Today’s Morning File is written by Lewis Rendell. I’m one of a handful of guest writers filling in for Tim as he’s on vacation.

On campus
In the harbour


1. Dalhousie’s sexual assault helpline scaled back after funding dispute


As Heidi Pearson reports for Global, Dalhousie University’s volunteer-driven helpline for sexual assault survivors will be scaled back this year as the university and its student union duke it out over funding. The project began last year as a six-week pilot project, and was extended through the end of the school year after the university contributed a $30,000 boost in funds. This year, however, Dal has only offered the student union half of the operating costs — an offer the DSU rejected, choosing instead to run the thing themselves from midnight until noon for the first eight weeks of the fall semester, as opposed to last year’s round-the-clock availability. 

Dal’s decision to pare back the phone line’s funding has sparked outrage from students (for a lot of obvious reasons), but the cutbacks come after the university announced its plans to spend $300,000 to send nine rich and established business leaders to MIT for a “Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program,” a widely ridiculed move that’s been drawing the ire of…just about everybody.

2. Bridgewater police chief under investigation following sexual assault allegations

John Collyer. Photo: YouTube
John Collyer. Photo: YouTube

Sorry if you were expecting any good news this morning.

Chief of the Bridgewater Police Service John Collyer is on administrative leave as he’s under investigation for obstruction of justice and allegedly assaulting a teenage girl earlier this year, Anjuli Patil reports for CBC. The province’s Serious Incident Response Team is investigating the allegations, saying another police agency contacted them with information about the chief’s alleged misconduct earlier in the month.

3. Creep Catchers chapter arrives in the city

A vigilante group dedicated to exposing and publicly shaming would-be predators has descended upon Halifax, CTV reports.

The Creep Catchers are adults who pose as underage girls on dating and chat sites and arrange meetings with the men who contact them. The “Catchers” then arrive at the proposed meeting sites with cameras to capture videos of their confrontations with the men and upload them to their website.

I’d encourage readers to watch CTV’s segment on the group from last evening’s news. It’s an extremely serious topic, but the video watches like a fake news segment from 30 Rock.

4. Dartmouth girl heading to Korea for baseball world championships

Katie Hagen. Photo: Ryan Taplin / Local Xpress
Katie Hagen. Photo: Ryan Taplin / Local Xpress

Okay, some good news.

In a world of Gabby Douglases and Simone Bileses and Penny Oleksiaks, I can’t get enough of stories of teenage girls kicking ass at sports.

Dartmouth’s 15-year-old Katie Hagen has secured a spot on Canada’s senior women’s baseball team, as Monty Mosher reports for Local Xpress. Hagen will be playing alongside teammates in their mid-20’s and older at the World Cup in Gijang City, Korea, after growing up playing on competitive boys teams.

Yass kween. Yass Katie.


1. Stephen Kimber on Sobey’s racial profiling, PR disasters

Do as you're told. Photo:
Do as you’re told. Photo:

Stephen Kimber has some words for Sobey’s about the grocery chain’s bungling of Andrella David’s human rights complaint:

“…it wasn’t until last Monday, two days after the African United Baptist Association of Nova Scotia, the province’s “largest black institution,” announced plans to boycott the grocery chain until it apologized and implemented the human rights decision, that the company tepidly suggested in an email release it might withdraw its appeal.

It took until Friday for Sobeys to confirm it would finally obey the order.

Even then, the company seemed unseemly reluctant to accept real responsibility. “Sobeys regrets that this matter has taken so long to come to a conclusion,” it said carefully, but it did not say it regretted racially profiling and humiliating Andrella David, or publicly apologize to her — or to the black community.

Poor public relations. Worse corporate behavior.”

 2. Not-exactly-cranky letter of the day

A British Columbian visitor to PEI accuses the The Charlottetown Guardian of being ageist towards lieutenant-governor Frank Lewis.

EDITOR: I am merely visiting P.E.I. and have no opinion as to whether Frank Lewis’ term as lieutenant-governorshould be extended but found some of the content of your recent editorial on the subject highly inappropriate. Your reference to Mr. Lewis’ age and the influence it might have on his ability to perform the L-G role is, minimally, ageist in tone.

Ageism is a socially constructed way of thinking about older persons based on negative attitudes and stereotypes about aging. It is reasonable to ask whether a person is capable of fulfilling his/her job description but it is problematic when the question has no basis other than a presumption rooted in a personal trait of the applicant, in this case age.

 P.E.I. has one of the highest proportions of older adults in Canada. The Guardian should exercise more caution in the perspectives on aging which it inadvertently perpetuates or intentionally advances.

James Murtagh, Victoria, B.C.


YouTube video

As I walked around downtown and the south end this week, I noticed the migration patterns that signify a new school year is about to begin in the city — students toting laundry baskets full of housewares, dads in Dal sweaters quizzically looking at maps, throngs of fresh faces exploring Spring Garden Road for the first time.

Welcoming the new September crowd is always a challenge. I remember the first time I was acutely aware of the students being “back” when I was no longer a student myself. As I headed off to work at my big-girl job on a September morning, I had to kick Mardi Gras beads and Solo cups out of my garden. There was a little bit of vomit in my driveway. I shook my fist at the sky and cursed the students, so glad and smug that I wasn’t one of them anymore. I’ve been smug about it since. 

I came from away for university and decided to stay and live and work in the city afterwards. I’ve been threatening to move away, but I know those threats are empty. I think threatening to move to Toronto is part of the Halifax experience.

But I was stuck behind a slow gaggle of young fellows this week as I made my way home from a different big-girl job and was suddenly really touched as I watch them peer into the Old Burying Ground for the first time and marvel at St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica. They were brand new and I remembered what it was like when I was brand new.

On my first day in the city, my dad bought a SMU sweater. We had fish and chips on the water. We went to Cow’s. I clutched my back-to-school issue of The Coast and my dad had one of those giant, colourful tourist maps. I fell in love on Day One. Tomorrow marks year four.

I feel like a jerk for celebrating not being new anymore. So I’m going to go out of my way to welcome the students. Halifax is my home and I hope they make it theirs too.



No public meetings.


Standing Committee on Human Resources (10am, Committee Room, Granville Level, One Government Place) —  it’s a long summer with the legislature not in session, so committee members need to collect the per diem somehow. No, no, no. We meant to say, the committee will make appointments to agencies, boards, and commissions, and that’s seriously important business.

On campus


Thesis Defence, Biomedical Engineering (9am, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building) — PhD candidate Brett Dickey will defend his thesis, “The Use of Germanium to Control the Properties of Glass Ionomer Cements.”

Dalhousie Microbiome Research Symposium (9am, Theatre D, Clinical Research Centre) — an inaugural event to showcase the diversity and breadth of microbiome-focused research being undertaken at Dalhousie University.

“Caregiver Support: Guilt” (12pm, Room 3207, 3rd floor, Mona Campbell Building) — Allan Abbass of Dalhousie’s Department of Psychiatry will speak on the topic of guilt and depression as it relates to caregiving.

In the harbour

The approach to Halifax Harbour, 8:45am Tuesday. Map:
The approach to Halifax Harbour, 8:45am Tuesday. Map:

11am: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, arrives at Pier 41 from St. John’s
11am: Palena, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Cagliari, Italy
4pm: CT Wicklow, oil tanker, arrives at Pier 9 from Come By Chance, Newfoundland
4pm: NYK Diana, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Rotterdam
6pm: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, moves from Pier 41 to Pier 36

0:30am: Palena, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for New York
5am: Itea, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from New York
6am: ZIM Constanza, container ship, arrives at HalTerm from Valencia, Spain


[navel-gazing here]

Please consider subscribing to the Examiner. Just $5 or $10 a month goes a long way. Or, consider making a one-time contribution via PayPal. Thanks much!

Join the Conversation


Only subscribers to the Halifax Examiner may comment on articles. We moderate all comments. Be respectful; whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims. Please read our Commenting Policy.
  1. A shame about Dal’s funding priorities. Seems like a no brainer, but unfortunately not surprising given past behaviour.

    And I (and my 7yo daughter) are also loving the stream of kick ass girls kicking ass at sports! Way to go Katie!

    1. I find that whole Dal/DSU story puzzling. Why did Dal choose to draw a line in the sand at $30k, which frankly is a trivial amount of money to Dal? Why did the cost of operating the phone line double from 2015 to 2016? Why can the DSU find $10.7 million to upgrade its offices and retail space but not $60,000 to operate the phone line? Why can Dal piss away thousands of dollars on [pick your pet waste of money here] and not find another $30k? Why refuse ANY contribution from Dal, surely that feels good from a tantrum perspective, but wouldn’t it be better for students to double the operating hours than take a stand on principle? If this dispute is public, why isn’t the report on which these decisions were based also public?

      And why in the name of sweet Beelzebub can the DSU not find someone to proofread their press releases?