On campus
In the harbour


1. Bloomfield

Bloomfield School. Photo: Hilary Beaumont
Bloomfield School. Photo: Hilary Beaumont

“The province is hitting the reset button on its plan to develop the site of the former Bloomfield Centre in north-end Halifax,” reports Michael Gorman in Local Xpress.

You’ll recall that Housing Nova Scotia won the bid to redevelop the former school property in 2014, offering to pay $15 million for the property — more than twice the next-highest bid from a private developer. And ever since, the site has sat vacant. As I reported in January:

One person with knowledge of the Bloomfield project tells me privately that Housing NS’s Bloomfield project is a “clusterfuck” — Housing NS paid too much for the property and can’t both make it work financially and keep its commitment to incorporate community organizations and affordable housing on the site. So the organization keeps trying to rework the plan, but to no success.

Now, reports Gorman:

On Monday, Housing Nova Scotia announced that later this spring the government would seek expressions of interest from private developers to partner with the Crown agency to develop affordable housing mixed with private market rate units at the site.


But Susanna Fuller, co-chairwoman of Imagine Bloomfield, isn’t so sure. Imagine Bloomfield was the community partner on the project with Housing Nova Scotia until the group broke off ties earlier this year because it had had no communication with Housing Nova Scotia in the last year.

Fuller said Monday’s news is confusing.

“If we were to go back to the original (request for proposals), there were private-sector developers who did put in for this project. It seems strange to Imagine Bloomfield that the city would put out an RFP, select the city as a partner, a purchase-and-sale agreement has not gone through, a development agreement has not gone through, and the project is then putting up another (call) for a private developer.”

Fuller said her group questions if the move by the province is even permissible in keeping with the original request for proposals by the city.

“We know what went wrong with St. Pat’s-Alexandra. I would hate to see Bloomfield be another such debacle.”

2. Where are the provincial fracking regulations?

A fracking well in Pennsylvania.
A fracking well in Pennsylvania.

Over a year ago, the province put a moratorium on fracking, saying it would first develop a regulatory system for the process. Now, both environmentalists and industry reps are wondering where those regulations are.

Reporter Michael Gorman explores the issue for the Examiner. Click here to read “Where are the fracking regulations?”

This article is behind the Examiner’s paywall and so available only to paid subscribers. Click here to purchase a subscription.

3. CTV fined

“CTV Atlantic has been fined $4,000 for revealing the identities of two young offenders on a supper-hour newscast last August,” reports Steve Bruce in Local Xpress.

4. Dartmouth council race

It’s now a three-way race to fill the council seat that Gloria McCluskey will vacate in October. Interestingly, the candidates who challenged McCluskey last time around have yet to announce.

5. Yarmouth ferry

There's not a dotted line between Portland and Yarmouth on the map of Bay Ferries' ferry services on the company's homepage.
There’s not a dotted line between Portland and Yarmouth on the map of Bay Ferries’ ferry services on the company’s homepage.
There’s not a dotted line between Portland and Yarmouth on the map of Bay Ferries’ ferry services on the company’s homepage.

Still no boat.


1. The MFT hits the fan

The transit heatmap from the Halifax Central Library, showing how far a rider can get in 60 minutes.
The transit heatmap from the Halifax Central Library, showing how far a rider can get in 60 minutes.

Examiner transportation columnist Erica Butler takes a detailed look at Halifax Transit’s “Moving Forward Together” plan, which proposes to redesign transit routes.

Click here to read “The MTF hits the fan.”

This article is behind the Examiner’s paywall and so available only to paid subscribers. Click here to purchase a subscription.

2. Iron post

Photo: Stephen Archibald
Photo: Stephen Archibald

“On social media, people have been acknowledging the start of the full-scale demolition of the old CBC Building at the corner of Sackville and South Park,” writes Stephen Archibald. “Seemed like a good moment to remember a tiny loss that happened on the corner across the street 37 years ago. In that case I was probably the only mourner. The object of my affection was an enigmatic cast iron post with two braces, located on the edge of a grassy knoll  at the bottom of Citadel Hill, just below a still-existing parking lot.”

Stay for the story of the post and you’ll be rewarded with a photo of a 1968-era Archibald.

3. Carbon pricing

Richard Starr has a wide-ranging discussion of carbon pricing in Canadian provinces, noting that:

Putting a price on carbon is the Liberal policy and it is also the approach endorsed by most experts. Trouble is, unless the price is steep, there will be no meaningful reduction in GHG emissions.


The Suzuki Foundation has suggested that B.C.’s levy should be increased to $90 a tonne by 2020, which would amount to about 20 cents on a litre of gasoline and heating oil. That would work out to about $10 on a 50-litre fill up gasoline, $120 on a 600-litre tank of heating oil and about $4.50 to a gigajoule of natural gas, affecting business and residential customers and large users, like the tar sands. It is not a foregone conclusion that even a $90 levy would achieve the required reductions in emissions. However, it is clear that the carbon price now in effect in Canada’s four largest provinces won’t do it. And there is the rub.

The Liberals’ “Real Change” campaign slogan is looking a little shaky in a number of areas – pipelines, fighter aircraft and the “middle class” tax cut included – but is looking especially endangered on the climate change file. So far, the only evident change from the Harper government is in the rhetoric and the willingness to engage the provinces. Given Canada’s past and pending failures to live up to Kyoto and Copenhagen commitments actually meeting the modest reduction targets agreed to in Vancouver would be “real change.” But for that to happen the provinces that have moved to put a price on carbon are going to have to significantly jack up that price, and soon. And whether through carbon pricing, tougher regulation or just saying no, emissions from oil and gas development will need to be cut.

4. Cranky letter of the day

Mother Canada™
Mother Canada™

To the Cape Breton Post:

I would like to address this open letter to the Honourable Catherine McKenna and the Honourable Mark Eyking: I just want you to know that the Never Forgotten National Memorial (NFNM) proposal for Green Cove is not dead.

Parks Canada opts for rocks over vets

It is one of three national legacy projects initiated in the last 25 years.

The Liberal government must be more transparent regarding its decision after Parks Canada has supported the project for four years. Parks Canada overseer Ed Kennedy acknowledged that Parks Canada knew on June 23, 2015 that the project would not be finished by July 1, 2017 and yet Parks Canada kept supporting the project. The DIA and the MEKS report were benign.

The NFNM Foundation could not raise money because it did not have the lease secured. What banker (donor) would give you money if you did not have a lease? Parks Canada controlled the lease.

This was a “Catch 22” situation orchestrated by the same individuals who wrote that misleading letter to the former environment minister. All along the Foundation said (just like you, Mark) that construction would not start without the money being in place.

The NFNM Foundation responded to Parks Canada suggestions for change on Feb. 4, 2016. The boom was lowered on Feb. 5. Parks Canada could not have studied this report. The July 1, 2017 date was now to be a ribbon cutting date.

An estimate $60 million has been given to the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) by the federal government since it started in 1992. Millions more have been given to specific trails. The TCT will not be completed by 2017. Alberta has a 58 per cent completion rate and Nova Scotia has a 38 per cent completion rate. The TCT has no responsibility for any of the Trail ‘s upkeep or maintenance.

The following did not meet their completion dates for our Centennial year — the MacKenzie King monument, the National Arts Centre, the Manitoba Museum, the Ontario Science Centre and the monument to Louis St. Laurent (1976). All were substantially funded by our Canadian government. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, started by the Asper Foundation, was originally scheduled to open in 2007. It opened in 2014. The federal government contributed $100 million in capital costs, co-shared guaranteed loans of another $70 million and agreed to annual operating costs of $21 million.

The approval of the “Victims of Communism” monument was a sign to me that the pettiness in parliament was disappearing. Boy, was I mistaken. This cost-shared monument was approved and is reported to be eventually located in Ottawa Centre (McKenna’s riding) but the minister reneged on a legacy project for our fallen veterans. That was shameful.

Where is the justice and consideration for our fallen veterans? When will the much-touted “transparency of the Federal Liberals” be seen by the citizens North of Smokey and across Canada?

Ray Stapleton, Ingonish Center



City council (1pm, City Hall) — I’ll be live-blogging via the Examiner’s Twitter account, @hfxExaminer.


Economic Development (1pm, One Government Place) — the  Rail Advisory Committee will be questioned about, well, I guess rails, and maybe advice.

On Campus

YouTube video

Michael Collins (5pm, Dalhousie Art Gallery) — a screening of the 1996 film directed by Neil Jordan and starring Liam Neeson.

Arab-Jewish Refugees in a Jewish State (7pm, Ondaatje Auditorium, Marion McCain Building) — a talk by Orit Bashkin, from the University of Chicago.


Ashley Corbett
Ashley Corbett

King’s journalism student Ashley Corbett wrote about Halifax for the Guardian’s Cities project — a Rockefeller Foundation-funded project in which the Guardian maintains editorial control. That’s quite a score for a young journalist.

The piece itself is light-hearted and fun boosterism, which I gather is what the “Insider’s Guide” series of the Cities project is all about. Corbett plugs the library, artist Anna Joan Taylor, musician Willie Stratton (I’ve plugged him in this very space), and Two If By Sea in Dartmouth, among others. This isn’t supposed to be hard-hitting news, and it isn’t. There’s certainly nothing objectionable about it.

That, however, didn’t stop the commenters. There’s some real hate-on for Halifax and Nova Scotia out there; here’s a sampling:


It looks like Halifax has finally rebuilt some after their explosion of 1917.

The Maritime provinces are still basketcases economically. They have collected equalization payments every year since 1957.

They also have about 0 population growth, their children leave to find work elsewhere. Nova Scotia was the only province to actually lose people.

I wouldn’t recommend the weather there but the scenery can be rustic or picturesque occasionally.

Their music is horrid, a version of Celtic with clog dancing. I refuse to get into discussions of the inbreeding that is prevalent.


NS boasts the highest level of mental illness in Canada @ 40% with some counties (ie Digby Co) running over 50%. That would explain many of the smiles you see on the street 😉

The above picture of the harbour does happen one day every few years. Most likely you’ll see white-capped churning grey sludge depositing used condoms and feces along the shoreline.


Like most of the Maritime provinces they get the luxury of being fed money from provinces where people have to work real jobs!

humanitarianism (again):

Dirtiest cops in Canada!

And that’s saying something. HRM police are so corrupt no other province or territory recognises their warrants. Most criminal charges are either completely made up or laid after an appropriate bribe is paid. 

The dirty slush capital of Canada is home to some of the biggest slush funds as well.

It is completely lawless and not worth risking a visit. You have been warned!

Yeah, I know, don’t read the comments. That screaming anonymously from the sidelines reflects some sort of mental illness.

In the harbour

The seas around Nova Scotia, 8;20am Tuesday. Map:
The seas around Nova Scotia, 8;20am Tuesday. Map:

Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro cargo, St. John’s to Pier 41
Primus, container ship, Lisbon, Portugal to Pier 42
Chicago Express, container ship, Cagliari, Italy to Fairview Cove, then sails to sea

Carmen sails to New York


Sorry, no cat video.

Tim Bousquet

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

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  1. Just saw another attack in Brussels … hope people stay safe. I also hope we can be spared the preemptive apologizing and deflecting away from an obvious problem. How much are the pathologically altruistic willing to sacrifice before their sense of shame gives in? How much moral superiority and positive feelings can they buy, before the debt paid by other’s tax dollars and other’s lives becomes too much? How long will they continue to accuse those interested in self defense of bigotry, while not taking responsibility for the huge costs of their own? What number of lives will they state, on record, that they are comfortable as an acceptable sacrifice for a possible realization of a utopian, morally relativist world?

    Lord forbid somebody accurately describe a reality that is not consistent with the utopian views of the self-appointed architects of society. Making a comment like that typically invites a round of self-congratulatory accusations … typically based on nothing but the accuser’s emotions and assault on ones character.

    I’d like to think that these events can start to shock people back into reality, and into supporting a change in current policies. Please phone/email MPs and MLAs and argue if you feel we are heading in the wrong direction. Contact them if you aren’t interested in no-go-zones, rape-gangs, and if you like going to the airport and New Years Eve celebrations without fear of both rape and murder. Hope people in Belgium and Europe can find a way out of this mess, but the only thing that will let that happen is to shake ourselves of the yoke of these well-meaning, useful idiots.

    1. I don’t know that anyone has the answers to those questions. Pathological altruism is definitely a problem. I think what gets people riled up about immigration is the fact that the cheerleaders for it are often rich people who live in areas which will receive next to no immigrants. Even in relatively equal Sweden there are wealthy suburbs where none of the migrants end up. The poor neighbourhoods where the migrants are housed are breeding grounds for both nativist and Muslim extremism. It’s a tragic situation that will shape the future of Europe for centuries.

      One of the more disturbing things to come out of the Cologne New Years incidents was the concerted effort by the mainstream media to censor what happened, which lasted about 3 days. In those 3 days there was plenty of time for rumours to spread and right-wing demagogues to control the message about what happened. There is a massive crisis of legitimacy in many Western institutions, and the media is quite possibly the worst, followed by the education system and the government.

      1. No good deed goes unpunished it seems and pathological altruism has only resulted in pathological terrorist extremism…. the Genie is out of the bottle and there is no solution to turn back the clock to what are perceived to be the better days of the past.

        1. I think Nick above hits on a key problem with immigration on a large scale of any one group is that they become “ghettoized” if i can steal or make up a term. I spent a fair bit of time in work related travel to France, Belgium, Netherlands all of whom had very large populations of immigrants that never seemed to integrate. I’m sure the why they don’t/didn’t is more complex than i can understand or explain but one factor I picked up from my colleagues living in these countries is that for the most part they might become citizens but they really aren’t equal, certainly in the practical sense of opportunity for education, employment, social movement. They were often looked on as cheap labour (Turkish workers in Germany are a good example i think), “welfare” bums, or criminals.
          One colleague in Brussels told me that if the grandfather is a janitor in an office building, the grandson will be the same. A Dutch acquaintance pointed out large tenement buildings with satellite dishes everywhere and said “all pointed to Al Jezeera looking to change the country”. No doubt there are some violent people looking to attack the West who have slid in under the guise of immigrants or refugees. Call them terrorists or criminals. But why is it they find it so easy to be supported by citizens of that same country who are generations removed from being immigrants?

    2. This is a load of mealy-mouthed, cowardly, thinly-veiled racism. At least have the guts to come right out and say plainly what you mean.

        1. To sum up the long winded post above, which does not include anything even remotely close to my own opinion, how about these two: No more immigrants! Build a wall!

    3. The ideology of Donald J. Trump coated in a thin veneer of intellectualism isn’t something I ever thought I’d see on this site but, well, here you go.

  2. I’ll take a cat video over (most)comment sections. As a Vet, I’ll take a cat video over Mother Canada TM.
    Is it really TM’d?

  3. Is it a coincidence that Imagine Bloomfield, the Yarmouth Ferry and Mother Canada are all represented in the same Morning File? Three telling examples of government at work.

    1. Think they could be related to magical “savings”? Hey, we couldn’t find a boat, there’s a few million saved. Couldn’t build affordable housing? More money saved. Big ‘ol statue for kids who played too many zombie games, well, we can’t have money going to that part of the province as we’d have to fix the roads.
      Is it just me or is the government purposely putting off spending money and holding off on regulations to launch an election campaign? They could totally take fracking regulations and wind them into some kind of bizarre vote for us and we’ll bring you mini-quakes platform.

  4. That map isn’t fair.

    From the central library, depending on the time of day, you have to be outside 5 to 20 minutes early, and wait for 10 to 60 minutes BEFORE EVEN GETTING ON A BUS.

    Double all those times and it would be a bit more accurate.