On campus
In the harbour


1. Peter Kelly

Peter Kelly. Photo: Tim Bousquet
Peter Kelly. Photo: Tim Bousquet

Peter Kelly “says he did nothing wrong” while CAO of Westlock County, Alberta, reports Dave Stewart for the Charlottetown Guardian:

Charlottetown’s CAO left an Alberta town with an outstanding $200,000 bill when he moved to P.E.I. this year, according to a newspaper report in Westlock County, Alta.

I related the events reported in the Westlock News yesterday. Kelly, in typical mealymouthed fashion, spoke with Evans later in the day:

“It is a strange and evolving situation,’’ Kelly said.


“I was involved in terms of bringing the issue to council at an in-camera meeting and, without getting into detail, council gave me the direction to move forward,’’ Kelly told The Guardian. “Council made a public motion to enter into the lease agreement and that’s where it was. I dealt with the information I was given by staff.’’

The article adds that in November 2015, Kelly invoiced Horizon North for $190,000 to the company’s surprise.

Kelly said that was the only expense he brought to Westlock County council.

“Anything that was expended more than that I was not apprised of by staff. I worked in good faith with my staff, through the public works department (which) gave me a breakdown of those costs by the tonnage. All materials were in the file.’’

Evans called Westlock County:

Sue Oberg, the chief financial officer and assistant CAO of Westlock County, told The Guardian Wednesday that the project involved unbudgeted funds and was unauthorized.

“(Kelly) approved the project and had public works go and start the project, and the lease agreement never got signed until the project was almost completed,’’ Oberg said. “There were cost overruns that were never communicated to Horizon. If we were to sell (the land), our loss at this point would be around $200,000.’’

This is a good a time as any to mention that after the amalgamation of the old town of Bedford into the Halifax Regional Municipality in 1996, the mayoral chain of the town went missing. In 2011, I started calling around, looking for it, as I found it curious that such a thing could just disappear. As my investigation expanded, apparently someone started to get worried about it, and lo and behold a jeweller popped up and explained that he had had the thing all along, and that he had been working to “restore” it, for some 15 years, I guess. Soon after, the chain was placed in a museum — at the Scott Manor House, I believe.

The last mayor of Bedford was Peter Kelly.

I’ve got lots of these stories.

Kelly can’t help himself; he ah-shucks his way to repeatedly taking advantage of the vulnerable, the naive, and the credulous. Once you realize that and view him in that light, you can see right through him.

2. Bats

A bat with white-nose syndrome. Photo:
A bat with white-nose syndrome. Photo:

“The little brown bat population on Cape Breton has been decimated by white-nose syndrome, an ongoing study by the Atlantic Coastal Action Program confirms,” reports Hal Higgins for the CBC:

ACAP Cape Breton has been monitoring the population of Myotis lucifugus — doing a count at bat colony sites — since 2013.  

“The maternity colony counts are scary,” said project co-ordinator Sarah Penney, backing up the statement with some grim statistics.

ACAP identified eight sites where bats would sleep during the day and watched as the animals came out at dusk.

“Our biggest colony was in Sydney Forks, and in the first year about 270 bats came out of that structure in about an hour,” she said.

“We did the same count last year and only 32 bats emerged at the highest count. And we went back again this year, and there were no bats coming out.”

Penny said counts at the seven other locations last year showed no bats at all.

Not so long ago it was hoped that Cape Breton could be spared from white-nose syndrome. The first report of the disease on the island came in the winter of 2013-14.

3. Stanley Cup

Matt Brand is completely wrong:

The cup is coming back to Cole Harbour on July 16th! Stay tuned for more details..

— Sidney Crosby Foundation (@87Foundation) July 6, 2016


1. Tidal Power

“When it comes to tidal power development in Nova Scotia, scientists and politicians have ignored the fact that traditional knowledge is science,” writes Darren Porter:

This dismissive, condescending mindset has created the situation tidal energy finds itself in today. 


Obtaining funding seems to be the main driving force behind this tidal power dream that the “career tidal power scientist” has pushed/sold in Nova Scotia for many years. 

An effective system must be developed to collect and classify First Nations and commercial fisheries knowledge, particularly with respect to the Bay of Fundy and Minas Basin’s ocean resources and its environment. Means must be also found to interpret such knowledge so that it will be meaningful without losing its content and value.


One must remember that some of the scientists, still involved today, assured everyone the Annapolis tidal power project would not have any far-reaching effects on the ecosystem. Now, 30 years later, an entire distinct genetic strain of striped bass has been made extinct. Only if the tidal turbine and dam were removed would the remainder of the species have a chance to recover. A scientist who worked on the project over 30 years ago, who now works on the FORCE tidal power project, recently said on a radio show, “The fishermen don’t know. We do.”

What’s overlooked is the fact the survival of Aboriginal Peoples and modern fishermen has depended, and still does, on our knowledge, our special relationship with the environment, our attachment to the ecosystem and our ways of organizing ourselves and our values.

Traditional knowledge is passed on from one generation to the next and from one fishing community to the next. Today, fishermen and Aboriginal Peoples are aware we must integrate our traditional knowledge into the institutions that serve us. It is essential to our survival and the ecosystem’s. As scientists attempt to manage and/or exploit the environment and renewable resources, this is a must.

2. Kingsport


“On Monday, Pier 21 curator Dan Conlin … carried out a curious experiment,” writes Parker Donahm. “Using a 24-page railway timetable from July 4, 1914, which the Nova Scotia Archives has made available online, he tabulated the trains and steamships arriving and departing the village of Kingsport, in the Annapolis Valley.”

3. Charlottetown

“Halifax city officials have been working around the clock trying to find a way to contact people in Charlottetown to warn them about Peter Kelly,” writes Matt Brand:

Halifax Mayor Mike Savage says it’s very important someone warn Charlottetown that Kelly is not someone to be trusted. But getting that message through to them is proving to be a difficult task.

The largest roadblock to contacting Charlottetown is the assumption by Halifax City officials that P.E.I. doesn’t have internet.

“We have to assume broadband internet hasn’t made it to the island, otherwise they would have known (Kelly) is not a person you want handling the financial affairs of your municipality,” said Halifax spokesperson Tiffany Chase. 

4. Cranky letter of the day

To the Charlottetown Guardian:

Every morning I get up around 5 a.m.

I hear fire engine sirens coming out Route 15.

Seconds later, they go barreling by the cottage, turning onto the side cul-de-sac.

Within minutes there were about 20 to 25 male and female firefighters getting out of their vehicles and bravely running towards the house fire.

These firefighters did not know that there was another hero on the scene. This 12-year-old hero is named Abby and she is a beautiful Schnauzer / black Labrador dog.

Abby smelled the smoke and immediately ran to her owner’s bedroom and woke them up.

Unfortunately, this very brave little dog is not with us today. She died a hero.

I want to recognize the brave firefighters from the New Glasgow and North Shore departments who fought this fully-engulfed blaze.

I also want to pay tribute to my little neighbor, Abby, for saving her owners and two adult children.

Rest in peace, Abby.

Don Harley, Brackley Beach summer resident



Design Review Committee (4pm, City Hall) — staff is recommending the award of “density bonusing” to WH Fares for its proposed 16-storey building on Breton Street. “The maximum pre-bonus height is 39 metres and the maximum post-bonus height is 49 metres,” reads the staff report, so three storey’s worth of extra height. Architectural renderings show that the elevator enclosure and other rooftop structures exceed even that height.

The developer is getting those three storeys in return for the “public benefit” of “public art.” Thing is, nowhere in the staff report is there any indication of what that art will be, who the artist is, or where the art will be placed. It could be some dog-awful thing, or despite being called “public,” it could be in the interior of the building. We’re supposed to trust the developer, I guess.

Here’s the impossible view drawn by the architect, showing transparent trees, the elimination of overhead wires and parking metres, and the sky from Europa:

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 8.41.26 AM


No public meetings.

On campus


Holobionts (9:30am, Theatre A, Tupper Building Link) — Maureen O’Malley, from the University of Bordeaux, will speak on “Bottom-up microbiome research, and its implications for Holobionts.”

Planetarium show (7:15pm, the Halifax Planetarium, Room 120, Dunn Building) —  “Journey to the Centre of Our Galaxy.” Five bucks at the door. Leave screaming kids out in the car.

In the harbour

The seas around Nova Scotia, 8:50am Thursday. Map:
The seas around Nova Scotia, 8:50am Thursday. Map:

Currently scheduled:

4am: Scotia Tide, barge, arrives at Pier 9 from Pictou being pulled by the tug Atlantic Fir; this is the barge that is carrying the tidal turbines destined for the Minas Basin, and just as soon as I publish Morning File, I’m running over to take some photos of the things
8am: Veendam, cruise ship, arrives at Pier 22 from Sydney with up to 1,350 passengers
11am: Octavia, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from New York
4pm: Veendam, cruise ship, sails from Pier 22 for Bar Harbor, Maine
5pm: Octavia, container ship, sails from Pier 42 for Kingston, Jamaica


8:30am: Lady M I I, yacht, sails off so its ultrarich passengers can observe some other quaint people
11am:  Cygnus Leader, car carrier, sails from Autoport for sea
8pm: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, sails from Pier 41 for St. John’s


Over at Reddit, I’m called a “fucktard.” If you’re not pissing them off, you’re doing it wrong.

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

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  1. So the dog’s owner didn’t think to mention she was in the house, or the firemen didn’t listen, or?? Critical question.

    1. Deliberate oil company fuckery wouldn’t surprise me, a lot of passenger rail in North America was bought by oil companies and scrapped.

  2. I’d like to point out that they called BOTH of you fucktards. You apparently keep legendary company with our gollum-esque ex-Mayor. What qualifies someone for the term ‘fucktard’ anyway? It seems like it’s a word that only applies to someone who would actually use it?

    What does that say about me??? I’ve said it twice now, and at least fifteen times in my head.

  3. “If you’re not pissing them off, you’re doing it wrong.”

    I think Goebbels once said something similar.

  4. Peter Kelly’s a dead ringer for Gollum when he tries to look innocent, eh?

    I heard the iron in the red earth of PEI is what fouls any attempt at internet, pity they have to rely on potatoes with string strung between them.

  5. It’s KINGSPORT, Tim, not KINGSTON. (title error) It’s a really neat little community just outside of Canning, on the 221 off the 358, and miles from where the main rail lines ran. You can still see many places where the trains went through–there are walking/cycling/riding trails through that area.

  6. The unfortunate truth is that no one will know about the real effects that a massive tidal power facility will have until one has actually been built. Virtual modelling and anecdotal tales are neither all inclusive facts nor fiction, but something in between. Those of environmental conscience will say certain types of tidal power generation should never be build and those who seek tidal power solutions like the ones for the Fundy location have invested too much money to not seek a proof of concept and work towards their ultimate tidal power generation arrangement. Who is right? Bottom line, if there was a factual way to resolve the issue, it should have been made public by now, one would think.

    1. Exactly. Typical procedure whenever there are irreversible consequences at stake that might get in the way of profit.

    2. One issue on which proof of concept is available at a planetary scale is human-induced climate change. If we don’t stop pumping carbon into the atmosphere at an unsustainable rate we will all die and much of the planet will go with us. It’s a shame so many people who believe themselves to be environmentalists obdurately oppose technology–along with any project carried out on the scale needed to combat a planetary emergency. So they quibble and dither and raise fusspot objections while ignoring the progress NS power has made toward getting us off coal, because it was once an abysmally run provincial utility and now is owned by big bad Emera. You say Rome is burning? Pass the fiddle.

  7. Maybe someone in Westlock knew his history and this is a classic frame up? “(The file) was left in a place where it was complete, and I told the CAO where this file was. It was left in a place of prominence and knowledge.” Too bad technology hasn’t advanced enough to where we can back up our important files.

  8. Loved the parodies by Matt Brand, but Darren Porter’s spoof of a sanctimonious fisher spouting New Age hooey about the evils of tidal power was truly sublime. Too funny.

  9. Peter Kelly in the news, disappearance of the bats, the loss of a hero dog….is the end of time near?

  10. To be fair, only one anonymous person called you a fucktard. You have lots of fans over on /r/Halifax as well. 🙂