1. COVID update

A child wearing a blue shirt is being vaccinated by a nurse wearing a white shirt
Nurse Laura Bailey administers a COVID-19 vaccine dose to eight-year-old Jack Woodhead at the IWK COVID-19 vaccine clinic for children ages 5 to 11. Photo: Communications Nova Scotia

Here’s the latest on COVID-19 in Nova Scotia:

Now that children aged 5-11 are starting to get vaccinated, the province has imposed travel restrictions on children aged 11 and younger:

Effective immediately, there are restrictions on out-of-province travel for children age 11 and younger for the purposes of participating in sports or arts and culture events.

Children age 11 and younger are also restricted from entering Nova Scotia for these activities.

There is no option for children to self-isolate in order to participate in these events. They can, however, travel to attend events as spectators. They can also travel for regular practices, lessons and rehearsals. The province considers these activities lower risk since they involve children “interacting with the same group all the time.”

As for the numbers…

Nova Scotia announced 35 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday.

  • Northern Zone: 16 cases
  • Central Zone: 16 cases
  • Western Zone: 3 cases

There are now 203 known active cases in the province, with 15 people hospitalized, eight of whom are in ICU.

For the rest of the latest pandemic news in this province — vaccination numbers, testing sites, case demographics, potential exposure advisories, and more — head to Tim Bousquet’s full report from yesterday.

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2. Extinction Rebellion members not guilty of trespassing at Lands and Forestry office last year

Kevin Smith being arrested by three Halifax Regional Police officers. Smith is on the floor and two offers are behind him putting handcuffs on him. Another office is standing in front of Smith.
Kevin Smith is arrested outside the Dept. of Lands and Forestry office on Nov. 24, 2020. Photo: Eleanor Kure (contributed)

Two members of Nova Scotia’s chapter of Extinction Rebellion were acquitted of charges under the Protection of Property Act for refusing to leave the Department of Lands and Forestry offices in Halifax during a protest last November.

Eleanor Kure and Kevin Smith had been trying to hand deliver a message to then minister Derek Mombourquette outlining their concerns about clearcutting in moose habitat. They demanded a meeting with the minister, and refused to leave until he agreed to a meeting with a spokesperson from the group. The two were ultimately arrested for remaining “on premises after being directed to leave by the occupier,” under section 4 of the Personal Property Act.

On November 15, a provincial court judge found them not guilty.

“I find that the Defendants were clearly involved in protesting the government’s actions regarding development and species at risk,” wrote Justice Debbi Bowes in her decision.

‘If the legislation was meant to exclude government departments from protest it should have clearly stated same so that the public would have a clear understanding of the law.

Given my findings and that the [Protection of Property Act] specifically states that there is to be no prosecution for peaceful demonstrations in the vicinity to which the public normally has access, an acquittal shall be entered for both defendants.

Justice Bowes also wrote that the protestors had reason to believe “they were legally justified in protesting their common dissatisfaction, as previous requests had failed in their opinion.”

In a statement, Jamie Simpson, the lawyer who represented the defendants, said he was pleased with the court’s “clarification” of the law: “People like Ms. Kure and Mr. Smith, who peacefully protest government inaction on clearcutting or other important matters, should not have to fear arrest under the Protection of Property Act when they operate within the limits it describes.”

A little more detail about the events that led up to the arrest:

On. November 24, 2020, four protestors from Extinction Rebellion entered the department’s office with letters for the minister and demanded a meeting. They were there concerning the clearcutting of endangered mainland moose habitat and felt their phone calls and emails on the subject were being ignored. At the time, protestors led by Extinction Rebellion were blockading a logging road near Rocky Point Lake where cutting was going on in an area that the province recently identified as “core habitat” for moose. The protestors, at the blockade and the Lands and Forestry office, were concerned that continued cutting in the area could be detrimental to the already endangered species, since moose rely on diverse forest for food, shelter, and regulating body temperature.

After being told to leave repeatedly, two of the protestors finally left when told police would come to remove them if they stayed. Kure and Smith remained and were arrested and forcibly removed.

One year later, following the court decision, Eleanor Wynne wrote in a statement: “When our government so clearly ignores the repeated requests of citizens and is negligent in its duties to species at risk, it is very important that the law is not used to silence us.”

Last week, another group of protestors went to the same department office (now the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables). There were no arrests.

The protestors, once again led by Extinction Rebellion, were calling for a moratorium on cutting in moose habitat until a plan to recover the moose population was created, a provincial obligation under the Endangered Species Act. That recovery plan was released the next day. But no moratorium on cutting has been implemented.

In a media release, Kevin Smith addressed Minister Tory Rushton about the new plan:

“If Minister Rushton believes the moose are at a ‘critical junction’ then they need to put a moratorium on logging activity in all known moose habitat now, before it’s too late. They also need to protect what we have left by reassessing sites that have already been approved for clear cuts in the known habitat regions. Instead, they are allowing the last bits of old forest growth and moose habitat to be clear cut (Rocky Point Lake) until they get around to counting how many are left there. The fact is, there won’t be any habitat or moose left to protect, once they finally get around to protecting it.”

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3. It’s been almost two months since the court ruled the province discriminates against people with disabilities; when will the government act on this?

A photo of Vicky Levack who has short dark hair, and is wearing a white t-shirt with a print and a pink sweater around her shoulders. Levack sits in her wheelchair. to her left is Kariellen Graham who is a blonde woman wearing a black blazer, pale blue blouse, and blue paper face mask.
Vicky Levack and Kariellen Graham, members of the Disability Rights Coalition. Photo: Jennifer Henderson

On October 6, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal found there was “systemic discrimination” in the way the province treated people with disabilities:

Simply put, at the heart of the claim of the discrimination is this: to place someone in an institutional setting where they do not need to be in order to access their basic needs, which the province is statutorily obligated to provide, is discriminatory.

Almost two months later, and the government has yet to do anything to rectify that discrimination. And the Disability Rights Coalition is getting tired of waiting.

On Monday, the Coalition announced it was holding a news conference to discuss the lack of response by the Houston government to the court decision, specifically whether it has a plan to fix the problem. On Tuesday, the group was invited to meet with the premier next week.

So what could come of this? Jennifer Henderson reports:

What the Disability Rights Coalition wants now is action. Within three months, the group will be before another Board of Inquiry convened by the Human Rights Commission seeking a fix to the discrimination identified by the Court. 

That process might be avoided if the group and the province can agree on a concrete plan for how to provide services to disabled people that meet their needs. 

In her article this morning, Jennifer Henderson looks at what’s happened since the court ruling, what the Disability Rights Coalition wants from the province, and speaks with people with disabilities and their family members about their experiences in Nova Scotia, and the changes they want to see. People like Vicky Levack who, despite being only 31, has spent 10 years of her life in a nursing home because she has a physical disability that requires someone to give her daily medication.

You can read the full article right here.

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4. Study: Bagged milk better for environment than cartons and jugs

A photo of a fridge in a grocery store filled with milk and cream products.

When I think of bagged milk I think of my grandparents and 30 Rock’s cuttingly fair criticism of Canadian culture. I guess I’ll have to add environmentalism to that list.

Yvette d’Entremont reports on a study led by a Dalhousie University chemistry professor emerita that finds bagging milk in plastic is actually better for the planet than putting in jugs and cartons.

[Researchers] conducted life-cycle analyses of all three containers [jugs, bags, and cartons]. They assessed the environmental impacts of each in Halifax and Toronto, examining energy inputs, greenhouse gas emissions, water consumed in production, and the transportation and disposal of each container.

They determined that milk bags consume only 20% to 30% of the energy, use 2% as much water as cartons do, and 40% as much water compared to jugs.

The bags also produce 20% to 40% of the greenhouse gases.

Who would’ve thought plastic bags were the best option? Not I, that’s for sure.

If you’re still skeptical, check out d’Entremont’s full article to see how the study was conducted, and find out more about how bagged milk is the most environmental way to package our 2%.

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5. Youth file application to challenge Canada’s voting age

A graphic of a pen marking an X into a voting ballot.

This item is by Yvette d’Entremont

A group of Canadian children and youth from across the country have filed a court challenge demanding the federal voting age be lowered from 18 to 16.

Calling the current voting age “unconstitutional,” the 13 young people range in age from 12 to 18 and live in Nunavut, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia.

The Nova Scotia litigant is Halifax resident Amelia Penney Crocker, 16.

“Youth are the future. But as it stands, we can’t vote for who gets to shape that future,” Penney Crocker said in a media release issued on Wednesday. “And particularly in this unprecedented climate crisis, lack of youth voting rights might mean that we don’t have a future at all.”

The group has filed an application at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to challenge Canada’s voting age.

The court challenge is supported by Justice for Children and Youth (JFCY) and the David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights at the University of Toronto (Asper Centre).

Several national child and youth-focused charities — including Children First Canada, UNICEF Canada, and the Students Commission of Canada — are also supporting them.

“Decision-makers tend to cite outdated factors when denying young people access to the polls. They are the same factors historically used to deny other groups the right to vote,” Justice for Children and Youth lawyers said in the media release.

“We have seen a continued rise in young people’s efforts to be heard — millions marching on issues that have a direct impact on their lives and the world in which they live, yet they still can’t vote.”

Countries that have lowered their voting age to 16 include Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Ecuador, Germany, Scotland, and Wales.

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6. Turmoil continues at the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society.

A photo of an old brass set of scales, sitting on a wooden desk, with a blurry courtroom in the background.

This item is written by Stephen Kimber

Late Tuesday, the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society’s acting executive director, Jacqueline Mullenger, emailed staff “and colleagues” to announce that Andrew Tailllon “is no longer Director of Professional Responsibility with the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, effective immediately.” No reason was given.

Taillon, a former barrister with Cox & Palmer, was a staff lawyer at the province’s justice department for eight years before joining the society staff in March 2020. As director of professional responsibility, Taillon was responsible for handling formal complaints against lawyers.

Last month two members of the society’s governing council quit. One, an Indigenous lawyer, complained about what she called “direct and systemic racism” she’d experienced during her time on council. The second, a public representative on the council, described it as “dysfunctional” and a “shit show.”

Three other members of the council, including the president, as well as the society’s executive director, the first person of colour to hold the job, all also quit in 2021.

The society has been mired in controversy since at least 2017 when Lyle Howe, an African Nova Scotian lawyer, was disbarred after the longest and most expensive hearing in the society’s history. Howe has said he believes he was a victim of racism.

In April, the society appointed Doug Ruck, a former provincial ombudsman and a well-respected labour and human rights lawyer to head up what it called “a comprehensive external, independent review of our regulatory policies and processes to identify and address any areas of systemic discrimination that exist within the society.”

Mullenger told the Examiner that because Taillon’s departure is a personnel matter, “we’ll respectfully limit commenting in any further detail.” Taillon could not be reached for comment.

While the society searches for a permanent replacement for Taillon, Elaine Cumming, the current council in the professional responsibility office will take on the role of acting director.

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7. NSCAD appoints a new president

Dr. Peggy Shannon wears a white blouse and red necklace in her portrait
Dr. Peggy Shannon. Photo: NSCAD

In a media release Wednesday, NSCAD announced the school has appointed a new president.

Dr. Peggy Shannon will take on the role for a five-year term starting July 1, 2022. The school has been searching for a new president since January.

“For more than 20 years,” states the media release, “Dr. Shannon has been a professor and administrator at several North American universities.” Her latest role has been serving as Dean of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts at San Diego State University.

The appointment comes a little over a year after NSCAD’s previous president, Dr. Aoife MacNamara, was fired by the school’s Board of Governors just one year into her term. Dr. Sarah McKinnon has been serving as interim president since.

The Examiner first reported on the firing in June of 2020. A year later, the Globe and Mail acquired internal university emails that confirmed and deepened the story.

Dr. Aoife MacNamara in a photo. She has short grey hair and is smiling at the camera and folding her arms. She's wearing a dark grey suit and white blouse.
Dr. Aoife MacNamara (CNW Group/The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design)

There’s quite a bit to that story, but essentially Scott McCrea, CEO of the Armour Group, wanted NSCAD to sell its Granville campus properties to his company. (When NSCAD purchased the historical buildings on Granville, Armour was given first rights of refusal should the school ever decide to sell.)

McCrea proposed his development company could then build a new campus building that it would lease back to the university.

When MacNamara started as president in August of 2019, NSCAD’s board of governors encouraged her to go through with the McCrea’s proposal. But MacNamara had concerns. From Greg Mercer’s article in the Globe:

The new president resisted, telling [NSCAD’s board of governors] she was concerned about potential perceived or actual conflicts of interest of some governors — and potentially breaking public procurement rules that regulate infrastructure spending by universities, according to e-mails obtained by The Globe.

The vice-chair of NSCAD’s board of governors at the time was Sean Kelly, a lawyer whose firm represents Armour Group and leases office space from one of the developer’s many Halifax properties. Mr. Kelly introduced the motion to fire Dr. MacNamara during a closed-door meeting on June 25, 2020, after 10 months marked by friction between the new president and some members of the board — acrimony that led Dr. MacNamara to complain that she was being bullied and harassed.

The board would go as far as to hire a consultant (at $32,000 in public expense) to “monitor” MacNamara’s performance as it looked for ways to get rid of her.

Tim Bousquet reported that just before MacNamara’s firing, she had been “working on a governance review of the board, with the aim of directly addressing potential conflicts of interest and of having the board better reflect the community.”

We still don’t know all the details of this story, even over a year later. The Globe reported that “the publicly funded university … has repeatedly blocked efforts to seek more transparency into the firing, earning a scolding from Nova Scotia’s privacy commissioner for failing to respond to two access-to-information requests for NSCAD records on the issue.”

All we know for sure is NSCAD has a new president.

For a more detailed recap of the MacNamara story, check out this Morning File Tim Bousquet wrote in June.

8. Dalhousie open to renegotiating contract with province regarding $100M for COVID relief

A photo of a stone sign that says Dalhousie University.
Photo: Halifax Examiner

“A Dalhousie University official has told a Nova Scotia Legislature committee the institution is open to renegotiating the $100-million deal it signed with the province in March 2020 to create and run COVID-19 relief programs on the government’s behalf,” reports Jean Laroche with CBC.

On Wednesday, witnesses appeared before Nova Scotia’s public accounts committee to answer questions related to a recent report from the province’s auditor-general. That report examined how the McNeil government contracted Dalhousie University to distribute $100 million in emergency financial assistance to people and businesses during the first wave of COVID in 2020.

As the Examiner reported last month, auditor-general Kim Adair found there was a surplus in emergency relief, but Dalhousie was not obligated to pay the province back for unused funds — potentially over half the $100 million.

Yesterday, Matt Hebb, Dalhousie’s vice president of government and global relations, spoke to the public accounts committee on the university’s behalf.

“I can tell you 100 per cent if the government approached us and said we’d like to rethink this agreement in some way, no problem,” he said.

“We would not try to establish priorities for unspent funds in the absence of advice directly from the government.”

Kim Adair sits at her desk, in front of a cherry-wood bookcase with doors. She's a white woman with blonde chin-length hair, and is wearing a grey jacket with white blouse which has grey polka dots on it.
Auditor-General Kim Adair. Photo: Twitter

In her report, the auditor-general found Dalhousie had done well managing the distribution of the emergency funds well,  and had kept thorough documentation throughout. She also reported that there was a surplus in emergency funds, but the university was not obligated to pay the province back these unused funds. As Jennifer Henderson wrote for the Examiner on Nov. 23:

“By spending and committing $100 million to Dalhousie University before relief programs were fully developed and costs were known, the province was no longer able to redirect any potential savings if the funding earmarked for relief programs was not needed,” states the written report.

Indeed, as of last August the provincial auditor found $24 million remains unallocated and another $35 million set aside as loan guarantees for large tourism operators that won’t be spent unless they default on their loans.

Essentially the province’s decision to contract out the relief programs means it gave up control of almost $60 million on which it could have been earning interest. That amounted to $500,000 this summer and the term of the contract with Dalhousie runs until 2027, for which no reason has been given.

After 2027, unspent funds and interest will be donated to the non-profit agency, Research Nova Scotia, not back to the province.

Jean Laroche reports in his article that Geoff Gatien, a senior provincial finance official, told the committee yesterday that the department of finance was not looking to renegotiate the contract unless the government were to direct them.

Whatever happens to the contract and any surplus money, for the future it’s worth remembering the key finding from the auditor-general’s report:

“It’s commendable that the government responded so quickly with assistance… The issue was giving $100 million upfront before they knew what was needed. Our recommendations get into the fact perhaps you should considering funding the program as the funds are needed, rather than picking a dollar amount and putting it in hands outside government.”

9. The Tideline: Braden Lam

A photo of Braden Lam who is a young white man. He's wearing a black fedora, a burgundy/rust coloured blazer with a white shirt underneath.
Braden Lam. Photo: Paul Atwood

Lastly, Tara Thorne has a new episode of Tideline out today. In this week’s episode, she interviews Braden Lam:

The young singer-songwriter Braden Lam has already got a pair of EPs under his belt, which he made in between getting a degree at Dalhousie, starting his own business, and falling in love. For the holidays he’s dropped a fresh cover of Joni Mitchell’s “River,” and stops by the show to talk stalled momentum, the musical ice age caused by the pandemic, why land acknowledgements are important to him, and his slate of December shows.

Click here to listen for free.


It’s in the nose: Advice for mouth breathers

Two Xrays of a set of lungs, one from the front and one from the side.
Photo: CDC/Unsplash

Between work and the weather, I haven’t been sleeping or exercising as much as I’d like to these past couple weeks. And I really noticed it yesterday.

Usually, I try to get out for a run at least every other day — it’s as much a stress reliever as a workout for me. I also try to fit in a sleep-in day on the weekends to catch up from deprivation during the week. When I can’t fit those in, I start feeling jumpy. It gets hard to focus and my chest gets tight and can feel like it’s caving in on itself.

I was getting that feeling yesterday.

Since I didn’t have time for a run — and, with a Morning File deadline fast approaching, definitely didn’t have time for sleep — I thought I’d try to decompress.

See, my mother finished a library book early last week and she passed it on to me to read a few days before it was due back. It’s called Breath, by the journalist James Nestor.

Nestor had had asthma and multiple bouts of pneumonia in his life, so his doctor recommended breathing therapy classes. It ultimately led him to write an entire book on “the new science of a lost art,” AKA, breathing. And he says he’s slept better (with no snoring), been more energized, and gone without breathing problems since he started using the techniques he outlines.

Now, I’m not proud of this, but I didn’t have time to read the book — though I did make it through the first page! — and I returned it late. (I like to drop information like this in the middle of my Morning Files so I’ll know if my mother reads them).

Wracked with guilt, and in desperate need of some calming therapy, I checked out an NPR interview Nestor did last year and tried out his techniques.

I had my doubts when I started listening. A whole book on how to breathe. Not only do I know how to breathe, but I don’t even have to think about it. I can do it in my sleep for God’s sake. The calming power of deep breathing seemed pretty obvious to me — how often are we told to take a deep breath when we’re stressed or overwhelmed — and even if there were some more complex techniques, I couldn’t see how you could write anything longer than a pamphlet on the subject.

But Nestor talks about some interesting things.

If you want to calm down, exhale longer than you inhale. If you want to achieve perfect balance in all your inner organs, try inhaling and exhaling for about five seconds each. Breathing through the right nostril raises the blood pressure, while breathing through the left slows the heart rate, calms anxiety, and cools the body.

Apparently the nostrils contain erectile tissue and can move on their own, opening and closing each nostril involuntarily throughout the day to regulate the body.

Side note, the erectile tissue fact leads to the best out-of-context line of the interview: “The nose is more closely connected to our genitals than any other organ.”

Anyway, I tried all these techniques throughout the day and they helped a bit.

The revelation for me was what sounds like a very dangerous technique.

First, some background.

A lot of us are mouth breathers. I am. And we get looked down on a lot. Turns out, for good reason. It dries you out, causes snoring, impairs the body’s ability to regulate itself, and generally makes you look like a caveman.

It turns out, evolution has a part to play in this. Like French bulldogs, our heads have evolved poorly over the past 400 years, making it harder for us to breathe properly. Soft, easily-chewed processed foods are to blame, says Nestor. They’ve led us to develop smaller mouths and breathing passages.

Is it true? It sounds like one of those facts that’s interesting enough for a cocktail party so you might as well believe it. But I digress.

Suffice it to say, many of us find it difficult to breathe through our nose, and this can harm our physical health and increase stress and anxiety. I didn’t realize the impact of this, but I was always aware that I had difficulty breathing through my nostrils. I figured it was just biology.

But you can train!

And there’s a helpful cheat. Nestor says he spoke with a dentist and a physician who both recommend taking a small piece of tape (something the size of a stamp and not overly adhesive, like surgical tape) and taping your mouth closed at night. [DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, and if you try this, make sure you’re not gagging yourself]. It will force you to breathe through your nose.

I tried it last night and I woke up feeling fantastic. I slept better than I had all week and my lips weren’t the morning desert landscape they usually are.

I’ll try to focus on my breathing more in the next few weeks and see how it goes. It didn’t have immediate results for stress relief yesterday, but I see the benefits now in focusing on small things we take for granted that we know how to do.

When it comes to staving off anxiety though, I’ll stick to running and exercising. As far as I can remember, those involve breathing too.

Check out the whole interview with Nestor for a fun and fascinating listen.

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On Tuesday, I wrote about how I didn’t have a Twitter account. Today, I’m gonna share a bunch of stuff off Twitter.

Why? Yesterday on the Examiner Slackline, Suzanne Rent noticed there was “a lot of chatter about those stairs going into the harbour.” Looking for any way to procrastinate, I bit and checked the Twittersphere.

(Don’t worry, I didn’t sign back up; my hypocrisy is half-assed — I’m just an anonymous creep.)

People seem to be a bit baffled by these stairs into — or up from?  — the harbour at the newly opened Queen’s Marque. Are they for the fish who are ready to evolve into mammals? Is it a way to welcome the rising harbour tide to step onto the boardwalk and eventually engulf Lower Water Street? I don’t know.

Neither, it seems, does anyone on social media. The only common opinion I could see is that people think they’re too close to the downtown bar scene. Disaster is sure to strike. I can understand that: fear of falling in the harbour is the reason I do my drinking in the North End.

I thought I’d share a couple of my favourite Twitter reactions to the “harbour stairs” from the past week. Here’s a sample:

Whatever they’re there for, I don’t think I’ll be using them.

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Environment and Sustainability Stancing Committee (Thursday, 1pm, City Hall) — livestreamed

Women’s Advisory Committee (Thursday, 4pm) — livestreamed

Harbour East – Marine Drive Community Council (Thursday, 6pm, Mic Mac Aquatic Club) — no live broadcast


No meetings

On campus



People, Places and Things (Thursday, 7:30pm, Dunn Theatre) — presented by the Fountain School of Performing Arts, until Dec. 4; $15/$10; more info here

Endolysosomal cation channels in health and disease: A surprising novel functional role of TRPML3 (Thursday, 11am, Room 3H1, Tupper Building) — also online; Christian Grimm from Ludwig Maximilians University will talk


People, Places and Things (Friday, 7:30pm, Dunn Theatre) — Presented by the Fountain School of Performing Arts, until Dec. 4; $15/$10; more info here. Matinee performance 2pm Saturday.

Solutions to Workforce Issues in the Seasonal Tourism Sector (Friday, 10am) — panel discussion via Zoom

PhD Defence, Psychology and Neuroscience (Friday, 1pm) — Perri Tutelman will talk via Teams

Refiguring Urbanity: Clues from Emerging Practices (Friday, 2:30pm) — online talk by Francisco Cruces, UNED, Spain

What does “urbanity” mean today? New ways for working, homemaking, buying and selling, occupying streets, using technology, and conceiving cosmopolitanism, ethnic identity, heritage and beauty seem to defy well-established ideas of our previous “urban commonsense.” The study of emerging practices in the city provides clues for re-figuring both classic and new tropes used to grasp “urbanness.” Boundary work, self-design, chronotopes and the production of value chain are a few among these clues. I will illustrate them with ethnographic flashes from the collective project Madrid Cosmópolis. Emergent Practices and Metropolitan Processes (Cultura Urbana, UNED, financed by MINECO, CSO2012-33949).

From Milk-Medicine To Public (Re)Education Programs: An Examination Of Anishinabek Mothers’ Responses To Hydroelectric Flooding In The Treaty #3 District, 1900–1975 (Friday, 3:30pm, Room 1170, McCain building or online) — also online; a conversation with Aaron Wright and Will Langford about Brittany Luby’s book Dammed: The Politics of Loss and Survival in Anishinaabe Territory

This paper explores how Anishinabek women managed their households during the hydroelectric boom of the 1950s and provides new insight into flooding impact analyses. To date, historians have sought to understand  how hydroelectric development compromised “subsistence” living. Research has addressed declining fish and game populations and the corresponding decline in male employment. But, what do these trends mean once the nets and traps have been emptied? By focusing on the family home, we discover that hydro-electric power generation on the Winnipeg River disrupted the environment’s ability to provide resources necessary to maintain women’s reproductive health (especially breast milk). Food shortages caused by hydroelectric development in the postwar era compromised Anishinabek women’s ability to raise their children in accordance with cultural expectations. What emerges from this analysis is a new lens through which to theorize the voluntary enrolment of Anishinabek children in residential schools in northwestern Ontario.

For more info email this person.



The Bald Soprano (Thursday, 8pm, The Pit, Arts and Administration Building) — presented by the King’s Theatrical Society until Dec. 4; tickets and more info here.


The Bald Soprano (Friday and Saturday, 8pm, The Pit, Arts and Administration Building) — see above

In the harbour

05:00: Atlantic Star, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Norfolk, Virginia
06:00: Kitikmeot W, oil tanker, arrives at Pier 9 from Matane, Quebec
09:45: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, arrives at Fairview Cove from Saint-Pierre
10:30: MSC Silvana, container ship, sails from Pier 42 for sea
15:30: Atlantic Star sails for Liverpool, England
17:30: Contship Leo, container ship, sails from Pier 41 for sea
18:45: Acadian, oil tanker, arrives at Irving Oil from Saint John
19:00: Algoma Integrity, bulker, arrives at Gold Bond from Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Cape Breton
06:30: Ionic Anax, oil tanker, sails from Point Tupper for Baybay, Philippines
07:00: Algoma Victory, bulker, sails from Point Tupper coal pier for sea
07:30: Jag Leena, oil tanker, moves from anchorage to Point Tupper
09:30: Paul A. Desgagnes, oil tanker, sails from Government Wharf (Sydney) for sea
12:00: Arctic Lift, barge, with Western Tugger, tug, sail from Aulds Cove quarry north through the causeway
14:00: Inthira Naree, bulker, sails from Pirate Harbour anchorage for sea


The Annapolis Valley Regional Library no longer has late fees.

Unlike Philip Moscovitch yesterday, I didn’t have time to hit the gym before today’s Morning File. I did brush my teeth though. Taking care of myself at my own pace.

Bonus Halifax social media post worth sharing:

A photoshopped photo of Woody the Talking Christmas tree sitting on the black slippery rocks at Peggy's Cove.

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Ethan Lycan-Lang is a Morning File regular, and also writes about environmental issues, poverty, justice, and the rights of the unhoused. He's currently on hiatus in the Yukon, writing for the Whitehorse...

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  1. Not one to usually post a comment but couldn’t resist reading today’s morning file between sets at the gym…glad to see library book was returned, Mom

  2. Took my first trip through the square at Queen’s Marque. The closest I’ve come to claustrophobia in a public space.

    Very disheartening a private developer was permitted to narrow our public waterfront.