In the harbour


1. Stan Carew

Stan Carew. Photo: CBC
Stan Carew. Photo: CBC

“Stan Carew, the host of CBC Radio’s Weekend Mornings for 18 years and a broadcaster for nearly five decades, has died at the age of 64,” reports the CBC. “He was found at his home on Monday. Carew suffered from serious health problems.”

I had the pleasure of seeing Stan play a couple of times — once with the house band at the Elephant and Castle and once at Bearly’s — but otherwise I never met Stan in person. Still, somehow I felt like I knew him well.

2. Broadcasters abandon Mother Canada

Mother Canada™
Mother Canada™

“Three prominent Canadian journalists are no longer listed as supporters of the foundation trying to build Mother Canada, the controversial 24-metre high statue planned for Cape Breton Highlands National Park,” reports the CBC:

The names of CBC’s Peter Mansbridge and CTV’s Lisa LaFlamme and Lloyd Robertson have recently been removed from the online list of honorary patrons.

Mansbridge, CBC’s chief correspondent and anchor of The National, says he withdrew his name last week.

“I decided you can’t cover a controversy by being in one,” he said in an email. “It’s become a widespread controversy now.”

Um, sure, but how come that logic doesn’t apply to the climate change controversy? As Jesse Brown notes:

The Toronto Sun reports that Mansbridge has received as much as $28,000 per gig, but the amount is a secondary issue. The Oil Sands is perhaps Canada’s most controversial and divisive news topic, with competing interests constantly vying for positive media exposure and public sympathy. As the CBC’s Chief Correspondent and anchor of their flagship national news broadcast, Mansbridge exerts undeniable influence over what Oil Sands stories The National covers and how it covers them. The fact that he has been moonlighting for the energy industry  is a clear (and undisclosed) conflict-of-interest.

3. Rainmen are bankrupt

This February 2015 photo by Metro reporter Kristen Lipscombe shows the Rainmen playing before a typically sparse crowd at the Metro Centre (the arena now named after a bank that charges $48 for NSF fees and whose CEO is paid over $11 million annually).
This February 2015 photo by Metro reporter Kristen Lipscombe shows the Rainmen playing before a typically sparse crowd at the Metro Centre (the arena now named after a bank that charges $48 for NSF fees and whose CEO is paid over $11 million annually).

Through its ad agency, Colour, the Halifax Rainmen have issued the following press release:

HALIFAX – The company owning the Halifax Rainmen, a National Basketball League of Canada (NBLC) team, filed for bankruptcy this morning. Robert Hunt of Grant Thornton is acting as trustee. Owner Andre Levingston informed the team’s supporters over the weekend.

“I am incredibly proud of what the Halifax Rainmen have accomplished over the past eight years, bringing world-class basketball to a city that we’ve been proud to call home,” said Levingston. “While it’s disappointing to see this chapter end, I can hold my head high knowing that we did everything we could have done. I love this game and I love this city.” 

The Halifax Rainmen was founded in 2006 and began its first season with the American Basketball Association (ABA) in 2007-2008, before joining the Premier Basketball League (PBL) in 2008. It has been part of the NBLC since 2011.

“As a founding member of the NBL Canada, the Halifax Rainmen and Andre Levingston have worked tirelessly to help build our wonderful league,” said David Magley, NBLC Commissioner. “I am personally confident that there will be an NBLC team in the great city of Halifax and that a team will play this season (2015-16).”

All matters related to the bankruptcy proceedings should be forwarded to the trustee Robert Hunt at Grant Thornton at 902-453-6600 or

The Rainmen faced tremendous difficulty from the start. Simple geography puts any Halifax basketball franchise at a disadvantage as it will cost lots to travel for any away game and, for whatever reason, Haligonians failed to provide much of a fan base for what was usually a quality team.

I think that the Rainmen lasted as long as they did speaks to Levingston’s business acumen, but that same hard-nosed sensibility seems to have made it impossible for him to keep a coach for more than a season. And relations with players frayed to the point of very public discord, most disastrously after the players, citing threats to their safety, refused to play a championship game against the Windsor Express. The financial penalties on the team subsequently levied by National Basketball League of Canada were the nail in the coffin.

4. Ryan Millet

Ryan Millet, who is referred to as “Student B” in the Report of the Task Force on Misogyny, Sexism and Homophobia in Dalhousie University Faculty of Dentistry, wants the university to apologize to him, so he can find a job.

5. Evolution in action

YouTube video

Who says music festivals haven’t evolved? In just 46 years we’ve gone from “the brown acid that is circulating around is not too good” to “It’s a matter of not telling the person they’ve got a good drug or a bad drug. It’s a matter of giving them the information.”

At Woodstock:

The truth is that the only problem with the brown acid is that it was so pure that it wasn’t accompanied by the usual body rushes caused by speed and other adulterants in use at the time. As a result multiple doses of acid that was very strong to begin with were sometimes taken, and some trips got way out of hand.

At the Evolve Festival:

The Evolve Festival will become the first music event in Nova Scotia to offer free drug testing kits for concertgoers this weekend.

6. How to ruin a police PR piece

Take a vertical picture.

I can’t post the cute photo because it was taken vertically and that would ruin the aesthetic of this page. The internet doesn’t like vertical pictures. Take horizontal pictures. It’s right there in the rules.


1. Strawberries

Photo: Stephen Archibald. (Note: original photo was cropped because, yep, it was vertical)
Photo: Stephen Archibald. (Note: original photo was cropped because, yep, it was vertical)

Stephen Archibald is all about strawberries today.

2. Cranky letter of the day

To the Chronicle Herald:

I was looking forward to buying local (as in Nova Scotia-produced) strawberries, as apparently this year’s severe winter would produce a bumper crop. So forgive our great disappointment when our first batch of strawberries were a great letdown. They had no taste or flavour and were bland, just like the ones from the U.S.

Which brings me, as a foodie, to the subject that our foods, wherever they come from, have no flavour anymore. My aging taste buds may be the problem. But we find products like tomatoes and carrots, for example, are just bland.

We like to buy Nova Scotia products and are prepared to pay more to do so but give us the flavour back to justify it. To be fair, there are many fine local food products. Nova Scotia lamb is excellent, as are beef and apples. But the strawberrries leave a lot to be desired.

David Farley, Pugwash


No public meetings.


Yesterday I asked readers to send me more examples of historic radical newspapers in the Maritimes. So far we’ve collected the following:

Cape Breton Highlander

I discussed the Cape Breton Highlander yesterday, and then Silver Don Cameron commented:

The Highlander was a wonderful paper, always getting into trouble. I remember Sandy Campbell, the big, bluff, cigar-smoking publisher, responding to one of his prominent critics with, “What can you expect from a pig but a grunt?” There was a kind of informal network of alternative publications in the region at the time (and beyond the region, too). We at The Mysterious East often ran stuff that had appeared elsewhere (e.g. in The Last Post, in Montreal), and my own writing (I wasn’t Silver yet) occasionally appeared in The Highlander, The Fourth Estate, The Square Deal (in Charlottetown) and The Alternate Press (St. John’s, NL). It was a great period. Keith Davey’s Senate Committee on Mass Media dubbed the alternative press across the country “the Volkswagen Press,” viewing us as a challenge to the mainstream not unlike the challenge to mainstream automakers posed by the Beetle. I think the only survivor is The Georgia Straight in Vancouver. I’m really happy Katie Campbell is digitizing The Highlander. It shouldn’t be forgotten.

Parker Donham adds:

Katie Campbell’s description of The Highlander reflects its earliest years, when a broad group with diverse views guided the publication. Unfortunately, control gradually shifted to the Campbell brothers, who were ardent Liberal partisans. For the last 3-4 years of its existence, the paper shilled incessantly for the Liberal Party, which was by then the government of the day in Nova Scotia. This was hardly radical, let alone subversive. By the end, it was pro-government, utterly predictable, and boring. Still, it would be great to see it digitized and on line.

The Fourth Estate

I wrote about The Fourth Estate last year. The Nova Scotia Archives has every issue online.

The Maritime Labour Herald

Drew Moore pointed me to the Maritime Labour Herald, and says that Chapter Six of The Company Store by John Mellor gives a good history of the paper.

Archie Kennedy wrote about the paper in 2007:

The Maritime Labour Herald, the first of Cape Breton’s working class papers, was set up in the fall of 1921 by two militant trade unionists –, J.B. McLachlan and D.N.Brodie. The initial capital was raised among the locals of the UMW and privately. The first issue, published on October 14, 1921, launched the paper’s remarkable five-year career with a clear statement of where the paper’s heart lay:

The Maritime Labour Herald is different from other papers. The other papers have their nice clothes on and wear a collar and tie. The Maritime Labour Herald is a paper with its shirtsleeves rolled up and its neckband turned under. We are ..the workingman’s paper and wear no frills.

Quickly, the paper got a warm response from Cape Bretoners. Circulation climbed to well over 6,000, which meant perhaps ten times as many people actually read it. Its pages are filled with letters from workers describing working conditions and daily problems. One of the goals of the paper was to have the workers themselves write as much of the paper as possible. Crammed with lively humour and a clear grasp of economic problems, the paper won the respect and sympathy of working people.

On the front page of the first issue the basic theme was set in this brief analysis of the economic crisis of the time:

The workers produce a great deal more wealth than the wage they receive will enable them to buy back, and the surplus left over fills warehouses, cold storage plants, etc. There are more ships, more engines, more steel products, more food and clothing than is needed but these things are in the hands of the capitalists who cannot sell them, and because the workers are unemployed they cannot buy the food they so badly need, and hence go short amid plenty… Capitalism and capitalism alone is the evil tree that bears such bitter fruit.”


For, five, hard years the paper fought bravely for these principles.

I can’t find the Maritime Labour Herald on any of the archives’ listings. If someone knows where copies of the paper might be found, please let me know.

New Maritimes

Both Parker Donham and C. McNeil point us to New Maritimes, published in the 1980s by Gary Burrill. I’ve emailed Burrill and asked for more information.

The Mysterious East

I mentioned The Mysterious East yesterday and linked to this New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia article about it.

The UNB Archives has an enormous amount of info about The Mysterious East, and the Cape Breton University Library has the complete published collection, apparently originals.


Sharon Fraser explains in the comments yesterday:

Pandora was a feminist newspaper that was published from the mid-’80s into the early ’90s. It was a huge education for many people — including women who had identified as feminist many years before. (I was editor of Atlantic Insight and an enthusiastic volunteer for Pandora.) It was there that many women (I was one of them) were made aware of the enormous gaps between white and black feminism, gay and straight feminism. It wasn’t always pleasant but it was necessary and important.

Pandora was taken before the Human Rights Commission after being accused of discrimination by a well-known anti-feminist crusader. Pandora refused to publish submissions from men.

Anne Derrick — now a judge — was our lawyer and we won the case. It took its toll, however, and Pandora folded in 1994.

The GayHalifax website gives more information, including where copies of Pandora reside.

Of all the newspapers in this list, I think Pandora will be the easiest to digitize.

Plain Dealer

Says Skip Hambling via email:

Check out the Plain Dealer June1976 to Dec 1977. Founded by Bert Deveaux and Skip Hambling. Went head to head with the Irving owned dailies.

The NB Media Co-op internet site reports that the Plain Dealer shut down because of lack of advertising. This in NOT TRUE. The fact is when we shut down we were in the black because of strong sales of advertising — an extremely encouraging note for all of us who want to tell the truth about the way things really are and work. People want to know and will pay for the truth — even business people. We had large corporate advertisers too because we had identified and connected with a real “niche” market and readers equals advertising.

We closed down because we were bad business managers. We came up against the classic problem many small startups face: a cash flow shortage. We got ourselves into too much debt early on and, even though we had turned the corner, our income was not enough to pay our creditors and also meet ongoing operating expenses. Tellingly, it was our printer who refused to extend us more credit and so closed us down. He tried to start his own weekly to capture the market we had, but failed. He had no interest in challenging the powers that be and so people had no interest in one more paper toadying to the Irving line.

The New Brunswick Archives, the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, and the New Brunswick Legislative Library all have original copies of the Plain Dealer.

The Square Deal

Silver Don Cameron mentioned The Square Deal yesterday. The UPEI Robertson Library notes that:

The Square Deal, which began publication on June 10, 1970, sought to provide indepth reporting on P.E.I. politics and culture. It acted as a forum for opinions and creative writing more than as a source of current news. The Square Deal published political commentary, interviews with Prince Edward Islanders, poetry, reviews of happenings in the P.E.I. artistic community, articles about P.E.I. institutions and articles on current social issues, such as drugs and education. Photographs were published in the paper. The Square Deal apparently ceased publication in July of 1971.

The UPEI library has copies of The Square Deal, but it has not yet been digitized.


It’d be fun to keep this list going — there must be many more radical papers through the years. For instance, I know I’ve come across a Dartmouth labour paper, and I’ll find it again eventually. I suppose the Black newspapers, college newspapers and The Coast fall in a halfway category because they were not/ are not explicitly radical, and I don’t know what to do with them.

Any additions, more information, or further thoughts would be appreciated. I’ll make this list a separate post and keep adding to it.

In the harbour

The seas around Nova Scotia, 8:30am Tuesday. Map:
The seas around Nova Scotia, 8:30am Tuesday. Map:

Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro cargo, arrived at Pier 41 this morning from St. John’s
Dalian Express, container ship, Damietta, Egypt to Fairview Cove
Tosca, car carrier, Fawley, England to Autoport
Sina, general cargo, Havanna, Cuba to Halterm

Atlantic Compass departs for Newark

The cruise ship Pearl Mist, carrying up to 210 passengers, is in port today.


The Russian ship Akademik Ioffe stopped by Halifax briefly last night, on its way to cruise the Gulf of St. Lawrence. As its name implies, the Akademic Ioffe pretends to be a research vessel, but in reality it is a cruise ship that carries a few dozen filthy rich people to the Arctic or in this case sub-Arctic regions, where they get to kayak near icebergs, then go back on board for drinks and Swedish massages. For this particular cruise:

The islands of Canada’s Atlantic Provinces offer an abundance of birdlife and marine mammals, in addition to unique fishing and celtic cultures. Beaches and lagoons provide ample viewing opportunities for numerous shorebirds and as we cruise towards the mouth of the St Lawrence River we hope to see Baleen whales such as the humpback, minke and blue whale as well as grey seals and harp seals. In addition we will look for eagles along the beach and gannets fishing the waters. This is an area rich in wildlife and our onboard naturalists will be spotting and identifying the various creatures around us. Starting and ending in the historical town of Louisbourg on beautiful Cape Breton Island, this voyage offers a tremendous opportunity to explore this historic and beautiful region and we take every opportunity to discover the Maritimes in all their glory. As we sail the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, we will be accompanied by a Cape Breton fiddler and an East Coast musician with a focus on the musical culture of the small fishing communities. Really, no voyage in these waters could be accompanied by any less than this.

The itinerary includes a stop by Sable Island, which I guess was the intended purpose of making the place a National Park. Then onward to Francois (“pronounced Frans-way”) where “we are welcomed ashore by members of the community and, if we hit it off, we may be invited to a dance at the community hall!”

Oh boy.


I’m trying to catch up on subscriptions and emails today. I apology for the delay.

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

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  1. During the time Shunpiking was in circulation, my husband and I travelled the country every summer in our very old camper van. We loved the paper and were proud to call ourselves Shunpikers.

  2. I have to take umbrage with Louise Taylor’s characterization of the Times-Transcript as the best newspaper in all five cities she visited. I presume she’s referring to those from four of the other FIFA host cities (Ottawa, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Montreal).

    I can’t speak to the journalistic vigour of these other papers but as someone who’s read the Times-Transcript for the past 35 years, I can assure you that the Moncton paper provides nothing near the breadth and depth of reporting that it once did.

    When I was growing up in Moncton, the paper may not have been as thick or as alluring as the publications in bigger cities but the reporting was sound and there was (or seemed to be) serious effort put into unearthing and covering stories that didn’t necessarily reflect well on the government of the day nor the industries supplying the bread-and-butter of New Brunswick’s population.

    Since the Irvings established a newspaper monopoly in that province, the quality of reporting has sharply decreased. Stories copied directly from the AP or CP feed, verbatim rehashing of government news releases, entertainment “news”, and only the shallowest of “investigative work” make the Times-Transcript of less intellectual value than the daily Metro one can get for free.

  3. Parker Donham is right about The Highlander’s regrettable Liberal orientation in its later days — a good illustration of the old adage that politics is a crusade in the West, a business in Ontario, and a disease in the Maritimes. The Square Deal was published by a remarkable writer, gadfly and professor of political science named Reshard Gool who died in 1989 at 57, far too young. I wrote a few pages about him in my book Sniffing the Coast. And all kinds of little papers cropped up, published an issue or two and vanished — I remember, for example, one in Halifax called Gandalf (I think). I also remember a wry little radio documentary about the alternative press in the Maritimes, done for CBC Radio by a freelancer named Christopher Cross. I wonder if it still exists, somewhere in the Corp archives?

  4. During the late ’80s-’90s there was a free paper called Shunpiking, published by Tony Seed (and others?) Tony ran as a Communist party candidate in Halifax for one of the federal elections. And taught a bunch of us how to play cricket at a graphic designers’ beach party.

    1. I also thought of Shunpiking and Tony, who’s quite a character. A facile writer and a thoughtful man. Technically, it was a magazine and Tony ran it out of a ramshackle office at the corner of Almon and Windsor. You could go in and have a friendly, impassioned chat with him on many a day. It started in 1995 or 1996, and you can find online versions of it from July 2003 to January-April 2008 (the last issue was what I guess you call a “triennial”) see

      Tony has since moved to Ontario, but he still has an active blog at

      I’m sure archived copies of the print pub exist somewhere.

      1. Hi Barry,
        I lived on the same block as the Shunpiking office (on North St near Windsor behind Walkers Gas & Electric). I wandered in the door one day sometime in 1996 to see what “Shunpiking” was all about, met Tony, we talked for a couple hours, and I got recruited to his Shunpiking volunteer community. I wrote some articles, moved stuff, delivered copies around town (Free to pick up) and later managed the subscription system… and talked and argued with him for many more hours over the years.
        • Shunpiking Vol 1 #1 was dated Dec 1995, and the last issue printed was May 2000, #33 (Vol 5).
        The Web site Barry mentions has not been maintained and that URL now connects to a Japanese language page.
        • Some of the Shunpiking content of the print issues is available on Tony’s Blog (dates between Dec 1995 and May 2000). He saw the web as a way to continue Shunpiking without the costs of printing and distribution. I don’t know whether there is an online archive of print issues.
        • Tony’s last blog posting is dated in 2013.