On campus
In the harbour


1. Rescue

It’s a warm summer, which always means one thing: rescues.

Amanda Slaunwhite was caught in an undertow at Dominion Beach near Sydney, but was saved by firefighters and a cop.

Two people tossed out of their canoe in the Northumberland Strait were saved by quick-thinking boaters, including MP Bill Casey.

Erin Handspiker's dogs: Millie (left) and Sadie (the other one).Photo: Erin Handspiker
Erin Handspiker’s dogs: Millie (left) and Sadie (the other one).Photo: Erin Handspiker

Erin Handspiker is the woman who fell 90 metres down a cliff at Cape Split while attempting to reach her dogs, which had gone over the edge before her. “The injuries Handspiker sustained include a fractured collarbone, eight fractured vertebrae, a fractured pelvis and a broken wrist,” reports Stephanie Tobin for the CBC. Handspiker later met up with Mark Robar, who led the rescue effort. The dogs are fine.

Barry O’Neil, Nathaniel Denton, and Dallas Kenley rescued a whale in Digby.

Greta, a papillon dog, has rescued three kittens, reports Pam Sword for Local Xpress:

The kittens, now about 10 days old, came into Greta’s life about a week ago, under the spectre of death and through the truly amazing serendipity of life.

Brenna, Dexter and Evan needed a mama to feed them after being rescued from an owner intent on drowning them. And Greta, racked with grief over the stillborn birth of her pup, needed someone to care for.

2. Ieshia Evans

Photo: Jonathan Bachman/Reuters
Photo: Jonathan Bachman/Reuters

My friend and colleague Hilary Beaumont interviewed Ieshia Evans, the woman being arrested in the iconic photo of the protests in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Says Evans:

We were there for a reason. It’s part of a protest. I’m not going to be pushed off [to the side], we’re not going to have our issues and our feelings and our lives pushed off to the side and swept away like they swept away Alton Sterling’s life, they swept away Freddie Gray’s life, they swept away Sandra Bland’s life, Tamir Rice’s life, you know, countless others. I’m not going to get pushed off to the side.

3. Gloria McCluskey

Asked for comment, McCluskey remained stone-faced. Photo: Halifax Examiner
Asked for comment, McCluskey remained stone-faced. Photo: Halifax Examiner

Dartmouth councillor Gloria McCluskey is a Pokémon Go enthusiast, reports Haley Ryan for Metro.

4. Middle Eastern

“Halifax police are perpetuating damaging stereotypes by using ‘Middle Eastern’ to describe three unknown cab drivers suspected in a recent string of alleged sexual assaults, critics say,” reports Michael MacDonald for the Canadian Press:

“There’s no such thing as a Middle-Eastern-looking person,” said Raja Khouri, president of the Toronto-based Canadian Arab Institute.

Khouri, who is also member of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, said the millions of people from the 17 countries in the region come from disparate backgrounds, which means their physical attributes vary widely.

“You can be white. You can be black. You can be somewhere in between,” he said. “It’s an inaccurate description, and it leaves the door open to whatever stereotypes people have in mind for bad people.”

I get that “middle-eastern” is common usage, and that it means something to the people using it. But that “something” is not very helpful. Police and reporters need to follow up that description with more questions: What do you mean by that? Can we get at a better, more detailed description?

Relatedly, it’s frustrating that cabs evidently don’t have GPS. GPS should be required, and the information tracked and recorded, so if there is an incident it’s easy to find out which cab (and therefore which driver) was involved.


1. Twinning

A cable barrier on a three lane road (with alternating passing lane) in Sweden. Photo: Wikipedia.
A cable barrier on a three lane road (with alternating passing lane) in Sweden. Photo: Wikipedia.

“Strangely enough, unlike other feasibility studies on major infrastructure projects, this highway twinning study did not undertake an economic cost-benefit analysis,” writes Erica Butler:

Remember the last commuter rail study for Halifax? The report authors and many of the media reports pronounced commuter rail infeasible, not based on whether Halifax wanted it or could figure out a way to afford it, but based on an economic cost-benefit analysis. There’s no such analysis applied in this provincially commissioned report, even though roughly 50-80 times more public money is at stake.

Instead of investigating economic feasibility, the premise seems to be that twinning is feasible, and the report simply lays out how much it might cost and the possible ways we might pay for it.

But what if we shifted the discussion from how we can pay for twinning over to should we pay for twinning?

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2. Truro

Photo: Stephen Archibald
Photo: Stephen Archibald

Stephen Archibald visits Truro:

Our visit really consisted of walking Prince Street and admiring, with fresh eyes, the parade of architecture. I paused to snap  pictures of a few buildings. Here is the old Post Office and Federal Building from 1884. Those Ottawa architects knew what they were doing.

3. Cranky letter of the day

To the Charlottetown Guardian:

Another day when the Guardian headlines and stories are littered with the word “accident” when describing vehicle crashes or collisions.

Perhaps you may wish to revise your editorial policy and writing style guide to reflect the current reality as outlined in the New York Times article dated May 22, 2016.

Every day Islanders make decisions involving the consumption of alcohol and drugs, or choose to disregard their own safety and the well-being of others by driving dangerously.

The resulting deaths, injuries and property damage are not “accidents”.

Robert Guth, O’Leary



Redditor Chandler2015 took the above photo on South Park Street yesterday. One commenter dubbed it the “Game of Thrones,” another “Flushing Meadows.”



Transportation Committee (1pm, City Hall) — a secret discussion of Via Rail’s proposal to provide a commuter rail service. I would go, but, why should I? It’s in secret.


No public meetings.

On campus


Queers on campus (Noon, Council Chambers, Student Union Building) — Students, faculty, and staff of Dalhousie discuss experiences of being an LGBTQ+ person on campus.

Thesis defence, Engineering (1pm, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building) — PhD candidate Robynne Murray will defend her thesis, Passively Adaptive Tidal Turbine Blades: Design Methodology and Experimental Testing.”

Carol The Bechdel Test Film Fest – Pride Edition (7pm, MacAloney Room, Fountain School of Performing Arts) — A viewing and discussion of the film Carol:

South House will be showing a series of films over the summer with one simple goal in mind: to see if they pass the Bechdel Film Test. Haven’t heard of this iconic test by Allison Bechdel? The rules are:
1. Are there are least two women?
2. Do they talk to each other?
3. About something other than a man?
This iconic feminist film test is very simple, yet painfully few films pass it. These screenings will be free, and followed by discussion about feminist film, representation of women, trans folks, non-binary & gender-nonconformist folks, femmes of all genders in both mainstream and independent media, and pop culture in general.

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 approach to Halifax Harbour, 8:30am Fishing boats (orange) and pleasure craft (purple) sails between continer ships (green) and the Coast Guard research ship Hudson (blue) which is stationary at far right.Thursday. Map:
The approach to Halifax Harbour, 8:30am Thursday. Fishing boats (orange) and pleasure craft (purple) sail between container ships (green) and the Coast Guard research ship Hudson (blue square), which is stationary at far right.Thursday. Map:

Scheduled as of 7am:

6am: Asian Moon, container ship, arrives at Pier 31 from Mariel, Cuba
6:30am: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, moves from Pier 41 to Autoport
6:45am: Veendam, cruise ship, arrives at Pier 22 from Sydney
10:30am: HMS Scott, Royal Navy ship, sails from NC5 for sea
11am: NYK Constellation, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Rotterdam
11:30am: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, moves from Autoport back to Pier 41
1pm: Hampshire, the superyacht owned by Jim Ratcliffe, the union-bustingfracking enthusiast CEO of the GHG-spewing petrochemical company Ineos, arrives at the Maritime Museum dock from Lunenburg so the 0.00001% can lord it over the quaint (this is Ratcliffe’s smaller superyarcht, not the super-superyacht Hampshire II)
3:30pm: Veendam, cruise ship, sails from Pier 22 for Bar Harbor

6am: ZIM Luanda, container ship, arrives at HalTerm from Valencia, Spain
6pm: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, sails from Pier 41 for St. John’s
8pm: Asian Moon, container ship, sails from Pier 31 for Rotterdam

Peter Greathead
Peter Greathead

This week, Peter Greathead, one of the captains of the cross-harbour ferries, has taken over the @peopleofHalifax Twitter account and is using it to teach us all about sailing lore, tradition, what the ferries do, and other interesting information. It’s all quite fascinating.


We’re recording Examineradio this morning.

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Tim Bousquet

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

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  1. I’m surprised you didn’t mention this, Tim:

    Most of our homeless shelters in Canada are women-and-children only. There are cities bigger than Halifax with no shelters that men over 16 are allowed into. It’s important that we support Turning Point, or there will be even more desperate men on our streets (or locked up in Burnside), with all that is associated with that.

  2. Mr Khouri of CAI is way off base with his statement.
    ” Const. Amit Parasram, diversity officer for Halifax Regional Police, said the “Middle Eastern” description was given to investigators by each of the three young, female victims.
    “That is the best information we have at the time toward identifying that person, … (but) I acknowledge that it’s not the ideal,” he said Wednesday. “I could look like a Middle Eastern person, when in fact I’m of Indian descent and grew up in the Caribbean.”
    It would be normal practice for police to use the words of a complainant to describe an alleged perpetrator; I would not expect, an officer to then alter a description. The description used by the complainant is evidence and why would anyone, let alone a lawyer such as Mr Cohen, expect police to alter evidence ?

    1. Police shouldn’t alter evidence, but they should gather more reliable evidence. Simply asking for more details would provide a more reliable description. I’m sure if the witnesses said someone was “tall” or “old” the police would ask what that meant and try to narrow down a height or age range.

      1. Who determines the reliability of evidence ? Usually a judge or jury after an officer and a prosecutor have determined there is sufficient evidence to gain a conviction.
        The complainant describes a person and an officer takes notes or records the interview. We don’t know the details of the interview and the police released few details.
        Distressed women/men complaining about an alleged sexual assault do the best they can in the circumstances.
        Let us all wait until a trial takes place.

  3. From Reddit, regarding banning the term “Middle Eastern”:

    Maybe this would work better?

    Khouri’s job is to advance the interests of Arabic people in Canada, which presumably extends to preventing the totally baseless stereotype that Arabic men are more likely to be rapists than white men, so I understand why he said what he said. Of course, if someone was from some minority ethnic group from the Middle East that lacks the facial structure, skin colour, hair colour, eye colour and other features associated with the Middle East, nobody is going to describe them as Middle Eastern even if it’s technically true.

    It seems like in a lot of areas in our society, whether we’re talking about race, gender or economic relationships our language has been deliberately shaped to only make certain conclusions the only possible ones. The purpose of the language police is, with the aid of a few facts that are not allowed, to make independent thought impossible. Khouri is doing a good job because he’s removing meaning from the term ‘Middle Eastern’, by saying that it is impossible to describe someone as middle eastern, based on their appearance. I agree with Tim that information other than “middle eastern” is helpful, but by banning the term itself you actually reduce specificity.

    For instance, a canonical middle eastern person, if I had to describe them, has olive to brown skin, black or dark brown hair, which can be curly or straight, brown eyes, dark body hair (if they’re a man) and a largish nose. This is a meaningless description, I’m mostly of German and mixed southern European origin, and I fit nearly all of those characteristics, but nobody would think I’m Middle Eastern, because our brains are way better at categorizing things like what ethnicity someone is from visual information than from (inadequate) linguistic descriptions of particular features.

    Maybe instead of policing language we should put cameras and audio recording devices in taxis.

  4. Cape Split is a fairly safe trail, I think what we’re seeing is the x-treme sport generation not understanding real world risks. This type of stuff is usually learned in school and after-school activities, there is no way people should be so oblivious to the danger of heights. Frankly, the sign at the trail head should be sufficient, otherwise you should start with low-land trails or Cape Blomidon.

  5. Re : Economic Impact Studies.

    Economic Impact and Cost/Benefit studies are comparative tools. They are intended to be part of a rational and accountable process by which to choose among viable alternatives to get the best likely means toward an articulated end goal.

    If the end goal can not be honestly articulated; if the means is presupposed; if no other options are being genuinely considered; if there are no rational conditions under which the proponents would change there mind… then why waste money on a comparative study where the is nothing to compare it to?

    This is the world where Progress, defined as an article of faith to mean whatever is politically valuable, is openly put before Process. For those feeling something is wrong in the economy and the democracy but can’t quite put their finger on it, the answer is hidden here in plain sight.

    This is how we get Growth without Prosperity.

  6. Just an FYI; local firefighters, including LocalXpress Journalist Ian Fairclough, say the woman fell 30 metres, not 90. Given that Ian was there, I’d be inclined to believe him and the SAR techs over someone from CBC who has probably never even been there. Had she fallen 90 metres (which is almost the height of the cliff, the outcome would have been quite different. Moreover, as a former resident (and former firefighter who has done rescues out there) of Scotts Bay, who has been to the Split many times, there is a large open field at the end of the trail–it’s quite obvious when you emerge from the woods that you’re at the cliffs, despite what the woman says.