1. Marine Protected Area

The St. Anns Bank Marine Protected Area. Map: DFO

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans yesterday officially designated the St. Anns Bank Marine Protected Area:

Located east of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, this Marine Protected Area helps conserve and protect many ecologically and biologically significant features, including important habitats, areas of high biodiversity and biological productivity, and endangered and threatened marine species, including the leatherback turtle. Four management zones have been established within the boundaries of the Marine Protected Area, balancing protection with economic sustainability for the area. The Core Protection Zone represents 75% of the total size of the St. Anns Bank Marine Protected Area, offering the most stringent protection to the areas that need it most. Most human activities, such as commercial fishing, are prohibited within this zone.

“Seventy-five per cent of the area, known as Zone 1, will be off limits to commercial fishing. Research and science-related activity will still be permitted in that zone, as will Aboriginal fishing,” reports Elizabeth McMillan for the CBC:

The boundaries unveiled Thursday allow for more lobster and halibut fishing compared to the initial plan released in December, said Maxine Westhead, who heads DFO’s protected areas and conservation planning group.

It will be allowed in Zone 2, which now encompass 720 square kilometres or 16.5 per cent of the total area. 

“That was expanded a little bit to allow for more fishing area,” she said. 


The Cape Breton Fish Harvesters Association had argued inshore fisheries — such as halibut, lobster and crab — use non-destructive gear, and should be allowed everywhere.

2. Young Avenue

The Black-Cleveland Mansion that was demolished last year. Photo: Barry Copp

Young Avenue has been placed on the National Trust of Canada’s list of “Top 10 Endangered Places“:

The Brookfield Stanbury House, the Cleveland Estate, and the Fram House are three examples of notable dwellings that have been demolished to make room for new developments on Young Avenue. Many residences on the avenue are currently for sale — their future uncertain — and only four currently have some level of heritage designation. Last year, members of the “Save Young Avenue” group rallied together to designate the buildings that were slated for demolition; however, they were demolished while the application was being considered.

Future development plans for the avenue include the demolition [of] more notable historic dwellings, the subdivision of lots, and new construction that threatens the character and cohesiveness of the street. Although there are plans to pursue designation for the street as a Heritage Conservation District, Halifax Council staff are recommending amendments to the Land Use Bylaws in the interim in order to avoid losing more of the avenue’s heritage value.

3. Windmill Road

This morning, the city issued a tender offer for “Transit Priority Lane & New Asphalt Active Transportation Greenway — Windmill Rd (Seapoint to Victoria).” Unfortunately, the tender isn’t publicly available — every now and then, the city charges $100 to access a tender, I think because it includes engineering software — so I can’t tell you exactly what this is all about.

However, the city’s 2014-19 Active Transportation Plan makes vague reference to a “candidate route” for a bicycle lane on Windmill Road, while the 2015/16 Active Transportation Capital Budget calls for the allocation of $5 million annually for, among other projects, “the construction of an AT Greenway in lieu of the sidewalk … being explored for Mount Hope Avenue (2016), Cobequid Road, and Windmill Road.”

The Integrated Mobility Plan that was adopted in April includes this graphic:

The cost of the Windmill project from Seapoint to Bancroft Streets is pegged at $100,000.

I wrote about how horrible it was to walk to Burnside earlier this year:

There’s no sidewalk on the west side of the road, and for a while, just north of the railroad crossing, there’s no sidewalk on either side of the road. I’m still somewhat agile, but the rutted and garbage-strewn foot paths along the road were far beyond what I would call comfortable. I can’t imagine making the trek in winter.

There appears to be room for an Active Transportation Trail on the west side of Windmill Road, so I guess that’s what we’re about to get. This is a good thing.

4. Stabbing

A police email to reporters this morning:

At 11:35 pm Halifax Regional Police responded to the 2100 block of Barrington Street for a male who had been stabbed. Upon arrival members located a 21 year old male suffering from stab wounds to the upper body. The male was taken to the QE2 with serious injuries and is presently undergoing treatment. The suspect fled the area on foot and Members of the Integrated General Investigation Section are continuing the investigation and trying to locate the suspect.

The release doesn’t give any more details, but the 2100 block of Barrington Street includes the Turning Point shelter.

5. Like a cruise ship, but at a school

Not exactly the Hammonds Plains Consolidated School, but close. Photo: Halifax Examiner

“Hammonds Plains Consolidated School has postponed a Family BBQ planned for Thursday after a large number of people developed cases of a gastrointestinal illness,” reports Alexander Quon for Global:

According to a letter from the Nova Scotia Health Authority, sent home with parents of children at the school, students have reported symptoms including fever, diarrhea, loose or watery stool, vomiting, stomach cramps, and upset stomach.


Global News has heard reports that the number of students could be as high as 100.


1. Black Madonna

The Virgin of Montserrat (Wikimedia Commons)

Having experienced the tragic deaths of two family members, Evelyn C. White found herself in Barcelona, where she discovered La Moreneta, the Black Madonna and Child:

Dumbstruck before the Black Madonna, I experienced anew the aching loss of my father and Lupe. At the same time, I was struck by the serenity that exuded from the statue and felt a peaceful calm wash over me.

White’s essays are finely crafted whole pieces, so it’s difficult to excerpt them without losing the entire point. Read this one yourself at America Magazine: the Jesuit Review.


No public meetings.

On campus


Metal-Organic Frameworks (1:30pm, Chemistry Room 226) — Michael Katz, from Memorial University, will speak on “From Synthesis to Applications, Our Voyages Through the Pores of Metal-Organic Frameworks.”

Marine Oil Spill Management (3:15pm, MA 310) — Paul Li will speak on “An Integrated Decision Support System for Marine Oil Spill Management under Uncertain Conditions.”

The Icarus Report

• a Cessna pilot reported a drone flying at 4,500 feet 45 miles north of Stanfield International

The autopilot (left) had to be disengaged.

• on May 5, Jazz Air flight 8861 from Gander to Halifax declared an emergency soon after takeoff:

Approximately 20 minutes after levelling off in cruise, the flight crew received multiple landing gear, flaps, hydraulic system, and brakes EICAS messages, including a FLAPS DEGRADED message. Additionally, the aircraft’s altitude began to deviate up and down, speed cues became unreliable on number 1 and 2 Primary Flight Displays (PFD), and the flaps position indication was fluctuating between 0 and 30 degrees. The flight crew disengaged the autopilot and the altitude deviations ceased. A lower altitude was requested and the aircraft descended. The flight crew decided to divert to Sydney/J.A. Douglas McCurdy, NS (CYQY) and declared an emergency. The flight landed at CYQY in VMC conditions without further incident. The operator’s maintenance replaced a faulty flap position transmitter and carried out applicable operational checks.

• on June 1, Thomson Air flight 173 from Cancun to Manchester, England was diverted to Halifax “to obtain potable water” because you certainly don’t want to drink that Mexican water.

I once took a flight from Frankfurt, Germany back to Halifax, but it was delayed something like six hours because on the previous flight the plane had been carrying Brazilian water and the German government required that the entire water system be disinfected.

That was just the beginning of a flight from hell (yes, all my flights are from hell, but some are more hellish than others). The Frankfurt airport has, or at least had, an odd system such that once you got past security there were no restaurants or bars. No one could say when our plane would be able to take off, so going back to the main concourse was risky — the half-hour or so going through security again might mean missing the flight. So, I basically starved, without the comfort of intoxication.

Once we were allowed to board the plane, I had to walk out onto the tarmac and climb up the Bluth stairs to the plane. There, just to the right of the door was a “fun” logo painted on the place — of Snoopy, the Red Baron, atop his doghouse. “Are these Germans insane?” I wondered: Who the hell puts a logo of a dogfight — a pretend dogfight, but a dogfight nonetheless — on the side of a passenger plane??? That’s your fun corporate logo? — hahaha, we’re associating ourselves with planes getting shot down! How fun!

I sat next to some, well, yeah, German guy. I couldn’t speak a word of German, and he couldn’t speak a word of English, but he seemed nice enough. He had the window seat of course, because why would anyone want to stare down through 50,000 feet of nothingness to the hard ground below?

A bit after takeoff, I noticed my new German pal getting restless and squirming around a bit, motions that increased as the flight proceeded. Through a combination of pantomime, universal curse words, and my own observation, I saw what the problem was: there, on the wall of the plane just below the window was an electric heater, like something my dad had out in the garage circa 1965, and the thing was blasting like nobody’s business. My German pal summoned the flight attendant, who came out and said something like “yep, that’s a heater alright, but what are you going to do? We can’t freeze the other passengers to death just because you’re a little warm,” except it was all in German so it was just one really long word with a lot of guttural sounds.

As my German pal was sweating and stripping down to his German skivvies, a drip fell from the little panel that holds the reading light and the flight attendant-summoning button above my head. That single drip evolved into a regular pattern of drips, and then into a steady stream of water falling onto my head. So, I pressed the flight attendant-summoning button, somewhat amazed that I wasn’t electrocuted to death, and she arrived. I merely had to point at the piss-stream of water falling on my head for her to understand the problem. She opened up the overhead compartment and gasped the German equivalent of “Holy Shit!” Collecting herself, she explained to me “condensation!,” which I guess is the same word in English and German; she ran back to the galley and came back with a bucket, bailing out the three inches of water that had collected in the overhead compartment and attempted to towel off my now-soaking head and the rest of the general area.

There was no relief, but we handled it the best we could. I was sopping wet and my German pal was nearly nude, but we ordered schnitzel and beer and otherwise whiled away the time until the plane landed in Halifax. For the rest of the flight I was wondering if I was supposed to be grateful I wasn’t being soaked with Brazilian water.

In the harbour

5am: Berlin Bridge, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Fos Sur Mer, France
5am: Glovis Conductor, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from Southampton, England

Atlantic Conveyor. Photo: Halifax Examiner

6:15am: Atlantic Conveyor, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Liverpool, England
9am: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, moves from Pier 9 to Pier 36

Fritz Reuter. Photo: Halifax Examiner

11am: Fritz Reuter, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Lisbon, Portugal
3:30pm: Palena, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Colombo, Sri Lanka
3:30pm: Berlin Bridge, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for New York
4:30pm: Atlantic Conveyor, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for New York
6pm: Fritz Reuter, container ship, sails from Pier 42 for Mariel, Cuba
8pm: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, sails from Pier 41 for St. John’s
8:30pm: Glovis Conductor, car carrier, sails from Autoport for sea


Examineradio will be published later today.

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

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  1. Just wanted to submit my electronic vote ( I assure you that I am not being coerced in any way) for you to compile your airplane anecdotes into a book. They are truly hysterical.

  2. Probably not an original thought, but naming your airline Jazz Air is apt if you have to improvise as often as this one seems to.

  3. Some of the self-congratulation among those responsible for St. Ann’s Bank Marine Protected Area should be muted. Why ban relatively passive fixed-gear technology from areas where marine life mostly requires protection from deep-water trawlers and acoustic exploration for oil-and-gas? Veronica Brzeski, exec director of the Cape Breton Fish Harvesters Association, says designation of the Ste Ann’s MPA was undertaken with little or no consultation with the inshore fishermen/women who are on the water from day-to-day and whose livelihoods depend on their knowledge of the conditions of marine life. From that point of view, designation of an MPA looks like an easier (for the government) alternative to difficult distinctions between more and less damaging technology i.e.between Big and Little Money.

  4. Nova Scotia is sadly very far behind in Active Transportation Greenways, in both rural and urban areas. . The story of how that happened is one of appalling failure on the part of elected politicians and DNR and Health Promotion bureaucrats.