1. Here’s what we need for a great new Mumford Terminal

“It’s finally happening,” writes Examiner transportation columnist Erica Butler. “The city has started planning its redo of the ghastly, despised Mumford Terminal.”

First, Butler explains, the city must make big decisions on commuter rail and transit lanes in order to get the bus terminal right.

Click here to read “Here’s what we need for a great new Mumford Terminal.”

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2. Provincial budget

Photo: Halifax Examiner

“Fresh off a majority government win, Nova Scotia’s Liberals tabled a budget that closely mirrors its pre-election spending plan,” reports Marieke Walsh for Global:

A $19.1 million increase in departmental spending coupled with a cut in revenues and other adjustments lowered the projected surplus from $25.9 million in April to $21.3 million on Tuesday.

The biggest boost in spending came in health where the Liberals increased spending by 0.15 per cent — or $6.2 million. The extra money goes toward orthopedic surgeries, mental health care, take-home cancer medications and opioid addictions treatment.

Meanwhile, “Cape Breton University says the institution — and the island — are being shortchanged in the provincial budget released Tuesday,” reports Wendy Martin for the CBC:

The university administration says an additional $1 million for the school fails to address a long-standing funding imbalance.

“For Cape Breton University to get a fair treatment, and for the Cape Breton community to have a fair treatment, we think it should be on the order of about a $3-million annual increase,” said Dale Keefe, president and vice-chancellor of CBU.

3. Claim: Downeast Beer Company owes distributer $5,156.53

The Downeast Beer Factory is on Windmill Road in the Burnside Industrial Park. Photo: Halifax Examiner

On Monday, food service company O.H. Armstrong Ltd. filed a Small Claims Court action against the Downeast Beer Company. O.H. Armstrong says it is owed $5,156.53 for “payment of goods” delivered to Downeast. A hearing is set for December 7.

Downeast is the subject of another Small Claims Court action. Earlier this summer, Heather Bruce took action against Downeast and company president Harold MacKay and his spouse Michele MacKay. Bruce claims the MacKays used Bruce’s personal credit card without her permission to order over $30,000 worth of supplies for Downeast. Click here to read Heather Bruce’s claim.

Additionally, Harold MacKay and Michele MacKay are named in a remarkably detailed lawsuit filed by David MacDonald, an investor who says he put $200,000 into Downeast, but later came to the opinion that the business was an investment scam. “Basically, this business was never set up to return money to the investors; this was set up as a way to bring income into [MacKay’s] family,” David MacDonald told me in August.

Click here to read my article, “Harold MacKay is using the Downeast Beer Factory to bilk investors, alleges lawsuit.”

This article is behind the Examiner’s paywall. Click here to subscribe.

None of the allegations contained in the various court actions against the MacKays and Downeast have been tested in court.

Readers will remember Harold MacKay as the concert promoter associated with Halifax’s concert scandal. But long before then, he was the VP for marketing for Moosehead Breweries, where he started the Halifax Mooseheads hockey team, which the brewery later sold to Bobby Smith. In 1998, MacKay started the Maritime Beer Company, which operated at the same Windmill Road location now occupied by Downeast. Maritime Beer failed, and its assets were sold to Sleeman Breweries.

I went to eat dinner at Downeast last month, on a Saturday night. The place was deserted — my party was just one of three tables. The beer was OK, but in my opinion nothing to write home about. The food sucked, albeit the service was better than the online reviews suggested it would be. I kind of felt sorry for the servers.

The basic concept for Downeast  — a small brewery selling through the NSLC coupled with a tasting room and restaurant — isn’t a crazy idea. But it’s a bit past its time — had Downeast hit the market five years ago, it would’ve had a chance. Also, pairing even just OK beer with unremarkable, uninspired, institutional-like food misses the heart of the market, which is the young food-conscious hipster crowd. And Burnside? Who wants to drive to Burnside to drink beer?

I don’t see how the business can survive, but we’ll see, I guess.

4. Constable Derek Fish

The province’s Serious Incident Response Team issued this release yesterday:

The province’s independent Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) today released a report announcing the laying of a charge of assault against Cst. Derek Fish, a 47-year-old member of the Halifax Regional Police (HRP).  

On May 4, 2017, SiRT commenced an investigation into a complaint by a male that a member of the Halifax Regional Police (HRP) had deleted video from his cell phone. The male stated the video was of his friend being arrested outside of Cheers Bar and Grill on Grafton Street, Halifax on April 27, 2017. While that investigation concluded without charges, during the investigation, SiRT became aware of additional information relevant to the arrest of the friend. It was determined that the circumstances of that arrest raised issues which were of a significant public interest and on June 5, 2017, SiRT assumed jurisdiction over the investigation into the circumstances of the arrest. That investigation was completed on September 7, 2017.

Today, SiRT laid one charge of assault against Cst. Fish, alleged to have occurred on April 27, 2017.  Cst. Fish will be summoned to appear at the Halifax Provincial Court on November 2, 2017.

The full report on the incident is here.

This is not the first time the SiRT has charged Fish with assault. In February 2015, SiRT issued the following release:

On September 25, 2014, a 34-year-old male, the affected person (AP), made a complaint to the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner regarding the actions of Cst. Derek Fish, a 45 year-old member of the HRP. The complaint was in relation to AP’s arrest by Cst. Fish on August 22, 2014 at the Dairy Queen on Dutch Village Road in Halifax for theft from another store. That complaint was referred to the Professional Standards section of HRP. On October 17, 2014, they referred the matter to SiRT for investigation under the public interest component of SiRT’s mandate.

SiRT began its investigation on October 17. It was concluded on February 13, 2015. During the investigation SiRT interviewed five witness police officers, as well as four civilian witnesses, including AP. Other evidence relevant to the matter was gathered and carefully reviewed.

On February 20, 2015, SiRT will lay one charge of assault against Cst. Fish, alleged to have occurred on August 22, 2014. Cst. Fish will be summoned to appear in Halifax Provincial Court on March 23, 2015.

Fish, however, was found not guilty. In February 2016, striking Chronicle Herald journalist Steve Bruce, writing in the now-defunct Local Xpress, reported:

Judge Warren Zimmer heard the evidence in Halifax provincial court late last year and delivered the verdict Friday.

In his decision, Zimmer ruled that the Crown failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Fish used excessive force to restrain and search Durno, who had spit in the officer’s face.


Durno has about 80 criminal convictions, including at least four for assaulting police. He testified that Fish grabbed him by the throat in the backseat of a police vehicle, threw him on the ground in the Dairy Queen parking lot and cocked his arm as if to strike him.

Fish told the court he grabbed Durno across the chin in an attempt to keep him from spitting on him, something he was known to do to police. He said that after Durno spit on him, he only used as much force as was necessary to remove him from the vehicle and get him to the ground so he could finish searching him.

Durno suffered no injuries, “not so much as a scratch,” the judge said.

“I cannot say that I disbelieve Const. Fish,” Zimmer said. “The evidence of Jeremy Durno, on the other hand,…is not credible.”  

Video from the booking area at the police station showed Fish carrying on loudly and singing about his interaction with Durno.

Fish admitted on the stand that he acted like a “horse’s ass” at booking.

“There is a good lesson here to be learned by Const. Fish,” the judge said.

“A little more, and perhaps a lot more, professionalism in booking is needed to avoid creating a bad impression.”

And in 2006, the Nova Scotia Police Review Board found Fish guilty of using excessive force while arresting a man named Paul Harris. A 2007 sentencing report downplayed the seriousness of the incident and noted:

1. Constable Fish has no previous disciplinary defaults entered on his record;

2. Since September of 2000, Constable Fish has taken a number of courses including courses which relate to use of force. Furthermore, he has also taken the Family Violence Training Program and has had courses in “handcuffing and search” and “legal articulation”.

3. Constable Fish has accepted the decision of the Board and, on his own volition, has provided a written apology to Mr. Harris;

4. It appears that Constable Fish has worked hard to establish a career in the police service and most recently, on February 26, 2007, began working with the General Investigation Section of the Halifax Regional Police. His counsel submits that Constable Fish has cooperated with the investigation of his complaint and there is no evidence that suggests otherwise.

5. Both counsel for Mr. Harris and counsel for Constable Fish suggest that imposing a reprimand would be an appropriate penalty. Counsel for Mr. Harris also suggests that the Board should require Constable Fish to undergo further training in relation to the use of force and entering private dwellings.

5. RIP Local Express

The site is no more:

6. Roger Taylor used the word “naysayer” in a free advertisement for a multi-national, multi-billion dollar company opening a store that will compete against existing advertisers who actually pay good money to Taylor’s newspaper, which incidentally is struggling to bring in advertising revenue

So there’s that.

In a sane world, newspapers would charge multi-billion dollar companies big dollars to write promotional articles about them.


1. Cranky letter of the day

There was a UFO incident in this guy’s head. Photo: YouTube

To the Chronicle Herald:

Re: “What were those lights in the sky?” (Sept. 22 story). At the risk of spoiling a good mystery, here is what a gentleman told me about the Shag Harbour incident while we were waiting for our better halves at the Shelburne market.

He said some fishermen had flares that were beyond their “best before” date, so they set them off at sea to get rid of them. When they returned to the wharf, they saw the RCMP and a crowd of people, and discovered that their flares had been the source of the excitement. Fearing that they might be in trouble because the flares were intended for emergency use, they quietly left the scene and returned home. That was his story.

Henry M. Bradford, Wolfville




Western Common Advisory Committee (Wednesday, 6:30pm, Prospect Road Community Centre) — here’s the agenda. There are several interesting things to be discussed, but it’s mostly just kicking things down the road a piece.

Public Information Meeting – Case 21281 (Wednesday, 7pm, Old School Community Gathering Place, Musquodoboit Harbour) — Scott Rowlings wants to develop 250 acres around Scots Lake in Musquodoboit Harbour.


Transportation Standing Committee (Thursday, 1pm, City Hall) — the committee will review the Ecology Action Centre’s presentation on the proposed drop-off loop at the new LeMarchant–St. Thomas Elementary School

Open House – Bayers Road – Transit Priority Corridors (Thursday, 6pm, Maritime Hall, Halifax Forum) — see Erica Butler’s article, linked to above.

Public Information Meeting (Open House)- Case 20924 (Thursday, 6:30pm, Multipurpose Room, Captain William Spry Community Centre) — Habitat for Humanity wants to build a four-storey apartment building with 50 units and 41 townhouses, all of which will be classified as affordable housing, next to the J.L. Ilsley High School. Deets here.



Public Accounts (Wednesday, 9am, Province House) — Sandra McKenzie, Deputy Minister of Education, will be asked about funding for Pre-Primary.

Legislature sits (1–10pm, Province House)


Human Resources (Thursday, 9am, Province House) — appointments to agencies, boards and commissions.

On campus



Thesis Defence, Oceanography (Wednesday, 10am, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building) — PhD candidate Angela Maria Kuhn Cordova will defend her thesis, “Integration of Observations and Models for an Improved Understanding of Marine Ecosystem Dynamics.”

Antibiotic Factories (Wednesday, 4pm, theatre A, Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building) — Martin Schmeing from McGill University will speak on “Structures and Functions of Nonribosomal Peptide Synthetases, Macromolecular Antibiotic Factories.”


Catherine Tully

Access and Privacy (Thursday, 8:30am, University Hall, MacDonald Building) — This is an all-day symposium coinciding with the International Right to Know Week. Catherine Tully, the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Nova Scotia, will give the keynote talk. Then, there’s a panel discussion on “Managing Privacy in the 21st Century” and student presentations and the like. They start these things at undogly hours like 8:30am just to mess with me, I think, but I’ll eventually be there, sitting in a corner, sighing and crying. Bring me alcohol.

Tobacco Ties (Thursday, 10am, Indigenous Student Centre, 1321 Edward Street) — elders from the Dalhousie Elders in Residence Program at the Indigenous Students Centre will explain tobacco ties and demonstrate how to prepare one.

International Labour Law Now: Towards the Transnational Governance of Work (Thursday, 4:30pm, Room 105, Weldon Law Building) — Kerry Rittich from the University of Toronto will speak.

Joint Author Reading (Thursday, 6:30pm, Program Room, Killam Library) — Karen Smythe will read from her new novel, This Side of Sad, and Ian Colford will read from a new, yet-to-be published piece of fiction.

Building Towards Net Zero (Thursday, 7pm, Ondaatje Auditorium, McCain Building) — Rochelle Owen from Dalhousie University and Lara Ryan from the Atlantic Chapter of the Canada Green Building Council will speak.

In the harbour

The seas around Nova Scotia, 8:45am Wednesday. Map:

6am: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, arrives at Pier 41 from St. John’s
6am: ZIM Constanza, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Algeciras, Spain
9:15am: Grandeur of the Seas, cruise ship with up to 2,446 passengers, arrives at Pier 22 from Saint John
3pm: YM Modesty, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Norfolk
4pm: Aristomenis, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from New York
4:30pm:ZIM Constanza, container ship, sails from Pier 42 for New York
6:30pm: Grandeur of the Seas, cruise ship, sails from Pier 22 for Baltimore
10pm: Atlantic Sail, ro-ro container, arrives at Fairview Cove from Liverpool, England

3:30am: Aristomenis, container ship, sails from Pier 42 for Kingston, Jamaica
5am: YM Modesty, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for Dubai
6am: Atlantic Sail, ro-ro container, sails from Fairview Cove for New York
7am: IT Intrepid, cable layer, arrives at Pier 9 from Willemstad, Curaçao
7am: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, moves from Pier 41 to Autoport
8am: Veendam, cruise ship with up to 1,350 passengers, arrives at Pier 20 from Sydney
9am: Regal Princess, cruise ship with up to 4,271 passengers, arrives at Pier 22 from Saint John
10:30am: Brasilia Highway, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from Portbury, England
11am: Carnival Sunshine, cruise ship with up to 3,000 passengers, arrives at Pier 31 from Saint John
11:30am: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, moves from Autoport back to Pier 41
4pm: Veendam, cruise ship, sails from Pier 20 for Bar Harbor
6pm: Regal Princess, cruise ship, sails from Pier 22 for New York
7pm: Carnival Sunshine, cruise ship, sails from Pier 31 for New York


I’ll be on The Sheldon MacLeod Show, News 95.7, at 2pm.

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

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  1. Tim,

    In the age of heckin’ great dog memes and pupper appreciation, I support your quiet introduction of the term “undogly” in this entry. I have long hoped to replace unnecessary references to religious symbols in my day-to-day and this exciting new word will be a huge help in that regard.

    Many thanks,

  2. Better access to downtown Halifax… is public transit the answer? There also needs to be more routes into and out of the core area. Two easy bridge options are a third bridge to connect Woodside, Dartmouth to The Halifax container pier area and the second bridge to connect across the Northwest Arm between Spryfield and South Halifax. Both are expensive but are the two easiest pathways to create. Amortize the costs over a few hundred years… Halifax will still be here then, one hopes. As for public transit the train options are limited to rail tracks already in place. But an overhead tram/bus system could be built… they did it in Dallas, TX and it works. It could incorporate dedicated bicycle lanes that would run directly into and out of Halifax… something that would really appeal to bike riders. A subway would be cool but one would need one of those rock boring machines the Europeans use to cut routes through mountains… big cost yes, but it could likewise be paid for over the long-term.

    One common issue that is associated with all these concepts is that the Municipality has to be willing to spent money to really create solutions that will have a dramatic effect on transportation modes in the Halifax region. Widening roads just shifts the bottlenecks; Halifax needs new pathways and a commitment to create real solutions instead of bandage fixes that do not cure the problem.

  3. Isn’t downeast in the old brewdebakers location? Offering essentially the same product: OK beer and lousy food. Of course, the demise of places like Downeast/Brewdebakers is partially a result of their clientele – middle income suburbanites with kids – having less money. Applebees, Chilis, etc are all collapsing as a result of this issue. And sure, good riddance, if I wanted to eat Sysco food I’d get a chest freezer and buy it by the case – but there is a real issue at the heart of places like that failing. Lots of people are perfectly happy to drink mediocre beer and eat generic food, they just can’t afford it anymore.

    Regarding the Bork cube, how much handouts and subsidies did Ikea – the closest one to Europe – get?