I’m Deirdre Lee, a writer and performer who digs puns, pies, and can frequently be found sharing poetry, beadwork, and (maybe) too many selfies @ArmyOfYum


Labour Day weekend has done it’s thing and clocked out. Maybe it passed in a bit of a blur, if you were working, partying, or prepping for what many folks consider the real start of the year … “forget Gregorian, let’s get scholastic” they say (or something like that, it’s hard to hear over the sharpening of pencils and the thwang of duotangs).

Classes may start this week, but it isn’t autumn yet, & we’ve got plenty of summery stories (the salty, the sweet & the surreal).

1. Legit Bus Fuss

A Halifax parent is concerned for child, and frustrated by the number of vehicles he’s seen passing school buses, reports Allison Devereaux for the CBC.

Patricio Garcia has a seven-year-old son who he worries about sending to school on the bus, because of the disregard for safety he sees”:

Garcia said he witnessed drivers in both directions failing to stop when lights were flashing and the stop-arm was extended.

“We had people that would lay on the horn when they were behind the bus,” said Garcia. “Some would pass the bus just as the bus was stopping.”

In Nova Scotia, when a school bus has its red lights flashing, traffic must come to a stop in both directions. Drivers can only resume once the red lights have been turned off.


It’s a rampant problem in Nova Scotia, where the Nova Scotia School Boards Association said drivers failed to stop 1,500 times last year alone.


The maximum fine for failing to stop for a school bus with flashing lights is $1,272.50.”

I kinda think if a giant orange vehicle with flashing red lights and its own stop sign isn’t enough to get your attention, perhaps you should consider taking public transportation.

2. First day of the year

Assembly chamber viewed from balcony.

“As someone who has spent most of his life living to the rhythms of academia of one sort or another, I always think of the day after Labour Day as the real New Year’s Day, an annual day of stock-taking, resolution-making and future-fantasizing,” writes Stephen Kimber. “Which inevitably brings me to this question”:

Are we — the collective Nova Scotian “we” — better off today than we were a year ago? Five years ago? Twenty years ago? Are we more — or less — optimistic about our own futures, and the futures of our kids and grandkids? If we aren’t better off and we’re less optimistic, what is the reason for that? And what, if anything, are we going to do to change that what?

Click here to read “The first day of the real new year… Now what?”

This article is behind the Examiner’s paywall. Click here to subscribe.

3. Examineradio, episode #127

Stephen Kimber

Speaking of Stephen Kimber, for this week’s Examineradio podcast, Tim speaks with Stephen about the latest development in the Lyle Howe saga. Also, Tim and Terra talk Proud Boys, Bob Bjerke and Peter Kelly.

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(direct download)
(RSS feed)
(Subscribe via iTunes)

4. Disappearing Dream Home

The idea of someone invading your house is terrible enough, but what if the truth is weirder, and maybe worse?

Heather Strickey thought that an intruder had broken into her home when she heard noises in the middle of the night. No one was breaking in, the house was breaking down. Six to nine metres into the ground.

Heather Strickey and her 16-year-old daughter, Julia, were inside the home when the sinkhole first developed.

Heather said she woke up at 3:07 a.m. after hearing noises downstairs, which she thought was a burglar. She pondered calling 911 and after about five minutes, she made the call. 

While on the phone with a dispatcher, Julia came into the room and said, “Mom, I think there’s someone downstairs.”


As soon as officers did arrive the dispatcher told her the shocking news.

“not an invasion, it’s actually a sinkhole. He said, ‘Grab a few things in your arms. You need to get out fast.”

“And then we watched our house start to sink into the hole,” said Heather.

5. Crusader For Fun Jumps In

Anika Riopel wants us to jump in … the harbour. And swim and frolic and stuff.

Almost 10 years after the city spent $333 million to clean up its massive, infamously polluted harbour, the two public beaches near its downtown remain strangely quiet — even on hot, sunny days.,” writes Michael MacDonald for the Canadian Press.

The city didn’t hire lifeguards for the beaches at Black Rocks & Dingle this year, citing a lack of interest:

“There hasn’t been an appetite for swimming,” says city spokesman Nick Ritcey.

But apparently, we just need to forgive and forget … and build a big raft on the waterfront:

Anika Riopel, a 28-year-old student of environmental sustainability at Dalhousie University, says the problem is that Haligonians won’t let go of their ugly memories of what the harbour used to be like.

Local residents and businesses dumped raw sewage into the harbour for more than 250 years.

“We spent millions cleaning up our harbour and the data now show the harbour is clean, but the perception continues to be what the harbour was 10 years ago,” says Riopel.

“This is not just about swimming. It’s about changing our relationship with the harbour.”

Riopel has a bold vision for what the harbour could look like for swimmers. She started a campaign three weeks ago simply called “Jump In.” Her plan is to get the city to cordon off a small section of the downtown waterfront to create an urban swimming hole, complete with diving platform, raft and, of course, lifeguards.

Deborah Page, spokeswoman for the provincial waterfront development agency, says the Crown corporation is excited by the plan.

I don’t normally (or ever, even) find myself agreeing with Crown corporations, but life can surprise you. An “urban swimming hole” sounds super, in theory. Let’s get those hazards and boat traffic and such figured out first though, ok?

6. Dinner Cruise On the Rocks

Speaking of potentially hazardous aquatic adventures, the Harbour Queen 1 had to be evacuated Sunday, reports CTV

Full disclosure: I live really close to the harbour & during the season, I get to hear the party boat blast “Despacito” eleventy-seven times a night, three nights a week, so I am maybe experiencing a teensy bit of schadenfreude with this story. 

More than 30 passengers onboard were forced to disembark to waiting ships.


Murphy’s the Cable Wharf CEO, Dennis Campbell says crews followed procedures set in place.

“Last night was a night of very high winds, and that’s why we immediately dispatched not only a second vessel to disembark the passengers, but we also immediately called a tugboat to secure the Harbour Queen and bring it safely back to dock,” he said.

He says the boat lost power due to a fuel issue that has been resolved since.


1. I Might Be Too Tired For Satire …

Or it could be that this is a serious article about how the deer are getting smarter. All I know is, I really love deer memes.

2. New King Arthur Is Adorable Badass

She pulled a four foot sword from the same lake Excalibur got hucked into, lo those many years ago. Her dad says it’s a film prop, but what does he know? HE didn’t find the sword.




Halifax Regional Council (Tuesday, 1pm, City Hall) — all eyes are on David Hendsbee asking for the city to pay his back pension, but the more interesting issue (says Tim, comfortably editing from a undisclosed cottage location) is Steve Craig’s interest in turning the abandoned Windsor and Hantsport Railway corridor into a rail-to-trail project.


FCM 2018 Conference Advisory Committee (Wednesday, 1pm, City Hall) — the Federation of Canadian Municipalities is holding its annual confab in Halifax next year, supposedly in the new convention centre, which will supposedly be finished by then, which will then supposedly bring us prosperity forever, amen. And so there’s a committee preparing to pave the streets with gold.

North West Planning Advisory Committee (Wednesday, 7pm, Sackville Public Library) — all about the proposed Tantallon asphalt plant.


No public meetings this week.

On campus

No public events Tuesday or Wednesday.

In the harbour

The seas around Nova Scotia, 9:30am Tuesday. Map: marinetraffic.com

5am: Itea, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Liverpool, England
5:30am: Columbia Highway, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from Emden, Germany
6am: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, arrives at Pier 41 from St. John’s
6:30am: AIDAluna, cruise ship with up to 2,500 passengers, arrives at Pier 22 from St. John’s
6:30am: Tiger, car carrier, arrives at Pier 31 from Southampton, England
11:30am: Columbia Highway, car carrier, sails from Autoport for sea
11:30am: Tiger, car carrier, moves from Pier 31 to Autoport
4pm: Itea, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for New York
5:45pm: AIDAluna, cruise ship, sails from Pier 22 for Bar Harbor


This was my first time filling in as the Morning File Fairy (my words, not Tim’s). It’s been simultaneously fun, depressing, and heckin’ hard … and it’s given me a new appreciation for how much work goes into each of these. So think about subscribing and supporting this important work.

Have a rad day and remember: everyone is doing the best that they can (and even if they aren’t, try pretending they are. It helps, I swear).

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  1. With respect to sinkholes in Hants County. Much of the county is underlain by gypsum and karst. Weathering by water causes sinkholes and chimneys.

  2. The idea of people swimming in Halifax Harbour is really cool but unrealistic. Until BOLD HALFAX shares weekly water analysis with citizens AND a HEALTH REPORT on the Halifax Sewage Treatment Plant upgrade is a front page story, no dog should wade into the pretty Harbour.

  3. Regarding the house in the sink hole: I would like to know who built this house, why it was situated there, and what caused the sink hole?

  4. I would advise a school bus driver to stop in the middle of the road and thus prevent any vehicle from passing.
    It is hurricane season and sooner or later we’ll have one. The best site for the latest news is http://www.wunderground.com; probably the best there is. Even without a hurricane the site is good for all weather.

  5. We have swum in the Northwest Arm for years, ever since Dalhousie posted a ‘reader’ in the water to check the cleanliness levels, and after 5 years discontinued this – declaring the waters clean. Sadly, in August, we saw two large spills of oil and gunk floating out with the tide. It appeared to come from the bottom of the Arm, near the rotary, or perhaps from South Street where work is being done to replace the sewer lines…. We called the DOE and they responded immediately. But there is no verification of who was dumping oil in the Arm. So not much to do. We have also heard that cruise ships routinely, and illegally, dump their heads just outside the harbour entrance, and with the tide it all comes in.

    1. ” Vacuum suction lines zip toilets’ contents to marine sanitation farms, which siphon out the water, treat it until it’s drinkable, then pump it into the ocean. Helpful aerobic bacteria digest the remaining sludge in storage tanks until it’s all offloaded ashore, about once a month. ”
      April 20 2017

      or :
      ” The Cruise Lines International Association was the world’s largest cruise industry trade association. The group’s waste management policy said all cruise line members had to treat all sewage before discharge.
      The treated sewage could not be discharged within 4 nautical miles from land and at speeds below six knots ”

  6. School buses should have dash cams (forward and rear) and drivers who pass school buses should have their licences taken away. And be shot and pissed on.

    1. Cameras are the answer. Fines should be in the area of $3,000 and will pay for at least half of the cameras