You can’t be everywhere at once. That’s why I’m thankful for the Halifax Examiner’s Jennifer Henderson. If I’m regretting not being able to go to this public meeting or that important announcement, Henderson has been, and can tell me all about it in the Examiner. Whether it’s the Nova Scotia Health Authority’s pursuit of P3 hospitals, price-setting for Nova Scotia Power, tidal power regulation, or most recently, the short term rental situation in Halifax, Henderson keeps Examiner readers well and thoroughly informed.

November is subscription drive month at the Halifax Examiner.  Please subscribe, and help keep reporters like Jennifer Henderson reporting.


1. Police review their handling of rape case and don’t interview victim

Police completed an internal review into their handling of a kidnapping and rape investigation without interviewing the victim in the case, reports Shaina Luck for the CBC.

Halifax Regional Police Chief Dan Kinsella ordered the review in September, a day after Carrie Low went public in a CBC story about the confusion and delays that plagued a police investigation after she reported she’d been raped in May 2018.

Her lawyer, Jessica Rose, said Monday she asked Kinsella whether Low would be invited to be part of the review, and his “response was no, which was disappointing.”

“Part of the main problem that we see with this whole process is how little Carrie’s voice has been included,” said Rose. “So the fact that an internal review is taking place but without there being an opportunity for Carrie to voice her perspective about where everything went wrong, is troubling.”

Low originally filed a complaint over the botched investigation with the police complaints commission, but the board refused to hear it because the complaint came more than 6 months after the assault on Low occurred. Low and Rose are challenging both that decision and the constitutionality of the 6-month rule, and those challenges will make it to court in the new year.

2. Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Stephen McNeil, subject of Human Rights Commission complaint

Stephen McNeil. Photo: Halifax Examiner

Maureen Googoo of Ku’ku’kwes news reports that the provincial minister of Aboriginal Affairs, who happens to be Premier Stephen McNeil, is listed in a Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission complaint made by Cheryl Maloney, former head of the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association (NSNWA). The complaint is related to the treatment Maloney received while she served as part of the Mi’kmaq-Nova Scotia-Canada Tripartite Forum. Maloney has already filed complaints with the Canadian Human Rights Commission against other members of the Forum’s executive committee, including, “former committee chair Morley Googoo, the 13 Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw chiefs, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Development Carolyn Bennett and Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde.”

Maloney alleges that the Tripartite Forum’s executive committee members discriminated against her on the basis of gender and employment while she served on the forum’s officials committee as president of the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association. She was also the NSNWA’s Tripartite Coordinator.

Back in 2017, Googoo reports, Maloney had filed a complaint with the Tripartite Forum about her treatment by committee chair Morley Googoo.

The investigator’s report, which was obtained by Ku’ku’kwes News, concluded that Googoo had bullied and harassed Maloney and other women associated with the Tripartite Forum. The investigator also found that Googoo’s attempts to reorganize the Tripartite Forum by removing the NSNWA would have discriminated against Indigenous women in general.

Googoo resigned as the Tripartite Forum’s executive chair before the investigation report was completed in Sept. 2018.

Googoo was suspended with pay from his position as AFN Vice-Chief in July shortly after the Tripartite Forum’s investigation report was leaked to CBC Indigenous. The AFN executive committee also launched its own internal investigation into Googoo’s conduct.

The Mi’kmaw chiefs from Nova Scotia and Newfoundland voted to remove Googoo as their AFN regional vice-chief representative on Oct. 11.

Maloney has yet to get a formal response to her complaints to the Tripartite Forum or the AFN.

3. Desmond fatality enquiry postponed

The enquiry into the death of Lionel Desmond and his family has been postponed to allow time for a newly hired lawyer to get up to speed, reports Laura Fraser for CBC News. Shanna Desmond’s family, the Bordens, recently changed lawyers and requested extra time to get through roughly 120,000 pages of submitted evidence. The enquiry will now start on January 27, 2020.

It’s been nearly three years since Afghan war veteran Lionel Desmond killed his wife, daughter and mother before killing himself.

As Fraser reports:

The inquiry is expected to probe many aspects of the support systems available to Desmond before his death, including whether he had access to mental health services, whether he should have been able to obtain a firearms licence, and whether health care providers who treated him were trained to recognize occupational stress injuries.

Unlike a public inquiry, which traditionally can make findings of legal responsibility, a fatality inquiry ends with recommendations contained in a report.

4. Apology for street checks coming November 29th

Photo: Halifax Examiner

Zane Woodford reports for Star Metro Halifax:

The city’s chief of police will apologize to Black Haligonians for street checks next Friday.

Halifax Regional Police Chief Dan Kinsella told the board of police commissioners on Monday that the apology is scheduled for Nov. 29. After the meeting, he told reporters it will happen at 11 a.m. at the Halifax Central Library on Spring Garden Road.

I was always taught that saying sorry should also mean you’re not going to do it again, and although we now have a ban on street checks in Nova Scotia, there are questions remaining about how that ban will unfold.  El Jones asked some of those questions last month in the Examiner:

If street checks are illegal, then does that mean that police who continue to check people should be subject to professional disciplinary charges?

What oversight is there to ensure the police are not conducting these illegal checks and to hold them accountable? What consequences can police expect if an illegal check is reported?

And what are the consequences for the government, for the police commissions, for chiefs, and for everyone else responsible for allowing illegal checks?

5. Homelessness in winter: the hardest time of the year

On Sunday, I read this piece by Meg Inwood, a Toronto-based writer who was homeless for years. Inwood gives practical advice to the people who put together care packages to give to those who are homeless over the winter. In a nutshell, she recommends: wool blend work socks in all sizes, not just extra large tube socks; reusable hot/cold bottles, not bottled water; tarps, not mylar blankets; and if you can afford it, a half decent tent instead of a tarp. And, though Inwood doesn’t say it, more affordable housing options and safe temporary shelters in lieu of tents. I’m not going to critique Inwood on that issue because her piece is very specific, and in no way presents itself as a solution to the general problem of people living without homes, but rather as experienced counsel on a common practice. Inwood’s voice is kind, compassionate, and snark-free. Her piece is the opposite of a call-out. It’s a call-in:

We love that people make these packages up. Everyone appreciates the kind and compassionate impulses that drive their creation and distribution. That’s why (now that I’ve found a way out of panning again, hopefully for good, and so have the time to do it!) I hope to encourage people to think from a slightly different angle about how the money and time that go into this can be spent to maximize the hoped-for results: helping some of the city’s most vulnerable residents make it through the hardest time of the year.

In related news, Anjuli Patil reports for the CBC that here in Halifax, a group that does exactly what Inwood is talking about is putting out the call for supplies, in particular men’s socks and gloves, to put together packages which they distribute through shelters. (As Inwood states in her piece, shelters in Toronto are not permitted to distribute tents and tarps without risking city funding, so if you decide to go that route, you may need to find your own distribution method.)

And perhaps the most important news of all for homeless or near homeless Haligonians: the Out of the Cold Shelter, an emergency winter seasonal shelter that ran out of St Matthew’s United Church on Barrington for 10 years but is currently looking for a new location, has put out the call for volunteers and posted a job. Though no new location has been announced, the fact that organizing is underway for a winter 2019-20 emergency shelter is a good sign.


A Dubai bank bought an island off the coast of Nova Scotia to use as a contest give-away, and I’m finding it sort of depressing.

Photo via Google Earth.

The CBC’s Cassie Williams reports that last year, Liv Bank gave away a Tesla. This year, it was 2.4 hectare Hurricane Island, just off the coast near Goldboro, halfway between Sherbrooke and Canso. The bank bought it for $50,000.

I’m actually quite happy for the guy who won, Brenden Lopes, “a Portuguese national of Indian origin” who grew up in Dubai, though I’m not really at all sure how he will manage to enjoy or use his new island.

Picture from @LivBank

But there’s something about a bank on the other side of the world scooping up a Nova Scotia island that makes one realize that a good portion of our province is up for sale in a global market, and global markets are powerful forces that tend to drown out local concerns.

Anyway, here is Cassie Williams explaining how this bank happened upon Hurricane Island:

Jayesh Patel is head of Liv. Bank. Its target market is millennials.

He said the bank surveyed customers to find out what kind of prizes might interest them. 

“Canada comes up always as the top three destinations for customers,” he said.

“And it’s a place that has islands which we could give away.”




Community Planning and Economic Development Standing Committee (Tuesday, 10am, City Hall) — here’s the agenda.

Advisory Committee for Accessibility in HRM Annual Town Hall Meeting (Tuesday, 6pm, Multipurpose Room, Cole Harbour Place) — here’s the agenda.


Special Events Advisory Committee (Wednesday, 9am, City Hall ) — here’s the agenda.

Audit and Finance Standing Committee (Wednesday, 10am, City Hall) — here’s the agenda.

Design Review Committee (Wednesday, 4:30pm, City Hall) — here’s the agenda.



Veterans Affairs (Tuesday, 2pm, One Government Place) — the committee will discuss Veterans Emergency Transition Services Canada (VETS).


No public meetings for the rest of the week.

On campus



How Relationships in Reality and Narrative Fiction Relate and Interact (Tuesday,11am, Room 3089, Rowe Management Building) — Raymond A. Mar from York University will talk.

How can imagined experiences in fictional story-worlds impact the way we think and feel in reality? Raymond Mar will summarize recent research from The Mar Lab at York University that explores the role intimate relationships have in shaping how we engage with stories:

Marina Rain’s research shows that adult attachment can predict how people engage with stories. Her results hint at how fiction satisfies different needs for those with different attachment styles.

Elizabeth van Monsjou’s research engages with the idea of “shipping,” in which people become strongly invested in the coupling of fictional characters. She investigates whether this is a unique form of media engagement, who is likely to ship and why, and the relationship between shippers and story creators.​

Not All Fun and Games: Tough Choices in Cultural Infrastructure Investments (Tuesday, 12pm, Room 1020, Rowe Management Building) — the tenth panel in the MacEachen Institute’s ten-week Policy Matters Speaker Series, featuring Darrell Dexter, Bill Greenlaw, Kevin Quigley, Åsa Kachan, and Gil Dares.

The decision to invest in Cultural and Recreational Infrastructure (CRI)—community centres, museums, music halls, swimming pools and ice rinks, for example—can help further important social, cultural, environmental, economic and health goals for the province.While the aspirations for these investments may be laudable and ambitious, there are limits to funding and capacity. As different orders of government are set to allocate funds for CRI in the coming years, decision makers must make difficult decisions that reconcile important but sometimes competing priorities, such social and environmental concerns, on the one hand, and financial and economic on the other. This panel will report on new research that examines the policy context for CRI decision-making in Nova Scotia and governance frameworks that can assist with difficult decisions and make values and trade-offs more explicit.

No reserved seating; live streamed here.


Dalhousie Arctic Research Symposium (Wednesday, 9am, Council Chambers, Student Union Building) —bringing together researchers and graduate students working in the Arctic space, and featuring keynote presentations from Aaron Dotson from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and Vanessa Hiratsuka from the Southcentral Foundation in Anchorage. There will be three panels exploring the themes of Natural Science and Resources, Governance and Sovereignty and Community Engagement, as well as a student poster session. More info here.

Future of University Avenue PopUp Engagement (Wednesday, 9:30am, Sexton Campus Alumni Lounge) — They’re “engaging the public on visioning” again. Stop by and give them “some quick and easy input”.

Noon Hour Dalhousie Jazz Ensemble Recital (Wednesday, 11:45am, Sculpture Court, Dal Arts Centre) — directed by Chris Mitchell.

Meaghan Smith. Photo: Candace Berry Photography

Making Your own Way in the Music Industry (Wednesday, 1pm, Room 409, Dal Arts Centre) — with Meaghan Smith.

Some Classes of Generalized Cyclotomic Polynomials​​ (Wednesday, 2:30pm, Room 319, Chase Building) — Abdullah Al-Shaghay will talk.

For a positive integer $n$ the $n^{th}$ cyclotomic polynomial can be written as \Phi_{n}(x)=\prod_{\substack{k=1 \\ (k,n)=1}}^{n} \left(x-e^{\tfrac{2\pi ik}{n}}\right) =\prod_{\substack{k=1 \\ k\in(\mathbb{Z}/n\mathbb{Z})^{\times}}}^{n} \left(x-e^{\tfrac{2\pi ik}{n}}\right).

When $n=p$ is an odd prime, the $n^{th}$ cyclotomic polynomial has the special form


These two representations of the cyclotomic polynomials highlight the roots of $\Phi_{n}(x)$ and the coefficients of $\Phi_{n}(x)$ respectively. Continuing with the work of Kwon, J. Lee, and K. Lee and Harrington we investigate the generalization of the cyclotomic polynomials in two distinct ways; one affecting the roots of $\Phi_{n}(x)$ and the other affecting the coefficients of $\Phi_{n}(x)$.

In the final chapter of the thesis we discuss congruences for particular binomial sums and use those congruences to prove results concerning two special cases of Jacobi polynomials, the Chebyshev polynomials and the Legendre polynomials.​

More info here.

Molecules to Behaviour (Wednesday, 4pm, Theatre A, Tupper Medical Building) — Deniz Top will talk.

Trans Awareness Week/Trans Day of Remembrance Roundtable Discussion (Wednesday, 4pm, University Club Games Room) — from the listing:

Join the Dalhousie Queer Faculty and Staff Caucus (QFSC) for a Trans Awareness Week/Trans Day of Remembrance​ roundtable discussion. We will start by listening to trans, non-binary, and genderqueer Dal/King’s community members (faculty, staff, and students) as they respond to the question, What does Trans Awareness Week/Trans Day of Remembrance mean to you?, and then follow that with an informal, whole-group discussion. ​Everyone is welcome!

More info here.

Arts Centre Project Showcase (Wednesday, 4:30pm, Sculpture Court, Dal Arts Centre) — see the plans for the expansion and renewal of existing spaces, ask questions of the project team, have light refreshments.

Saint Mary’s


Accessibility Week Keynote Talk (Tuesday, 1pm, SB Theatre, in the building named after a grocery store) — MLA Kevin Murphy, Speaker of the House of Assembly, will talk.


Accessibility Week: Nova Scotia Accessibility Act (Wednesday, 11:30am, SB255, in the building named after a grocery store) — Amy Middleton, Senior Policy Analyst with the Accessibility Directorate, Nova Scotia Depart of Justice, will talk.

In 2017, Nova Scotia become the third Canadian province to pass accessibility legislation. The Accessibility Act recognizes accessibility as a human right, and sets a goal for an accessible Nova Scotia by 2030. This presentation will provide an overview of the Act and the province’s accessibility strategy, and an update on the standards currently being developed in education and the built environment. It will outline the impact of this work on accessibility in the post-secondary sector, including upcoming requirements for universities to develop accessibility plans and establish accessibility advisory committees. Information about the development of a provincial post-secondary accessibility framework will also be provided.

Anne Compton

Anne Compton (Wednesday, 7pm, Patrick Power Library Classroom) — the poet will read from her new book Smallholding.

Mount Saint Vincent


Annual MSVU Community Art Show (Tuesday, 10am, Art Gallery ) — with opening reception Wednesday at 12pm. More info here.


Sunetra Ekanayake: Botanical Watercolours (Wednesday, 12pm, MSVU Art Gallery) — opening reception with the artist.



No public events.


Lyndsay Armstrong, Megan O’Toole, and NSRIN faculty representative Pauline Dakin. Photo:
Lyndsay Armstrong, Megan O’Toole, and NSRIN faculty representative Pauline Dakin. Photo:

2019 NSIRN Report (Wednesday, 7pm, Classroom 3, Arts and Administration Building) — Megan O’Toole, Lindsay Armstrong, and Patti Sontag will discuss their work on the Tainted Water series. More info here.

Hamlet, Puppet Prince of Denmarke (Wednesday, 8pm, The Pit, Arts and Administration Building) — an energetic reimagining of Shakespeare’s classic, rewritten and directed by Jack Smith. Runs until Saturday. $5 / 10, more info and tickets here.

In the harbour

09:00: Glovis Countess, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from New York
14:00: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, arrives at anchorage from Saint-Pierre
22:00: Atlantic Sea, ro-ro container, arrives at Fairview Cove from Liverpool, England


I know it’s only November 19, but I’m here to remind you that online subscriptions are a really great, waste-free, consumable gift, perfect for the various impending gifting seasons.

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  1. Who owned this island – I can only presume it was privately owned? Aren’t there rules and processes around foreign ownership of NS land? What happens next?