Annual subscription Drive

I’ve always been a soft sell on the subscription front. Shilling for subscriptions annoys me more than it annoys you, probably. But this is how we pay for the Examiner. I’m committed to paying contributors and employees decently, and that requires a steady income from subscribers.

My hope is that this year’s drive can bring in enough new subscribers to increase the scope of Examiner coverage. I have ideas about new things we can report on, and about how to improve the reporting we already do. It just requires more resources.

Sunday, from 4-7pm, we’re kicking off the subscription drive with a party at Bearly’s (1269 Barrington Street). We’ll have short readings from Halifax Examiner contributors Stephen Kimber, Linda Pannozzo, El Jones, and Evelyn White, special surprise musical guests, new Halifax Examiner swag for sale, and cake.

It’s a subscription drive party, so admission is for subscribers only, but you can buy a subscription at the door. There are no advance tickets, so plan to come early for a good seat.

And we’ll have swag! Iris says bring cash to buy swag.

Also, please do me the favour of dropping by the Examiner’s Facebook page to tell us you’re coming.

So please subscribe. You can do so by clicking here. You can buy a regular subscription for just $10 a month, but for the month of November, if you buy a $100 annual subscription, we’ll throw in some free Examiner swag.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled Morning File.


1. Teachers Union files court challenge to Bill 75

Photo: Halifax Examiner

As expected, the Nova Scotia’s Teachers Union has filed a challenge to Bill 75, which forces a contract on teachers.

A hearing has been scheduled for Thursday, November 23.

2. CBC building

Google Street View

Yesterday, the province announced it is buying the CBC/Radio-Canada building on Bell Road as part of the QEII redevelopment project:

The purchase price of $4.5 million includes the building, and about two acres of land with a parking lot that has 93 spaces.


[Hubert Lacroix, CBC/Radio-Canada’s President and CEO,] said CBC/Radio Canada is committed to continuing to work with DHX Media on the production of the TV series This Hour Has 22 Minutes which is currently filmed at the Bell Road location. A license agreement allows CBC/Radio Canada to continue using a portion of the building and parking lot until June 30, 2018, for the production of the show.

The province and Nova Scotia Health Authority will have the option to use the rest of the building to house components of the QEII redevelopment project. This may include temporary site offices and mock up areas to test the new design of work areas, like operating rooms.

The QEII redevelopment project includes the expansion and renovation of the Halifax Infirmary site of the QEII Health Sciences Centre, as well as the Dartmouth General Hospital, the Hants Community Hospital and other sites. This work will support the eventual closure of the Centennial and Victoria buildings on the Victoria General site of the QEll Health Sciences Centre in Halifax.

3. Little shits, PEI division

“There was not an incident of Halloween treat tampering in Summerside after all,” reports Eric McCarthy for the Summerside Journal Pioneer:

Summerside Police Services sent out an advisory Tuesday evening urging parents to scrutinize their children’s treats. That followed receipt of two complaints of treat tampering.

Wednesday afternoon police services issued a statement indicating that, after a followup investigation by its Major Crime Unit, police do not believe treats were intentionally tampered with, nor do they believe there was an attempt by anyone to harm trick-or-treaters.

I’m reminded of this November 4, 1996 Chronicle Herald story by reporter Randy Jones:

It reads:

A Westphal boy who lied about finding a razor blade in a tiny chocolate bar was forced by his parents to go on television Sunday to apologize.

Wayne Cross, 12, claimed he found a razor inside a tiny Crunchie bar while rooting through his Halloween treats Friday morning, sparking a wave of news stories.

But over the weekend, his story unravelled when he refused a polygraph test after police became suspicious he put the razor blade inside the bar.

On Sunday, Wayne’s father said he found out when he returned from a hunting trip Saturday that his son’s story was a hoax. 

“I’m still upset. That’s why he’s at his aunt’s,” he said.

He said Wayne, who appeared on television last week explaining how he found the razor, didn’t really give him a clear explanation about why he pulled the hoax before he left for his aunt’s with his mother, Debbie.

“When I came back it was all out in the open with the RCMP officer. There was something about his story that just didn’t jibe,” said the father, adding that Wayne will be punished for his lie. 

Although his father provided a phone number where his son could be reached, Wayne’s aunt refused to let him come to the phone.

“Right now he’s a little confused about things,” she said. “I’ve got him up here with me to try to get him away from all of this.”

Wayne’s mother and father told him to go back on a TV news broadcast Sunday to apologize.

“Sorry… to everyone that helped me,” Wayne told ATV.

A Cole Harbour RCMP officer suggested the boy put the razor in the bar to remind parents that all Halloween candy should be checked.

RCMP said over the weekend no charges will be laid.

Some points:

1. “Randy Jones” is the best reporter name ever.

2. Kids lie. They’re basically little lie factories, and their throats are the assembly lines for producing lies. They especially lie about tampered Halloween candy. We shouldn’t take them seriously.

3. Twelve is too old to be trick-or-treating. Get a paper route already and buy your own damn candy.

4. “The boy put the razor in the bar to remind parents that all Halloween candy should be checked” is one hell of a pant load of cop crap. I see the Fear Everything culture was alive and well in 1996.

Is Wayne Cross still around? If he is, he’d be 33 years old now. Drop me a line, eh?

4. Roger Callow storms Nova Scotia courts

Several forests have died in Roger Callow’s ongoing battle for justice.

Thirty-two years ago, in 1985, West Vancouver social studies teacher Roger Callow was laid off from his unionized job. He’s been fighting for “justice” (or something) ever since.

In 2014, Andrew Duffy, then reporting for the Ottawa Citizen, recapped Callow’s journey through the courts:

In the three decades since, Callow has launched 20 legal proceedings before various tribunals, courts and appeal bodies in a determined attempt to win redress.

He has tried to personally sue two judges from the Federal Court of Canada; he has also launched multi-million dollar lawsuits against the teacher’s union and the school board.

All of the lawsuits have failed.

Both the Federal Court and the B.C. Supreme Court have declared him a vexatious litigant and have barred him from filing actions related to his lost job.

In fact, the B.C. Supreme Court has issued three separate orders since 2003 that restrict Callow’s access to that province’s court system.

In his decision issued Friday, Justice McKinnon said that Callow has insulted every judge “who has had the misfortune of ruling against him.”

“Mr. Callow has also been remarkably imaginative in engaging in offensive conduct outside the courtroom, denigrating Canada’s judiciary and legal system,” the judge said. “He has displayed insulting placards in public places and posted offensive material on his website.”

Callow’s website was taken down some time ago, but it was a doozy, with pages of unintelligible garble like this:

BY: Roger Callow ‘The Outlawed Canadian’ in an ‘Outlaw Justice System’ (30 year unresolved legal case) now known judicially as ‘the cluster-fuck case’ which has been through 8 different court systems and over 30 judges. It’s Canada’s Watergate — Pulitzer Prize winning author being sought. The ‘find me a court’ plea has fallen on deaf ears due to Registry, Ministry & Court obfuscation. I feel like Ralph Nader in 1961 trying to convince the public of dangerous cars (Unsafe at any speed). Who knows, maybe recalling judges and chief judges may become standard fare in the future — just like automobiles. To be sure, the current system is not working as now the Canadian Justice System has been shattered in its entirety by this case. The current case in Federal Court (T-2360-14) alleges fraud on behalf of the Respondent Employer and Union plus the court processes over the past 30 years. It would appear that the Respondents misrepresented themselves to this petitioner as to the their authority. #550-17008208-157 currently extant in Gatineau, Quebec, will see if the French Canadian courts suffer from this ‘English disease.’ Premier P. Couillard is being kept fully informed as to court progress as well as, now, the Quebec RCMP.

Here’s the first paragraph of Ontario Justice C. McKinnon’s 2014 decision naming Callow a vexatious litigant:

Roger Callow is a litigant possessed of seemingly inexhaustible stamina. His behaviour suggests that he views the Canadian court system as something akin to a perpetual, all-day, all you can eat buffet. Having been rebuked by the courts and tribunals of British Columbia, the Federal Court of Canada and the Supreme Court of Canada, Mr. Callow has now taken aim at Ontario. Ontario lacks the jurisdiction to deal with his case. As a result, Mr. Callow’s litigation must be stopped. Now.

But there’s no stopping Roger Callow.

Callow has brought his fight to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court. Of course, Nova Scotia has nothing to do with British Columbia, and certainly nothing to do with the West Vancouver school system or its union. And the Nova Scotia Supreme Court can’t overrule decisions made by courts in B.C., Ontario, or Quebec, or by the Canadian Supreme Court, but those technicalities aren’t about to stop Roger Callow.

This week, Callow filed about a half a ream of documents with the Nova Scotia court. It’s all gobbledygook, but from the documents I learn that Callow filed a complaint with the Nova Scotia Barristers Society, but the Society “refused an examination of the fraudulent Employer’s ‘Book of Authorities.’” He therefore took the issue up with Justice Suzanne Hood, who likewise sensibly refused to deal with Callow, and so Callow is now taking aim at the judge  — “her apparently innocuous action was sufficient to show that the court for a first time was heavily biased in favour of the Employer” and so forth.

I fear our courts are about to come to a grinding halt as Callow pursues his case.

5. Mumps

“There are two confirmed cases of mumps at Dalhousie University, and perhaps more across the Halifax area, according to officials with the school,” reports Emma Davie for the CBC:

Spokesperson Brian Leadbetter said in an email that the school sent a memo to the university community on Thursday outlining the symptoms of mumps and asking people to have up-to-date vaccinations and to consult a doctor if they notice symptoms.

6. Bobcat

Photo: Angela Conrad

A bobcat has been checking out Angela Conrad’s bird feeder in Beaver Bank. Bobcats are pretty much everywhere in Nova Scotia, but they’re camera shy.


1. Cranky letter of the day

To the Chronicle Herald:

The front-page picture on Nov. 2, showing a man lying trapped beneath a vehicle, is completely inappropriate and in very poor taste. Why do you think the general public needs to see this scene? So we can try to guess the identity of this unfortunate individual? Please honour our need for privacy in such moments of trauma.

Leslie Robinson, Yarmouth


No public meetings.

On campus


Thesis Defence, Civil and Resource Engineering (Friday, 9:30am, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building) — PhD candidate Mahmudur Fatmi will defend his thesis, “Development of Integrated Urban System Models: Population Life-transitions, Household Location, and Vehicle Transaction Decisions.”

Woodwinds recital (Friday, 12pm, Room 406, Dalhousie Arts Centre) — students of Patricia Creighton, Brian James, Suzanne Lemieux, and Eileen Walsh will perform.

Clown Masterclass (Friday, 1pm, Studio Two, Dalhousie Arts Centre) — Michael Kennard from the University of Alberta, co-creator of the clown duo Mump & Smoot, will lead this class.

Chemistry Lecture (Friday, 1:30pm, Room 226, Chemistry Building) — Victor Nemykin, from the University of Manitoba, will speak on “Ferrocene-containing Porphyrins, Subphthalocyanines, BODIPYS, and Aza-BODIPYS for Molecular Electronics, Redox Activated Fluorescent Sensors, and Light-harvesting.”

Hearing Loss (Friday, 3:30pm, Room C170, Collaborative Health Education Building) — Mary Beth Jennings, from Western University, will speak on “What Women and Men Want You to Hear About Working with a Hearing Loss.”

In the harbour

0:30am: Atlantic Star, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for Liverpool, England
5am: NS Stream, oil tanker, sails from Imperial Oil for Saint John
8am: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, moves from Pier 27 to Pier 36
10:30am: NYK Artemis, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Colombo, Sri Lanka
11:30am: Atlantic Patriot, general cargo, sails from Pier 31 for sea
4:30pm: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, sails from Pier 36 for Saint-Pierre


I had something clever to say, but I forgot what it was.

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

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  1. That’s a fantastic bobcat shot, Angela Conrad! The pheasant population is on the up-swing across the pond in Oakfield and I won’t be surprised to spy a bobcat! Hopefully not on my dog walk tonight, though ????

  2. Some points:

    1. “Randy Jones” is the best reporter name ever.
    Any relation to El?

    2. Kids lie. They’re basically little lie factories, and their throats are the assembly lines for producing lies.
    Kids certainly are capable of lying just like adults. I sure did, but that was required for survival at school in a time when they were always humiliating us and hitting us with a stick. However I think suggesting kids usually or always lie, is simply not true in my own experience. Like adults, kids usually lie when they’re put in a situation where lying seems the best of bad alternatives. Yes this kid lied about the razor blade, but most kids would never do so. Maybe he was seeking attention? Kids are only human.

    3. Twelve is too old to be trick-or-treating. Get a paper route already and buy your own damn candy.
    Perhaps the government should impose a maximum allowed age for Trick or Treating, the way the do minimum ages for drinking? You could fine over-age trick or treaters something ridiculous like, say $697.50. The Premier has warned that NS is short of cash. As long as there isn’t one I’m reluctant to spurn teens getting into the spirit of the occasion and just having good, clean fun.

    BTW Tim, Paper route opportunities may be on the decline today. Ask your buddies at Saltwire.

    4. “The boy put the razor in the bar to remind parents that all Halloween candy should be checked” is one hell of a pant load of cop crap. I see the Fear Everything culture was alive and well in 1996.
    Cultivation of public fear and the justification of anything in the interest of National Security is the sharp end of the stick for the police state. No argument there.

      1. I would gladly buy him an extra-extra-extra-extra small T-shirt if you have one. Booger-coloured preferred.

  3. ah, 1996, those were the days I was signing petitions against the Sheraton Casino.

    Now it is the Nova Scotia Casino and 5 rich Nova Scotians benefit from it, yet we all pay.

    1. Ah Yes, Vinn, 1996 and our Casino. The only ballot I ever spoiled, because not one candidate would take a stand against the damn thing. You and I were not alone, but our opinions, and the opinions of thousands of other citizens meant nothing. .

  4. If you put razor blades in candy you should be required to eat them. Unruptured mouths and throats are a privilege, not a right. #hottake

  5. Case number:
    ” Noble Drilling Services (Canada) Corporation applied, through its representative, for a licence to use the “NOBLE REGINA ALLEN”, a jack-up rig registered in Liberia, to perform, as part of the Sable Offshore Energy Project, well plug and abandonment activities for the decommissioning of 22 wells, drilled across five wellhead platforms, with wireline and coiled tubing. The activity will start on November 21, 2017 and will end on November 20, 2018.”
    The cost of the rig is US$88,500 per day. Removing the 5 platforms is a simple operation. I’ll wager the total cost of shutting down the Sable project will be less than the amount hidden in the provincial accounts.

    1. So I am I. I get teenagers coming to the door, obviously having fun and being happy and enjoying themselves out with a group of friends, so what’s the big deal? I didn’t do it as a teenager, mainly because I was too lazy and because I was put in charge of handing out our own candy. But I didn’t then and don’t now mind if teenagers come by.

      My goodness, such pedophobia. Or ephebiphobia, perhaps. “Kids lie. They’re basically little lie factories, and their throats are the assembly lines for producing lies…We shouldn’t take them seriously.” And I thought I was a grumpy old man.

      “Get off my front porch, you damned lying punks!”