In the harbour


1. Strike

Halifax Water workers went on strike this morning.

2. International students

Reports Moira Donovan:

At the public consultation on universities that took place in the Fall of 2014, international students participating in a consultation session in Halifax were asked whether they would recommend the province’s universities to peers in their home countries. The answer was a resounding “no,” according to students who attended the session.

This article is behind the Examiner’s paywall, and so available only to paid subscribers. To purchase a subscription, click here.

Today’s article ends Donovan’s stint as the Examiner’s education reporter. I hired her on a three-month contract, with the idea of testing the concept, and seeing if I could properly manage and afford it. Donovan more than rose to the occasion, and I can’t thank her enough for her hard work, insightfulness, and patience for an oft-distracted editor.

I’ll see how things go over the summer months before I decide whether to try it again.

3. Examineradio, Episode #11

El Jones
El Jones

This week, the Liberal provincial government passed its austerity budget much to the dismay of, well, everyone. City council passed a motion to lower the tax burden for the Irving shipyard. And a look at how entrepreneur Ben Cowan-Dewar used three levels of government funding to create an exclusive golf course for ultra-wealthy tourists.

Also, El Jones goes behind the headlines regarding the Halifax Rainmen basketball team, and Sam Austin looks at the proposed plan to restore Dartmouth’s Sawmill River.

You can subscribe to Examineradio via iTunes.

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4. Milton horse fountain

Poetically, the Irving gas station races past the horse fountain. Photo:

I know next to nothing about Yarmouth — the ferry stops there, they play horrible music in the downtown business district so kids don’t hang out, and that’s about it. But because the town council is dealing with traffic issues around it, today I learn that Yarmouth has something called the Milton horse fountain. Says this website:

This is a massive monumental structure on a granite pedestal, surmounted by a bronze statue of a horse; twelve feet high with ornamented panels and a brass plaque with inscription of the donor. Two drinking troughs for horses and cattle, and four for smaller animals and a faucet for wayfarers also.

This beautiful drinking fountain was the gift of Miss Clara Killam to Milton, Yarmouth, N.S. on May 01, 1893. Miss Killam was the daughter of Capt. Samuel Killam and Amelia Durkee (John 1st), a leading ship owner. When she died she left many generous donations to Yarmouth and its people.

Fountain now faces another direction, but is still intact on a cement base. No water flows through it, generous Milton Improvement members keep flowers planted in drinking troughs.

The sands of time have changed the look of this monument but the horse still stands stately in spite of abuse by young people. Parts of it were recast in a Lunenburg foundry in recent years. It was hoped by many that with the growth of new buildings in this area, that it will remain in its position in the center of Milton where it was meant to be.

Any place with a horse fountain is all right by me.

5. Draft Kelly

Peter Kelly. Photo: Tim Bousquet
Peter Kelly. Photo: Tim Bousquet

Somebody or somebodies have put together a “Draft Kelly” website, supposedly urging former mayor Peter Kelly to run for the position in 2016. But the person or people behind the website are evidently too ashamed of the effort to put their names to it — the site is hosted anonymously through GoDaddy, there’s no word on the site who put it together, and whoever made it didn’t even “like” their own Facebook page. Maybe it’s parody.


1. Annapolis

Photo: Stephen Archibald
Photo: Stephen Archibald

Stephen Archibald visits Annapolis.

2. Wong watch

Journalism prof Jan Wong’s former students have endured lewd comments from passersby while conducting interviews.

3. Cranky letter of the day

To the Cape Breton Post:

The local roads are an absolute disgrace. People are risking their lives by driving on them. But our governments don’t seem to care if someone dies.

Well, I think it is high time our political representatives opened their mouths. They were elected by the people for the people.

All the federal government seems to care about is balancing the budget.

And Prime Minister Stephen Harper always has somewhere else other than Canada to spend our money — $3 million here, $4 million there, and on and on it goes. We can’t even get a five-gallon bucket of asphalt to put in the potholes.

The government should be creating jobs here for the young people. There is enough work to be done on Highway 125 to last 25 years, paving all of Cape Breton the right way. That would get people off welfare, allow our young people to stay here and help our economy.

The next time someone takes cruise ship passengers on a local bus tour, take them over the roads in Sydney, Glace Bay, Dominion and New Waterford. Let them take plenty of pictures and have the ride of their life.

The bus will be ready for the junkyard by the time the tour is over.

Russell Lynk, Glace Bay



Audit & Finance (TOMORROW, 10am, City Hall)—there are a few interesting items on the agenda, including the next step in council’s efforts to expand fees charged to developers (“capital cost contributions”), the ramped-up conversion of streetlights to LED lights and two auditor general reports — one on council and management expense reports, and a review of the oil spill at Halifax Transit last year. I’ll be there.


No public meetings.


The deadly shootout in Waco, Texas speaks to a lot of things. Texas is ground zero of gun culture run amok, for instance. And the Twin Peaks restaurant is the epitome of cornball capitalism; an even cheaper knockoff of the cheap titillation of the Hooters chain, the Waco franchisee reached out in scattershot fashion for potential customers, devaluing them all — the weekend biker event was to be followed by a bikini contest on Tuesday, and then by “veterans appreciation day” next weekend. (What are bad ass bikers doing hanging out in a tacky suburban chain restaurant in the shadow of the interstate and next to a shopping mall? Have they no proper biker bars in Texas?) I also have to wonder about police involvement in the event — something doesn’t look right about this, but I’ll leave that for another day.

But Texas is Texas, and why should we care? Just when I was about to turn my attention elsewhere, Washington Post reporter Michael Miller put biker culture in its historic context:

American bike gangs took root after World War II, when thousands of young, disaffected, often war-traumatized men returned to a country they didn’t recognize. Many rejected it. “The end of World War II saw young men returning from combat in droves,” William L. Dulaney wrote in 2005 in the International Journal of Motorcycle Studies. “Many found the transition back to a peaceful civilian life a more monotonous chore than they could handle. Some combat vets were trained in riding motorcycles, specifically Harleys and Indians, while serving overseas.”

“Returning veterans used their severance pay to buy motorcycles and party in taverns,” writes James F. Quinn, a professor at the University of North Texas who has studied motorcycle gangs. “Thrill-seeking attracted some returning veterans to choose a saloon society lifestyle centered around motorcycles. Positive views of military experiences, and the intense camaraderie they bred, also made such a lifestyle attractive. In some cases, combat roles became master statuses for veterans who could not tolerate military discipline but linked their self-image to the small-group camaraderie and risk-taking of military service. Conventional activities offered no acceptable alternatives and these men were threatened with a loss of identity, companionship, and security as military involvement ceased.”

There were signs of trouble even before there were any official bike gangs. On Fourth of July weekend in 1947, around 4,000 motorcyclists flooded the small town of Hollister, Calif., causing havoc. The Hells Angels were founded around a year later. [Hunter S.] Thompson’s 1966 profile of the Angels came just as they were expanding across the country, stirring dramatic reactions.

“They call themselves Hell’s Angels,” began a 1965 magazine article quoted in Thompson’s book. “They ride, rape and raid like marauding cavalry — and they boast that no police force can break up their criminal motorcycle fraternity.”

War never ends.

The destruction and mayhem of war is most obvious to its immediate victims, the civilians and soldiers killed by and in combat. But we don’t talk enough about the other victims: the (mostly) male soldiers who survive conflict. Ripped from the ethical moorings that stabilize society so that we can send them off to kill, and then living through the amoral or perversely moral fog of war, is it any wonder they come back with broken psyches, unable to resume normality?

I made this observation on Facebook last night and my friends started giving other examples: the increase in piracy after the War of 1812, criminal gangs in the wake of the US Civil War, ISIS as a result of the War on Terror. I’d add the explosion of homeless vets after the Vietnam War, and the alarming number of Canadian veterans of the Afghanistan War who have committed suicide. I’m sure readers could recount many others. And all these men have families and communities that are left to deal with their broken souls and the emotional and physical violence they inflict, and round and round it goes.

War is a sickness that infects everyone it touches.

In the harbour

The seas around Nova Scotia, 8:20am Tuesday. Map:
The seas around Nova Scotia, 8:20am Tuesday. Map:

Helene J, container ship, arrived this morning at Pier 42
Don Juan, car carrier, Fawley, England to Autoport, then sails to sea
NYK Constellation, container ship, Rotterdam to Fairview Cove East
APL Scotland, container ship, Damietta, Egypt to Fairview Cove


Headline reference:

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Tim Bousquet is the editor and publisher of the Halifax Examiner. Twitter @Tim_Bousquet Mastodon

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  1. With Cabot Lonks, how much economic activity does it bring to the area? How well is this resort doing? It’s only been open since 2012, is it going to b e sustsinable in the long term? How many visitors do they have yearly?

    With the government money given, considering it is seasonal work, basically the jobs are being subsidized by EI.

    And with the upgrades of the airport, how much is the test of Cape Breton benefitting? Are visitors travelling around the island? Is the rest of the province really benefitting either? Now that there is no travel from the Halifax airport through Truro, Pictou, Antigonish, etc, how much benefit are we really getting.

  2. If you revive the education beat, and I hope you do, I’d like to see a broader mandate, one covering public, vocational and university ed. Concentrated focus on university sends a message that it – and those aspiring/attending – are of singular, paramount importance. The journey to a destination can be as vital, enriching and important as the arrival. So, too, with education. With apologies to Wordsworth, the educated child/adolescent is father/mother to the post-secondary student.

  3. The costs of war

    Thanks for this, Tim. The costs abroad, the costs at home, the costs we continue to pay as new wars are generated from the remains of old wars. Too often journalists seem to go into automatic pilot on the glories of war and remain silent on how costs are felt for generations, thus aiding and abetting the politicians who beat the drums of war, keeping safe themselves from its costs, to get or stay elected.

  4. Tim, let me just say that Moira Donovan’s reporting complements yours well and I hope that there will be an opportunity for more of her work in the future.

  5. It’s unfortunate our other news outlets do not provide for such in depth investigative work.

    Not mentioning any names CBC, Chronicle Herald et al…..

  6. Bravo to Moira Donovan. Reading the education reports over the last three months was great. I’m sorry to hear that is over for the time-being.
    Tim, I know you want to avoid asking for money from subscribers (or I think I read that somewhere) but it would be nice to know what kind of contributions could make more reporting like this possible.

    1. It’s simply a numbers game. Paying for one reporter basically costs about 300 subscribers a month to cover pay, taxes, and associated costs. That’s of course over and above all the Examiner’s other expenses.

      I may revive the position in the fall. (There’s not much going on on campus in the summer anyway.) But I think I have to work through some management issues first. All this is a learning experience. We’ll see.

  7. Regarding your comment on the effects of war….the homeless (aka “street people”) are often likely to have served their country in the military….

    “Veterans are much more likely than the population at large to suffer from homelessness, comprising 23 percent of the homeless population even though only 8 percent of the population at large can claim veteran status.”

    “About 13 percent of homeless Afghan and Iraq war veterans are women, and almost 50 percent of all homeless veterans are African American.”

    — From citing information from the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans

    1. There are many reasons for the explosion of homelessness, but certainly the effects of war on soldiers is one of them.

  8. Really enjoyed Donovan’s articles! It’s rare (and really valuable) to have a reporter dedicated to education/university. Hope she stays on!

  9. Yeah, was a private registration a month ago. Can’t see who registered it. That “citizens for peter kelly” isn’t a real society according to RJSC. Sites behind cloudflare so it has money and/or some technical competence behind it.

    Stylesheets / theme is pretty generic no info there.

    Twitter reset goes to “dr********” so presumably

    Don’t see anything else off hand