News

1. Clearwater

Chief Terrance Paul and Clearwater CEO Ian Smith do their photo-op aboard the clam vessel, Anne Risley.

“Last week, Clearwater Seafoods Inc. released a triumphant joint statement, announcing a 50-year partnership agreement with 14 Nova Scotia and Newfoundland First Nations to benefit together from the $100-million-a-year surf clam fishery,” writes Stephen Kimber.

However, “what began as an act of reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous peoples will likely end up as yet another ‘landmark’ in the continuing process of corporate co-opting and colonialism.”

Click here to read “Clearwater wins. Again. Still. Always. And forever.”

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2. “Clearcut”


“Nova Scotians who signed up to receive proposed harvest plans on Crown land might have noticed some disturbing changes recently,” wrote Linda Pannozzo last month. “As of a few days ago the maps no longer specify whether a proposed cut is a “clearcut” or not. The word was removed from the legend and the list of harvest prescription types.”

This article was originally for subscribers only, but we’ve now made it available for all to read.

Click here to read “By Any Other Name: Nova Scotia’s Department of Lands and Forestry just made ‘Clearcuts’ disappear.”

3. Yarmouth ferry

I’ve obtained Bay Ferries’ contract with the town of Bar Harbor, Maine. Actually, the lease is between the town of Bar Harbor and Atlantic Fleet Services (AFS), a corporation registered in Maine and owned by Annette Higgins of Bar Harbor; Bay Ferries contracts operation of the ferry terminal out to AFS.

AFS obtained a five-year lease (from February 19, 2019 to October 31, 2024), with a one-year option for renewal, for the ferry terminal and customs operations area on the Bar Harbor waterfront, which includes exclusive rights to a “ferry operations zone” in the harbour itself for operation of the boat and security, etc.

The lease defines a minimum annual payment of $200,000 ($168,500 this year, as it’s only a partial year of operations) to be paid on November 1. But the lease includes fees based on passenger and vehicle numbers, with the hope that the minimum payment will be exceeded.

To wit, AFS is leasing the facilities for $4,500 in non-operating months, and $7,500 in operating months. Operating months are envisioned as June through October and if the ferry doesn’t operate throughout an entire month, that month’s lease will be prorated. Additionally, AFS is to pay fees of $2 per passenger, $3 per vehicle (left undefined), and $20 per bus. Unlike the previous lease with the city of Portland, there is no discounted fee for motorcycles. The lease provides these illustrative scenarios:

Those are some ambitious scenarios, as when the ferry landed in Portland the best recent year saw just 50,187 passengers.

The lease was signed concurrent with a US$1 million guarantee from the Province of Nova Scotia, should AFS not pay.

Additionally, should the annual rents and fees paid by Bay Ferries to Bar Harbor exceed $250,000, the additional amount (up to $100,000) will be “deducted by Tenant [AFS] as a contribution against capital expenditures made by the Province.” The lease, however, does not say what the total dollar amount of the capital expenditures made by the province are. The lease does say, however, that the tenant will make improvements to the Customs area as required by US Customs and Border Patrol; these improvements are apparently to be paid for by the province, although the lease doesn’t come right out and say that.

Click here to read the lease.

By comparison, the 2017 lease with the city of Portland was for $4,500/month in the off-season, and just over $4,000/month during the sailing season. But Portland had a different fee schedule:

  • Passenger (the first 60,000 per Operating Season) — $2
  • Passenger (over 60,000) — $3.50
  • Bicycle — $0.50
  • Motorcycle — $1
  • Passenger Vehicle (the first 60,000 per Operating Season) — $3
  • Passenger Vehicle (over 60,000) — $5
  • Passenger Vehicle with Camper/Utility Trailer — $5
  • Recreational Vehicles/Motor Homes — $5
  • Straight Trucks — $10
  • Tour Busses/Motor Coaches — $20

Portland also charged for $75/month per space of parking.

3. Crusaders

The Catholic high school I attended (I graduated in 1980) was big on sports. The football team had its ups and downs, but the basketball team always excelled — the boys’ team ushered some players onto college teams, and the girls’ team was especially outstanding in those pre-Title IX days (it couldn’t have hurt that across town the Old Dominion University’s women’s team was then a national powerhouse that provided local inspiration to younger girls). We had the usual collection of other sports, too. I ran track and cross country, some friends were on the swim team, and I seem to have memory of the existence of a tennis team, although I’m certain I never attended a match.

All the teams were called the “Crusaders.” I never gave the name a second thought. In school, I got a pretty good history education, and even took courses in Church History. Weirdly, though, while we spent a great deal of time on things like the Councils of Nicaea and Trent, and we had remarkably judgment-free courses in comparative religion that considered Islam among other faiths, I don’t recall that we spent much time on the crusades. I vaguely knew they were Medieval wars to retake the Holy Land, but that’s about it.

So when the cheerleaders were bouncing around the sidelines and yelling encouragement for “The Crusaders” on the basketball court, I didn’t consider the historical and cultural implications of the team name. My mind was elsewhere.

It wasn’t until I got to college that I gave crusadering more attention. I learned that, like all wars, the crusades had domestic purposes, including keeping the warring classes and professional soldiers occupied somewhere the hell out of Europe so that wealthy people could get on with high culture and chivalry and debating the number of angels on the head of a pin without some wannabe knight errant showing up to disrupt the party. I also learned that the crusaders did a lot of rampaging of Christian places like Constantinople. But mostly I came to understand that the centuries-long battle for the Holy Land is the defining event for the relationship between Christianity and Islam, and now between western countries and the Middle East. Celebrating the crusades is, in effect, saying “we” (Christians, westerners) have the absolute godly right to take the land “they” (Muslims, Arabs) are living on and “we” generally get to define what’s what. It’s a notion that is offensive to Muslims and Arabs, and rightly so.

Some years ago they tore down my old high school and built a shiny new one out in the suburbs. The new school was renamed after a bishop, but they kept the sports teams’ name, The Crusaders. I’m sure no actual thought went into this; it was just tradition. To this day there are, no doubt, bouncing cheerleaders encouraging on The Crusaders from the sidelines, and young boys and girls are watching on, not considering the historical and cultural implications of the team name, as their minds are elsewhere.

Which brings me to the Dartmouth Crusaders swim team. Like my old/new high school, I’m sure the people associated with the Dartmouth team are basically good people who haven’t given their team name a second thought, or even a first thought. It’s just the traditional name for the team, probably goes back many decades.

But the world has changed, and with those changes we’re tasked with being a little more reflective. And while we’re reflecting, we might consider that we have welcomed lots of Syrian refugees into our community, and that some of the Syrian-Canadian children might be living in Dartmouth and might want to become swimmers. The team name will present challenges to them, and is suggestive of a community that isn’t really as welcoming as it likes to portray itself.

Lately, we’ve had some horrific mass murders in mosques. One of those happened right here in Canada. The killers no doubt see themselves as “crusaders” engaged in a holy war, fighting for Christendom and against Islam.

In the wake of the New Zealand mosque murders, there are calls to rename that city’s champion rugby team, now called the Canterbury Crusaders, reports Arab News. Almost predictably, the team is resisting the name change. Let’s hope the Dartmouth Crusaders can rise to the occasion and make a simple name change themselves. Be on the right side of history.

And while I’m on the subject of unthinking tradition, let me renew my call for whoever organizes the annual Remembrance Day ceremony at the Dartmouth cenotaph to drop the singing of Onward Christian Soldiers. I don’t go to the ceremony precisely because that song is sung. It’s insulting to Canadian soldiers (who are not, or at least shouldn’t be, fighting for Christendom) and it sends the wrong message to the community. Cut it out already.

4. Free advertising, CTV edition

I don’t care about the titillation of the subject matter:

More Canadian university students are becoming ‘sugar babies’ to pay their tuition, and that includes hundreds of students in the Maritimes.

The controversial practice involves selling companionship for cash. A website called Seeking Arrangement connects the so-called sugar babies with wealthy sugar daddies or sugar mommas, who provide money or gifts in exchange for time spent.

According to a recent report from Seeking Arrangements, more than 300,000 university students across Canada are using the website to pay off their student debt.

The University of Toronto took the top spot for having the most sugar babies on the website, while Dalhousie University has the most sugar babies in the Maritimes, ranking 19 on the top-20 list.

Seeking Arrangements says 69 students at the Halifax university signed up for the website in 2018, bringing the total number of Dalhousie sugar babies to 391.

The reason I don’t care about the titillation aspect of the story is because it’s all bullshit.

Why should we believe any of the “article”? Every stat in the article is provided by the website owner — a self-interested and unnamed party — and there’s no indication that the stats were independently verified. No competitor is named. And there are competitors, including sugardaddy.com. Evidently, SeekingArrangement simply sent out a press release, and that was uncritically regurgitated by a lazy reporter who didn’t want to go find a real story. It’s that easy.

And caution is called for here. Forget the quasi-legality of the sex-for-money formula; such sites are shady on their own terms. The anonymity of the website owners is a red flag. The seeking.com site (the site for SeekingArrangement) is registered to Clover8 Investments Pte Ltd in Singapore, at an address that is located in this house:

For what it’s worth, the competing sugardaddy.com is registered through a hosting company in the Cayman Islands that shields the identity of the company that runs the site. Neither company makes its owners, board directors, or executives public.

But one thing we know about such sites is they typically create false profiles in order to separate the gullible from their money. That is to say, seeking.com might have 391 profiles that purport to be Dalhousie university students, but how many of them are actual people?

Old people with too much money: Don’t be stupid. CTV reporters: Don’t facilitate the scam.

I could kind of understand CTV doing this if there were some real money for CTV involved — and the whole thing stinks of advertorial. Except I have no doubt that CTV wasn’t paid a penny for it.

Legacy media are laying off reporters left and right and are otherwise reeling from collapsing ad sales, and yet they continue to give away free advertising.


Views

1. Haunting

“I  was recently engaged in some research on ‘patent’ and ‘latent’ defects in the context of real estate law,” writes Halifax lawyer Barbara Darby:

Patent defects are those obvious ones, discoverable by ordinary diligence or inspection. They can be described usually as being apparent to the naked eye or at least apparent if you bothered to look.

Latent defects, on the other hand, are sneaky because they are not readily visible.  Perhaps these categories are useful in explaining why some relationships don’t last: “Honey, I knew that you had the patent defect of terrible fashion sense, but I had no idea of the latent defect, that you’d start snoring each night after you reached the age of 30.”

There is an onus on sellers, if not romantic partners, to disclose latent defects that they are aware of, and if they fail to do so, they can be liable to the purchaser for misrepresenting the condition of the property.

Darby brings us to “this gem: 1784773 Ont. Inc. v. K-W Labour Association et al, 2013 ONSC 5401 (CanLII),” which is the hilarious case of Trajan Fisca, who bought a building from a Mr. Kramer, presumably the K in K-W. After the sale, Kramer joked that the building was haunted, and Fisca sued for $1 million, “claiming the vendor hid a ‘latent defect’: ‘the existence of a death and or murder at the subject property.’”

Continues Darby:

Evidence as to the existence of the ghosts was….suspect. The Court:

In essence what we have is a double hearsay rumor about a ghost from a couple of people after they had consumed a few beers at a social function. There is no proof or even suggestion that a death took place in the building.

More importantly, the Court determined (my emphasis) “There is no evidence before me as to how the plaintiff would prove the existence of a ghost.”  Case dismissed.

Before dismissing, the Court veers off in a slightly odd direction, musing that “In any event the vendor is not liable for damages for a latent defect of which he has knowledge unless it renders the premises unfit for habitation or dangerous.” This suggests to me that the presence of ghosts that don’t render the place unfit, or the “friendly ghost” is an acceptable latent defect.  Amityville Horror vs. Beetlejuice.

Read the whole post, especially to the end where there’s an important Venn diagram that will save much embarrassment.


Government

City

Monday

Board of Police Commissioners (Monday, 12:30pm, City Hall) — looks like most of the meeting will be in camera.

Halifax Peninsula Planning Advisory Committee (Monday, 4:30pm, City Hall) — nothing is on the agenda.

Tuesday

Lake Echo Community Park – Engagement Meeting (Tuesday, 6:30pm, Lake Echo Community Recreation Society) — from the listing:

You are invited to participate in the next phase of the park planning process. Join us as we unveil a park concept that was informed by the public feedback collected during the fall of 2018.

Province

No public meetings this week.


On campus

Dalhousie

Monday

Afrofuturism: a panel discussion (Monday, 12pm, Room 3089, Rowe Management Building) — a panel discussion with Asha Jeffers, Isaac Saney, and Kewoba Carter. From the listing:

This event is presented by the Dalhousie Libraries in support of this year’s Dal Reads book, Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson. Set in the near future in a dystopic Toronto, Brown Girl in the Ring contains themes of folklore, feminism, and magic realism steeped in Afro-Caribbean culture.

DiabetesRelated Behavior Change Knowledge Transfer to Primary Care Practitioners and Patients: Implementation and Evaluation of a Digital Health Platform (Monday, 12:30pm, Room 409, Centre for Clinical Research) — Samina Abidi will speak.

Lisa Rosenberg. Photo: Daniel M. Germán

Diverse Roles of the MPR2 Fragment in Homogeneous Catalysis (Monday, 1:30pm, Room 226, Chemistry Building) — Lisa Rosenberg from the University of Victoria will speak.

Watching the Watchers: How Commercial Surveillance Opens Spies to Scrutiny (Monday, 4pm, Ondaatje Auditorium, Marion McCain Building) — Bill Marczak from The Citizen Lab at University of Toronto, and a co-founder of Bahrain Watch, will talk about targeted threats, digital media, and human rights.​

Discussion on Diversity and Inclusiveness at Dalhousie (Monday, 6pm, McInnes Room, Student Union Building) — from the listing:

This event has been planned in response to feedback from and in collaboration with students, and will have a student focus; however staff and faculty are welcome to attend. It provides an opportunity to discuss the significant progress that has been made on Strategic Priority 5.2, Dalhousie’s Diversity and Inclusiveness Strategy, and hear from members of our community.

The evening’s discussion will include a presentation from Strategic Priority 5.2 co-leads Jasmine Walsh (Assistant Vice-President, Human Resources) and Barb Hamilton-Hinch (Assistant Professor, School of Health and Human Performance) followed by a World Café-style facilitated discussion with senior administration and members of the Strategic Priority 5.2 Steering Committee. Attendees will be encouraged to share their experiences and perspectives on how Dalhousie can continue to move its equity, diversity and inclusiveness efforts forward.

Tuesday

Thesis Defence, Chemistry (Tuesday, 9:30am, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building) — PhD candidate Fabien Lindeperg will defend his thesis, “Investigation of P-H, O-H, and Si-H Oxidative Addition Involving Group 9 Metal Psip Complexes.”

Halifax Planetarium. Photo: astronomynovascotia.ca

The Stars have No Break (Tuesday, 3:15pm, Room 120, Dunn Building) — the Halifax Planetarium’s March Break family show. $5, reservations required, leave kids under 7 out in the car. More info here.

Free tax clinic (Tuesday, 5:30pm, room 5001, Rowe Management Building) — volunteers will assist those with a modest income and simple tax filing to file taxes on their own. Contact person here.


In the harbour

05:30: Faust, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from Southampton, England
06:00: Tropic Hope, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Philipsburg, St. Maarten
07:00: Lomur, cargo ship, arrives at Pier 41 from Argentia, Newfoundland
10:00: USCGC Seneca, US Coast Guard Cutter, sails from Dockyard
10:30: Lomur sails for Portland
11:30: Atlantic Sun, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for Liverpool, England
15:00: Brighton, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Norfolk
16:30: Tropic Hope sails for Palm Beach, Florida
16:30: Faust sails for New York

Where are the Canadian military ships?



Footnotes

I still haven’t recovered from the time change.


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Tim Bousquet

Tim Bousquet is the editor and publisher of the Halifax Examiner. Twitter @Tim_Bousquet Mastodon

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  1. ” Crusades, military expeditions, beginning in the late 11th century, that were organized by western European Christians in response to centuries of Muslim wars of expansion. Their objectives were to check the spread of Islam, to retake control of the Holy Land in the eastern Mediterranean, to conquer pagan areas, and to recapture formerly Christian territories; they were seen by many of their participants as a means of redemption and expiation for sins. Between 1095, when the First Crusade was launched, and 1291, when the Latin Christians were finally expelled from their kingdom in Syria

    Approximately two-thirds of the ancient Christian world had been conquered by Muslims by the end of the 11th century, including the important regions of Palestine, Syria, Egypt, and Anatolia. The Crusades, attempting to check this advance, initially enjoyed success, founding a Christian state in Palestine and Syria, but the continued growth of Islamic states ultimately reversed those gains. By the 14th century the Ottoman Turks had established themselves in the Balkans and would penetrate deeper into Europe despite repeated efforts to repulse them.”
    https://www.britannica.com/event/Crusades

    1. It is utterly pointless to look at the history of two broadly defined groups of people (MENA people and Europeans) who have been in conflict for over 1000 years and try and paint one group as innocent and one group as oppressors. The purpose of a narrative where one group is evil for no reason but the blackness of their hearts is to dehumanize the ‘oppressor’ group and justify violence against them by the ‘victim’ group.

  2. The fact that the Crusaders renaming should even be an issue is encouraging. We are bending the arc back ever so slowly.

    We just need to get rid of Trump and Bolsonaro and Orban and Netanyahu and Duterte and……

    1. Although I think a lot of ‘PC’ stuff is just an attempt to replace functional language with thought-terminating cliches, I agree about the Crusaders thing. Although the history of the relationship between Christian-or-not Europeans and Muslim-or-not MENA people is hardly as one-sided as it is fashionable to pretend it is, it is still wrong to identify with the Crusaders – why dredge up old conflict? At least pick a military organization that actually defended Europe rather than going and killing people in the holy land for dubious reasons and providing would-be Islamic conquerors with a justification to gin up their troops with before setting off to invade Austria or something.

  3. Another good example of reprehensible, presumably free, advertising is that of Atlantic lotto …
    Both having “news” items about how big the next prize will be and photo ops with the winners.