Peter Duffy, in more relaxed circumstances. Photo: Bev Keddy,
Peter Duffy, in more relaxed circumstances. Photo: Bev Keddy,


1. Thiel suit over Nova Centre continues

Yesterday, the Examiner published the court documents filed by the Thiel family. The Thiels are asking a judge to rule that by granting the exemptions to allow construction of the Nova Centre, the province violated both the provincial Municipal Government Act and the HRM Charter. You can find the court documents here. That article is behind the Examiner pay wall and so available only to paid subscribers; click here to purchase a subscription.

The Thiels own the bank towers downtown—the BMO and RBC buildings and, most relevant, the TD Centre, which is currently undergoing renovations and expansion. The Thiels argue that by exempting Joe Ramia’s Nova Centre development from city building and planning regulations, the province has unfairly allowed Ramia to try to poach their TD Centre tenants. See, several leases at the TD Centre expire at the end of 2015, and the exemptions given to Ramia allow him to speed up construction and to open Nova Centre by January of 2016. The Thiels say Ramia is telling their tenants they can move up the hill when their leases expire.

Yesterday afternoon, Justice Jamie Campbell dismissed a provincial motion to toss the Thiels’ suit, and scheduled a November 27 hearing for the suit itself.

The Thiels’ lawyer, Victor Goldberg, made an important observation at yesterday’s hearing: “Cannibalization shouldn’t be confused with economic growth.” The point being that even if Ramia is able to fill his shiny new 15-storey office building by poaching tenants from other buildings downtown, that’s not a net plus for downtown.

2. Catie Miller’s cell phone found

We learn more about Miller’s disappearance in this short CTV news clip than we’ve learned in all the previous three weeks combined. For some unfathomable reason, the public still hasn’t been given Miller’s exact home address, for example. Why not? We get vague statements, incomplete information, and no concrete details. It’s beyond time to get specific: potentially, a woman’s life is at stake.

3. Abortion protestors

A group of anti-abortion protestors from Ontario have been picketing around town the last couple of days, showing pictures of what they say are aborted fetuses, in an apparent attempt to entice people into a life of sexist attitudes, oppression of women, self-denial, closeted homoeroticism, sanctimoniousness, and the other attributes of fundamentalism. Yesterday, they showed up on South Park Street, but were met with counter-protestors carrying signs about love and respect.

4. North Park Street bones belonged to a pig

Those bones discovered behind Zibi’s Auto Supply weren’t those of a child, but of a pig. So much for Butterbox Baby north. That’s a good thing.

5. Where “unacceptable” means “acceptable”

Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine told the CBC that the ongoing noxious odours from the Northern Pulp Mill are “unacceptable,” except he’ll entirely accept the situation until next year, at least, then who knows?

Northern Pulp Mill. Photo: Halifax Examiner
Northern Pulp Mill. Photo: Halifax Examiner Credit: Halifax Examiner

5. Crazy cat lady convention

The Just For Cats film festival will be held at Citadel Hill Saturday, with proceeds going to the SPCA and Spay Day HRM.


1. Peter Duffy’s ghost

Slim pickings this morning in the opinion file. I’ve perused all my bookmarks, checked out the HalifaxBloggers collection, wondered if Parker Donham or Bill Black had something interesting or ridiculous to say, looked through the letters to the editor at the Chronicle Herald, and still nothing worth posting. Peter Ziobrowski, who supplies us harbour information, complains that even the ships are boring today. It’s official: the commentariat has taken the day off.

So I’m forced to leave you with this blast from the past, former Chronicle Herald columnist Peter Duffy’s encounter with a sodomizing ghost (scroll down).



Regional Watersheds Advisory Board (5pm, Helen Creighton Room, Alderney Library)—It’s technical stuff, but important: ever so slowly, the city is heading towards developing a municipality-wide grading ordinance that will provide some protection to waterways.


No public meetings.

On this date in 1955, 40,000 people showed up for the official opening of the Canso Causeway. Fifty-nine years later, skunks are appreciative.

On Campus


Thesis Defence, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (9:30am, Room 14-B2, Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building)—Masters student Nigel Chapman will defend his thesis, “Probing GPCR Activation:  Functional Analysis of the N-Terminus and Extracellular Loops of the Apelin Receptor.” Yep, that.

Daily Plug

The internet is full of smart people doing interesting things. One of them is Drew Gibson, who publishes Virtually Suppressed.

In the harbour

(click on vessel names for pictures and more information about the ships)


Charles Dickens, container ship, New York to Pier 42
Geco Diamond, seismic survey vessel, BP Exploration to Pier 31
Barkald, geared bulker, Baltimore to National Gypsum


Charles Dickens to Kingston, Jamaica

Of note

It’s interesting to explore the live map of ships, toggling around the world to look at various ports. This morning I moved the map over to Yarmouth, and caught this glimpse of the fishing boats working around Seal Island, with the Nova Star coming in from the west:

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 5.36.47 AM


The Kings Arms Pub in Kentville closed last month, but the space has been taken over by Lew Murphy’s Grill and Bar, formerly of Colbrook. The new space is renamed the Kings Arms Pub by Lew Murphy’s, and will reopen tomorrow.

The city is tendering for painters to do bylaw “remedy” scraping and painting repairs to two houses on the peninsulas—2582 Maynard Street and 6314 Willow Street—and a three-storey apartment building in Fairview, at 8 Vimy Avenue. Some property owners would rather let the city take care of exteriors repair than deal with it themselves; in such cases a lien is put on the property to cover expenses.

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

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  1. That 2 part story by Peter Duffy about consulting with a psychic, prof, and priest after being raped by a ghost in a Halifax hotel was fun to read.

    Duffy says a lot of toxic stuff in the interview with BevBoy. I wish BevBoy had asked him about the ghost.

    “I went to the Prestons once, after being chastized for something I’d written about the Black community. I went to the Black community, and I spent time there, the whole day there, knocking on doors, going to the church, and asking, “Why, as a white person, am I afraid of you? Because I am.””


    “I wrote a column about a year ago asking, “What do Native people want? They’ve got the sun and the moon, and they want the stars as well.” The roof fell in. Even my own boss came in and scorched me on that one. I got some very, very abrasive feedback from the Native community. So, I invited myself to the community. I said, “Listen. Don’t tell me over the phone. Don’t tell me in an e-mail. I want to come and meet you, sit down in your kitchen over a cup of tea. You tell me this face-to-face. Let’s just talk about this. Let’s just find out where I’ve gone wrong here”.


    “We’re in a democracy here where majority rules, and yet not always. Minorities set the tone, set the pace. And, I thought that was appalling. I”m not saying I thought that minorities were wrong, but I was appalled more at the reaction of the majority to just back off, cave in, and say, “Oh, God. You’re right. We’re wrong. We’re bad.” And, I’ll be damned if I’ll apologize for my birthright, of who I am and who I was born.”

    Maybe he was assaulted by the ghost of the old Herald building.