Welcome to Weekend File, where you’ll find links to all the articles we published this week. Jump to the separate days, if you like:
Sunday, March 27
In Stephen Kimber’s weekly column he suggested, “Not based on the actions of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society over the past two years. Perhaps it’s time we followed the path of most Commonwealth countries and decided it’s time — past time — to reconsider letting lawyers be their own judges.”
Monday, March 28
1. Morning File: The rules of supply and demand no longer hold for housing, so simply building more market housing won’t bring prices down
Tim Bousquet wrote about the delusional thinking behind removing a few bureaucratic steps for some favoured developers, some questions about the training of the first three RCMP officers at the scene in Portapique, COVID notifications for the legislature (but nobody else), and Zephyr the dog.
2. Province announces $21.8 million forgivable loan to developer to build affordable housing in Dartmouth
Ethan Lycan-Lang wrote that this development will be built in one of the nine “special planning areas” the province announced Friday, despite concerns it could affect the sensitive Eisner Cove Wetland. And the “affordable” aspect only applies for 20 years.
Tim Bousquet was at the Mass Casualty Commission to hear one of the officers describe the night of April 18, 2020, as “a war zone.” Bousquet reported that a remarkable new fact emerged: the three constables’ radios were indeed equipped with GPS capability, but it had not been activated.
Tuesday, March 29
Jennifer Henderson reported on a news conference where MP Gord Johns and Dartmouth North MLA Susan Leblanc discussed Bill C-216. Said Johns, “It’s time to treat substance use and the toxic drug supply crisis as a health issue, not a criminal issue. Politicians are more worried about votes than they are about saving lives and what we have seen is that these lives don’t matter enough.”
2. Morning File: Cafés as centres for “queer memory, identity, and place” in Halifax
Philip Moscovitch wrote about Portland, Oregon’s pilot program designed to respond to mental health crisis calls (and which doesn’t involve police); Sarah Budgell’s thesis on the queer community and how it fits into the broader cultural narratives of Halifax; and Stephen Archibald’s “Old Album, Number Sixteen”, featuring photos of Barrington Street in transition.
Jennifer Henderson took a magnifying glass to the new budget: more money for health care, long-term care, community services, and emergency shelters. (Is it just me, or do these guys look like an ad for a menswear catalogue?)
Nicole Gnazdowsky said that she was glad to learn of the charges, but they’re not enough. “To hit a company like Nova Scotia Power with something that’s actually going to impact them in a way that forces them to change? It’s not going to be these charges,” she said. “My big issue now is with the investigation.” Yvette d’Entremont had that story.
Matthew Byard wrote about a virtual event on Monday, at which National Defence Minister Anita Anand reaffirmed the federal government’s intent to apologize to the former members of the No. 2 Construction Battalion. This was formed and enlisted Black soldiers to participate in non-combative roles overseas during the First World War.
Wednesday, March 30
These critics included the NDP, the Liberals, the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers, Halifax Chamber of Commerce, the NSTU…Jennifer Henderson had the details.
2. Morning File: No more grinning and bearing it: dental care is health care
Ethan Lycan-Lang looked at the Liberal-NDP agreement to fund dental care, and why we don’t already have universal dental coverage. And he played around with numbers to see what you would need for an annual income to afford “affordable” rent tied to market rates.
3. The RCMP didn’t warn the public a mass murderer was on the loose, but people on Hunter Road figured it out themselves
Tim Bousquet was back at the Mass Casualty Commission. This article continued the narrative of events that horrible night and morning.
This op-ed was contributed by Karn Nichols, executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association of Nova Scotia, and Alec Stratford, RSW, executive director/registrar of the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers.
Thursday, March 31
Jennifer Henderson wrote about Carole and Adam Fisher’s ordeal the morning of the mass killing; as he said to RCMP Const. Mike Townsend, “It was a shock. It still is — to realize we are the only frigging survivors — and why?”
2. The Tideline, with Tara Thorne: Jah’Mila
Halifax reggae queen Jah’Mila was in the studio to talk about growing up in Jamaica, how she became part of the Halifax scene, the way the pandemic has pushed her to look at her music career, and what she’ll be wearing on stage at the Cohn when she performs with SNS this weekend. Listen here.
You think your community Facebook group is awful? Suzanne Rent wrote a hilarious and disturbing piece with examples that may make your group look quite civilized. “Oh, adults these days,” she said. And buildings go down, buildings go up. (Tell me about it.)
Zane Woodford reported on a proposed bill that would waive deed transfer tax for first-time homebuyers. But as NDP MLA Suzy Hansen argued, “Eliminating the deed transfer tax for first-time buyers would make it easier for those who can already afford to enter the property market. It does nothing to address the core structural issues of affordability.”
Friday, April 1
1. Morning File: “Writing is stupid”
Tim Bousquet had the latest COVID numbers, and Philip Moscovitch worried that we’re getting too used to reporting the “low hum of death”, rather than adopting any meaningful prevention techniques. Moscovitch also wrote about a brazen fraud at Yale, the “shared madness” that is driving, and how he’s made peace with writing as a career.
Ethan Lycan-Lang reported that the Department of Community Services is adding 25 new overnight beds to the Brunswick Street Mission, at a price of $2600/month per bed. These replace the beds at the temporary shelter at the Pavilion building on the Commons, which cost just over $1400 each.
3. Volunteer group asks HRM to use bylaw to allow unhoused people to continue camping in public parks
Leslie Amminson wrote that P.A.D.S. Community Network met with Mayor Mike Savage and several HRM councillors to discuss Bylaw P-600, which prohibits camping in public parks “unless by permission.” This comes two weeks after Halifax’s CAO Jacques Dubé asked the group to assist with “peacefully” shutting down the park.
From our archives
Rather than highlight an archived article or series like Suzanne Rent does, I’ll give you some tips on how to find past Halifax Examiner articles:
1. You can see a list of articles by a particular author by clicking on their name in the byline under the headline
2. You can click any of the subjects in the menu bar at the very top of the page or
3. You can use the search box to the right of our logo, and type in various subjects or people