November Subscription Drive

Today is the last day of our November subscription drive, which means you have just a few hours to become eligible to be one of five randomly selected subscribers to win Linda Pannozzo’s new book, About Canada: The Environment. Also, anyone who buys an annual subscription this month will get a free Halifax Examiner T-shirt.

Click here to purchase a subscription.


1. Fishers being squeezed


Linda Pannozzo looks at how proposed changes in the “owner-operator policy” for fishing licensing amounts to a corporate raid on Nova Scotia’s inshore fishery — a potential she outlined in her 2013 book The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.

Click here to read “Fishers Being Squeezed.”

2. Time travel

YouTube video

“The premier’s office admitted on Tuesday that it recorded and uploaded a video about talks with the teachers union breaking down before talks had actually broken down,” reports Zane Woodford for Metro:

On Monday, the Progressive Conservatives were the first to point out that the video — with daylight in the background — was uploaded Friday afternoon. A YouTube data viewer puts the video’s upload time at just before 4 p.m. Talks didn’t break off till about 5:30 p.m., according to a union spokesperson. [McNeil’s spokesperson David] Jackson said the video wasn’t made live till Saturday afternoon.

Another point for the premier’s sucky PR team.

Also, in another edition of Just How Bad Is the Chronicle Herald?, yesterday, in their “reporting” on the McNeil video, the paper’s scabs managed to both make an its/it’s error and misspell the name of their own paper:


3. Bottlenose whales


“Researchers believe they have found a population of rare northern bottlenose whales near the Flemish Cap, and they’re worried about the health impacts of seismic blasting connected to oil exploration in the area,” reports Maggie Gillis for the CBC:

A team from Dalhousie University in Halifax, N.S., confirmed the population during a three-week research expedition in the summer of 2016 — spotting 50 bottlenose whales in the remote Sackville Spur area, about 500 kilometres east of St. John’s.

This is Hal Whitehead’s team of grad students. More at the link.

4. Catherine Castellucci

Catherine Castellucci. Photo: CTV
Catherine Castellucci. Photo: CTV

CTV interviews Catherine Castellucci, Tyler Keizer’s girlfriend, who was in the vehicle when Keizer was shot dead:

Castellucci, 25, lives in Montreal and would fly to Halifax on weekends to see Keizer. She says she met Keizer on a dating website for inmates.

In CTV’s video of the interview, Castellucci recalls meeting Keizer for the first time in person:

I remember he was tall and just, he was smiling and I just thought to myself, wow.

5. Food non-tampering

A police release from yesterday:

Investigators in the General Investigation Section of the Integrated Criminal Investigation Division are continuing to investigate a possible food tampering incident that was reported on Sunday evening in Halifax.

At 8:15 p.m. on November 27, Halifax Regional Police received a report of a needle being found in potatoes at a home in Halifax. The potatoes had been peeled and cooked, nothing was noticed at this time, but a needle was observed near leftover cooked potatoes on the plate which also contained other food. No one was injured.

Following further investigation by the General Investigation Section and the Forensic Identification Section, it cannot be determined where the needle originated. Police cannot confirm that the needle was ever embedded in any food item. Police will continue to monitor the situation to see if there are any other similar incidents reported.

I’m still waiting anxiously for the SWAT team to bust into someone’s house and arrest them for trying to kill trick-or-treaters.


1. VIA Rail

The Ocean, the longest continuous passenger line in North America, takes about 22 hours to wind its way from Halifax to Montreal.
The Ocean, the longest continuously operating passenger line in North America, takes about 22 hours to wind its way from Halifax to Montreal.

Examiner transportation columnist Erica Butler says the federal government is failing to give VIA Rail the legislative support it needs to run trains in Atlantic Canada.

Click here to read “Federal transport plan fails to give VIA what it needs to succeed.”

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

2. Castro

Fidel Castro, Prime Minister of Cuba, smokes a cigar during his meeting with two U.S. senators, the first to visit Castro's Cuba, in Havana, Cuba, Sept. 29, 1974. (AP Photo)

“Is it only my imagination or is the propaganda element in news becoming ever more pervasive in this “post-truth” era?,” writes Bruce Wark. Case in point: CBC’s coverage of the funeral for Fidel Castro:

“Cubans have been lining up for hours in Havana’s Revolution Square to honour Fidel Castro,” David Common, anchor of CBC Radio’s World Report announced during this morning’s broadcast.

“Streets are closed to handle the massive crowds flooding into the area,” he reported, but in case his listeners might be misled into thinking that masses of people were genuinely moved by the death of the man who led the Cuban revolution, Common added, “And while many are criticizing the legacy of their former president, it’s difficult to find dissenting voices in Havana.”


People lining up for hours, streets closed to handle massive crowds, and by the way, it’s hard to find “dissenting voices.” Now why would that be?

In an apparent attempt to solve this CBC-spun mystery, Common introduced correspondent Adrienne Arsenault in Havana.

“Cuba’s state paper Granma is a must-read at the moment — must-read as in a sense of duty to read,” Arsenault began before describing the newspaper’s front page.

“All in black and white, no colourful banners, and ‘Cuba es Fidel’ scrawled across the bottom. That’s a clever play on words meaning Cuba is Fidel, but also, Cuba is loyal,” she reported. “Cuba’s leaders certainly hope so. Searching for contrarian voices is a ghost-hunt in this sensitive moment.”


There was nothing in Arsenault’s report to indicate why Castro’s death was even worth covering. Why take the trouble to fly to Havana just to condemn a repressive old fuck?

In contrast, Wark reviews the reporting from Amy Goodman and Democracy Now, who spoke with Bill Fletcher Jr about his recent piece titled “Black America and the Passing of Fidel Castro”; Peter Kornbluh, co-author of Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations Between Washington and Havana; and Lou Pérez Jr., author of Cuba in the American Imagination: Metaphor and the Imperial Ethos and Cuba: Between Reform and Revolution — all of whom explained Castro’s important place in the world and why he was beloved inside Cuba and around the globe.

As for Castro’s human rights legacy, Pérez explained:

There is, I think — this is an authoritarian system. This is a system that is not reluctant to use repressive means to maintain power. This is a system that has spawned a fairly extensive intelligence system, surveillance systems. And in many ways, I think Cuba offers us a cautionary tale. For 30, 40, 50 years, Cuba has been under siege from the United States. And once that idea of national security enters into the calculus of governance, you are aware that civil liberties and the freedoms of the press and freedom of political exchange shrink—and we’re experiencing this here since 9/11—so that Cuba becomes a national security state, with justification if one believes that the duty of a government is to protect the integrity of national sovereignty. And so, for 50 years, Cuba, 90 miles away from the world’s most powerful country, struggles to maintain its integrity, its national sovereignty, and in the course of these years increasingly becomes a national security state. Ironically, the United States contributes to the very conditions that it professes to abhor.

For myself, I’ve been amused at the voices in Canada who have condemned Justin Trudeau for having kind words about Castro.

Saying nice things about a dead man who, among very many positive accomplishments, also had a record of human rights abuses is the worst possible thing Trudeau could possibly do, and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. But, at the same time, when Trudeau sells arms to a very much alive Saudi regime with a record of human rights abuses and an active war targeting civilians, it is nothing anyone should get worked up about; in fact, if you question it, you’re anti-Canadian, and maybe a terrorist.

3. Cranky letter of the day

To the Cape Breton Post:

I am a Grade 5 student at Tomkins Memorial Elementary School in Reserve Mines.

On Oct. 10, Cape Breton was hit by extreme rain and winds. There was a lot of destruction throughout CBRM but, in particular, I want to talk about my home baseball field — Cameron Bowl — in Glace Bay that was heavily damaged by the storm. There was damage to the buildings, fences, bleachers and parking area just to name a few things.

This field is very important to my friends and I. It would be great if the community could hold a fundraiser to help reconstruct this ball park.

Zachary Anthony, Reserve Mines

Zachary is only in Grade 5, so I mean him no criticism. But it’s sad that we’ve so given up on the notion that government should build, operate, and yes, maintain recreation facilities that the first thought when a field is damaged by a storm is that people should hold a fundraiser. Maybe it can become the Glace Bay Tim Hortons Bowl.

Zachary: There is a better way! You are a citizen. A young person trying to develop your talents and body, keeping yourself busy with healthful sports instead of idle and destructive pursuits. Your community should support you! The taxes that your family pays should be employed to hire people (perhaps your mom or older brother) at good wages to build the public works necessary to properly tend to the needs of the town’s young people.

Do not let them take you down the garden path of neoliberal outsourcing of services, corporate “charity” (in return for naming rights, naturally), and the false sharing economy of GoFundMe.

Zachary, demand that your government serve you and not the looting rich who have privatized the public treasury and are destroying the world! Demand your ball field be repaired at public expense. Also, choke up just a bit on that bat, eh?



A Reddit user named azuretan linked to this Google Earth Engine time-lapse of HRM from 1984 to 2016. (Judging from comments at Reddit, this may not be available on all browsers.) The time-lapse captures the rapid suburbization  over the past three decades, especially in the Burnside/Dartmouth Crossing and Bedford West/Kingswood areas. You can zoom in for more detail, or zoom out and pan around to anywhere on Earth.



Integrated Mobility Plan Workshop (Noon and 6pm, Dartmouth Sportsplex) — “We want your feedback on Bold Moves for mobility in the Halifax region!” reads the event listing, so you know it’s going to be good.

Old South Suburb Heritage Conservation District (6:30pm, Cathedral Church of All Saints, 1340 Cathedral Lane, Halifax) — The Old South Suburb Heritage Conservation District is a proposed district outlined in this map:


There are 44 registered heritage buildings plus many other non-registered but historic buildings in the proposed district.

Today’s meeting is a “workshop” where staff and members of the Old South Suburb Heritage Conservation District Committee will “present information and to listen to your comments.”


I guess those comments will be processed by tomorrow, when there is a public information meeting about demolition applications for two of the registered historic buildings in the district, 1333-35 Barrington Street (Thomas Jeffrey House) and 1349-53 Barrington Street, Halifax (Renner-Carney House, pictured above).

The demolition applications were submitted by developer Louis Lawen after the planning process for the Old South Suburb Heritage Conservation District was started, but before the district will be created. It’s worth noting that Lawen’s brother John Lawen sits on the Old South Suburb Heritage Conservation District’s “stakeholder steering committee,” as does one of John Lawen’s tenants.

HRM By Design and the Centre Plan are totally going to protect heritage properties, see.

Public Information Meeting (7pm, Saint Joseph’s-Alexander McKay School) — Studioworks wants to build a 13-storey, 49-unit residential building as an addition to the existing church rectory at 2267 Brunswick Street.


No public meetings.

On campus


Tobacco Tie Workshop (5pm, International Centre) — people from the Mi’Kmaw Native Friendship Centre will teach how to make tobacco ties.

Shakespeare (7:30pm, Dalhousie Art Gallery) — there’s a film adaptation of a Shakespeare play being screened. Which play, and which film, we don’t know, as the event listing hasn’t been updated since last week.

Saint Mary’s

It’s Not About Us (1pm, Library Room LI135) —Todd Leader will talk about his book It’s Not About Us: The Secret to Transforming the Mental Health and Addiction System in Canada.

In the harbour

The seas around Nova Scotia, 9:20am Wednesday. Map:
The seas around Nova Scotia, 9:20am Wednesday. Map:

1am: Ningbo Express, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for New York
6am: Asian Moon, container ship, arrives at Pier 31 from Mariel, Cuba
6am:Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, arrives at Pier 41 from St. John’s
6am: ZIM Vancouver, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Valencia, Spain
11am: ZIM Piraeus, container ship, arrives at Pier 41 from New York
1pm: NYK Demeter, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Rotterdam
4pm: Oberon, car carrier, sails from Pier 31 for sea
4:30pm: ZIM Vancouver, container ship, sails from Pier 42 for New York
10:30pm: ZIM Piraeus, container ship, sails from Pier 41 for Kingston, Jamaica

11am: Asian Moon, container ship, sails from Pier 31 for sea


I survived the Great Storm of November 2016.

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. I have a LOT to say about some of the things posted but I just wanted to give some encouragement to anyone still on the fence about a subscription.

    I unsubscribed a few weeks back, after an article I still think is particularly biased, lacked context, and totally one-sided was published. Balance and context are things I appreciate with reporting and I found those wanting that particular day.

    That being said, there is just no one doing the same kind of work the Examiner does. While I disagree more than I agree with the articles, I am just unable to find another source with the kinds of original reporting posted here.

    If you saw my budget, you would be recommending that I sell a kidney, not get a newspaper subscription. I am also a student so I generally don’t pay for content I consume. But you get what you pay for with investigative journalism. And for just a few dollars a month you can actually make a significant difference for investigative journalism in the Nova Scotia. So if you are reading this and thinking “I barely ever agree with Tim, why should I support him?” You should support the Examiner not because you agree with it or because you think Tim is cute. You should support it because investigative journalism as we know it is dying. No one wants to support funding articles and research when large companies are willing to pay you to print their sponsored content and cash their cheques. So even if you disagree with most of the outcomes, it is the existence of people like Tim and his team that keep the world an honest place.

    And I would rather live in a place with honest opinions I can civilly disagree with than dishonest ones that were bought for my target demographic. And if you do too, button is at the top of the page. Tell them Kirk sent you. (Note: you gain nothing telling them I sent you. It may actually harm their opinion of you, LOL).

    1. I support this endeavour because the Herald has been mostly crap for more than 40 years.
      Q : Without David Bentley where would Nova Scotia be ?
      A : Struggling to get out of the 19th century

  2. I find it interesting how we decide who is good, and who is bad. I think a lot of it depends on who our elected leaders decide to put a spotlight on.

    When King Abdullah died, and Harper released a public statement, I don’t recall anywhere near this level of outrage. Despite the fact that Saudi Arabia has a horrific human rights record, and is one of the biggest if not the biggest sources of terrorism in the world.
    When Ghadaffi looked weak, suddenly the narrative shifted to demonizing him. To my knowledge in the years leading up to this he’d made significant progress towards reintegration in the international community, had willingly given up his WMD programs, and was not high up the list of potential threats to is or his neighbours. A nice guy? Not likely, but the question is did he do anything to warrant all of the sudden attention?
    Look at China today. They jail political dissidents, had or still have forced labour. They harvest organs from political prisoners. And nobody even bats an eye while we do billions of dollars in business with them.


    So, is being a little bit evil like being a little bit pregnant? Well yes and no. Yes, if you are not friends of the USA. No, if you are the USA or one of their friends. That makes Castro’s Cuba all bad and the USA all good. Yet, all of us grownups know neither is true and trying to sort out who is the greatest villain of them all would make angels weep. For my part I choose to focus most on the good each society has done and continues to do. I’m thinking Cuban doctors in northern Ontario and the Salk vaccine in the USA.Things like that.

    I am reminded of the response Kim Philby, the Soviet spy, gave when asked why he, born an Englishman, could deny country and family to support the Communists. His reply was simple: Because the communists are trying to make a world where people count. It was the effort, the intention, that counted most for him. Not the success. I’m with him. I prefer the cause that sets out to make life livable for the most people possible. So I side with people like Castro ahead of people like Donald Trump. Justin Trudeau and the rest of the world are free to make their own choices. The world keeps turning regardless.

  4. Loved the Google Earth time lapse – thanks for sharing! It’s a worthwhile exercise to look at other centres in the Maritimes and there stagnation. Seems that a bit of growth might not be such a bad thing. As for the rest of Nova Scotia….still looks like it is staying the same paradise we all hope it is.

  5. Newspapers have obits written for celebs that aren’t dead yet. Newspapers write columns on both sides of an “issue” (a debate, an election, an announcement) so they have one ready when something happens with short notice going the way the issue went.
    If you’re the Premier and you think talks are going to break down and you may not be available at that time (because McNeill is often home in his riding in Bridgetown on weekends) then you record one in advance “just in case”….all of this is pretty “normal” professional practice. In this day and age of rapid news cycles being “ahead of the game” by anticipating is pretty normal practice. Geesh. It’s not like he showed it to the negotiators in advance, THAT might be a problem.

    1. I think the issue is that many people feel that McNeil is not interested in negotiating at all, and in that context preparing and then uploading a video 1.5 hours prior to negotiations actually breaking off looks really bad.

      I feel that passing legislation to impose a contract, prior to having any meetings with the party you intend to impose that contract on, does not meet the definition of negotiating. I certainly not not fit the definition of collective bargaining, which Mr McNeil explicitly stated he supported while he was the opposition government.

      Typically in a negotiation both side will come in with a big wish list of things they know they will not get, because during the negotiating process both sides will make concessions and hopefully meet somewhere in the middle. In the event that doesn’t happen, it will typically wind up in arbitration and a third party will decide on a contract.

      The approach of this government has been to draft a contract, pass legislation to impose that contract, and deny arbitration to the NSTU on the grounds that the province “cannot afford arbitration”. Which is quite fascinating when you look a the process that determined this governments salary, benefits and pension package.

      I can’t believe they spend that much on PR. Talk about money wasted.

  6. Tim, you’re of course right that people should be criticizing Trudeau for his fecklessness when it comes to real action on things that matters – like not selling weapons to the Saudis or real action on climate change. The Boy Wonder probably made a bit of a misstep when he made an entirely positive statement about Castro with no acknowledgement that he was a brutal dictator. Trudeau’s statement on Castro was almost a mirror image of Trump’s statement.

    I think the Boy Wonder is kind of our George Bush, an empty-headed scion of a powerful man with some interesting connections.

    Let’s not forget that Castro was a hothead who wanted war, and thought that the Soviet Union should launch a surprise nuclear first strike on the United states.

  7. the key date for Lawen’s application is 2 years from when he applied.
    under the heritage act, after an application to demolish a registered heritage property, regardless of council action or in action, you can do it as of right in year 3. – Unless the building is in a HCD – then the Demo must comply with the districts demolition policies.

    so as long as the HCD is in effect before the end of the second year of the Demolition Permit application, he cant demolish the structure.

  8. There’s lots of people who criticize Trudeau over his arms deal. Go read Richocet, Rabble, Tyee, National Post even.

    Just because the people on your Facebook page are still suffering from Harper Derangement Syndrome to the point of denial and suppression of anything negative about boy-wonder, doesn’t mean that isn’t happening. A person only needs to read, not Facebook or Twitter.