On campus
In the harbour


1. Shooting: one man dead, one close to death

A police email to reporters late last night:

At 22:58 hours Halifax Regional Police responded to the 2000 block of Gottingen Street in relation to multiple calls of shots fired. Upon arrival officers encountered two males in a vehicle. Emergency Health Services were immediately called to attend to injuries they had sustained. At this point we are in the early stages of investigating a suspicious death, as one of the males was pronounce deceased at the scene, while the other was transported to the hospital with life threatening injuries.

And a second email at 6:30 this morning:

In relation to the shooting incident overnight, Halifax Regional Police have (sic):

Gottingen St closed between Cornwallis St and Cogswell St;
Falkland Street closed between Maynard St and Gottingen St;
and Portland Place closed between Maitland St and Gottingen St

These closures are to allow HRP Forensic Identification members to process the scene.  The Halifax Regional Police ask for the publics patience in the matter and request that they consider alternate routes around the Gottingen Street area.

A subsequent release will be issued when the roadway has been reopened, at this time this closure is anticipated to last a further 1 to 2 hours but is subject to change as the investigation progresses.

There’s no additional information as of 7:30am.

2. University Avenue bike lane


Justice James Chipman has ruled in Dawgfather PHD v Halifax Regional Municipality — yes, that’s the actual name of the case, and Chipman’s decision runs 25 pages. The Dawgfather’s given name is Gerald Reddick.

As Chris Lambie reports for Local Xpress:

“I must resist the applicant’s call to interfere with the fair and proper actions of Halifax’s Council and professional staff. Absent a process that is demonstrably offside or shown to be in bad faith (not surprisingly, given the evidence, there are no such allegations here), the court is loathe to interfere,” Justice James Chipman said in his written decision.

“In reviewing the totality of the evidence, I fail to see any basis to allow any aspect of what is sought by the applicant and intervenor. Accordingly, I dismiss the application in its entirety.”

Reddick normally parks his van near his hot dog stand in what’s clearly labeled a no parking zone, said the judge.

Reddick testified that food safety regulations required him to keep his van close by and that he couldn’t leave his stand to get supplies with customers in line. But the judge pointed out that Reddick, an active Twitter user, had used the social media platform to tell his followers that people who thought the bike lane would close his business were wrong. “I was only fighting for my parking spot,” he Tweeted last July – a message he refused to acknowledge in court pertained to the matter at hand, saying instead he was talking about a parking dispute with his landlord on Shirley Street.

Reddick tried to claim he wasn’t properly consulted over the bike lane. But the judge said the vendor attended an open house and a council meeting last year about the project.

“Though he would not admit it when the written records were put to him, the documentation clearly supports the fact that he participated in the process,” Chipman said.

In short: The Man 1, Dawgfather 0.


Incidentally, Chipman was a law school classmate and friend of Peter MacKay. Last year, the NDP made a stink about MacKay, then Justice Minister, appointing many of the guests at his wedding — including Chipman — to the bench.

I have no idea about the legal ability of the other wedding guests, but I’ve seen Chipman in action: he is the judge who released Glen Assoun from prison. He conducted the hearing with the gravity and compassion required for the occasion. The hearing had been scheduled for five days, but the judge made clear that Assoun was to be released the very first day; as I recall, his exact words to Assoun were “you’re not going to spend another night in jail.”

I guess that’s the life of a judge: one day you’re contemplating a miscarriage of justice that landed a man in prison for 16 years for a murder he probably didn’t commit, and another day you’re sorting out whether a hot dog vendor can park in a no-parking zone for the rest of history.

3. Shannon Park

“The preferred concept plan for the redevelopment of the Shannon Park site in Dartmouth will be unveiled at a meeting Wednesday night,” reports Pam Berman for the CBC. “The Canada Lands Company, which is in charge of the project, presented three different options in November. The latest design will be a hybrid based on public feedback.”

4. Tuition

Yesterday, the Dalhousie Board of Governors approved a $2,000 tuition increase. Afterwards, students laid down outside the closed-door meeting, and President Richard Florizone had to step around them.

I keep hoping that one day people will learn to hold their phones horizontally when videotaping. I also hope for world peace.

5. Convention centre

Last night a half dozen people emailed me an analysis of event bookings for the new convention centre, alleging that future bookings are down from what was held at the old convention centre. I have no reason to think that’s wrong, but I haven’t yet been able to independently verify the numbers. I’ll have a longer look today.


1. Budget

“Today’s budget is as status quo as you can imagine,” writes Graham Steele:

Any new spending is symbolic at best. There’s no wow factor, like the free tuition for low-income families recently announced in New Brunswick.

More funding for early childhood education — a good news item promoted by the Liberals in advance of the budget —was bereft of details. We’re left applauding the idea, even though we have no idea how it will work.


Now that the third budget is out of the way, the decks are clear for the Liberals to start telling a simple pre-election story.

Steady hands. Balanced budget. On course.

Then repeat, repeat, repeat.

If Nova Scotians buy into the “steady hands” story, there really is no reason to change governments when the election rolls around in 2017, is there?

Robert Devet zeroes in on the social assistance part of the budget:

Today’s provincial budget announces an increase to social assistance rates of $20.


It’s only 20 bucks.

Meanwhile, shelter allowances, never adequate in the first place, have remained frozen since 2006. 

Single people get $300 per month for rent. A single person who lives with disabilities gets $535. 

If you could ever rent a decent place for that kind of money, you certainly can’t these days. 

For people who depend on social assistance this $20.00 is like a drop in a bucket.

Adds satirist Matt Brand (skip the headline, it makes no sense):

The last two budgets eliminated badly needed tax credits to university students and film industry professionals. Finance minister Randy Delorey says it’s time to screw with people and reverse the trend. 


“This is classic Stockholm Syndrome stuff. We make you sleep in your own feces night after night. Then one night, out of the blue, we let you sleep on an old mildewy mattress. It’s horrific, but feels like an upgrade. That’s our budget,” says Delorey, who added “that’s why today’s announcement is taking place in a torture chamber.”

2. Ghost story

The old jail in St. Andrew’s, New Brunswick. Hutchings’ cell is one the left at the end of the hall.
The old jail in St. Andrew’s, New Brunswick. Hutchings’ cell is one the left at the end of the hall.

Paul Andrew Kimball sets the scene:

In 1942 a young Royal Air Force sergeant named Tom Hutchings was stationed near St. Andrews, New Brunswick, a small village near the border with Maine that looks like something straight out of a Stephen King novel. He left a dance one night with a pretty local girl named Bernice Connors who was found murdered the next day. Hutchings was convicted of the crime and hanged in December 1942. He spent his final days in a small, dark, cold cell in the jail, within earshot of where his executioners constructed the gallows.

By all accounts Hutchings was a model prisoner, passing the time quietly. He made his way to the gallows without a struggle and had nothing to say by way of a final statement.

Unfortunately for him, however, the gallows hadn’t been built correctly. Instead of the quick death that he might have been expecting, it took Hutchings twelve minutes to be pronounced dead (some reports claimed it was eighteen minutes). Ever since, people have reported strange occurrences in the jail, and in his cell in particular, which led to speculation by the locals that the gruesome nature of his death had somehow trapped Hutchings’ soul in that spot, destined to haunt it for all eternity.

Given the circumstances it seemed to me that his old jail cell would be an obvious spot for an episode of Ghost Cases, the 13 episode series I wrote, produced, directed and co-hosted (with good friend Holly Stevens) in 2009 for Eastlink.

Go here to find out what happened.

3. Cranky letter of the day

To the Cape Breton Post:

I usually have my breakfast prior to reading the Cape Breton Post in the morning.

Thankfully on April 1 I didn’t follow my normal routine. 

There were two letters on the page. The first was “Dissension in RC ranks.”  Whoops, that was “Dissension in PC” ranks. I really should schedule an eye exam. The second letter was titled “Rail line critical to Cape Breton’s survival.”

As I read the rail letter, all the content presented was supportable. Yeah, I said to myself, the railway is essential. It must be protected, improved and continued. It is not an option to abandon it.

Our provincial government, I reasoned, over the last two years has spent over $40 million on the Yarmouth ferry and now has signed a new 10-year agreement with Bay Ferries for continued service. Over that span of time, an additional amount – likely over $100 million of new money – will be spent for a service that only operates for four or five months out of the year. 

In addition, even though the Americans are putting zero dollars into this service, the ferry must be manned by American crews. No truck transport is allowed  (the American port city will not allow this.). Yeah, this means no lobster or other goods can be shipped on this ferry.

In the meantime, to repair and bring our rail line up to operating standards would cost about $30 million over five years. At least that’s what the analysis of the line concluded. As everyone, I’m sure, realizes the railway runs 12 months throughout the year how could the provincial government not justify such an expenditure for a year-round service which is essential and critical to Cape Breton’s economic survival going forward. Regulatory changes to mandate CN to ship via rail to North Sydney must be a given.

 On another note, many Roman Catholic parishes have had reserve funds depleted in recent years. This was not of their choosing. Parishioners contributed those funds, in good faith, for the use of their respective parishes. Those same parishes and their parishioners were not involved with the sexual assaults that resulted in the class action against the Diocease. 

One result of this action is that parishes have been amalgamated, churches closed and properties sold for “substantial salvage value.” I do not believe this to be fair to the parishioners who, in good faith, contributed those funds and who built those churches.

It is a good thing that I didn’t eat breakfast for I would most definitely be on the verge of losing it right now.

Rod Farrell
, Benacadie

The Government and On Campus sections are compiled by Kathleen Munro.



Halifax Explosion 100th Anniversary Advisory Committee (3pm, Room B272, NSCC IT Campus) — The committee will be presenting the updates made to the Halifax Explosion 100th Anniversary Grants Program.

Outstanding tasks include:

  • “Revisions to the 2016 guidebook: remove previous photographs and captions and replace with new images with focus in individuals, non-profit groups and aid from other towns in NS; minor edits- an opportunity for committee feedback/comment; added appendix listing centennial-related grants from HRM (all programs); revised appendices for resources (added book titles, Mary Baker Eddy archive).
  • Budget confirmation and set 2016 date to open call for application. Set deadline for submissions.
  • Schedule 2016 information sessions
  • Update web site and post form, guide and related materials
  • Public notice and stand-alone advertisement”  

Public Meeting: Case 20284 (7pm, Hammonds Plains Consolidated School) — Ekistics Plan & Design is looking to get approval for a development agreement that would allow them to build a nine hole golf course at 2108 Hammonds Plains Road.


Legislature sits (1pm, Province House)

On Campus

Privacy, the Internet, and the Right to be Forgotten (2pm, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building) A discussion surrounding the European Union’s Right to be Forgotten program and whether it would be applicable in Canada:

In an era of online sharing and ubiquitous computing, an internet that never forgets poses a complex challenge to privacy, reputation and freedom. Is the EU’s new ‘RIght to be Forgotten’ a solution? What is the nature of this legal right? Does it strike a proper balance between privacy and free expression? Has it worked in the EU? Would it work here?

In the harbour

The seas around Nova Scotia, 8:25am Wednesday. Map:
The seas around Nova Scotia, 8:25am Wednesday. Map:

6am: Octavia, container ship, New York to Pier 42
10:30am: Tongala, car carrier, Southhampton, England to Pier 27
11am: BBC Mont Blanc, cargo ship, sails from Pier 30 to sea
11:30am: Oceanex Connaigra, ro-ro cargo, moves from Autoport to Pier 36
4pm: Tongala, car carrier, moves from Pier 27 to Autoport
4:30pm: ZIM Alabama, container ship, sails from Pier 41 to sea
8:30pm: Octavia, container ship, sails from Pier 42 to sea

The HMCS Montreal is moving about the harbour this morning, and one Navy ship (I don’t know if it’s the Montreal or not) is scheduled to depart at 2:30pm.


I’ll be on the Sheldon MacLeod Show, News 95.7, at 4pm. Tune in and check out my new haircut.

Tim Bousquet

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

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    1. Please don’t EVER send a link to Ezra Levant without a clear warning.

      I tried on many occasions to watch Sun News and swore I would never, ever have anything to do with that man’s noxious persona.

      The most vile “journalist” EVER. In the age of Trudeau a boring anachronism.

      1. I think if someone chooses to ignore the issue he is pointing to in the video, specifically because of who is saying it, then they are doing themselves a disservice. How can somebody learn if they have written people off, regardless of what they are saying? I agree he has a smugness that is hard to stomach, but it is worth sitting through to get the message regarding the destructive, head-in-the-sand behavior of the media today. The so called “crazies” out there are actually correct a lot more these days.

        This shutting down based on labels is the type of thing that is causing such disfunction in politics these days, and it happens on both the right and left. In the above video he discusses only facts as far as I could tell, and I used to despise Ezra Levant. Now I am just a careful listener who knows he is on a side with his own tint. I think hearing name calling is driving people into opposite camps, and once you are driven into a camp then a Rob Ford or Donald Trump have a lot of leeway, because the marginalized person has no other options.

        Having faith in ourselves to be able to hear opinions we disagree with, consider them carefully, and come to our own decision without becoming a brainwashed drone, is the only thing that can help. A lot of people I speak with today seem to take about 3 seconds to start yelling names at people. When they hear something that conflicts with their worldview, they immediately have an emotional response, and logic is out the window almost immediately. We now have team based morality in substitution of real logical facts and ideas. Any opinion contrary to the will of the team is not only wrong, but evil and cannot even be allowed to stain the ears of the pure. Any opinion that is not on the side of the moral is now dangerous, in addition to wrong-think. This cannot end well.

      2. Gordo, to echo what Sean said, I find the labelling that goes on in modern political discourse extremely disturbing. The left especially is guilty of this, much as the right was guilty of it 60 years ago. If any sort of public figure rejects the ‘consensus’ on any sort of contentious issue then they must be an awful, vile person.

        I don’t really care to watch the Erza Levant piece after seeing the title of the video, so instead I’m going to talk about the alleged assaults at that school. From what I can tell, something really did happen even if some of the more lurid accusations were made up or exaggerated. There are a couple ways we can collectively deal with problems like this. One is to pretend nothing happened, and accuse anyone who says otherwise of being a racist bigot. One is to acknowledge the incident (even if the recent incidents never happened, something like it is bound to happen eventually), but give the perpetrators a pass because of the cultural differences and trauma they have endured – and accuse anyone who disagrees of being a racist bigot. Another is to send the refugees back, ban Muslim immigration and make all outward expressions of Islam illegal – which is exactly what the more right-leaning countries in Europe are in the process of doing, and Trump has claimed he will do if he wins.

        There is a fourth option, which appears to be totally off the table in the halls of media and politics, which is to acknowledge the incidents when they happen and deal with them in a way that respects the rights of Canadians to be safe in their own country and the hardships the refugees have faced. We can do better than simply giving them a pass for their bad behaviour because we are all afraid of being called bigots by the circular firing squad.

        Media coverups of incidents involving Muslim economic migrants give people like Erza Levant lots of room to spread hate. During the three-day media blackout on the Cologne new year’s incidents, people like Erza Levant had total control over the story, and were able to get lots of new viewers, especially in Europe. The version of events that the right-wingers told was much further from the truth than the media’s insistence that almost nothing happened – but which version do you think stuck in people’s psyches more?

        1. FYI for people, the vid has nothing to do with the recent school stuff.

          On an unrelated note, Tim, how realistic is it to think italics can be made possible in the comment section? It would be fantastic, allowing for more nuance than capital letters which ALWAYS MAKE YOU LOOK LIKE A CRAZY PERSON.

      3. Say what you want about Ezzie, it’s not like he hasn’t heard it or doesn’t deserve some of it. But it was a reporter from Rebel media that did a better job of investigating this incident. Tim just went off on a standard left wing media rant and did a sketchy job of doing investigative interviews.

        1. I have given Mr Levant lots of chances. I did give Sun Network a few goes (one of the few who did it seems). Vile, repugnant and gratuitiously provocative.

          I will get my right wing viewpoints from the National Post thank you very much. At least they have a modicum of journalistic standards.

          Ezra Levant is Canada’s Rush Limbaugh. If you think he adds to our political discouse more power to you. I don’t think he does so I choose not to hear from the blowhard.

      4. gordo – a person should always read/listen/observe what opponents do/write/say.
        Levant is very partisan but I always have a good laugh at him. He’s the opposite side of
        The only way to settle the school issue is to publish as much information as can be obtained. A coverup serves no positive purpose and eventually leads to cynicism and distrust.
        The BBC covered up Jimmy Saville and the police covered the Rochdale and Rotherham child sex abuse. Newfoundland covered up Mt Cashel and in Nova Scotia we had the kickbacks from business to Liberals & Conservatives.

  1. Whoa, that letter of the day started pretty normal (how comes [place that is not where I live] gets funding for projects and [place where I live] doesn’t), and then quickly veered into no man’s land.