November subscription drive

Halifax Examiner travel mug, 500ml, five hours of hot.

We’ve got travel mugs! They’re too costly to mail, tho, so you can only get them if you come to our subscriber party, Sunday, November 25, 4–7pm at Bearly’s Tavern. The band Museum Pieces will play, and former CBC host and spice merchant Costas Halavrezos will introduce investigative journalist Linden MacIntyre as our guest speaker. Free entry to subscribers. Subscribe here.


1. Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity’s proposed Spryfield project. Image: Habitat for Humanity

I reported yesterday:

Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia’s Spryfield project is ambitious, the largest the organization has ever undertaken. The proposed 78-unit development includes a four-storey condo building with 40 units, along with 38 townhouse units.

The Halifax & West Community Council held a public hearing about the proposed development on September 12, 2018. Representatives of Habitat for Humanity (H4H) spoke in support of their own project, and no one appeared to speak against it. The council approved the project on a unanimous vote.

But the project is snagged in a property dispute with the neighbouring property owner.

2. Soldiers of Odin

Jacob Boon at The Coast profiles the now-defunct Nova Scotia chapter of the Soldiers of Odin hate group.

3. Postal strike

Photo: Halifax Examiner

“Canada Post workers in the Halifax area walked off the job Monday but were expected to return to the job Thursday morning,” reports Anjuli Patil for the CBC:

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers began rotating strikes in late October, with each strike lasting 24 hours in each local.

But the latest, extended rotating strike is indicative of how talks are going with Canada Post, said the union.

“Based on the fact that negotiations have not been going well with Canada Post, the national union felt we needed to put more pressure on Canada Post to negotiate,” said Mike Keefe, a retail postal clerk and first vice-president of Nova Local, which represents 600 members.

Other areas, such as Moncton, Toronto and Vancouver, have also had rotating strikes in the last a number of days.

4. Tylenol No. 1

“Health Canada is proposing to make low-dose codeine products available by prescription-only,” notes Bill Turpin. “This would include Tylenol No. 1, which is an alternative for people who cannot tolerate a class of common painkillers called NSAIDs. It includes Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Alleve and many others.”

Turpin goes on to review why the new regulations are coming, then asks:

And that brings us to the biggest problem here: if Health Canada makes this change, how will you get Tylenol No. 1 if you don’t have a family doctor? 

How many of our 59,225 doctor-less citizens will have go the infamous “street” for their pain relief? These folks are about six per cent of the province which, using my seat-of-the-pants calculation, equates to a potential market of about 18,000 bottles.

5. Snow plow collision

A police release this morning:

At 6:43am, Halifax Regional Police responded to a two vehicle accident in the 1000 Block of Larry Uteck Boulevard. A vehicle with one occupant appears to have struck a snow plow head on causing extensive damages.

The snow plow was travelling outbound on Larry Uteck Boulevard towards Kearney Lake Road. The driver of the vehicle has been transported to the QE II with what is believed to be life-threatening injuries. The operator of the snow plow was uninjured.

The cause of the accident is being investigated.

Motorist are unable to access Larry Uteck Boulevard between Amesbury Gate and the 102 Highway overpass.

Traffic travelling inbound along Larry Uteck from Hammonds Plains Road direction is able to veer onto Kearney Lake Road inbound.

Members of the Accident Reconstruction Team are expected to be on scene for most of the morning.

6. Social media extortion

An RCMP release:

Nova Scotia RCMP is investigating a social media extortion scam and are advising the public in the event it is happening elsewhere in the province.

Earlier this week, Kings District RCMP responded to a complaint involving multiple social media accounts. Preliminary investigation revealed that someone had gained access to the social media accounts of several female youths. In order to regain control of their accounts, demands for provocative photos/videos ‎or their friend’s social media account log in information were made. If the victim did not comply, the scammer threatened to send out explicit content from their social media account.

7. Old geezers still performing, but they kind of suck

A 2015 appearance of the suspicious package. Photo: CBC

The Suspicious Packages are still on the road, and yesterday played on West Street. The bomb squad came out for the perfunctory performance but of course were unimpressed.

Recent tour dates include:

April 2013: police closed Barrington Street after someone called in a suspicious package that turned out to be a briefcase full of bricks. This is the first use of the police robot, I think.
May 2013: a suspicious package full of something that vaguely looked electrical was discovered at the Halifax Shopping Centre, causing much mayhem and worry until a sheepish salesman explained that he had accidentally left his bag of hearing aids behind.
May 2013: a suspicious package is reported in a parking lot near Stadacona. I later wrote: “The very best in anti-terrorism technology — a water cannon-wielding robot! — is employed to blast the innocent bag someone left next to a car to smithereens. Freedumb!”
June 2014: unidentified package found near Dockyard.
May 2015: a suspicious package that closed Robie Street turned out to be a suitcase full of clothes.
May 2015: someone left a gym bag on George Street, and so the downtown core had to be shut down for two hours.
September 2015: unidentified package exploded by military police at Rainbow Gate at HMC Dockyard.
July 2016: An empty briefcase was left near the corner of Almon and Gottingen Streets, which required the efforts of the bomb squad, the closure of various streets, and police thanking everyone for being forever watchful.
July 2016: A “vigilant” citizen alerted authorities to a lunch pail left a block from where dozens of construction workers were building the Nova Centre, and so Brunswick Street was closed, ironically at lunchtime.
March 2017: two days after an attack on the British parliament, someone left something in Gorsebrook Park, and so access to and from the IWK and the Special Education Authority was limited for three hours.
May 2017: during the Youth Run associated with the Bluenose Marathon, a woman left an empty picnic basket near the fountain in the Common. Somebody mistook the basket for a suitcase and then that became a big hullabaloo, with police issuing a release looking for the woman so they could ask her why she littered.
May 2017: someone left a backpack on a bench outside Pier 21. The bomb-sniffing dog was employed and found only undescribed “personal items,” but evidently not a personal bomb.
June 2017: someone left something at the Miller Waste recycling facility in Bayers Lake that spooked some easily spooked person, so 50 employees were given an early lunch break, the bomb squad was called, and the streets were blocked off, but it turned out the package was nothing dangerous — presumably just recycling.
February 2018: someone abandoned a car on the shoulder of the BiHi, presumably because it was broken down; police were called and saw a “suspicious package” in the car; the southbound lanes of the highway were closed for a couple of hours; press releases were sent; tweets were retweeted; people were aflutter; but the bomb squad dismissed the whole thing and life got back to normal.
September 2018: someone thought a terrorist wanted to blow up the Camp Hill Cemetery and kill everyone in it, but it turns out all the residents were already dead and the supposed terrorist was just a forgetful personal who inadvertently left behind something.
November 2018: something innocuous left on West Street scared the bejesus out of some overly sensitive person.


1. I see Paris, I see France

“There are many voices in Halifax calling for the removal of the fences that surround several of our civic fountains,” notes Stephen Archibald. “Imagine this scene on the Commons.”

Stephen Archibald went to Paris, and makes some comparisons with Halifax. Guess which city stood up better.



Volunteer Conference 2018 (Friday, 8am – Saturday, 4pm, Atlantica Hotel Halifax) —  info here.


No public meetings.

On campus


Thesis Defence, English (Friday, 9:30am, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building) — PhD candidate Rose Sneyd will defend her ​​thesis, “And He Loved Light Rather than Darkness: Giacomo Leopardi’s Poetics and Pessimism in the Work of Matthew Arnold, George Eliot, and A. E. Housman.”

Challenge, Some Success, Heartbreak, More Success and Still Much More to be Done: A Personal Story About Positive Electrode Materials for Lithiumion Batteries (Friday, 1:30pm, Room 226, Chemistry Building) — Jeff R. Dahn will speak.

Do languages really exist? (Friday, 3:30pm, Room 1130, Marion McCain Building) — Robert J. Stainton from Western University will speak. His abstract:

I will begin, as philosophers are wont to do, by explaining my question, in part by reviewing startling arguments for a negative answer. I myself don’t find these arguments compelling, and think that our question should receive a resounding “Yes.” Rather than reply on behalf of the reality of languages, however, I will emphasize the “meta-question” about why it matters who is right.

Saint Mary’s

Photo: Sobey School of Business

Celebrating Student Entrepreneurship & Newfangledness (Friday, 12pm, University Entrepreneurship Centre, 960 Tower Road) — I wrote about this yesterday. UPDATE: Event has been cancelled.

Mount Saint Vincent

MSVU Department of Communication Studies Graduate Student and Faculty Research Panel (Friday, 1:30pm, Room 130, E. Margaret Fulton Communications Centre) — Kate Venas will speak on “Werk It: The Promise and Limitations of Podcasting as a Feminist Medium,” followed by Ian Reilly with “Exploring Humour and Media Hoaxing in Social Justice Activism.”

In the harbour

07:00: Catharina Schulte, container ship, moves from Pier 36 to Bedford Basin anchorage
07:00: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, arrives at Pier 36 from Saint-Pierre
07:30: Ef Ava, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Reykjavik, Iceland
11:30: Ef Ava sails for sea
15:00: Jinan, oil tanker, sails from Imperial Oil for sea
15:00: Brevik Bridge, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Fos Sur Mer, France
15:30: Oceanus Leader, car carrier, sails from Autoport for sea

Porgy. Photo: Halifax Examiner

15:30: Porgy, car carrier, arrives at Pier 31 from Southampton, England
15:30: Shanghai Highway, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from Portbury, England
16:00: Atlantic Sail, ro-ro container, arrives at Fairview Cove from Norfolk
16:30: Nolhanava sails for Saint-Pierre
20:00: Nor’easter, oil tanker, sails from Irving Oil for sea
21:00: Brevik Bridge sails for New York
21:00: Augusta Unity, cargo ship, sails from Pier 31 for sea
22:30: Shanghai Highway sails for sea


I don’t have anything interesting to say this morning.

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

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  1. While you’re removing fences, take down the goddam fence next to the just daylighted Saw Mill River in Dartmouth. Councillors say lawyers insisted upon it, but screw the lawyers. We elect councillors, not lawyers. Lawyers habitually give ultra-conservative advice, and officials defer to them far too much.

    1. If they’re not going to fence off the ocean at peggy’s Cove or the wave sculpture why fence off other random things? Clearly they can pick and choose. Maybe if it fits nicely within the building code they apply the recommendations?

  2. Speaking of Paris and suspicious packages. Nothing (even strikes) shuts down that city’s public transpo as regularly as a ‘colis suspect’. Your timeline would be hourly not yearly.