1. Cap-and-trade

Tufts Cove Generating Plant. Photo: Halifax Examiner

“Nova Scotia continues to resist a sales pitch from Ottawa to sign on to its system for reducing emissions starting in January 2019,” reports Jennifer Henderson:

That resistance comes despite a warning different carbon pricing regimes within Atlantic Canada could drive up administrative costs for companies such as Irving Oil, Wilson Fuels, Northern Pulp, and Lafarge Cement. Those are among 20 companies that emit more than 50,000 tonnes of carbon a year in Nova Scotia; many of the companies also do business in New Brunswick, which is adopting Ottawa’s paperwork and carbon pricing system.

Click here to read “McNeil government is moving slow with greenhouse gas reduction plan.”

This article is for subscribers. Click here to subscribe.

2. Human Rights Commission

“Folks deeply unhappy about the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission rallied in front of its office on Spring Garden Road this morning,” reports Robert Devet:

The rally was organized by Equity Watch, a new organization that aims to call out public and private employers who refuse to stamp out bullying, misogyny and systemic discrimination in their workplaces.

The Commission is too reluctant to take on cases, too slow altogether and too quick to settle in the few cases it does take on, and not communicating with the plaintiffs, the protesters say. Almost all protesters had first-hand experience interacting with the Commission, and all were frustrated and felt let down by an organization that is supposed to stand up for them.

Among the speakers who addressed the rally was Liane Tessier, the Halifax firefighter who last year received an apology from the City and the Fire Department for the years of bullying and misogyny she had to endure.

“10 years ago I naively believed that the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission would investigate my complaint of gender discrimination within the Halifax Fire service. I made my complaint in 2007, five years later my case was dismissed without a fair investigation. I felt betrayed by a Commission that claims to uphold the value of human rights, and I still do,” Tessier told the crowd.

3. That damn Boer War monument

The Boer War monument outside Province House. Photo: Halifax Examiner

“The McNeil government has shelved plans to turn a parking lot used by MLAs into green space and to give the Nova Scotia Legislature grounds a complete makeover in time for Province House’s 200th anniversary next year,” reports Jean Laroche for the CBC:

The province will instead go ahead with only half the plan and leave the parking spaces for elected representatives, possibly until 2024.

I don’t care about the parking one way or the other, but can we discuss that damn Boer War monument?

Laroche goes on to interview Joe Ballard, president of the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia, who says something ridiculous:

“We often forget about the South African campaign and it gets lost with more recent wars, but it was significant and I think it deserves greater honour than having cars parked around it,” said Ballard.

Please. The Boer War exemplified everything horrible about humanity, about imperialism, about the British Empire, about Canada, about Halifax, and about the boys and men who fought it. It was shameless slaughter conducted by vile people for despicable reasons.

The statue is a festering boil on the grounds of Province House and on the reputations of everyone employed there. I say keep the cars around long enough that one of them indadvertedly knocks the damn thing down, or at least the collective soot from the vehicles dirties the thing beyond recognition.

4. Bay Ferries doesn’t get pilot exemption

A pilot climbs on board the Yarmouth ferry in order to navigate the boat into Portland Harbor. Photo: Halifax Examiner

There’s a small matter I’ve been keeping my eye on: Maine’s L.D. 1752, a bill in the Maine legislature that would give an exemption to the requirement that ships hire pilots to navigate into Portland Harbor, at a cost of $709 to $1,077 per trip.

The bill was introduced by state Senator Mark Dion, D-Portland, and would have only benefited Bay Ferries, the operator of the Yarmouth ferry. I have no idea why Dion championed a cause that cut the jobs of some of his constituents for the financial benefit of a foreign corporation (Bay Ferries is headquartered on PEI).

In any event, the bill has failed, and so Bay Ferries will have to keep hiring the pilots.


1. “I Am Queen Mary”

“I Am Queen Mary”
“I Am Queen Mary”

“As a Black woman who marks a dental visit in Denmark as a milestone in my life, I was thrilled to learn that the country now boasts a major public art work that honours a woman of African descent,” writes Evelyn C. White:

Recently unveiled in Copenhagen, the “I Am Queen Mary” statue pays homage to Mary Thomas, a Caribbean woman who, in 1878, led a revolt against Danish colonizers in the West Indies. Hailed as “the three queens,” Thomas and two other Black women commandeered the uprising that set ablaze fifty sugar plantations and most of Frederiksted, St. Croix.

But that’s just the beginning. White takes us through a fascinating story that leads through Huey Newton and right into her own mouth. This piece is great fun.

Click here to read “‘I Am Queen Mary’: a story of Black liberation, art, and dental intervention.”

2. Cultural hubba hubba

Photo: Stephen Archibald

Stephen Archibald uses the announcement of a joint Art Gallery of Nova Scotia/NSCAD “cultural hub” as an excuse to trace the history of both institutions (his photos of old Granville Street are wondrous), then has his say on the new plan:

So what do I really think about the cultural hub concept?  I’m conflicted. I’m fond of both institutions. Every year we give both of them a little money because it is important for them to have many small donors as well as the big philanthropists who will actually enable changes to happen.

One of the big reasons I appreciate the Gallery and the College is that they stepped up and brought new life to parts of the city that were dead in the 70s and 80s. I recognize that their current buildings have all kinds of challenges but part of the planning for a new hub should include a bright future for the old locations.

The east side of Granville Street, where NSCAD is located, is such an amazing survival. Compare it to the lifeless west side of the block or how the Royal Bank sucked all the energy out of the next street. Do you remember the  window displays that the NSCAD Ceramics students used to install in the Morse’s Tea building.? We always loved the class project to make clay chickens. The Ceramics Department got relocated to that perforated metal clad, black box at the Seaport. I have no idea what students are making now.

Maybe I’ll just let the young folks decide what will happen in the future. I’ve certainly enjoyed the past.


No public meetings.

On campus


Reducing Environmental Impact by Using CO2-switchable Materials and Surfaces (Friday, 1:30pm, Room 226, Chemistry Building) — Philip Jessop from Queen’s University will speak.

Mount Saint Vincent

Ke’kutnuk, Wet-taqane’wasi, Wije’wm ksalsuti; Knowing, Identity, Passion (Friday, 12pm, Seton 430) — Nicholas Phillips, Director of Early Education in Millbrook First Nation, will speak.

In the harbour

8:45am: USS Little Rock, U.S. combat ship, sails from Dockyard for sea
10am: YM Movement, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Colombo, Sri Lanka
10:30am: Catharina Schulte, container ship, sails from Pier 42 for sea
4:30pm: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, sails from Pier 36 for Saint-Pierre


Another early morning for me; gotta run.

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.
    Of Boer War, Baden Powell, boy scouts and Cape Breton poet Dawn Fraser

    Dawn Fraser: Echoes From Labor’s War
    Out of My House.
    No Child of Mine Will Be a Boy Scout

    My Father was a carpenter,
    Who worked hard every day.
    His back was bowed, his hands were hard,
    His locks were thin and grey.
    That was many years ago.
    The Locals then were small.
    And every man who met the Boss
    Would touch his hat and crawl.
    But Father had a rebel’s heart.
    And often he told me
    Of how he hoped I’d see the day,
    When workers would be free.

    I went to school each morning.
    But most that they taught me
    Was how old England licked the world,
    And was mistress of the sea.
    Of Wolfe and Blake and Nelson,
    Half the day they would brag.
    And tell how glorious it was
    To die beneath some flag.
    They would tell us of the Dargia Heights
    And of Majuba Hill.
    They taught it was a noble act
    To kill and kill and kill.

    One day we had a visitor
    Of military mien.
    He had the slickest uniform
    We kids had ever seen.
    He gave a little lecture
    And it was all about
    How would we like to go to camp?
    And be a Boy Scout?
    We would march each day, away, away.
    It would be jolly fun.
    We would get a pretty uniform
    And maybe have a gun.

    I ran right home to father
    And hopped upon his knee.
    I was going to be a scout.
    Wasn’t he proud of me?
    The man would call the teacher said
    And fix it up with Dad.
    She said she knew each Parent
    Would be most proud and glad.
    But Daddy didn’t hear the news
    With any show of pride.
    He kind of hugged me tighter
    And then he kind of sighed.

    One evening I was playing home
    With what little friends I had.
    The military fellow called
    And asked to see my Dad.
    But when my Father spied him,
    This well dressed Master Scout,
    My Father grabbed the poker
    And I heard my Father shout.
    Out of my house. No child of mine
    Will be a Boy Scout.
    Out of my house you useless tool
    I know what you’re about.
    The soldier of tomorrow
    Is the Boy Scout of today.
    Our very blood and bones you’d use
    Against us in the fray.
    You rob the worker of his child
    And dress him like a clown.
    You put a gun into his hands,
    To shoot his father down.
    Give you a child of mine to train?
    You take me for a fool.
    You keep your hands off me and mine
    You capitalist tool.

    That military man so grand
    Was timid as a mouse.
    Last thing I remember,
    Father chased him from the house.
    And then he took me in his arms
    And kissed me once or twice.
    I never saw him cross before,
    He was always sad but nice.
    Before I went to bed each night,
    He would tell me stories fine.
    And the one he told that evening
    Was about the HOMESTEAD MINE.
    Somewhere far away, he said,
    There was a little town
    Where he had seen the soldiers come
    And shoot the workers down

  2. Our legislature sits on too small a ground to really be a nice place. A lot of provincial legislatures are nice, but they are on spacious grounds. For instance the legislature in Charlottetown is a few small buildings on a campus 10 times the size of the Nova Scotia legislature. In the summer there are gaggles of tourists watching actors dressed up in period costumes or characters from Anne of Green Gables, nice trees to get some shade under, etc.

    There’s also an issue of where the legislature is. Our legislature sits in a part of town that isn’t a desirable place to go – the streets are miserable wind tunnels and there are few destinations nearby. In contrast the PEI legislature sits in the centre of the tourism/restaurant area of town.

  3. As someone who attended NSCAD in the mid 90’s, I do admit a bias but is there another institution as underappreciated as NSCAD in the downtown core?

    Also the Legislature is no place for a parking lot or antiquated colonial war memorials. Get rid of them both.

  4. Do war memorials honour a given conflict, or the service men and women who gave and/or risked their lives by serving their country during the conflict? I say again that political correctness that dictates the removal of a iconic monument does nothing but obscure history.r solution is

    A better solution would be to have descriptive signage added that tells the story in a truthful manner. Most people who walk by any statue or memorial that they are not personally familiar with will read the plaques and signage; most people walking by do not even know the statue in question is about the Boer War.

    Sometimes political correctness solutions hides issues rather than putting forward a genuine solution. Historical events need truthful retelling, else the lessons of the past are lost.

  5. I’m for keeping the Boer War statue, although granted, I’d put it in a better place than a parking lot. Why don’t you take down the Crimean War lion and the WWI statues too?

    Cornwallis was a different matter — it was erected to honour a specific individual.

    1. I should add I don’t think it was a just war, but as someone pointed out, a fight between a powerful colonial bully and a weaker but fairly determined colonial people.

      I’m not aware of modern Boers complaining about these statues, even though they were on the losing side and – within the context of it being a fight between colonialist white people – were unjustly attacked and the non-combatant population badly treated.

      I don’t know know what modern black South Africans think of the fight or the statues, and I’d be interested to learn.

  6. I heard that idiotic comment about the Boer War statue as well. How can anyone who fancies themselves qualified to speak for a “Heritage Trust” not understand the insult to humanity that statue represents. The Boer “War” was basically a backfired bully raid on a country to take its resources. In this case it wasn’t oil like in Iraq, but gold. It was an overt British Imperialist aggression that cost 270 Canadian lives and 60,000 lives in all, to line the pockets of members of the House of Lords. Its only notable historic footnote is that it played a part in developing a Canadian identity, both in how Canada was perceived as a separate nation and not a colony, and also in how it helped reinforce the rift between the French and English components in Canada. Let’s make a statue to celebrate that!?

    1. Although I grew up with my Depression-era parents using the phrase, “not since the Boer War” to denote something a long time ago, I’ve never really researched what that war was about or who was involved or what current sentiment is on it. However, earlier today on the bad side of Twitter I noticed a lot of hoopla about “genocide of white farmers” in South Africa that referred to Boers, so I looked up the term. In light of this post, I guess it’s time I really dove into learning more. It sounds at a glance like the equivalent of two groups of white folks fighting over whether their dogs can poop all over Africville, only with lots more bloodshed, but that’s probably a glib take on it… I need to read more.

    2. The Boer War was also the first conflict to use establish concentration camps for entire populations. The British destroyed the farms and homes of both Boers and Africans, then rounded them up into the camps where tens of thousands died. Over 100,000 people were imprisoned in these camps.

  7. Exemptions from the requirement for a harbour pilot are quite common and are approved for a Master of a vessel who has entered and departed a port on a vessel on a regular basis.
    How many pilots have experience on a vessel such as the Bay Ferries vessel ?
    The ferries to PEI,Saint John, Port aux Basques and Argentia do not use a pilot.
    And although a pilot is required almost everywhere in the world the Master never relinquishes command and can ignore the instructions of a pilot if he believes the safety of his vessel is at risk.