1. The Whalley trial and Cecil Clarke

CBRM mayor Cecil Clarke. Photo: Mary Campbell

I’m still wading through Parts 4 through 8 of Mary Campbell’s Whalley trial series, but I skipped ahead to Part 9 (the most recent) to read this:

I told you that I was interested in the Whalley trial because I was hoping to get answers to a number of questions that have been niggling at me since I started paying attention to municipal politics and in Marie Walsh’s testimony, I got them.

Mayor Cecil Clarke had contract employees, hired outside the municipal hiring process, whom he directed and who reported to him on matters related to port development.

These employees were hired through Business Cape Breton, a quasi-public organization, funded entirely by public money but unaccountable to citizens.

An organization that had hired Clarke, without a job competition, at a salary of $130,000 a year, the year before he ran for municipal office.

An organization for which the mayor actively sought municipal funding after it lost its provincial funding.

How’s that for answers?

Click here to read “The Whalley Trial Part IX: Answers.”

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2. Pedestrian struck

From a police release:

At approx. 9:03 pm, September 12, Halifax Regional Police responded to Willett St and Chelsea Lane, Halifax, for a report of a motor vehicle collision involving a single vehicle and a pedestrian. The pedestrian, an adult male , was taken to the hospital with what are believed to be life-threatening injuries. The investigation is ongoing.

3. Mehta

I’ve long thought that the entire goal of the more prominent right-wingers posing as “free speech advocates” is to work the grift. They don’t honestly care about free speech — if so, why aren’t they standing up in support of the BDS movement? Why aren’t they voicing concern about prisoners’ ability to speak with the outside world?

Rick Mehta, in particular, has been trying to get fired for a few years, precisely so he can use that firing as a money-raising opportunity. There’s lots more money to be found working the “oppressed right-winger” circuit than there is working as a dedicated university prof — expect Mehta to hit the lecture circuit, write a book, plug his YouTube vids, etc.

I don’t like to give these fools the attention. That’s precisely what they’re looking for. But since we’re here, here’s one thing that jumped out at me in his firing letter:

The decision to post your lectures in a publicly available Dropbox is extremely problematic. This action further demonstrates your disregard for the privacy rights of students and suggests you are more concerned with public online support than the interests of students. The public Dropbox posting of a recording of your [redacted] class in which student [redacted] disclosed her rape experience is reprehensible. The inappropriateness of this conduct was brought to your attention by Dr. Raeside … yet you refused to acknowledge the problem or remove the posting.

… Not only did you not remove the audio file when requested, you responded by tweeting publicly to your followers to make copies to preserve the audio recordings online. When asked a question on Facebook about the expectation of privacy in the classroom you shockingly stated that “the student’s rights to confidentiality and privacy was lost the moment she loudly proclaimed what had happened to her in her personal life.”

4. The wild kingdom


YouTube video

“A whale-watching tour boat and a humpback whale collided off the coast of Nova Scotia last week,” reports Brett Ruskin for the CBC:

Neither the whale nor any of the passengers were injured.

Video of the encounter was posted on social media by David Mulder, one of the passengers.


An RCMP release:

At 9:20 p.m. Pictou County RCMP responded to a report of a car that struck a cow at the intersection of Highway 104 and 4 Highway in Barney’s River Station. Fortunately there were no injuries reported from the vehicle occupants and the cow ran off.  Police attended the location with the owner of the cow, however, were unable to secure the animal and the cow remains free. The cow is black in colour. 

The RCMP is reminding motorists to drive with caution in this area until the animal is recovered.


Photo: MacDonald Notebook

“The Lands and Forestry Department is going to have a wildlife biologist investigate after a trailcam in Antigonish County captured a picture of an animal some believe to be a cougar,” reports Stuart Peddle for the Chronicle Herald:

The picture was posted online at journalist Andrew Macdonald’s site and shows a large cat in a wooded area.

Macdonald is not revealing the exact location where the photo was taken but does attest that it is not a fake. He said in the post that it was taken at night in mid-August near the Riverside International Raceway in James River.

Bruce Nunn, a spokesman for Lands and Forestry, said via email that department biologists have reviewed the photo and believe it may be a bobcat, based on the short tail.


a photo of a shark

“A recent call-out to Nova Scotians asking for suggested shark names is reeling in some gems,” reports Alex Cooke for StarMetro Halifax:

The group responsible for tagging and tracking the great-white-darling Hilton’s visits to Nova Scotia is launching a research expedition in the province next week, and they’re looking for name suggestions for the sharks they find lurking off the East Coast.

So far, Facebook users have suggested “Alexander” — for either Alexander Graham Bell, credited with inventing the telephone, or Alexander Keith, credited with inventing delicious ales — and “Maud,” in reference to Nova Scotia painter Maud Lewis.

“Bluenose,” a nod to the famous schooner built in Lunenburg, also came up several times, as well as “Mi’kmaq.”

Others proposed names referencing places and attractions from around the province: “Fundy,” “Cabot,” “Peggy,” “Caper,” “Keji,” “Nova,” “Citadel,” and “Sydney.”

5. DIVORCE is just 13 points

I read through court decisions most every day. About half of them concern family matters, and I usually avoid commenting on them — they all have some degree of heartbreak, and the cases often include children who don’t deserve any attention for the deeds and misdeeds of their parents. Still, I read the decisions because they give such insight into the private lives of everyday people. Or maybe just because I’m nosey.

While I generally avoid reporting on family cases, every now and then I read a case and just shake my head. Here’s a decision published yesterday, written by Justice Beryl A. MacDonald in the divorce file of Christopher Eberhard VonMaltzahn v. Karen Elizabeth Koppernaes, a case that has been going on since 2012:

On November 16, 2017, Ms. Koppernaes entered Mr. VonMaltzahn’s residence at Green Bay without his permission. She came in through a window. On a wall in the residence there was a picture of Mr. VonMaltzahn and his partner. She took a picture of that picture. She took other pictures of the contents of the residence. She arranged to have the locks changed and then invited her brother and a friend of his to help her remove furniture, paintings, bedding, a scrabble board, carvings, a washing machine, a canoe, slides and photo prints, a tent belonging to Mr. VonMaltzahn’s partner and numerous other items. On November 20th she gave the new key to the property to her counsel who informed counsel for Mr. VonMaltzahn about her entry into the property.

When Ms. Koppernaes entered Mr. VonMaltzahn’s property, she entered his residence. He lived in this residence. He shared it with others of his choosing. She knew she had no permission or “right” to enter that residence nor to take anything from it. She took pictures of many of his possessions, she opened drawers and closets to find and remove items she wanted. She took a tent that belonged to Mr. VonMaltzahn’s partner. In her e-mail to Mr. VonMaltzahn’s brother (Exhibit # 3 attached to Exhibit # 2 filed in the Motion hearing) she said:

…The upstairs bedroom has been converted into a workshop and every bit of space is stuffed with, well “stuff”. It really hurt to see the score sheet of a Scrabble game with the names of my child and [the child’s] “new family” when I rarely see or spend any time with mine…

Not only did Ms. Koppernaes enter the property herself but she invited others to join her.

Applying the objective reasonable person standard, I find her actions to be highly offensive. They provide content for a nightmare — to have one’s ex-spouse prowling around one’s residence, opening and closing drawers and closets, touching one’s personal belongings and taking what was wanted.

I want to know more about the Scrabble game; I wish the score sheet had been entered in as evidence. Are there any uses of the triple-word spaces? Hundred point plays are the standard for greatness, and if the child is hitting that mark maybe the new family is working out well, eh?

Anyway, Justice MacDonald threw the book at Koppernaes, charging her $20,000 for the items taken and another $7,500 for VonMaltzahn’s lawyer fees. The divorce proceedings continue.


1. Cobbles

A photo of Trefry’s Garage
Photo: Stephen Archibald

“For years I’ve also noticed beach cobbles when they turn up in local architecture,” writes Stephen Archibald. “The look is often slightly goofy, a design solution that will make you smile.”

Trefry’s Garage in Yarmouth is also the only cobbled industrial building I know. What a lot of work to gather all those stones of more or less the same size. Trefry’s sold Ford and Studebaker and were considered the largest and most modern garage in the Maritimes.

Find lots of photos of cobbled houses, walkways, drains, and more at Archibald’s post.

And now as with boot scrapers, I’ll see cobbled buildings everywhere.




Appeals Standing Committee (Thursday, 10am, City Hall) — a bunch of stuff out in the rural areas.

Design Review Committee (Thursday, 4:30pm, City Hall) — architect Fougere Menchenton is giving a “preliminary presentation” concerning the 1874 Brunswick Street development. This is the old Red Cross building at Brunswick and Duke Streets. There are no pretty drawings to show you.


Cogswell District pop-up (Friday, 1pm, Keshen Goodman Public Library) — tell them it’s a waste of time and money if they don’t blow up the casino and the parking garages.



Legislature sits (Thursday, 1pm, Province House)


Legislature sits (Friday, 9am, Province House)

On campus



Two-Eyed Seeing and Sustainability (Thursday, 7pm, Ondaatje Theatre, Marion McCain Building) — Elder Albert Marshall of Eskasoni First Nation in Cape Breton will speak.


Sina Bathaie (Friday, 10am, Room 121, Dalhousie Arts Centre) — info here

Access and Equity in the Performing Arts (Friday, 1pm, Studio 2, Dalhousie Arts Centre) — Shahin Sayadi and Stephanie Yee will speak.

Introduction to Alexander Technique (Friday, 3pm, Room 121, Dalhousie Arts Centre) — Malcom Balk will speak. In a previous life, I knew a lot about the Alexander Technique; I honestly can’t remember if it was very worthwhile or a bunch of bullshit.

Saint Mary’s


Food Wars: Impacts of Gender on the Japanese Kitchen (Thursday, 1:30pm, Atrium 340) — Allyson Brown will speak.

In the harbour

1:30am: Atlantic Sea, ro-ro container, sails from Fairview Cove for New York
5:30am: Serenade of the Seas, cruise ship with up to 2,580 passengers, arrives at Pier 22 from Boston
6am: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, arrives at Pier 41 from St. John’s
6am: Star Pride, cruise ship with 254 passengers, arrives at Pier 23 from Bar Harbor
6:45am: Veendam, cruise ship with up to 1,350 passengers, arrives at Pier 20 from Sydney
7:30am: Norwegian Gem, cruise ship, with up to 2,873 passengers, arrives at Pier 31 from Saint John
8:30am: Ef Ava, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Argentia, Newfoundland
11am: Ef Ava, container ship, sails from Pier 42 for sea
11:30am: Elka Sirius, oil tanker, sails from Irving Oil for sea
3:30pm: Serenade of the Seas, cruise ship, sails from Pier 22 for Saint John
3:30pm: Veendam, cruise ship, sails from Pier 20 for Bar Harbor
4pm: Alpine Venture, oil tanker, sails from anchorage for sea
5:45pm: Norwegian Gem, cruise ship, sails from Pier 31 for Sydney
9pm: Algoma Integrity, bulker, arrives at National Gypsum from Contrecoeur, Quebec
10pm: Star Pride, cruise ship, sails from Pier 23 for Charlottetown


We need to start planning the Halifax Examiner’s annual subscription drive party for November.

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

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  1. The video of the boat hitting the whale is mislabeled. I thought there were regulations about how close a tour operator can come? This person should lose their operation licence for endangering that animal and their passengers. But, because it’s money, no one will care.

  2. I’m not sure Mehta will achieve anywhere near Peterson’s success. Peterson has some original ideas at least – he would have made a flash in the pan with the University of Toronto pronoun debacle but he would be mostly forgotten if he just had the standard right-wing talking points that Mehta does.

    Regarding BDS, er, criticizing Israel isn’t illegal even in Germany, but it is not the state that will get you – it is organizations that will attempt to destroy your career and pressure others to stop doing business with you if you are an effective critic of Israel. Of course, some people on the right are in bed with the arms companies that keep the IDF equipped with shiny new weapons and some like Ben Shapiro are genuine Zionists. But I suspect that most free speech people simply don’t want to touch the third rail.

    For instance, observe what is happening with the UK Labour Party’s official definition of antisemitism: