I’m Katie. It’s Tuesday and there are lots of things happening today.


1. Private prosecution

Marlene Brown. Photo: Jennifer Henderson

“Tomorrow a Harrietsfield woman will become the first citizen in Nova Scotia to lay charges or undertake a ‘private prosecution’ under the Environment Act against two individuals and two numbered companies,” report Jennifer Henderson and Linda Pannozzo for the Examiner:

Both companies are no longer active, but one of them was in the stable of the Municipal Group, which also owns Dexter Construction.

The private prosecution is an unusual measure aimed at embarrassing the province into taking action to make polluters pay for damage affecting people and the environment.

For more than four years, Marlene Brown has been filling up water bottles at St.Paul’s Church on the Old Sambro Road. Her well contains levels of heavy metals that exceed Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines according to tests carried out by an employee of the Nova Scotia Department of Environment. Brown and as many as 43 other Harrietsfield residents believe their wells remain contaminated as a result of groundwater leaching from a construction debris salvage yard originally owned and operated as RDM Recycling when it opened in 2002.

Click here to read “Forcing the government’s hand: Harrietsfield resident Marlene Brown becomes the first Nova Scotian to pursue a private prosecution for environmental damages.”

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2. Halifax will try to deal with street checks

Courtesy of Pexels. Licensed for reuse.

The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission will “work with” Halifax Police to analyze and review street check data, after a report earlier this year found that Black people are about three times more likely to be stopped by police in Halifax than their white counterparts.

From Yvette D’Entremont, reporting for Metro Halifax:

“We’ve been working very closely with the community and the people that wrote the letter in terms of what they wanted to see. This was very much on the top of their list,” said Christine Hanson, director and CEO of the human rights commission.

“They wanted to better understand the data and then afterwards they would like to just have an open conversation in an very constructive way to talk about how do we deal with whatever we find.”

According to Metro, the “commission will be paying for the costs” of the data analysis. I think questions remain about why we need another report when we have numbers that were provided by the police department’s new data guru. Will this provide useful new information or become another exhibit of consultation ad nauseum?

3. Accessibility Act before the election?

Everyone is sure an election is coming up — the province won’t even commit to keeping its butt in the chair long enough to pass a budget — but Liberals are still trying (poorly) to keep their cards close to the chest, I guess?

They do hope, however, to pass their Accessibility Act. This bill is something of a success story for the political process. The act was first excoriated by disability rights advocates for actually hindering accessibility — but after public hearings on the bill and many amendments the government hopes they now have something that will be helpful to disabled people, rather than actively harmful.

According to Keith Doucette, of the Canadian Press:

The revised bill now includes a goal of achieving an accessible province by 2030, and revamps a proposed 12-member accessibility advisory board to include seven members with disabilities.

Under the changes, the new act would initially set out six specific provincial standards to be met to make public places more accessible. A new position of director of compliance and enforcement would also be created, removing ministerial involvement in the process.

The changes were welcomed by Gerry Post, who represents a coalition of 35 disabled groups.

“I’m very pleased with the outcome of the bill,” said Post, who said he hoped the act would be passed later this week.

4. Courts and crime

The trial of William Sandeson, the Dal student accused of murdering his fellow student, continues.

Police are looking for a man who they believe sexually assaulted a woman outside Winners in Bayers Lake. The man and woman did not know each other.


1. Know when you’re being played

This election is about to happen, and that means a slew of funding promises just before the writ gets dropped. Thus, some not-so-cryptic wise words appeared on the Facebook page of Springtide Collective’s Mark Coffin:

2. Bayers Lake is a dumb place for a hospital

Tristan Cleveland joins a resounding chorus of people who think that Bayers Lake is a dumb place to put the QEII outpatient centre.

3. Some thoughts on statues

Memento Park. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Labelled for reuse.

Let’s talk about Budapest, Hungary. Hungary has many issues right now, to put it lightly — I’m not erasing that, but in this Morning File I’m just going to focus on its history being ravaged by totalitarianism during the cold war.

A big part of totalitarianism was a constant barrage of reminders over how to think and who to celebrate. Many of those reminders took the form of statues. The statues did this work because statues are inherently celebratory forms of public art.

In 1956, the city briefly held its own against both Soviet forces and homegrown authoritarianism for three weeks. Rebels tore down a monument of Stalin that had only been “gifted” to the city a few years ago, leaving nothing but his boots. They took the time to do this because symbols matter.

Stalin’s head. Courtesy of American Hungarian Federation. Labelled for reuse.
Stalin’s head. Courtesy of American Hungarian Federation. Labelled for reuse.

The uprising was crushed. 3,000 Hungarians died. The regime held onto control until the final fall of the iron curtain.

Two years after the fall of the Berlin wall, the statues were all torn down and relocated to the outskirts of the city, in an open-air museum called Memento Park. The survivors of authoritarianism agreed that while the darkest parts of their history couldn’t be forgotten, that doesn’t mean that they needed to celebrate them in the public square.

You can still see Stalin’s boots in the park today.

Anyway, on a completely unrelated note, Governor Edward Cornwallis is back in the news.

Cornwallis, who so much of our stuff is named after, refused to declare war against the Mikmaq, because “to declare war formally against the Micmac Indians would be a manner to [acknowledge] them a free and independent people.”

When it came to genocidal tendencies, Cornwallis was a repeat offender. As Trevor J. Adams noted when this debate went down last year, “before coming to Halifax, Cornwallis’s claim to fame was his role in suppressing unruly Scottish Highlanders during the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion. Rape, mass murder, forced starvation, and ethnic cleansing were his weapons of choice.”

City Council will, once again, be debating whether maybe it’s finally time to reconsider if Cornwallis is a guy we want to celebrate. They’re expected to ask for a staff report that will include “a recommended composition for an expert panel to review and advise Council regarding any changes to the commemoration of Edward Cornwallis on municipal assets, including Cornwallis Park and Cornwallis Street, and recommendations to recognize and commemorate the indigenous history in the lands now known as Halifax Regional Municipality.”


Making music in the Maritimes is hard.




Halifax Regional Council (Tuesday, 10am, City Hall) — there’s a lot going on. Particularly, confidential discussions over Birch Cove and the proposed rail corridor, as well as the Cornwallis debate getting reignited. It could be a long night.


Community Design Advisory Committee (Wednesday, 11:30am, City Hall) — all about the Centre Plan.

The Clarke-Halliston House

Heritage Advisory Committee (Wednesday, 3pm, City Hall) — an application by the owners of the Clarke-Halliston House, a registered heritage property at 1029 South Park Street (photo above), to make “substantial alterations” to the building. Details here.

Integrated Mobility Plan Presentation (Wednesday, 6pm, Cafeteria, Ecole Secondaire du Sommet, 500 Larry Uteck Boulevard, Halifax) — details here.

Public Information Meeting – Case 20332 (Wednesday, 7pm, Sackville Heights Community Centre) — Armco Capital wants to build a 5,000 sq ft commercial building on a half-acre site between Hamilton Drive and Rosemary Drive, Sackville



Legislature Sits (Tuesday, 1pm, Province House) — the budget will be dropped on Thursday, but don’t give it too much attention. MLAs can be expected to be reading over their campaign speeches  while they wait for an election to be called.

Human Resources (Tuesday, 10am, Province House) — merely collecting that per diem.


No public meetings.

On campus



No events scheduled.


Caching (Wednesday, 11:30am, Room 430, Goldberg Computer Science Building) — Khuzaima Daudjee will speak on “Learning to Cache Through Predictive Execution.”

Saint Mary’s


Thesis Defence, Geography (Wednesday, 9am, Burke 207) — Masters student Jodi-Ann Francis-Walker will defend her thesis, “To Stay or to Leave: An Assessment of the Social, Economic, and Political Factors That Influence International Students When Deciding to Remain in, or Leave Nova Scotia Upon Graduation.”

Thesis Defence, IDS (Wednesday, 2pm, Atrium 340) — PhD candidate Shane Theunissen will defend his thesis, “The Interface Between Global Hegemony and Cultural Marginalization: Agency, Education and Development Among Indigenous Peoples.”

In the harbour

5:30am: Torino, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from Southampton, England
10am: OOCL Kula Lumper, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from New York??? (check this)
8pm: ZIM Qingdao, container ship, arrives at anchorage from Algeciras, Spain for inspection


Yesterday, Saturday Halifax Examiner contributor El Jones took to Facebook to share a powerful story of a community coming together to support an incarcerated man at a family funeral.

It’s worth reading in full.

Join the Conversation


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  1. How many places in the US commemorate the name of one of the country’s largest slaveowners, I wonder?

    Has there ever been proposal to change the name of all those places, remove all the statues and remove him from money, etc,

    Too much trouble to dump Washington I suppose!

  2. Some have said that Bayers Lake is not a good place for a new Outpatient Clinic for the following reasons:

    1. Not close to a residential community…. those people who live off Lacewood Dr would probably beg to differ… how many apartments and condos are in that area.

    2. Not walkable… why does it need to be, this facility services more than any local community, not all outpatients or even a small percentage of the outpatients are likely to live close enough to walk to the new clinic, no matter where it might be located.

    3. Poor public transit services available… better transit services can be implemented by HRM’s Regional Council, it does not matter where the facility will be located. Plus a dedicated shuttle bus service could be set up between the QEII, selected pick up sites and the new clinic… this is not a problem that cannot be solved. It is often easier to criticize an issue that to recognize that the problem is easily resolvable.

    4. The new clinic should not be located in an industrial park… Bayers Lake is actually a retail and business park… not a dedicated industrial park.

    5. Put it somewhere where pharmacies, restaurants, physio clinics, optometrists, inns, restaurants and cafes can spring up and support economic life…. Bayers Lake already has most of those amenities very near to the proposed clinic’s location.

    6. Thousands of residents could walk to the clinic if it were located in Clayton Park area… It is a stretch of the imagination to say that people will want to walk to the outpatient clinic… once again, this is an outpatient clinic that will service a far larger region than just a local community… people in Clayton Park drive to the Sobeys to pick up a bag of groceries when they are in good heath… they are not likely to walk to the clinic when in poor health, if they can help it

    Bottom line, locating a general health walk-in clinic near a major community area makes good sense; but a provincial outpatient healthcare facility need not be located for the same reasons. Clayton Park already has a walk-in general healthcare clinic located adjacent to the Shopper’s Drug Mart.

    Bayers Lake has the space to locate the new outpatient clinic today, and 20 or 30 years down the road it will have the space to upgrade and enlarge the facility to meet the needs for the larger population that should exist in the future. Sustainability also means looking to what may be required in the future.

    1. John Cascadden, I completely concur. As I read about the arguments against Bayers Lake, I only shake my head at how parochial we still are in NS.

  3. Helpful analogy re. Hungary and Cornwallis.

    El Jones’ story is very moving and insightful.

  4. I read the El Jones post but thought the facebook posts further down by Ty JA was more interesting :
    ” Very powerful hon but please watch how u frame every black funeral has someone on an orange jump suit..thats normalizing it and also IVE never been to any funeral w someone in an orange jumpsuit….but great metaphor” and …..

    ” Feeds into us being a monolith n perpetuates stereotypes.which we need to show r not the truth..maybe certain families r used to.it. but not all blks or blk communities as a whole…again i hve been to many funerals n not once hve i seen anyone in a jumpsuit or from prison there. But the message ur saying is powerful. Maybe we can get our youth n brothers to stop becoming incarcerated….but telling them its normal only furthers the stigma n leaves.them.hopeless thinking its a destiny or normal or inescapable “

    1. Point from Ty JA taken. However, just because Ty JA has never seen anyone in an orange jumpsuit at a funeral does not mean that the mourners at the service did not have friends/family behind bars. As I understand it, there is a process (and I suspect not easy) by which an inmate is “allowed” to attend a funeral. As for the comment “Maybe we can get our youth n brothers to stop becoming incarcerated.” Well, that speaks for itself re: “perpetuating stereotypes.” There is a REASON why black males are jailed at rates vastly higher than their population. Peep Ava DuVernay’s documentary “13th” for an unvarnished examination of the the issue. https://www.google.ca/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=13+documentary+trailer&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&gfe_rd=cr&ei=6Hf_WO_JOeLQXuDcqagJ

  5. Au contraire, Bayers Lake is the perfect place for a new hospital. As one (or couple) who live out of town and had to struggle downtown almost daily last year to use the current not any parking not any time hospital system, having a major medical centre outside the city is a splendid idea. Cheaper too. And if there is not enough non-car access, well, let’s boost the public transit to the area, which we should do anyway.

    1. I have no objection to a hospital outside of downtown, but if serving people from outside metro is the goal there are still many better locations than Bayers Lake. I live nearby and still hate driving there, and transit or walking is much worse. Good luck if you have a hospital appointment in December. If there’s enough land available, near Lacewood terminal would be much more accessible to those within or outside metro. Larry Uteck, Lakeside, or Hammonds Plains could all be easier access from the highways and no worse from the city, and easier to improve transit than Bayers Lake.

    2. Within 2-3km of that exact spot would make sense. Between the 102/103 exchange and Regency Park would be good. Or in the Ragged Lake “park’. Or out on the Kearny Lake side of the new exit. Just either side of the 103 Otter Lake exit.

      Inside BLIP itself is nothing short of madness.

  6. Thank you for directing us to read El’s entire post. I’d wager that no one else in Canada covers the black community with the reach, energy, intelligence and courage that she consistently exhibits. I applaud her for being UNBOUGHT, UNBOSSED and ON THE SCENE. “By any means necessary …”

  7. I quite like the idea of a “Memento Park” perhaps out by the exhibition center, someplace to stick Cornwallis’ statue so we don’t forget about it, but don’t have to see it everyday.