1. COVID-19

Yesterday, three new cases of COVID-19 were announced in Nova Scotia. All three are in Nova Scotia Health’s Central Zone, and all three are close contacts with previously announced cases.

The number of active cases in the province continues to decrease, now to just 25. One person is in hospital with the disease.

New numbers will be released later today, but there will be no reporting on Jan. 1, 2, or 3. Daily releases will return Monday.

It’d be great if we could make it through the holiday season without a bump in cases.

I never much care for New Year’s Eve — along with St. Patrick’s Day, it’s amateur night at the taverns, so I just stay home and get annoyed at the fireworks when I’m trying to sleep dammit. Of course, I couldn’t go to the taverns if I wanted to this year, and here’s hoping everyone else doesn’t make a big superspreading to-do about one day becoming the next.

However, I admit that the passing of this year does feel a little different than the affected celebratory nonsense of New Years past. I don’t know that 2021 is going to usher in some glorious normalcy or healing or even less destruction than 2020 held — hey, I’m in the news biz, there’s always a new horror around the corner — but I am taking the time to pause and consider the enormity of the recent carnage, the range of human response to it — from wretched depravity to inspiring heroism, but mostly middling surviving — and my own likely fruitless search for meaning in it all.

Er, Happy New Year.

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2. Ria Mae

Ria Mae. Photo: Lane Dorsey

Episode #11 of The Tideline, with Tara Thorne is published.

This week, Tara speaks with Ria Mae, who was in the middle of tour when the pandemic shut the world down. After a run of online shows from her home in Toronto, her young family packed up and moved back to Halifax. On the cusp of 2021, she talks about going independent after years with a major label, staying show-ready for the next uncertain year, and writing for herself again.

This episode is available today only for premium subscribers; to become a premium subscriber, click here, and join the select group of arts and entertainment supporters for just $5/month. Everyone else will have to wait until tomorrow to listen to it.

See how this goes? By paying a small amount — less than a Hello 2021 Head Bopper! — you will be supporting local independent arts journalism, you’ll help get Tara paid, and you’ll get The Tideline goods one day early.

Please subscribe to The Tideline.

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3. Change is a-brewing

Mindful of COVID-19 restrictions, Evelyn C. White will ring in the New Year at home, with Nova Scotia brews that support racial equity and inclusion.
Photo contributed.

When I’m linking to news items in Morning File, I can almost always take a snippet or two from the start of the article — we have “lede” vs “lead” debates in the Examiner copywriting office — to convey the gist of the piece, and that works as a fine inducement to get readers to click through.

But I find it nearly impossible to take illustrative snippets from Evelyn C. White’s articles. That’s because White’s pieces are a singular whole — every word is needed, and nary a word is wasted. White’s work fills the “literature” wing of the Examiner library, far away from the cluttered mess that contains the rest of our work.

Today, White has a piece about her top hat. And about COVID-19. And about the local Change is Brewing Collective. And about Black Lives Matter. Oh, and she does some reporting and interviewing. And about…

Well, just read “A tip of the hat to racial inclusion in brewing.”

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No meetings.

On campus

No events.

In the harbour

10:30: Siem Aristotle, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from Emden, Germany
11:00: Atlantic Journey, oil tanker, sails from Imperial Oil for sea
16:00: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, sails from Fairview Cove for Saint-Pierre


Thank you, everyone, for another year at the Examiner. Thanks to subscribers. Thanks to readers. Thanks to those who have chipped in extra. Thanks to the people who have shared their stories with us. Thanks to folks who send us their thoughts and insights. But thanks most of all to the Examiner crew — employees, freelancers, columnists, contributors, copy editors, administrators — you make the Examiner what it is, and you are appreciated more than you know.

Please subscribe, or drop us a donation. Thanks!

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

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  1. In spite of all the negativity about end of year celebration and reflection, I think it is a useful point to pause and look back over the last 12 months. This time last year no one could have anticipated the dumpster fire we went through and are still experiencing.
    Having said that, I am saddened by the Halifax Examiner. I am saddened that what once was the standard for journalism has withered and and only seems present in the Examiner; I am saddened that responsible enquiry now seems to require lawyers and expensive court cases; I am saddened that good, enquiring journalism is now regarded as left wing activism; I am saddened that more people don’t tangibly support this kind of journalism; and I am saddened that other once credible media are falling to the wayside and becoming nothing but vectors for advertorial content. The optimist in me thinks maybe we will see better in the coming year, but the pessimist doubts it. In any case, I will support the Examiner as much as I can and encourage all to do likewise.

    1. Would you invest in a media company/operation ? (Other than your monthly subscription)
      We would have better reporting if the number of radio stations in Nova Scotia was slashed and licence renewals depended on a licence holder employing a full time journalist, not a person who performs multiple tasks.

  2. Tim,
    Looking forward to the work you alluded to yesterday on the state of policing in Nova Scotia.
    Thanks and keep up the excellent work.

  3. I think it’s useful every so often to look back and evaluate time past and to look ahead, make plans, set goals for the future. December 31 is as good as any other day for that.

    And so I will put on a sparkly top and my tiara, plan a nice dinner and do just that. I hope for a better year — as I know we all do — but I know we all have to do our part. 2021 won’t be automatically better, without our help.

    Thanks, Examiner, for your work this year. Happy New Year to all.

  4. I’m with Tim on the whole New Year celebration thing. I don’t remember the last time I left my home to celebrate the occasion. In fact, I make it a point to get to sleep before midnight. I also loath and detest year-in-review pieces in print and electronic media – I read about it and experienced it all year long, so let’s move on.

    However, I couldn’t let this moment pass without offering a hearty congratulations and thanks to Iris, Tim and the amazing group of journalists who did a stellar job of keeping us all informed and stimulated over the course of 2020. You all represent what makes quality journalism so important in our lives. Happy New Year!

  5. I don’t always hear all of the questions asked at the briefings with Dr. Strang, but I’m surprised that aside from the initial 2 cases of COVID that Dalhousie told us about, there have not been any more cases involving university students. Did I miss something there? Has anyone asked about this? The parties have certainly tamed down, gotten smaller in number, but I don’t think have gone away entirely. I called Dal Security yesterday about the students who are climbing the fence every day to get onto Wickwire Field and play soccer – they said they are “monitoring” it, whatever that means. Sometimes it’s up 20 students on the pitch, high fiving, lining up to shakes hands after a game, etc. I don’t want to be the one to call the cops on them. But now I have to go to court in January because a student who had a noisy party in our neighbourhood doesn’t want to pay his noise fine. This is a huge waste of court time. The judges have no sympathy. The best they can hope for is to plead they are poor students and possibly get a reduction. Anyway, end of student rant. Thanks for your important contribution this past year, and hope you get a recharge break. 2021 has got to be better for us all.