In the harbour


1. Default

“Provincial loan data shows that 6,774 Nova Scotia students defaulted [on their student loans] over a six-year period,” reports the CBC’s Richard Cuthbertson. Cuthbertson gives context to the figure, explaining that it is not particularly high compared to other provinces, but, tellingly, 27 per cent of the defaults are from students who attended career colleges.

2. Flight 624


“An Air Canada jet that crashed about 200 metres short of a runway at the Halifax airport during a March snowstorm had no major mechanical problems, the Transportation Safety Board says in a preliminary report released Tuesday,” reports the Canadian Press:

The independent board’s update says the Airbus 320-200 was correctly configured for landing, its air speed was consistent with a normal approach and there were no mechanical deficiencies with its engines, flight controls, landing gear and navigation systems.

3. Bullshitters of the year

Photo: Paul McKinnon
Photo: Paul McKinnon.

OneNS is rebuilding the provincial economy, one sticky note at a time.

This is where the Ivany Report has taken us: instead of doing productive work in their offices and businesses, hundreds of people met yesterday for the #StepUpNS gabfest at the Halifax Library and exchanged meaningless slogans and polished bullshit.

For a taste of the nonsense, here are randomly collected tweets from the event:

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There are literally thousands of these tweets collected at the #StepUpNS hashtag. I challenge readers to scroll through them to find anything with real meaning.

And then there was this:

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You know, @peopleofhalifax, give me a frickin’ break. The media have been changing attitudes for decades, unquestioningly parroting corporate bullshit and the neoliberal agenda. And as I repeatedly say, were all the news media to disappear tomorrow, corporations would still get their messages out, and mindless business gabfests would still fill up my twitter feed with their moronic feel-good platitudes. The media’s role shouldn’t be to fluff self-important mucky mucks; rather, it’s our role to call bullshit when we see it, and this #StepUpNS thing was a dairy farm worth of excrement.

Oh, and from Ray Ivany:

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This is rich. Ray Ivany got paid $280,166 last year at his job as president of Acadia University. He made another $94,500 for his part-time gig sitting on the board of Nova Scotia Power. No doubt he expensed his travel to Halifax yesterday. (I can’t wait to get the results for my FOIPOP of OneNS expenses.) Were we truly to “reorder society,” the peasants would be storming the Ivany manse with pitchforks and torches, and the crowd of bullshitters at the Halifax Library would be sentenced to reeducation camps.

4. Pedestrian struck by vehicle

Police release from yesterday afternoon:

At 2:12 p.m., police responded to a vehicle/pedestrian collision at the intersection of Lower Water and Morris Streets. A 50-year-old woman crossing Lower Water Street in an unmarked crosswalk was hit by the trailer part of a tractor-trailer travelling north on Lower Water Street. The tractor-trailer did not remain at the scene and was followed by a witness to Africville Road where it was stopped by police. The pedestrian was transported to hospital by EHS for treatment of what are believed to be non-life threatening injuries.

No charges have been laid and this collision remains under investigation.

5. Domestic incident

Police release from yesterday:

Halifax Regional Police has referred an incident that occurred earlier today to the Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) for investigation.

At 11:36 a.m., officers responded to a dispute at a Dartmouth address involving an off-duty police officer and a woman known to him. Halifax Regional Police officers investigated the incident further and based on the investigation, referred the matter to SiRT this afternoon.

SiRT is conducting the investigation into an alleged domestic assault involving the officer, who has been with the Department for 13 years. Questions regarding the investigation are to be referred to SiRT.

The officer has been suspended from duty with pay pending the outcome of this investigation.

6. Free advertising

Amazon issues a meaningless press release, and Metro dutifully gives the corporation free advertising. Look, Metro editors: we’re experiencing a funding crisis in the news business. I won’t get into the whole “framing corporate interests as valid societal concerns” thing, but if you’re going to pimp out corporations, you should at least charge them for it.


1. Rhododendrons

Photo: Stephen Archibald
Photo: Stephen Archibald

Stephen Archibald has a post about them.

2. Dartmouth

David Jones is giving walking tours of downtown Dartmouth this summer.

3. The Darkside

Some Dartmouthians, such as Frank Orlando, really get worked up about the name for the place. I gotta say, as a Dartmouth resident myself, I don’t get it. What’s wrong with saying “I live in Dartmouth, which is part of Halifax”? No one in Bedford, Tantallon, or Musquodoboit gets up in arms about the rebranding of the supercity — the Dartmouthian anger betrays a sad lack of self-confidence.

The city of Brooklyn, New York lost its independent status in 1898, and yet the millions of current-day residents pull up their tight jeans, listen to their urban bluegrass, and happily call themselves Brooklynites or New Yorkers, however the context demands. When I worked in Hollywood, California, I’d go clubbing with my starlet girlfriends in the Santa Monica Boulevard bars; at 4am closing time we’d stumble out onto the street as cops in “City of Los Angeles” patrol cars eyed us wearily; we’d snort another line, look up at the Hollywood sign, and think we were the centre of the universe, no identity crisis in sight. Etobicoke residents are so angry at the immersion of their burg into Toronto that they elected a crack-addled moron to demonstrate the depth of their grievances, but not a one of them is petitioning the government to change the name of the place.

Dartmouthians: be proud of the place you live, but this defensiveness comes off as more than a little pathetic.

4. Cranky letter of the day

To the Cape Breton Post:

I am extremely disappointed with recent actions and public comments made by Glace Bay High School principal Theresa MacKenzie.

I believe she dropped the ball on the graduating class of 2015, and the business community, when she made comments relating to limousine companies in an article (‘Welcome mat in place for limos’) that appeared in the Cape Breton Post on June 9.

The story referred to a ban on the use of limousines and buses for this year’s Glace Bay High School prom, which was partially lifted.

Apparently, liquor was found on a bus dropping students at the 2014 prom.

It seems to me, in implementing the original full ban on limousines and buses, Principal MacKenzie presumed that all buses and limousines must be permitting students to consume alcohol in their vehicles.

As the owner/operator of Silverstar Limousine, I wish to go on the record and state: ” I do not condone underage drinking and I do not permit underage drinking in my limousine. I operate a professional business within the community. ”

At no time has Principal MacKenzie or anyone from the school board made an effort to contact the livery owners with their concerns. I would have been more than willing to sit and discuss this issue.

I feel that Principal MacKenzie didn’t give enough thought to the implications of her statement to the media as they relate to the limousine companies. When a principal points a finger without evidence of the drinking taking place in limousines and exacts punishment on both the business and students for actions of a previous group there is a problem.

The issue of drinking at proms is a school issue and should be dealt with at the door prior to entry being granted to prom. This is not a new issue as we know. This is part of the reason Safe Grads were implemented.

Principal MacKenzie was quoted as saying: ” I’m not trying to paint everyone with the same brush.” Why then, I ask, is she doing exactly that?

Following her meeting with the grad class, Principal MacKenzie has come to somewhat of a compromise as the issue was on a bus, not a limousine. I feel she should also apologize to myself and all livery operators who service the grad class of Glace Bay High School, and have done so for many years.

Greg MacPhee
Silverstar Limousine
New Waterford



Audit and Finance (10am, City Hall)—the committee will look at selling the old Dartmouth City Hall to Banner Developments for an undisclosed price. The president of Banner Developments is Jeff Kavanaugh, who left his position as Chief Financial Officer of the King’s Wharf project in April.


No public meetings.

In the harbour

The seas around Nova Scotia, 9am Wednesday. Map:
The seas around Nova Scotia, 9am Wednesday. Map:

ZIM Monaco, container ship, arrived at Pier 41 this morning.


I’ll be on the Sheldon MacLeod Show, News 95.7, at 4pm.

You’re invited! The Halifax Examiner turns one year old!

1 year old

Who: anyone who wants to celebrate the Halifax Examiner

What: Music by Jenny MacDonald and the Hold’er Newts, food by Food Wolf, cash bar, Halifax Examiner T-shirts and coffee mugs, and lots of other stuff once we figure it out.

When: Wednesday, June 24, 5–10pm

Where: The Company House, 2202 Gottingen Street

Why: because!

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

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  1. Sometimes, it takes someone from Away to be able to view an issue without the clouds of emotion and sentiment clogging up the intellect. I’m From Away, although in my case, Away is just the other side of the Chignecto Isthmus. I love Dartmouth and am proud to make it my home; although I’m sure I won’t reside in this same flat until I’m carried out in a box (or urn), my intention is to stay on this side of the harbour.

    Downtown Dartmouth is quickly revitalizing thanks to entrepreneurs and citizens who aren’t afraid to add a little pizzazz to a slightly shabby, down-on-its-heels business area. For renters like myself, the downtown Dartmouth area offers a considerable savings in housing costs; homeowners see the same benefits a bit further out in the residential areas established and growing in Woodlawn, Colby Village, Eastern Passage, and others.

    It’s fair to say that many of us newer residents don’t have a similarly long association with the history and politics of Dartmouth (and its never-ending feud with that community across the harbour). What’s not fair is to discount all of us CFAs as having nothing to offer, and to discredit the opinions we bring to divisive issues such as this one. Maintaining one’s primary focus on the amalgamation issue will never bring Dartmouth any closer to developing an attitude of inclusiveness to all, OG residents and newer upstarts alike.

    If the option existed to reverse the amalgamation, the singularity of mind could be understood even if one didn’t agree with the sentiment. But as a fixed event set firmly in the past with little possibility of revocation, it is foolhardy and a waste of emotion and energy to set one’s sights on that one issue without exploring the benefits and ways in which Dartmouth can move forward.

    Speaking to the sign issue itself, I think it’s short-sighted to attempt to drum up an opposition to the rebranding of signage. Is our currency with council best served on a penny-ante issue such as this if it mitigates any support we might require in the future for more pressing issues?

    Amalgamation did nothing to detract from the unique qualities Dartmouth offers. Dartmouth is well-positioned to confidently move forward in developing new opportunities as long as the OG crowd can let go of their narrow fixation on regaining their ancient borders and turn their energies towards the present and the future. To draw from a source even older than amalgamation, Proverbs may caution, “Don’t move the ancient boundary markers set up by previous generations” but Matthew 25 counsels, “Welcome the CFA into your home”.

    (That last sentence was written with my tongue firmly in cheek, I assure you.)

    For many of us, long-term residents and newer ones, our home will always be Dartmouth. When I’m in the US or elsewhere, I always say I’m from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia (because, let’s face it, the average US citizen doesn’t know where Halifax is either). Those of us who are proud to be here should not have their voices and efforts denigrated simply because we hold a position at odds with those who can trace their roots back beyond when the original ferry began shuttling residents across the harbour.

  2. Musquodoboit Harbour and many others east of Dartmouth are just as upset as Dartmouth.
    You should come out and ask about amalgamtion and what they think of it, you would get an ear full.
    We were the last to get the old HRM signs but seem to be the first to get the new ugly ones.

  3. Read some of those …tweets you call’em? Didn’t get very far. Jesus these people!
    Curiously there was no mention of, you know, paying people enough to live on. Maybe it’ll be in the next one hundred and fifty thousand dollar report.
    Or the one after that.

  4. Re: Bulshitters of the year. I will be brief, because I need to get out and share some serious positivity on this beautiful, sunny day.
    First, the whole post-it note thing is an actual thing. For anyone who didn’t already know its called Strangely, they don’t sell post-its on their site. Missed opportunity to further monetize positivity, I think.

    I recall wondering about the whereabouts of Ray Ivany during the furious efforts to keep a bunch of young, well educated (mostly in N.S.) film workers here in the province by getting the Liberal Gov. to relent and not mess with the film tax credit and the government office dedicated to support and promote the film industry. I even wondered out loud on Twitter. Never got an answer. As it turns out, after an admittedly limited Google search I was unable to find any instance where the great man weighed in. And I thought these were Ray Ivany type jobs. Wouldn’t have stepped on the positivity gods had he done so, I guess.

    Anyway, I forgot about Ray – I think we can all call him just Ray now that he’s famous and is quoted everywhere by everyone on everything – until the other night when I was sitting in a UARB hearing about Nova Scotia Power’s attempt to eviscerate EfficiencyOne, an non profit energy conservation organization that employs hundreds of young, well educated people who are just as passionate about what they do as most of the film makers. For a brief moment I wondered, “where is Ray?”, and then I remembered that he is a well paid NSP board member. I learned that from reading The Halifax Examiner, by the way.

    So, is there a theme here? Well, Ray says we must keep our smart young people here and I agree. Would Ray go to the barricades to keep them here? Of course not. He has lots of positivity in his life and spewing platitudes and encouraging others to spew platitudes has served him well and, I’m sure, will continue to serve him well in the future. Will he save the N.S economy? Of course not, and I don’t need to explain why. It’s obvious.

    What’s next for Ray? Oh, probably another massive report about how to best profit in a province with an over supply of drones and make them all whistle while they work – or not.

    1. Haha. Awesome. The best way to profit in a province with an over supply of drones and make them all whistle while they work seems to be as supplier of useless platitudes on positivity (fantasies) as harbinger of prosperity.

  5. Re: Dark Side

    CFA’s – who arrived on Dartmouth’s shores a decade or more after amalgamation was undemocratically forced on Dartmouthians , a city that has been a distinct community since 1750 – don’t get why Dartmouthians would be upset about the gradual dissolution of their community.

    Well, let me break it down for you.

    Firstly the municipal amalgamation that Savage Sr. Forced upon us without a vote of plebiscite is the first offense, and one that still stings born and bred Dartmouthians.

    Municipal amalgamations are an abject failure, both in policy and in practice. They don’t result in fiduciary savings, usually their stated purpose, they reduce representation and democracy (making it easier for Provincial and Federal governments pursuing neo-liberal fiscal policies) and reduce the inherent benefits that come from nearby municipal units being forced to compete and innovate.

    It’s amazing to me that people stick up for discredited, antiquated 19th century governance models like municipal amalgamations – or call for the issue to be “dropped” because of it’s “lack of importance”.

    Democracy, or lack thereof – fiscal prudence (or in the case of municipally amalgamated Halifax, the lack thereof), issues to be dropped? Hardly.

    Secondly, the oft-repeated comparison to NYC’s amalgamation. There’s an apples and oranges comparison if I’ve ever heard one. Please Tim, do tell us, what American cities have been amalgamated SINCE 1898..

    Since consolidation with New York City in 1898, Brooklyn and the other boroughs have been governed by the New York City Charter that provides for a “strong” mayor-council system.

    Compare and contrast to the system of Canadian municipal government we use here in “Halifax” that has its roots in the medieval system of government of England and Halifax’s lacking charter.

    The office of Borough President was created for Brooklyn (and other boroughs) in the consolidation of 1898 to balance centralization with local authority. Each borough president has a powerful administrative role derived from having a vote on the New York City Board of Estimate, responsible for creating and approving the city’s budget and proposals for land use.

    No such borough president here in Dartmouth, as such, all we have are people who speak their conscience such as McCluskey.

    Each of the NYC’s five counties (coterminous with each borough) has its own criminal court system and District Attorney, the chief public prosecutor who is directly elected by popular vote.

    Think that will be coming to Dartmouth any time soon?

    So as far as Dartmouth’s “distinct culture” is concerned, it is less about culture and more about community. Something upper Canadian or western canadian come from aways likely born in a community less than 100 years old quite plainly just dont understand.

    The notion of a single city as being beneficial is a flawed one. De-amalgamation is the course of action residents of Dartmouth should be fighting adamantly for.

    Dartmouth, 1750-1996, murdered by Savage Sr, it’s corpse defecated on by every council since.

    1. Thanks for all the words. I am learning a bit more about amalgamation, and what people think about it. I still don’t know how the culture or community or other things about Dartmouth are distinct from Halifax, nor how the name change is hurting the community and culture in Dartmouth. I’m keen to understand this about my new home and hope someone can help me some day.

      Some of your other words perpetuate certain clichés – that people From Away know nothing, and that places that are Away are no good. Wait – or is the cliché that Nova Scotians think those things?

      People who refer to That Place as Upper Canada should probably understand that that is a really old-timey name, so it doesn’t jive with the lack of understanding inherent to communities that are “less than 100 years old”. The use of “Upper Canada” alludes to the Good Old Days before Upper Canada and Confederation screwed over Nova Scotia – way more than 100 years ago. I went to high school in a city in Upper Canada that was founded in 1827 (188 years ago) and has some nice old buildings. I went to university in a town that was founded in 1804, that’s more than 100 years ago. Upper Canada is, er was, old too, eh.

      You should visit Away sometime, it has a lot of interesting communities and even cities. The city on my birth certificate no longer exists thanks to amalgamation. Europeans first settled there in the 1600s and that culture is doing okay nowadays, certainly better than the culture that was there before them. The records tell us that amalgamation was no big deal though they did have a referendum, so maybe that made the people feel okay about it.

      1. I grew up in a city that was founded in 1636. Just up the road was Jamestown, founded in 1607.

        1. A city almost 400 years old, and yet it has something in common with every other American city, since 1898. It was never amalgamated, and will never face that danger in the future.

          1. Actually, like most American cities, Norfolk absorbed its suburbs, which were independent municipalities: the towns of Berkley and Campestello were consumed whole by Norfolk. Next door, the city of Virginia Beach is almost exactly analogous to the HRM. The tiny seaside city of Virginia Beach was merged with the towns of Princess Anne (the county seat), Kemptville and Pungo (I’m not sure if Lynnhaven was an actual independent town or not), and the county of Princess Anne in 1963 to form the “supercity” of Virginia Beach. Residents still call Pungo and the rest what they were always called, just like people in Dartmouth will always call it Dartmouth, and yet the map and the signs say “Virginia Beach.” Life goes on.

            This is the situation pretty much everywhere in the US: until the 1950s or so, when white flight defined the suburbs, suburbs were regularly annexed by the larger city core. Even tiny Chico, in California, annexed its independent suburban towns, Barber and Rio Chico.

          2. Voters have rejected three quarters of all city-county referenda in the United States, and there have been only 31 such amalgamations in United States history. (Campbell and Durning 2000).

            Every one of these (successful) referendums have been bottom up in the United States – the last top down merger was New York City, in 1898. Indianapolis’ UniGov doesn’t qualify because the incorporated municipalities continue to exist within it. (Sancton 2001).

            Yes, life goes on in Pungo, and Virginia Beach – but the important distinction here is that the residents of Pungo and Virginia Beach VOTED for a merger. They WANTED it. It wasn’t FORCED upon them.

            It is meaningless to compare Halifax’s amalgamation to American municipalities because state laws in most cases require local actors to demonstrate that a reorganization is needed, as well as voter approval of both the prospective change and then later the specific charter.

            There has been greater support for reorganization studies in the United States than for actual reorganization (Johnson and Carr 2001). Because of the substantial political barriers to successful votes, few city-county consolidations have taken place in the United States (Norris 2001).

            In Canada, provinces have a far greater ability to order municipal organization (Sancton 2001). Here in Nova Scotia, as in Ontario,consolidation has been much more existence because of the absence of any legal or constitutional impediments to a province’s ability to restructure local governments without first seeking approval from voters (Frisken 2001: 513).

            If you are truly interested in the subject matter – and not just looking to “dis” residents of Dartmouth for fighting for their community identity – check out “City-County Consolidation and Its Alternatives: Reshaping the Local Government Landscape” edited by Jered B. Carr, Richard C. Feiock.

      2. Well, its my pleasure to supply you with words.
        My words however weren’t meant to insinuate that you, or come from aways in general, know nothing – sorry if I gave you tjat impression. Certainly, your knowledge about Dartmouth is lacking though if your flippant attitude about why Dartmouthians would feel slighted about the dissolution of their community identity through a whole undemocratic process is any indication.

        As far as places that are away not being good, I’m not sure how my words perpetuate that but perhaps you will clarify your statements in a future post. I myself am working on becoming a come from away myself, to Oregon, so I will be sure to relate my experiences with the locals there, if for some reason I feel my experience growing up in Nova Scotia makes me more of an expert on Oregon than native Oregonians…

        Congratulations on perpetuating some stereotypes of your own, but I am glad to tell you I have visited three of the four corners of North America and points in between, I look forward to broadening my travel horizons as soon as my funds will allow. I hope you will agree that one’s experiences in life can be tallied in many ways beyond just where one has visited in person.

        Yes, indeed, Upper Canada did screw over Nova Scotia, and I’m sure Canada’s illegitimate confederation has more nasty surprises in store for Nova Scotia in the future. Much like the illegitimate amalgamation of the communities in the Halifax region will continue to rain down indignance on the residents of the distinct communities contained within.

  6. I’m from Away (Upper Canada, haha, a phrase I hadn’t heard since grade 7 history class before I moved to Nova Scotia) . I lived in Halifax for 13 years, now I live in Dartmouth. All the whining about the “loss” of the name Dartmouth seems to reflect a rather small world view, which you have articulated well. Many of the comments I see about that on social media refer to the ‘distinct culture’ of Dartmouth, but no one has been able to explain to me what that is. I’m figuring it out though.

    1. DoNotLink is my go-to service when I want to hate read Wente’s latest plagiarized myopia

  7. All of this positive thinking blah blah blah about the Nova Scotia economy drives me fucking crazy. I’m underemployed, with a learning disability that effectively prevents me from completing a traditional post-secondary program, plus, I’m a shitty interview who can’t network! That’s my stuff to work on, but all of this ‘scratch the but’ (which is really just co-opting the improv philosophy of yes-anding) is beyond useless. It’s really easy to sit around and brainstorm this nonsense, it’s a lot harder to address entrenched problems in existing systems.

    1. Regarding what would actually help people in this province, I have some bold suggestions: raise the minimum wage; universal prescription drug coverage; and universal coverage for psychological services.

  8. To be fair, you directly linked to the Amazon article too, thereby increasing the number of clicks to it by a large margin. You should just post the text of the URL and strip out the hyperlink, to avoid adding to their volume of readers.