1. Torture ship

The Chilean sailing ship La Esmeralda.

The Chilean sailing ship La Esmeralda arrived in Halifax yesterday. It is currently at anchor and will move to Pier 20 behind the Seaport Market tomorrow afternoon.

During the Pinochet years, La Esmeralda was a torture prison, reported the Guardian when the ship pulled into London in 2015:

A series of human rights reports, including those by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organisation of American States, Amnesty International, the US Senate and the Chilean Truth and Reconciliation Commission, record that in the autumn of 1973 the ship was used to detain and torture victims of the Pinochet regime, who included a British-Chilean priest, Father Michael Woodward.

They detail how the vessel was berthed in the port of Valparaíso, following Augusto Pinochet’s coup d’état. A 1986 US Senate report suggested that as many as 112 people were detained, of whom 40 were women. Rape, the use of electric shocks, mock executions and beatings were reportedly used on the ship. Also on board was Woodward, who, having been tortured onshore, was taken off the vessel for treatment at a naval hospital, but died of his injuries in transit. His remains are allegedly buried in a mass grave under a road.

Claudio Correa, a former Chilean government official who lives in London, was held on the ship with Woodward. He told the Observer that he was transferred from a military academy to La Esmeralda where specialist teams were employed to torture its occupants over several days. “They tortured people with no sentiment,” he said. “They were enjoying it.”

A Facebook campaign has been set up urging people to protest against the vessel’s arrival in London and other European ports. One protester called Carolita explains that its continued use “reaffirms the Chilean navy’s lack of respect for human rights and lack of remorse for actions that have been condemned around the world”, adding that “it is unjust to expect victims to forgive and forget when the perpetrators do not express regret and remorse”.

You can read Amnesty International’s report on La Esmeralda here.

I haven’t heard if protestors will show up at Pier 20 this week.

2. The U.S. Navy is invading Halifax Harbour

The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The U.S. nuclear aircraft carrier USS Dwight D Eisenhower and two support ships are arriving today. The Pilotage Authority says the aircraft carrier will be parked at Anchorage #1, which is just north of McNab’s Island, but I’ve also been told that the ship will be anchored south of the island, near Shearwater, so we’ll see, I guess. The other ships will berth at the Dockyard.

When American friends visit, I take them over to the Burial Grounds to introduce them to Robert Ross.

3. Big boat

Zim Antwerp. Photo:

The Zim Antwerp will be stopping by Halifax briefly tomorrow, en route from New York to Jamaica and then through the Panama Canal for Slavyanka, Russia (near Vladivostok) and then onto China.

Zim Antwerp is the largest container ship ever to call in Halifax. It will pull into HalTerm between Piers 41 and 42 for a few hours to drop off a few containers, then skedaddle off.

While it’s here, I really hope the giant container ship doesn’t hit a U.S. Navy ship.

4. Angela Hall

A police release from yesterday:

Charges laid in 2011 homicide of Angela Hall

A Halifax man has been charged with second degree murder in relation to the homicide of Angela Hall.

On April 29, 2011 at 8:21 p.m., police responded to a building on Primrose Street after receiving a call about an injured person. Upon arrival, officers located Angela in the hallway and she was transported to hospital where she died a short time later.

Today, investigators in the Homicide Unit of the Integrated Criminal Investigation Division arrested 25-year-old Christian Enang Clyke of Halifax. Clyke was already in police custody for an unrelated matter when he was arrested. He is scheduled to appear in Dartmouth Provincial Court today to face a charge of second degree murder.

Clyke was also a suspect in a 2013 home invasion in Spryfield:

Police responded to an apartment in the 100 block of Forbes Street in Spryfield after 10 p.m. Tuesday.

They say two men — one armed with a gun — had broken into the apartment and confronted the occupants.

The suspects chased a man out of the apartment and police say at least two shots were fired.

The suspects then fled the scene.

No one was injured.

A Canada-wide arrest warrant was issued yesterday for [Anthony Michael] Leadley [who was subsequently arrested] and 20-year-old Christian Enang Clyke in connection with the incident.

5. Divest Dal

The folks at Divest Dal showed up at yesterday’s Board of Governors meeting, continuing their silent but ever-present protest about the university’s refusal to divest from fossil fuel companies.

The governors and the university administration claim to be working on behalf of the best interests of students, and yet at the same time they are contributing to the quickened destruction of the planet students will inherent. Damn right they should be called out on it.

6. Newfangled

Also, while I was at the Board of Governors meeting, I was playing a little drinking game: taking a swig from my flask every time Prez Richard Florizone said the word “innovation.” I was tweeting about this, when Julia Wright, an English prof, tweeted:

Every time I hear the word “innovative” I silently replace it with “newfangled.” It’s much funnier that way, and it means about the same.

— Dr. Julia M Wright #CommitCuriosity #KeepOnMasking (@JuliaMWrightDal) June 27, 2017

I like this idea a lot, so I’m going to steal it, except I won’t be silent about it.

7. People endangering children caught on video by mom holding the camera vertically instead of horizontally

I mean, come on, mom. Jesus.


The NSLC is looking to open an “Express” store in downtown Halifax. The agency has issued an Expression of Interest for landlords who can lease out 1,200 to 1,500 square feet of space in the area bounded by Cogswell, Brunswick, Morris, and Water Streets. “A new Express format NSLC location will offer a limited selection of our top-selling 300 brands and complement our nearby, full size stores,” reads the EOI. No mention is made of the existing Scotia Square store.

9. Trump refugees

The Vargases took this photo of themselves in Halifax last April. They think this is as bad as the weather gets here, and boy are they in for a shock. Photo: Heather Vargas

Heather and Robin Vargas are moving to Halifax from Charleston, South Carolina because Donald Trump was elected, reports Emma Davie for the CBC.

According to Davie, Heather is a student and Robin works in pest control, both of which are noble pursuits, but I wonder how exactly that fits into the Express Entry system, under which the couple applied for immigration and which fast tracks skilled workers. Still, welcome!

The Vargases did their homework, reports Davie:

Weather was also a big factor, which Vargas said is what drew her to the milder temperatures of Nova Scotia.

In April, the couple visited Halifax for the first time.

​”It was like the worst time of year to go everybody told us,” she said, laughing.

That sound you hear is me guffawing and spitting coffee onto my computer screen.

As an immigrant from warm places myself, I have two pieces of advice: crampons and rain gear. Seriously, you gotta dress for this place, and that means dealing with more ice than your beautiful South Carolinian minds can conceive of, and horizontal rain that umbrellas can’t handle.




Special Events Advisory Committee (Wednesday, 9am, City Hall) — the committee is going to make Halifax a tourist Mecca and we’ll all be rich and prosperous forever, amen.

Heritage Advisory Committee (Wednesday, 3pm, City Hall) — Jason Van Meer and Deborah Dobbin want the Victoria Apartments building at 33 and 35 Pleasant Street in Dartmouth to become a registered heritage property. (I discussed the property yesterday.)


Halifax Explosion 100th Anniversary Advisory Committee (Thursday, 3pm, IT Campus, NSCC, Halifax) — as U.S. warships gather in the harbour, the committee will be talking about stuffing a time capsule that will be unearthed a thousand years from now by an alien civilization that stumbles upon the burning crisp of a planet that will never recover from the nuclear wars brought on by humans who could never stop celebrating militarism.

Design Review Committee (Thursday, 4:30pm, City Hall) — Rescheduled from June 8. The committee will be looking at the Tatooine building I discussed last October:

[The building is proposed for] the corner of Hollis and Bishop Streets. Here’s the current Google Street View of the site:


And here’s the architect’s rendering of the development proposal:


Never mind the ghost building up above: the power lines will not, of course, be placed underground, nor will the city allow two one-way streets be unsigned. But the real problem with this rendering is that the building will apparently be built on a planet with two suns. Notice how there’s a late afternoon sun that casts the shadow of the buildings on the west side of the street eastward, right to the curb line across the street, such that the proposed building is in full sunlight and in stark contrast. And yet, there is a second sun, a morning sun, that casts a shadow of the tree on the northeast corner of the intersection (a large tree actually exists at that spot) into the intersection — that is, westward. The beret-wearing woman, who appears to be standing in the middle of the street, gets the benefit of both suns, as her face and (importantly!) her breasts cast no shadow at all.

I also hope buddy picks up his dog’s crap.



No meetings this week.

On campus



Poster Presentations (Thursday, 1pm, Mona Campbell Building) — English for Academic Purposes Level 2 students will present their research interests in concurrent poster presentation sessions and will be available to answer questions about the content and research.

Saint Mary’s


Thesis Defence, Applied Science (Thursday, 9:30am, Science 345) — Khaled Hijazi will defend his thesis, “Effect of Creep Loading on the Nanostructure of Tendons.”

In the harbour

Halifax Harbour is busy this morning. Map:

6am: Vega Omega, cargo ship, arrives at Pier 42 from San Juan, Puerto Rico
6am: ZIM Luanda, container ship, arrives at Pier 41 from Algeciras, Spain
6am: Golden Oak, oil tanker, arrives at anchorage from Montreal
8am: USS San Jacinto, U.S. Naval guided missile cruiser, arrives at Dockyard
9am: USS Winston S. Churchill, U.S. Naval destroyer, arrives at Dockyard
9:30am: USS Dwight D Eisenhower, U.S. nuclear aircraft carrier, arrives at Anchorage #1 from Norfolk
10am: YM Moderation, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Norfolk
10am: Atlantic Pegasus, oil tanker, arrives at Irving Oil from Saint John
10am: Acadian, oil tanker, moves from anchorage to Irving Oil
10:30am: Liberty, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from Southampton, England
4:30pm: ZIM Luanda, container ship, sails from Pier 41 for New York
5:30pm: Esmeralda, the Chilean Navy’s sailing ship, moves from anchorage to Pier 20


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. Tim, your article on Robert Ross, ten years ago, was excellent and should be required reading in our public schools. Somewhat sarcastic at times, it still strikes an excellent balance between facts and punditry. The message you put forward is still valid today and one can only be saddened by that issue.

    1. Yes, I enjoyed it too.

      During the Tall Ships visit in 2000, there was a beautiful replica of a War of 1812 vessel out of Baltimore. As the locals were being escorted aboard they were lectured by a very serious young crewman about how that war had been about Freedom and Liberty, and that America won, of course. General Ross must have been spinning in his grave.

      Stephen Harper would later try to make a Big Thing about The War of 1812, although I don’t believe he shared the view of the above crewman that America won it. Sadly, few Canadians were interested. Unkind people even said he only did that to create a diversion from the 30th anniversary of Pierre Trudeau’s patriation of the Canadian Constitution in 1982. Trudeau was a Liberal you know.

      Besides, an ancient war that proved little more than American forces were even more disorganized than those of the British of the day was clearly more worth celebration than the country’s constitution.