I’m Katie.  I have been in Toronto petting my dog, but I hear your power is back on.


1. South House says sorry

In a cryptic apology email yesterday morning that told us approximately nothing, South House Gender and Sexual Resource Center (formerly the Dalhousie Women’s Center) made this statement:

In the past four years, South House has allotted 1000$ yearly to be donated to the Loretta Saunders Scholarship Fund, which provides financial aid to aboriginal women studying in Atlantic Canada.

Our current Board has discovered that though this money was allocated to the scholarship fund, it was never distributed, and as a result, has sat untouched for the past four years.

This was a gross oversight on the part of the Board of Directors and we understand that it is our duty as the current board to both apologize for and remedy the situation.

Here are some questions that I have for South House:

One: What has the $4,000 been doing for the last four years? Is it in a gold bar? Someone’s sock drawer? An aggressive index fund? Is it in the banana stand?

Two: What does South House mean when they say the money was allocated but not “distributed?” It looks like there’s a pretty clear process for distributing the scholarship here. Do they just mean “we never gave the money to the people who run the scholarship”? Again, this brings me to question(s) one.

Three: Is it weird that South House is mostly paid for by Dalhousie University student dues, but the org is allocating annual funds for a scholarship people can use to go to entirely different schools?

Four: This note, in the CBC, gives me LOADS of pause:

The error was discovered last fall after “a bit of digging,” according to current board member Jennifer Allott.

…”I don’t know what past boards were focused on or how they did their accounting and treasury work in order to miss [it], so I was a little curious about that.”

That curiosity will not take them down a path of placing blame, she said. [Italics mine.] Instead, she says the group has retroactively paid the $4,000 in a lump sum to the fund’s stewards, the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia.

Listen, I’m all for collective responsibility, avoiding buck-passing, etc etc, but what? If someone failed to properly handle your institution’s money shouldn’t you be trying to figure out who and where the problem came from, so you can be sure it won’t be repeated? People pay dues to South House on an opt-out basis and they deserve to know what is happening to their funds.

The Loretta Saunders scholarship is a fund for Indigenous women, named after the Saint Mary’s student who was murdered in 2014. Saunders was completing an honours degree in criminology and did her thesis research on missing and murdered Indigenous women before she died.

2. Liberals should deal with minority ridings

Photo: acadievacances.com

It’s getting pretty obvious that there is going to be an election soon. Liberals need to make sure minority ridings, like Acadian ridings, are protected, says Jim Bickerton of the Political Science department of St FX.

Speaking to CBC’s Information Morning on Tuesday, Bickerton recommended the Liberals revisit his panel’s [2012]  report. It recommended the province reinstate three so-called protected Acadian ridings in southwestern Nova Scotia and as well as the predominantly black riding of Preston, outside of Halifax. That report was rejected by the former NDP government.

3. JFC, signs cost a lot of money

Photo: Nancy Rose / Flickr

Plans for the Shubenacadie Canal project in Dartmouth will be presented on Thursday to the Harbour East Community Council. The commission says they want $500,000 worth of interpretive signs on the site. From Pam Berman, reporting for the CBC:

There is no timeline for when that work will be done or who will pay for it, but the local councillor for the area hopes there will be financial assistance from the provincial and federal governments.


1.  Tristan Cleveland and I agree on something

Halifax has adopted the national building code and allowed people to build six-story buildings made of primarily on wood. This is good.

Here are some things that sound to the untrained eye like some of our shared “views” but actually are “facts”:

  • Wood is a nice material for building things.
  • Six-floor-story buildings are a great way to build density without sacrificing community. Height does not equal density if the people inside the buildings aren’t on the street — or if they’re just buying condos as an investment property.
  • While vinyl and tile also make fine in-floor heating systems, the luxury of in-floor heating, which Cleveland tells us is easy to accomplish with wood, cannot be understated.

2.  What will N.S. do with all its “savings” on teachers?

Shawn Henifen, formerly of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union executive, notes in Local Express that a recent council to improve classroom conditions made the same recommendations teachers have been making for years:

In fact, they were continually requesting the Department of Education address them. It is unsettling that it took so much public uproar and teacher support to finally begin the process.

Now that the recommendations have been made by this ~fancy council~, however, eight of them will be implemented immediately.

Henifen says that some of these recommendations will result in cost savings for the province and he wants the difference to be reinvested back into the education system.

3. Someone is not having it with Grindr

I get it, dating apps are hard, but this guy is not pleased with you, Gays of Halifax.

WTF is wrong with you?

No age: How do I know if you’re 18 or 80? Not only did you not post a profile picture, you excluded your age. Like Ivory soap being 99.44% pure, there is a 99.44% chance that these guys are no longer in their 20s or 30s. Is this reverse ageism? Be proud of the number of years you spent on this Earth and be proud of every grey hair you have.

You can read the whole Bitch at the Coast.


The CNIB is seeking volunteers to raise puppies for its guide dog program. PUPPIES!

Here’s an old video of Matt Whitman talking about “reverse networking”:

YouTube video

Some of y’all in Nova Scotia have a real need for speed: drivers were pulled over twice this week for going welllll over the legal limit.




No public meetings.


Special Events Advisory Committee (Wednesday, 9am, City Hall) — changes to bylaws that will interest no one except for grant-seeking orgs.

Community Planning & Economic Development Standing Committee (Wednesday, 1pm, City Hall) — a pop-up soccer stadium on the Wanderer’s Grounds.

Special Western Common Advisory Committee (Wednesday, 6:30pm, Prospect Road Community Centre) — the committee is reviewing Chapter 6 of the Western Common Wilderness Master Plan:

In Chapter 6, the Master Plan is presented in five phases, with an outline of park amenities, waterways and trail systems to be developed. The Plan also includes cost estimates and an implementation timeframe. Wilderness Common’s development as a regional park will be phased over a period of twenty years, with the exception of areas currently occupied by the Otter Lake Solid Waste Management Facility, which will likely require a sixty-year operational and closeout monitoring period to enable it to be fully incorporated within the park. [emphasis added]

North West Planning Advisory Committee (Wednesday, 7pm, the four-pad arena named for a fucking bank, Bedford) — more zoning changes for the ever-evolving Bedford West.



No public meetings.


Public Accounts (Wednesday, 9am, Province House) — Denise Perret, deputy minister at Health & Wellness, will be asked about “Emergency Room Accountability and Collaborative Emergency Centres.”

On campus



If we all saved more we’d all be rich (Tuesday, 12pm, Room 2622, Killam Library) — A volunteer from Chartered Professional Accountants Canada will show you how to be a good capitalist.

Convergent Series (Tuesday, 2:30pm, Room 319, Chase Building) — Bob Raphael will discuss his work with Emilia Alvarez in “On Regrouping Series to Obtain Absolute Convergence.”


“All Humans are Human” (Wednesday, 7pm, McInnes Room) — Roméo Dallaire will speak.

Smoke Signals (Wednesday, 8pm, Dalhousie Art Gallery) — a screening of Chris Eyre’s 1998 film.

In the harbour

The seas around Nova Scotia, 9:20am Tuesday. Map: marinetraffic.com

5am: Palena, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Norfolk
12:30pm: Longshore, bulker, arrives at Bedford Basin anchorage from Providence, Rhode Island
4pm: CSCL America, container ship, arrives at Pier 41 from Port Klang, Malaysia
10pm: Palena, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for Cagliari, Italy


I’ve been petting my dog in Toronto. What did I miss out on, Halifax?

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  1. 1. i suspect the south house thing was simply the board budgeted funds, but no one cut the cheque, likely as there was no invoice or whatnot to pay.

    2. 6 story wood buildings have issues, but this city already has numerous 4 story wood buildings.. Im not convinced that a properly constructed 6 story wood building will be much worse then a 4 story. also consider that modern engineered floor trusses eliminate most bounce from floors.

  2. I was looking through the scholarships available to NSCC students a few weeks ago and noticed that the Loretta Saunders scholarship was on the list. I wonder if people applied, but nobody was ever accepted. What happened to their applications?

  3. I am shaking my head at the wood stick construction story.

    Who wants to live in a wooden high rise where sound transmits easily through the wooden floors, heat not at all? Not me.

    And yeah, wood is combustible and no way does it get more structurally sound the higher you build up with it.

    What a crappy thing being done to the next generation of tenants.

  4. Having lived in wood and concrete multi-storey buildings, I much prefer concrete. As the Metro article notes, wood buildings burn easily, settle, and are noisy, but “create opportunities for modestly priced housing in some places, like Wyse Road and Gottingen Street.” Sounds like six-storey wood means developers can realize a greater profit putting up second-rate buildings in less desirable areas. Does the 10-15% reduction in construction costs really make much of a difference when it comes to affordable housing, particularly after taking into account the land costs?

  5. * That was the best take that Whitman could do? Insanity of the content aside, that was the best version of him trying to explain it?

    * Why would the structural material influence at all the flooring material? Does Tristan think that because the kitchens on the 28th floor of Fenwick are parquet its a wood building?

  6. It isn’t uncommon for NFP boards to be rather loose with their accounting procedures, as well as their required government filings and corporate governance documents. In a past life I’ve been involved in trying to clean up some awful messes, not situations where anyone was intentionally doing wrong but terrible messes anyway. Very often you can’t figure out what was done or not done because there are no minutes of board meetings, corporate book not up to date, etc etc. It is just that many volunteers involved with these things don’t even know of their responsibilities. They get involved because of their interest in the NFP’s field of work, not because they like doing NFP minute books and filings. Although, I’m not sure how the situation with the scholarship would arise without someone complaining before 4 years elapsed as to who got the money.

    But something associated with Dal in any financial way I would have thought would have been required to be audited and reviewed by university authorities.

    1. Not for profit organizations provide huge public services to the greater community. They do of course rely on volunteers for governance and often have no full time paid staff.
      Government treats most not for profits as a nuisance because they are always doing things like fundraising and asking for grants from public purses to do things the governments cant or wont do.
      Instead of finger pointing at every opportunity, perhaps the government should find ways to support and enhance the work of not for profits by providing them with free training, free consultation resources and other things which support an organization rather than demean it. Not for profits are a huge resource and they should be helped and recognized for the work they do.

  7. Matt Whitman, self-proclaimed “King of Networking”, says in his promo video that he “invented” “reverse networking.” Some digging might show that Al Gore invented this scheme, just after he invented the internet.

    So… the “golden rule” that Whitman seems to espouse is that you get to be a more powerful and influential person by seeming to promote others’ interests over your own. Sounds like sugar-coated self-interest to my ears.

  8. LMFAO I’m sure the irony of that video is totally lost on Mr “I am not your guru” Whitman.