1. Naomi Kidston

Naomi Kidston.

Yesterday, Halifax police issued a release saying they had laid charges in the 2005 homicide of Naomi Kidston:

On June 7, 2005 at 1:30 p.m., police responded to an address on River Road in Halifax. Upon arrival, officers located 26-year-old Naomi Kidston deceased inside an apartment. Her death was ruled a homicide. Through the investigation, officers determined that Naomi was last seen alive in the early morning hours of June 7 at the residence where she was found deceased. 

As a result of the ongoing investigation, officers, with the assistance of officers from the Saint John Police Force, arrested Donald Peters without incident at approximately 8:40 a.m. yesterday on Stanley Street in Saint John, New Brunswick. He was brought back to Halifax yesterday for questioning and was held in custody overnight. 

Donald Murray Peters, 50, of Saint John, New Brunswick, has been charged with second degree murder in relation to Naomi’s death and is scheduled to appear in Halifax Provincial Court today to answer to the charge.

“Advancing DNA technology” contributed to the arrest, reports Jonathan Briggins for Metro:

Kidston, 26, was found dead in her apartment on River Road in Spryfield on June 7, 2005. An obituary printed at the time said she was involved in the Halifax church community, feeding the homeless as a volunteer at St. Mary’s Basilica Catholic Church, working as a childcare provider at St. George’s Church and as a lunch monitor at Cornwallis Street Baptist Church.

Police said Peters and Kidston knew each other, but weren’t intimate partners or in a domestic relationship.

2. Divest Mount Allison

Photo: Bruce Wark

Earlier this week, students with the group Divest MTA began a permanent encampment in the academic quad at Mount Allison University to draw attention to their efforts to get the university to divest from companies that profit from fossil fuel extraction. On Wednesday the students issued a press release:

In an email to the Board of Regents which Divest MTA obtained, Mount Allison president Dr. Robert Campbell explicitly asserted that the University had no plans to engage with Divest MTA directly or negotiate the camp-out’s presence.

After two days with no response from the University Administration, Divest MTA has moved its occupation into the administration’s space in order for students to engage directly.

Then, reports Bruce Wark:

The upper floor of the Mount Allison administration building rang with songs, chants and laughter today after more than 50 students moved in seeking a face-to-face meeting with university president Robert Campbell.


As the students listened in the outer room, Divest MTA leaders Tina Oh and Alex Lepianka asked Campbell to begin the process of shedding endowment fund investments in the fossil fuel industry. They called on the Mt. A president to recommend such divestment to the university’s Board of Regents.

“It’s not my role,” Campbell answered.

“It is your role,” Oh responded. “As president of [this] public institution, students get to decide what is your responsibility,” she added.

“Thank you for being so passionate about it, but I disagree,” Campbell said, adding that as president, he must listen to all constituencies, including students, faculty, alumni and donors. He noted that students are represented on the university’s governing bodies and have a voice in their decisions.

Lepianka said the process is undemocratic adding that after four years of campaigning, students have gotten nowhere on the issue of severing the university’s ties with oil and gas.

“We live in a society where not everyone agrees,” Campbell said. “You have not got the result you wanted. You win some, you lose some.”

Both Oh and Lepianka argued that as president, Campbell has a moral responsibility to sever the university’s ties to fossil fuels when the industry threatens the lives of so many, including the indigenous peoples the university claims to respect.

“If you are doing nothing, then you are doing evil work,” Oh added.

“I don’t agree with your language or your characterization,” Campbell said.


In the aftermath of the meeting, several students wept.

Naia Noyes-West said that students, unlike older people, were born into a world where the devastating realities of climate change already existed — realities that will weigh heavily on them and future generations.

She added that as students at Mt. A, they were learning about such issues from their professors.

“We learn about these awful things,” she said, “and then are expected to do nothing.”

After the meeting, and as Campbell was leaving the building, the students staged a “die in” to represent victims of climate change. The students ended their occupation of the building at 6pm.

3. Grabher

Photo: Yvonne Colbert / CBC

“Mr. Grabher wants his licence plate back,” reports Yvonne Colbert for the CBC:

A Dartmouth man is furious that after 25 years the Nova Scotia Registry of Motor Vehicles has cancelled his personalized licence plate with his last name Grabher on it, following a single complaint.

Lorne Grabher is of German heritage. He said he bought the plate as a gift for his father’s 65th birthday. His father passed away in the 1990s and the plate has remained in the family.

Last December, he received a letter telling him the plate would be cancelled in January because the public cannot be expected to know it is his last name and “can misinterpret it as a socially unacceptable slogan.”

“I was taken aback. How can you say my name is a slogan when it is not?” Grabher told CBC News. 

“Where does the province of Nova Scotia and the government of Nova Scotia get the right to discriminate against a person’s name?”

Colbert scores extra points for her photo of Grabher (above), which I’ve dutifully alerted the folks at Angry People in Local Newspapers about.


1. Christ, what an asshole!

Stephen Archibald needs to come home already:

Look who has his own piñata! Coyoacan market, Mexico City.

— Stephen Archibald (@Cove17) March 22, 2017

But speaking of Trump… there’s an old schtick (invented by the blogger Charles Lavoie) that “any New Yorker cartoon could be captioned with ‘Christ, what an asshole!’ with no loss of comedic value.” Here are a couple of examples that Lavoie used:

I’ve applied it randomly to a more recent New Yorker cartoon:

For some reason I was thinking of this yesterday as I read this part of Time Magazine’s interview with Donald Trump:

Hey look, in the mean time, I guess, I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m president, and you’re not. You know. Say hello to everybody OK?

Christ, what an asshole!

3. Cranky letter of the day

To the Cape Breton Post:

Not everyone has great success when leaving for Alberta to secure work. Working in that province presents many challenges.

Affordable housing, the cold winters and the fact that the locals tend to keep to themselves are just a few things one needs to consider.

That latter part can be a bit of a culture shock for anyone coming from sociable “small town Nova Scotia,” but not necessarily in a bad way. One may simply need some time to adjust.

From what I’ve learned, some companies in Alberta don’t like to pay their employees what they are entitled to such as general holiday pay and overtime pay, all for the sake of corporate profits.

Also, they tend to “work your fingers to the bone.” Such experiences I have dealt with when working in the private security sector.

One such experience resulted in a not-so-positive outcome when it came to receiving my entitled general holiday pay. Rather than doing the right thing, both my employer and my representative from Alberta Employment Standards hid behind rules that they interpreted to their favour. Was this because of my employer’s close business relationship with that province’s government of the day?

To appeal their decision, I would have had to return to that province at my expense. The issue should have been handled appropriately by them the first time around.

The point I am trying to make here is if you’re considering going to that province for work I strongly recommend that you search for and acquire employment in a unionized environment. One will then have employee rights available by way of a contract, a more balanced workload and the union representation to back you up when your employer tries to pull the wool over your eyes.

My hope is that you have better success than I did.

Andrew Gillan, Sydney Mines


Halifax Buy, Sell, Trade and Give Away is a Facebook page for, well, people buying, selling, trading, and giving away stuff. I only found out about it because John Williams (the last owner of Frank Magazine who understood that the mission of the magazine was to punch up, not down) pointed to some ridiculous argument that I forget now, but I’ve been hooked to the page ever since.

Anyhow, I won’t bother you with the ins and outs of the page, except to point to yesterday’s post by Christina Johnson:

Wedding Dress ☺️
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Wedding dress for sale — worn once by mistake.

Please help me remove this beautiful dress from my life, it looks stunning on enough to distract me that I was about to enter into a marriage with a complete asshole.

The dress is a size 8, but has a lace up back and could fit up to a size 10 I would say.

Dress is in excellent condition, unlike my marriage. It has been cleaned of any bad luck, I know because now I look at it and I feel so happy, and a sense of freedom falls over me.

I’m hoping this dress isn’t seen by all your family members because then you would have the same luck as me to find out your husband has been sleeping with your little cousin, so just don’t invite everyone to the wedding!

Not getting married?? That’s okay you can wear this dress on different occasions:

It would look great while you are washing dishes, catching the bus, in the line at the DMV as you gotta change your name back to your maiden name because the sight of his last name just totally disgusts you and you feel more nauseated then you did when you had that drunken one night stand back in 05′.

Wear it and run down the street after random men yelling “I love you, please come back to me.”

Wear it to the pub people would buy you celebration drinks yayyy free liquor! Better yet wear it to the pub and fake cry and see the sympathy drinks come pouring in from every guy who is there looking to be that rebound guy. This dress would have itself paid off in booze in one night.

If you want to see this gorgeous dress just shoot me a message and I’ll take a couple pictures for you!!! ❤️


No public meetings.

On campus


Tobacco (12:10pm, Rm 104, Dalhousie Weldon Law Building) — Camille Cameron will speak on “Litigation as Regulation? A Tobacco Class Action Case Study.”

World Development (12:30pm, Great Hall, Dalhousie University Club) — Luís-Felipe López-Calva will discuss “Governance and the Law — Launch of the World Bank’s 2017 World Development Report.”

Green Solvent Technologies (Friday, 1:30pm, Chemistry Room 2260) —  Preston Chase of Green Centre Canada will speak on “Development and Commercial Application of Novel Catalyst and Green Solvent Technologies.”

Thesis Defence, Interdisciplinary Studies (Friday, 2pm, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building) — PhD candidate Calvino Ka-Wing Cheng will defend his thesis, “Truism (Transfusion Inventory Process Mining Framework): A Process Mining-Based Framework for Understanding Blood Transfusion Product Inventories.”

Elaine Fahey

(Dis-)Integration (Friday, 3:30pm, Room 204, Weldon Law Building) — Elaine Fahey, from NYU Law School and the University of London, will speak on “Models of Institutionalized (Dis-)Integration? What Next for EU-US, CETA, and Brexit?”

Ceylon (Friday, 3:30pm, Room 1170, Marion McCain Building) — Ajay Parasram will speak on “Liberal Imperialism and the Colonial Politics of ‘Improvement’ in 19th Century Ceylon.”

Neurotrophic Factors (Friday, 3:40pm, LSC 5260) — Margaret Fahnestock will speak on “Neurotrophic Factors — Their Role in Nervous System Development, Emergence of Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment.”

Poetry Slam (Friday, 7pm, The Muse Cafe and Pub) — hosted by Halifax’s Poet Laureate, Rebecca Thomas.

Speak Easy (Friday, 7pm, Coburg Coffee) — art, music, poetry and a safe space to discuss mental health and substance use.

Saint Mary’s

Saint Mary’s Town Hall (Friday, 9:30am, McNally Theatre Auditorium) — you can come and complain about the university’s Institutional Plan. Or praise it. They’d probably prefer the latter.

Something in the Water (Friday, 12:30pm, Room 216, Atrium Building) — Ingrid Waldron will speak on “There’s Something in the Water: Environmental Racism and the Politics of Waste in Mi’kmaw and African Nova Scotian Communities.”

Yann Martel

Yann Martel (Friday, 7pm, McNally Main Auditorium) — Martel, the author of The Life of Pi and The High Mountains of Portugal, will talk about “The Power of the Imagination.”

In the harbour

The North Atlantic, 9am Friday. Map:

7am: Boheme, car carrier, moves from Autoport to Pier 27
11:30am: Boheme, car carrier, sails from Pier 27 for sea
1pm: Atlantic Pioneer, cargo ship, sails from Pier 31 for sea
4pm: Palena, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for New York
4:30pm: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, sails from Pier 36 for Saint-Pierre


Frickin’ 10 below on March 24… The guy who replaced Peter Coade isn’t doing any better.

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

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    Will Shakespeare got it right again: “O judgment! Thou art fled to brutish beasts,
    And men have lost their reason.”

    Oh, and BTW, if one complaint can change government policy, my complaint is we don’t have full medicare including unrestricted and complete pharmacare and dental care. I’ll send my complaint into McNeil’s office today. So, we all can expect to have all our health concerns covered by next week.

  2. The “Christ, what an asshole!” caption is a classic. A newer one that’s finding favour recently is, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn”.

  3. Spot on re the FRANK mag comment – punching down, indeed.

    I have, with some nostalgic sadness (what’s the German word for that?), neither renewed my online sub nor reverted to buying it by the copy. And that’s after reading since Lyndon and David founded it in the 80s.

    I’m not going to subsidize a mean-spirited, nasty, and hateful view of the world, that holds ordinary people up to ridicule. No investigative journalism, no digging into how decisions are made, nothing of value to see here, move along. And they’re not even faintly amusing, just … boring.


  4. Political correctness… often taken to extremes. One person complains and an entire family’s name (GRABHER) is determined to be misogynistic when on a vanity license plate (at least in NS). What if they ran a business and wanted to use their name as their “Brand”… could they advertise in public media? Could they even register their business name? Maybe the family should have to change their name… better to do that than possibly offending someone, eh? All the families with the name Cornwallis certainly have felt the burn from this issue… at least here in NS. Consider “CRNWLIS”… this license plate might, to some people, promote abuse towards First Nations people (at least in NS), eh?

    “Political correctness”… a term that enables legalistic discriminatory policies.

    1. My only comment is that it is at least comprehensible why Grabher is restricted, or at least how it might be read/understood. The 64 pages of prohibitions (which I cannot seem to locate online) contains (via CBC radio) a lot that seem to have no rhyme or reason. Dog, god, banana, cat etc. I think that there is definitely some overkill in this. Not opposed to some restrictions but there seem to be too many. I think he is in trouble because Mr Trump made the phrase “grab her by the . . .” more noticeable.

  5. When I saw the Asshole headline this am and then saw that you were covering the Divest Mt A story, I was sure the headline was referring to Mt A president Campbell. In my books he has been deserving of the title for some time now, and has demonstrated yet again why! I’m sad that my alma mater (class of ’68) has such poor leadership. Thanks Examiner for making me see that it’s time to mobilize in support of the students.
    Sheila Stevenson

  6. When Joan Rivers died the New Yorker cartoon was her cracking wise to St Peter. The caption I would have gone with would have been “Christ? What an asshole!”