1. Injunction issued to end threats and blockades against Sipekne’katik fishers

Supporters of the Mi’kmaw lobster harvesters gather on the rocks along the Saulnierville Wharf on Sept. 17, 2020/Photo by Stephen Brake

Paul Withers at CBC reports on the temporary injunction issued by Justice James Chipman to stop blockades and end threats against Sipekne’katik band members fishing on the province’s southwest coast.

The band applied for the injunction yesterday. As Wither reports, this injunction means the police must arrest and remove anyone violating the terms.

Sipekne’katik Chief Mike Sack tells CBC the injunction is a way to keep band members safe.

We’re looking to keep anyone away who could do harm to people involved, and de-escalate the situation and ensure everyone’s safety for people in and around the wharf, and bring peace to what’s going on.

Before that injunction was issued, RCMP commissioner Brenda Lucki said police would enforce any order from the courts, but the RCMP didn’t need an order to do its job.

If people are not abiding by the law according to the Criminal Code of Canada, we will step in, we will intervene, we will investigate and we will hold those people to account through the judicial system.

We would like peaceful resolutions, and often in some of these cases we use our divisional liaison teams to have that dialogue, so people have the right to peaceful protest, we can keep the peace, we can keep people safe.

One of the affidavits filed to support the injunction was from Jason Marr, Sipekne’katik fisher, who included more details about the mob incident at the lobster facility last week. Marr writes that he and another fisher, Randy Sack, locked themselves in the building after they were surrounded by a growing mob. Marr says RCMP told them “they were unable to ensure my safety because the mob was so large and they had so few officers present.” Marr adds RCMP stood aside while the building was destroyed and lobster was taken.

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2. The Tideline: Episode 2

Aquakultre. Photo: Nathaniel Cole

Episode 2 of The Tideline with Tara Thorne is out this morning. In this episode, Thorne talks with hip-hop artist Lance Sampson aka Aquakulture about his latest work, including his debut album, Legacy, which was released in the spring, and another album released this week with DJ Uncle Fester.

The Tideline is advertising-free and subscriber-supported. It’s also a very good deal at just $5 a month. Click here to support The Tideline.

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3. Tourism operators critical of bailout

The owner of the MacKinnon Cann Inn in Yarmouth says some tourism operators can’t get help from the banks and insurance rates have rapidly increased. Photo: Trip Advisor

In yesterday’s Morning File, Tim Bousquet wrote about the Hotel Association of Nova Scotia criticizing a $50 million loan assistance program the feds announced last week. Today, Michael Gorman at CBC talks with other tourism operators who say they are just as confused about the bailout, which won’t help many of them at all.

Darlene Grant Fiander with the Tourism Industry Association tells Gorman officials in the industry have been meeting with government and detailing their exact needs, which this bailout doesn’t cover. Says Grant Fiander:

We just happen to be waiting seven months for a recovery plan. Beyond tourism, there’s something so wrong about this.

Gorman also talked with Michael Tavares, co-owner of the MacKinnon-Cann Inn in Yarmouth, who says operators are struggling, they can’t get help from banks, and their insurance rates are increasing.

I’m not asking them to pay my cable bill. But fixed costs like your taxes, your insurance, and even in some cases, your debt services — I mean, you’ve got to look at where’s that money going to come from.

David Clark, president of the Atlantic Hotel and past-president of the Hotel Association of Nova Scotia, says many hotels will start closing down in the next while as we head into a slower season. Clark says property taxes are an “emergency” issue for many hotels.

We’re paying property tax right now based on revenues we achieved two years ago. Right now we’re not even generating enough revenue to cover the tax bill in a month.

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4. Breaking down the CBRM election results

Photo: Cape Breton Spectator

Mary Campbell at the Cape Breton Spectator has a good breakdown of the results from last Saturday’s election in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Campbell has a lot of numbers, including those for voter turnout for this election compared to 2016:


Eligible voters: 81,833

Participation: 62.6%


Eligible voters: 81,378

Participation: 53.3%

The biggest news was the election of Amanda MacDougall as mayor. But check out this bit from Campbell:

No, let’s go further — McDougall is the first woman mayor in the history of the eight municipalities that formed the CBRM in 1995. Search the archives with a fine-tooth comb and you won’t find a woman running Sydney, Glace Bay, North Sydney, New Waterford, Sydney Mines, Dominion, Louisburg or the County of Cape Breton.

So simply by being elected, McDougall has wrought change in this municipality.

Like the Halifax Examiner, the Cape Breton Spectator is supported by subscribers. Click here to subscribe. You can get a great deal on an Examiner-Spectator combo.

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5. Saving heritage buildings in old photos (because we’re not saving them in real life)

The Jost Mission on Brunswick Street was torn down to make way for the Metro Centre. Photo: Old Black and White Pictures of Halifax

Paul Hollingsworth with CTV Atlantic talks with David Jones, the historian in Dartmouth interviewed by the Facebook group Old Black and White Pictures of Halifax. Jones says that in the group, “people get to reminisce about how we used to live and what the city looked like.” The group started in 2009 and there are more than 28,000 members. (Click here to see the group).*

Both Jones and Blair Beed, another historian Hollingsworth interviews, cite a report that says of the 104 unregistered heritage buildings identified in 2009, 43 have since been destroyed. Beed says, “Everything is going at the moment.”

Jones says many of the buildings, including the former Capital Theatre and the Paramount Theatre, should have been restored.

Orpheus Theatre on Barrington Street in 1941. Photo: Old Black and White Pictures of Halifax

Not everything has changed, though. Parts of Granville Street look the same, as does the Halifax Forum.

I follow this group and there are lots of excellent photos in here. I hope this group won’t be the only place we get to see heritage buildings in Halifax. (There will never be a Facebook group dedicated to photos reminding people of all the condos going up now.)

* as originally published, this item incorrectly identified Jones as the creator of the Facebook group. He is not the creator nor an administrator of the group.

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1. National survey to look at sexual harassment and violence in the workplace

Photo: Unsplash

A new national survey launched yesterday will gather data about sexual harassment and violence in workplaces across Canada. Yesterday, I talked to its creators, including Barb MacQuarrie and Adriana Berlingieri with the Centre for Research and Education on Violence against Women & Children, in the Faculty of Education at the Western University; Sandy Welsh from the University of Toronto; and Hassan Yussuff at the Canadian Labour Congress.

“Me Too brought a lot of attention to the issue, but we’re not seeing many changes. Because we know with really good data and really good advocacy, we have a chance to make really good changes,” MacQuarrie says. “With this survey, I think we can do both.”

The survey doesn’t define sexual harassment, but rather includes a list of behaviours that are harassment. As for the definition of violence, Berlingieri says that can include bullying, aggression, or physical violence, all of which can take place at the same time as the sexual harassment. Berlingieri says the survey is a way to capture if people are experiencing one form of harassment or another, or a combination. The survey also includes questions about retaliation, how the harassment was handled by the employer, and what actions, if any, were taken.

Survey participants will be asked demographic questions, including those about their jobs and what kind of work they do. Welsh says they want to learn how sexual harassment and violence in the workplace affect those in situations of precarious employment.

“It gives us an opportunity to get some data around what precarious workers are doing and what they’re not doing when they’re faced with this,” Welsh says. “And that’s where we’ll be able to make some recommendations — whether it’s more general policy or supports, or areas that the government needs to think about. Having the data will give us the insight to do that.”

This survey follows one that the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children and the Canadian Labour Congress completed before. That survey focused on domestic violence and the workplace and the results were published in November 2014 (click here to read the survey). MacQuarrie says 8,429 people filled that survey out. And there were some surprising numbers: about one in three of those 8,000 experienced domestic violence. And for 38% of those respondents, the domestic violence affected their ability to get to work.

That survey led to changes in legislation to protect those experiencing domestic violence. In September 2018, the feds introduced changes to the Canada Labour Code that would give some survivors of domestic violence 10 days of leave a year. Yussuff says he hopes this survey will do the same with not only legislation, but additional protections in collective agreements.

“This is a societal issue and it’s only a societal approach that will change the attitude and behaviour into how domestic violence occurred in the first place,” Yussuff says. ”It’s great that employers now have obligations and governments are providing legal protection for people who experience it, but it also shows how much more we have to do, because until the violence ends, we haven’t really achieved the greater objective, which is how do we stop this violence from reoccurring?”

The survey will be available for the next six months. After that, the group will analyze the the data and from there, they’ll be making recommendations for governments, employers, and unions. MacQuarrie says they’ll think about strategies to make some of the changes that need to be made.

“Workplace harassment and violence is devastating to relationships, not just workplace relationships, but interpersonal relationships,” MacQuarrie says. “It’s one of the really damaging impacts of workplace violence, and why it’s so important we do better on this front. It permeates into every aspect of someone’s life.”

“I don’t think anyone thinks this will be the end and that we’ll fix it all,” MacQuarrie says. “But we’re really committed to making improvements and advancements from where we are now. I think that will happen.”

Again, the link to the survey is here. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to fill out. You have to be at least 18 years of age and have been employed in the last 12 months.

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This “sexy” banana bread Halloween costume is baked.

Last week I was searching for costumes to wearing during my horseback riding lesson on Halloween (that’s another story). As any woman knows, every year when you look for Halloween costumes, there is always a good selection of the “sexy” costumes. My personal favourite I found this year is the sexy banana bread; we all know it’s the sexiest of the baked goods. There are also sexy COVID-19 related costumes, including sexy hand sanitizer. And sexy Ebola nurse seems to have made a comeback this year, too. These costumes are disturbing on many levels.

Adult women have the right to wear whatever costumes they want, although I’d like to know the process for coming up with these sexy costume ideas. And are these sexy costumes sending the wrong messages to young girls and teenagers? Just after Halloween in 2019, Aurora M. Sherman, Shayla Prickett, and Haley Allemand at Oregon State University published new research on the hypersexualization and sexualization in advertisements for Halloween costumes (Renee Engeln with Psychology Today has an article on the research, too).

The researchers looked at 1001 randomly-selected costume ads from four different retailers. The ads were targeted toward children, teens, and adults. They then examined all of those costumes for 13 markers of sexualization, including for the details of the costumes, the poses of the models, and the text used to describe the costume. Each costume was given an overall score for sexualization, model sexualization, and hypersexualization. According to the authors:

We found that ratings of model characteristics and costume were significantly more sexualized when the model was adult and female. Significant interactions indicated that model characteristics and costumes of male models were low in sexualization regardless of age, whereas model characteristics and costumes featuring female models were rated more sexualized than those for male models, even for child models, and sexualization ratings increased with age. A measure of hypersexualization (combining costume and model characteristic ratings and adding text sexualization) showed that hypersexualization is highest in advertisements featuring female and adult models while being low for male models across all three age groups. However, hypersexualization ratings were not significantly different for teen and adult women, indicating some compression of sexualization into adolescence.

There are other costume option out there for women. Spirit of Halloween does have a section of sexy costumes, but they also sell scary costumes, time-period costumes, classic costumes, and superhero costumes. The men’s costumes don’t have a sexy section, but they do have a funny costume section, which they women don’t get. I’d prefer a funny costume, myself.

I don’t think I can ride a horse wearing that sexy banana bread outfit. It’s certainly not practical.

So why is criticizing the sexualization of women and girls’ Halloween costumes important? As the research says, these costumes further reenforce sexist attitudes and negative gender stereotypes. This happens on more days than just Halloween. But as the study points out, adults can benefit, too; as the authors write:

As with children, raising awareness of the circumscribed options for women in ads for costumes might be helpful in reclaiming the creativity and playful nature of Halloween for adults as well.

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No meetings.

On campus



Reclaiming Power and Place Virtual Read (Thursday, 10:30am) — a group reading of Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (2019). More info here.

Extracellular Vesicles in Cardiovascular​ and Renal Disease – Beyond Biomarkers (Thursday,11am ) — Dylan Burger from the University of Ottawa will talk. Link here.

Habitat (Thursday, 12pm) — architecture lecture with Elisa Iturbe (Yale School of Architecture), Ciro Miguel (ETH, Zürich) and Vanessa Grossman (TUDelft). More info here.

Severi varieties of projective surfaces (Thursday, 2:30pm) — Adrian Zahariuc from the University of Windsor will explain

Severi varieties are spaces which parametrize projective plane curves of fixed degree and geometric genus, and this definition may be easily extended to other projective surfaces by taking the spaces which parametrize curves of fixed homology class and geometric genus on the given surface. In this talk, I will first give a gentle and concrete introduction to these objects, and then I will focus on a question which (although known for the projective plane) is still open for most other projective surfaces, namely the question of whether the Severi varieties are irreducible. This question can be rephrased as follows: is it possible to continuously deform any curve on the surface into any other curve on the surface of the same homology class and geometric genus while keeping the genus fixed throughout the deformation?

More info here.

Forecasting nonlocal climate impacts for mobile species using multivariate spatiotemporal extensions to empirical orthogonal function analysis (Thursday, 3:30pm) — James Thorson from the Alaska Fisheries Science Centre and National Marine Fisheries Service will talk. Abstract and link here.


Bridging Religion and Black Nationalism: The Founding of St. Philips African Orthodox Church and the Universal Negro Improvement Association Hall in Whitney Pier, 1900-1930 (Friday, 3:30pm) — Claudine Bonner from Acadia University will talk. Contact this person for the link.

Saint Mary’s


Entrepreneurial Mindset Success Certificate: COVID-19 Resiliency Session (Thursday, 12am) — a series of Zoom workshops. From the listing:

The Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre has developed eight essential online workshops as part of the Entrepreneurial Mindset Success Certificate, aimed to support individuals who have found themselves unemployed or unable to find employment due to COVID-19.

The Certificate takes a customized approach to provide relevant skills training and exposure to entrepreneurship, with the goal of helping individuals feel prepared to re-enter a new and changed job market, return to work, or start their own business.

More info here.

Prototyping workshop (Thursday, 12pm) — an interactive webinar. More info here.

In the harbour

06:00: Contship Ice, container ship, arrives at Pier 41 from Philipsburg, Sint Maarten
07:00: Elka Nikolas, oil tanker, arrives at anchorage from IJmuiden, Netherlands
08:30: Atlantic Kestrel, offshore supply ship, arrives at Irving Oil from Port Hawkesbury
11:00: Taipei Trader, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from New York
11:30: Contship Ice sails for Saint John
16:30: MOL Maneuver, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for Dubai
22:30: Taipei Trader sails for Kingston, Jamaica
23:30: CSL Tacoma, bulker, arrives at National Gypsum from Sydney


I just may move to a ranch and ride horses all day long.

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Suzanne Rent is a writer, editor, and researcher. You can follow her on Twitter @Suzanne_Rent and on Mastodon

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  1. I’m of the opinion that the banana bread outfit is a valiant effort to promote healthy eating during the most notorious candy consuming time of the year.

    Num num.

  2. For those interested in heritage buildings in old photos, check out The retired NSCAD professor of photography has been documenting NS architecture since the 1970s.

  3. Halifax has squandered one of our most precious resources specifically our built heritage. Heritage advocates like Mr. Jones and a few others who understand the value of preserving our heritage are swept aside by City councils and administrators who have been led astray by the money hungry developers pursuing the destruction of unique and priceless heritage buildings. They craft elaborate lies about old buildings being worthless and we have become numb to the wrecking balls smashing away our historical structures to make way for cheap and dirty McBuildings without character designed to last 50 years tops. Next to go will be one of our most important heritage buildings which currently houses the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Once a new hideous building is placed in the worst possible place on the waterfront that old Dominion Building which is a magnificent example of our rise to glory in the early part of the last century will be handed to a developer to deface and defame so he can build more condos. There would not be a historic building anywhere in Europe if cities there allowed development the way Halifax does.

  4. Re: New study on violence against women

    “You already know enough. So do I. It is not knowledge we lack. What is missing is the courage to understand what we know and to draw conclusions.

    Sven Lindqvist from his book “Exterminate All the Brutes”, 1998

    1. It’s not a “New study on violence against women.” It’s a “Harassment and Violence at Work in Canada Survey.” Men also experience harassment and violence at work or observe such. That includes sexual harassment perpetrated by both men and women.

      “The aim of this survey is to improve workplace supports and responses to those experiencing and observing harassment and violence… It is difficult to disentangle sexual harassment from workers’ experiences of other forms of harassment and violence. Therefore, this survey also asks about other forms of harassment and violence.“

      “This survey looks at workplace harassment and violence prevalence, awareness, reporting levels, the types and effectiveness of actions taken by workers, and organizational responses and preventative measures… The information gathered from the survey will be used to inform and support organizational practices to prevent, respond to, and support those affected by violence and harassment in our workplace.”

      Respondent to this survey are not limited to women. “Anyone 18 years of age or older who has been employed in the past 12 months can participate.”

      “By completing this survey, you may learn about harassment and violence at work… It is expected that you will learn some new information about possible actions, tools and supports that organizations can take to provide appropriate responses to incidents of harassment and violence at the workplace. Increased understanding of these issues informs strategies to better respond to and prevent them.”

      A know-it-all attitude is not conducive to dealing with this issue.