On campus
In the harbour


1. Joseph Cameron

Joseph Cameron. Photo:
Joseph Cameron. Photo:

The man killed in Dartmouth Tuesday morning has been identified as 20-year-old Joseph Cameron. Yesterday, a gofundme page was set up to help Cameron’s family with funeral expenses.

“Those who knew Cameron say he spent time in Vancouver, but came home with plans to join the military,” reports CTV:

“That’s why he came back here, and was just cut-short on life,” said Steve Synnett, whose son was one of Cameron’s best friends. “Just like that. It’s a damn shame.”

The Synnett’s say Cameron was a “good kid” growing up and had a love for sports.

“He loves basketball,” said Sandra Synnett. “My son told me he used to go the basketball court, and he was always saying he was better than Kobe.”

Cameron went by the name Prince Polo on Facebook. Saturday night, he posted “Times almost up.” In the posts since, he was mostly looking for pot and complained, “Wtf wrong wit u dime bag dealers.”

2. Film work

The Atlantic council of the Directors Guild of Canada issued the following press release yesterday:

The Atlantic Regional Council of the Directors Guild of Canada today released employment statistics for their membership for 2014 and 2015. The numbers show a dramatic reduction in gross salaries paid and total days worked by Nova Scotia members of the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC). DGC attributes the decline to the elimination in April of 2015 of the Film & Television Labour Tax Credit. 

The labour tax credit was replaced by the Film & Television Production Incentive Fund in July 2015, but the intricacies of the new fund have made financing projects in Nova Scotia very difficult. As a result, the province is currently uncompetitive with other production jurisdictions in Canada and around the world.

In 2014, gross salaries paid to Nova Scotia members of the DGC totalled $5.9 million dollars, and members worked over 12,000 days. In 2015, by stark contrast, gross salaries paid to Nova Scotia members of the DGC only totalled $3.1 million dollars, and members worked just 6,500 days. These figures represent an almost 50% drop in film and television business in just one year.

3. Pedestrian struck

“A pedestrian is in critical condition following a collision with a car on Highway 102 inbound near exit 2B to Larry Uteck Boulevard. It happened at 9:00 p.m.,” reports the CBC.

4. Mayann Francis

Mayann Franci
Mayann Francis

Former lieutenant-governor Mayann Francis tells the CBC she is regularly racially profiled in retail stores:

Francis tells a story about going into a store with a white, male friend. The saleswoman shadowed her the entire time, she said, and left her friend to do what he wanted — including walking out the door with a piece of unpaid merchandise in his hand.

Staff were so busy focusing on her, they didn’t notice her white friend, Francis said. 

She asked to speak to a manager and when the employee asked why, Francis said: “because you were stalking me, and my friend right here had something in his hand and literally stepped out of the store, but you didn’t pay any attention to him.”

5. Doyle Block

Dalhousie architecture prof Steve Parcell created this before-and-after animation of the view from the Central Library.
Dalhousie architecture prof Steve Parcell created this before-and-after animation of the view from the Central Library.

“One of the Halifax Central Library’s most revered attributes is a 270-degree view of the city, including Citadel Hill, from the fifth-floor ‘living room’ area that juts out above Spring Garden Road,” reports Remo Zaccagna for Local Xpress:

But a group of residents is concerned a proposed development across the street will obstruct those views of the historic fort.

As a result, they want Westwood Developments Ltd. to build lower than the seven storeys the company is proposing for its mixed-use Doyle Street block redevelopment.

“What kind of city would build a $60-million library, trumpet the glorious view, and then give it away?” asked Larry Haiven, a professor at Saint Mary’s University’s Sobey School of Business and a member of Friends of Schmidtville.

But it’s not just the view from the library that is problematic. The Doyle block was previously occupied by four architecturally differentiated buildings, two of them quite distinctive. In contrast, the proposed building is a block-straddling monolith that will form a massive street wall, deadening what had been a lively and visually pleasing streetscape. It has a 1970s-era failed institutional feel to it, the Supertramp of Spring Garden Road: banally loud and utterly uninteresting.


1. Cranky letter of the day

To the Truro Daily News:

Town of Truro rats are brazen. My friend and I watched one strolling along Prince Street one Friday afternoon.

He took a left, probably hungry, and didn’t have a care in the world that it wasn’t dark. Although nocturnal, this one was hanging out in broad daylight, perhaps domesticated like the town’s deer population.

We didn’t follow the rat but later realized its intelligence. There were large garbage bins with tops up and garbage exposed. Junk was strewn along the sidewalk and below the bins. This rodent was most likely “bellying up” to an easy buffet. He didn’t have to chew through these bins. They were wide open, tops up.

Whether you own your home, run a business, or own apartment buildings, garbage is the responsibility of the owner. Most citizens, restaurants, pubs do take care of their properties but if your neighbours have a garbage problem, so do you. Many landlords pay for garbage removal and expect the job is being done. If it isn’t, who is responsible?  We all have a stake in this town and really should be diligent about pest control. Bins, large and small, have covers. Common sense could become part of the equation…rodent-proof garbage containers.

If you see unsightly bins with overflowing garbage, contact the property owner, call the number on the bin, call your councillor, call the Town of Truro and they should be more than willing to explain the proper procedure for complaints. The more calls they receive, the quicker action will be taken. If a garbage removal citation posted by the Town doesn’t compel a property owner to comply with town by-laws, a memorable hit to their bank account should help. By-laws can be changed. Don’t let the town tell you it can’t be done. Anything is possible if we band together.

Garbage and rodents go hand in hand. It’s a health hazard. If you don’t get satisfaction from the above mentioned, call the Department of Health. Perhaps they will realize the need for all bins to be rodent-proof.

The logo on older Town garbage containers reads:  HELP KEEP TRURO CLEAN.  Truro is rebranding, a very good move. We can all help the town with this problem before it becomes an oasis of shabbiness, garbage and huge rodent infestations. We don’t want to go there.

 Jackie Yarn, Truro



Crosswalk Safety Advisory Committee (10am, City Hall) — the Transportation Committee is wondering why the Crosswalk Committee exists.


No public meetings.

On Campus

Thesis defence, Engineering (11am, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building) — PhD candidate Joshua Lowrey will defend his thesis, “Nutrient Recycling of Spent Biomass and Lipid-Extraction Wastewater in the Production of Thraustochytrids.”

Foreign Aid (7pm, Halifax Central Library) — Dal prof David Black will speak on “The Past, Present, and Future of Canadian Foreign Aid.”

In the harbour

The seas around Nova Scotia, 8:20am Thursday. Map:
The seas around Nova Scotia, 8:20am Thursday. Map:

Atlantic Conveyor, container ship, arrived at Fairview Cove from Liverpool, England at 6am; sails to sea at 3pm
East Coast, oil tanker, Saint John to Imperial Oil at 3pm

Manon sails to sea at 3pm


People keep asking me where Part 5 of DEAD WRONG is. Well, I’m working on it. It took me about a year to do the research on Parts 1 through 3, and another three months or so for Part 4. Part 5 has a lot of moving parts, and I don’t want to screw up the details. I’m also conducting interviews for Part 6. And there’s a weird — I don’t know if it’s Part 7 or a coda or what, but the whole thing takes a left turn into an even more bizarrely weird tale.

I’ll publish something related to DEAD WRONG this weekend, just to keep the story going, but it won’t be Part 5.


Tim Bousquet

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

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  1. just want to say the poster for the mayor savage/tim bousquet Q&A was created by local artist Isaac Hansen.

  2. Scotia Square combined with the Cogswell Street Interchange and the now Bell Aliant tower: share the prize on the Biggest Mistakes in Halifax Downtown Construction Ever. There are lots of wannabes, though. Rockingham/Bedford win the Head-scratching/WTF Award for filling in as much of the Basin/Harbour as possible before a small, shy group form to speak out…ahem, I say there…what’s going on? Lots of wannabes here as well. I’m convinced that all these decisions are made at around 11:45 when meeting attendees are looking at the clock thinking about lunch and a drink or two and suddenly everybody votes with the guy/gal who won’t shut up until they do.
    Spring Garden and the new library view? Does anybody think it’s a bit funny that the newest building gets to be number one now? Just wondering. Our attention span went from the nice old buildings to the funny one with the crooked top floor.

  3. Discussion of view planes always brings to (my) mind the the Bell Aliant tower. It completely obliterates the harbour view from anywhere on SGR. Being somewhat of a newcomer, I’m curious whether there was any talk of view planes when that monolith was constructed. It must have been one heck of a view back in the day.

  4. Looking at the new Spring Garden Road building across from the Library, I am reminded of part of Stan Rogers’ song “Fisherman’s Wharf”
    “It was in the spring this year of grace
    With new life pushing through
    That I looked from the citadel down to the narrows and asked what it’s coming to
    I saw Upper-Canadian concrete and glass
    right down to the water line”

  5. Maybe the Crosswalk Safety Advisory Committee can shift its mandate to revenue creation. Those $697.50 Pedestrian Crosswalk Tax tickets aren’t going to write themselves!

  6. As APRIL FOOLS’ DAY looms, I’m reminded of how the PEASANTRY straggkles to the polls to vote for the ONLY candidates available, the vast majority of whom have filled their election war-chests with hefty piles of cashy from the Development Mafia. I’m really sick of the constant rehash and belly-button gazing.

    So long as we continue to elect people whose allegiance is to their Big Bucks Backers we’re condemned to suffer the consequences. What we’re suffering in HRM is NOT «development» in the proper classic sense but rather PROFITEERING through UNBRIDLED CONSTRUCTION for ENORMOUS PROFIT.

    FURTHER, a highly experienced construction worker friend, recently returned from Alberta and considering working on one of these «grand projects», took a look at some of them and decided that for his own SAFETY he wouldn’t go near them as their materials and design specs were so far below Alberta standards they struck him as death traps.

    1. I’m not really sure I believe that NS construction standards are inferior to Alberta’s. In Calgary particularly, new-construction houses and condos are burning to the ground constantly, like this:

      There are loads like that, mostly started by innocuous things like barbecues on windy days and discarded cigarettes. I don’t recall a lot of this locally…

  7. Its a shame about that building – cutting off one floor from the western half would probably be enough to keep the fort visible from the library – and that Doyle St. block was really something special, it is a shame that more soulless glass-and steel architecture is going to get built.

    These glass and steel monstrosities (the library is a nice exception, because it is both well-designed and serves a civic purpose) are a perfect metaphor for our society, totally open, totally meaningless and for sale to the highest bidder.

    Regarding Mr. Cameron, it is too bad the war on drugs has claimed another victim. I do have to wonder how well his application to the military would have gone after his first urine test however.

  8. Local Xpress story had a fair bit of comment from the developer. Am starting to wonder if the furor about the view might be overblown? As to the design being banal…..hey I like/liked Supertramp!

  9. Matches the over-sized box on Robie south of Young Street. Why can’t developers scale back the buildings to suit the sites and stop creating sites to suit buildings? The old building on Spring Garden Road is one of the few interesting sites left in that once grand neighbourhood. Now it’s all about panhandling, smokers and development. A place to be avoided at all costs.

  10. What Ken said. I’m not all about the view but damn. Can’t we insert a requirement into some bylaw that interesting looking or beautiful buildings will be rewarded with easier permitting? I know, I know, define “interesting” and “beautiful”. Still though.

    I think I went to high school with that rat. Go easy, Jackie, that rat was huge fan of Hubtown Theatre back in the day. I think he auditioned to be one of Fagan’s gang in Oliver Twist.


  11. I am not convinced that the view of the Citadel from the Library has to be preserved. I was in a nearby office boardroom near the Library when it was constructed, and noted that it was going to block the view of the harbour which had been available for many years.

    However, that is one ugly building. Looks like 60’s or Russian architecture, or maybe a fusion of both.

    1. Concrete and glass monolithic design seems to be the current standard for Halifax downtown buildings.

  12. If this development goes through it will be unequivocal proof that the city – councillors, bureaucrats – are in the thrall of the development community and the development at any cost screed.

    What is the point of a design standards committee when a developer arguing development by right is a slow descent into urban design banality and sheer ugliness with no mitigation from the powers that be?