On campus
In the harbour


1. Highway workers

“More conciliation dates are set for the provincial government and highway workers, one of the public-sector groups the government feared was most likely to seek arbitration,” reports Michael Gorman in Local Xpress, the news site published by striking Chronicle Herald reporters:

“Had there been no outstanding issues other than the monetary package, we would probably be on our way to interest arbitration as we speak and I’m sure the Liberal government, since they’ve been threatening to do so for quite a while, would have dropped 148 on us and that would have been that,” [said union spokesperson Peter Baxter].


“It clouds everything,” he said of Bill 148.

“The right to strike was taken away from them through an act of legislation years ago . . . And now the Liberals have enacted legislation which takes that right (to arbitration) away from them.”

2. Indigenous children discriminated against

A mother and son at the 2010 Halifax Powwow. Photo: Stephen Brake
A mother and son at the 2010 Halifax Powwow. Photo: Stephen Brake

“The executive director of the Mi’kmaw Family and Children’s Services in Nova Scotia welcomes a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling that found the federal government discriminated against indigenous children in foster care,” reports Maureen Googoo:

In its 182-page decision, the tribunal ruled the funding formula the federal government used “has a number of shortcomings and creates incentives to remove children from their homes and communities.”

The funding formula “is not in line with current provincial child welfare legislation and standards promoting prevention and least disruptive measures for children and families,” the tribunal wrote.

“As a result many First Nations children and their families are denied an equitable opportunity to remain with their families or to be reunited in a timely manner.”

The tribunal ordered the federal government to “cease the discriminatory practice and take measures to redress and prevent it.” It also called for the federal government to reform the current funding model “to reflect the findings in this decision.”

3. World-class Windsor

I haven’t previously commented on the province’s announcement that it is contributing $3 million towards the construction of a Windsor Hockey Heritage Centre because I’ve been busy and I haven’t been able to fully consider the matter.

My initial reaction to the hockey announcement was that people need recreation facilities, and publicly funded facilities can help build a sense of community in smaller towns. Without drilling down into the business case of the facility, there was no reason for me to immediately fault it.

But an article in the Hants Journal headlined “World class rink in the works for Windsor” sets off my bullshit detector (slapping “world-class” on something tends to do that):

Greg Kelley, the chair of the Long Pond Hockey Arena Society, could hardly contain his excitement when telling the community about the project.

“We knew we had something special, something unique and we had something that we needed to share with the world to be celebrated both near and far,” said Kelley.

“We recognized that this was our now or never moment to capture all the passion that the game of hockey that started right here on Long Pond 200 years ago brings to our community and to our nation.”

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 6.48.05 AM

The “birthplace of hockey” thing is utter bullshit. As David Jones points out, the “blatantly misleading mural” painted on the side of Dufferin Place just off the highway in Windsor includes an image that was straight-out stolen from the cover of Hockey’s Home, a book written by Martin Jones (David Jones’ father) that argues hockey was invented… in Dartmouth. But, writes David Jones, “instead of paying direct homage to an early Starr Manufacturing (of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia) advertisement (as done by Martin Jones), the Windsor camp has replaced the star symbol of Starr with a Windsor W.”


I particularly like that the Windsor mural even comes in the shape of a book.

But there’s no reason to get worked up about this. No one should care if Windsor or Dartmouth is the actual “birthplace of hockey” any more than anyone should care if Romulus and Remus actually founded Rome or if Kukulkán actually constructed the first Mayan out of maize — they’re all just stories we tell ourselves to situate our pathetic realities one minuscule micron above completely irrelevant.

Slap that on the welcome sign:

Welcome to Windsor: one minuscule micron above completely irrelevant
Bienvenue à Windsor : un micron minuscule dessus complètement hors de propos

Where was I? Oh, yes, the Windsor Hockey Heritage Centre. The Hants Journal continues:

“This is more than just a building. This is a project that is a catalyst for economic growth and regional pride for our province,” said Kelley.

“Just as Cooperstown has capitalized on its reputation of the birthplace of baseball, we think that we can have a similar impact here in Windsor, West Hants, Nova Scotia to bring people here to celebrate the game.”

Wait, wha? Windsor is going to be the next Cooperstown?

Windsor may not want to push that analogy. Wiki tells me that:

The erroneous claim that U.S. Civil War hero Abner Doubleday invented baseball in Cooperstown was instrumental in the early marketing of the Hall.

That “erroneous claim” stuff might come back to bite Windsor in the ass, but Windsorians (Windsorites?) appear to be willing to take the trade-off because:

“This is not just an arena; this is a lot more. This has the potential to create such economic spinoffs in Windsor, West Hants and Nova Scotia that it could be phenomenal,” said [MLA Chuck] Porter. “Remember, this is Cooperstown North and it is that for a reason. This is a big event. This is our game. This is where it began. We’ve got a lot to promote and we want to see people come from all over the world.”

Who cares if everyone knows you stole the hockey mural from the cover of Martin Jones’ book, and who cares if everyone knows that “birthplace of hockey” thing is bullshit — so long as the 300,000 people who go to Cooperstown every year take a side trip and buy a double double at the Windsor Tim Hortons, right? We’re talking economic spinoffs here. People from all over the world, including like from Iowa and Arkansas and Yarmouth. Cooperstown North, people: Cooperstown. North.

Honestly, if the province had kicked down three million bucks for a rink from the Health & Wellness budget, I wouldn’t bat an eye — like I said, people need stuff like rinks, and if having a giant ice pad down the road keeps a few Windsor kids active and off the meth or gasoline or whatever they do there, all the better. But the money didn’t come from Health & Wellness; rather, it came from Communities, Culture and Heritage, so I guess the entire province now is invested in the bullshit story about the birthplace of hockey.

Come to think of it, can someone show me that business plan?


1. Getting transportation right

An Integrated Mobility Plan for Halifax could be ready as early as next year
An Integrated Mobility Plan for Halifax could be ready as early as next year

Erica Butler is excited about the proposed Integrated Mobility Plan, “which will focus on increasing the numbers of trips that we take by sustainable modes like transit, walking, and biking, and decreasing those we take by car.”:

So finally, Halifax, we will have the big conversation. We will get to compare road widening costs with things like high quality transit corridors. We will consider what it might mean to build a third bridge or perhaps up our ferry game with new boats and terminals.

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

2. Cranky letter of the day

To the Cape Breton Post:

I am writing in concern about snow plowing in the area of Kempt Head Road in Boularderie.

My mailbox was broken by the snow plow. This is about six times that mail boxes have been knocked over in the past three winters.

It is no wonder this is happening as the plow driver is going by at about 60 miles an hour.

Something needs to be done to put a stop to it.

Benjamin Tromans, Boularderie



City council (9:30am, City Hall) — budget deliberations continue; today council looks at the police budget. Council doesn’t have the legal authority to change any particular line items in the proposed budget — management of the department is considered an “operational” matter and so is left entirely under the discretion of the chief and the rubber-stamping police commission — but council can vote to increase or decrease the total department budget. In practice, for as long as I’ve been covering City Hall, council has given the police department whatever it asked for.


Community Services (1pm, One Government Place) — Stephanie MacInnis-Langley, the executive director of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women, will be questioned.

On Campus


Monads (2:30pm, Colloquium Room, Chase Building) — Rory Lucyshyn-Wrigh will speak on “Enriched algebraic theories and monads for a system of arities.”:

Under a minimum of assumptions, we develop in generality the basic theory of universal algebra in a symmetric monoidal closed category V with respect to a specified system of arities j:J \hookrightarrow V. Lawvere’s notion of algebraic theory generalizes to this context, resulting in the notion of single-sorted V-enriched J-cotensor theory, or J-theory for short. For suitable choices of V and J, such J-theories include the enriched algebraic theories of Borceux and Day, the enriched Lawvere theories of Power, the equational theories of Linton’s 1965 work, and the V-theories of Dubuc, which are recovered by taking J = V and correspond to arbitrary V-monads on V. We identify a modest condition on j that entails that the V-category of T-algebras exists and is monadic over V for every J-theory T, even when T is not small and V is neither complete nor cocomplete. We show that j satisfies this condition if and only if j presents V as a free cocompletion of J with respect to the weights for left Kan extensions along j, and so we call such systems of arities eleutheric. We show that J-theories for an eleutheric system may be equivalently described as (i) monads in a certain one-object bicategory of profunctors on J, and (ii) V-monads on V satisfying a certain condition. We prove a characterization theorem for the categories of algebras of J-theories, considered as V-categories A equipped with a specified V-functor A -> V.

Bring your own monads.

She’s Gotta Have It (8pm, Dalhousie Art Gallery) — Spike Lee’s 1986 film is being screened as part of the African Heritage Month film series.

In the harbour

The seas around Nova Scotia, 8:30am Tuesday. Lots of fishing boats off Yarmouth. Map:
The seas around Nova Scotia, 8:30am Tuesday. Lots of fishing boats off Yarmouth. Map:

APL Oregon, container ship, Cagliari, Italy to Pier 42, then sails to sea
Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro cargo, St. John’s to Pier 41
Atlantic Compass, container ship, New York to Fairview Cove, then sails to sea

Barkald sails to Savannah, Georgia


Off to write.

Tim Bousquet

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

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  1. How about dishing out a few shekels to help the civic museum for HRM (otherwise known as the Dartmouth Heritage Museum)? A “world class” city, a “world class” province, and we can’t even properly fund a museum recording life, preserving artifacts, in the old cities of Halifax and Dartmouth….

  2. Ah the hockey mafia is at it again.

    Hate to break the news to Windsorians but Cooperstown North already resides at the hockey hall of fame in the centre of the universe. Front Street I believe.

    Always nice to be seen in the shadow of some American organization by the way. World class indeed.

  3. A Canadian, Chip Martin wrote a book called “Baseball’s Creation Myth” that claims the first ever game of baseball was played in a tiny town in Ontario. The book was originally going to be called “Stealing Home”, which is reason enough to write the book. Not sure why it was changed.
    Perhaps Halifax could cash in on some world class fame by stealing the myth back from Windsor. I’ll be voting for whichever politician promises to do so in the next municipal election.

  4. A hockey arena sounds like an awesome plan but it’s a shame they had to spin an important community resource into a questionable business proposal to get funding. I doubt they think that this will make them “Cooperstown North” (or that they really would want to be Cooperstown North, given what the town is like outside of Hall of Fame Weekend).

  5. Tim,

    The real story regarding this new facility in Windsor is that it will compete directly with the existing rink at the Hants County Exhibition grounds. That facility needs an update and could continue to serve the community adequately, along with the fact it helps fund the annual exhibition. There is another rink being rebuilt in Brooklyn, makes me wonder if there aren’t enough rinks around already. The proposed location for the new facility is a direct benefit to KES (Kings-Edgehill School, a private school), who actually tried to have it built on their private grounds.

    1. I noticed that too about the private KES. Wonder how much they are putting towards the new facility?
      They aren’t currently a hockey school but maybe looking to go that way as hockey schools are becoming very popular and can bring in big bucks. Who runs KES? And whose kids go there? Would be interesting to know.
      West Hants Minor hockey plays out of 2 rinks. The Hants County exhibition and Brooklyn arena. Brooklyn arena collapsed last year under the heavy snow and the community has been fundraising to try and rebuild. They needed $3 million and I believe now have around $2 million and seem to have been completely ignored by this announcement by the province.
      Like you said this new rink will be in direct competition with the other 2 and instead of dividing community resources (both $ and people) in an area and create a situation where no one wins and all facilities end up losing money, why can’t the government work with the community.
      Can’t wait til fall 2017. I am becoming more cynical by the day.

  6. As much as I enjoy a good hockey game, I can’t get too excited about the birthplace of the game. Perhaps Canada can claim that the modern game was born or evolved here, but there is a Dutch painting (17th century?), in the National Gallery of Scotland, in Edinburgh, showing people playing a game on a frozen river, lake, or canal using sticks to move an object around. They may not have called it hockey, but it sure looks like it. Check it out.

  7. Term seems to be “Windsorite.”

    Now we just need to get people to start using the term “Trurontonian” as well.

  8. “Welcome to Windsor: one minuscule micron above completely irrelevant
    Bienvenue à Windsor : un micron minuscule dessus complètement hors de propos”

    Ha! Perfection.