1. Lower Sackville byelection

A photo of City Hall
Photo: Halifax Examiner

“Three women have declared as candidates for this fall’s special election in Lower Sackville,” reports Zane Woodford for Star Metro:

The election to replace former District 15 councillor Steve Craig, who was elected in June to the Nova Scotia Legislature, is set for Oct. 5. Council set the date at its meeting last week, and candidates were able to declare as of last Wednesday.

Natasha Bouliane, Trysta Doary and Shannon McLellan have declared themselves candidates and appointed official agents, according to an online list of candidates.

Bouliane is an accounting clerk. Here is her campaign Facebook page.

I can’t find out much about Doary, except that she was involved with the production of the “Oceanside P.D.” TV series filmed in Wolfville. Here is her Facebook page.

Likewise, I can’t find anything out about McLellan this morning, although she has a twitter account, in which she says she wants to “make change together,” but she doesn’t specify what that change is.

So far as I can see, I don’t see that any of the three have any particular political ideology or platform beyond “vote for me.”

This was my frustration back when Craig ran for the office for the first time. All of his opponents had no political orientation at all; when I called each of them for an interview, none could articulate why they were running for the council seat beyond that they were great people from good families. I got the sense that none of them knew the first thing about city government. In contrast, Craig came to the campaign with an understanding of the issues before council, how council operated, how he could affect city government (and how he couldn’t), and with a specific managerial skill set that could make that happen.

Once the campaign starts in earnest I’ll give Bouliane, Doary, and McLellan the opportunity to show me that they understand what this is all about.

2. Uber

HRM councillor Matt Whitman said he flew to Toronto to meet with Uber representatives because he didn’t like the answer he got from CAO Jaques Dubé at council last week at council when Dubé said Uber wasn’t ready to set up in Halifax,” reports Jesse Thomas for Global:

“I flew here on my own dime,” said Whitman via text message.

“CAO Dube BS’d me and I’m here to get the truth.”

Couldn’t Whitman have just telephoned?

Anyway, Whitman says he met with “Uber’s public policy representative Morva Rohani, and said the meeting was positive.”

Whitman is evidently going to hitch his mayoral campaign on being the saviour who brought us Uber. It’s what Jesus would do.

3. Right whale

North Atlantic right whale No. 3843 is shown in the Gulf of St. Lawrence on June 6, 2018. Photo: Peter Duley/NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center

“Fisheries and Oceans Canada says a North Atlantic right whale has been spotted about 90 kilometres northeast of the Magdalen Islands, which marks the fourth time one of the endangered animals has been seen entangled in Canadian waters this year,” reports CBC.

4. Argyle Street

The city’s reconstruction of Argyle Street omitted water fountains and washrooms. This graphic, from, shows mature street trees that don’t exist and none of the annoying signage that does exist.
The city’s reconstruction of Argyle Street omitted water fountains and washrooms. This graphic, from, shows mature street trees that don’t exist and none of the annoying signage that does exist.

In Europe, the “pedestrianized” town centres block off the streets entirely to vehicles, with exceptions for dropping off people who use wheelchairs and early morning deliveries.

But in Halifax, that was deemed too radical, so instead Argyle Street became this weird hybrid zone where vehicles and pedestrians would both be welcome on the street. The design of the street was indeed welcoming to pedestrians — with no curbs and with the traditional asphalt roadway removed such that paving stones extended across the entire breadth of the street, people feel they can roam around anywhere. You don’t really think to look backwards before crossing the portion of the street where cars and trucks are allowed, which seems to me to be a collision waiting to happen.

However, the lack of curbs and distinct roadway also are welcoming to drivers, and even though annoying signs point out parking zones, drivers have been confused by the situation and so have been parking all over the place, including atop the areas restricted to pedestrians.

The obvious solution would be to ban vehicles entirely, with exceptions for dropping off people who use wheelchairs and early morning deliveries. Instead, reports Emily Baron Cadloff for CTV, “[b]enches appeared on Argyle Street in Halifax on Tuesday morning as a creative solution to the street’s illegal parking problem.”

Nothing against benches. But just ban the vehicles already.

5. The Icarus Report

Mistastin Lake. Google Maps

Last month, there was a terrible plane crash in Labrador. Yesterday, the Transportation Safety Board updated its report on the incident:

Aviation Incident Report 2019-07-05826: At 00:08Z on 16 July 2019 (20:08 EDT on 15 July 2019), a De Havilland DHC2 Beaver registered C-FJKI to Air Saguenay Inc. was reported overdue to Halifax Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC). The aircraft, having last made contact with the company at 07:00 local time, was expected to have returned from a fly-in fishing expedition on Lake Mistastin in Northern Labrador. A total of seven (7) persons were scheduled to be aboard the aircraft, including one (1) pilot, two (2) guides and four (4) passengers. JRCC located a crash site on Lake Mistastin, approximately 40 nautical miles southwest of Voisey’s Bay, NL (CVB2). The aircraft is described as significantly damaged and submerged in water. Of the total seven (7), three (3) persons are confirmed deceased. A search remains ongoing for the remaining four (4). The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) [is] closely following this situation in order to determine its next steps. Transport Canada Atlantic and Quebec regions have been notified accordingly. UPDATE: The Halifax Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) has concluded their search and rescue response. At present time four individuals remain unaccounted for. The Missing persons case has been transfer to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has confirmed that investigators will be deployed to gather information and assess the occurrence.

In other airplane crash news, a small plane flipped over on the runway at the Saint John Airport, reports Mike Cameron for CTV:

Attempting to take off, the plane flipped shortly after 10 a.m., with its pilot being the sole occupant.

“The plane was a single-prop private aircraft that ended up on its roof,” said Saint John Fire platoon chief, Michael Carr. “The Saint John Airport fire staff removed the pilot, who has undetermined injuries but was transported with Ambulance New Brunswick to the Saint John Regional Hospital.”

Oh, and on July 24, the automated navigation system at Stanfield International tried to kill a bunch of people on two different commercial flights. Happily, the pilots overrode the system:

An ExpressJet Airlines Embraer EMB-145XR (N17108/ASQ4292) from Newark, NJ (KEWR) to Halifax/Stanfield, NS (CYHZ) on area navigation (RNAV) Z for Runway 32 was 1/4NM to 1/2NM left of the final approach course when 7 miles final. Tower advised pilot and they corrected when visual. They landed safely at 1523Z. A WestJet Boeing 737-7CT (C-GUWJ/WJA25) from London/Gatwick, United Kingdom (EGKK) to Halifax/Stanfield, NS (CYHZ) was also on a RNAV 32 and, after landing, advised that around three miles final their autopilot pulled them to the left. They disengaged the autopilot and landed safely at 1527Z. The Terminal Control Unit (TCU) and Technical Operations Coordinator (TOC) advised. Subsequent arrivals on Runway 32 had no issues.

Maybe someone should look into that, eh?


1. Morris Street house

Photo: Nova Scotia Museum

“In April I was coming out of Atlantic News and noticed that the building across the street was being stripped of its many layers of siding,” writes Stephen Archibald:

I posted a picture on Twitter and wished good things for a building that had lost its dignity a long time ago. The Twitter post gathered 10,000 impressions so I knew other people had all the feelings too.

The building has been in my consciousness for decades because of an NS Museum photo [above] that showed the house c1925. Then, it was clearly a double residence with an extraordinary rounded corner, a striking feature on a wooden, shingled building.

The houses were built about 1830 and purchased by Enos Collins, the most influential and wealthiest business man in Nova Scotia, for his daughters Frances (her husband was a Lieutenant General) and Margaretta (her husband would become mayor and later premier). So it is safe to assume that in the 19th century this was a very good address. More history can be found in the listings for each side of the building in the Schmidtville Heritage District Conservation Plan (download here).

In April what really got me excited was that the siding removal had revealed another rounded corner, at the western end of the Morris Street facade. Perhaps the shingles were even the original from the 1830s. A very special discovery for anyone who notices old Halifax buildings.

As a result of my enthusiastic tweet the builder and the designer for the renovation project asked if I would like to see inside the building while the interior structure was still exposed. Why, yes we would. So Sheila and I visited in early July and had a generous tour with the builder, Nick Bezanson (who works with his brother Devon), and the project designer, Lorrie Rand.

Check out Archibald’s post to see lots of cool photos and details from his tour. And stick around to the end to learn about the “brandy dispute of 1830.”

2. Poverty

Writes Richard Starr:

A few months ago the McNeil government’s reputation took a hit with news that while child poverty was dropping across Canada it was on the rise in Nova Scotia.The source of the disclosure was Stats Canada’s Canadian Income Survey (CIS) for 2017. As reported here, the release was given wide publicity by the federal Liberals as proof that their anti-poverty measures are working.

But sadly, although the Canadian rate of child poverty purportedly dropped from 11 to nine per cent between 2016 and 2017, it jumped from 14 per cent to 17.1 per cent in Nova Scotia. The February survey also showed that Nova Scotian families had the lowest median income in the country, slipping from third lowest in 2013.

As I wrote at the time, the income and child poverty picture provided through the CIS would be followed later by more solid data based on tax filings. Because of sample size, Statistics Canada rated the provincial child poverty numbers from the CIS as either “acceptable” or “use with caution,” instead of the more reliable “good” “very good” or “excellent.” As advertised, the second, more reliable set of income data, the T1 Family File (T1FF), compiled from tax returns for 2017, came out in JulyWhile still pretty dismal, the stats for Nova Scotia from the T1FF are less bad than the findings from the CIS. On the negative side:

  • Nova Scotia still has the lowest median family income of any province – $6,080 or 11.6 per cent below the national average;
  • The number of low income Nova Scotians increased by almost 4,000 from 2015 to 2017.

On a positive note:

  • Unlike the CIS, tax data show the rate of child poverty dropped slightly in Nova Scotia in 2017;
  • While the CIS showed Nova Scotia with the highest rate of child poverty, T1FF data put Nova Scotia only third worst in 2017, better than Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Starr has more analysis here.

3. Tundè Balogun

Tundè Balogun. Photo: Facebook

Robert Devet interviews Tundè Balogun, who has started The Objective News Agency:

We hear about anti-Black racism and white supremacy, but what people don’t understand is that we have government as an administrative force of anti-Black racism, we have a military wing, which is the police, and the media comes in to fill the need for an apparatus to control the narrative.

I live on Gottingen Street, and I have tons of examples of how the media hurts my community. In 2016 and into 2017 there was a rash of shootings in the neighborhood, and a few months later we had a big celebration, a community day. There was that camera man who was walking around and asking everybody about violence. This was a sunny day, kids were eating cake, grandmas around, and the community was on code, nobody wanted to talk to him about violence. We’re here to celebrate our vibrant community. Well, he went to everybody until he found a drunk person to speak to, and that’s the person he ended up interviewing. What this guy was doing was totally unethical.

I tell journalists, talk about the violence, but also talk about why there is this violence. Talk about the school to prison pipeline, talk about kids being put in special education programs, talk about how Irving Shipbuilding is right across the street from Mulgrave Park, and yet no one of that community is being hired. 




Public Information Meeting – Case 22218 (Wednesday, 7pm, Carroll’s Corner Community Centre, Carroll’s Corner) — AIM Elmsdale Inc. wants to enlarge operations at its Lantz salvage yard use.


No public meetings.


No public meetings this week.

On campus



Building resilient children: injury prevention in the world of risky play (Wednesday, 9am, Cineplex Auditorium, IWK Health Centre) — a panel discussion featuring Mariana Brussoni, Michelle Stone, Jane Crawley, Sandra Newton, Jennifer Russell, and Robert Strang. Register here; more info here.

Thesis Defence, Psychology and Neuroscience (Wednesday, 9am, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building) — PhD candidate Sarah Kraeytner will defend “Neural Mechanisms of Motor Imagery and the Nature of Imagery-Based Skill Acquisition.”

The impact of evisits and econsults on ambulatory care delivery: access and efficiency (Wednesday, 10am, MA 310) — Xiang Zhong from the University of Florida will speak.

Thesis Defence, Interdisciplinary PhD Program (Wednesday, 1:30pm, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building) — PhD candidate Hilary Doda will defend “​’The Acadian of our Fancy’: Clothing, Community, and Identity Among the Neutral French, C. 1670-1750.”


Thesis Defence, Medical Neuroscience (Thursday, 9am, Room 430, Goldberg Computer Science Building) — PhD candidate Drew Debay will defend “Molecular Neuroimaging in Alzheimer’s Disease: Targeting Butyrylcholinesterase for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) Imaging of the Brain.”

Thesis Defence, Industrial Engineering (Thursday, 10am, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building) — PhD candidate Mengyu Li will defend “Designing Emergency Medical Services Processes to Minimize the Impact of​​ Ambulance Offload Delay​.”

A BiLevel Optimization Model for the Technician Routing and Scheduling Problem with Overnights and Lunch Breaks (Thursday, 2pm, MA310) — Eman Almehdawe from the University of Regina will talk. Her abstract:

This work proposes two models for the Technician Routing and Scheduling Problem (TRSP), which are motivated by a telecommunication provider based in Saskatchewan, Canada. The proposed TRSP models are distinguished from existing models by their ability to address two key issues: overnight and lunch break scheduling. This study presents a bi-level approach to scheduling a set of technicians with homogeneous skill levels and different working hours for the purpose of providing services with different service times and time windows to a diverse set of widely spread communities. In the first level, a staffing-level model and a technician-routing model are employed to optimize the number of required technicians and time windows, respectively. In the second level, the optimum TRSP model is selected based on two criteria: distance to the depot and balanced service times during the planning horizon. The performance of the models is evaluated through the real-world data obtained from the telecom provider. The results prove that the overnight TRSP model is capable of substantially decreasing travel costs and the number of technicians that are required.

Mariana Brussoni. Photo:

Risk, resilience and the renaissance of play (Thursday, 5pm, Great Hall, University Club) — Mariana Brussoni will talk about how risky outdoor play is critical for establishing healthier, happier, and resilient communities. Register here; more info here.

Dalhousie Muslim Student Association Eid AlAdha BBQ (Thursday, 5pm, the Quad) — to celebrate the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha. The event is student-centered and is the first of its kind in recent years to be held following the ratification of the DMSA (Dal Muslim Student Association) by the DSU this summer after it has long been inactive. More info here.



A Mind Spread Out on the Ground (Wednesday, 6:30pm, Halifax Central Library) — Alicia Elliott, this summer’s writer in residence at the University of King’s College’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction program, will read from her book.

In the harbour

05:30: Morning Clara, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from Southampton, England
06:00: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, arrives at Pier 41 from St. John’s
06:00: Atlantic Swordfish, barge, arrives at IEL dock with Atlantic Larch, tug, from Quebec City
07:30: Adventure of the Seas, cruise ship with up to 4,058 passengers, arrives at Pier 22 from Saint John, on a six-day roundtrip cruise out of New York
09:00: USS Gravely, guided missile destroyer, arrives at Jetty NJ
12:00: Radcliffe R. Latimer, bulker, sails from National Gypsum for sea
13:00: Penn 92, barge, arrives at McAsphalt from Saint John with Coho, tug
15:00: Morning Clara sails for sea
17:30: Adventure of the Seas sails for New York


I’m away from the internet today.

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  1. Shirley to hell there’s a digit missing from

    “Nova Scotia still has the lowest median family income of any province – $6,080 or 11.6 per cent below the national average;” ?

    1. Yes. In 2017 the median income in Nova Scotia was $60,764 – below the Canadian one, but not THAT low!

  2. Mr. Devet makes some good points about media biases when reporting on the African Nova Scotian Community. Take for example North Preston. If we just go by media reports, it sounds like a crime infested community cut off from society. In fact it is one of the most vibrant, tightly woven communities in the whole province, filled with incredible artists, musicians and dedicated community leaders. We do ourselves such a disservice by dwelling on the negative things which can be found in any community of any color or creed. I wish the best for Objective Media. And for the record, I am not African Nova Scotian.