This date in history
In the harbour


1. Pedestrian killed, another two pedestrians struck

From two overnight police emails to reporters:


Fatality Motor Vehicle / Pedestrian collision

6990 Mumford Rd, Walmart Parking Lot.

At 2318 hours Police responded to a motor vehicle collision between a pedestrian and a vehicle. A 24-year-old male passed away on scene as a result of his injuries. A 62-year-old male was arrested at the scene and is presently in Police custody. This mater is still under investigation at this time. A media update will be provided at the conclusion of the investigation later today.

5:20am update:

In relation to the fatal motor vehicle collision overnight, 15-180907, the driver of the motor vehicle is a 52-year-old man from Halifax not 62 as previously reported.  He was driving a truck at the time of the collision and police do not believe that alcohol was a factor in this event. The Halifax Regional Police are looking to speak with anyone who may have any knowledge of this incident and ask that they contact Halifax Regional Police at 902-490-5020.

Earlier in the day, police reported they were investigating a pedestrian was struck in October.

Police report:

Halifax Regional Police is requesting the public’s assistance to identify the driver involved in a vehicle pedestrian collision that occurred in Halifax on October 28.

At 2 p.m., a 56-year-old female was in the crosswalk behind the Mumford Road bus terminal when she was hit by a vehicle. The pedestrian believes the vehicle was royal blue in color but is unsure. The driver is described as a white man in his late forties or early fifties, with some facial hair. 

The driver stopped to assist the pedestrian and asked if he should call the police, but at the time the woman didn’t believe she was injured and didn’t think this was necessary; however, she realized several days later that had she sustained non-life threatening injuries as a result of the collision and reported the incident to police on November 3.

Halifax Regional Police is asking anyone with information about this incident or the driver to contact police at 902-490-5016. This is not a hit and run as the driver stopped and made the offer to contact police at the time of the collision, but his information is required for the report. 

Also on Tuesday, there was a pedestrian struck on Herring Cove Road.

Police report:

At 12:30 p.m., police responded to a vehicle/pedestrian collision that occurred at the 200 block of Herring Cove Road. A car travelling outbound on Herring Cove Road struck a man as he was crossing the street. The man was not in a crosswalk and was transported to hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. 

The 66-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.   

2. Increasing tax revenue through tax avoidance


Nova Scotia Business Inc has announced more payroll rebates for Butterfield Bank:

The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Limited (Butterfield Bank) of Bermuda, a provider of specialized international financial services, has the potential to create up to a maximum of 50 new jobs for its shared services centre in Nova Scotia. Based on the maximum growth forecast of the six-year payroll rebate agreement, NSBI estimates Butterfield Bank would spend $10.5 million in salaries.

The new employees would pay provincial, personal income taxes of about $1.144 million. As a result, Butterfield Bank would earn up to $840,000 through the payroll rebate, over six years.

“Specialized international financial services,” eh? In the drug trade, they call that “money laundering.” Oh, to be sure, Butterfield “maintains systems and training procedures designed to prevent money laundering.” It’s not the bank’s fault that the executive chairman of the bank allegedly has a long history of money laundering. Or that a US Army major who accepted bribes from Iraqi contractors hid the bribe money in Butterfield. Or that the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales has “disciplined John Robinson, the head of Butterfield Bank, for ‘failing to prevent the issuing of misleading accounts for the trust.’”

Honestly, I really do think the bank has taken steps to crack down on money laundering, in part in response to US regulators insisting on ever-more stringent rules.

But then there’s tax avoidance. Butterfield is #10 on the list of 50 offshore banks where American residents stash their cash in avoidance of US law.

The McNeil government is extending payroll rebates first offered by previous NDP government. Those payroll rebates were initiated by then-NSBI president Stephen Lund, who before coming to work for NSBI worked at, yep, Butterfield Bank. At the helm of NSBI, he oversaw the extension of $9.1 million in payroll rebates for Butterfield Bank to expand in Halifax, but somehow neglected to mention he once worked for the bank. Lund left NSBI in August 2013, heading back to his old stomping grounds and took charge of the Bermuda Business Development Agency. But he abruptly left that job in April 2014 for unspecified personal reasons, and headed back to Nova Scotia. Lund was then hired Vice President of the Halifax Shipyard, but has since been hired as CEO of Opportunities New Brunswick, that province’s counterpart to NSBI.

As for Butterfield, the bank is successful in part by keeping wages low. As the Tax Justice Network reports:

And now for an everyday story about the power of financial services in small islands.

Ernst and Young, KPMG, Maples FS and Butterfield Bank have applied for an injunction to prevent the Cayman Compass newspaper and a local blog from reporting the wages of foreign workers in the Cayman Islands.

The news organisations obtained anonymised data on the pay and job positions of foreign workers from work permit applications though a Freedom of Information request to the immigration department.

The issue is important in a jurisdiction where there are stark differences in wealth between low paid locals and the vast amounts paid to people, often from abroad, who work in the island’s tax haven industry.

In fact, recently it was estimated that if the Cayman Islands brought in a minimum wage it might affect one third of workers.

The finance sector companies who are bringing the challenge against the decision to release the data fear that it might lead to individuals becoming identified. This, they argue, is a breach of privacy.

Another example of how the powerful are increasingly using privacy laws to prevent public interest information coming to light. This is a worrying trend and a case to watch.

The payroll rebates to Butterfield are a piece of the whole: cut worker salaries, cut taxes on the rich, and cater to same.

3. Bullshitter of the Day: Stephen McNeil

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 7.01.17 AM

McNeil knows damn well that a two-year wage freeze followed by annual increases of one per cent and 1.5 per cent isn’t a “raise.” On the contrary, with inflation running at one to two percent each year, the premier’s wage legislation amounts to an effective wage cut.

And there’s not a single public employee in the realm who doesn’t know this. For him to say “many” have told him otherwise is bald face lie — utter bullshit.

Bullshitter. Photo: Halifax Examiner
Stephen McNeil, Bullshitter of the Day. Photo: Halifax Examiner

4. Saudi students

Reports Andrew Rankin of the Chronicle Herald:

“As of today, no universities in Atlantic Canada will be receiving any more Saudi students,” said David Wheeler, president of Cape Breton University.

“Our understanding was that this was a policy decision taken in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia itself. There’s speculation on what’s driving that decision-making, but that’s a matter for the Saudis and we respect their decision.”

According to the Association of Atlantic Universities, 1,167 Saudi students now attend Nova Scotia universities. They represent the second-largest number of foreign students in the province, behind only Chinese.

I’m not seeing news reports that the King Abdullah Scholarship Program has pulled scholarship money from any other region of North America, so this looks like a bureaucratic feud of some sort.


1. Chronicle Herald


Graham Steele says he’s fed up with the Chronicle Herald:

Chronicle Herald, I am so (almost) done with you.


Here’s the problem: Previous rounds of layoffs and buyouts and downsizings mean that there’s a serious question whether you can still be considered a serious newspaper. You’re missing stuff. Your coverage isn’t always as deep as it could be. 

And now I read that you’re downsizing again; threatening to cut wages, pensions and benefits again; mixing news content and advertising content even more than you’re doing already. You’re already the thickness of an onion-skin away from tipping over into irrelevance. How can more downsizing be the answer?

So what’s keeping me? One slender thread. If I cancel my subscription now, that will only hurt the unionized employees who are trying to hang on to decent jobs with decent pay, pension and benefits. They’re not trying to get rich; they just don’t want to go backwards. More than anything, they’re professionals, and they want to be proud of the newspaper they’re putting out on the street and/or into our tablets.

(For those of my readers who are inclined to shout an in-your-face “But you did it too!”: no, I didn’t. Not even remotely close. So don’t even.)

If you lock out your employees over this contract dispute, then I’m done with you, Chronicle Herald. I will cancel my subscription that day.

And if I cancel my subscription, I’m not coming back. Promise.

2. Landon Webb

Landon Webb
Landon Webb

The Chronicle Herald today uses the Landon Webb case as support for repealing the Incompetent Persons Act:

Nova Scotia’s antiquated Incompetent Persons Act is itself a piece of incompetent law.

It is grossly unfair, oppressive and limiting in its treatment of persons with intellectual disabilities.

Its disregard for basic rights would not survive a constitutional challenge. Its approach to guardianship is one of locking people up rather than providing community support. It has a lot to say about ensuring money, if they have any, is well managed. It says nothing about helping them live as freely, independently and fully as possible.

The provincial government should repeal and replace this terrible law as a matter of urgency.


No public meetings.

This date in history

On December 23, 1889, the Nova Scotia Central Railway opened its line between Middleton in the Annapolis Valley and Lunenburg, via Bridgewater. In 1893, the railway had these stations operating on the line (source):

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In the harbour

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

ZIM Vancouver, container ship, Valencia, Spain to HalTerm

Dinkeldiep sails to St. John’s


People on the internet are the worst.

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

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  1. How about this (very simple really): if a driver is approaching a marked crosswalk, intersection or roundabout, slow the fuck down and act as if there may be someone about to dart out at any time. Is extra caution too much to ask for?

    No controlled crosswalk? Run down as many jaywalking pedestrians as you want if you feel aggrieved over following the rules. Wouldn’t want to inconvenience your trip to the mall.

  2. My heart goes out to the family of the 24 year old man who was struck and passed away. So very senseless and sad.

  3. I am tired of people saying the drivers need to be more careful… pedestrians, take care of yourselves first!

    Pedestrians are the ones who have control of their own feet… stop stepping out in front of oncoming vehicles unless you truly know it is safe to do so… it is your life, treat it like you own it and want to protect it.

    1. This opinion is almost always coming from someone who can afford to drive themselves wherever they want and therefore doesn’t understand the dangers of walking around a streetscape built for cars.

      It’s not a peds vs drivers thing – we’ve designed parts of our city for driving and then we let people walking find their own way around (or we do what’s best for traffic and then do what we can for pedestrians as an afterthought, as long as it doesn’t slow down the rich people in their cars). That’s dangerous and it’s not the fault of either party entirely.

      1. I walk all over the place downtown… but if you are trying to convince me that pedestrians have the most control over when they step into a street, I am not sorry to say that I do not believe you. The streets are not safe places to walk at any time and a marked crosswalk provides no additional safety for a person on foot. Do the pedestrians dress to be seen…. not bloody likely… the most common dress of the day is dark colours.

        Drivers are at fault when they hit any pedestrian that walks out into a marked crosswalk; but every pedestrian is at fault that does not ensure that all oncoming vehicles are no longer a threat. I do not feel especially entitled to drive the streets of Halifax… I find them a constant accident waiting to happen… especially at dusk, once it is dark and any time during rainy weather. When I am driving, I am responsible for mine and my passenger’s safety as well as doing my very best to drive such to keep other users of the roadway both in vehicles and on foot as safe as can be. All a pedestrian has to keep safe is themselves… is it too much to ask that they start paying more attention. Some people seem to think that every driver that hits a pedestrian got up that morning with that thought in mind… bull feathers, pedestrians have the ultimate control of when they cross any street and it is high time they started doing so like their life depended on it; because in fact, it does.

    2. Pedestrian Crossings on Herring Cove Road are few and far between.

      Depending on where the pedestrian charged by the police was coming from and trying to go he may have had a long walk ahead of him and been tempted to shorten it. Several years ago there was a good public consultation process that resulted in recommending that Herring Cove Road be reduced to two lanes, slowing down the traffic. At four lanes it is a speedway for those trying to get home to areas beyond Denith Road.

    3. Blaming the victim is a strategy that serves more to obstruct possible solutions (empathy, too) than anything else. I’ve observed pedestrians who step out on the road without due care. I’ve also found myself in the position of doing everything “right” – making eye contact with a driver who has stopped their vehicle before stepping into a marked crosswalk when I have the right of way – only to be hurt when they drive into me anyway. In the pedestrian/driver relationship, it seems to me that the responsibility weighs heaviest on the party who can kill the other without a thought.

  4. Our premier is so full of shit it is difficult to find words to describe it.

    As the rest of the world is understanding the devastation austerity causes our province is embracing it with a vengeance.

    Perhaps it’s time to move to Spain.

  5. Hey Tim,

    Re: the Saudi scholarship thing – this is purely anecdotal and I can’t even remember the source, but I do remember hearing about this coming down the pike *at least* a year ago. At that time it was just with respect to CBU. From what I heard then, the gripe was that the Saudi government was starting to question the value of the CBU programmes the Saudi kids were taking, as many of them were returning at the end of 3 or 4 years or whatever without even a lick of English. My understanding is that that was a problem for the Saudis because they want the students to know English for international business purposes.

    I wish I could substantiate this further for you, but take it for what it’s worth. If what I heard then was correct, then the bureaucratic dispute may be along the lines of a “consumer revolt”.

  6. RE: HCR Accident – This has been my worry with the fine escalating for crossing the road. I’d love to see the numbers on how often there are crosswalks on Quinpool vs. Lacewood vs. Herring Cove. Disadvantaged communities, especially Spryfield, have the worst of the driver-first infrastructure and also the least ability to pay for these fines (plus nearly no changes in sight to said infrastructure – while other communities plan projects and get funding all the time).

    RE: Chronicle Herald – I have never had a subsrciption to it and I don’t really understand what you get for it. I can find all the same news elsewhere for free or support Tim to do a much better job on Halifax-area stuff. Maybe I am too young to remember a strong Herald?