1. The parties on the environment

Photo: Irwin Barrett

“Close to 150 people turned out for a rapid-fire political debate on environmental issues Tuesday at the University of King’s College,” reports Jennifer Henderson for the Halifax Examiner:

The four parties were represented by Iain Rankin, Liberal candidate for Timberlea-Prospect; Lisa Roberts, NDP candidate for Halifax-Needham; Jessica Alexander, deputy leader of the Green Party; and Rob Batherson, PC candidate for Halifax-Sable Island.

Henderson goes on to list the questions asked of the candidates, and their answers.

Click here to read “Quick hits: the parties on the environment.”

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

2. Jad Crnogorac and Matt Whitman

Yesterday, the Progressive Conservative party issued a short announcement:

As a consequence of social media posts, Jad Crnogorac has been removed as the Progressive Conservative candidate for Dartmouth South. This is effective immediately.

Crnogorac’s dismissal comes after the Liberals canned Matt MacNight for a single tweet he made three years ago and the NDP ejected Bill McEwen when his former website, The Bullpen, became known publicly.

“[Crnogorac’s] postings included an off-colour joke about a date rape drug referred to as ‘roofies,’ and a comment that white people not winning Black Entertainment Television awards is an example of ‘inequality,’” notes Michael Tutton for the Canadian Press.

Someone really had to dig to find those tweets. I scrolled through Crnogorac’s timeline and found someone obsessed mostly with fitness, and then by golf. She does post tweets that involve race, but she regularly celebrates Black athletes, especially Tiger Woods, who she seems to adore, and Black musicians. She has also retweeted comments condemning rape, so I don’t know what to make of the date rape drug joke. Honestly, her social media feels like that of someone 20 years her junior, scatter-shooting all over the place without much of a filter.

What strikes me in the cases of the three dropped candidates is that, so far as I’m aware, there was no one out there in the public demanding that the candidates be dropped before the parties booted them. Of course that might be just because “the public” didn’t have time to react to the old social media posts (or to McEwen’s old website), and the candidates were dismissed preemptively by the party leaders. Who knows? There may have been a huge public outcry demanding the candidates’ firing. Or, the public might have let out a collective yawn. We just don’t know.

I only raise this because there is one candidate’s social media presence that has been widely (if not universally) decried, and the party leader has done nothing about it.

Photo: Facebook

I’m speaking of Matt Whitman. Whitman seems to have a cluelessness when it comes to race, like for instance when he dressed up as “Mexican Matt” for Halloween (the joke is that he was a Mexican Trump supporter while his wife was a Clinton supporter) or when he filmed himself having a “Chinese fire drill” (you can see the video here).

I wrote about the latter incident back in March; I think the best comment about it came from Chris Parsons, who says he is “the 1 local Chinese guy you follow on twitter”:

In the aftermath of the video, lots of people demanded that Whitman drop out of the provincial race. Robert Devet is just the latest. But PC leader Jamie Baillie hasn’t moved to remove Whitman.

The contrast between her situation and Whitman’s isn’t lost on Crnogorac, reports Tutton:

She posted a social media response apologizing for her comments, but said she’d been let down by party leader Jamie Baillie for failing to give her the same support as Matt Whitman — a Tory candidate who faced criticism over a YouTube video that was earlier condemned for racial stereotyping.

“This is an opportunity to point out the double standard that women face in (the) professional world and particularly … in politics,” she wrote.

“I … gave them (the party) full access to my online footprint. I hope this will serve as a chance for them to re-examine their vetting process so they are able to find perfect candidates in the future.”

She also said she had declined the party’s offer to resign, and said, “I have been treated unfairly and what they have done is wrong.”

So why is Crnogorac jettisoned while Whitman is kept on? I’m not asking why both should be fired or both kept on — one can make coherent arguments either way, and people disagree — but rather: why are the two treated differently?

It’s hard not agree with Crnogorac, to think there is some underlying sexism at play. I also think that Whitman’s much-flaunted Christian credentials (no, I don’t know what that means either, exactly) give him support in some circles that others wouldn’t receive.

3. Tidal turbines and lobster

One of the tidal turbines came through Halifax Harbour earlier this year. Photo: Halifax Examiner

“Bay of Fundy fishermen are complaining about disruptions to this year’s lobster season because of unexpected plans to re-deploy the tidal turbine now underwater at the FORCE site in the Minas Passage,” reports Bruce Wark:

Parrsboro fisherman Mark Taylor says he moved his 125 traps away from the Minas Passage to allow Cape Sharp to haul its turbine out for repairs. And now, he’s moving the traps again away from the Spencer’s Island area after being told the turbine will be going there for operational testing in calmer waters.

“We’re on our way out there now to gather them all up and move them again,” a frustrated Taylor told Warktimes in a telephone interview today.

“Our traps are really heavy and it’s quite a work load on my crew,” he added, “we just ended up moving them there last week, now we’ve got to move them again.”

Taylor said the disruption is costing him “big time” and he complains that the company gave the fishermen no notice.

“Jesus Christ if they had given us some notice, we wouldn’t have put them there [near Spencer’s Island] in the first place.”

4. The Icarus Report

“Federal authorities will release their investigation report Thursday on the 2015 Air Canada crash landing at Halifax’s international airport that injured more than two dozen people,” reports the Canadian Press.

I have, shall we say, issues about flying. After I wrote about my latest flight last Monday, a reader thoughtfully (?) sent me a link to the Transportation Safety Board’s daily listing of flight incidents in Canada. I’ve been hooked, or I guess obsessed, ever since, and check the site daily.

There are an alarming number of incidents across Canada every day, usually dozens. Most of them are minor — mixed up paperwork and bird strikes are common. But some stand out. The first is tragic:

An Exact Air Piper PA-31 (C-FQQB/Navajo) was conducting the the second magnetometric survey flight of the day from Schefferville, QC (CYKL), with two pilots on board. The flight crew was accompanied by C-FVTL, another Piper PA-31 belonging to the same aviation operator. C-FQQB took off around 13:36 for a flight that was approximately 5 hours long, trailed by C-FVTL. The point the furthest northwest where they would be working was approximately 25 NM from CYKL. According to the established sequence, C-FQQB was to land first at CYKL, followed by C-FVTL around 10 minutes later. Around 18:55, the flight crew of C-FVTL reported that C-FQQB was missing, and a search was launched. The aircraft was found on top of a mineral deposit some 3.5 NM from CYKL. A site inspection revealed that C-FQQB had struck an auxiliary power line that crossed a railroad, in a valley between two deposits of mine tailings. After striking the wires, the aircraft proceeded for approximately 250 meters, while being tangled in the two wires, which had wrapped themselves around the left propeller. When the wires were stretched out as far as they could go, the left engine and propeller were ripped out of the airframe. The aircraft then struck the ground approximately 50 meters further, and the left engine was found further away. After the impact, there was no fire, and no ELT signal was heard. The accident occurred during daylight hours. Both pilots were fatally injured.

Here are a few other recent incidents:

A very large metallic gold balloon was reported at 4500 feet mean sea level (MSL) 2NM north of Vancouver, BC (CYVR).

UPDATE TSB #A17C0026: C-FPPW, a de Havilland DHC-8-100 aircraft operated by Perimeter Aviation, was conducting flight PAG663 from Winnipeg/James A. Richardson Intl, MB (CYWG) to Pikangikum, ON (CYPM) with three crew members and 14 passengers on board. During the rotation off Runway 36 at CYWG, the aircraft suddenly veered to the left and continued its climb. The flight crew elected to return to CYWG and conduct a fly-by the tower to check for a possible blown tire. The tower did not see any visual anomalies with the landing gear. The flight crew declared an emergency and the aircraft landed without further event. The aircraft came to a full stop on Runway 36 for inspection of possible blown tire. The aircraft then taxied to the ramp. The operator’s maintenance inspected the aircraft and the nose wheel steering computer was replaced.

A Delta DTA SARL Voyageur II 912 S basic ultralight aircraft was conducting a flight from St-Mathias, QC (CSP5). The aircraft crashed into a field approximately 2.5 NM southwest of CSP5. The pilot, who was only person on board, sustained serious injuries. The circumstances giving rise to the accident are unknown at this time.

An individual reported that a blue-grey Bell helicopter had flown over his house at a low altitude (apparently less than 500 feet) and turned twice over his house. This is not the first time that this has occurred, and the individual claimed that in the past, the chief pilot had stated that his aircraft would not do this again, they would fly at a regulation altitude. In the individual’s opinion, the aircraft were violating regulations.

There are lots and lots of “wind shear” incidents at Stanfield International — my sense is more than at all other airports in the country combined, at least over the past couple of weeks — where the pilot has to abort a landing and try again. There have been some other Halifax incidents that drew my attention:

UPDATE: TSB REPORT#A17A0030: C-GDKN, a Sikorsky S-92A aircraft operated by Cougar Helicopters as CHI01, was conducting a CAT II ILS approach onto Runway 23 at Halifax/Stanfield Intl, NS (CYHZ). C-GKQE, a de Havilland DHC-8-400 aircraft operated by Porter Airlines as POE461, was following on an ILS for Runway 14 at CYHZ from Montreal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau Intl, QC (CYUL). By the time CHI01 crossed the intersection of the 2 runways, the two aircraft were 1.4 nautical miles apart. There was a loss of separation as the required spacing is 3 nautical miles.

A Jazz Bombardier CL-600-2B19 (C-FIJA/JZA8861) from Gander, NL (CYQX) to Halifax/Stanfield, NS (CYHZ) declared an emergency due to speed control and navigation equipment issues. Flight requested vectors to Sydney/J.A. Douglas McCurdy, NS (CYQY) and aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF). Emergency procedures implemented at CYQY. Aircraft arrived safely at 1047z at CYQY.

TSB REPORT#A17A0029: C-GCPJ, a Bell 429 helicopter operated by the Canadian Coast Guard, was slinging a load of banded steel siding from Canadian Forces Base Shearwater, NS (CYAW) to Georges Island in Halifax Harbour, NS when several short pieces slipped out due to load flexing and fell into an area of bushes. The load was delivered to the destination with no further issue and the lost pieces were recovered.

Then there are flight incidents that give some hint about something else going on. Take, for instance, incidents reported on Friday, May 5, when three private jets took off from Halifax with visibility below acceptable levels:

An American corporately registered Gulfstream G IV (N620JH) from Halifax, NS (CYHZ) to Frankfurt, Germany (EDDF) departed Runway 23 at 0840Z with 1/4SM visibility, RVR 23A 1600 RVR 23B 1600.

An American corporately registered Bombardier CL-600-2B16 (N604GW) from Halifax, NS (CYHZ) to Bangor, ME (KBGR) departed Runway 23 at 1559Z with 1/4SM visibility, RVR 23A 1400 RVR 23B 1400.

An American corporately registered Dassault Falcon 2000EX (N971MT) from Halifax, NS (CYHZ) to Greer, SC (KGSP) departed Runway 23 at 1559Z with 3/8SM visibility, RVR 23A 2200 RVR 23B 2400.

The first jet (N620JH) is owned by Zions Credit Union, which is controlled by Jon Huntsman, the former governor of Utah and a Mormon billionaire plutocrat. The plane reportedly costs $24 million and $2,200/hour to operate.

The second jet (N604GW), the one headed to Bangor, was leased from Cook Aviation.

The third jet (N971MT) is owned by Wells Fargo Bank.

So what were a bunch of financiers doing in Halifax on May 5? And why were they in so much of a hurry to depart that they risked their own safety, the safety of everyone else flying in and out of Halifax, and the safety of all of us on the ground to take off in the heavy fog? Couldn’t they have stayed another day, maybe drop some of those big bucks at Obladee or whatever?


1. Vorarlberg

Photo: Gerhard Klocker

Stephen Archibald visits the Getting Things Done exhibit now visiting the Dalhousie School of Architecture. The exhibit details the architecture of Vorarlberg, an Austrian state that “has been championing contemporary architecture and now there are 100s of examples that have earned the region an international reputation.”

An enduring legacy of the project are 70 video interviews with architects about their projects and practice. Some of these videos are translated into English and can be comfortably sampled online. Most of the interviews were conducted in the architect’s homes and an important part of the documentation are photos of their personal environments. It is refreshing to see interesting interiors that have not been staged and sanitized. You see piles of books, chairs that get sat in and kitchens that are used for cooking.




Audit & Finance Standing Committee (Wednesday, 10am, City Hall) — the new auditor general, Evangeline Colman-Sadd, will present her first work plan.

Halifax Explosion 100th Anniversary Advisory Committee (Wednesday, 3pm, HEMDCC Meeting Space) — I wrote about this yesterday. (The link is an exercise in time travel.)

Halifax Green Network | Final Phase Development (Wednesday, 6pm, School Secondary Du Sommet, Halifax) — info here.

Public Information Meeting – Case 20662 (Wednesday, 7pm, Sackville Public Library) — Linda Williams wants to build some houses on 10 acres of land on First Lake Drive.


Community Planning & Economic Development (10am, City Hall) — here’s the agenda.

Active Transportation (4pm, City Hall) — nothing much on the agenda.


The legislature and its committees won’t meet until after the election.

On campus



Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Seminar (Wednesday, 4pm, Theatre A, Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building) — Donika Shala will speak on “Assessing the Effects of Lighting Regimes on the Productivity of a Microalgae Reactor,” and Logan Slade will speak on “TFEB Helps Breast Cancer Cells Overcome Doxorubicin Chemotherapy.”

YouTube video

Submarine (Wednesday, 8pm, Dalhousie Art Gallery) — a screening of Richard Ayoade’s 2010 film

In the harbour

The seas around Nova Scotia, 9:30am Wednesday. Map:

5:30am: Tomar, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from Southampton, England
6am: RHL Agilitas, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Montreal
6am: ZIM Alabama, container ship, arrives at Pier 41 from Algeciras, Spain
11:30am: Nica, cargo ship, sails from Pier 31 for sea
4pm: RHL Agilitas, container ship, sails from Pier 42 for Bremerhaven, Germany
4:30pm: ZIM Alabama, container ship, sails from Pier 41 for New York
11pm: Atlantic Sea, ro-ro container, arrives at Fairview Cove from Norfolk


I’ll be on The Sheldon MacLeod Show, News 95.7, at 2pm.

Tim Bousquet

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

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  1. Jon Huntsman has been offered by President Donald Trump the position of American Ambassador to Russia. He has not accepted the invitation, as the President and his White House staff are being investigated for possible collusion with the Russian government in interfering in the American Presidential Election of 2016. If he was aboard the aircraft you identified, this means he would have been in Canada, en route to Europe, at the same time the President was holding meetings at his golf course in New Jersey, just four days before dismissing FBI director James Comey. Had Mr. Huntsman just met with Mr. Trump about these matters?

  2. The planes, Utah governor and credit unions …. at least in Nova Scotia a credit union is like a co-op in which it’s one member one vote regardless of how many shares are owned. Now there is comment out there that Big credit unions seem to act like big banks and their governance structure favours management over individual members which suggests the ex gov has perhaps unquestioned influence rather than technical control

  3. When a party drops a candidate, but the candidate’s name remains on the ballot for the election, does that mean that any votes cast for that candidate are not valid? What if that candidate receives the majority of votes for that riding.. does the candidate win… must the candidate sit initially as an independent elected official?

    Just curious.

    1. The person remains a candidate once the papers are filed and nominations are closed. All ballots will be counted. The PC & NDP people are on the ballot, and the PC candidate has said she will serve as an Independent if elected.

      1. Sounds reasonable… after all the public should be electing the candidate they feel will best represent them (it is the public’s choice if pre-election sins are forgiven). When all is said and done, a party’s election platform does not always reflect what the party does once elected… especially if it is a new broom… new brooms do not always sweep the way they were advertised. Of course a bad broom can be returned for a refund, but electing the wrong candidate often takes 4 years or so to fix.

  4. I don’t think it’s a mystery why Crnogorac and Whitman were treated differently – I assume Whitman is seen by the party as a viable candidate, and Crnogorac isn’t, primarily due to the history in their districts. When you nominate someone you view as disposable, it’s not hard to dispose of them.

    With McEwen and Crnogorac still on the ballot, we will get an imperfect look at how much voters care. In the age of Trump it would have been interesting to get a better sense of public opinion – hopefully someone will poll on this.

    1. Agreed – I’d guess the provincial PCs are exercising selective social media blindness / deafness when it comes to the candidates in question. Ms Crnogorac wasn’t going to win in Dartmouth South. And somehow, Matt Whitman’s continued upward fall may land him in the provincial legislature. No matter the party’s reason, it comes off as hypocritical.

      I’m trying to see the silver lining, though – if Matt W wins his riding, I feel I’ll be better off with him as an opposition backbencher than as an ongoing voice/distraction in HRM council…

  5. I don’t know…are you afraid of driving? I was rear-ended twice in two weeks while stopped at a stop sign, in both cases by imbeciles looking at their phones. I’m thinking of getting cameras both for the dash and the rear window. I think it is more dangerous to drive than fly — and certainly far more dangerous to cycle or to walk across a busy intersection (or worse, walk across a street on a roundabout).

    What I hate about flying is not the actual flying, or the take-off and landing, but the security hassle beforehand and the possibility of being grounded if there is the slightest bit of bad weather.

    1. Whenever I write about my irrational fear of flying I get a bunch of people telling me my irrational fear of flying is irrational. It’s annoying.

      1. Umm, them telling you that your fear of flying is irrational is in and of itself actually sort of irrational.

        1. Sure. In the end, every fear is irrational, until it isn’t. That doesn’t make it any less real.

          1. My first flight was a 1963 hop across the North Sea to Amsterdam and I was white as a sheet. After that I flew all over the world and made sure I had something to read. I am not too keen about flying in a chopper but I tolerated a trip to an oil rig and Sable Island, the horses were worth the worry; choppers don’t glide. Off to Vancouver next week and I have a 750 page book to read.
            Your fear is quite rational.

  6. Your report of high-flying financiers is strangely fascinating. Reminds me of the GVA Dictator Alert Twitter account (@GVA_Watcher):

    “This TwitterBot is tracking planes used by authoritarian regimes landing at Geneva Airport.”