November Subscription Drive

Tempa Hull
Tempa Hull

Tempa Hull was the Examiner’s first employee, and did a wonderful job setting up an administrative and bookkeeping system and then training her replacement before taking a job with the province. She writes:

When Tim asked if I would share my thoughts on why readers should subscribe to the Halifax Examiner, I told him, “Only if you promise to keep being a cranky old geezer.” (And now we know his answer.)

Aside from the fact that readers are spared the onslaught of annoying pop-up video and printed commercials, embedded ads, and links to articles about botched plastic surgeries of various celebrities, The Halifax Examiner is a true labour of love — for critical journalism and in-depth investigative reporting. 

Unlike most mainstream sources, the Halifax Examiner strives to include news that doesn’t generally make “the news,” including the Dead Wrong series; comprehensive articles about the environment, transportation, the courts, municipal matters, and science and research; former Poet Laureate El Jones’s Saturday Morning File; and the Examineradio radio show and podcast.

But leave all that aside. My favourite reasons for subscribing to the Halifax Examiner is that its founder, Tim Bousquet, is passionately committed to living wages and to the support and success of the journalists, producers, and administrative staff who help contribute to its content. 

“If only everyone were paid less, we’d all be rich,” jokes Tim, skewering  the logic of austerity adopted by Nova Scotia’s union-busting government. That satirical signature phrase has made many an appearance on the Examiner — so much that some have suggested it be included on the swag. 

Readers can rest assured that Tim practices what he preaches.

All of this takes money. I’m sure some businesses would be happy to help support the Halifax Examiner in exchange for advertising. And these are good businesses — ones that Tim and his staff frequent and want to thrive. But his main concern has to do with the nature of the business he is in. 

It’s not just because he knows that plastering his site with ads is annoying for readers: it’s also because he doesn’t want to risk compromising the journalistic integrity of the Examiner itself. And the surest way to prevent this from happening is to avoid the risk from the onset, and simply refuse to accept advertising dollars.

Unfortunately, this means that the Halifax Examiner is 100 per cent dependent on its subscribers. Or (to put it more positively) fortunately, the Halifax Examiner is 100 per cent paid for by its subscribers. You get to decide its fate. So if you want the Halifax Examiner to continue and to be able to grow into something even better, please subscribe!

Click here to purchase a subscription.


1. President Trump


I’m afraid.

My home country has unleashed the forces of ignorance, intolerance, and resentment, and there’s no telling where this will end.

I fear most immediately for minorities, and especially for Muslims, as many people will now feel they have licence to openly express their hatred violently.

With a Supreme Court justice nominated by Trump and quickly approved by a Republican majority in the Senate, the right to reproductive choice will almost certainly be overturned.

I don’t know which I fear more: a Trump administration that is incapable of governance, or one that can make it work. Either way, a Trump administration will be a kleptocracy; we can expect those with no self-restraint or regard for the public good to rise to positions of power. Matters of foreign policy, environmental stewardship, civil liberties, and economic security will take a back seat to the pursuit of private wealth.

Yes, politics has always been a cynical game, and the powerful are often in it primarily for themselves. And yes, know-nothingism, nativism, anti-intellectualism, and racism have always been a part of American culture. I grew up in the American south and I worked as a reporter in the buckle of the Bible Belt, so I know that culture well. But this is something new. Never in my lifetime have those forces of darkness been triumphant on a national scale. Even the pretence of decency has been brushed aside.

Many things happened last night. One thing that happened is that white southerners finally won the Civil War they had never stopped fighting. Another is that a new thread of fascism has emerged. Many other things happened as well, and they combine such that we’re now living in the dystopian future of our nightmares.

Some will immediately play a blame game. The Democratic National Committee is at fault. Hilary Clinton. People who voted for third parties. Neoliberalism. A failed press. Globalization. The failure of elites.

There is no end to the narratives that can be built, and there will be truth in many of them. But it’s hard to get excited about any one explanatory theory when the reality is staring us in the face.

Today is a day for mourning, and the pain of the next few years will at times be unbearable. But somehow we’ll need to carry on. In the face of the horrible new reality, we need now more than ever to help build a decent world.

It’s time to get to work.

2. Chronicle Herald


Effective December 1, the Chronicle Herald is raising its basic subscription rate 15 per cent, from $27.30 to $31.39 a month. The reason? In a letter to subscribers, Jim LaPierre, the paper’s director of distribution and logistics, writes:

From newsprint to delivery, the costs to create and deliver the quality content of the Chronicle Herald continue to rise. We have taken internal measures to mitigate having to pass along extra costs to our subscribers. However, we have determined a price increase is necessary at this time.

Wait… I thought getting rid of those high-cost reporters and bringing in low-paid scabs was going to solve the financial problems at the Herald? And isn’t it telling that Herald president Mark Lever doesn’t have the spine to personally tell his customers about the price increase but instead gets a functionary to do the ugly work?

Heather Dennis
Heather Dennis

Meanwhile, Heather Dennis, sister of Herald owner Sarah Dennis, weighs in on the labour dispute in an Examiner op-ed. She writes:

The failure of the company and the union to find a workable solution is emblematic of the changing of the guard at the paper. There’s a stark contrast between the humanistic value system of my father Graham Dennis, who guided the Chronicle Herald for almost 60 years as publisher, and the new management team led by Mark Lever, who took over five years ago.

Click here to read all of “Destroying my father’s legacy.”

3. Enough

I was up late last night and there’s a ton to do today, so I’ll cut the news portion of Morning File short today. Full newsy blatherings continue tomorrow.


1. TPMs

An aerial shot showing location of two signs and a priority signal installed this year at Robie and Almon Streets. This was the only Transit Priority Measure installed this year so far. (From a TPM study completed by WSP for HRM.)
An aerial shot showing location of two signs and a priority signal installed this year at Robie and Almon Streets. This was the only Transit Priority Measure installed this year so far. (From a TPM study completed by WSP for HRM.)

Examiner transportation columnist Erica Butler takes a look at the exceedingly slow implementation of the proposed “transit priority measures.” She writes:

If our new councillors want to do something simple and immediate to make buses run faster in this city, they could ask city staff to accelerate the plan for TPMs. No debate necessary. Just take everything that’s already planned, and make it happen this year, instead of 2020 or 2021.

Click here to read “Want faster buses? Implement TPMs already.”

This article is behind the Examiner’s paywall and so available only to paid subscribers. Click here to purchase a subscription.

2. Explosion

Photo: Stephen Archibald
Photo: Stephen Archibald

Stephen Archibald walks around the Hydrostone and nearby neighbourhoods that are the legacy of the Explosion. He writes:

As my ramble continued I realized that I was walking through housing projects that were shaped by other periods of upheaval and turmoil. Towards the harbour I entered the district of workers’ prefab houses that were thrown up quickly during World War II. Workers were needed to support the War effort and land in the North End was vacant or had not been reoccupied after the Explosion, so it could be quickly filled with these distinctive little homes.

Here is one of the prefabs with the huge power plant on the Dartmouth side feeling very close. It reminds us that the harbour was once rimmed with industries.

3. Cranky letter of the day

To the Cape Breton Post:

I’m writing this letter trembling with anger, moments after seeing a female passenger in a smallish silver four-door sedan stop outside my home and throw garbage in three ditches in Northside East Bay near the Gillis Lake Road intersection.

It’s absolutely astounding to me why she would expend the effort to stop on the shoulder three separate times within a quarter of a kilometer and get out, wait for vehicles to pass, and empty her car of KFC and McDonalds bags and food containers directly in front of residential homes. 

Shame on you, whomever you are. It would’ve taken a lot less effort to take it home and properly dispose of it. This was a local Cape Bretoner, not a tourist or visitor to our area.

If any readers know someone like this who blatantly disrespects the planet and community they drive through daily, please make them uncomfortable. Speak up and say out loud, “Shame on you, you lazy bugger! Take your trash home and show some respect! Someone is always watching!”

Terry Murphy, Northside East Bay



Regional Watersheds Advisory Board (5pm, Alderney Public Library) — just an orientation meeting for the new members of the board.

Centre Plan (6pm, Mic Mac AAC, 192 Prince Albert Road, Dartmouth) — ponies, dogs. Supposedly, you can have input. Just remember that HRM By Design, which was similarly celebrated as a wonderful citizen-directed planning exercise, resulted in the horrible Borg that destroyed downtown. Here’s more.

Information Session: Volunteering for Boards and Committees (7pm, City Hall) — folks who want to contribute should show up.


Public Accounts (9am, Province House) — all about Sustainable Transportation Programs.

On campus


Innovation! (8am, Weatherwatch Room, 5th Floor, Dixon Building, VG) — Marianne Stanford, VP Research at Immunovaccine Inc., will speak on “Innovation Rounds: Adventures in Biotechnology: The Progression of DepoVax™ from Idea to the Clinic.” Bring your own pompom.

Bacteria (4pm, Theatre A, Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building) — Peter L. Davies will speak on “Bacterial Adhesins: Adhesion, Cohesion, and Early Events in Biofilm Formation.”

YouTube video

The Tempest (8pm, Dalhousie Art Gallery) — Julie Taymor, USA, 2010, 110 minutes. Taymor casts Helen Mirren as Prospera in this gender-bending twist on The Bard’s best-known late play.

Saint Mary’s


Racism (7pm, McNally Theatre Auditorium) — Senator Murray Sinclair, former chair of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada, will speak on “Racism: Indigenous Perspectives.”

In the harbour

3am: Mary, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for New York
11am: ZIM San Francisco, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from New York

Acadian. Photo: Halifax Examiner
Acadian. Photo: Halifax Examiner Credit: Halifax Examiner

2pm: Acadian, oil tanker, arrives at Imperial Oil from Saint John
4:30pm: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, moves from Autoport to Pier 41

3:30am: ZIM San Francisco, container ship, sails from Pier 42 for Kingston, Jamaica
6am: ZIM Tarragona, container ship, arrives at Halterm from Valencia, Spain
7:15am: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, arrives at Pier 36 from Saint-Pierre


We’re recording Examineradio today, and then I’ll be on The Sheldon MacLeod Show, News 95.7, at 2pm, I think with Lezlie Lowe. I have no idea where I’ll find the energy or motivation.

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

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  1. How well said ,Tim, re the American Election.
    I am currently in Florida and cannot wait to return home to Canada.
    Bonnie A

  2. First off I thank Christ I am Canadian. We have our problems but we do have universal health care, women, by and large, have reproductive choice and we celebrate (rightly) our multiculturalism.

    I would like to think Canada is immune but…

    I fear for the planet. Climate change is THE great catastrophe. Americans, in their narcissism, may have just pushed the planet over the edge.

    We are gonna have pipelines coming out of our asses and coal will again be king.

    Goodbye beautiful world. We hardly knew ya.

  3. Tonight’s Shakespeare screening at the Dal Art Gallery is actually the Julie Taymor directed 2010 adaptation of The Tempest. Henry V was last Wednesday…

    1. Thanks, James. I had taken the listing from Dal’s events calendar, which unfortunately had not been updated. Here I was thinking, Gee, that must have been a full house last week- they’re rerunning it.

  4. Sorry the public transit item is lost under the weight of the trainwreck which is modern USA. Another simple thing Metro transit, sorry, Halifax transit, can do is make sure the buses wait for ferry passengers to have time to disembark and climb the steps to the bus stops at Alderney and Woodside so that they can actually make a good connection. I don’t know what happens on the Halifax side as I haven’t witnessed it, but I actually watched a bus sitting at Woodside the other day. The ferry was docking. The bus waited. Then it drove away, and right afterwards the terminal doors opened and passengers came out, having missed their bus.

  5. The sideshow is over and it is now time for the candidate to divest himself of his electioneering persona and show the US public and the world at large exactly who he is and what his actual intentions are when it comes to setting the policies that will govern the US for his term in office as the President of the United States of America. This is a watch and see event that will not play out quickly; those who thought the election was a “nail biter”, will likely have a few more sleep interrupted nights to come.

    Also it is time for our Prime Minister to get his game face on, because uncharted waters lie directly ahead with respect to US-Canada relations.

    There is a difference between what a candidate says while electioneering and what they do once they are in power and have a chance to look at the real books that tell the financial and operational story of how their country is run…. every President and Prime Minister has faced this dilemma before this and now President Trump will have his crack at it… it will be interesting to see where the chips fall in the future.

    Will President Trump or the Republican party be the driving force behind the setting of government policy for the US? Will the tail wag the dog or will the dog bite the tail to keep it behind him?

    1. John, US-Canada relationships are already slanted to be very pro-US: We sell them natural resources cheaply, we get fiat currency to buy shit from China with. We haven’t gone full resource-state yet with the inevitable two-class society of the ultra-rich and the ultra-poor, but that is the trajectory we are on.

      If anything, I think President Trump will help inflate the housing bubble to even greater heights as Canada becomes a safer place for foreign money than the USA, with our resource economy functioning more or less the same way it would under a Clinton administration.

    1. I don’t see a Civil War component in what happened. Black dude won Florida twice in a row – seems reasonably balanced on the surface. Hillary lost that state on the Hispanic vote which split significantly worse in Florida than in other states. Also she did worse than Obama in many other significant demographics. Younger voters really hurt by voting for third parties. Florida and Penn killed her – that’s not white southerners from my compass. Wisconsin was a knife in the back too, a union state. A long simmering southern victory just isn’t an intelligent narrative in regards to the results that mattered, it’s way too simple. What was there has always been there. It’s static and accounted for, other than Florida. The Democratic path was there, but was lost in the north. But, it’s a good way to deflect criticism from, oh say, the liberal media…

  6. I am so sorry for your birth country’s actions, Tim. Horrified, but also deeply sorry for any thinking Americans from there who are as traumatized as we are.
    I did find something mildly amusing…when I clicked to open this version, the page dropped right down to “Bacteria (4pm, Theatre A, Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building) — Peter L. Davies will speak on “Bacterial Adhesins: Adhesion, Cohesion, and Early Events in Biofilm Formation.” I thought that somewhat fitting, given that the biggest biofilm of bacteria is going into the White House.

  7. One thing that gets people all up in arms is the idea of “privilege”. I think the natural reaction is defensiveness, especially amongst those who are the beneficiaries of privilege but feel as though they don’t have enough success to show for it. If they accept that white or male or Canadian privilege exists, they must also accept that they have squandered it.The pushback against progressivism by a broad coalition of white people in this election driven by this defensiveness.

    One thing that the left should be more open about is the fact that fighting privilege is a (somewhat) zero-sum game. Blacks and women and Syrians and every other disadvantaged group can be given basic respect and opportunities without much impact on white men. But there is some impact. And for some privileged, the impact will be very large. If more women are in Congress, then that means fewer male Congressmen. And that is okay. That is just and fair. Progressives should be saying – yes, in some cases white men of lesser ability will need to be worse off so that black women can be better off. Canadians should each give up some tiny bit personal security so that some refugees can see an enormous increase in the odds that they live past age 10.

    BLM, refugees, people with no jobs who received Obamacare, OWS protesters, marriage equality: all these groups have made enormous impacts over the past few years advancing the cause of progressivism. Last night, many well-educated, successful, polite white people said “nope”. No way are we going to give up any more of our privileged position so that others might be better off.

    1. FYI, Trump hasn’t won yet. The electors still need to send in their votes. And they aren’t bound to make Trump that name. But that’s gonna happen. But there is a movement amoung states to make the electors bind their vote to the winner of the popular vote, and kill the Electoral College system.

      1. Robert, regardless of the winner last night, I am glad that the losing party has accepted defeat, and it seems like a few world leaders (Trudeau at least…) have send tweets or whatever acknowledging the result.

  8. Who was the last successful presidential candidate who was openly endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan? (That’s an actual question, not a wry comment.)