On campus
In the harbour


1. How safe is ExxonMobil’s pipeline?

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 3.51.29 PM

Reporter Jennifer Henderson looks at emergency preparedness for a leak from ExxonMobile’s natural gas liquids pipeline connecting Goldsboro to Point Tupper. An independent review unearthed by Henderson shows that in the event of a leak or other pipeline failure, 911 dispatchers can’t easily contact the oil company, and cash-strapped fire departments have abandoned gas detection equipment because it’s too costly to maintain.

Click here to read “How safe is ExxonMobil’s natural gas liquids pipeline in Nova Scotia?”

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

2. Tidal

Photo: Andrew Wagstaff / Cumberland News
Photo: Andrew Wagstaff / Cumberland News

“A tidal project in the Bay of Fundy has been put on hold both by the company behind it and Nova Scotia’s Environment Department in the wake of criticism by local fishermen,” reports Rachel Ward for the CBC:

Cape Sharp Tidal, a venture backed by energy companies Emera and OpenHydro, was scheduled to move the first of two five-storey high, two-megawatt turbines from Pictou, N.S., this weekend for installation in the Minas Passage later this month.

Paul Laberge, project lead for Emera, said the company has consulted extensively, but wants to speak further with fishermen worried about environmental impacts, particularly on shellfish, scallops, lobsters and whales.

“We’re taking the opportunity to pause the deployment,” Laberge told CBC’s Mainstreet

3. Yarmouth ferry

The former Akalai, renamed the RSNS Puerto Rico and operated by the US navy, is now leased by Bay Ferries for the Yarmouth to Portland ferry service and is rebranded The Cat. Photo: Polihale at Wikipedia
The former Akalai, renamed the RSNS Puerto Rico and operated by the US navy, is now leased by Bay Ferries for the Yarmouth to Portland ferry service and is rebranded The Cat. Photo: Polihale at Wikipedia

“A feud between the leader of the opposition in Nova Scotia and the company operating the Yarmouth to Maine ferry continued Thursday with a strongly worded letter,” reports Zane Woodford for Metro:

The exchange began on Tuesday, when PC leader Jamie Baillie wrote to Bay Ferries president and CEO Mark MacDonald, calling on the company to set up monthly reporting of passenger numbers and cash flow.

MacDonald wrote back, refusing to disclose “weekly or monthly traffic or cash flow updates.” Baillie replied on Wednesday, again calling for transparency, and on Thursday, MacDonald shot back.

He wrote that Baillie had “destabilized the business environment around this service” with negative comments in the media, citing examples of his saying Bay Ferries had “hosed” the government, and calling the service a “boondoggle.”

4. Adsum House pays a living wage

“A collective agreement signed earlier this week will ensure that all employees of Adsum for Women and Children will earn at least a living wage,” reports Robert Devet:

Adsum’s executive director Sheri Lecker. PHoto: Robert Devet
Adsum’s executive director Sheri Lecker. Photo: Robert Devet

A living wage reflects the reality of what it costs to live a dignified life, rather than face an ongoing struggle of making ends meet.  In 2015 the Nova Scotia chapter of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) calculated the living wage for Halifax to be $20.10 per hour.

This commitment to a living wage by an employer is almost certainly a first [at a nonprofit] for Nova Scotia.

It is also very much what Adsum wanted, says Sheri Lecker, its executive director.

“This was our informed proposal, it was what we wanted to do. It speaks to the value we place on people who work here, and the respect we have for the work they do,” says Lecker. 

“What we wanted to do is have everyone working here feel welcome, and allow them to participate in life and the community,” Lecker says.

Good on Lecker, and good on the organization for supporting a living wage. I’ve said it before: if you’re starting a business or other enterprise with the goal of forever paying your workers poverty wages, you’re doing it wrong.

And besides, ya know, basic human decency, the race to the bottom in pay scales is bad for the economy. Unlike the looting and preying billionaires who stash their cash in offshore banks and other tax avoidance vehicles, working people spend the bulk of their money right here in the community. They buy houses. They patronize restaurants. They want services… it’s working people who are the customer base for most of the businesses in the province. When working people are paid more, they spend more and businesses prosper. When working people find their wages cut, they spend less and businesses suffer. This isn’t rocket surgery.

5. Pedestrians struck

A police release from last night:

Halifax Regional Police responded to a vehicle/pedestrian collision this evening in Halifax. 

At 6:13 p.m., HRP responded to a vehicle/pedestrian collision that occurred within a marked crosswalk at the intersection of Herring Cove and Drysdale Roads in Halifax.  A truck, driven by a 34-year-old-man, was travelling outbound on Herring Cove Road and struck a 14-year-old boy who was crossing Herring Cove Road in the marked crosswalk. 

The boy was transported to the IWK hospital by EHS paramedics for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. HRP Forensic Identification Service and Accident Investigation members were called to the scene to assist in the investigation. Traffic on Herring Cove Road was redirected at Drysdale Road as a result of the collision. 

A decision on any charges will be made at the completion of the investigation.

Another release from last night:

Halifax Regional Police responded to a vehicle/pedestrian collision that occurred this afternoon in Halifax.

At 3:16 p.m., police responded to a vehicle/pedestrian collision that occurred in the area of South Park and South Street.  A van was travelling on South Park Street when a man in an electric wheelchair entered the roadway and was then struck by the van. The man suffered non-life threatening injuries and was transported to the hospital by EHS for assessment. 

The 48-year-old male pedestrian was issued a summary offence ticket under Section 125(3) of the Motor Vehicle Act for moving into the path of a vehicle when impractical for the vehicle to stop. 

6. Doors Open

Doors Open Halifax is this weekend:

Doors Open celebrates Halifax’s blend of historical and contemporary architecture. Our buildings tell the story of the development of our society, our values and our shared culture.

Many of these buildings are part of our everyday lives, yet are never viewed or explored by the public. By providing public access to these buildings, Doors Open Halifax will bring our community together to learn, explore and enjoy a fantastic weekend of discovery…together.

A list of venues and times is here.


1. Bousquet is all wrong

Here’s the link to Gabriel Shay Enxuga’s critique of my critique of him. I addressed this yesterday.

2. Cranky letter of the day

To the Cape Breton Post:

I am writing this letter today in response to a television commercial that played recently about Cape Breton Island.

The commercial shows our beautiful island in all its glory (Cabot Trail, Louisbourg, lobster dinners and fiddle players) and it made me think about how lucky I am to live here.

But it also made me reflect on what is really happening here on our island.

I grew up here and except for one year of university away this has always been my home. I have chosen to live and work here and raise my children here, but at what cost?

Anyone who knows me well knows that to me; there is no place like home. But over the past several years I’ve questioned my choice in staying “home.” I have been fortunate enough to always be employed and currently operate a dance school. 

But what I see lately is our island crumbling around us. It’s not just the school closures that are happening now, it’s the look back over the past 20 years at what we have lost. We’ve lost industry, we’ve lost transportation, we’ve lost thousands of jobs and people and for some reason it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

I worry for my children. What does the future of Cape Breton hold for them

So where did we go wrong? Didn’t we see what was happening years ago as we slowly watched the population decline? Didn’t we see it when businesses started to shut down and jobs were lost?

Maybe not. Maybe we just hoped that eventually someone would miraculously swoop in and save us. Maybe not. Maybe we haven’t had the “right people” in the right political circles to get us where we need to be. Maybe tourism is our gold mine that we need to be pushing but yet we somehow can’t get to that magical place.

Take for example the selling of Archibald’s Wharf in downtown North Sydney. The area truly could have been and should have been a gem in the downtown North Sydney area attracting thousands of people who could enjoy the water and the location. It had all the makings of a tourist area especially with the opening of Marine Atlantic passengers into the downtown area.

Anyone who frequents the downtown area sees the difference in traffic since this has happened. But as you all know, the wharf was sold and we longer hold that property as a tourist location or as a potential tourist location.

So what is the answer to the future for us “Cape Bretoners?”

This fall we will be given the chance to vote in the municipal elections. Please consider who you are voting for and, more importantly, what you’re voting for. It’s obvious we need change. We need passion and people who want this island to succeed. We need young people who have a vested interest in this island and not people who are interested in furthering their own interests.

Please think hard about who we elect and maybe, just maybe, our island can be the gem that it really is.

Beth Johnston, North Sydney


Last month, I noted Canadian Press reporter Michael Tutton’s investigation into deaths in Nova Scotian nursing homes due to violence from other residents. As Richard Starr commented:

In the aftermath of Tutton’s report… [Health Minister Leo] Glavine appeared to minimize the violence issue, implying that one death a year is no big deal. “We average one death a year at a nursing home, but if one death can be prevented that’s the course of actions that we need to take,” he said reassuringly to the CBC.

There was quite a different reaction in Ontario last year from a review committee of the Ontario chief coroner’s office, which called the incidence of homicides in that Province’s long-term care facilities an “urgent and persistent issue.” There were eight in 2015 and five the previous year. As reported by the London Free Press, an advocate for the elderly, calculating the homicide rate for the province’s 80,000 nursing home residents declared: “If this were a city, people would be going crazy…there is a culture of indifference.”

Interesting point. For cities, provinces or countries, StatsCanada calculates homicide rates per 100,000 population. Using that measure, the homicide rate in Ontario nursing homes last year was 10.0 – eight per 80,000. For Ontario as a whole in 2014 the homicide rate was just 1.13 per 100,000. But StatsCanada only counts homicides where charges are laid, so it’s an apples-and-oranges comparison.

In Nova Scotia, an average of one death per year for a nursing home population of 6,900 works out to a rate per 100,000 of 14.5. Last year, with two homicides in nursing homes, the rate was 29.0 – almost three times the level at which the aforementioned Ontario advocate for the elderly suggested people would be driven crazy. And that’s comparing apples and apples.

Yesterday, Tutton followed up with an article about the continued lack of provincial interest in the issue:

After 87-year-old Dorothy Stultz died following a shove from another resident in her nursing home, her daughter says she expected the Nova Scotia Health Department would try to learn from the tragedy.

More than four years later, Debbie Stultz-Giffin says she was upset to learn no provincial inquiry ever occurred, even though she says the push contributed to her mother’s death on March 1, 2012.


Experts like Dr. Gloria Gutman, the founder of Simon Fraser University’s gerontology research centre, says the wave of dementia-induced aggression is colliding with a trend towards older and more frail residents. In addition, facilities are asked to use minimum levels of chemical and chair restraints out of respect for the residents.

Gutman says that means provinces need to carefully study cases where things go wrong.

“At the minimum there should be an incident report that is filed,” she said in an interview.

In Dorothy Stultz’s case — and in two other of the Nova Scotia deaths — no inquiry was carried out under the Protection of Persons in Care legislation, according to the Health Department.

Bob Lafferty, the department’s director of investigations, says he first became aware of the Mountain Lea Lodge death when he read The Canadian Press report that documented the deaths.

Tutton also compiled a list of specific nursing home incidents, found here.


No public meetings.

On Campus

Still more graduation ceremonies at Dal, but no other events.

In the harbour

The seas in the Maritimes, 8:15am Friday. Map:
The seas in the Maritimes, 8:15am Friday. Map:

7:20am: Dinkeldiep, general cargo, arrives at Pier 42 from Saint-Pierre
11am: Oceanex Connaigra, ro-ro cargo, arrives at Autoport from St. John’s
1pm: Sara, general cargo, sails from Pier 27 to sea
4:30pm: Dinkeldiep, general cargo, sails from Pier 42 for Saint-Pierre
4:30pm: Oceanex Connaigra, ro-ro cargo, moves from Autoport to Pier 41

6am: Maersk Palermo, container ship, arrives at HalTerm from Montreal


Later today, we’ll be publishing Part 2 in Linda Pannozzo’s ongoing series, “Biomass, Freedom of Information and the DNR Company Men.”

Also, episode 64 of the Examineradio podcast will be published this afternoon.

Check back on the homepage for both, or sign up for email notification of new articles over on the right side of the page.

Iris, the Examiner’s efficient office manager and taskmaster, sent me an email yesterday with the subject line “6 things to do.” Maybe if I ignore it, it’ll go away.

Please consider subscribing to the Examiner. Just $5 or $10 a month goes a long way. Or, consider making a one-time contribution via PayPal. Thanks much!

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. It is sad about the powered wheelchair mishap. There are more of these machines appearing all the time. They represent a potential hazzard for the operator, pedestrian and motorists. There are no rules that I am aware of and perhaps there should be. There was a guy blocking a full lane on Wyse Road last week creating a risk for himself and others. I think operators need some safety training so they can avoid potentially injurious or fatal encounters like the one reported here.

  2. On The Bus

    Gabriel’s note sure takes the long way round but it did occur to me when Tim made his argument if he said the same of public school, roads or sidewalks I’d feel pretty uncomfortable with his position.

    No one is really talking about ‘free’ buses, just free to board. Tim doesn’t need to worry. We all pay our taxes and by extension our relative share bus fares whether we use the bus or not.

    1. Fortunately, we here in Canada don’t have much of a culture of middle class families sending their kids to private schools in order to avoid, well, black people. Perceptions (not really the reality) of poverty and race are so intertwined in the US, that I may be reacting to that. But certainly we have one transportation system for middle class people (cars) and one transportation system for poor people (buses). We have to address this.

      1. If you think transportation for the poor is hard in urban areas, try small communities and rural areas.

      2. Parents send their children to French immersion to avoid black kids & poor kids.

        ” There are significant class and race divides within Toronto schools. For instance, the report said, children from high-income households were more likely to take academic programs and students who self-identify as black were overrepresented in applied programs and underrepresented in academic ones. Many parents and community members interviewed by the panel said desirable programs, such as gifted and French immersion, were disproportionately offered in wealthy neighbourhoods with well-heeled residents who could lobby for them.”

        Full report here :

    2. John Wesley Chisholm, I agree completely with you. It really puts it in a different light when you say health or education rather than transit, doesn’t it? They are all services we as citizens of a city, province or country are paying for, so we have ownership already. Let’s stop calling citizens customers please when we want to have them pay for a service they already are paying for (or should be paying for) with their taxes. (and hopefully fairer taxes sooner, if that’s not too utopian!)

  3. There is a company in Maine which uses a different kind of tidal turbine, more a rear-mounted paddlewheel on an old-fashioned riverboat. I think it is supposed to be easier on marine life, but it has been a while since I read up on it. They also have smaller versions for rivers.

  4. Good on Adsum House on its living wage initiative. If we gave as much to the working people of Nova Scotia as we do to the big boys we would DEFINITELY all be rich.

    Surprised there was no mention of the big boys getting there way paid to MIT for some important learnin’ and our dickhead premier crying how every Nova Scotian should be outraged that people are picking on billionaires and CEOs for bettering themselves on Dalhousie’s and the public purse.

    Forget that tuition fees are outta control. Just make sure our captains of industry get their free trip to Boston.