1. Stadium

Halifax council takes up the stadium issue at its meeting today, which starts at 1pm. As the representatives of the Maritime Football League Partnership will be present, I hope council moves the stadium discussion to the top of the agenda, or at least early on. But I can’t be certain of that, and there’s a pointless debate about campaign finance regulations that could push the stadium discussion to after supper. (It’s pointless because the campaign finance proposal doesn’t do anything useful.)

At any event, I’ll be live-blogging the proceedings via the Examiner’s Twitter account, @hfxExaminer.

I wrote extensively about the stadium proposal yesterday.

2. City takes Canna Clinic to court

Photo: Halifax Examiner

The city has asked the Supreme Court for an injunction against Canna Clinic and its Dresden Row landlord. If granted, the injunction would allow the city to shut down the cannabis dispensary.

In May, Justice James Chipman granted a similar request for an injunction aimed at Coastal Cannapy Inc, on Agricola Street, so it seems likely a similar injunction against Canna Clinic will be granted.

Among other things, the “grounds for order” in the city’s application to the court for an injunction says that the sale of cannabis is “in contravention of the Downtown Halifax Land Use By-Law.” I’m not sure that’s actually true — I’ll let others decide if the sale of cannabis is one of the permitted uses outlined on Page 18 of the bylaw — but even if it is, wouldn’t the bylaw also prohibit the sale of cannabis at the NSLC Cannabis store two blocks away on Clyde Street?

The bylaw officer’s investigation into Canna Clinic was extensive. He visited the site at least six times over 18 months, and took numerous photos, which were included in the application to the court. Many of the photos are simply of signage, but many are also of customers entering and leaving the store. The faces of those customers are not pixilated, and they’re readily identifiable — I recognized a couple of people.

I understand that the law is not on the dispensaries’ side, or even on the customers’ side. But, so far as I’m aware, when the police raid a dispensary they don’t arrest the customers, only the operators and employees of the dispensary.

That’s probably because it’s just not worth the hassle to arrest the customers. Many of them — all, in some cases — have valid medical licences for cannabis, and so it’s not likely charges would stick. And even those customers who don’t have licences will just face a small fine; it’s clear they’re on the “possession” side of the sale equation, not the “trafficking” side. With legalization, possession of cannabis isn’t a crime, so a cop would have to actually witness a sale to lay a charge.

As I understand it, many people who buy cannabis at dispensaries in fact have medical issues. The law has been that they must get that cannabis through the mail from Health Canada, but these people say the quality of that cannabis is lacking, and in any event there isn’t enough supply to meet needs. So they buy at dispensaries.

I guess I just don’t see why the bylaw officer needed to include the photos of the customers in the publicly accessible application to the court. These people have health issues, and including their photos seems like a breach of their privacy.

3. Negative stereotypes of Black women

“Vanessa Fells is the programming and outreach co-ordinator for the Black Loyalist Heritage Society,” writes El Jones:

This weekend, Fells was at a Black Educators Association professional development event when a young African Nova Scotian student shared with her the [above] picture from the Early Childhood Education class at the Nova Scotia Community College Burridge campus in Yarmouth

The picture, depicting “how not to ECE (early childhood educate)” depicts a woman with dark skin and box braids wearing a crop top, “booty shorts,” and heels and holding a baby (who appears to be white).

The image is coded with negative stereotypes associated with Black women. Besides the visibly dark skin, the woman sports a hairstyle associated with Black women. Chosen as the example of who not to be, the Black appearance of the woman is accompanied by clothing commonly stigmatized as “ghetto” or “ratchet” (words used by commentators in describing the image that associate race with lack of respectability).

Jones goes on to explore the long and ugly history of the depiction of Black women as threatening.

Click here to read “Image at NSCC Early Childhood Education classroom reflects centuries of negative stereotypes of Black women.”

4. Aquaculture expansion

“Some residents in the Liverpool area are worried about a possible expansion of Cooke Aquaculture’s salmon farm in Liverpool Bay on the South Shore,” reports Frances Willick for the CBC:

The provincial Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture has granted Kelly Cove Salmon, which is owned by Cooke, an option to apply for new fish farm sites in the bay just outside Liverpool, N.S.

Marine biologist Inka Milewski has studied the effects of fish farming on the South Shore.

The Dalhousie University research associate said Cooke has had problems at its current site in Liverpool Bay, including infectious salmon anemia, high sulphide levels in sediment and “superchill,” which is when fish blood freezes due to extreme cold.

“The current site there has got a really questionable record,” Milewski said.

5. No one much cares that we’re destroying the planet: Canadian premiers edition

“Two weeks after thousands of scientists convened through the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report warning of an impending human tragedy, Canada’s climate change drama played out as theatre of the absurd,” writes Richard Starr:

The Prime Minister was the lead actor, dramatically venturing into the realm of the Black Knight to unveil the carbon pricing policy to be imposed on the people of four provinces – New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan — whose governments have failed to implement plans to Ottawa’s satisfaction. If the measures he announced at an event in Etobicoke North succeed, they may produce reductions in greenhouse gas emissions sufficient to offset the increase from the other half of his grand illusion — that we can have it both ways, simultaneously reducing carbon pollution while promoting fossil fuel development.

Then there was the Black Knight himself, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, the member for Etobicoke North. He rode to power promising suburban commuters he would protect their pocketbooks by scrapping Ontario’s cap and trade approach to reducing emissions and fighting Ottawa’s carbon tax “cash grab.”

But like Monty Python’s hapless Black Knight, Ford’s attack is flailing.

And then there is Nova Scotia. As discussed here and here the provincial Liberals have strip-mined the carbon-reducing successes of previous governments to find ways to avoid any increase in energy costs, especially for gasoline. They worked out a deal with the feds to delay shutting down coal plants. And to avoid a direct carbon tax, they embarked on a drawn-out process — including legislation and consultation — to fashion a cap and trade regime for a couple of dozen large emitters.

After what they came up with last week, the best that can be said is, to paraphrase the fabulist Aesop, “they labored mightily and brought forth a mouse.”

If we do have only a few years left to avert the worse case scenario, it would be a continuation of the absurdity to spend one of those years, leading up to the next election, debating the difference between the do-little plan of the Liberals and the do-less approach of the Conservatives. Our children and grandchildren deserve better.

6. Biomass

Credit: Jamie Simpson

“A loud chorus of civil society organisations representing hundreds of thousands of people around the world has come together to release a new statement expressing concern over the use of forest biomass for renewable energy,” reads a press release announcing the statement:

The groups are concerned that biomass is a societal delusion for climate change mitigation and increased their commitment to working collectively for real solutions that protect and restore forests.

The statement concludes with, “We, the undersigned organisations believe that we must move beyond burning forest biomass to effectively address climate change. We call on governments, financiers, companies and civil society to avoid expansion of the forest biomass based energy industry and move away from its use. Subsidies for forest biomass energy must be eliminated. Protecting and restoring the world’s forests is a climate change solution, burning them is not.”

In summary, the statement conveys the organisation’s conclusions and agreement that expansion of the forest biomass industry is misguided due to four key issues:

• It harms the climate as burning forest biomass is not low carbon and its encouraged by flawed systems of emission accounting.
• It harms the forests by threatening their biodiversity and climate resilience as well as undermines their climate mitigation potential.
• It harms people as the industries undermine community rights and interests and biomass burning harms human health and well-being.
• It harms the clean energy transition as it provides a life-line for continuing to burn coal for energy production and pulls investments away from other renewable energy sources.

“Forest biomass energy is a lose, lose proposition that has prompted this strong statement of concern from such a multitude of groups. We appeal to policy makers, financiers, the markets and consumers to abandon support for large scale energy production from the forests,” said Peg Putt, Forests and Climate Coordinator for the Environmental Paper Network, which has been the organiser of a year-long global dialogue with NGOs leading to the development of this joint statement.

Over 123 organizations from around the world signed the statement; read it here.

Linda Pannozzo addressed the use of Nova Scotia forests for biomass in her article, “Life After Pulp.”




Halifax Regional Council (Tuesday, 1pm, Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel) — there’s some other stuff on the agenda, but discussion of the arena proposal will dominate the day, I think. I’ll live-blog the meeting via the Examiner’s Twitter account, @hfxExaminer.


No public meetings.



Human Resources (Tuesday, 10am, One Government Place) — a per diem meeting.


No public meetings for the rest of the week.

On campus



Ports Modernization: Balancing Economic Prosperity and Environmental Sustainability (Tuesday, 12pm, Room 1011, Rowe Building) — panelists are Michelle Adams, Dalhousie University, School for Resource and Environmental Studies; Mary Brooks, Dalhousie University, Rowe School of Business; Jim Parsons, Memorial University, Fisheries and Marine Institute; and Tony Walker, Dalhousie University, School for Resource and Environmental Studies. I wrote about this yesterday.

The Svarc genus of a fibration (Tuesday, 2:30pm, Room 319, Chase Building) — Marzieh Bayeh will speak. Her abstract:

It is a number (integer) that is assigned to a fibration. This concept has been used to define new invariants, such as topological complexity and sectional category. In this talk, we will introduce the Svarc genus and discuss some of its properties.

Bring your own Svarc genus.

#DalMedForward Town Hall: Meeting and Exceeding Expectations in Education(Tuesday, 5pm, Theatre A, Tupper Building) — David Anderson and Jennifer Hall will host “a forum for discussion of current and anticipated influencers on the Education pillar of the strategic plan, #DalMedForward.”

Healthy by Design (Tuesday, 5:30pm, Paul O’Regan Hall, Halifax Central Library) — Celeste Alvaro and Glen Hougan will discuss “How do we design hospitals for a better health care experience?”

Single Mothers of Color, Bureaucratic Torture, and the Divinity of the NationState (Tuesday, 7pm, Room 1016, Rowe Management Building) — Smadar Lavie will talk about her new book Wrapped in the Flag of Israel: Mizrahi Single Mothers and Bureaucratic Torture, 2nd Edition. From the event listing:

The Mizrahim are Jews from North Africa and the Middle East who comprise Israel’s majority Jewish population. They suffer from systematic discrimination by Israel’s Ashkenazi Jews who drive Israeli policymaking. Lavie’s is the first English language ethnography about single mothers in the Middle East. This is one of the very few ethnographies about single mothers outside North America.  The book explores Israel’s intra-Jewish racial and ethnic conflicts from a feminist perspective. It analyzes how the plight of Mizrahi single mothers relates to Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories, as well as its tensions with Iran and other neighboring Arab countries. Lavie uncovers the conundrum of loving and staying loyal to a state that uses its bureaucratic system to repeatedly inflict pain on its non-European majority who, despite this pain, is willing to sacrifice their lives for what they conceive of as the state’s security.


Thesis Defence, Earth Sciences (Wednesday, 10am, Room 3-44, Steel ocean Sciences Building) — Erin Keltie will defend her thesis “An Experimental Study of the Role of Contamination in the Formation of Chromintes in the Ring of Fire Intrusive Suite.” Her abstract:

The Ring of Fire Intrusive Suite (ROFIS) in the James Bay lowlands, Ontario, is emplaced into the 2.734 Ga McFauld’s Lake greenstone belt, and hosts five chromite deposits, together comprising ~201.3 million tonnes of measured and indicated chromite resources.  The formation process of these and other stratiform chromitites worldwide is still debated, with numerous models for their  petrogenesis, one of which is the contamination of a primitive magma by surrounding country rock during ascent and emplacement.  Although this process is likely to occur, with evidence for this in the ROFIS context, its effect on chromite crystallization has not been rigorously experimentally tested.  This thesis addresses this shortcoming in a series of experiments involving komatiite-ROFIS country rock mixtures, komatiite-magnetite mixtures, and chromite-doped komatiite to measure phase equilibrium, chromite solubility, and chromite composition.

Experiments involved equilibrating synthetic komatiite (2187 ppm Cr) containing 0-50 wt.% Cr-free contaminants and 0-2 wt.% chromite on Fe-presaturated Pt loops at 1192-1462ºC and 0.1 MPa at the fayalite-magnetite-quartz (FMQ) oxygen buffer in a vertical tube furnace.  Results show that assimilation of Fe-rich material decreases the chromium content of the melt at chromite saturation and decreases the olivine-in temperature, thereby increasing the temperature interval over which chromite crystallizes alone. Assimilation of 16 wt.% of BIF is enough to increase the volume of chromite crystallization from the ROFIS parental melt 5-fold, and is consistent with other metrics of parental melt contamination.  These results indicate that assimilation of Fe-rich country rocks by komatiite may contribute to chromite accumulation in stratiform chromitites.

Role of TRPM2 ion channel in breast cancer pathogenesis and chemoresistance (Wednesday, 4pm, Theatre A, Tupper Medical Building) — Yassine El Hiani will speak.

Saint Mary’s


University Town Hall (Tuesday, 2pm, in the theatre named after a bank in the building named after a grocery store) —I’ll save you the time: everything is great!

Abdo Ghié (Tuesday, 4pm, Atrium 212) — from the event listing: SMU has signed a “collaboration agreement” with Lebanese American University (ALU) in Beirut & Byblos, Lebanon. Abdo G. Ghié is the Assistant VP of Enrollment Management at LAU, and this is a “meet and greet” so students can explore studying in Lebanon.

In the harbour

00:45: YM Express, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for Rotterdam
03:00: Alice Oldendorff, bulker, arrives at National Gypsum from New York
06:00: Jona, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Lisbon, Portugal
08:45: Regal Princess, cruise ship with up to 4,271 passengers, arrives at Pier 22 from Saint John (five-day round-trip cruise out of New York)
11:30: North Atlantic Kairos, oil tanker, arrives at Pier 9 from Come By Chance, Newfoundland
15:00: Bomar Rebecca, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from San Juan, Puerto Rico
16:30: Jona sails for sea
17:30: Rt Hon Paul E Martin, bulker, arrives at National Gypsum from Saint John
18:30: Regal Princess sails for New York


Tuesdays suck.

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  1. I know Richard Starr tends to fly a flag of a different colour, but his end reasoning is why we have seen two of our neighboring provinces vote Green MLAs into the legislature. No other party puts the long term viability of our species and the planet at the centre of planning.