I’m Katie, the rabid shitposter and memelord standing in for Tim from Toronto.  I just heard that Tegan and Sara are coming to Halifax in July! OMG.


1. It is bad out there

Everyone is talking about the weather…

It’s a bit of a slip & slide out there this a.m., after snow/ice pellets & ongoing freezing rain. Adjust travel to conditions. #HfxSnow pic.twitter.com/AxFwPHD7ok

— hfxgov (@hfxgov) March 28, 2017

… But the NSCC is holding fast and telling its students to get their butts into their seats.

@NSCCNews is anything going to get cancelled in the HRM?

— Aaron. (@AaronNoade) March 28, 2017

@NSCCNews Dal and the military bases in Halifax are delayed, but not the NSCC campuses in HRM? pic.twitter.com/w0L3PFtNWb

— Jenny Gillis (@JennyGillis) March 28, 2017

What do you think? Reasonable or nah? As always, let me know in the comments.

2. Examineradio, episode #104

Tim forgot to post the link to Examineradio yesterday.

El Jones. Photo: Halifax Examiner

Last week saw a contentious public forum featuring Halifax police chief Jean-Michel Blais. The forum, held at the North Branch library, was meant to address recently released data that showed that Black Haligonians are subject to street checks at three times the rate of whites. While the intention of the meeting was ostensibly to mend fences, it quickly went off the rails.

Former poet laureate and Halifax Examiner contributor El Jones was at the meeting and joins the show to discuss how things unfolded.

Plus, the Cornwallis Baptist church will soon become the Baptist Church; city council pushed Armco development‘s proposed 20-storey apartment building (aka. ‘the student shithole of the future’) to a public hearing; and city staff released a report recommending public consultation on campaign finance reform.

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(direct download)
(RSS feed)
(Subscribe via iTunes)

3. More measles

Ew. Someone has been giving people measles in Digby. Let’s all just take our shots okay? I don’t want to write about infectious disease every week.

4. Elderly woman robbed

Metro Halifax reports that three people are sought after an elderly lady was robbed on a walking path between Percy Street and Joseph Howe yesterday afternoon. She had to go to the hospital for her injuries. CBC says the woman was in her 60s.


1. Legal weed

The news that weed could be legal by July of next year means this is a great time for everyone to share their thoughts, whether or not we care.

The federal government will be licensing producers and setting the minimum legal age to 18. Provinces can set higher age limits and control sales further.

Chris Henderson, of the Halifax High Life Social Club, told Metro Halifax he wants to see the move benefit small businesses like his. “It shouldn’t be sold in liquor stores,” he said. “If businesses like mine can sell it, it creates more customers and a new revenue stream.” He also said that he hopes this will make young people more open about their cannabis use and that he hopes that provinces don’t add additional age restrictions because pot should be “inclusive.”

Some health care professionals, pointing to the rollout of recreational weed in Colorado, are concerned about toddlers accidentally ingesting a weed cookie and heading to the poison control centre. Nancy Murphy of the IWK tells the CBC she wants to see child-resistant, opaque packaging so that we don’t pique kids’ curiosity.

Police chief Jean Michel Blais says to the CBC that if weed will be legal he’d like the age limit to be “as high as possible,” presumably because of his deep expertise in epidemiology and public health. I just hope he was already high when he made that pun.

2. Digital rights management, and why you should care

When was the last time you bought music?

Increasingly, we don’t own anything anymore. Even when we “buy” on iTunes, we just have limited rights to use things as copyright holders see fit. Last week, Parker Donham delivered a pretty clear, ominous breakdown of what happens when this practice expands to our vehicles, printers, and god-knows-what-else.


People are kvetching over taxi drivers’ erratic driving on Reddit.

Halifax students are redesigning the humble hospital gown. (Editor’s note: a story the Examiner covered last month, harrumph.)




City Council (Tuesday, 1pm, City Hall) — here’s the agenda.


Community Design Advisory Committee (11:30am, Alderney Landing) — here comes the Centre Plan, the blueprint for ramping up growth in central Halifax and Dartmouth that includes, among other things,

  • chickens! The plan suggests people in all zones of the HRM, even the centre, should be able to raise chickens and keep bees.
  • cold! The plan includes a rule against pedways and indoor pedestrian paths, which can take people off the sidewalk and prevent foot traffic. Apparently everyone who wrote the plan drives a Lexus with heated seats.
  • fewer shadows! There are regulations on how long a shadow a building can cast (so, how tall it can be). Armco won’t like that.

Tim says: “Let’s see how many exemptions, exceptions, and grandfathered-in clauses we can cram into this thing before council approves it.”



Human Resources (Tuesday, 10am, Province House)  — Deputy Minister Duff Montgomerie will be asked about Student Employment Programs.


Public Accounts (Wednesday, 9am, Province House) — Deputy Minister Frank Dunn will tell the politicians why fish farms are totally safe and will bring prosperity forever, amen.

On campus



Simulation Modeling (Tuesday, 12pm, Room 409, Centre for Clinical Research) — Trevor Arnason, regional Medical Officer of Health (Halifax, Eastern Shore and West Hants), will speak on “Some Models are Useful: Simulation Modeling for Population Health Policy and Planning.”

Thesis Defence, Engineering (Tuesday, 1pm, Room 3107, The Mona Campbell Building) — PhD candidate Amina Stoddart will defend her thesis, “Field-Scale Evaluation of Drinking Water Biofiltration.”

Reflexivity (Tuesday, 2:30pm, Room 319, Chase Building) — Gabor Lukacs will talk about “On Group-valued Continuous Functions.” The abstract:

For a space X and topological group A, one denotes by C(X,A) the set of continuous maps on X with values in A, equipped with pointwise operations and the compact- open topology. If X is compact, then C(X,A) carries the uniform topology, and for suitable choices of X, one obtains groups that resemble l^\infty and c_0, which are of interest in their own right. For an abelian group G, let G^ denote the group of all continuous characters of G equipped with the compact-open topology. The group G is *reflexive* if the evaluation map G –> G^^ is a topological isomorphism. In this talk, we present results concerning reflexivity of C(X,A).


Thesis Defence, Pathology (Wednesday, 10am, Room 3107, The Mona Campbell Building) — PhD candidate Jordan Warford will defend his thesis, “The Effects of the Proteoglycan Antagonist Surfen on Animal Models of Demyelination with Comparison to In Vitro T Cell and Macrophage Responses.”

The Grid (Wednesday, 10:30am, MA 310) Parth Pancholi will speak on “A Multi-depot Crew Routing Optimization for Post-disaster Service Restoration.”

Sterile Packages (Wednesday, 11:30am, MA 310) Brecht Cardoen will speak on “A Set-covering Approach to Design Orthopaedic Procedure Packs for a Medium-sized Belgian Hospital.”

I Shot Andy Warhol (Wednesday, 8pm, Dalhousie Art Gallery) — a screening of Mary Harron’s 1996 film.

In the harbour

The seas around Nova Scotia, 8:50am Tuesday. Map: marinetraffic.com

6am: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, arrives at Pier 41 from St. John’s
5pm: Zenith Leader, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from Emden, Germany
8pm: Atlantic Sea, ro-ro container, sails from Fairview Cove for New York


Tim’s note, 8:50am: I’ve been called away for a can’t-refuse interview this afternoon (details coming soon), so won’t be at council, or will be very late. 

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  1. Glad to see a timeline for legalizing pot. I absolutely think it should be legal. I also think the smoking of it needs to be controlled and enforced. Not like anti-smoking legislation which seems to be merely a law of convenience and not enforced.

  2. Re the “elderly” woman, may I just share my tweet from earlier this morning:

    @metrohalifax ELDERLY? Are you out of your mind? She’s not even a senior yet. I’m the same age. I snowshoe, hike, canoe, lift weights …

  3. In other news, I understand a certain journalist was nominated for an Atlantic Journalism Award in the “Enterprise Reporting: Print” category for the Dead wrong series. Congrats, Tim – well deserved!

    And a shout out to Local Xpress for their 6 nominations.

  4. Sent this email to the Minister of Agriculture. He’s probably gonna get right on it.
    I’ve also contacted NS Federation of Agriculture and Dairy Farmers of NS and The Natural Products Marketing Council of NS and The Restaurant Association of NS and Tim Hortons Corporate and NS Association of Chefs and Cooks and Ecology Action Center and NS Good Security Network and The Leader of the NS ND and my MLA Labi Kousoulis and stopped in at my local Superstore and 3 coffee shops. How about you guys, wanna get in on the action? All the cool kids doDear Mr Colwell.

          I am following up my phone conversation with your office earlier today with this email. It concerns the product lines, market domination and food safety of the public. 
         Agropur Dairy have become the dominant force of dairy products in NS and the entire Maritimes. And with this position the company has recently decided to end the production of Farmers Blend Cream. This product was made of two ingredients; milk and cream. They have repackaged the product under a product line ironically named “Natrel”. No doubt to lead the consumer to the idea that this could be a “natural” and thus, healthy product. What they have actually done is added sugar, in the form of dextrose, as well as other preservatives and additives such as Polysorbate 80 and others. What makes this a totally unacceptable situation is the fact that Nova Scotians will not have the ability to purchase cream anywhere in the Maritimes that doesn’t have these additives. I can’t speak professionally to the health risks this poses to people with issues like diabetes and food additive allergies or the legal consequences of consumption of these products, I will leave that to others,  but I can assure you that the majority of Nova Scotians expect to consume cream, when they purchase cream. Agropur, as the sole provider of milk and cream products has a responsibility to provide citizens with the additive free product that has been available here for decades. 
         I request that you and your Department takes any and all steps to insure Agropur Dairy responsibly provide Nova Scotians with the safe, healthy and additive free product that they are entitled to.


    David Frevola

    1. Now I am seriously seeing red. I’ve gone out of my way to purchase Farmers Blend for years, because it was the only one without additives. I suspect this means that the stuff is now pooled milk/cream coming from out of province factories – otherwise why retool local production to add that crap?

      I’m a strong proponent of buying local, but not to the point of ingesting unnecessary mono and diglycerides, preservatives, etc. The pure milk/cream blend worked perfectly well and never once spoiled in my fridge.

      You’ve lost a customer, giant corporate pseudo-Farmers. From now I’ll get my milk from Foxhill and shell out for the organic cream from Ontario/Québec (both Superstore and Sobeys carry it) – or when I’m over on PEI I’ll load up on Perfection or Purity products. They’re still real dairy. No emulsifiers required.

  5. NSCC wouldn’t be able to manage themselves out of a broom closet. That whole system is a pathetic excuse for a two-bit junior high school and carries itself as such. Putting aside the question of whether they should or shouldn’t be delaying school opening times this morning in Metro, as a student at COGS (Lawrencetown, Annapolis) I can attest that their closure decisions are entirely unpredictable and seem designed to do nothing more than inconvenience students. Yet oddly enough they have “INNOVATION” in big, gold letters at the entrance to every campus.

  6. It will be hilarious to see the politicians and bureaucrats falling over themselves explaining how the vast majority or all of the 18 proposals of that cattlecall of a presentation before Christmas will be approved despite obvious contraventions to our beloved Centre Plan.

    Councillors prove wrong.

  7. Re: Marijuana legalization

    And it begins with all the push back against legalized cannabis with everyone and their dog creating scenarios for doom and disaster. Of course ingestion of cannabis by children is bad. But worse is a kid eating a tide detergent pod which can be found in any store shelf. Similarly dishwasher pods etc. etc. etc. So if the argument is protecting children, lets start building the list of priorities for banning and control as I am sure there are many, many higher priority items to prevent.

  8. I saw Tegan and Sarah at the Windsor Press Club in the late 1990s. It was the kind of venue so small that when the band was ready to go on, a plywood sheet was put over the pool table so people could put their drinks on it when they stood to watch. They were also at Mariposa with Nancy White, of all people, not too long afterward, I think 2001. I’m glad they’ve continued their success.