In the harbour


1. Devolution

Uncertain if the drug was pure, none of the attendees at last year's Evolve Festival were using ecstasy. Photo from the Evolve website, possibly reflecting a certain targeted demographic.
Uncertain if the drug was pure, none of the attendees at last year’s Evolve Festival were using ecstasy. Photo from the Evolve website, possibly reflecting a certain targeted demographic (hint: dudes with ecstasy).

After announcing that it would provide drug testing kits that would determine if harmful materials were added to concert goers’ ecstasy and acid, the Evolve festival lost its insurance:

Jonas Colter, producer for the event now in its 16th year, says the festival lost its coverage over concerns about plans to help concertgoers test their illicit drugs.

“The drug kits kind of made them feel uncomfortable and now they have pulled their insurance from us,” Colter said on Tuesday.

Evolve is scheduled to start Thursday. Coulter is hunting around for a new insurance company.

2. Burnside

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 6.46.46 AM

“City staff are recommending a Halifax policy be amended to allow for more office and retail developments in a planned Burnside Park expansion in Dartmouth,” reports the Chronicle Herald’s Remo Zaccagna:

As part of updates to the regional municipal planning strategy that came into effect last October, council approved a policy that reserved the lands in the Burnside expansion area for general, light industrial and logistics uses, permitting office and retail “only as accessory uses to general and light industrial uses.”

The expansion area extends from Dartmouth Crossing to north of Akerley Boulevard, near the intersection of highways 118 and 107.

However, while council was considering updating the planning strategy, staff were involved in “ongoing discussions with numerous businesses and land developers” interested in setting up on newly available Burnside lands, said a staff report council received last month.

3. Rednecks

"Redneck competition" photos from Google, collected by Timothy Gillespie.
“Redneck competition” photos from Google, collected by Timothy Gillespie.

A committee of the Shelburne town council refuses to back down from the town’s decision to embrace redneckism, reports Timothy Gillespie:

Plans for a controversial “redneck” competition at the venerable “Founders’ Days celebration in July remain in place after a special meeting Monday of the Town Council’s Anti-discrimination and Racism Committee.

Despite vocal objections by several of the Committee members and almost all of the citizens speaking at the meeting, Town officials expressed their endorsement of the event, which appears to glorify the antics of “rednecks”, as expressed in the wildly popular Duck Dynasty television reality show.


Committee chair and Shelburne mayor Karen Mattatall appeared defensive and combative during the 90-minute meeting and suggested that, if the “redneck” event was canceled because it did not reflect the stated goals of Founders’ Days, then bouncy castles, music and other events should be canceled also.


Committee members who did not represent the Town were generally opposed to having the event continue. Louise Delisle said that, as a black person, she knew “what racism is in this community,” and felt the thrust of the “redneck” ideal was racist in its nature. RCMP constable Kirk Naye said he found the term “redneck” offensive. Janet O’Connell said that she had several problems with the event, including its connection to Duck Dynasty and its “redneck” flavour, among others.

Mark Hartley, who is black, said that he identified as a redneck and felt that the anti-redneck sentiments expressed at the meeting discriminated against him.


This correspondent [Gillespie] said that, because Founders’ Days is now wholly a Town-sponsored event, and because there can be no question that, worldwide, “redneck” has a predominately negative connotation, infused with bigotry and racism, that the promotion of a “redneck” ideal amounted to Town staff and funds actively working to damage the Town’s reputation to the outside world.

“It is crazy that, after celebrating the opening of the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre – one of Canada’s premier cultural institutions – the Town proceeds to celebrate and glorify a destructive, dangerous and obnoxious ethos.”

4. Wild Kingdom


Laura Fraser profiles scientists working to track the Greenland shark:

Roughly half the size of a school bus, it’s built to live in the coldest depths of the ocean. Its flesh can actually be toxic to humans, because of the high urea content — the chemical in urine — that keeps the fish from freezing.

With advances in underwater and satellite tracking technology, scientists are beginning to get some long-term data about the shark’s feeding patterns and how it travels, researcher Nigel Hussey says.

The scientist with Nova Scotia’s Ocean Tracking Network and the University of Windsor has helped tag upwards of 100 sharks in the Arctic.


1. World Peace Pavilion

Peace Pavillion

John Last explores the World Peace Pavilion on the Dartmouth waterfront and speaks with Rachel Farahbakhsh, who conceived of the monument in 1989 and created the idealistic Metro Youth for Global Unity to see the monument to fruition. However, writes Last, fundraising efforts languished until the effort was taken up by triumphant capitalism:

Then came the G7.

In 1994, the “Group of 7” leading industrial economies settled on Halifax as their next host city.


The collapse of the Soviet Union had spread a sense of hope grounded in the view that “American capitalism won the Cold War,” according to Melvin Cross, an economist at Dalhousie University.

Official communiqués from the conference talk of bringing “democracy, market economy, stability, peace and prosperity” to the Eastern Bloc.

“There was optimism that… market economies would replace communism,” says Cross…

The Halifax Summit’s communiqués show the G7 nations belief that deregulation meant global prosperity, and global prosperity meant global peace. West and East could be brought together, if not by Bahá’u’lláh’s “oneness of humanity,” then by the oneness of capital.

Last’s article is behind the Examiner’s paywall and so available only to paid subscribers. To purchase a subscription, click here.

Stephen Archibald wrote about the Peace Pavilion last year.

2. Peggy’s Cove


Someone had to say it, and Paul Schneidereit rises to the occasion:

If simple measures that don’t impair the natural beauty or cost a fortune can be taken to make a visit to Peggys Cove safer, why wouldn’t we enact them? Because of Darwinism? Really? C’mon, we’re better than that.

3. Stan Carew

Costas Halavrezos remembers his colleague and friend Stan Carew.

4. Mother Canada™

Mother Canada™
Mother Canada™

Historian Jill Campbell-Miller turns her attention to the Mother Canada™ proposal:

[A]s a historian, I find the controversy fascinating, albeit in a somewhat depressing way. The issues it provokes encompass many of those found in contemporary Canadian historiography, including the relationship between gender, memory and war, the historical conflict between the conservation movement and rural land owners and users, and the tensions inherent in the role of parks themselves, caught as they are between paradoxical roles of providing cultural attractions while also being stewards of the environment.


Yet while the “mother” figure has a long lineage in Canadian culture, and the grand size of the monument no doubt reflects a desire to parallel the popular and majestic Vimy Ridge memorial, it also reflects historical symbolism of another kind. As Emanuel Jannasch of the Dalhousie School of Architecture pointed out in a recent letter to the Chronicle Herald, huge “mother” war monuments were built all over Soviet Eastern Europe as tributes to the soldiers who fought against the fascist Axis powers in WWII. The reason for this no doubt unintentional parallel lay in the widely-held use of the female figure as symbolic of virtue in the context of war throughout Europe and North America. The use of the female body — as the innocent, virginal girl “raped” by the enemy, or the stalwart, enduring mother, bravely mourning the loss of her son – are symbols from an era that worshipped a fictional and tightly proscribed femininity, while simultaneously oppressing real women. While we may admire the beauty of monuments from this period, we should not necessarily replicate them in the twenty-first century.

‘An insult to every Egyptian’ … the recent grotesque bust of Nefertiti, left, and the great ancient version in Berlin’s Neues Museum Photograph: Getty Images
‘An insult to every Egyptian’ … the recent grotesque bust of Nefertiti, left, and the great ancient version in Berlin’s Neues Museum Photograph: Getty Images

With Mother Canada™ clearly in mind, reader Ingrid Jenkner points me to “The case of the Frankenstein Nefertiti: it’s time to revolt against ugly public art,” by the Guardian’s art critic, Jonathan Jones:

Ugly sculpture is a global phenomenon. From a daft statue of Peter Falk in Budapest to the colossally kitsch couple at St Pancras Station in London, clumsily executed excuses for figurative art are insulting public spaces. And we put up with it. A few aesthetes may gripe, and online galleries have a laugh at all the unsightly art appearing everywhere, but most people passively accept the right of ignorant art-commissioning bodies and arrogant artists to impose their awful taste on the rest of us. 

Not so in Egypt. Perhaps emboldened by their recent history of demonstrations and political change, Egyptians have protested against a ridiculous sculpture and got it removed. The “artwork” in question was supposed to be a replica of the great ancient Egyptian bust of Nefertiti that resides in Berlin’s Neues Museum. It was commissioned to stand at the entrance to the city of Samalut, three hours south of Cairo.

Nefertiti’s famous head, with her high hat, was replicated on a colossal scale. Or rather, it was not replicated. Her face, instead of being reddish, was greenish yellow. And instead of beautiful, it was elongated and strangely marked, with closed eyes. In fact, it bore little resemblance to the iconic image of Nefertiti’s beauty. 

Egyptian bloggers and Twitter users soon called it “Frankenstein” and denounced it as “an insult to Nefertiti and to every Egyptian”.

So far so typical – public art often gets derided. But then something unusual happened: the people were listened to. Samalut authorities have responded by removing the hideous Nefertiti, and say they will put up a peace dove instead.


Egypt has shown the way forward. Workers of the world, rise up against bad statues. Topple these ugly excuses for public art. You have nothing to lose but your aesthetic pain.

And reader Barb Darby points us to the Never Forgotten National Memorial Foundation’s trademark registration for Mother Canada™, which gives the organization exclusive rights to the use of the words “Mother Canada” on the following goods:

(1) Clothing namely, casual clothing, T-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, jackets, polo shirts, golf shirts, dress shirts, neckties, tank tops, underwear, vests, sweaters, gloves, mittens, scarves, baby clothing, baby bibs; Hats; baseball caps; toques; visors; baby caps; headgear, namely, sports headgear, sports helmets, bandanas, balaclavas, headbands; Accessories, namely, sunglasses, hair accessories, socks, belts, belt buckles, suspenders, tie clips, money clips, purses; knapsacks; overnight bags; school bags; backpacks; recyclable shopping bags and totes; beach bags; beach towels; camera bags; carry-all bags; computer bags; handbags; laundry bags; messenger bags; fanny packs; diaper bags; shoulder bags; sport bags; briefcases; wallets; umbrellas; luggage tags; Drinkware and tableware; mugs, drinking glasses, decorative glasses, shot glasses, water bottles; travel mugs and tumblers; sport bottles; decorative plates, bowls and spoons; Food and beverage storage containers; Candy and confectionery, namely, almond confectionery, chocolate confectionery, frozen confectionery, fruit-based confectionery, peanut confectionery, sugar confectionery; Jewellery; jewellery boxes; Printed matter namely, books, children’s books, educational books, souvenir books, book marks, blank diaries, blank journals, brochures, periodicals, newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, posters, adhesive stickers, bumper stickers, promotional decals, calendars, postcards, greeting cards, flags, banners, commemorative collector stamps (excluding postage stamps); Stationery, namely, pens, pencils, highlighters, pencil cases, rubber erasers, markers, crayons, rubber stamps, paper weights, binders, clipboards, letter openers, paper clips, staplers, rulers, scissors, note books, note pads, adhesive note pads, memo pads; Toys, namely, plush toys, stuffed animals, squeezable squeaking toys, bath toys, puzzles; flying discs; Toy spinners; key chains; key holders; novelty buttons; coins; commemorative plates; license plate holders; crests; figurines; frames for photographs and pictures; fridge magnets; ashtrays; vehicle windshield sunshades; flashlights; golf balls; pill cases; silicon and silkscreen bracelets; Pre-recorded audio and visual compact discs and DVDs containing historical records, maps, music, video clips, photographs all related to a memorial park; downloadable pre-recorded video clips featuring information related to a memorial park; Mouse pads; binoculars; cameras; travel clocks; Military clothing, military uniforms, belts, belt buckles, cuff-links; Military action toy figures, model airplanes, toy model vehicles and related accessories, radio-controlled model vehicles, toy pistols; Military patches for clothing, military medal ribbons, military badges, medals, medallions, lapel pins; Military dog tags, drinking flasks, canteens, pocket knives, lighters; Military themed games, namely, action skill games, arcade games, board games, card games, computer games, party games, role-playing games, video games; military commemorative collector stamps (excluding postage stamps); military-themed coins; military flags. 

While the Never Forgotten National Memorial Foundation has cornered the market on Mother Canada™ money clips and Mother Canada™ pistols, as I read this, anyone else will be perfectly within their rights to produce Mother Canada dildos and Mother Canada bongs.

Oh, and be sure to check out Bruce MacKinnon’s cartoon today.

5. Boonamoogwaddy

Halifax councillor Waye Mason has decided to take on the Dartmouth separatists:

Several unrelated things have led a lot of Dartmouthians to wrongly believe that the municipal government is trying to officially erase the name Dartmouth.

It isn’t true, and anyone who tells you that this is the plan has not done the research or has some other agenda.

Other agenda? Hmmm… (nobody look at Gloria McCluskey).

Mason goes on to give a detailed question-and-answer, but like their Quebec separatist brethren, the Dartmouth separatists will not be silenced.

Maybe we need a Clarity Act.

6. Car culture

“Halifax has many groups working on sustainable transportation,” notes Sean Gillis. “Its More than Buses, Halifax Cycling Coalition, Ecology Action Centre, These groups do lots of good work, but make minimal progress. This trend will continue unless we try to tackle the biggest issue: too much money, road space and hidden subsidies going to cars. There is no easy, safe or popular way to tackle this issue. Support for the status quo is enormous: most people don’t consider transportation issues deeply. Make no mistake – politicians and staff are not the people really holding up smarter transportation choices: it’s the public. Every day the residents of Halifax and Nova Scotia give their tacit approval to our transportation system by the choices they make. Major changes are simply impossible until we convince many more people to think differently about transportation.”



Regional Watersheds Advisory Board CANCELLED (5pm, Helen Creighton Room, Alderney Library)—the board will discuss water quality in Bedford West.


No public meetings.


I’ve updated the listings of Radical Publications in the Maritimes, and will further update the page as I receive more information. We’re up to 11 different publications now.

In the harbour

The seas around Nova Scotia, 8:30am Wednesday. Map:
The seas around Nova Scotia, 8:30am Wednesday. Map:

ZIM Luanda, container ship, arrived at Pier 42 this morning, sails to sea this afternoon
Tosca, car carrier, arrived at Autopost this morning
Stadt Cadiz, container ship, Rotterdam to Bedford Basin anchorage, then sails to sea
Sina, cargo, Havana to HalTerm
Helene J, container ship, Lisbon to Pier 41
ZIM San Francisco, container ship, New York to Pier 41

Dalian Express sails to New York
Kentucky Highway sails to sea


I’ll be on The Sheldon McLeod Show, News 95.7, at 4pm.

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.
  1. The Peace Pavilion was opened by the G7 Foreign Ministers a day or so after the meeting started.
    I met Rachel Farahbakhsh in the 1991 municipal election when I was a candidate in downtown Dartmouth. At the time she had a small collection of rocks in her home opposite the King Street fire station. After the election I was asked to be the councillor on an ad hoc committee to explore the idea of the monument. At the time the few young people promoting the monument envisaged a soaring narrow spire with a light at the top shining out to the Atlantic Ocean past Chebucto Head. ( It would not have been approved by Transport Canada as it could have been mistaken for the light on Synotts Hill.)
    Naturally the idea was treated with amusement by staff and council but placating voters and feigning interest is essential to an enduring political life.
    Mayor Savage was set to depart for the Liberal leadership and was not about to alienate any potential voter and off he went in early 1992 after a city budget laden with cuts to social services.
    The proposal went nowhere, overtaken by budget cuts and arguments over funding of essential services.
    In an effort to look as though council really cared about the issue the monument was added to a long list of capital projects in the expectation that it would never make it anywhere near the top. It was added to a list of infrastructure projects for the federal infrastructure programme – at the bottom of 100 projects. And that was supposed to be the end of the issue.
    And then Halifax was announced as the location of the G7 meeting and some time later we, council, were informed that an event featuring the G7 foreign ministers was planned for Dartmouth and what could we do. The peace monument project quickly rose from oblivion to the top ranks of the Infrastructure Programme and the project moved ahead funded by the 3 levels of government.
    I kept my confidential ‘In Camera’ list of projects for many years and eventually threw it out.
    Few people have noticed how the collection of rocks/bricks has changed over the years. At opening the collection included a piece from Lidice and disappeared several years ago without any explanation.

  2. This business of allowing/encouraging more office/retail space in Burnside is a pending disaster. One could imagine Halifax penninsula in 20 years time. Many office towers empty (tenants moved to Burnside) and as a result, converted to condos – so lots of people will live downtown but shop in Burnside. Sort of the reverse from living in the suburbs and working downtown. I thought we were going to encourage more density downtown, including office/retail which will include the city’s tax base, keep lots of people closer to shopping etc so they don’t have to drive/use carbon fuels as much. Of course every business wants to move to Burnside where the tax base is lower and land is cheaper. Talk about hollowing out the downtown core!! Next thing we know the municipal government will move their offices to Burnside or Bayers Lake or Dartmouth Crossing – all in the name of cheaper land/lower taxes, less money to provide services. Am I crazy, or developers running government?

  3. Does the redneck competition include an event where women wearing no bottoms haul a sledge with their groin? Am I properly seeing the top-right portion of that image? I am fascinated.

  4. Councillor Mason’s detailed analysis did not address certain questions. (1) A financial report on re-branding was supposed to have been presented to Council by staff (Mayor’s memo on HRM branding, April 15, 2014 page 2) but none was. (2) The purpose was supposed to be about attracting immigration, tourism and investment (CAO’s words). No mention about these items or what HRM is doing about it. And (3) 64% of those surveyed in the CRA Branding Study (page 47) did not feel the name Halifax Regional Municipality needed to be changed. No comments about that either… so the petition, which is about restoring the name Dartmouth, remains active and available on the We Love Dartmouth Facebook group.

  5. How many times does the Great Unwashed have to be end-run, boonswoggled, and just plain LIED TO before they WAKE UP.

    The «wonderful» Rails to Trails movement, under the purely propagandist agenda of providing «improved recreation opportunities» saw our precious rail right-of-ways slimily slithered off the map in a way that guarantees the «non-viability» of Commuter Rail since there is no longer any economically-justifiable way to run rail lines. We HAD the resource, but we allowed the OIL, RUBBER TIRE, and «AUTO» world-corp conglomerates to make it disappear — FOREVER!

    CN and VIA RAIL did their best to destroy the one remaining Commuter Rail opportunity (Windsor Junction to Downtown ) but the ROW is STILL there. We need only TAKE IT BACK from the now American-owned (!!!) Canadian [sic.! ] National [sic.!] who stole it from us in an attempt to kill off Halifax as a viable PORT, while also getting rid of the spectre of fast, efficient Public Transit!