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1. Khyber sale put on hold

Yesterday, Halifax council voted to take The Khyber off the list of surplus city property pending more staff reports about the building and how it fits into the city’s cultural plan. In all likelihood, this means the building is saved. Later today I’ll publish a council recap, discussing The Khyber and other issues council dealt with.

2. Arrowhead

Ten-year-old Jack Milloy was walking on the beach and found a 1,500-year-old arrowhead. The CBC story is worth checking out just for the photo of glee on Jack’s face.

3. Buzzing ships

I didn’t take the bait of the overblown rhetoric of defence minister Rob Nicholson, who called a Russian fly-by of the Canadian warship HMCS Toronto “unnecessarily provocative.” I mean, come on—is a major power sending a plane over a ship of the junior partner of another major power such a big deal? What if the roles were reversed? If planes from a US aircraft carrier buzzed a Cuban ship, would that be provocative or just business as usual?

Dalhousie defence analyst Ken Hansen, himself a retired Canadian Navy commander, agrees. “Imagine that a Russian warship appeared off our coast,” Hansen tells the Chronicle Herald. “That’s exactly what we would do to them. This is very typical conduct.”

4. Wild Kingdom

Ten Newfoundland ponies are visiting Boylston, en route to the island.

Coldbrook resident Chelsey Robichaud met Grumpy Cat.

Berwickians Judy and Glen Grant have a Poodle/Shih Tzu mix named Roxie; the Register/Advertiser published a photo of Glen Grant and the dog, but the photo somehow manages to mostly not show the dog.


1. Ice

Marilla Stephenson wants to re-fight the Halifax Forum debate, which was settled over the summer. I’m not much interested in that debate, but what I found interesting was this comment from Stephenson:

On the Dartmouth side of the harbour, a four-plex will be built, hopefully with a better design than the BMO Centre in Bedford.

Until they pony up with some of that vault cash—why should I give them free advertising?—I refuse to use a bank’s name for the four-pad arena in Bedford. That aside, this is the first I’ve heard of design problems with the place. I wish she had elaborated.

2. Yarmouth ferry

Roger Taylor yammers on about the ferry without saying anything of substance, then concludes by saying the province should have a “Plan B” should the ferry fail, but doesn’t give any ideas as to what that Plan B might look like. Sometimes I wonder why Taylor even bothers; the five minutes it took me to read the column could’ve been put to much more interesting and productive use, like cleaning the lint out of my navel or alphabetizing the spice jars.



Environment and Sustainability Standing Committee (10am, City Hall)—the committee will deal with a staff recommendation to ditch the city’s participation in Earth Hour.

Transportation Standing Committee (2pm, City Hall)—A review of transit operations for the past two quarters compared to the same quarters last year shows that ridership is down and revenues are up. This should surprise no one: ridership always goes down in the wake of a fare increase. And, as the Examiner reported last week (behind pay wall), the committee will approve a pilot project for a protected bike lane on University Avenue.

Halifax Explosion 100th Anniversary Special Advisory Committee (3pm, Memorial Bells site, Fort Needham Park)—The committee will stare down the corridor created by a break in the trees and look at the new Irving Shipyard facility that blocks the view of the Explosion site, then walk around Needham Park aimlessly, wondering what they’re supposed to do.

Regional Watersheds Advisory Board (5-7pm, Helen Creighton Room, Alderney Library)—the committee will look at the effects of development in the Sandy Lake and Preston watersheds. The consultant’s report is an  interesting read.


Public Accounts (9am, Province House)—the committee is looking at overtime costs.

On Campus


Pakistan (12:30pm, Lord Dalhousie Room, Henry Hicks A&A)—David Jones, a Halifax historian who has been teaching at a university in Pakistan, will give a talk titled “Pakistan—Failing State or Work in Progress?”

Chemicals (1:30pm, Chemistry Room 226)—Mark Obrovac will present on “New Chemistries for High Energy Density Metal Ion Battery Materials,” with refreshments provided in Room 225 immediately before. The Chemistry Department always has the best refreshments.


A reader sends me Slavery in English NS 1750-1810, a paper presented by Harvey Amani Whitfield before the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society in 2009. Whitfield shows that slavery was widespread, found in every part of Nova Scotia, and that sales of slaves, including children, and notices of runaway slaves were regular features in local newspapers.

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Whitfield gives only a preliminary sketch of the extent of slavery, and says while more work is needed, the total number of Nova Scotian slaves will never be known. But Whitfield thinks that historian James Walker’s figure of 1,232 Nova Scotian slaves is far too low.

In the harbour

(click on vessel names for pictures and more information about the ships)


Zim Shanghai, container ship, New York to Pier 42
Celebrity Summit, cruise ship, New York to Pier 20
AIDAluna, cruise ship, St John’s to Pier 22
Western Patriot, BP Exploration to Pier 27


Zim Shanghai to Kingston, Jamaica
Celebrity Summit to sea
AIDAluna to sea
Western Patriot to BP Exploration


I’ll be on News 95.7 with host Sheldon MacLeod this afternoon, but the time is still up in the air.

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

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  1. Perhaps we should start talking about the cult of hockey in Canada. Not everyone plays and not everyone watches. How much money do we want to spend on something that is so expensive to participate in that it is becoming an elite activity for only those able to pay to play.

    1. It has become very elite.
      And we should be careful what we wish for in terms on new arenas.
      With new arenas comes higher ice prices. BMO ice $235-$255/hr, forum and other older HRM rinks $165 – $185/hr
      Bedford Minor hockey registration fees, who uses the BMO rink for most of their games/practices has the highest fees in minor hockey..
      BMH – $825-$915 per player
      Other associations in HRM – $600-$660 per player.
      Outside HRM – $350-$500 per player
      These are for Atom to Midget prices.
      Marilla is also a member of the Halifax Hawks as her child(ren) play there.
      Halifax Hawks also are able to use the BMO which often is advertising ice for sale but I am sure they would rather use the lower priced options of the Forum, civic and Centennial.

      BMO has a poor parking lot design with no loop to drop off players.
      The glass in the small elevated stands is very low and is a law suit waiting to happen when (not if) someone falls over the non building code height glass.
      There’s very little space for rentals. The building could have more rental spaces for community groups to help offset expenses of the rink. There’s Cleves and Subway but could be a lot more.
      None of the rinks has enough seating to allow more major hockey games (example Dal, SMU, etc) or other non ice activities such as small concerts, etc. This could help utilize space when hockey is not in season. Small stands are fine for minor hockey but it would have been nice to have 1 of the 4 rinks with enough seating (1 does have a few more seats).

      1. Thanks for this, it helps me understand better.

        Most interesting to me is the info that Marilla has kids in the Hawks. I’m too tired to think it through at the moment, but I wonder if she should’ve disclosed that in her column….

  2. A new book argues that slavery was crucial to the development of modern American industrial capitalism. You can also hear an interview with the author, although it does take the interviewer a few minutes to get into the meaty stuff:

  3. I, for one, am more than mildly … amused? impressed?… by the use of Germanic noun capitalization and the use of the long S.

  4. When I was a student there was no mention of slavery in Nova Scotia. It was a very dark secret. I only became aware of this part of our history as an adult when I did my own reading on the subject. Slave or Loyalist? This is a tricky question. A good place to start reading on the subject is the very fine book by Ruth Holmes Whitehead called The Black Loyalists.

  5. Marilla must have been on vacation when the Arena Strategy came down. My biggest issue with it is the proposed location of the new Dartmouth Arena. Commodore Drive in Burnside is accessible by car from the highways, but it’s a terrible location because it’s kilometers away from where anyone actually lives and is in a spot where providing good transit access will always be difficult. Staff had a great potential location in Dartmouth at Maybank Field that would have required a little bit more work but was better in all the big picture reasons that matter. To settle on Commodore for a facility that will be with us for decades (the Forum is what, nearly 90 years old now) was an unfortunate decision. I wrote about it for Spacing.