBC. “According to Wilson Fitt, the consultant hired by the province to oversee the project, that’s proof the much-delayed and over-budget schooner rebuild has delivered a good vessel.”
Laroche had filed a Freedom of Information request for emails about problems with the boat, and he received many such emails from 2015, but none from 2016.
3. Nova Scotia is connected to the rest of Canada
Back in the 1880s, engineer and businessman Henry Ketchum had a scheme for a Chignecto Ship Railway. Explains a page dedicated to the project published by the University of New Brunswick Archives:
The Chignecto Marine Transport Railway Company was formed in 1882 to construct a ship railway for transporting vessels across the Isthmus of Chignecto, thereby facilitating shipping between the Bay of Fundy and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The proposed Chignecto Ship Railway would be 17 miles long in a straight line from Fort Lawrence on the Bay of Fundy to Tidnish on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, with a dock at each end. Ships would be raised by hydraulic lift from the water onto the railway, drawn by two locomotives across the isthmus, and then lowered into the water to resume their journey. Ketchum acted as managing director of the project.
Construction began in October 1888, but the Chignecto Ship Railway soon faced serious financial difficulties. The 1890 collapse of Baring Brothers and Company, the London bank backing the project, signalled the death of Ketchum’s dream. In 1892 The Canadian Parliament refused to extend the time period for their contract with the Chignecto Marine Transport Railway Company, thereby destroying any possibility of the project being completed. Three-quarters of the work was completed at that point, including the docks at Fort Lawrence and Tidnish Bridge, 16 of the 17 miles of rail-bed, and 13 miles of track. Soon after, on 8 September 1896, Ketchum died unexpectedly in Amherst, Nova Scotia. He was buried at Tidnish within view of the ship railway terminus.
Now, a century-plus later, the never-completed rail bed is being added to the Canada Trail, connecting Nova Scotia to New Brunswick, and hence the rest of the nation, reports Christopher Gooding in the Amherst News:
The Cumberland Snowmobile Association, with their counterparts in Sackville, N.B., were working on opening the corridor between the two provinces when Trans Canada Trail started vetting interest to close the gap between the two. The primary challenge, project manager and Cumberland Snowmobile Club member Andrew Wallis says, was the terrain.
“Nobody wanted anything to do with it. It was mostly flooded under three feet of water over the trail at the other end. Essentially impassable,” Wallis said.
There was hope, however. In the winter the club could use the trail. Fast forward three years and over $300,000 later, over 45 km of trail have been developed along the former ship railway and have been brought into a new era thanks to the many funding partners looking to connect the nation via its provincial trail systems before 2017. An official opening ceremony was held Sept. 12.
While Nova Scotia is connected to the rest of the nation, as of June there were still significant gaps in the trail system within Nova Scotia, reported Pam Berman at the time.
4. Cyclist struck
From the end-of-shift police email to reporters:
At approximately 11:30PM last evening HRP police attended a motor vehicle collision involving a bicycle. The bicycle was travelling south on Gottingen Street going straight through the intersection at Cogswell Street. A car was travelling north on Gottingen Street and was turning west on Cogswell Street when it struck the bicycle. The cyclist, a 24 year old female was taken to the QEII hospital with serious injuries. Officers from the Accident Investigation Unit were called to the scene and will be conducting the investigation.
5. Peter MacKay
“Peter MacKay has decided against joining the Conservative leadership race,” reports the Canadian Press.
El Jones, white courtesy phone please. (Does anyone younger than 40 know what a white courtesy phone is?)
For me, MacKay’s greatest legacy is when in 2011, while announcing federal funding for the Halifax Convention Centre, he said that the Nova Centre would “take the ‘no’ out of Nova Scotia.” I guess with yesterday’s announcement, MacKay is putting the “no” back in Va Scotia.
During the same 2011 announcement, I asked Darrell Dexter if the government would further subsidize the Nova Centre by kicking in some payroll rebates for a tenant for the office building above the convention centre. “That’s a ridiculous question,” he said.
6. Rich people give each other prizes
The Queen Mary 2 is in town over the weekend, and so this absurd ceremony was held:
Explains a press release, which for some unexplained reason is datelined in Valencia, California:
VALENCIA, Calif., Sept. 10, 2016 /CNW/ — The 2016 Samuel Cunard Prize for Vision, Courage and Creativity was awarded today to John Risley, President of Clearwater Fine Foods Incorporated. This second annual award was bestowed upon Mr. Risley at a luncheon onboard Cunard’s flagship ocean liner Queen Mary 2 as she was docked in Halifax. Risely was joined by Captain Kevin Oprey, Master of Queen Mary 2, along with local dignitaries, port officials, and key members of the community including The Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board of the Government of Canada; The Honourable Tony Ince, Minister of Communities, Culture, and Heritage of the Province of Nova Scotia; and John Young and Allan Shaw, Co-Chairs, Canadian Maritime Heritage Foundation.
There is no greater human being than John Risley, apparently. Vision! Courage! Creativity!
You just gotta wonder what the backstory on this is.
7. Mike Savage
This morning, Mayor Mike Savage is kicking off his reelection bid by tooling around the harbour on Theodore the Thugboat.
I’m not sure the symbolism quite works, but it’s his campaign.
I was invited to join the festivities, but I’m afraid of that boat.
Stephen Kimber weighs in on a Dartmouth incest case. I’ll leave that for others to parse.
Yesterday, nine of the 11 ships involved in Cutlass Fury paraded out of Halifax Harbour:
Halifax & West Community Council (6pm, Halifax Council Chamber, 3rd Floor, City Hall) — the hated Wellington Street development is back.
Standing Committee on Economic Development (1pm, One Government Place) — Deputy Minister Kim MacNeil will be asked about aquaculture.
“Tur Malka: The Other Side of the Poem” (7:30pm, Sir James Dunn Theatre, Dalhousie Arts Centre) — composer Henri Oppenheim pays tribute to the Yiddish poets of 20th-century Montréal.
In the harbour
10am: Pick Up, yacht, sails from the boardwalk for sea
10:30am: Ningbo Express, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Cagliari, Italy
11am: Atlantic Conveyor, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from New York
11am: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, arrives at Pier 41 from St. John’s
11am: Tortugas, car carrier, sails from Autoport for sea
7:30pm: Radcliffe R. Latimer, bulker, sails from Pier 25/26 for sea
9pm: Atlantic Conveyor, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for Liverpool, England
1am: Ningbo Express, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for New York
5am: NYK Rumina, container ship, arrives at berth TBD from Rotterdam
6am: ZIM Alabama, container ship, arrives at berth TBD from Valencia, Spain
I slept in today, so a relatively short Morning File. I’m immediately off to edit an article written by Linda Pannozzo, and that will be posted on the home page later this morning.
Please consider subscribing to the Examiner. Just $5 or $10 a month goes a long way. Or, consider making a one-time contribution via PayPal. Thanks much!