News

1. Iain Rankin sworn in as Nova Scotia’s 29th premier

Premier Iain Rankin at his signing-in ceremony. Photo: Communications Nova Scotia

Yesterday Iain Rankin was officially sworn in as the 29th premier of Nova Scotia, taking the reigns from Stephen McNeil who had held the office since the Liberals took power in 2013. Also sworn in at the socially distanced ceremony yesterday were his 16 cabinet members.

After nearly eight years of McNeil, which ended with a year where the former premier addressed the province almost daily with pandemic updates, Rankin is coming in relatively unknown to most Nova Scotians. But he’ll become better known soon enough. Inheriting the office during a pandemic-induced state of emergency, the 37-year-old ran for leadership of his party — and consequently the province — on a “six pillar” platform emphasizing “smart investments in infrastructure, modernized health care, an equitable economic recovery, bold climate action, social equity and racial justice.”

These past few weeks, our reporters have looked at what Rankin is walking into as he assumes the premiership, as well as what issues he should begin to focus on, whether it’s improved transparency in his government or revisiting the McNeil government’s directive to NS Power that’s led to increased biomass burning in the province.

The road ahead isn’t smoothly paved. Even after the pandemic, as Stephen Kimber wrote when Rankin won his party’s leadership race at the start of the month, the new premier will face some daunting challenges:

“After [the] worst has passed, of course, there will be a new and worse worst: a post-pandemic hangover deficit pushing half a billion dollars, coupled with a battered economy that will need time and patience to recover.

But looming realities — the onrushing climate crisis, the legacy of systemic racism — will leave little possibility for patience.

Welcome, Iain Rankin, to the main event.”

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2. COVID-19 Update: three new cases in N.S.

Chart tracking active caseloads through the second wave of the pandemic.

Tim Bousquet has the usual provincial pandemic news, including his map showing potential exposure sites, in full here. Below are the quick hits:

Three new cases of COVID-19 were announced Tuesday, bringing the total number of known cases in Nova Scotia to 20. One person is in ICU with the virus — the only hospitalized case in the province.

Two of the new cases were in the Central Zone. The other new case is in the Western Zone.

As of end of day Monday, 27,966 doses of vaccine have been administered — 16,434 first doses and 11,532 second doses.

The Halifax Examiner is providing all COVID-19 coverage for free. Please help us continue this coverage by subscribing.

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3. Halifax looking to contract out accessible taxi services

An inaccessible van cab pulls away from the curb in downtown Halifax in January 2020. Photo: Zane Woodford

“Hoping to fill a void in the city’s transportation options for people with disabilities, Halifax will contract out accessible taxi services,” writes Zane Woodford:

At its meeting on Tuesday, regional council approved a proposal from Halifax Transit for an “On Demand Private Accessible Transportation Service Contract.”

Currently, people using a wheelchair or other mobility device can take conventional transit, book a trip with Halifax Transit Access-A-Bus, or book a ride with an accessible taxi.

The problem with the third option is that there aren’t enough accessible taxis in HRM to meet demand. Due to the high cost of buying, maintaining and operating the vehicles, typically converted mini-vans, the numbers have been falling for years. According to the staff report to council by Morgan Cox, project planning coordinator, Halifax Transit, there were 56 accessible taxis in HRM in 2015, 19 in 2019, and now there are 11.

More consultation is needed before regional council puts out a tender seeking a contractor to operate up to 10 accessible taxis. The details will need to be sorted out, but the idea is contractors would charge passengers a normal taxi rate, and HRM would pick up the remaining cost on the trip. The annual cost of such an arrangement is estimated to be between $280,000 and $600,000.

Halifax Transit would oversee the contract, though the new taxis would not be an actual “transit service,” nor would they replace Access-a-Bus.

This isn’t a new problem. Council’s considered other solutions before and five years ago (when there were 39 accessible taxis) Erica Butler wrote a piece for the Examiner in which she spoke with an accessible taxi driver concerned even then that the supply of taxis was dwindling despite a steady demand for their service.

Now, it seems the city is close to taking action on the issue. Woodford reports that “the service could be up and running by the end of this year, and after Tuesday’s vote, staff will include $290,000 for the contract in the proposed 2021-2022 Halifax Transit operating budget, to be debated at council’s budget committee March 10.”

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4. Halifax announces bounce-back strategy for tourism following pandemic

Visitor Information Centre on Halifax waterfront. Photo: Suzanne Rent

Last week I gave my two cents on tourism as an industry. My feelings are…mixed. Now, Carolyn Ray reports for the CBC that Halifax has come up with a new strategy for post-pandemic tourism. It involves a year-round approach, instead of a focus on peak months, as well as more promotion of local artists. I like that. The arts, like tourism, took a huge hit during the pandemic, so it’s only fitting they help each other out in the recovery. Here’s an excerpt from Ray’s article:

Halifax’s new tourism strategy will be a year-round effort to showcase the local music scene, launch new events and appeal to international travellers as the municipality looks to rebound post-pandemic from losses of around $800 million so far.

Discover Halifax, the regional marketing association that oversees tourism in the Nova Scotia capital, presented its long-awaited integrated tourism master plan to regional council on Tuesday.

The plan includes 28 ideas to help breathe new life into a struggling sector, including working with the province’s musicians to make Halifax a music destination.

“The opportunity to leverage that talent for live performances, for cultural performances — those things don’t need to be here just in the summertime,” said Ross Jefferson, the CEO of Discover Halifax.

“There are opportunities for us to animate our destination, improve these experiences all year round.”

The organization estimates Halifax saw tourism plunge by 85 per cent last year. It’s a hit that will also be felt this year, with the federal government extending its ban on cruise ships until 2022.

On Thursday at 1pm there’s a livestreamed panel discussion titled “The Road to Recovery for Atlantic Tourism”; you can find the details for that down below in our Events section.

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Views

1. We need to do something about our power infrastructure asap

Power lines in winter. Photo: Unsplash

It’s been a rough month for the Lone Star state. Texas was hit with some uncharacteristic — perhaps soon to be commonplace — cold weather and their power grid wasn’t prepared for it. American news organizations reported an inability to handle the surge in heating that came with the snow, as well as freezing natural gas lines and failing un-winterized wind turbines as leading causes for blackouts that left many without power or heat for long stretches. Some died as a result.

It’s all the more heartbreaking considering, as CNN reported, that “[w]arnings…have gone unheeded in the past. That includes recommendations by FERC [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission] on the need for greater winterization of the Texas grid after a cold snap in 2011 caused less severe blackouts.”

It seems this power failure could be a wake up call that unpredictable weather patterns are already arriving and we need to prepare our infrastructure for the shift. In Texas and other southern states, we now know that part of those preparations will have to include winterizing their power grid.

What about here? How should Nova Scotia prepare its energy grid for the future? Surely we’re more prepared for providing energy in the winter than Amarillo, so we’ll have our own set of changes to consider.

In June of last year, Jennifer Henderson reported on the UARB’s decision to fine NS Power for failure to live up to performance standards in 2019. NS Power had tried to use bad weather as an excuse for failings that year, but the UARB’s decision, which Henderson quoted in the article, says that won’t fly anymore:
[I]t is incumbent upon NS Power to ensure that it has taken sufficient measures to improve the resiliency of its network to withstand higher stresses and improve, or at least maintain, overall service reliability. Performance standards were established to promote continuous improvement. Changing weather patterns should be viewed as a challenge for improving performance, not as a reason for accepting deteriorating performance levels.

We’ve already been looking ahead to the climate crisis and how we’ll have to adapt to it in daily life. Halifax’s climate strategy (HalifACT) includes among its priorities the installation of “zero-emissions back-up power in critical infrastructure” and growing energy storage so that “communities will be more resilient to power outages from extreme weather events.” The strategy also predicts that the number of days over 25 degrees celsius we experience each year in this province could more than triple by the second half of the century. Freezing cold days could increase too. So we might have to prepare for more stress on the grid from increased air conditioning and heating throughout the year.

The most obvious concerns around environmental stress on Nova Scotia’s infrastructure, however, will be increased hurricanes and rising tides.

This week, the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo released a report on the flood preparedness of cities across Canada. Halifax received a B- (improving from a D grade received in the Centre’s 2015 report) but the report noted that “Critical Infrastructure Risk Mitigation” was a weak point for the city: “Halifax has not yet conducted a complete flood risk assessment on all of its critical electrical infrastructure, and moreover, the city lacks a formalized approach to address this area of potential vulnerability.”

Considering Nova Scotia Power’s headquarters could move from Lower Water Street to Under Water Street by the end of the century, that’s something worth assessing ASAP. It’s not like NS Power has a perfect track record with preventing long blackouts as things are.

Our above ground power lines, I suppose, are better suited for flooding, but it’s no secret that they don’t hold up during the wind storms that increasingly batter our coasts. After Dorian took out power for over half the province, Michael Tutton reported for the Canadian Press that experts were calling for Atlantic provinces to shore up their energy infrastructure against more extreme weather. The article began like this:

In an era when the intensity of hurricanes is expected to increase across Atlantic Canada, experts say major changes are needed to utility grids, shoreline defences and even the types of trees being planted.

Work continued Wednesday to reconnect customers after post-tropical storm Dorian knocked out power to 80 per cent of homes and businesses in Nova Scotia. By mid-afternoon there were just under 55,000 customers without electricity in the province, compared with 400,000 at the storm’s peak on the weekend.

It continues with a consideration of power lines:

Some utility industry veterans say the storms should prompt quicker change among electrical and telecommunications utilities whose lines and equipment are broken when trees fall.

Erni Wiebe, former director of distribution at Manitoba Hydro, says Atlantic utilities have to rethink the conventional wisdom that burying lines is too expensive.

It seems every September we have the same chat about whether we should bury the lines, but the response is always that it’s too costly. (I believe the “too costly” argument was also used when Texas considered winterizing their power grid a decade ago). It’s a debate we’re likely to have every fall now.

Last January, when I was still at King’s College, my classmate Michael Trombetta wrote a piece for the Signal on the debate over burying power lines. In it, he spoke with a representative from NS Power who said burying the lines would cost roughly $1 million per kilometre. On top of that, when underground lines go out, it’s a much larger hassle to do repairs. These are serious considerations.

So we should seriously consider them. What is the best way to adapt our electrical infrastructure? What are the upfront costs versus the long-term if we do nothing? Will we have to wait for a Texas-level emergency to start looking at how we’ll have to change the way we operate?

It’s time to consider the upfront costs in contrast to the long-term payments a changing climate will force us to make down the road.

For now, NS Power will try to meet its (now extended) deadline to have 40% renewable energy in the province by 2022, very likely without any hydro contribution from Muskrat Falls. We’ll see how that goes… And the company will continue to aim toward phasing out carbon by 2040. These are admirable (and hopefully attainable) goals that could, with global concerted effort, help decrease extreme weather in the future. But it won’t stop extreme weather from coming altogether. It’s already becoming a pattern. Phasing out fossil fuels as an energy source will have to be combined with a plan to protect our energy infrastructure from new weather events.

You could say we need to be looking ahead, but, in light of recent hurricanes, data on rising sea levels and this month’s winter storm in Texas, it’s not even looking ahead at this point, it’s looking around.

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Noticed:

Grey squirrels… again

A friendly neighbourhood grey squirrel visiting my attic in December. Photo: Ethan Lang

In December, I wrote about two grey squirrels who’d found a hole in my eavestrough and were wreaking havoc in my attic. I have some updates I wanted to share.

In the grand human tradition of slapping a band-aid on a structural problem, my roommate and I had a wire cage put over the hole soon after I wrote that article, with the intention to replace the rot around our roof in the spring. But the squirrels soon found another (still secret) way in and carried on with their occasional scampering through our walls.

These past few weeks I started to notice more activity and noise than usual. Enough to wake me up at 6 a.m. and distract me from writing during the afternoons. Now I know why — our squirrel couple has turned into a squirrel family. We’re full-on infested.

Outside the imminent fear of an electrical fire caused by a chewed wire, I’m afraid of how big a pile of acorns and feces we’ll find once warmer weather lets us start on some much-needed house repairs. And then there’s the noise. Fun fact: a one-pound squirrel running through your walls makes roughly the same sound as a 15-pound bowling ball rolling down a staircase.

The other morning, while the squirrels were too loud for me to sleep but I was too tired to get up, I lay in bed searching the web for a way to get rid of the squirrels now without killing them. I didn’t find an answer. I did find a paper published in the Northeastern Naturalist that hypothesized how this species first invaded Nova Scotia before invading my house:

[A] report from the Halifax Evening Express, dated 17 June 1864… stated: “ … a small colony of gray squirrels presented to the Province by Mr. Thomas Leahy, who brought them up from Philadelphia. These were placed in a tree near the Province building … to be released in the wild within a fortnight to 3 weeks.”

Damn you, Mr. Leahy.

Ultimately I was unable to find any solutions, other than waiting for spring to fix the rotted section the squirrels keep burrowing through, or calling to have them exterminated.

But I did find something arguably better than a solution to my problem: someone worse off than me. In this case, that someone is the United Kingdom. Just like here, the grey squirrels are invasive to Britain. They’ve become such a problem — destroying forests and wiping out the native red squirrel population who compete for the same resources — that the British government has been brainstorming ways to eliminate the grey squirrel for years now.

Last month, the BBC reported that the government has come up with a creative way to tackle their problem with grey squirrels without resorting to culling them. I thought it was such an amusing read — despite actually being a serious problem over there — that I’d like to share it with you.

So what’s the proposed solution? Justin Rowlatt, the BBC’s chief environmental correspondent, reports:

Environment minister Lord Goldsmith says the damage they and other invasive species do to the UK’s woodlands costs the UK economy £1.8 billion a year.

The bizarre-sounding plan is to lure grey squirrels into feeding boxes only they can access with little pots containing hazelnut spread.

These would be spiked with an oral contraceptive.

I don’t know why, but I had such a good laugh reading this report. First off, the idea of family planning for squirrels and the potential for a sexual revolution among rodents. I wondered if the Vatican would respond, or family values groups. I also wondered if Nutella-based contraceptives will be an option for humans now. I think some people would buy them.

This is actually a serious problem for Great Britain, according to the article. On top of the economic hit mentioned above and the impact of grey squirrels on the UK’s native red squirrel, Britain’s environment minister says “damage from squirrels also threatens the effectiveness of government efforts to tackle climate change by planting tens of thousands of acres of new woodlands” since they kill so many trees with their bark diet.

But — call me childish — I just couldn’t get past the idea of safe sex for squirrels.

The report says squirrel contraception was first proposed in 2017 and could be up to 90% effective in limiting grey squirrel reproduction. So the results could be promising. Unfortunately for me, my squirrels have already multiplied and, while I support safe sex, it wouldn’t help my noise problem.

Over in England though, the plan has the Prince of Wales’s backing. The BBC reports that Prince Charles considers the grey squirrel problem a personal passion. He was apparently “instrumental in founding the UK Squirrel Accord with the objective of ‘managing the negative impacts of invasive grey squirrels in the UK.’”

Originally, I just wanted these squirrels out of my house for myself, but now I’ll be eradicating them for Queen and Country.

So, in summary, there’s a plan to essentially trick grey squirrels into taking “the pill;” the monarchy is on board with it (thank goodness they broke with the Vatican all those years ago); and to help implement it, a national “Squirrel Accord” has been created. I didn’t realize how deep this grey squirrel problem goes. I thought I was simply trying to get rid of some rodents, but I might be in over my head.

The full article just makes me smile. Check it out for a laugh, or for a serious look at how one country deals with an immense environmental problem we might face here one day. That Northeastern Naturalist paper I mentioned (which was admittedly published 10 years ago) concludes that grey squirrel numbers will likely continue to rise here:

Although the future ecological impact of the Eastern Gray Squirrel in Nova Scotia is unknown, it seems likely that this highly adaptable species can be expected to expand its range and increase in abundance in the province in the decades ahead.

For future attics and inner walls everywhere in this province (as well as our trees and red squirrels), maybe we should start investing in some Nutella now.

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Government

City

Wednesday

Budget Committee (Wednesday, 9:30am) — live webcast, with live captioning on a text-only site

Heritage Advisory Committee (Wednesday, 3pm) — virtual meeting; no live or dial-in broadcast

Regional Centre Community Council (Wednesday, 7pm) — live webcast, with live captioning on a text-only site

Thursday

Transportation Standing Committee (Thursday, 1pm) — live stream of audio and all PowerPoint presentations

Province

Wednesday

Human Resources (Wednesday, 10am) — Video conference with streamed text: Safe return to class fund and agency; board and commission appointments. With Cathy Montreuil, David Potter, and Andrew Coates.

Thursday

Natural Resources and Economic Development (Thursday, 10am) — video conference with streamed text. Agenda: Housing, housing affordability, and economic development, featuring Catherine Berliner, Christine Gibbons, Martin Laycock, and Stephan Richard from the Dept. of Municipal Affairs and Housing; Ren Thomas from Dalhousie’s School of Planning; Welcome Housing and Support Services; and the South Shore Housing Action Coalition.

On campus

Dalhousie

Wednesday

Safe Space for White Questions February Edition (Wednesday, 12:30pm) — live streamed on Fernwood Publishing’s YouTube channel.

This is a series of free, public, monthly drop-in sessions that are open to all but aimed at people who identify as white and are interested in working toward collective liberation. Come ask the questions about race, racism, social change, and social justice you always wonder about but feel nervous asking. You won’t offend us (unless you’re trying to—please don’t do that!)

Teaching While Black (Wednesday, 5:30pm) — Online panel discussion with Josephine Etowa, Buster C. Ogbuagu, Barb Hamilton-Hinch​, Emmanuel Yiridoe, and Sara Torres; moderated by Pemberton Cyrus. Registration and more info here.

A Conversation with The BlackNorth Initiative (Wednesday, 7pm) — livestreamed Shaar Shalom Lecture with Wes Hall and Dahabo Ahmed Omer, who will

discuss the historical context and cultural impact of systemic anti-Black racism in Canada, consider the influence of the Black Lives Matter movement, and share data showcasing evidence of anti-Black racism. Leave this virtual event with knowledge and actions you can take to become an active ally, create real change in your community, and help end anti-Black systemic racism.

Resistance as Practice: Acts of AntiRacism Through Architecture & Planning (Wednesday, 7pm) — via Zoom, the inaugural Robert H. Winters lecture, with Vernelle Noel from the University of Florida. More info here.

Thursday

Novel approaches to colorectal and breast cancer treatment (Thursday, 11am) — Kirill Rosen will talk via MS Teams.

A New Beginning with President Biden: European Priorities for the Transatlantic Agenda (Thursday, 11:30am) —  an online lecture with Markus Kaim from the German Institute for International and Security affairs, Berlin.

The Road to Recovery for Atlantic Tourism (Thursday, 1pm) — livestream panel discussion with Tom Baum from the University of Strathclyde, Scotland; Melissa Cherry, Destinations International; Ross Jefferson, Discover Halifax; Michele McKenzie, McKenzie Business Strategies; and Kevin Quigley, MacEachern Institute.

The tourism sector contributes significantly to the Nova Scotian economy, employing 10.8% of the working population and generating $2.64 billion in revenue in 2019. COVID-19, however, has devastated the tourism sector, with annual accommodations sales down 55% as of October 2020 and the events industry laying off 75% of its employees due to event cancellations and revenue losses.

A faltering tourism economy can have a wide-ranging impact. Tourism employs people from many groups in society, including equity deserving populations, immigrants, those without a high school diploma, and workers under the age of 25. Rural communities have also felt the impact, losing tourism is an important revenue source where alternatives are limited. With these impacts and the pandemic’s uncertainty, what can the government do to support this strategic sector for our region in the post-pandemic recovery?​

Why hyperbolic space disobeys social distancing (Thursday, 2:30pm) — Alina Stancu from Concordia University will talk in the Math Zoom Room.

The fundamental gap conjecture has been proved a few years ago after quite some time. It states that for any convex domain $\Omega$ in $\mathbb{R}^n$, with diameter $D$, the difference between the first two eigenvalues of the Dirichlet Laplacian on $\Omega$ (called the fundamental gap) satisfies the inequality $(\lambda_2-\lambda_1)D^2 \geq 3\pi^2$. Soon afterwards, the exact same inequality was shown for convex domains on the sphere $\mathbb{S}^n$. Naturally, people inquired about the fundamental gap on the remaining space of constant curvature, the hyperbolic space $\mathbb{H}^n$.

In work with collaborators, T. Bourni, J. Clutterbuck, X.H. Nguyen, G. Wei and V.M. Wheeler, we have shown that for any diameter $D$, there exists a convex domain in $\mathbb{H}^n$ with diameter $D$ for which the fundamental gap can be made arbitrarily small, hence ignoring distancing. I will outline the history of the problem, focusing on the similarities and differences between its features on Euclidean and hyperbolic spaces with the aim of giving an intuitive idea of why the fundamental gap conjecture fails in $\mathbb{H}^n$.

Gene Anne Joseph. Photo: M.V. Williams

Reflections of a First Nations librarian from the 1970s to the present (Thursday, 5:30pm) — Gene Anne Joseph will give the Dalhousie-Horrocks National Leadership Lecture online. Info and RSVP here

Saint Mary’s

Wednesday

African Heritage Month Trivia (Wednesday, 7pm) — test your knowledge of the movies Black Panther and Now You See us, via Zoom

Thursday

SMU in Action: “We Been Here” – SMU Black Alumni panel (Thursday, 7pm) — Zoom discussion with five Saint Mary’s University Black alumni to discuss their experiences at SMU, their professional careers, the rich histories and traditions of African Nova Scotians, and their commitment to service. Featuring Candace Thomas, Kwame Watkins, and Bria Daye; co-organized by Rachel Zellars, and hosted and moderated by Delvina Bernard, a 6th generation African Nova Scotian who traces her roots to the the Black Loyalists of 1783 and Black Refugees of 1812.


In the harbour

06:30, Nolhan Ava, ro-ro cargo ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Saint-Pierre
08:00, MSC Angela, container ship, sails from Pier 41 for sea
13:00, Imedghassen, container ship, sails from Pier 34 for sea
15:30, Boheme, car carrier, moves from Autoport to Pier 31
18:30, MSC Brianna, container ship, arrives at Pier 41 from Sines, Portugal
22:30, Boheme, sails for sea


Footnotes

I see Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen have a new podcast now. I can’t help but believe they got the idea while hanging out and chatting over a pint:

OBAMA: Dude, is it just me or should we start a podcast? I mean, every time we get together our conversations are just hilarious!
SPRINGSTEEN: Man! I was actually just thinking the same thing. Like, we have some pretty good banter when we hang out. Some of it’s gold.
OBAMA: Right?! And we’d just have to record ourselves being ourselves for like an hour a week. It wouldn’t even be that hard.
SPRINGSTEEN: I really think people would listen!

I don’t care if you’re the Boss or the Leader of the Free World, that’s how all podcasts are born. No exceptions.
In all seriousness, it looks pretty interesting.

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Ethan Lycan-Lang

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. HRM started the year with a bang – 3 murders in 50 days. Can a journalist ask Mayor Savage if he welcomes federal proposals to allow municipalities to ban guns ?

    1. The municipal handgun ban is extremely unlikely to have prevented any of these murders had it been in effect already.

      A legally acquired handgun from a municipality with no ban or an illegal import from the USA could have been used. It is pure political theater – the fact that the municipal handgun bans won’t work is actually a feature – because then Ottawa can Do Something again, and again, and again.

  2. As for the power outages in Nova Scotia, why are there so many there compared to New Brunswick? It is remarkable. I’ve heard it said it is because the trees aren’t cut back from the lines, and given you hardly can see the road signs in some parts of Nova Scotia due to the trees and bushes being allowed to grow in, there may be something to that. But is the reason given for not putting more lines underground accurate? I never trust estimates given by public authorities for any job that requires a major change in thinking and doing things, and other utilities are underground. Also how often do the lines underground in downtowns of cities have to be dug up for maintenance? If the lines were underground presumably they would not need as much maintenance anyway. Many of the lines in Europe are underground, so how do they do it?

    1. The electrical and telephone and cable services on Barrington Street in Halifax were put underground in the early 80’s, and on Spring Garden Road not much later. I don’t think they’ve had to be dug up at all…..don’t get me started on NSP’s rural tree-trimming efforts. The contractor goes along in a big truck with cutter and cuts the trees off about 4 feet below the lines. Talk about how to have work forever!! Even a spruce tree can be up and all around the lines again in 10 years; hardwoods accomplish it in 3 or 4. Cut the bushes down to the ground. BUT NO SPRAYING.

  3. Great to see that Discover Nova Scotia is going to push NS as a music destination. We’ve got some many super talented people here.
    I remember the old days when live music was ripping through HFX (the 90s, and now so many of those live venues are gone. Maybe this will be the start of a revitalization of all that?
    NS should be as well know for live music as Austin or Nashville, hands down.

  4. We had a racoon set up house in the attic of our cottage. Hope for Wildlife recommended putting a light and transistor radio in the attic 24/7 and it seemed to work. I believe CJFX was the station – might work for squirrels?

    1. I heard CBC. Seriously! Because the invaders adapt to music but not talking… Heard that on the CBC too! ???? No idea if it’s true…

  5. Gray squirrels are second only to raccoons for destructiveness. That which works for rats will also work for them, but if you don’t want to go that route, live-trap them and release them miles away. They are fairly easy to live trap, as they are greedy things and will go into the traps after a few peanuts, and are heavy enough to spring the trap. You can buy the traps at hardware stores. But you have to find out where they are getting in and fix that too. It probably won’t be an issue in the city, I don’t know, but in rural areas if squirrels are getting in, weasels sometimes will go in after them.

  6. We had friends with a squirrel situation like yours, and as they were struggling with the problem, neighbours were putting out food for the squirrels.