1. Pride flag burned

A Pride flag with its rainbow of colours takes up the photo frame.
Pride flag Credit: Alexander Grey/Pexels

“Police are investigating and students involved will receive ‘appropriate consequences’ after a Pride flag was destroyed at Bay View High School in Upper Tantallon this week,” reports Yvette d’Entremont:

A post on social media said the flag was traditionally signed by 2SLGBTQIA+ students at graduation each year, and that it had been burned.

In an email around 4:30pm Friday afternoon, school principal Dunovan Kalberlah told families some students this week “took part in an act of discrimination” against school community members. He said a Pride flag was removed from the cafeteria and desecrated.

“This act is unacceptable, and I am deeply troubled by what happened. The students involved will receive appropriate consequences according to the Provincial Code of Conduct Policy,” Kalberlah wrote in the email. 

Kalberlah said the RCMP have also been contacted and an investigation into the incident is underway. 

RCMP spokesperson Andrew Joyce confirms that police were contacted at 2:47pm on Friday about “a Pride flag being pulled down from inside a school in Upper Tantallon. The flag was then taken outside by this person and damaged. The matter is still under investigation, no arrests nor charges have yet been made. In circumstances like this, ‘hate-motivation’ would be considered by the investigator.”

Click here to read “Pride flag at Bay View High School destroyed by students in ‘act of discrimination.'”

The CBC adds:

In a video of the incident obtained by CBC News that has been circulating on social media, students are seen standing around a burning flag as one individual sings Kumbaya and laughter echoes in the background. 

“What the f–k are y’all doing?” asks one voice. 

“Burning the Pride flag. I told you I was going to,” says another. 

I don’t think there has ever been some idyllic time when queer people were unreservedly welcomed by the communities they live in, and especially not in the rough and tumble world of Tantallon adolescence. But it does feel like the reactionary right’s increasingly ugly appeal to the purported grievances of the basket of deplorables has given licence to open hostility against queer people (and others) in Canada.

Today, it’s dumb ass teenagers in Tantallon, and if we don’t respond forcibly, tomorrow it’s brown shirts marching in the streets and legislation reversing legal rights for queer people.

(Send this item: right click and copy this link)

2. Allison Holthoff death review

A white woman with a dark shirt and dark hair stands next to a horse.
Allison Holthoff Credit: Facebook

“The death of a 37-year-old woman on New Year’s Eve after waiting seven hours to be seen by an emergency department physician at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre shocked people across the province and the country,” reports Jennifer Henderson:

Allison Holthoff was a mother of three and the volunteer deputy fire chief at Tidnish Bridge. Her death automatically triggered a review — required by the Quality-Improvement Information Protection Act (QIPPA) — of the circumstances surrounding her care in hospital. 

The Nova Scotia Health Authority, which operates Nova Scotia’s hospitals, has completed the review, but is unwilling to share the recommendations with anyone other than Allison’s husband, Günter Holthoff. 

Günter Holthoff, however, gave the recommendations to the Examiner.

Click here to read “Review of Allison Holthoff’s death recommends changes at Cumberland Emergency department.”

(Send this item: right click and copy this link)

3. Po-po should get along with each other

Two uniformed officers stand on a roadway between two vehicles. In the background is downtown Halifax on a partly cloudy day.
An RCMP officer and an HRP officer stand together on Citadel Hill in a photo from a budget presentation to council in 2020. Credit: HRM

“Rather than ditching the RCMP, a new study recommends Halifax transform its policing model to fully integrate the Mounties with the municipal police force,” reports Zane Woodford:

Halifax regional council voted in April 2021 for an independent review of the municipality’s policing model — a relic of amalgamation in 1996.

HRM hired PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct the study in March 2022 for $250,000. It later hired Bill Moore, a former deputy chief of Halifax Regional Police, to act as a project lead. Moore has since between promoted to executive director of the municipality’s new public safety business unit.

The study has been complete since November 2022, according to its front page. It was made public on Friday, when the municipality posted the agendafor a committee of the whole meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

In a report outlining the results of the study, Moore highlighted the “challenged” relationship between HRP and RCMP, as evidenced during the Mass Casualty Commission.

Click here to read “New study recommends Halifax keep its dual RCMP-HRP model, but with better integration.”

(Send this item: right click and copy this link)

4. Eel fishery

“Elvers are nothing more — or less — than baby American eels before they grow longer than 10 centimetres,” writes Stephen Kimber, who goes on to detail the global trade in elvers, and the political economy of Nova Scotia’s end of that trade, including how a series of bad decisions by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has led to increased poaching, violence, and distrust of the entire quota system for all fish species.

Click here to read “DFO mismanages minor elver fishery into major crisis.”

Eels are a weird and fascinating species. In Medieval England, they were used as currency to pay rents, a practice that lasted until the 16th century. Nowadays, eels are threatened in England as well, even though there’s a small revival in eel recipes and such.

(Send this item: right click and copy this link)

5. Daffodil Garden for Cancer Survivors

Yellow flowers lying flattened on the green grass.
Someone trampled the Daffodil Garden for Cancer Survivors. Credit: Twitter/ Darren Fisher

Someone trampled the Daffodil Garden for Cancer Survivors on the Dartmouth waterfront.

Who would do such a thing? A mourning person who lost a loved one to cancer and is lashing out inappropriately? Someone with a beef with the city parks department, moving on from the Public Gardens? Maybe, but more likely just some dumbass into destruction for destruction’s sake.

There’s always been senseless vandalism, but there seems to be a particularly mean-spirited aspect to it of late, see pride flag burning above.

(Send this item: right click and copy this link)

6. Double Tree

A provincial news release issued Friday detailed that the Double Tree hotel in Dartmouth which is now a homeless shelter, will also become a clinic for people experiencing homelessness who are leaving hospital:

“When patients are well enough to be released from the hospital, they often need some extra recovery time at home or with a loved one. Until now, people who are homeless have not had this option and have had to remain in hospital,” said Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson. “This new model will ensure that some of our most vulnerable Nova Scotians get the care they need in a place better equipped to serve their needs.”

The unique clinic is a collaborative effort across the departments of Health and Wellness; Community Services; Labour, Skills and Immigration; and Seniors and Long-Term Care, as well as the Office of Addictions and Mental Health and Nova Scotia Health. It will open in a former hotel on Wyse Road near downtown Dartmouth.

The building will continue to operate as a shelter, with additional on-site clinic access for residents. The clinic will serve clients of the shelter, as well as community members referred for nursing care by Nova Scotia Health.

In addition to the clinic, which will be open seven days a week, there is an on-site support team – including a wellness co-ordinator, continuing-care co-ordinator, community outreach worker and other healthcare professionals – to provide wraparound supports for residents and prepare them for independent living.

Jim Graham, with the Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia (AHANS), has been advocating for this sort of facility for at least three years. As Jennifer Henderson reported in April 2020:

What still had to happen, according to Graham, was discussions with the NSHA about the type of medical support this group would need after discharge. Graham said models exist all over the United States and Canada that include housing located next door or down the street from a medical clinic for individuals diagnosed with mental illness, addictions, PTSD, or chronic poor health. Graham describes one such facility in Denver, Colorado.

“If you had two or more of those diagnoses, you were eligible for a subsidy so you could afford to rent a bed-sitter in the building,” explained Graham. “All the services you needed were either in the building — for example occupational therapy or counselling — or they were just down the street at the health clinic. It was wonderful. The money to lease or buy the apartment building was premised on the savings to the healthcare system of getting these long-term patients out of hospital.”

On the downside, 80 unionized workers have lost their jobs with the sale of the hotel.

(Send this item: right click and copy this link)

7. Adventures in cruising

A blue and white ship on a blue ocean.
The Celebrity Equinox Credit: Youtube/ Celebrity Cruises

Since the cruise ship season is back upon us, it’s time to start looking under the hood of the industry.

Today, the Zaandam is calling in Halifax. The Zaandam is a cruise workhorse, plying back and forth between Florida and Montreal, with stops in Nova Scotia so the 1,500 or so passengers can deboard and gawk at the quaint natives of this strange part of the world, and pester restaurant servers for local delicacies like Coors Light.

The Zaandam was most recently in the news last July, when 20% of its passengers — about 300 people — tested positive for COVID. So, maybe wear your masks today, restaurant servers.

Last week, another cruise ship, the Celebrity Equinox, drew the attention of the Miami New Times, which reports:

Last summer, after an elderly passenger died of a heart condition during a Celebrity Cruises vacation to the Caribbean, the cruise line allegedly advised his wife of two options: allow her husband’s remains to be removed from the ship in nearby Puerto Rico, where she would have to stay alone for days pending a possible autopsy, or leave his body with the ship’s morgue until the vessel arrived back in the United States. 

In hopes of returning to her family as soon as possible, the woman, 78, chose the latter option, trusting that the ship would safely transport her husband of 55 years back to their home state of Florida to be prepared for funeral services.

Six grueling days at sea passed as the Celebrity Equinox chugged back to its port in Fort Lauderdale. When the ship arrived on August 21, 2022, a local funeral home employee came aboard to retrieve the body. 

But it was nowhere to be found in the morgue. 

Instead, according to a recently filed lawsuit, the corpse was located on a pallet on the floor of a beverage cooler, left to turn green and deteriorate into an advanced state of decay after the onboard morgue went out of order. 

The funeral employee saw drinks placed outside of the ice box turned mortuary, the complaint claims.

The same article tells us that:

Most contemporary cruise ships are legally required to have morgues on board, according to a 2018 Thrillist report on cruise-ship deaths. Though regulations vary, the report indicates that some large cruise vessels maintain a morgue with enough room for as many as ten bodies, along with a stock of body bags. 

Well, that’s reassuring, I guess. The Celebrity Equinox, built in 2009, can carry 3,000 or so passengers and another 1,000 staffers, so even in the best of times, onboard deaths are going to happen, especially if 20% of the often elderly passengers have COVID.

But you must make sure the morgue is kept in working order.

(Send this item: right click and copy this link)

A yellow box which links to a helpful information page. The text reads "Unable to read paywalled articles? If you're having problems signing in, click here for help."

A box with a link which reads "Sign up for our morning email. Get a direct link to the Morning File right in your inbox. Click here."




Executive Standing Committee (Monday, 10am, City Hall and online) — agenda

Special Events Advisory Committee (Monday, 1pm, City Hall) — agenda

Halifax and West Community Council (Monday, 6pm, City Hall and online) — agenda


Halifax Regional Council (Tuesday, 10am, City Hall and online) — lots going on: Committee of the WholeBudget CommitteeRegional Council



No meetings


Human Resources (Tuesday, 10am, One Government Place) — Impact of Low Wages on Labour Shortages;  Agency, Board and Commission Appointments; with representatives from the Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration; Minimum Wage Review Committee; and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business

Natural Resources and Economic Development (Tuesday, 1pm, One Government Place) — agenda-setting

On campus


Caribbean Reparations: A People’s Movement in “Chanting Down Babylon” (Monday, 12pm, Room 1009, Rowe Building) — a talk by Chevy Eugene, candidate for a Black and African Diaspora Studies faculty position



(Re) framing Gender: Representations of Women’s Bodies in Holocaust Photographs (Tuesday, 4pm, online) — Dorota Glowacka will speak from UCLA; RSVP for the Zoom link here

In the harbour

05:00: MOL Experience, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Antwerp, Belgium
05:15: SFL Composer, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from Emden, Germany
06:00: Tropic Lissette, cargo ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Philipsburg, Sint Maarten
08:00: Zaandam, cruise ship with up to 1,718 passengers, arrives at Pier 22 from Bar Harbor, on an 11-day cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Montreal
10:30: MOL Courage, container ship, sails from Pier 41 for Dubai
15:30: SFL Composer sails for sea
16:00: CSL Metis, bulker, arrives at Gold Bond from Portsmouth, New Hampshire
16:30: MOL Experience sails for Fort Lauderdale, Florida
17:45: Zaandam sails for Sydney
18:00: Tropic Lissette sails for Palm Beach, Florida

Cape Breton
10:00: Algoma Verity, bulker, sails from Aulds Cove quarry for sea
14:00: AlgoScotia, oil tanker, sails from Government Wharf (Sydney) for sea


Don’t be a dumb ass.

A button which links to the Subscribe page
A button link which reads "Make a donation"

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

Join the Conversation


Only subscribers to the Halifax Examiner may comment on articles. We moderate all comments. Be respectful; whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims. Please read our Commenting Policy.
  1. Yet another reason to avoid cruise shipping and cruise shipers and cruise shipees. What madness.
    And never a shortage of dumb asses especially teen dumb asses in Tantallon and elsewhere I’m sure. The only flag worth burning might be a Nazi flag from ’39. And who would stomp on any dafodil ?? So pretty and bright ??

  2. En route from Iran to East Africa in the spring of 1970 the radio officer died. The RAF sent a medic by helicopter from the Royal Marine training base in the UAE. His body was wrapped in canvas with a needle though his nose and he was placed in the refrigerated meat locker We anchored off the base and waited for his replacement, and then we held a short service and dropped him into the sea. His wife did not want his body to be returned. Several weeks later after a series of problems we arrived in Durban and I flew home on leave. Nice quiet middle-aged man who was a whisky aficionado.