At a reader’s suggestion, I’m adding the following table of contents tool so you can jump and link to specific sections. Let me know if you like/dislike it and I’ll keep/ditch it.

On campus
In the harbour


1. Wellington Street development

So many people came to speak against the development proposal for two high-rise apartment buildings on Wellington Street that Halifax council had to postpone its vote on the project until the next council meeting, which isn’t until January 13. Metro’s Ruth Davenport outlasted the rest of the reporters and stayed throughout the meeting, to midnight, I think.

An architectural rendering of the proposed buildings is plopped atop a google map.
An architectural rendering of the proposed Wellington Street buildings.

Good on the opponents. The neighbours don’t want the development. Both peninsula councillors are opposed to the project. City staff says it breaks development rules not just for the area but in general—this project is so bad it couldn’t be built downtown, or for that matter in any other city in Canada. The buildings are too close together, and unlike the dozens of other buildings being constructed in Halifax, there is no step back from the street. If built, they will create a wind tunnel and unbroken shadow over the neighbourhood. They will be miserable even for the people living in them. And yet, here they are, being shoved upon a residential neighbourhood in the south end.

The Wellington Street proposal has only gotten so far as it has because of a factionalism on council. Suburban councillors closely aligned with the development industry—like Linda Mosher, who chairs the Halifax and West Community Council—have been pushing this project forward despite its many flaws and the objections to it.

My read is that there’s a certain pique among the pro-development councillors right now. I can’t explain it. Is it a reaction to city staff banning developer George Armoyan from city offices? Is it some special love for Steve Tsimiklis, the problematic developer of the Wellington Street project? Or is it simply political jockeying for developer contributions going into the 2016 election season? I don’t know.

But earlier in yesterday’s meeting, councillor Barry Dalrymple decried a proposed short delay in approving an eight-storey apartment building on Maynard Street so that staff can put together some basic planning principles for the immediate area, a historically black neighbourhood that is seeing unprecedented construction of apartment buildings. ‘I’m sick and tired of plans,” said Dalrymple. Council should “do everything conceivably possibly to move development forward,” chimed in councillor Bill Karsten. Council approved the Maynard project unanimously.

Charges of undue government obstruction of development are off base. I think there should be a check on development—we should at least slow down enough to consider the effects of development on people living nearby, and this overheated market is going to cause a lot of problems when the bubble pops and then again 20 years down the road when many of the hastily and shoddily constructed buildings start falling apart. But no matter what I think, right now there’s a building boom happening on the peninsula, with dozens of construction cranes rising above the city. This isn’t unique to Halifax—all Canadian cities are seeing record levels of residential construction—but neither Halifax council nor staff is putting up roadblocks to any but the very worst proposals. By and large, peninsula councillors Waye Mason and Jennifer Watts have supported nearly every one of the developments in their districts. The “force it down their throats” attitude among Mosher, Dalrymple, Karsten, and the others is unwarranted.

As for the Wellington Street project, my guess is that a council majority will approve it. But they’re forcing the project on one of the very best organized, connected and, frankly, wealthiest neighbourhoods in the city. The opponents won’t go away quietly, and this will get even uglier.

2. Eddie Carvery

Jon Tattrie, who wrote the book on Eddie Carvery, announced yesterday that Carvery was taken to hospital Sunday:

Eddie Carvery. Photo: Tim Bousquet
Eddie Carvery. Photo: Tim Bousquet

Eddie Carvery had a health emergency yesterday and was rushed to hospital. He’s getting top-level care and surrounded by family and friends (so many that they’re running low on hospital scrubs!). 

He’s in a difficult place now, so please keep him in your prayers as he fights back.

Carvery is the man who has had a nearly continuous presence at Africville, on the site of his old family homestead, protesting the city’s bulldozing of the black community in the 1960s. No update yet on Carvery’s condition, but a day after his hospitalization the SPCA seized his dogs and took the unusual step of issuing a press release:

Nova Scotia (Dec.9, 2014)

As a result of information obtained, the Animal Cruelty Investigation team has taken two dogs from an Africville location as of 2pm today.

Upon initial site visit this afternoon, there was no one present at the residence. Dog water bowls were found, however, the water contained was frozen.

After a conversation with someone who later came to the site, the dogs were than brought into our protective custody.

Currently, the dogs are in the care of the Provincial Animal Shelter of the Nova Scotia SPCA.

We would like to thank all those who contacted us. You have directly helped with this positive conclusion. There are many animal cruelty cases each year. We rely heavily on the public to be the eyes, the ears and the voice of these defenseless animals in need.

According to the Chronicle Herald:

Carvery wasn’t feeling well on Monday and went to the nearby Africville church for help, said Tattrie. 

“He came up to the church and he was in a bad state. They rushed him to hospital and he’s been there overnight,” said Tattrie. “He’s in recovery mode. He’s unable to speak at the moment.”

Tattrie said Carvery has had his dogs taken by the authorities many times before, and said he’s always had to pay a lot of money to get things sorted out.

He said Carvery and his son look after Diablo and Rex very well. “He (Carvery) feeds them and waters them every day.”

A press release from the SPCA about the seizure was uncalled for, said Tattrie.

3. Pedestrians hit by vehicles

From the overnight shift sergeant’s report:

At 3:55 p.m. [Tuesday] HRP East Division members responded to a report of a collision involving multiple vehicles and pedestrians in the parking lot of the HRM Public Library on Eisener Boulevard in Dartmouth. An 89-year-old woman was driving in the lot and states she swerved to avoid another vehicle that had pulled out of a spot in front of her and she accidentally accelerated while doing so. Her vehicle struck two adult females who were walking in the lot, pinning them against a parked car, which was subsequently pushed into another parked car. The third car was pushed as well, into a fourth parked vehicle. The pedestrians both suffered leg injuries as a result of the incident. One of them (age unavailable at this time) was taken to hospital by a friend who was at the scene. The second, 45-years-old, was transported to hospital by EHS with what appeared to be serious injuries to her legs. The matter is still under investigation however charges are not anticipated at this time. The driver of the vehicle was not injured.

4. Talking Christmas Tree

News 95.7 put together this Separated at Birth pairing of councillor Brad Johns (l) and a talking Christmas Tree (r) (or maybe the other way around). Photos: AXTELL EXPRESSIONS/@BRADJOHNS157
News 95.7 put together this Separated at Birth pairing of councillor Brad Johns (l) and a talking Christmas Tree (r) (or maybe the other way around). Photos: AXTELL EXPRESSIONS/@BRADJOHNS157

Councillor Brad Johns has used $25,000 of the capital district funds he controls to purchase an “animatronic, talking Christmas tree.” “Spryfield’s got the Santa parade, downtown has their tree lighting. What can we do in Sackville that’s a little unique?” Johns told The Coast.

Callers to the Rick Howe Show weren’t amused, but Johns dismissed them as, yep, “naysayers.”


1. Ottawa shooting

The video of the Parliamentary gunman should be released, says Paul McLeod.



Halifax Explosion 100th Anniversary Advisory Committee (3pm, Room B239, Nova Scotia Community College)—the committee will discuss creating a fund for its events.

Heritage Advisory Committee (4pm, City Hall)

Oland Family at Lindwood (Marianbad). Photo courtesy of Michelle Moxon, current owner of Lindwood House.
Oland Family at Lindwood (Marianbad). Photo courtesy of Michelle Moxon, current owner of Lindwood House.

There’s a proposal to register 1320 Old Sackville Road as a Heritage Property. This is what’s now called the Linwood House, which had a long association with the Oland family. Meggan Tanner, with Connor Architects & Planners, wrote a wonderful research report, which is added to the committee report as Attachment A.

Tanner explains how what we now know as Old Sackville Road was created by the Mi’kmaq to connect the Bedford Basin to the Bay of Fundy. It was subsequently used by Acadians, then as a military road widened under orders of Edward Cornwallis, and finally as a stage road until the 1850s, when a railroad replaced the stages. The story continues:

Nonetheless, agriculture along the Old Windsor Road prospered, particularly in the community of Sackville, which saw the building of many homes and farms. It was here that Ethelred Henry Oland, eldest son of Susannah Woodhouse Culverwell and John James Dunn Oland, married Esther Hamilton and set down roots. Ethelred’s occupation was listed as brewer when he bought the Sackville farm in 1872 where he and Esther made their home together on a 500 acre farm on the opposite side of the road from where she grew up. However, Ethelred did not follow his family into the brewing business and was a farm equipment salesman in Western Canada in later years. Their house would become known as the Lindwood House and would remain in the possession of the Oland family for over 120 years.

Ethelred had settled in a community with a rich history in agriculture, a way of life that was retained even after his passing. Ethelred died in 1899 and the farm was inherited by his daughter Mary Oland Fenerty who later sold it to her uncle, Ethelred’s brother, George W.C. Oland who named the property Marianbad. When George W.C. died in 1933 the farm passed to his son Geoffrey who was residing in Saint John, New Brunswick. He operated the farm as the “Red Ball Farm” named after the Oland’s New Brunswick brewery. Geoffrey eventually sold the farm to his brother Colonel Sidney Culverwell Oland in 1947.


During the ownership of the Colonel, Lindwood Farms saw great success in the agricultural industry. Farming efforts were concentrated on the breeding of livestock, the most notable breeds being the Ayrshire and Highland cattle, for which Lindwood Farm won many accolades. As the herds grew, so did the Oland farm. Numerous nearby farms and homes were acquired and additional homes were built to house the families and cattlemen hired to tend to the herd under the management of Alex Lamond. The Lindwood Farm expanded to over 3,000 acres and became a well-known establishment in the community, contributing to the livelihood of numerous Sackville families during its operation.

The 1960s brought many changes to the Lindwood Farm in Sackville. The knowledge of a new highway to Windsor was in circulation prior to its eventual construction in the 1970s. A letter typed on the behalf of Lindwood Farms petitioned against the proposed Highway 101, citing loss off access to fresh water lakes. The letter also gave reasons of impeding future expansion of farmlands in arguments against the highway and offered an alternate route.

However, the new road was not to be stopped and a portion of the Oland lands were expropriated. As compensation, it was finally agreed that a segment of the historic Old Windsor Road would be decommissioned and conveyed to the Olands. This part of the old road is now a private right of way starting at Melish Drive. It passes by the Lindwood House where it becomes gated and serves as private access to the Santa Maria del Pilar Chapel at the top of Oland’s Hill.

If you feel like whiling away a half hour, there’s lots more fun stuff at the link, including more history of the place, maps, and photos.

Regional Watershed Advisory Board (5pm, Helen Creighton Room, Alderney Library)—nothing much on the agenda.


Public Accounts (9am, Province House)—Auditor General Michael Pickup and his staff will be questioned.

On campus



Caffeine seminar (all day, every building)—student exam-takers will be talking about “damn, I’ve been up for 48 hours and still haven’t studied Chapter 17.”


Planetarium show (7:15pm, Room 120, Dunn Building)—Quinn Smith will present “The Christmas Star—Fact or Fiction?” Five bucks at the door. Reservations required; go to


Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 10.39.33 PM

Last night Michael McCluskey made me aware of a Montreal Gazette article from September 12, 1968. The page is labeled: “How a cause can be taken up today: The newspaper’s reputation rests… on its ability to lead the community.”

“Newspapers should be community leaders,” the Gazette explains. “The Chronicle-Herald and Mail Star of Halifax, for example, have led dozens of campaigns for the betterment of life in the Maritime Provinces.”

The Gazette illustrates the point with the paper’s successful editorial campaign urging the destruction of Africville, and printed an article written by Harold T. Shea, the managing editor of the Chronicle-Herald and Mail-Star, as follows:

A ghetto grew—and was buried—in Halifax

The negro ghetto of Africville, in the north end of Halifax, was eradicated a few months ago. The last of the families who had lived for generations in the rat-infest conglomeration of shacks and huts relocated into new housing in the city proper.

They had been there for centuries—descendants of American slaves who came to Canada to find a better way of life.

Doubtless, they’d had been there for many more years had it not been for the vigorous, relentless campaign by the Chronicle-Hearld (and its afternoon companion paper The Mail-Star) which, for years, demanded a chance for normalcy for those who lived in the community.

The clean-up of Africville, and the removal of block after block of slum housing in the city proper, coupled with the building of adequate, decent housing for those displaced by slum clearance, ranks as one of the greatest achievements of these newspapers.

In the harbour

The seas around Nova Scotia, 6am Wednesday. Map:
The seas around Nova Scotia, 6am Wednesday. Map:

(click on vessel names for pictures and more information about the ships)

Fusion, ro-ro cargo, Saint-Pierre to Pier 42
Zim Texas, container ship, Valencia, Spain to Pier 42, then sails for New York
Heather Knutsen, tanker, Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania to anchor for bunkers


Assuming I can brave the storm, I’ll be on the Sheldon MacLeod Show at 4pm today on News 97.5.

You could be drinking your morning coffee in this cup.
You could be drinking your morning coffee in this cup.

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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. Also anecdotal, someone in the construction industry told me a couple of years ago that 80 of 82 units in a recently completed new condo building in the Spring Garden area were owned off-shore and never, or seldom inhabited.. There’s not much doubt, even if we hear little about it from the analysts and urban planners, that as rich offshore investors look for secure places to put their money they look to real estate.abroad. According to Douglas Todd of the Vancouver Sun, Canada is one of the few countries in the world that doesn’t collect data on foreign ownership of real estate. See Vancouver’s recently created an Affordable Housing Agency mandated to do just that.

    In London, where the global 1% are forcing real estate prices beyond the possibilities of most Britons, government is considering a surtax on empty houses and condominiums. Maybe other cities, backed by their higher jurisdictions, are already doing that, or otherwise acting to try and ensure that newly built accommodation is available to the people who live and work in them.

  2. “Leading by Destroying”:

    The referenced Metro article by Ruth Davenport quotes HRM Alliance’s Tristan Cleveland as trying to confront the default “need to increase density” argument by providing a Montreal example of three-storey “more subtle density that maintains what people love about their communities”. The time for a conversation about good density and bad density is long overdue. Also overdue is some research on how many of the units in newly-built high-rise condos are owned off shore and empty all or most of the year. That doesn’t help increase density a bit.

    You may be right that much of the Council support for this project is “simply political jockeying for developer contributions going into the 2016 election season” with councillors trying to show their support for developers in advance of possible changes to municipal election-funding that could come out of the study on this that the Mayor has said he is undertaking.

    1. “Also overdue is some research on how many of the units in newly-built high-rise condos are owned off shore and empty all or most of the year.”

      *cough* Roy building *cough*

      Anecdotal, but I kept having people come into an office on 1st floor looking for the open house. Not to say none of them were Canadian (and I’m not being xenophopic) but every single person that came in but one was affluent, rude, and in the bottom 0.5% demographically.

      I questioned this at the time, I realize the building was old as hell, but it didn’t make sense to build condos to begin with let alone vacation homes.

  3. It is sad that politicians are not responsible enough to be given a discretionary fund. The intent of these funds is to help community groups and individuals within the community in a way the benefits the community at large. If used well it can help a lot of small positive initiatives that would not have easy access to funding. Instead Johns spends 25 grand to give Sackville their very own woody…. The jokes write themselves. This is the case of an out of touch politician putting his own desires ahead of the good of his community. There needs to be more rigor around how these funds are used.

  4. Watched, via Council webcast last night, several articulate speakers protest the Wellington Street development. As various, multiple negative factors were described, many of which you cite above, I wanted to hear someone, even if rhetorically, ask why certain councillors are inexplicably supporting this project. It defies reason and begs full explanation. Does quid pro quo exist in some form? I tuned out in disgust when the Major chastised a speaker for describing negative aspects of the developer, the fact he’d refused to meet with neighbourhood reps, and the aggressive form of developer process. Was this a pandering, kindergarten-level process where citizens were to be treated as children, whose behavior was to be reprimanded and corrected the moment it tweaked authoritarian sensibility? Nothing that refined speaker said was out of line or offensive. I felt humiliation for him and anger at the Mayor. The Mayor was neither justified in chastising that speaker, nor in censoring his truth. The stench of colonial paternalism is with us still. There’s a vast difference between civil speech which identifies conflict and Victorian-era veneer of ambiguous restraint. Authoritarian discomfort with the former, and an inappropriate move to censure it and any future like it in a public forum, is reminiscent of a visual parody in which a large, reclining monarch looks down at a serf and distastefully waves him off via a nearby guard.

    1. Just remember who contributed 5k apiece to the campaign!

      Southwest Properties Ltd.
      United Gulf Developments Ltd.
      Briar Group Inc.
      Chanterelle Holdings Ltd. (Allan Shaw)
      Five Fishermen/Cornwallis Property Ltd.
      O’Regan’s Toyota Dartmouth
      Jane and Rob Merchant
      The Westin Nova Scotian
      The Hardman Group Ltd.
      Sitework Developing Inc.
      Waverly Duck Investments
      Steele Auto Group
      Armco Capital Inc.
      Local 56 Public Relations

      Notice anything? 9/15 of them are developers.

        1. Thank you for the $5K contributor list and link to six-page,single-spaced list. Stunned, literally stunned by the number and dollar value of corporate contributors to Mayor Savage’s campaign. Speaks for itself. I recall controversy around release of the list and the fact it wouldn’t be released till after the election. It’s obvious now, why.

          The defense will be that campaigns take money, that there’s no quid pro quo, real or inferred. To that, average citizens will respond with examples of far more basic life events — immensely less expensive — such as social dinner invitations, gift exchange, even phone calls and/or email. Reciprocation is always in play. There’s no free lunch, especially in politics and business.

  5. So back in the day bulldozing communities was cheer-led by all sorts of upstanding community and business leaders. They were Being Bold ahead of their time I suppose.

    History has proven them morally, tragically wrong. Are our leaders of today any wiser? I doubt it.

    1. What do you think is happening in Palestine right now? We along with most of our allies are cheer-leading the destruction of homes and lives (google Rachel Corrie) so that the land can be settled…..

    2. I couldn’t agree with you more Gordohfx.

      This project on Wellington Street ranks right up there with the Cogswell Exchange.
      Linda Mosher doesn’t deserve to be a city councillor if she is brown nosing the developers. If this project goers through I will lose ALL RESPECT respect for city council. These developer shenanigans make me sick and make me wonder if I want to continue to live in a city which is destroying its self! As I lie on a nearby side street I FEAR the future.

  6. “The negro ghetto of Africville, in the north end of Halifax, was eradicated a few months ago. The last of the families who had lived for generations in the rat-infest conglomeration of shacks and huts relocated into new housing in the city proper.

    They had been there for centuries—descendants of American slaves who came to Canada to find a better way of life.”

    So paternalistic. So ignorant. So unsurprising. Wonder why they didn’t run this story with pictures of the “negroes” getting moved out on dump trucks?

  7. $25,000 for a talking Christmas tree? A classic example of why these discretionary funds are a bad idea.

  8. Section menu is a good idea – maybe have it scroll with me on the left hand side (or as a drop-down?). Then no matter where I am in the content I can quickly jump to a different section rather than having to scroll back up to the top.

    Could be as simple as creating a div that gets a fixed position at the bottom left of the screen only for these posts.