1. Physics-defying transport has incident

Stuff like this happens all the time with Air Canada flights. Photo: Transportation Safety Board of Canada

“The Transportation Safety Board is investigating after an Air Canada plane briefly left the runway while landing at Toronto Pearson Airport,” reports the Canadian Press.

“Briefly left the runway”????? What the hell does that mean?

Paul Varian of Burlington, Ont., says he was one of the 112 passengers aboard the flight when the plane lurched left off the runway and came to a “very sudden stop.”

Varian says passengers were thrown forward in their seats and a few oxygen masks dropped. He noticed brown and black debris on his window, which he says may have come from a blown-out tire beneath him.

“We could see that clearly there was a lot of mud on the underbelly and the left-hand side of the plane,” he says. “The tires were completely blown out on the left-hand wheel … but the plane didn’t appear significantly damaged beyond that.”

I don’t know about Air Canada. They’ve got Stan Rogers’ death on their hands, and then the “hard landing” in a blizzard in Halifax, and now wheels popping and oxygen masks dropping on landing?

I’ll take the train.

2. Nova Scotia’s girl problem

Twelve-year-old Stella Bowles. Photo: Lighthouse Now

A new Stats Canada report shows that Nova Scotia has a lower percentage of girls than all other provinces in Canada, reports Chris Lambie for the Halifax Examiner.

Click here to read “Nova Scotia’s girl problem.”

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

3. Whales, kids with guns, and what’s going in the former Halifax Club and FRED spaces

On Friday we published new company and society registrations. Last week there were 20 new listings, including this one:

Martha Paynter (left)

Women’s Wellness Within: An Organization Serving Criminalized Women
President: Martha Jane Paynter. Directors: Paynter, Erin Fair, Clair Rillie, Hazel Ling, Emma Halpern
The women who have formed WWW have been working on an ad hoc basis since 2014 to provide prenatal and infant feeding services to criminalized women, and incorporating as a society is an effort to “bring it to a new level,” Paynter tells me over the phone. “When we started, we thought it would be just a matter of going into the prisons and providing support, but we soon found that there were just as many issues for criminalized women in the community, whether they are on parole or newly released.”

As an example of WWW’s prison work, Paynter mentions prenatal education — in Nova Scotia, the only provincial prenatal education program is Capital Health’s Welcome to Parenting, an online resource. But women in prison have no access to the internet, so can make no use of it.

WWW is having a launch celebration on Thursday, March 9, from 7 to 9pm at Art Bar + Projects on the Granville Mall (the former Brussels restaurant space). El Jones will read a poem, and there will be several other speakers. The public is invited.

Click here to read “Whales, kids with guns, and what’s going in the former Halifax Club and FRED spaces: New company & society registrations.”

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

4. Bridge reconstruction

Ironworkers prepare to raise the last deck segment on the Angus Macdonald Bridge in Halifax on Saturday night. Photo: Tim Krochak / Local Xpress

“The redecking of Halifax’s Angus L. Macdonald bridge is complete,” reports Paul Schneidereit for Local Xpress.

I don’t think the project should’ve been called “redecking” because it’s much, much more than that— it is essentially reconstructing the entire bridge, except for the towers and the big orange suspension cables. And I don’t think the project should’ve been called “The Big Lift,” because it sounds like an ages 4 to 7 Lego set. For me, it’s always been the “bridge reconstruction project.”

But whatever you call it, it’s an impressive engineering feat, and chief engineer Jon Eppell should be congratulated on the accomplishment. Throughout the project, I’ve been worried that the entire bridge would come tumbling down, or that workers would wander off the span, falling to the harbour below. Whatever time delays were necessary to ensure safety were more than worth it.

The job isn’t quite over. Schneidereit continues:

Now that the redecking is done as part of the $207-million project, there will be no further need for regular weekend closures of the Macdonald, [Eppel] said.

“There will still be about another five weekend closures for final paving (May) and to install expansion joints (June-July). But otherwise the bridge will be open (on weekends). We will continue to have weeknight closures until the project is finished, (though) we’re hoping we’ll be able to see those pulled back.”

There’s some other additional work to be done, which Schneidereit details.

Once the work is complete and the bridge is open continuously, will we continue to call it “The Old Bridge”? I’ll be happy if people can just spell Macdonald correctly, with a lower case “D.”

5. In which Matt Whitman congratulates himself

6. Pedestrians struck

A police release issued Saturday:

On [Friday] February 24th at 7pm Halifax Regional Police responded to a report of a person hit in a cross walk on Brunswick Street at Duke St. It was reported a vehicle had struck a pedestrian and failed to remain at the scene; fleeing in a southbound direction on Brunswick Street. Responding members found that a 28 year old woman had been struck in a cross walk at that location. Minutes later a suspect vehicle was stopped on Sackville Street at Brunswick by HRP patrol members and the 28 year old male driver was taken into custody. The female victim was taken to hospital by EHS with injuries that are not life threatening. A number of witness’s [sic] were interviewed by patrol members at the scene. The man remains in custody at this time as the investigation continues. Charges are anticipated but it has not been decided what they will be.

From an overnight email to reporters:

On 27 Feb 17, at 6:51pm [I don’t think this is predictive; rather, my guess is this happened last night, Sunday, February 26] Halifax Regional Police responded to a single vehicle accident involving a pedestrian at the intersection of Main Ave and Washmill Lake Drive. Upon arrival police were advised that an elderly adult male was struck by a motor vehicle while he was crossing the roadway in a marked crosswalk. The male was transported to hospital by Emergency Health Services (EHS) where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries.  The driver was issued a Summary Offence Ticket under the Provincial Motor Vehicle Act for Failing to Yield to a Pedestrian in a Crosswalk.

7. Stabbing

Johanna Dean’s ghost bike. Photo: Halifax Examiner

The intersection of Albro Lake and Windmill Roads in Dartmouth has been the site of too much tragedy. In May 2014, cyclist Johanna Dean died at the southeastern corner of the intersection when she was run over by a truck making a right turn from Windmill onto Albro Lake. Four months later, Daniel Pellerin was stabbed to death in the Farrell Hall parking lot at the northeastern corner of the intersection. It’s beyond sad to walk through the intersection and contemplate the roadside memorials across from each other — a “ghost bike” in Dean’s honour, a floral display for Pellerin.

On Saturday, there was yet another incident at the intersection. A police release:

On February 25th 2017 at 1:05PM Halifax Regional Police responded to a call of a stabbing in the area of Albro Lake Road and Wyse Road (path between Albro Lake Rd and Farrell St). Upon arrival police located an adult male who appeared to be suffering from a stab wound. The male was transported to hospital by Emergency Health Services (EHS) and is currently being treated for life threatening injuries. The suspect is described as a short black male. Members of the Integrated General Investigation Services are actively investigating what appears to be a random act and are requesting assistance from the public to please contact police if they have any information in relation to this incident. Police can be contacted at 902-490-5016.

Here’s hoping the victim recovers from his injuries, but the use of “life threatening” is worrisome — even when injuries don’t result in actual death, the effects of a brutal attack can stay with someone for the rest of their lives, with injuries both physical and mental. Moreover, the victim may suffer financial and experiential losses, an inability to work at their job or to simply go about life as a fully functioning person.

And of course, we all want the perpetrator apprehended. But I wonder what use the descriptor “short black male” provides. I’m not against the use of racial descriptors to help apprehend suspects, but without additional information — kind of clothing or the direction of travel, for example — this seems useless. It serves only as to fuel unfair stereotypes.


1. Education: the Byzantine, bizarre, and just plain nonsensical

(Lighthouse Now).

“If you’re looking for a flashing-neon-sign example of how Byzantine, bizarre, and just plain nonsensical our province’s education bureaucracy can be,” writes Stephen Kimber, “you might begin by considering last Wednesday’s non-decision by the South Shore Regional School Board to not revisit its carefully nuanced 2013 plan to close two small rural elementary schools in Lunenburg county.”

“Bizarre” is right. I’m sure Lunenburg-area readers probably have some insight into the local politics, but I can’t make any sense out of this — there’s no political or ideological framework that explains it for me.

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

2. De-brutalization at Acadia

Photo: Stephen Archibald

“Recently I’ve become more fond of this style, often known as Brutalist, and can discern charm and whimsy in the most thoughtful examples,” writes Stephen Archibald:

A few years ago I noticed one that appealed to me immediately, the 1972  Huggins Science Hall on the Acadia University Campus in Wolfville. In August 2013 I spent a few minutes snapping photos.

The main facade combines order and restlessness. A grid projects from the wall and appears to support a number of pods that randomly project from the building. Today they feel a bit like shipping containers but in 1972 our dreams of living in a container did not yet exist (Halterm container port had opened just three years before).


Depending on your frame of mind, you will cheer or weep, because last fall Acadia announced the Huggins would be renovated. 

I’ve never been a fan of Brutalism, but I have to agree with Archibald that Huggins building is probably among the best examples, and it’s too bad we’re losing it.

3. Cranky letter of the day

Mother Canada™

To the Cape Breton Post:

Tony Trigiani has been sending Caring Packages to people across Canada as a part of his philanthropic support of the Never Forgotten National Memorial. His “Until WE Meet Again – A Caring Network” recently gifted the veterans at Taigh Na Mara in Glace Bay with comforters on Valentine’s Day.

NDP MLA Lisa Roberts (Halifax Needham), on a recent edition of CBC’s “Information Morning,” missed the point entirely regarding these Caring Packages which were meant to evoke a period in time and the memories therein.

A card within the valentine’s submission depicts a young woman reading a letter from overseas. Inside the card are pictures depicting soldiers receiving mail or writing home. One has the caption: “P.S., I love you.”

You can well imagine what these letters meant to the recipients.

Two cassettes accompany the cards: “P.S., I Love You” by the Beatles and “I’ll Be Seeing You,” a favourite during the Second World War. The latter has the refrain “I’ll be seeing you in all the old familiar places” which would certainly evoke memories of the listeners, especially veterans and their families.

Further evoking the spirit of the times: chocolates and trinkets were rare commodities in households of the nation as everything was for the war effort. For children to receive such items would be an absolute delight.

These packages are Caring Packages and are meant to reflect what families of our fallen veterans live through every day. For them every day is Remembrance Day.

Ray Stapleton, Ingonish




Executive Standing Committee (10am, City Hall) — campaign finance “reform” (dog, I hate that word) is on the agenda.

Police Commission (12:30pm, City Hall) — the commission will be given an update on the evidence room:

In response to the Drug Exhibit Audit, senior management tasked the Special Enforcement Section (SES) of the Integrated Criminal Investigation Division with conducting a secondary review to locate 74 missing/misplaced exhibits. These 74 exhibits were part of a random sample of 507 exhibits chosen from thousands of exhibits maintained by SES.

The Review Team, which included an SES Sergeant, two investigators and a civilian employee, later discovered two entries that were listed as missing/misplaced but had been found in May 2016, changing the total to 72. The 72 exhibits included cash, drugs, drug paraphernalia and miscellaneous non-drug items such as a cigar butt, paper receipts and computer disks.

In total, the Review Team located 34 of the 72 exhibits but could not locate the remaining 38 exhibits. Of the 38, the Review Team believes 32 exhibits (drugs, drug paraphernalia and miscellaneous non-drug items) were destroyed and 6 exhibits (cash) were deposited in the Special Enforcement Section bank account.

The Review Team found no evidence to suggest exhibits were misappropriated, however, this conclusion is not definitive. Using a comprehensive methodology to locate each exhibit (e.g. interviews with past SES investigators, electronic reviews of Versadex, and physical reviews of exhibit rooms and written journals), the Review Team believes 32 were destroyed for the following reasons:

1. Exhibits were destroyed without ministerial authorization.
2. Exhibits were physically moved to another location but the movement was not recorded in Versadex. 3. Exhibit entries were duplicated.
4. Exhibit count was not physically verified.
5. Batch destruction was conducted without physical verification of exhibits in the destruction box.

The remaining six exhibits that could not be located are cash items totalling $4956.00. Five exhibits totalling $4196.75 may have been a part of a bulk deposit to an SES bank account and that the remaining item totalling $759.25 may also be in the bank account, however, the Review Team could not determine any of this conclusively due to insufficient documentation.

Find the full report here (scroll down).

Advisory Committee for Accessibility in HRM (4pm, City Hall) — not much on the agenda.

Fall River Water Service Extension Open House (6:30pm, Georges P. Vanier Junior High School, Fall River) — Rescheduled from February 16.


If you hover 25 feet above Cogswell Street behind a tree that nearly entirely obscures an 18-storey building that doesn’t exist, and people are playing baseball in the morning, before a new 29-storey building casts shadows on the Common, and a bicyclist is using the sidewalk instead of the street, and a dog is miraculously not taking a crap, even then that new 29-storey building will be the ugliest thing in your field of vision.

Halifax and West Community Council (Tuesday, 6pm, City Hall) — the council will give “first reading” to proposed 29-storey building at Robie Street and Quinpool Road. Here’s the staff report.



No public meetings.


Human Resources (Tuesday, 10am, Province House) — the committee will be asking some unknown person or people about the Pictou County Injured Workers Association.

On campus



Senate (3pm, Theatre A, Tupper Medical Building) — here’s the agenda.


Algebraic Theories (Tuesday, 2:30pm, Room 319, Chase Building) — Rory Lucyshyn-Wright will speak on, “Introduction to Commutants for Algebraic Theories.” His abstract:

In 1963, Lawvere introduced an elegant approach to universal algebra in terms of the notion of algebraic theory, or Lawvere theory. In a 1968 article, Lawvere emphasized that algebraic theories generalize rings, so that certain notions in the theory of rings and modulesadmit generalizations to universal algebra. In this spirit, Wraith’s 1969 lecture notes define a notion of commutant of a set of morphisms in an infinitary algebraic theory. Given instead a morphism of Lawvere theories A : T –> U, one can form an associated Lawvere theory, called the centralizer or commutant of T with respect to A. As a special case, one can take the commutant of a Lawvere theory T with respect to any given T-algebra A. In this talk we will discuss several examples of commutants of Lawvere theories, including theories of modules, affine spaces, convex spaces, and semilattices. Time permitting, we will also comment on generalizations to the realm of enriched algebraic theories and monads.

Outbreak Situations (Tuesday, noon, Room 409, Centre for Clinical Research) — Erin Leonard will speak on “Community Health and Epidemiology – Public Health Epidemiology and Surveillance – It’s More Than Just Outbreaks!”

Architectural Drawings (Tuesday, 12:30pm, HA-19, Auditorium, Medjuck Building) — Steve Parcell, who inspired me to start questioning the often-nonsensical architectural renderings submitted to the city by developers hoping to build some monstrosity, will speak on “Nine Properties of an Architectural Representation.”

African Nova Scotian History (Tuesday, 3:35pm, Theatre C, Tupper Building) — Isaac Saney will speak. Deets here.

The Intersection of Art and Architecture (Tuesday, 7pm, HA-19 Auditorium, Medjuck Building) — William Zahner will speak on the use of architectural metals for facade, roof, and building envelope systems in the digital environment.

In the harbour

2:30am: CMA CGM Tancredi, container ship, sails from Pier 41 for New York

Octavia. Photo: Halifax Examiner
Octavia. Photo: Halifax Examiner

6am: Octavia, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from New York

Happy Sky. Photo: Halifax Examiner
Happy Sky. Photo: Halifax Examiner

7am: Happy River, heavy load carrier, arrives at Fairview Cove from Freeport, Bahamas

The Happy R-type heavy lift carriers rarely stop in Halifax. The last one was Happy Sky (photo above) last year. The Big Lift company explains what the ships are about (and, yes, it’s confusing that the bridge reconstruction operation was given the same name as a shipping firm that sends vessels under the bridge):

Equipped with strong, 400 mt SWL Huisman cranes they can handle units up to 800 mt in a tandem lift.

A large, unobstructed hold allows long units to be stowed under deck. The lower hold and tweendeck height can be adjusted in 50 cm steps, from 3.45 mtrs to 8.90 mtrs. Without the tweendeck fitted, units with an overall height of 11.70 mtrs can be stowed under deck. Tweendeck and upper deck strength can be increased by positioning pillars underneath the hatches. This allows large, concentrated loads to be placed on deck.

In addition, the Happy R-type ships are approved to sail with partly opened hatches to allow very high units to be stowed on the tank top and protruding through the main deck. Due to the hatch cover arrangements with folding hatches the Happy R-Class ships can also be used for bulk cargoes and other general commodities.

Noon: Tavrichesky Bridge, oil tanker, arrives at Irving Oil from IJmuiden, Netherlands
Noon: Yantian Express, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for New York
2:30pm: Happy River, heavy load carrier, sails from Fairview Cove for sea
8:30pm: Viking Adventure, car carrier, sails from Autoport for sea
11:30pm: Octavia, container ship, sails from Pier 42 for Kingston, Jamaica


Canadaland is coming to Halifax. King’s journalism prof Terra Tailleur, Brown, and I will comprise a panel asking, and perhaps answering, the question “Is Atlantic Journalism Full of Asterisks?”

The podcast will be recorded before a live audience — hopefully including you — at the Marquee, on Friday, March 3 at 7pm. Doors open at 6.

Entry cost is $10, all of which goes to CKDU radio. We’ll have Examiner T-shirts and coffee mugs for sale, and maybe some surprises.

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

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  1. This proposed thing on Quinpool, whatever its aesthetic merits or lack of them, isn’t going to cause any significant additional shadowing on the Common, except immediately before sunset when the shadows grow really, really, long. The oval will barely ever be shadowed, and the baseball diamond will be barely more shadowed than it is by the existing Armco building, given how close it is to the intersection.

    It’s really not like it’s going to take some sunny corner of the Common and cast it into darkness. Shadows are really not that a big deal here.

    The longest hours of shade in summer will largely go down Cogswell Street and Bell Road anyway, which, meh.

        1. Flying isn’t as quick as people think. There’s driving to the airport (~30 minutes in Halifax), up to an hour to get through security, the hour (or hour and a half to go to/from the US) wait once you’ve passed security, the time waiting in airports for connecting flights, taxiing, waiting for baggage, and then the travel from the airport to the final destination. But more than that, I would guess that about 1/4 of the times I’ve flown, I’ve been subject to some sort of unscheduled delay– weather, mechanical, or otherwise. My last trip to the States I was delayed by TWO DAYS on my return. It would’ve been easier and in the end quicker to drive there and back. Delays and mixed connections are so common that I regularly factor them into my scheduling — leaving the day before I actually have to be somewhere, for example. Flying isn’t that quick, is my point.

          1. I agree completely. I stopped going home to Tennessee for Christmas when I lived in Montana because every friggin’ flight I took had some kind of mysterious mechanical malfunction delay–100% of the time—and not because of weather. Flying is a miserable experience. Star Trek transport technology cannot happen soon enough.

  2. Stan Rogers’ death on an Air Canada plane is just the first – but certainly most tragic – reason for never going near that joke of an airline again.

  3. I don’t see why you need to be hovering 25′ above Cogswell to get the above view, but what I want to know is why there is an outfielder playing in foul territory …