NEWS

1. Renoviction

A white woman wearing a blue, purple, and white striped shirt sits at a table next to a white man with a grey-green shirt and wearing glasses. On the table in front of them are several papers, notebooks, and a file folder.
Nancy and Scott Halkyard with some of the paperwork and notes they’ve been taking since they learned their landlord wanted to evict them from their apartment in Truro. Credit: Suzanne Rent

“A couple in Truro are fighting to stay in the apartment where they’ve lived for seven years after being served papers to move out,” reports Suzanne Rent:

Nancy and Scott Halkyard live in a three-bedroom apartment in the top level of a home on Lyman Street. They moved in to the apartment in 2015 and now live there with their adult son, Nick, and Nancy’s brother, Keith. They pay $725 a month in rent, plus heat, hot water, and other utilities.

On Jan. 4, the Halkyards said they got a visit from Dan Pritchard, who owns a property management company hired by their landlords, Michelle Joseph and Donte Fiedtkou, who live in Ontario. 

The Halkyards had been waiting to renew their annual lease, which expired on Jan. 1. So, this eviction notice came as a shock.

“Never seen it coming,” Nancy said. “I knew the 2% was coming, but nothing like this. We’re paid up and perfect tenants. They have nothing else on us.”

They said Pritchard said major renovations needed to be done on the apartment and they had three months to leave, although they said he didn’t detail what work needed to be done. The Halkyards said Pritchold told them the landlords’ son would eventually be moving in with two of his friends.  

The Halkyards decided to learn more about their rights as tenants. They called residential tenancies and learned more about their options in this case. 

They couple also put in phone calls to Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River MLA David Ritcey. They even reached out to Premier Tim Houston’s office, and a staff person replied with a list of phone numbers to call, including Nova Scotia Legal Aid. 

Nancy, who works as a continuing care assistant at a nursing home in Shubenacadie, has been taking copious notes; she has two notebooks and a couple of file folders filled with information she’s been collecting the past several days. 

“This has been our life the past week,” Nancy said. “It’s been an education.” 

The Halkyards have since filled out and sent a form J to the landlords. That’s the form that initates a hearing at residential tenancies. They now have a hearing scheduled for Feb. 8.

Scott said they just want to be treated fairly.

“And not to be walked over, like a lot of people are who don’t know their rights,” he said. “I think these people thought we were going to roll over and play dead.”

“What they’re doing to us has put a sour taste in our mouths. We had no intention of leaving here before.”

Click here to read “The renoviction files: Truro couple fighting eviction; property manager says landlord wants to live in apartment.”

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2. Health care

Halifax Infirmary in July, 2021. Credit: Yvette d’Entremont Credit: Facebook

“Health Minister Michelle Thompson has promised the family of Allison Holthoff they will receive the results of a ‘quality review,’ which is normally completed within 90 days,” reports Jennifer Henderson:

Holthoff died Dec. 31 after a nearly seven-hour wait to be seen by a doctor at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre.

Quality reviews are triggered when a patient dies unexpectedly or suffers severe harm. So far, despite enormous public concern, the minister has made no commitment to release the results of this review to the public. The Halifax Examiner asked Nova Scotia Health if the committee carrying out the review would include a person located outside the province. The answer is yes.

Click here to read “Review of death at Amherst emergency department to include outside expert.”

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3. Houston, we have an ER crisis …

Bright blue Halifax Infirmary signage against a blue sky.
Halifax Infirmary in July, 2021. Credit: Yvette d’Entremont

“So, Liberal leader, Zach Churchill wants Premier Tim Houston to recall the legislature to deal with the suddenly front-and-centre issue of why people are dying while they wait for care in our provincial emergency departments,” writes Stephen Kimber:

And NDP leader Claudia Chender wants a public investigation into the increasing numbers of those deaths as part of “making sure the system gets better.”

In response, Houston accuses them both of playing politics.

Who’s playing politics here?

During his own first days as premier, Tim Houston displayed an admirable willingness to admit mistakes, to acknowledge others, to even change course when necessary But those days are long gone now. The new Tim Houston has morphed into the old Stephen McNeil: arrogant, angry, self-righteous.

Click here to read “Houston, we have an ER crisis …”

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4. Nova Scotia Sisterhood

A young smiling Black woman with long braids, wearing a purple cardigan over a black top.
Elizabeth Obeng Nkrumah is the wellness navigator with the Nova Scotia Sisterhood pro Credit: Contributed

“New clinics taking place in Black communities in HRM will offer a safe space where African Nova Scotian women can receive free primary health care, including counselling for mental health issues,” reports Suzanne Rent:

The Nova Scotia Sisterhood had its first clinic on Monday at its location on Mumford Road in Halifax. Elizabeth Obeng Nkrumah, the program’s wellness navigator, said there will be more clinics in communities across HRM this month.

Women can make appointments over the phone at 902-943-1543 or by email at NSSisterhood@nshealth.ca. Nkrumah said they’d like to eventually offer clinics beyond HRM.

Click here to read “Nova Scotia Sisterhood delivering health care, ‘safe space’ for Black women across HRM.”

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5. Robotic-assisted surgery

A doctor in blue scrubs and wearing a head scarf and dark-rimmed glasses demonstrates how a robotic arm is used in knee replacement surgery. She is using a prosthetic knee in the process. On the stainless steel table are a number of surgical tools.
Dr. Jennifer Leighton demonstrates how the robotic technology is used in knee replacement surgery. Credit: Jennifer Henderson

“Amid growing concerns about crowded emergency departments and too few family doctors, some hope for the future was celebrated at Dartmouth General Hospital on Friday,” reports Jennifer Henderson.

Dr. Jennifer Leighton, an orthopedic surgeon at Dartmouth General, became the first surgeon in Canada to carry out a robotic-assisted total hip replacement last November. The unnamed patient is doing well.

According to Leighton, the procedure involves taking a CT-scan and then using 3-D modelling of bone anatomy to help the surgeon position the titanium implant more precisely than previously possible. The doctor watches a computer screen while using a robotic arm to guide the surgical implements to the pinpoint location where the cutting occurs and the new hip is positioned. 

“Mako Smart Robotics allows us to develop precise surgical plans that are tailored to the individual patient,” said Leighton, who travelled to New Jersey to receive training on the robotic-assisted technology. “This means less pain, quicker recovery, shorter hospital stays, and more natural feeling movement after surgery.”  

Click here to read Robot technology to be used in hip, knee replacement surgeries at Dartmouth General.

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6. Dartmouth development

An empty lot with a chainlink fence and a gate surrounded by green foliage. In the background, the sun sets on downtown Dartmouth.
11 Canal Street in July 2019. Credit: Google Street View

“Councillors have approved a big new development for Dartmouth Cove, but it will be a few years before construction gets started,” reports Zane Woodford:

WM Fares, on behalf of George Giannoulis’ Mosaik Properties, made the proposal for about 250 residential units on Canal Street. The property, between the Dartmouth Curling Club and Dominion Diving near King’s Wharf, is long vacant. According to Property Valuation Services Corporation, it last sold in 2012 for $1.6 million.

Mosaik wants to build two towers, one eight or nine storeys and one 30 storeys, on a three- to four-storey podium. Along with the residential units, at least a quarter of which are two-bedrooms, there’s commercial space in the ground floor.

There’s no onsite affordable housing planned for the development, but per the Centre Plan the developer will have to pay into HRM’s fund. The total public benefit value for the project is $836,400. At least 60% of that goes to the affordable housing fund: $501,840.

Click here to read “Dartmouth Cove development with 30-storey tower approved, construction years away.”

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Even though I drive past the site a few times a week, I only noticed yesterday that a new building is going up in the King’s Wharf complex on Alderney Drive. This building was approved long ago, but construction has waited for the vagaries of the market and financing to align.

Woodford also gets in the re-working of the street network in the Dartmouth Cove area, including an extension of Dundas Street over a new bridge across the Sawmill River (or what’s left of it) and the installation of a couple more traffic lights along the Portland Street-Alderney Drive corridor.

The latter is already fairly clogged up during rush hour, but maybe all the new residents in the Cove will walk over to the Alderney ferry. Speaking of which, whatever happened to the Fares–King’s Wharf ferry we were promised?

As well, Woodford provides an update on Shannon Park and other Dartmouth area development projects.

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7. Dr. Clement Ligoure’s house

A two-storey old house in dark green paint and white trim.
The house on North Street in Halifax where Dr. Clement Ligoure lived and operated his medical clinic. Credit: Matthew Byard

“The former home office of the province’s first Black physician could soon be recognized as a heritage property,” reports Matthew Byard:

William Breckenridge is a historian and former member of council’s Heritage Advisory Committee. He said there’s a heritage hearing scheduled for the Jan. 24 meeting of Halifax regional council to potentially register 5812-5814 North St.

That was where Dr. Clement Ligoure, Nova Scotia’s first Black doctor, saw hundreds of patients following the Halifax Explosion. The building is at risk of demolition, and heritage registration would make it harder for the owner to tear it down.

Click here to read “Heritage hearing set for home of Nova Scotia’s first Black doctor.”

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8. Thistle Street gets a new pole

A white work truck is stopped on a street. It is pulling a trailer holding a telephone pole. Three orange cones are in the street surrounding the truck, and a man dressed in orange is behind it.
Workers bring a pole to Thistle Street on Jan. 14, 2023. Credit: Tim Bousquet

Thistle Street in Dartmouth will soon have lighting.

As I reported Friday, winds associated with Hurricane Fiona snapped a single utility pole on the street on Sept. 24. That pole held a street light and a wire that connected to other street lights down along the street down the hill towards Wyse Road; as a result, the street has been dark ever since. This is one of the busiest pedestrian streets in HRM, serving hundreds, if not thousands, of people using the Halifax Transit Bridge Terminal and the Dartmouth Sportsplex every night.

On Saturday morning, a Nova Scotia Power crew re-installed the missing pole. On Sunday, a new power line was strung down the street, connecting all the lights. Those lights still aren’t working, but that will be rectified soon, said Nova Scotia Power spokesperson Mina Atia in an email to me late Friday afternoon:

We’ve been addressing a misunderstanding regarding jurisdiction, which caused the delays, to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

We’re working with HRM and planning to replace the pole this weekend and have power connected early next week. HRM will be responsible for replacing the streetlight.

It is my hope that the light will be installed today and not 111 days from now.

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9. Lawyers battle over whether Muskrat Falls financial costs should be public

A map showing the various transmission components that connect Muskrat Falls to Nova Scotia.
A map showing the various transmission components that connect Muskrat Falls to Nova Scotia. Credit: Emera

This item is written by Jennifer Henderson.

The financial impact to ratepayers as a result of late or under-deliveries of hydroelectricity from Muskrat Falls to Nova Scotia Power should not be made public, says a lawyer for Nova Scotia Power in a letter to the Nova Scotia Utilities and Review Board. 

That despite statements from both the consumer advocate and the lawyer for some of the largest companies in the province that those figures contained in a fuel cost audit for the years 2020 and 2021 should be a matter of public record.

“The costs borne by ratepayers due to the mismatch between commissioning the full project and the in-service date of the Maritime Link have been staggering — in the hundreds of millions of dollars,” wrote lawyer Nancy Rubin on behalf of Industrial Group (IG) that represents Oxford Frozen Foods, Michelin, and Irving Shipbuilding among other companies.

Power began flowing over the underwater cable known as the Maritime Link to Nova Scotia in August 2021, almost four years late. Deliveries have still not reached what was forecast in 2013.

Nova Scotia Power has had to buy more expensive coal, natural gas, and even biomass to make up for the shortfall. Brian Curry, Nova Scotia Power’s senior lawyer, is asking the UARB to continue to keep ratepayers in the dark about how much the delays are costing us. He wrote:

The IG asserts that the financial impact of the NS Block delay is a matter of public interest and therefore, certain pieces of aggregated information should be on the public record and that it ‘is not clear how disclosure of this aggregated information will impact NSPI’s commercial relations or offer any commercial advantage or disadvantage’.

This information is confidential because it is relevant to negotiations with a counterparty and if public, it would jeopardize such negotiations to the detriment of customers. As such, it is commercially sensitive in its aggregated form, and it is in the best interests of customers to maintain the confidentiality of this information.

“There is no interest in jeopardizing negotiations regarding valuation,” wrote IG lawyer Nancy Rubin in her letter to the UARB requesting more transparency. “However, the financial impact of the NS Block delay is of keen public interest (and concern) and if the cumulative amount can be unredacted, it ought to be included in the public record.”

What we know about the Muskrat Falls costs

The routine audit carried out by the firm Bates White for the years 2020-2021 determined that fuel costs were nearly $188 million higher than had been forecast. Why such a big difference or variance? Here’s how the auditors put it:

 It’s important to point out that one of the main causes of the very large actual-to- forecast variance in cost in both years of the Audit Period was the delay in the completion and energization of the Muskrat Falls generation project, which was assumed by NSPI to provide 625,301 MWh of firm energy over the Maritime Link in 2020 and 1,133,520 MWh in 2021whereas no power was received in 2020 and only 9.4% of the forecast power was received in 2021.

The audit goes on to say the result of this delay and under-deliveries was that Nova Scotia Power had to buy higher priced coal, oil, and natural gas and keep a coal-fired generating station at Lingan Cape Breton running for a year longer than its scheduled retirement.

In addition, failure to receive the renewable energy from Labrador meant Nova Scotia Power continued to produce GHG emissions that exceeded its environmental targets and resulted in the Nova Scotia government picking up $165 million in compliance costs rather than having that amount rolled into power rates. 

It gets worse. According to a response to a question asked by the consumer advocate during the public hearing on power rates last September, Nova Scotia Power estimates under-deliveries of Muskrat Falls energy from 2022-24 will add another $100 million to fuel costs.

If there is any good news, it is that Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro have an agreement with Nova Scotia Power to provide “make up energy” for the value of what has been “shorted” during the 35-year life of this contract. 

Auditor Bates White stated that Nova Scotia Power has a “reasonable” process in place to keep track of the amount of undelivered energy and the value of the replacement energy. But in the meantime, it is Nova Scotia ratepayers and the public generally who have literally been left holding the bag and holding our nose as the power company attempts to keep us in the dark.

To rub salt in the wound, the software problems associated with the Labrador Island Link that connects Labrador to Newfoundland and has stalled reliable deliveries to Nova Scotia is partly owned by Emera Inc., the parent company of Nova Scotia Power. No six degrees of separation here.

Meanwhile, the only hit to shareholders has come in the form of $6 million, which the UARB charged back over three years because of ongoing delays.

Continued biomass secrecy

The lawyer’s letter from Nova Scotia Power also objects to the Industrial Group’s request to tell the public how much it is costing to generate power from the 35MW Brooklyn Power biomass facility near Liverpool owned by Emera Inc. Here is another portion of Nova Scotia Power’s letter to the UARB:

The IG claims that the fact Brooklyn Power is owned by an affiliate of Nova Scotia Power and, in the opinion of the IG, is a costly station to run, information relating to Brooklyn Power should be on the public record. The IG also claims that the public interest in the cost impacts of compliance with the Ministerial Directive (to meet renewable energy targets by 2022) outweighs the negative impact of disclosure to Nova Scotia Power.

Nova Scotia Power is able to disclose certain of the information challenged by the IG in relation to Brooklyn Power, but maintains its claim for confidentiality over other pieces of information… if other suppliers are aware of this information or a competing vendor’s costs, they are better able to obtain the highest price, reduce competition and ultimately increase the cost of fuel for FAM customers.

The Brooklyn biomass facility was damaged by a winter storm last February but is scheduled to come back into service this month.

The province passed a regulation late in December substantially increasing the amount of biomass Nova Scotia Power must burn over the next two years at both Brooklyn and the boiler at Port Hawkesbury Paper (a 51 % increase at the newsprint mill). Minister Tory Rushton’s justification for the increase is that sustainably-harvested biomass helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions because it meets the government’s definition of a “renewable” resource — a claim that has been disputed and de-bunked by many scientists — and that there is plenty of wood available after Hurricane Fiona and the demise of Northern Pulp. 

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VIEWS

1. Grocery store theft and the collapse of civilization

The entrance to the Atlantic Superstore on the Bedford Highway on a sunny day.
The Atlantic Superstore on the Bedford Highway in July, 2021.— Photo: Yvette d’Entremont

I’m usually disinclined to produce “Twitter journalism” — the often lazy citation of Twitter spats just to garner hits on a secondary news source. But the recent hullabaloo over a series of tweets by the “Food Professor” gets at something important, which is worth discussing.

The Food Professor is Sylvain Charlebois, who tweets at @FoodProfessor. “It’s no exaggeration to say Charlebois is the Canadian media’s favourite food expert,” writes Jeremy Appel:

In 2022 alone, the Dalhousie University academic’s name appeared in 156 stories on the CTV News website, 87 on the Toronto Star’s55 on the CBC’s55 on the Globe and Mail’s and 20 on Global News.

These numbers include Canadian Press wire stories and newsletters that refer back to previously-published stories, as well as op-eds written by the man himself, but they nonetheless give you a good sense of his prominence. 

With the notable exception of Jordan Peterson, I can’t think of a single Canadian academic with as large a media footprint. And Charlebois can always be relied on to provide PR for Canada’s largest grocers while presenting himself as a brave truth teller willing to buck the conventional wisdom that corporate profits are out of control, even when his academic research suggests otherwise. 

As Appel and others have pointed out, in 2018, Charlebois received a $60,000 grant from the Weston Family Foundation, which as it names implies, is controlled by the Weston Family, which also controls the Loblaw Companies, Canada’s largest grocer.

Charlebois has said it’s not fair to say he personally benefitted from the Weston grant, because the money went to pay graduate students he was working with. That’s some dicey logic — Charlebois used the grant on his CV, which, of course, was used as proof of his worthiness to be considered by other grant-givers. The grant was of a whole with that 2018 project and Charlebois’ other work. Leaving aside the (moot) question of whether he used the $60,000 to buy a boat or whatever, at the very least, articles citing Charlebois should note his funding. (For the record, the Halifax Examiner has also failed on this front, as we were ignorant of the grant; in the future, I will ask reporters to look at the funding of academics we report on.)

Well, so academia goes. Here’s what happened over the last few days.

The tweet reads: This is how "crazy" Twitter is. Apparently, breaking the law and encouraging others to do the same is morally acceptable.

On Saturday, Charlebois tweeted a link to a Blog TO article headlined “Canadians are now stealing overpriced food from grocery stores with zero remorse.” Readers should understand that this is part of Blog TO’s schtick — in addition to hyperlocal articles on restaurants and the like, it publishes articles that are guaranteed to garner rage tweets in response, just to bring hits, which then are used to increase ad rates.

In this case, the Blog TO article included a photo of a Loblaws store. And sure enough, Charlebois bit, disapproving of the entire notion of stealing just because food is expensive; he tweeted:

This is how “crazy” Twitter is. Apparently, breaking the law and encouraging others to do the same is morally acceptable.

In response, Charlebois was criticized for not caring about the plight of people struggling simply to buy food. People pointed out that Loblaws had conspired to fix the price of bread, that grocery chains are reporting record profits, and they pay employees shit wages while the vast majority of them aren’t given full-time hours that would result in more benefits.

Charlebois in turn pointed out that he sits on the board of “the largest food bank in the country.” I’ve written many times about the structural and even ethical problems of charity as a response to societal failures; I won’t rehash that here, but will merely point out that Loblaws and other grocery chains use their donations to food banks in part as a public relations measure, and likely as a tax break.

The argument about whether Charlebois is a bad person or whatever is pointless. I think that, likely, within the grant- and publicly funded university framework in which he works, he operates in a way that he considers ethical.

It’s that framework that is the problem.

The episode illustrates a foundational truth of any society: You cannot have buy-in for an economic order and system of laws if that order and those laws can’t provide necessities for a broad spectrum of society.

Sadly, when the dispossessed are a relatively small segment of society, they can be controlled with police, courts, and jails. And as their numbers increase, the powers that be can hire more cops and expand the incarceration system. State violence even becomes its own profit centre.

With the repeated police killings of innocent Black people, perhaps best illustrated by the nine-minute murder of George Floyd captured on video and shared with the world, millions of people around the globe said enough is enough with the police state, demonstrated in the streets, and demanded that police be “defunded.” Much of the response to this was to muddy the argument with (of course) a technical solution — body cameras will solve the problem! — but officialdom understood that “defund police” was a direct attack on the logic of controlling the dispossessed with state violence. As a result, police budgets have not been decreased or even kept level — they’ve been increased.

The price of food goes up beyond the reach of more and more people, and so grocery stores have installed theft prevention devices and hired more security guards.

The rich apparently think this can continue forever. There will be more profit forever and ever, and if people object, state violence can be forever increased. (Some small number of them have fantasies, à la Mark Rylance and Meryl Streep in the farcical comedy Don’t Look Up!, that they can flee to Mars to avoid the Earthly rabble, as if having destroyed the climate of one planet that was perfectly designed for them, they can successfully create a new ecosphere out of whole cloth that will provide for them.)

They’re wrong. There is a breaking point, and we’re fast approaching it.

Neither I nor anyone else has the perfect solution to equitable production and distribution of food and housing. It’s a joint project, that should be determined collectively and democratically. But we can’t get there until we jettison the framework that insists private profits forever more are sacrosanct and state violence is unquestionable.

“We live in capitalism,” wrote Ursula Le Guin. “Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings.” 

That’s not ‘crazy,” Mr. Charlebois.

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2. Golf

On the left, there are men playing minigolf. On the right is a line of restaurant tables.
Mini golf in a fine dining establishment in 1930.

“Speaking of golf, [as she was before this bit] while searching for information about golf course construction during the Great Depression, I stumbled across the fact, unknown to me, that mini golf was one of the great fads of the era,” writes Mary Campbell of the Cape Breton Spectator:

The 99% Invisible blog offers the additional information that mini golf was also known as “pee wee” golf, then quotes from the same Jacksonville Historical Society Article I found to describe the courses:

The goofy game offered a plethora of crazy courses. The links tried to outdo each other with their outrageousness. Players navigated through a maze of traps & contraptions and putted past pools, geysers, castles, sunken gardens, petrified forests, Taj Mahals, White Houses, Great Walls of China, fairytale characters, Wild West icons, and Rube Goldberg-like devices. One course even boasted a trained monkey which grabbed the ball from unsuspecting players!

In a 2016 Medium article, Eric Rogers attributes mini-golf’s growth in popularity in part to the invention of artificial turf but still marvels at how it managed to thrive during times of economic devastation:

Urban courses would pop up…beside brightly illuminated billboards and other sources of ambient urban light, where players could play long into the night, making the most of the light pollution spilling down from their various sources. Vacant lots and halted construction sites were a favorite location for the adventurous peewee golfer, who could tap his or her ball into half-completed drainage pipes or along slantedsteel structural elements as part of the game.

Rogers describes upscale restaurants converting half their floor space into mini-golf courses (and provides photographic evidence—see [photo above]—of the same).

Click here to read “‘The Madness of 1930.'”

As with the Examiner, the Cape Breton Spectator is subscriber supported, and so this article is behind the Spectator’s paywall. Click here to purchase a subscription to the Spectator.

The hipsters are all over retro everything. Weird moustaches, bowling, whatever.

A beer garden-mini golf emporium would make mint.

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Government

City

Today

North West Community Council (Monday, 7pm, Kinsac Community Centre, Beaver Bank) — agenda

Tomorrow

Halifax and West Community Council (Tuesday, 6pm, City Hall) — and online

Province

Today

No meetings

Tomorrow

Veterans Affairs (Tuesday, 2pm, One Government Place) — Last Post Fund, with Robert Carter and Steve St. Amant


On campus

Dalhousie

The Legacy of MLK : Peacemaking & Justice Making in a Time of Trouble (Monday, 6pm, Council Chambers, Dal SUB) — panel discussion with Robert Wright, El Jones, Chike Jeffers, Isaac Saney and Terrence Lewis; entertainment by Emmanuel Solomon, moderated by Tiffany Gordon; masks required

Saint Mary’s

Syrian War and Refugees: The International Use of Force and Politics (Monday, 11:30am, online) — Al Zoubi will talk


In the harbour

Halifax
02:30: MSC Polaris, container ship, arrives at Pier 41 from Sines, Portugal
05:00: Atlantic Sail, ro-ro container, arrives at Fairview Cove from Norfolk, Virginia
06:00: Nord Superior, oil tanker, moves from Bedford Basin to Imperial Oil
09:30: Acadian, oil tanker, sails from Irving Oil for sea
14:00: Tropic Lissette, cargo ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Philipsburg, Saint Croix
15:00: Atlantic Sky, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Liverpool, England
15:30: Atlantic Sail sails for Hamburg, Germany
23:00: Atlantic Sky sails for New York

Cape Breton
03:30: SFL Trinity, oil tanker, sails from EverWind for sea


Footnotes

Your pithy observation here

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Tim Bousquet

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

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  1. The power of the press in action. Congrats, Tim, on finally getting some action and hopefully lights soon on Thistle. What a disgrace. Jurisdictional squables ?? Get the lights on and then sort it out.

    *****
    The retail food indusrty in Canada is basically monopoly of two giants. One more giant than the other, but both giants. It’s the mafia and Weston is the new Godfather … same as the old Godfather. There are many *Leftenants in this Canadian mafia.

  2. “The latter (Alderney Drive) is already fairly clogged up during rush hour, but maybe all the new residents in the Cove will walk over to the Alderney ferry.” Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m reading a lot of sarcasm in this statement.

    I worked for HRM Planning out of Alderney Gate for a number of years and don’t recall Alderney Dr. being clogged during rush hour. It was busy but generally free flowing and I suspect rush hour traffic is considerably less since the advent of COVID.

    Dartmouth Cove and King’s Wharf were designated for future growth under municipal plans because their location offered the potential to get people out of their car. Goods and services are available in Downtown Dartmouth and Alderney Gate which are a very pleasant 5 minute walk or less from these sites, as are the ferry and a major bus terminal.
    The site is also adjacent to a regional trail which you can take on a bike to get to Lawrencetown Beach (once the path is upgraded from the Woodside ferry terminal to the start of the Shearwater connector, I think this will be by far the most popular cycling route in HRM).
    Tim’s critique of these sites, as well as the Micmac Mall site seem to be based on traffic concerns. I think these sites are well suited to reducing our automobile dependency and have the potential to create very livable, walkable communities that are well served by public transit.

    1. I don’t have a problem with new construction in the Dartmouth Cove area, at least so long as the Dartmouth Curling Club leaves on its own accord and isn’t pressured into a sale 🙂

      But it’s a fact that now traffic is at a near-standstill in the Portland-Alderney corridor at rush hour. I’m often travelling against the commuter flow, and even then, there can be two or three light cycles at Five Corners or Alderney and Portland. This is what used to be considered a “D” wait time, if they still use those. Throw in a construction delay, and it’s worse. I just can’t see how adding two new traffic lights along the corridor will make it any better (even for pedestrians).

      This won’t be a problem for the new residents. Even if they drive, they’ll be mostly past the congestion. Rather, it’s a problem for the people commuting by car to downtown Halifax from Portland Estates and Woodside.

      Hey, there are lots of options for those people too. The Woodside ferry, the buses, the Alderney ferry. I’m just pointing out that things *must* change. That car commute is going to become worse, and worse, and worse.

  3. Is this the same Sylvain Charlebois who suspected that discussions at Nature COP 15 last month about reigning in our food systems were only brought forth by “idealistic and extremist views?”
    https://www.saltwire.com/halifax/opinion/sylvain-charlebois-cop15s-absurd-proposed-planetary-diet-100806406/
    I was at COP 15… the models that recommended changes to how some of the world eats were well supported by scientific evidence, and brought forward by academics, government officials, and civil society organizations. Food system changes are not a fringe topic when examining what has led to global biodiversity loss, and when proposing solutions to the crisis.

  4. Walking by the Mary Ann development the other day I discovered there Halifax does actually have a bar with golf simulators – they must be ahead of the hipster trend!