Today’s Morning File is written by Russell Gragg. I’m the producer of Examineradio, the Halifax Examiner’s weekly podcast. I also handle the syndication for Canadaland, Canada’s only media criticism program. I’m the Station Director at CKDU Radio, and co-host of The Commute, the station’s Friday afternoon drive-time show. I don’t really sleep anymore.

On campus
In the harbour


1. Another cabbie charged with sexual assault

(photo courtesy of

For the second time in just over a week, Halifax police have laid charges of sexual assault against a Halifax cab driver. Saher H. Hamdan turned himself in at the police’s Gottingen Street headquarters on Thursday. This marks the sixth sexual assault charge against Halifax cabbies in 2016. That’s more than in 2014 and 2015 combined.

Although GPS trackers and dashcams can be disabled, pressure needs to be put on the Taxi Commission to make them mandatory in all licensed cabs. Their mere presence would likely go a long way toward reducing the number of assaults.

2. Screw you, taxpayer! Examineradio episode, #76


This week we speak with inclusivity activist Paul Vienneau about his short film, Alive Day, his attempts to make the businesses in his neighbourhood more accessible, and why he’s known as the Asshole With A Shovel.

YouTube video

Also, the city releases its sunshine list. No surprise that former CAO Richard Butts is tops when it comes to remuneration. Dalhousie University ponies up nearly $300k to send a handful Nova Scotia “elite” (including billionaire seafood magnate John Risley, referred to by the Globe & Mail as “the northern Rockefeller“) to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to hone their skills at … I dunno, entrepreneurship? Innovation? Innovaneurship?

Finally, the African United Baptist Association of Nova Scotia (AUBA) has called for a boycott of the Sobeys grocery store chain, unless the corporation admits it has an ongoing problem with racial discrimination.

(Ed. note: on the podcast we incorrectly mentioned Dalhousie University President Richard Florizone as being on Halifax’s sunshine list. He’s not, obviously. We also referred to John Risley as a “fatcat.” He’s actually neither a feline nor overweight. Our apologies.)

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3. Yarmouth ferry

The Alakai. Photo: Halifax Examiner
The Alakai. Photo: Halifax Examiner

Our intrepid editor Tim Bousquet reviewed the Yarmouth ferry experience over the weekend. He still believes that the $100-million investment was based on dubious data, and the money could have been better spent on, say, high-speed Internet for Yarmouthians. But hey, without that trifling sum, who would’ve helped that fishing boat that was taking on water? No one, Tim. Except maybe the US Coast Guard.

4. Halifax-Needham by-election

Election day is tomorrow for residents of the Halifax-Needham riding, and a local political science professor says its outcome will affect Premier Stephen McNeil’s decision as to when to call a general election.

Jeff MacLeod, a prof at Mount Saint Vincent University, doesn’t actually spell out which way the influence would work, but I assume that if the NDP’s Lisa Roberts takes the seat — long-held by fellow NDPer Maureen MacDonald — it’ll be the equivalent of the groundhog seeing his shadow and McNeil will retreat into his burrow for another year of Liberal governance. To be honest, I don’t think the PC’s Andy Arsenault will make much of a showing.

5. Sobeys withdraws appeal of Human Rights Commission ruling


Friday afternoon, Sobeys announced it was withdrawing its appeal of a ruling from the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission over racial profiling, reports Michael Gorman for the CBC.

That’s not enough for the African United Baptist Association of Nova Scotia, who say they will work toward expanding their previously-announced boycott across Atlantic Canada until the corporation acknowledges its actions and implements across-the-board racial sensitivity training for its staff.

In typical P.R.-speak, the company acknowledged

“Sobeys will look for opportunities across its retail network to leverage training materials on racial profiling,” said the company’s statement.

Which is a vague-sounding enough phrase they hope will appease people until this public-relations shitstorm fades from memory.


1. Graham Steele is pissed

Graham Steele Facebook

On Friday, I received the flyer in my mailbox. The quote in question is

“…people will say Burrill himself should have been a candidate in Needham. He had a choice, and he turned away.

And Steele is correct. The quote is taken completely out of context. Here’s his original column published by the CBC. This smacks of desperation from the PC campaign.

2. Cranky letter of the day

Reverend Bob up in Sydney Mines “protects the sanctity of all forms of life” and says that it “deserves respect and the right to exist” by advocating for the return of the death penalty.

I know this is a big stretch to hope that human beings will ever stop from harming or killing others. As long as there is greed, drugs, jealousy or a myriad of other reasons there will be those who will want to take someone else’s life.

Sadly, we come to our own time when we hear of the recent dastardly murders in Calgary of a young mother and her beautiful child.

Every decent person in this country or even beyond on hearing this news would respond by saying, “why would anybody do such a terrible thing?” Or just say nothing at all and after a short time forget it until next time a young mother and her children are butchered.

However, there are too many times (one is too many) when young lives are snuffed out by human trash.

We have in this country a marvelous police system that has no equal in apprehending these perpetrators. I suppose it is only human nature to not agree with the sentences passed that the courts mete out. For a murderer to serve their sentence in incarceration is inhumane to say the least.

As in days gone by if a murderer is found guilty they should go directly to the gallows from the courtroom. They will not murder again.

There are those who would say: “this is barbaric.” I believe if people knew that hanging awaited them they would think twice about ending another’s life. Then there is the cost of housing these criminals.

It is not too many years ago that murderers were hung at the county jail on Grand Lake Road. They never murdered again. Have we regressed since then? What do you think?

Rev. Bob Crocker

Sydney Mines

No word on whether Reverend Bob also wants the death penalty for snowball throwers.


A brazen armed robbery took place at a Scotiabank in Lacewood. Police say the robbers, armed with a gun and a crowbar made off with an undisclosed amount of money and were dressed like members of iconic 70s rock band KISS.

bank robber - kiss

Police have been unable to locate the suspects and are asking for the public’s help in tracking them down. That got me to thinking, “KISS costume? Missing money?”

peter kely kiss

Where’s my reward?


No public meetings.

On campus

No events scheduled.

In the harbour

The approach to Halifax Harbour, 9:30am Monday. Map:
The approach to Halifax Harbour, 9:30am Monday. Map:

Scheduled as of 9am:

5am: OOCL Kula Lumper, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Norfolk
5:30am: Atlantic Sea, ro-ro container, arrives at Fairview Cove from Liverpool, England
10:30pm: OOCL Kula Lumper, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for Cagliari, Italy

No port activity scheduled at this time


Mondays on CKDU features two of the city’s best jazz radio shows. Tune into The Outer Edge from 1-3pm for the more avant garde freewheeling sounds, and The Swing Arrangement from  6-7pm for traditional and big band. Awesome stuff!

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  1. Dalhousie University can’t kick in a measly $15,000 to sustain a Sex-Assault Helpline but serves up $300,000 to cover costs for nine bright business brains, including Dalhousie’s own president, RICHARD FLORIZONE, to attend an “entrepreneurship acceleration program” thanks#Stephenkimberforthisinfo at Boston Massachusetts Institute of Technology without batting an eye. In light of recent 3% plus tuition hikes, wealthy participants in the convoy to Boston should pitch $30,000 to Dalhousie’s Sex-Assault Helpline.

  2. Ugh that letter. Where to even begin? All those myths he’s brought up have been debunked, numerous times. Also, is this really a Reverend – a follower of Jesus? {s} I just wished I could have lived in this magical time when the noose meant there were never murders…{/s}

  3. cranky old crock (er) I guess if we could be omniscient and infallible on all our convictions for murder we could rest easy with a nice, fast and humane killing. nah. let’s let god sort it out, he gets us all in the end anyway.

    and…nice to see that asshole, even without his shovel.