1. Finances

The Halifax Examiner is experiencing a bit of a cash crunch. The tax subsidy rebate cheque will arrive in the summer, and that will ease our cash position, but until then, finances are extremely tight.

People have been letting their subscriptions lapse, which I attribute not to a decline in the Examiner’s reporting (the crew is doing fantastic work), but rather to the general opening up of society, which is taking people away from their computers, and to the lessening of mass murder and COVID news, which has been a big draw for readers over the past three years.

Bottom line, though: without a new infusion of subscribers, we’ll have to make some cuts.

So if you have let your subscription lapse, please consider resubscribing. And if you have never before subscribed, please consider doing so now. Or, if you just have some extra money you’d like to drop our way, please consider donating.

Subscribers are by far our largest revenue source, as we don’t sell advertising. We don’t bombard you with pop-up windows or ads for new cars or whatever. It’s you, the reader, who make this work possible.

I very much dislike even making these occasional requests for subscriptions and donations, but here we are.

Thanks much.

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2. Brunswick Street affordable housing

A parking lot is seen on a sunny early fall day.
The property at 2445 Brunswick St., as seen in September 2021. Credit: Google Street View

“Halifax regional council wants to direct $11 million in federal funding to build 38 deeply affordable homes on Brunswick Street,” reports Zane Woodford:

The funding comes from the third round of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Rapid Housing Initiative.

The international Catholic volunteer organization [Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SSVP)] wants to build 38 homes at 2445 Brunswick St.

Currently a parking lot, the property is next door to the society’s Hope Cottage, a soup kitchen.

Click here to read “Council votes to direct $11 million in federal funding to Brunswick Street affordable housing.”

Obviously, spending some money on affordable housing is better than spending no money on affordable housing. But I worry that these projects are being set up to fail.

I’m sure that like the other two organizations to receive CMHC money (Adsum House and the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Society), SSVP includes capable, hard-working people with the very best of intentions. Typically, these kinds of organizations know how to stretch a limited pool of dollars, and that’s why they’re picked for these projects.

But do they have the institutional capacity to keep the projects running for the long-term? It’s their very strength of stretching dollars that can become a problem; often, non-profits underpay their workers, and burnout and turnover is high. People who obtain important skills get hired off to the private sector or government, and the projects get neglected.

I don’t mean any offence to those organizations, but why do we have a dozen or so non-profits, each with their own underpaid staff trying to stretch a relatively few dollars to provide housing, when we could better fund a single government organization to do the same?

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3. Food security and public safety

Food is displayed on the side of a van that says MOBILE FOOD MARKET on the side. It's a sunny day.
Increased support for the Mobile Food Market is one recommendation in JustFOOD: Action Plan for the Halifax Region. Credit: Stevens

“Halifax regional council approved two big plans on Tuesday, aiming to improve food security and public safety,” reports Zane Woodford:

First was Part A of “JustFOOD: Action Plan for the Halifax Region,” the result of more than a decade of work by the Halifax Food Policy Alliance, working with HRM and the public.

The strategy is badly needed. Household food insecurity in HRM is 18.6% — higher than the provincial and national averages and among the highest in Canada. And it’s getting worse, with the cost of food in Nova Scotia rising 11% in 2022.

There are 10 actions for HRM in the first year. Those include establishing and funding a food policy council; using municipal facilities to offer food programs, grow food, and support public food infrastructure; and establishing a community garden plot program.

Councillors also approved a renewed Public Safety Strategy on Tuesday.

Those include enhanced community response teams, the creation of a community crisis response service, and the work already underway to create a sobering centre.

Click here to read “Halifax council endorses food security and public safety plans.”

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4. Nova Scotia Health files defence in Holthoff lawsuit

A close-up headshot of a woman.
Allison Holthoff Credit: Facebook

“The Nova Scotia Health Authority has filed a defence with the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia against a claim by the family of Allison Holthoff, who died in an emergency department in Amherst after waiting seven hours before seeing a doctor,” I reported yesterday:

In the defence filed by lawyer Karen N. Bennett-Clayton of Stewart McKelvey, Nova Scotia Health maintains that “any injury, loss or damage sustained by the Plaintiff [Holthoff’s family] was not caused by the negligence on the part of the Defendant Health Authority or anyone for whom Defendant Health Authority would be responsible at law.”

Further, Nova Scotia Health’s defence says that “any care provided by them to Allison Holthoff was provided reasonably, appropriately and in a manner consistent with the applicable standard care in the circumstances.”

Click here to read “Allison Holthoff died after waiting 7 hours in the ER without seeing a doctor; Nova Scotia Health says the care it gave Holthoff was ‘provided reasonably, appropriately.'”

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5. Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre

A rendering shows trees and long grass in the foreground, and a stepped, modern building of four storeys in the background. It's a sunny day.
A rendering of the plan for the new Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre. Credit: Fathom Studio

“The Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre has secured the land for its new home after years of work, and it’s getting a good deal,” reports Zane Woodford:

After a public hearing on Tuesday, Halifax regional council voted unanimously in favour of a motion to sell HRM’s property at 1940 Gottingen St. to the friendship centre for $1.

The society originally planned two buildings on the property. [Municipal real estate project manager Rudy] Vodicka wrote that one “would serve as a cultural centre and the second as a mixed-use development with housing, commercial and social enterprises.”

“This has since been revised to phased development. As proposed, the Gottingen Street property will be used for the construction of a replacement Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre,” Vodicka wrote.

The society estimates the total cost of the project will be almost $50 million, having raised $32.8 million from the federal government.

Click here to read “Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre to buy former Red Cross property from Halifax for $1.”

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6. More doctor training

Three doctors/medical professionals in scrubs perform surgery.
Photo: Raul Infante Gaete/Pexels

We knew the announcement was coming, but on Tuesday Premier Tim Houston announced an expenditure of $58.9 million to develop a new medical school at NSCC’s Marconi campus, to open by fall 2025. It will train 30 doctors/year, in collaboration with Dal’s faculty of medicine.

Is that a meaningful contribution to Nova Scotia’s doctor numbers? I don’t know.

Consider first of all that in 2020, according to its annual report, the Dal medical school graduated 118 new doctors, so the Marconi grads will represent a 25% increase in doctors. But not until they go through the entire four-year program (although students work with patients beginning in their first year).

But also: Houston has set an aspirational goal of doubling the province’s population by 2060. If that is at all a realistic prospect, there will have to be more of everything: more transportation, more food, more energy, more schools, more services, more doctors. How does 30 more doctors a year fit into that aspirational population goal? I have no idea.

The province will also make a “healthcare funding announcement about programs for students” at Saint Mary’s University today, but hasn’t yet given any details.

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7. Kitch conviction overturned

Tracy Kitch. Photo: Career Women Interaction

“Nova Scotia’s Court of Appeal has overturned the fraud conviction of former IWK CEO Tracy Kitch and ordered a new trial,” reports the CBC:

Kitch was convicted last February of fraud over $5,000 for billing personal expenses to the IWK — expenses ranging from personal flights for family members, Netflix and iTunes fees, taxi bills and overage charges on her cellphone.

Kitch was sentenced in August to five months in jail followed by 12 months of probation. She spent one night at the Burnside jail before she was released on bail pending appeal.

The three-member appeal panel listened to less than four hours of argument from both the Crown and Kitch’s lawyer — Brian Greenspan — before quashing the conviction and ordering a new trial. No reasons for the decision were given.

Greenspan told the appeal panel “there was nothing about Kitch’s expenses that could be characterized as fraudulent. No dishonourable or dishonest conduct.”

Greenspan said Kitch’s conduct amounts to “careless mismanagement” and not fraud.

Is careless mismanagement better or worse than careful mismanagement?

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8. The Icarus report

A windmill
Thirty-five Vestas V150-4.2 MW wind turbines make up the Lanfine Wind Project. Credit: Pattern Energy

Before this morning, I’ve never heard of Oyen, Alberta, but Wikipedia tells me that it is a town of about 1,000 people “in east-central Alberta, Canada near the Saskatchewan boundary and north of Medicine Hat… Oyen is the service centre for a large but sparsely populated dryland farming area.” It’s also home to Oyen Airport and the Big Country Hospital, which has an emergency room that usually operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week (but sometimes not).

However, air ambulance pilots are refusing to land at the airport at night:

Airport official advised that air ambulance flights refuse to fly into the airport during evenings, due to two windmills that were installed straight off the runway, affecting approach and take-off of aircraft. The official noted that these windmills have been erected for a number of months and still have no lights, making them impossible to see in fog or dark conditions.

The windmills appear to be part of the $350 million Lanfine project by Pattern Energy. As Bill Macfarlane reported for CTV:

The project comes as the town is bouncing back from the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline project in 2021.

Nearly $2 billion in renewable wind power projects are currently being built in southern and eastern Alberta, with nearly $500 million more in the proposal stage.

One reason for the boom is the new-found profitability.

The cost of building a wind power project is roughly $30 per megawatt hour of energy production.

So far in 2022, wholesale electricity rates are $130.70 per megawatt hour.

It’s a profit margin that rivals conventional oil production during a boom

Sounds good, but put some lights on those puppies, eh?

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9. Port au Port and Risley’s ‘green hydrogen’ project

A map of World Energy GH2’s proposed project in Port au Port Credit: World Energy GH2

Justin Brake is hosting berrygrounds, a new podcast series, in collaboration with the Newfoundland and Labrador Independent.

Episode 3 of the series deals with John Risley’s World Energy GH2 ‘green hydrogen’ project in Port au Port:

A billionaire-owned company with ties to Premier Furey is first out of the gate in the province’s wind-to-hydrogen industry. But residents on the Port au Port Peninsula—many of them Indigenous—are pushing back, saying the proposed megaproject threatens their land, water and way of life. After blocking road access to contractors doing preliminary work near the community of Mainland, land defenders found themselves on the receiving end of a court injunction. Like their Muskrat Falls predecessors, they’re now caught up in litigation.

But theirs may not be the only costly battle in the province’s wind rush. World Energy GH2 now has to try to mitigate the negative publicity associated with criminalizing Indigenous people. And the rest of the emerging industry is watching closely, says our guest, Alex Bill, editor with

We’re also joined by University of PEI energy justice researcher Nick Mercer, who says that for the things John Risley’s company has done right, it is repeating mistakes of the past and risks losing public support for the wind industry as a whole.

Click here to listen to ‘Port au Port and the Wind Industry Acid Test.’

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10. Non-existent green power to be used to fuel non-existent rockets

A MLS graphic of the hydrazine-fuelled cyclone rocket it proposes to use at Canso. Now, apparently, the rocket will be environmentally friendly.

Speaking of green hydrogen, yesterday EverWind and Maritime Launch Services issued a press release. Synergy, people, synergy:

Two Nova Scotia based companies developing world leading projects – EverWind Fuels’ (EverWind) green hydrogen project in Point Tupper and Maritime Launch Services Inc.’s (NEO: MAXQ) (OTCQB: MAXQF) (Maritime Launch) Spaceport Nova Scotia near Canso, are working on a green liquid oxygen supply agreement that will further solidify both companies’ sector-specific leadership positions and strengthen each party’s positive impact on the local economy and environment.

EverWind and Maritime Launch announced today they have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to explore the potential of a customer-supplier relationship for EverWind to supply liquid oxygen, and other products, such as green hydrogen, to Maritime Launch. Green liquid oxygen is an output from EverWind’s planned green hydrogen facility in nearby Point Tupper and is required for the operation of launch vehicles from Spaceport Nova Scotia.

The hydrogen (and I guess, oxygen) produced at EverWind can’t be ‘green’ until EverWind can secure enough wind power over and above what will be used by the rest of Nova Scotia Power’s customers, but no matter how often we run the calculations, the math ain’t mathing. Until such a time, should it ever come, EverWind’s fuel will be ‘brown hydrogen’ at best.

And Maritime Launch Services proposes to use never-before-launched rockets to be produced by a Ukrainian rocket factory that is currently being blown to smithereens by Russian missiles.

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Budget Committee (Wednesday, 9:30am, City Hall, and online) — agenda

Special Meeting – North West Community Council  (Wednesday, St. Margaret’s Centre, Upper Tantallon) — agenda


Appeals Standing Committee (Thursday, 10am, City Hall) — agenda

Board of Police Commissioners (Thursday, 4:30pm, HEMDCC Meeting Space, Alderney Gate, and online) — agenda


Public Accounts (Wednesday, 9am, One Government Place, and online) — 2023 Report of the Auditor General – Effectiveness of the Green Fund Over First Two Years; with a representative from the Department of Environment and Climate Change

On campus



2023 Women in STEM Networking And Panel Event (Wednesday, 6pm, Canvas, Cambridge Suites Hotel Halifax) — with Anya Waite, Sophia Stone, Sreejata Chatterjee, and Zana Choueiri; more info and registration here

Fostering Whole Person Care Using the Humanities (Wednesday, 7pm, online) — Dalhousie Mini Medical School


Preservation of N isotope signals during sinking and sedimentation of organic material (Thursday, 11:30am, Milligan Room, Life Sciences Centre) — Nina Golombek will talk

Development Aid in Dangerous Places: Lessons from Afghanistan (Thursday, 2:30pm, Lord Dalhousie Room, Henry Hicks Building) — Jason Lyall from Dartmouth College will talk

Panel Discussion on Unacknowledged Roots of Narrative Practice (Thursday, 5:30pm, online) — with N Siritsky, Terrence lewis, Prasanna Kariyawansa, Stel Raven, and moderator Nancy Ross; registration and info here

A Human Rights-based Approach to the New Treaty on Plastic Pollution (Thursday, 7pm, online) — Marcos A Orellana will talk

Saint Mary’s

Women’s Bodily Autonomy and the Right to Bare Arms (Wednesday, 4:30pm, Burke Theatre B) — Meredith Ralston will talk about her latest book

Halifax Central Library

Girlfriend, Talk About It: The Graduate Work of Toni Morrison & bell hooks (Thursday, 7pm, Halifax Central Library) — Evelyn C. White will talk about the artistry and intellectual evolution of two remarkable authors. 

A Nobel Laureate in Literature, Toni Morrison was widely heralded for guiding by example a generation of Black women writers to eschew “the white gaze” in their work. Interestingly, Morrison completed her 1955 master’s thesis on authors William Faulkner and Virginia Woolf…In 1983, Black activist/author bell hooks was among the first scholars to complete a doctoral dissertation on the early writing of Toni Morrison.

In the harbour

05:30: Atlantic Sun, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Liverpool, England
06:00: AS Felicia, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from New York
06:30: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, arrives at Fairview Cove from Saint-Pierre
06:30: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, arrives at Anchorage 5 (near Dartmouth Cove) from St. John’s
09:00: MOL Charisma, container ship, sails from Pier 41 for Dubai
09:00: Oceanex Sanderling moves to Pier 41
11:00: Skogafoss, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Reykjavik, Iceland
11:45: Oceanex Sanderling moves to Autoport
14:30: CSL Tacoma, bulker, sails from Gold Bond for sea
15:30: Atlantic Sun sails for New York
16:30: Oceanex Sanderling moves to Pier 42
22:30: AS Felicia sails for Kingston, Jamaica

Cape Breton
10:00: Alpine Liberty, oil tanker, sails from EverWind for sea
13:00: Evans Spirit, cargo ship, arrives at Mulgrave from Baltimore


I very much hope to make it to Evelyn White’s talk at the library tomorrow (see above), but I’ll be rushing from another appointment, so not sure. You should go, if that’s your interests.

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

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  1. Our province has no shame. Why would they even challenge a lawsuit brought on by the family of a poor woman who passed away while waiting at an emergency room. They should be quiet and make a fair settlement with the family.

  2. Re: ‘more Dr. training’ story-
    CBC ran an interview this week where doctors examined what it is that they do on an average day. They found that 80% of what they do could be done by specially trained nurses who would work under the supervision of a doctor. Given this, does it not make sense to train more nurses by bringing back schools of nursing? If a % of these nursing grads could free up doctors to the extent that these doctors said, wouldn’t that mean more doctor time available for more, new patients? Why schools of nursing? Why not!
    With more than 130,000 people without a physician, merely opening up another medical school will not address the need nearly fast enough.

  3. I thought we had been notified that there would be an increase to the subscription fee. Is it still on? I don’t have a problem with it as I consider the Examiner better value and cheaper than my other digital subscriptions to the G&M and Washington Post.

    1. Yes, if you’ve been a subscriber it should have automatically increased from $10 to $12/month, or a similar percentage for annual subscriptions.

      1. I have had my subscription paid monthly from my credit card for many years. After reading your comment, I checked my account to see if the new rate has been applied. Despite the fact that I still have complete access, it appears that I have not had my acct. debited since $10 was debited Oct. 13 of last year. Is it possible that your decline in readership is being caused by some technical glitch? I’ll contact Iris to fix this.

  4. 38 units at 11 million dollars is 300,000 a unit. That isn’t bad, especially if some are 2+ beds. The problem with solutions like this is that they are still so expensive that they cannot scale to match the problem. We cannot let our supply of new housing be entirely controlled by private developers that only want to build $1800 a month 1 bedrooms and $700,000 detached homes. The government funding a couple dozen units a year is a pointless distraction – we need thousands of units a year just in Halifax.

    Boutique welfare systems – where a tiny minority of underprivileged people receive enormous windfalls in the form of housing they could otherwise not afford and most get nothing – are not what we need.

    1. I’ll add that market rates for a 1 bedroom in the vicinity of the Brunswick Street development are close to 2000 dollars a month. For that to be affordable, based on the dubious 30% of gross pay standard, that requires a household income of $72,000 dollars, and would be more than 50% of takehome pay. You would need to make $80,000 a year for rent to be under 50% of your pay.