Editor’s note: today’s Morning File is written by Russell Gragg.



weather wunderkind Frankie MacDonald
Frankie MacDonald

1. Frankie MacDonald gets some pocket change

Whitney Pier forecasting legend Frankie MacDonald has turned his amateur meteorological reports into an international viral sensation. With 63,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel and 14-million views, Frankie garners better numbers than both Joel Plaskett’s and the Trailer Park Boys’ official channels, making him Nova Scotia’s most effective video brand ambassador. Put in perspective, former premier Rodney MacDonald only generated a bit more than 50,000 views for his Letterman Top 10. So it’s no surprise that enterprising brands have wanted to associate themselves with his rising star.

Most recent on that list is upstart energy company Nova Scotia Power, who made Frankie a star of a series of videos aimed at encouraging storm preparedness. To compensate him for his unique cachet, NSP offered him an honorarium of $1,000 to appear. Frankie subsequently decided to split his cheque with Autism Nova Scotia.

It’s a great gesture on Frankie’s part, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t give kudos to Nova Scotia Power’s parent company Emera for their largesse. It’s been a tough couple of years for the scrappy company, as they eked out a meagre $319-million in profit last year, and only managed to pay a $7.9-million pittance to its three top executives.

Emera CFO Scott Balfour at his usual Spring Garden Road spot.
Emera CFO Scott Balfour at his usual Spring Garden Road spot.

This ties in neatly with Emera board vice-chair Ray Ivany’s universally-lauded Report, which suggests that the only way out of Nova Scotia’s economic morass is to reward “doers and dreamers” (Ivany himself does and dreams to the tune of $100,000 to sit on Emera’s board).

“There is a clear need for Nova Scotians to come together and consider not only who gets what from our collective pie, but how we can make it bigger for all to share.” – Ivany Report

Kudos to Nova Scotia Power and Ray Ivany for leading the way!

2. Babies having babies

I didn’t think anybody could afford to have children in Nova Scotia any longer, but here are the most popular baby names for 2015. Surprisingly, Ivany was only the third-most popular choice.

According to the province’s Registry of Vital Statistics, the province recorded 7,154 births this year. This will help to offset the 4,000-6,000 departures likely to occur in the same time period. Employment-wise, we’ll be about the same as long as Nova Scotia companies are willing to take on six-month-old interns.

ugly 1


1. Give Lezlie Lowe a reason to stay

Commentator Lezlie Lowe dissects soon-to-be ex-pat Allison Sparling’s Farewell to Nova Scotia.

So, I’ve been writing my letter. My friends, too. We write them in our heads, on our desktops and out loud, around the kitchen. Some of us will never finish, some of us have one foot out the door. Some letters are angry, some just sad.

I’ve been penning the same letter as of late, though I tend to do it in the shower. My daughter and I are just CFAs anyways, so I’m sure plenty of people will just encourage us to up and piss off back to Alberta.

We interviewed Allison for this week’s Examineradio, which will air tomorrow.

2. Shit that pisses Tim off (Part 1)

Our intrepid editor is much better at having ‘views’ than the rest of us, so I’ve compiled a list of his best rants of 2015. He gets annoyed pretty easily, so I’ve broken it down into two parts. I’ll publish part two tomorrow.

Polar Bear swimmerssubsidies for yacht clubsracist toy monkeysAndrew Younger’s accusations that the media is reporting inaccuraciesDartmouthians who bitch about train whistlesthe inspirational Laurel BrotenMisreported audit numbers for the Yarmouth FerryCouncillor Matt Whitman’s positive thinkingthe sidewalks around Citadel Hillcorporate naming of public facilitiesfree advertising for anal plugschanging the name every year for February’s provincial statutory holidayLinda Mosher’s complaints about snow-clearing operations, when it’s exactly what she proposedthe cost of tuitioncharlatan psychics, tax reviewsthe evolving definition of ‘terrorism’, vacancy managementswatting, the (now quashed) Cyberbullying ActDaylight Savings Timepush-activated pedestrian signalsIrving cans all photographers at Brunswick News (expect the Chronicle Herald to attempt the same in 2016)NSBI-supported payroll rebates for megacorporationsPrivatizing Service Nova ScotiaRay Ivany’s role on the board of Nova Scotia Powertax cuts for corporationscity councillors crapping on Fire Chief Doug Trussler2.5 months into the winter, Tim finally figures out that City Hall and the snow-clearing contractors “hate us” and gave a big “fuck you” to pedestrians, overtime costs at Halifax Transit, the idea of turning Halifax into a ‘superport’International Happiness DayHalifax unilaterally goes back and changes historic press releasesWe DayOh for Chrissakes, no, Halifax is not the next Detroit!city stuck with WTCC office towerSketchy NSBI-funded advertorials in the Chronicle HeraldNova Scotia taxpayers fund dubious homeopathic remedies. Company later ends up in receivershipburied fire hydrantsgoddamned fireworksprovincial budget 2015-16Dalhousie sells its soul to Shell Canada for a half-million bucks and some changephotographer douchebagthe Liberal government’s handling of the Film Tax Credit, but also the invisibility of the film industry when other sectors were being hacked and slashedhypocritical billionairesstarting city council meetings with prayersTrailer Park Boys as the pinnacle of Nova Scotia’s artistic and cultural sectorwall-crawling hipstersthe end of Co-op AtlanticSuspicious Packages™, chair of tourism agency is a touristIrving’s property tax deal with the city, the ‘Draft Kelly’ art school project, report on Halifax Transit fuel spill: 200,000 litres seeped into the ground, $2.7-million in total costs, and no one lost their goddamned job!, restaurants bitching about food trucksMama Freakin’ Canadataxpayer-funded pro-government mailouts‘World-class’ skateboard parks$10m tunnels!NSBI payroll rebates to Liberal insiders, how the Nova Centre is gonna kill Argyle Streetfree public pianosDartmouth bagpipers, seal penisesartificial turfEvan Solomonausterity budget misinformationDartmouth defensivenessdriverless cars, and finally, Rich mucky-mucks and their yachts blocking the harbour view from the Stillwell beer garden


YouTube video

Here’s to another goddamned New Year.

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  1. Russ,
    With a little tweaking you could probably put Tim’s rants to the tune of Billy Joel’s 1989 hit “We Didn’t Start the Fire”.

    1. I read this as “with a little twerking”, and in honour of your leaving town, Russell, and for getting to know you a bit(and liking you, despite what everyone tells me about you), I’m going to leave it as my entry for the 2017 Examiner T Short Design Contest Entry.

      “Halifax Examiner- With A Little Twerking, 2017”

      Safe travels, Russ.