1. Blue Mountain–Birch Cove Lakes

The Blue Mountain Wilderness Connector, a.k.a. Wild Blue, is outlined in red. Map: Nature Trust of Nova Scotia

“It was the last piece of the puzzle for the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes area: with a mix of private donations and funding from three levels of government, the Nova Scotia Nature Trust has been able to complete the purchase of the Blue Mountain Wilderness Connector,” reports Zane Woodford:

The Nature Trust announced in a news release on Tuesday that it had finalized the purchase of the 220-hectare (545-acre) property from landowners Robin Wilber and Bill Fenton.

“This purchase will ensure that more than 2,023 hectares (5,000 acres) of undeveloped wildlands remain unbroken, securing the future of one of the largest expanses of urban wilderness in North America,” the release said.

This is excellent news, yet there are still three steps that need to be taken:

  1. The acquisition of privately held properties at the eastern edge of the wilderness. Those properties are owned by a group of investment companies that have brazenly asserted development rights to the land as a ploy to increase its purported value for a sale to the city. And so negotiations for a sale seem to have hit a wall of bureaucratic inertia. Council should push forward with expropriation, and let the chips fall where they may.
  2. Once that property is acquired, the city needs to move quickly to develop access points, a low-impact trail system, and facilities for canoeing so that more people can enjoy the wilderness and understand its value. Council will get the political support for a high-priced purchase of land if people get out there and see what they’re buying.
  3. The last hole in the wilderness system is the Highway 113 corridor. It is insultingly absurd to build a four-lane expressway through the heart of a wilderness park, and the province should take those highway plans off the shelf, burn them, and transfer the right-of-way to the city.

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2. COVID-19

Photo by Georg Eiermann on Unsplash

Two new cases of COVID-19 were announced in Nova Scotia yesterday (Tuesday, Dec. 29).

One of the new cases is in Nova Scotia Health’s Central Zone and is a close contact of a previously announced case; the other case is in the Northern Zone and is related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada.

There are now 30 known active cases in the province. For the first time in many weeks, one person is in hospital with the disease, albeit not in ICU.

Nova Scotia Health labs conducted 1,370 tests Monday.

Here are the new daily cases and seven-day rolling average since the start of the second wave (Oct. 1):

And here is the active caseload for the second wave:

Here is the possible exposure map:

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3. Profitably not going anywhere

The Alakai, docked at Yarmouth in 2019. Photo: Suzanne Rent

Bay Ferries is having such success not operating an international ferry between Yarmouth and Maine that it has expressed interest in not operating an international ferry to the San Juan Islands, which are now served by a public ferry system connecting Washington State and British Columbia, reports The Lens, a business publication in Washington:

A new draft study by the state Joint Transportation Committee (JTC) has found that a private ferry route from Northwest Washington to British Columbia would be both feasible and legal. Though private ferries lines have expressed interest in the idea, other local stakeholders warn that replacing the existing Washington State Ferries (WSF) service would have negative economic impacts for the San Juan Islands, which would be bypassed with the potential new private line.

Crucial to the concept feasibility was whether private lines are actually interested in pursuing the idea; the report names various companies including Bay Ferries, Clipper Vacations and BC Ferries.

This reminds me of a passage from Catch 22 about Major Major’s father:

His specialty was alfalfa, and he made a good thing out of not growing any. The government paid him well for every bushel of alfalfa he did not grow. The more alfalfa he did not grow, the more money the government gave him, and he spent every penny he didn’t earn on new land to increase the amount of alfalfa he did not produce. Major Major’s father worked without rest at not growing alfalfa. On long winter evenings he remained indoors and did not mend harness, and he sprang out of bed at the crack of noon every day just to make certain that the chores would not be done. He invested in land wisely and soon was not growing more alfalfa than any other man in the county. Neighbours sought him out for advice on all subjects, for he had made much money and was therefore wise. “As ye sow, so shall ye reap,” he counselled one and all, and everyone said “Amen.”

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4. The Age of Penury

YouTube video

Perhaps reflecting the realities of the Age of Penury, the most popular name for babies born in Nova Scotia in 2020 is Oliver, and the second most popular name is the feminine form, Olivia.

According to Nova Scotia’s Registry of Vital Statistics, the next eight most popular names are Benjamin, William, Jack, Charlotte, Levi, Noah, Ivy, and Ava. I can’t think of any jokes about those names.

I’ve always felt weird about my own name. It’s not that I dislike it; it’s more an indifference to it. Every Tim I’ve met, including myself, has a considerable dorkiness to him. Well, except for this guy:

YouTube video

As far as I’m aware, I wasn’t named after any ancestors named Timothy. Rather, Mom, always the good Catholic, was simply making her way through the usual Biblical names for my older siblings, and had kind of run the gamut of the obvious Josephs and Marys and various apostles and such, so child #6 received a more obscure name plucked from church history.

I was in fourth grade when I stumbled upon The Lives of the Saints in one of the bookshelves in our cluttered house, and read about my namesake:

TIMOTHY was a convert of St. Paul. He was born at Lystra in Asia Minor. His mother was a Jewess, but his father was a pagan; and though Timothy had read the Scriptures from his childhood, he had not been circumcised as a Jew. On the arrival of St. Paul at Lystra the youthful Timothy, with his mother and grandmother, eagerly embraced the faith. Seven years later, when the Apostle again visited the country, the boy had grown into manhood, while his good heart, his austerities and zeal had won the esteem of all around him; and holy men were prophesying great things of the fervent youth. St. Paul at once saw his fitness for the work of an evangelist. Timothy was forthwith ordained, and from that time became the constant and much-beloved fellow-worker of the Apostle. In company with St. Paul he visited the cities of Asia Minor and Greece — at one time hastening on in front as a trusted messenger, at another lingering behind to confirm in the faith some recently founded church. Finally, he was made the first Bishop of Ephesus; and here he received the two epistles which bear his name, the first written from Macedonia and the second from Rome, in which St. Paul from his prison gives vent to his longing desire to see his “dearly beloved son,” if possible, once more before his death. St. Timothy himself not many years after the death of St. Paul, won his martyr’s crown at Ephesus. As a child Timothy delighted in reading the sacred books, and to his last hour he would remember the parting words of his spiritual father, “Attende lectioni — Apply thyself to reading.”

I wasn’t super excited about adult circumcision or the founding of churches and whatnot, but what really put me off was the “won his martyr’s crown at Ephesus” part, so I searched that down:

Tradition, probably based on New Testament inferences, made him first bishop of Ephesus, where he was allegedly martyred under the Roman emperor Nerva. One legend asserts that he was clubbed to death by a mob for protesting against the orgiastic worship of the goddess Artemis.

Just for the record, this 21st century Tim has no problem with the orgiastic worship of the goddess Artemis, or any other goddesses for that matter. Orgiastically worship all you want!

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No meetings.

On campus

No events.

In the harbour

01:30: Atlantic Sky sails for Liverpool, England
05:00: Atlantic Sail, ro-ro container, arrives at Fairview Cove from Liverpool, England
06:00: MSC Lorena, container ship, arrives at Pier 41 from Montreal
15:30: Atlantic Sail sails for New York


I spent an hour and a half this morning reading about policing in the Maritimes, hoping to write an essay about the RCMP and the proposal to create a provincial police force, but I fear I need to read some more before I can be as coherent as I’d like to be. So, boring Morning File!

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

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  1. Nova Scotia had its own police force in the early 1900s. They were the men on horses called in to brutally enforce mine companies’ efforts to suppress unions. Think of William Davis. Is it possible that policing reflects the attitudes and wills of “leaders?”
    Timothy is a great name – the tool man, the coffee guy, the saint, the variety of grass/hay. Not bad company.

  2. Looking forward to the piece on replacing the RCMP. Up until this Spring I had been OK with the RCMP as our police force. Not any more. The RCMP’s culture of secrecy and questionable judgement along with zero communication skills has rendered them incompetent as far as I am concerned. Just so log as we don’t just create another similar group.

  3. As a Timothy, I’m delighted that he wrote one of my favourite bible versus, in that it reminds us that the letters really were letters: “When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.” 2 Timothy 4:13

  4. Re the baby names, are you allowed to say “feminine”? Looking at the vital statistics releases, up until 2018 they included a breakdown by girl / boy as well as the overall top names. Not so for 2019 and 2020. How woke.