Welcome to Weekend File, where you’ll find links to all the articles you might have missed last week. (We published no articles last weekend.) Jump to the days:
Monday, May 9
Stephen Kimber doesn’t know what to make of Premier Tim Houston’s flip-flop on the non-resident tax increase. But, Kimber also knows exactly what to make of Houston’s change of heart. “Same old, same old. Still. Again. Always,” Kimber wrote in his column this week.
2. Morning File: ‘Frantic panic’: it was the RCMP, and not the public, who panicked during the mass murders
Tim Bousquet chronicles the details of and the decisions made on the weekend of April 18 and 19, 2020. Bousquet wrote that those responsible should be held accountable. “I fear just the opposite will happen: just as “defund the police” resulted in increasing funding for police, my anticipation is that the multiple RCMP failures before, during, and after the mass murders will result in increased funding for the RCMP and less accountability,” he wrote.
Tuesday, May 10
Suzanne Rent spoke with Stephen Marsh, who’s lived in Mount Uniacke for about 50 years. Marsh is one resident of the community opposed to a proposed expansion of a quarry in the area, and he and other residents opposed the creation of the quarry several years ago. But the proposed expansion is 10 times larger than the current quarry. Marsh said the community is concerned what that means for local watersheds, increased traffic, noise, and dust.
2. Morning File: Defunding the crime beat
After Philip Moscovitch read a story from CTV about a Moncton woman doing her part to curb crime in the city, he looked at crime reporting. “From what I’ve seen, crime reporting in the US is far worse, more racist, and more simplistic than what we get here. Still, our media run plenty of stories that are just press releases from the police, and we’ve seen the rise of terms like “officer-involved shooting” north of the border, too,” Moscovitch wrote.
3. Years before the mass murders of April 2020, police were offered access to the province’s emergency alert system but turned it down
Jennifer Henderson reported on documents released by the Mass Casualty Commission (MCC) that shed new light on why a public alert was not issued by the province’s Emergency Measures Office (EMO) during the mass murders of April 18/19, 2020. Nova Scotia became part of federal alerting system in 2010, but as Henderson wrote, the rules around when and how to issue a warning to the public were too slow and too cumbersome to be helpful that April weekend.
Yvette d’Entremont spoke with 25-year-old Halifax resident Tanaeya Taylor who is now battling long-COVID after she became infected with the virus in March 2020. Taylor told d’Entremont about some of her symptoms, including brain fog. As d’Entremont reported, a national study found Taylor is not alone. Most respondents of the study said the virus impacted their brain function negatively, too.
Wednesday, May 11
In 2016 Parkdale Developments Ltd. applied to develop its property on St. Margaret’s Bay Road. John R. Fiske, the owner, died in March, and his family has taken over the company. Now six years later, councillors finally approved the development proposal for a 39-unit apartment building and 39 single-family lots. Zane Woodford had the report.
2. Morning File: One small step for the Lahey report: the province is finally trying to speak for the trees
Ethan Lycan-Lang looked at some of the positive news coming out of the Lahey report. And a quirky bit about Moonbug Entertainment, which produces 29 of the world’s most popular online children’s shows. Will screen time fry your kid’s brain? “The options aren’t put your baby in front of a screen or leave them in a sensory deprivation tank,” Lycan-Lang wrote.
Thursday, May 12
1. Community health centres need stable funding, a seat at the table, advocates tell public accounts committee
“Money is always at the root of it. But what we really want to convey is that we are partners in the fight against poverty and homelessness, and we are the experts.” That’s what North End Community Health Centre executive director Marie-France LeBlanc told the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on Wednesday. Yvette d’Entremont was there, too, and heard from other community-based organization about how they’re struggling, too.
2. RCMP officers privately warned their loved ones that a killer was on the loose, but didn’t warn the broader public
Many Nova Scotians wanted to know what was going on in and around Portapique the morning of April 19, 2020, but struggled to find accurate information. Families and friends of RCMP officers knew what was happening, though, as they received messages from RCMP members who were privately alerting others. Tim Bousquet wrote about that. and the background on the emergency alert system in the province.
Tara Thorne interviews Grace McNutt and Linnea Swinimer, two Haligonians who host a podcast called Minute Women about Canadian history as seen through a lens of Heritage Minutes. The duo are marking the second birthday of the podcast, so they joined The Tideline to talk about their favourite minutes and what impact the podcast has had. When will the Examiner get its own Heritage Minute?
Suzanne Rent told us about a Jane’s Walk she attended on the weekend. The walk, led by journalist and author Lezlie Lowe, took a group through the north end of the city and the history of the women who lived there and volunteered during the war effort.
Zane Woodford went to a rally on Edward Street in the city’s south end where a group of about 20 neighbours are fighting to save an historic building on Dalhousie University’s campus. “It’s gorgeous inside. It needs some TLC like every house, and every old house,” said Peggy Walt, the resident who started a petition to save it. The university, meanwhile, has already applied for a demolition permit.
Friday, May 13
1. Morning File: After the mass murders of April 2020, Truro police chief Dave MacNeil stood up to RCMP “fixers”
Tim Bousquet reported on Truro police chief Dave MacNeil’s August 3, 2021 interview with Mass Casualty Commission investigators. As Bousquet wrote, MacNeil told investigators Truro police were not kept in the loop about the unfolding mass murders in April 2020. MacNeil’s interview also focused on a 2011 bulletin issued by Truro police that named the killer as someone who might kill police.
Zane Woodford had this story on a report headed to Halifax regional council on Tuesday that would include a recommendation of a 16.1% average increase to cab fares in the city. It would be the first cab fare hike in a decade. Woodford spoke with Dave Buffett, president of the Halifax Taxi Drivers Association who said the increase “is very necessary.”
From our archives
Scoop the poop! The weather is getting nicer and people are heading outside, but they’re discovering a dirty secret on trails across the province: dog poop! A year ago, Yvette d’Entremont looked at this issue when she wrote this story about the huge amount of poop on trails. The pandemic lockdowns at the time had more people going outside, but that also meant more people weren’t picking up after their dogs. d’Entremont learned about a dog waste composting pilot project that had been put on the back burner. Walter Regan, president of the Sackville Rivers Association, which operates and manages the Bedford-Sackville Connector Greenway Trail, told d’Entremont how pet poop can contaminate waterways. So, if you’re outside the weekend with your pooch, pick up the poop!