1. Outpatient centre

Left to right: (front row) Lena Diab, MLA Halifax Armdale: Paula Bond, VP, NS Health Authority; (back row) David Bell, urology specialist; Premier Stephen McNeil. Photo: Jennifer Henderson

Someone — I think the CBC — had put in a freedom of information request for the ranking list(s) provided by the Department of Transportation regarding the site selection for a new outpatient health clinic, and those records became publicly available this morning.

There are likely many other documents related to the outpatient centre site selection, but they’re exempted from the Freedom of Information Act because they involve advice to ministers and the Executive Council. (Yes, those exemptions contravene the spirit of “freedom of information,” but that’s a fight for another day.) So while the Department of Transportation was consulted, TIR’s advice may not be the determining factor, or even a determining factor, in the decision to place the outpatient centre in Bayers Lake.

Still, the documents give some insight into the thought process of government officials. You can see the documents here.

TIR was tasked with assessing 20 locations in just four potential areas: near the intersection of Highways 101 and 102, West Bedford, near the intersections of Highways 102 and 103, and down Prospect Road, as follows:

Due to site-specific limitations — some of the sites have existing development agreements in place, a couple were in protected watersheds, some were too small, and two city-owned properties were deemed problematic because the Bayers Lake mystery walls would raise issues of historic preservation — those 20 potential sites were whittled down to seven. Here’s TIR’s assessment of those seven:

(click to enlarge)

It’s not hard to argue that the Prospect Road sites already have “plenty of congestion” and should therefore be rejected (but how do the Bayers Park sites not have plenty of congestion?).

There might be perfectly reasonable reasons for reject the 101/102 sites for logistical reasons related to the close proximity of the Cobequid Hospital, but TIR wasn’t tasked with assessing those; rather, it rejected them because there was no access off the highways.

The West Bedford site was rejected because it is “isolated from commercial/ retail services.” The entire area is exploding with development, and Halifax council is rezoning land in West Bedford on an almost monthly basis, so who knows what will eventually get built… we’ll have to take TIR at their word, I guess.

But what’s interesting to me is how the sites within and near Bayers Lake were compared to each other.

The former Rona Store was rejected because it would have to be demolished. I’m not sure that’s a convincing argument — the cost of constructing the new outpatient centre will be in the tens of millions of dollars, while the costs of demolition will be a tiny fraction of that — but even if it is, what does that have to do with a transportation analysis?

A city-owned parcel behind Lovett Lake was rejected because “while retail is in close proximity, the closest pharmacy is not within walking distance.” This is rich. Nothing in Bayers Lake, including the Banc property that was ultimately selected, is within practical walking distance of a pharmacy or anything else, and certainly not by sick people.

Then there’s a little pea shuffling done in the comparison between a city-owned site by the Canada Games Centre and the Banc site. The Canada Games site was deemed problematic because:

To avoid conjestion (sic) with High School/ Library, the preferred access would be via a newly constructed Regency Park Dr. extension however currently no bus routes on Washmill.

Meanwhile, for the Banc site:

Existing lands would require significant development of municipal services, etc.

This makes no sense.

The Canada Game site would require the extension of Regency Park Drive — for cars. Extending the road to Washmill Lake Court has been planned since at least 2009, and was the basis for the decision to build the Washmill Underpass. Last time I was out there, the extension was actually being constructed, and I presume it’s finished or nearly finished already. At the same time, unspecified “significant development of municipal services” would be required at the Banc site, but somehow Banc wins out.

More to the point, whoever wrote the TIR report was purposefully conflating car access with bus access: “the preferred access [for the Canada Games site] would be via a newly constructed Regency Park Dr. extension however currently no bus routes on Washmill.” See what they did there? Of course, no buses would have to be routed on Washmill/Regency because there’s already a gigantic bus terminal right next to the site.

Accessing an outpatient centre near the Canada Games Centre wouldn’t require the addition of any new bus routes, and existing bus routes would not cause “conjestion (sic) with High School/ Library” because the buses come in from Lacewood via a dedicated bus lane entirely independent from the Regency Park/ Lacewood or Thomas Randall/ Lacewood intersections by the high school and library.

The report notes that the Canada Games site is accessed by bus routes #s 2, 4, 17, 18, 21, 31, 33, 34, 42, and 52, and indeed, transit service to Clayton Park generally and the Canada Games Centre specifically has improved dramatically since the opening of the transit terminal.

Meanwhile, the report says the Banc site is supposedly serviced by the 21 and 52. But saying the Banc site is served by bus routes is true only in the most technical sense; anyone who actually rides the bus knows this is not a meaningful statement.

I can’t say for sure. It’s possible that the TIR report writer really has no clue about transit services. But it sure looks to me like the writer was given marching orders to justify the Banc site.

2. Examineradio, episode #115

Hilary Beaumont

Already a borderline epidemic on the west coast, Fentanyl, perhaps more than other opioids, is posed to become a public-health crisis in Nova Scotia, believes Vice News’s Hilary Beaumont.

Plus, there are three recounts underway in the wake of the Nova Scotia provincial election: Chester-St. Margaret’s, Waverley-Fall River-Beaverbank, and Guysborough-Eastern Shore-Tracadie.

Finally, North Dartmouth comes to grips with another murder in their community.

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(direct download)
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(Subscribe via iTunes)

3. North End Dartmouth murders

Thursday, I commented on the distressing number of murders in North End Dartmouth, so over the weekend I built the above map, showing murders in the area from 1995 to the present. I’m still fairly certain I’m missing some murders; if so, please let me know and I’ll update the map.

The murders listed are:

Brenda Way

Brenda Way — Twenty-eight-year-old Brenda Way was stabbed to death on November 12,1995 in the parking lot behind 108 Albro Lake Road. Glenn Assoun was subsequently found guilty of second degree murder, but after serving 16 years in prison his conviction is being called a probable miscarriage of justice. Way’s actual killer remains unfound.

Rachel MacQuarrie

Rachel MacQuarrie — Thirty-Two-Year-old Rachel MacQuarrie was reported missing on October 8, 1997, MacQuarrie lived at 234 Victoria Road; her apartment had been found open and is disarray. In 2002, MacQuarrie’s remains were found in the woods beside Highway 101 past Mount Uniacke. Her murder remains unsolved.

Margaret “Robin” Hartrick

Robin Hartrick — Thirty-five-year-old Robin Hartrick’s beaten and bloodied body was found in the woods behind Harbourview School on September 10, 1998. She never regained consciousness, and died eight days later. Her murder remains unsolved.

Jason MacCullough

Jason MacCullough — Nineteen-year-old Jason MacCullough’s body was found on a footpath between 100 and 104 Pinecrest Drive on August 28, 1999. He had been shot. Several suspects were named, but no one has been charged with MaCullough’s murder.

Sean Simmons — On October 3, 2000, 31-year-old Sean Simmons was shot to death at 12 Trinity Avenue, by Dean Kelsie. An informant made a deal for immunity in return for his testimony against Steven Gareau, who has been twice convicted of first degree murder for planning the murder; both convictions have been overturned, however. Kelsie is serving a 25-year sentence, but that too is on appeal.

Laura Cross

Laura Cross — Thirty-three-year-old Laura Cross was reported missing in August 2001, having last been seen on July 12, 2001. She had been living at 18 Middle Street. Her remains were discovered in Dollar Lake Park in October 2002.

William MacDonald — On July 3, 2003, 62-year-old William MacDonald was shot dead in his apartment at 51 Jackson Road. His murder remains unsolved.

Christopher Clark — On March 9, 2005, 21-year-old Christopher Clark was beaten and then shot in the head behind his Catherine Street apartment. The man charged with firing the gun, Dwight Sinclair Sparks, died of a heart attack while in prison awaiting trial. Another man, Devon Terell Wright, was convicted of taking part in the beating.

David Hannan — On December 11, 2006, 21-year-old David Hannan was found badly beaten behind Harbour View School, near the pedway that crosses Victoria Road. He died two days later. His murder remains unsolved.

Gregory Fost — On April 23, 2008, 37-year-old Gregory Fost was stabbed to death in an apartment at 275 Windmill Road. A 51-year-old man was also stabbed, but he survived. Kenneth James Humphreys pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Donald Chad Smith

Donald Chad Smith — On October 23, 2010, 27-year old Donald Chad Smith was shot while delivering a pizza to a building on Joseph Young Street. Randy Desmond Riley and Nathan Tremain Johnson have been charged with first degree murder.

Keya Simon

Keya Simon — Nineteen-year-old Keya Simon was stabbed in an apartment building at 117 Pinecrest Drive on January 8, 2011. Demarqus Shane Beals was charged with second degree murder, but that charge was stayed last month when a witness contradicted his evidence.

James Wareham — Thirty-seven-year-old James Wareham was stabbed in an apartment on Primrose Street on May 22, 2011. Jordan Tevin Dinelle Rodrigues has been charged with second degree murder.

Raymond Peters — On January 7 2013, 24-year-old Raymond Peters was shot in a backyard near the corner of Primrose Street and Pinecrest Drive.  His murder remains unsolved.

Daniel Pellerin

Daniel Pellerin — On August 19, 2014, Daniel Pellerin was stabbed in the parking lot at Farrell Hall. A 16-year-old boy pleaded guilty to second degree murder. Trevor Hannan, brother of David Hannan, has been charged in the murder as well; he goes to trial this fall.

Rickey Walker

Rickey Walker — On September 1, 2016, 48-year-old Rickey Walker called 911 to say he had been shot. Police found Walker behind the John McNeil Elementary School; he died soon after. Police released a photo of a “person of interest” in the case, but no arrests have been made.

Chelsie Probert

Chelsie Probert — on June 6, 2017, Chelsie Probert was killed on the footpath between Albro Lake Road and Farrell Street. The police investigation is ongoing.

4.Motorcyclist in critical condition; cops looking for his asshole friend

A police release from early this morning:

Two sport bikes were travelling northbound on Windmill road in the 100 block of Windmill Road in Dartmouth just before 8:00pm.  

When approaching a bend in the road one of the riders failed to negotiate the turn and collided into a fire hydrant located on the West side of the street, sheering it off at the base.

Investigation to date indicates the other rider stopped to view the wreckage, then proceeded off before police arrived.

A 27 year old Dartmouth man was transported to the QEII suffering life threatening injuries and remains there at this time.

The Forensic Identification Section and Collision Reconstruction Analysts attended the scene and continue to investigate this incident.

A small section of Windmill Road was shut down for a short period of time and has since reopened.

Investigators would be very interested in identifying or speaking with the other rider who did not remain with the seriously injured man after the collision.


1. Wade Smith

Wade Smith. Photo: Facebook

Wade Smith never gave up on the importance of education to help turn young lives — particularly young black lives — around,” writes Stephen Kimber:

In November 2016, after three young men had been murdered in Halifax in just two weeks, Smith talked publicly about the need for a mentorship program that would encourage successful adults to come into the classroom, “to show students what they do for a living, and show them what parts of their lives they can look forward to as they get older. I think mentorship is paramount to any young man’s success,” he added. “I wouldn’t be here without that.”

Bringing that mentorship idea to reality would be one way to honour Smith’s memory. A real Africentric school could be another — and even more significant.

Click here to read “Wade Smith’s unfinished legacy: ‘It’s up to us…’”

This article is behind the Examiner’s paywall and so available only to paid subscribers. Click here to purchase a subscription.




Campaign Finance Accountability & Halifax Green Network Plan (Monday, 6pm, Old School Community Gathering Place, 962 Nova Scotia Trunk 7, Musquodoboit Harbour) — more info here and here.

North West Community Council (Monday, 7pm, Bedford-Hammonds Community Centre) — a numbered company (3247003), whose president is Abdul-Karim Barghouti, a resident of Amman, Jordan — I’m not sure, but I hope he’s the same Abdul-Karim Barghouti who in 1999 was a newspaper editor arrested for allegedly slandering the Jordanian prime minister’s son — has hired KWR Approvals Inc., whose president is none other than Kevin Riles, the real estate consultant who doubles as the Pinky Skoopmore’s dude, to represent it in getting, yep, approval (it’s right there in the name!) of an eight-storey, 50-unit apartment building at 592 Bedford Highway, which is now the site of the The Wedding Venue & Cafe, where I happened to have been interviewed by Late Night with Doctor Paul (it wasn’t late at night, and he’s not a doctor) a few months ago in a snowstorm, when the delightful owner, Marie MacMullin, gave me a tour of the place with the apparent expectation that it’d be around forever, so maybe someone should tell her it’s about to be torn down, and if you think this was a difficult sentence to read, you should’ve tried writing it.

The first thing any rational person thinks when contemplating a new apartment building on the Bedford Highway is, “er, that’s nuts, it’s going to add a ton of traffic to the already tonful trafficked Bedford Highway.” But worry not! Says the staff report:

The proposed development will have two access points on the Bedford Highway, one at each end of the existing road frontage. Development Engineering has indicated they will authorize both access points and no issues with this aspect of the proposal are anticipated. A Traffic Impact Statement (TIS) was provided for this application and accepted by Development Engineering. The study determined no upgrades were required to the road network to accommodate the proposed development.

As a result of public concerns with the TIS (due to the date of data collected), engineering staff subsequently conducted further data collection and determined that the TIS sufficiently represented the existing and future local demands on the road network and confirmed that there are no concerns.

So there! We can add 100 people with their 54 cars (no, I don’t know how that works either) and their ambulance and police calls and pizza deliveries and such, and it won’t impact traffic on the highway because the studies say so. Worry not your little head.

On the other hand, at least the architectural rendering leaves the telephone pole in the fantasy:


City Council (Tuesday, 1pm, City Hall) — Bloomfield development is back. A full report tomorrow.


No public meetings.

On campus



2017 Hospital Pharmacy Residents’ Project Presentations (Monday, 8:30am, CHEB C170) — Fifteen-minute presentations, including:

“Vancomycin Prescribing and Therapeutic Monitoring in Critically Ill Patients on Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy: A Retrospective Evaluation and Prospective Multi-Modal Practice Change,” by Julia Belliveau, BSc (Pharm);

“The Knowledge and Attitudes of Hospital Pharmacy Staff in Canada Regarding Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD),” by Adrienne Gallagher, BSc (Pharm);

“Factors Associated with Antipsychotic Polypharmacy in Mental Health Unit Inpatients,” by Megan Harrison, BSc (Pharm);

“Optimizing Patient Education of Oncology Medications: A Patient Perspective,” by Tessa Lambourne, BSc (Pharm);

“Time to Fill Antiplatelet Therapy and Other Factors Affecting Readmission to the NB Heart Centre,” by Sarah Mulrooney, BSc (Pharm);

“Use of Low Molecular Weight Heparin for Thromboprophylaxis in Hospitalized Dialysis Patients,” by Samuel Parmiter, BSc (Pharm).

Research Directions in Manufacturing Systems Scheduling (Monday, 11am, MA 310) — Fantahun M. Defersha, from the University of Guelph, will speak.

Both dogs and ponies! (Monday, 1pm, Theatre A, Tupper Building) — Prior to the Senate meeting, Dal prez Richard Florizone and “members of the senior administration team” will give a presentation titled “Inspiration and Impact: Our Year in Review.” I think there’s booze after. I have a conflicting appointment across campus at 2pm, alas, so I’ll miss most of this, but I think I can make it back for the normal Senate meeting.

Senate (Monday, 3pm, Theatre A, Tupper Building) — sufficiently boozed up from the post-dog-and-pony-show reception, Senators will meet again to conduct serious business.


Thesis Defence, Electrical and Computer Engineering (Tuesday, 10am, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building) — PhD candidate Colin O’Flynn will defend his thesis, “A Framework for Embedded Hardware Security Analysis.”

Both dogs & ponies!, pt. 2 (Tuesday, 11am, Riverview Room, Jenkins Hall, Agriculture Campus, Truro) — a repeat of Monday’s performance.

In the harbour

The seas around Nova Scotia, 9:45am Monday. Map:

The Italian navy’s sailing ship Amerigo Vespucci arrived over the weekend and is docked at the Seaport Market. People get really worked up when you call them “tall ships,” so don’t do that unless you want to get people really worked up.

2:30am: YM Enlightenment, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for Bremerhaven, Germany
5:30am: NYK Terra, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Norfolk
5:30am: Splendid Ace, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from Davisville, Rhode Island
6am: Vega Omega, cargo ship, arrives at Pier 42 from San Juan, Puerto Rico
7:15am: Norwegian Gem, cruise ship, with up to 2,873 passengers, arrives at Pier 22 from New York
10:30am: CSL Tacoma, bulker, arrives at National Gypsum from Baltimore
11:30am: Splendid Ace, car carrier, sails from Autoport for sea
1pm: Morning Ninni, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from Zeebrugge, Belgium
5:45pm: Norwegian Gem, cruise ship, sails from Pier 22 for Saint John
9:30pm: Morning Ninni, car carrier, sails from Autoport for sea

5:45am: Queen Mary 2, cruise ship, with up to 2,620 passengers, arrives at Pier 22 from Southampton, England
9am: State of Maine, the training ship of the Maine Maritime Academy, sails from Pier 23 for sea
6pm: Queen Mary 2, cruise ship, sails from Pier 22 for New York


Long day today.

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

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  1. That is some crap analysis from TIR. I am actually more annoyed that politicians pushed the civil service to write a report that makes the civil service look incompetent than I would be if the politicians ignored an accurate report.

    Other than the usual business of Senate, the most notable thing is the formation of a Presidential Review Committee. Florizone is nearing the end of 4 years of his 5-year term: the committee means he is seeking another 5-year term. Not surprising but noteworthy.

  2. Re 3. North End Dartmouth Murders

    A powerful way to present the victims of violence in one geographic area. Each person was important in someone’s life – and hopefully, loved. I read the brief synopsis of each and the photos personalize them. This cumulative litany of violence and murder, together with so many unsolved cases, cry out for investigation, explanation and accountability.

  3. Boss: “The Premier wants the outpatient facility located at this spot in Bayers Lake”
    Planner: “But that is a lousy location. No services and no infrastructure. It isn’t even on a bus route!””
    Boss: “We have our orders. make it look like it is the best spot. Don’t do any real research, just make stuff up”
    planner: “OK Boss”.

  4. For those that say Bayers Lake could not have good public transit and pedestrian traffic access, one could establish a “buses only” lane within the parking areas that are removed from the the traffic congested Chain Lake Drive… and it would not cost a lot of money to do so. There is a lot of room for development additional sidewalks to connect to the existing sidewalks that are in front of almost all of the retail venues within the park. Moving the buses off of Chain Lake Drive would eliminate the need to walk up and down the steep rises from the street to the parking lot areas. Pedestrian overpasses over Chain Lake Drive could easily be constructed to make foot traffic within the park much easier when crossing the road.

    As always, it is far easier to criticize a situation than to look for solutions to resolve issues. People have complained for years that Bayer Lake Park needs better transit and pedestrian access… building the new outpatient facility there could be used as the catalyst to facilitate these long awaited improvements to be developed.

  5. One hundred and eighty-nine words for the Northwest Community Council lead and you probably have a point but elsewhere one might question if there is not a tincture of peninsular prejudice in your campaign against the location of the proposed Community Outpatient Centre in Bayer’s Lake, or at least a certain bias that
    access by way of existing Metro transit routes rates more consideration (privilege?) than, for example, ease of access from 100-series provincial highways serving places further out, say St Margaret’s Bay or Tantallon or Hammonds Plain or Hubbards (omigosh, the stix!) where, lamentably, most people get around by car or over-sized half-ton pickups because they don’t choose to, or don’t have the opportunity to live in the city where they would not need a car to get to the Outpatient Centre were it to be built near the Canada Games site, so much handier by bus from the downtown, and (given the completion of road-construction projects) not difficult for access by cars from the downtown and really not all THAT inconvenient for rural folk even though they would to make their way off the Bicentennial Highway and onto a stretch of Lacewood Drive that even now is sufficiently congested most of each day to discourage all but the most determined or ill and urgently-motivated individual to bother with the hassle, all of which, admittedly, is not to deny the possibility that the writer of the TIR report may indeed have been given “marching orders to justify the Banc site”. (250 words)

  6. Apparently, I’m the only one who gets ‘worked up’ when sailing ships are called “tall ships” mainly cause it’s a generic umbrella term encompassing all sailing ships that no square-rig sailor would ever use. But interestingly enough, the rig of the Amerigo Vespucci, is actually called a ship. Technically speaking, she is referred to as a “full-rigged ship” or to being “ship-rigged” which means that she crosses square yards on all of her masts. People often get ships and barques confused, but whereas a ship has square yards on all masts, a barque has square yards on all except her aftermost mast.

  7. Re. the post-election discussions of late, it’s interesting to see the item on Council’s agenda about voting for the next by-election. Staff is recommending that Council set electronic and telephone voting as the ONLY method of voting (i.e. no paper ballots) if there is a by-election before the 2020 general election.

  8. what is interesting to me… rather than the “within” Bayers Lake comparison is how anyone got to thinking that Bayers Lake would make sense at all. This is a teaching hospital. We already spend millions shuttling patients, samples, specimens, professionals, and files between the VG and HI sites. The impact on our wallets and on the environment is significant and yet it has a negative return. Its not well thought out at all. How is a doctor that is supposed to live within 15 minutes of the HI going to manage being within 15 minutes of Bayers Lake? How are the students supposed to learn when all of a sudden they’ll be commuting for hours? And in what? Have any of these people asked how much the public likes the No-Service Nova Scotia Location?

    This is exactly the kind of thinking that harms us.

    The answers are bad. But the question and the parameters within which the department were told to work are irresponsible and wrong. We only have one planet. This is a mistake that will have repercussions for at least a generation.

  9. It was reported that the city preferred the Canada Games site due to accessibility by transit. The city’s input does not appeared to have been factored in despite the fact that the facility will be built in the city. This analysis was done by a department that builds roads for care and that bias shows.

    Should someone tell them that if you build a hospital a pharmacy will move there?

    1. There was no real investigation done. That pharmacy reference is so insulting to the intelligence of a normal thinking human that the author should be charged with intellectual assault. Of course a pharmacy will open somewhere near, no matter where you put this. There was no consultation, no research, no market analysis, no user data etc. This was simply a weak justification for responding to the Premier’s orders to “make it so”.