I’m Katie, a reporter in Halifax who is filling in for Tim today. Follow me on Twitter.


1. A First Nation with dirty water is turning to new experts for help

Original photo by Trevor Gerzen, modified to fit Hfx Examiner specs.

Tired of waiting for the federal government to take their brown water seriously, Potlotek First Nation in Nova Scotia has hired an Irish company of water experts to assess the situation instead.

According to CTV Atlantic:

The company has set up its own system to test the water to try and find a solution.

“It removes all the bacteria, anything that’s in the water,” says Les Walsh of Brewal Ireland Ltd. “In this situation we’re hoping for 70, 80 per cent reduction in a very high level of manganese and iron. That’s just for this test rig. When we put the full unit here we will be able to take it down to Health Canada standards.”

Health Canada recently advised the nation to stop drinking the water, bathing with it, or even laundering clothes in it, because of the high levels of minerals found therein.

A recent VICE investigation found that while the federal government has made grand claims about improving water quality on First Nations reserves, very few reserves have actually seen an improvement.

2. The Halifax Convention Centre wants someone to pick up its trash

According to a new tender today, “Events East Group” is looking for a waste management contractor to deal with the onslaught of trash that will result from the upcoming thriving and lucrative convention business that will surely save our municipality from despair.

The winner of the bid must have “all containers and bins available for deployment by 1 NOV 2017.”

(Remember when the centre was scheduled to open in 2016? Now it’s late 2017 and they haven’t even hired someone to deal with their garbage?????)

3. Nova Scotia has a child poverty problem

According to Andrea Gunn, writing for the Chronicle Herald :

New census data released by Statistics Canada on Wednesday shows Nova Scotia has the highest rate of children living in low-income families, as well as the second lowest median household income in Canada.

Wednesday’s data shows that 25.7 per cent of children under six in the province lived in low-income households in 2015, compared to 25.3 per cent in 2005 — significantly higher than the national average of 17.8 per cent. For youth under 18, 22.2 per cent live in low-income households, compared to 22.6 per cent in 2015 — in that category, the national average is 17 per cent.

4. International students aren’t getting jobs

Lu Xu, writing for The Coastsays international students “are on their own” when it comes to finding their mandatory co-op placements in Dalhousie’s commerce program. The university responds that it “offers many services aimed at helping students … identify their ideal job and career paths.”

Uh, nice to know that you’re working hard to help them figure out the precise nature of the thing they want but can’t have?

To take a historic quote wildly out of context, hunger is not bread, folks.

5. Jimmy Melvin Jr is back in court

After Melvin was acquitted of the charge that he murdered Terry Marriott Jr — who died of gunshot fire while sleeping in a friend’s home — he is now on trial for attempted murder, in an alleged incident a few months before Marriott died. Crown prosecutors say Melvin planned to kill Marriott but was foiled by police.

I was in court yesterday afternoon, observing Day 3 of the trial. Mostly, crown prosecutors went over witness Jason Hallett’s previous crimes and the deal that led him to testify against Melvin. He told a jury that he had been talking about the murder plan with a friend, unaware her phone had been tapped by police, which led him to be slapped with charges for involvement in the alleged plan. Today, defence lawyer Patrick MacEwen is expected to start cross-examining the witness.


1. Don’t like the Oxford closure?

From @cameraguycook — Happy, but also a little sad to be taking in the last movie at the Oxford tonight. 😢🎬🎥 https://t.co/P5TXc43rqQ pic.twitter.com/htBy6jRyy6

— halifaxnoise (@halifaxnoise) September 14, 2017

“If you are pissed at the developer then find out who it is and don’t ever buy any of his products,” says an anonymous “Bitch-er” in The Coast:

If you support one of his businesses you help him to bulldoze the treasures of the city and replace them with generic condos. It all boils down to greed — the greed of the developer and the greed of our city council that wants to get their re-election funds from developers. … All you can do is protest with your wallet because that is all they understand.

2. Remembering Allan J. MacEachen

The Cape Breton federal politician, a Liberal known for guiding social reforms through the federal government, died this week at 96. The Chronicle Herald’s editorial board writes:

In 2008, the community of Inverness unveiled 10 tonnes of Grit-red marble in his honour, inscribed with the motto: “The state still has a role in keeping bread on the table.”

It’s a reminder that for all Allan J.’s deserved reputation as an unmatched political strategist and parliamentary tactician (who masterminded two comebacks by Mr. Trudeau, first from minority government and later from an election defeat), his canniness served a real belief that government must be there for the basic human needs.

That’s a hardscrabble insight into the reality of human frailty and the need for social responsibility that we should never forget.




Design Review Committee (Thursday, 4:30pm, City Hall) — agenda here.


No public meetings.

On campus



Thesis Defence, Mechanical Engineering (Thursday, 11am, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building) —PhD candidate Matthew Harding will defend his thesis, “Industrial Processing of an Al-Zn-Mg-Cu Powder Metallurgy Alloy.”

Touristic Patterns (Thursday, 11:30am, Room 430, Goldberg Computer Science Building) — Farzad Vaziri of the University of Pisa will speak on “Data Analytics for Urban Dynamics Understanding, Monitoring and Simulation.”

Thesis Defence, Electrical and Computer Engineering (3pm, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building) — PhD candidate Zakareya Hasan will defend his thesis, “New Evolutionary Algorithms and their Application to Electric Power System Operatio​​nal Engineering​.”

Cuts for Cancer (Thursday, 5pm, IWK Gallery) — In the second annual Cuts for Cancer event, folks who have pledged hair donations are showcased on stage shaving or cutting their hair to support children affected by various conditions. A silent auction, family activities, and radio involvement are also planned.

Welcome Reception for Alice Aiken, New VP, Research (Thursday, 5pm, Atrium, Steele Ocean Sciences Building) — Meet Dr. Aiken and hear about her plans for the future of research at Dalhousie.

Global Health “Aid” (Thursday, 7pm, Room 1011, Rowe Building) — David Black, Robert Huish, Shawna O’Hearn, and Jeff Kirby discuss “The Politics and Ethics of Global Health “Aid”: Towards Sustainability.”

Fishing, Farming, and the Future of the Last Wild Food (Thursday, 7pm, Ondaatje Auditorium, Marion McCain Building) —Paul Greenberg will speak.


Thesis Defence, Physics and Atmospheric Science (Friday, 9:30am, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building) — PhD candidate Christopher Perro will defend his thesis, “Satellite Retrievals of Total Column Water Vapour and Surface Emissivity During Arctic Winter.”

Small-molecule Organoboron Catalysts for Enantioselective Synthesis (Friday, 1:30pm, Chemistry Room 226) — Amir H. Hoveyda of Boston College will speak.

An Introduction to Alexander Technique (Friday, 2:30pm, Room 406, Dalhousie Arts Centre) — Malcolm Balk will speak.

“Gold Versus Life:” Enslaved Jobbing Gangs, Capitalism, and Amelioration in the British Caribbean (Friday, 3:30pm, Room 1170, Marion McCain Building) — Nicholas Radburn of Lancaster University and Justin Roberts of Dalhousie will speak.

Cello Masterclass (Friday, 4:30pm, Room 406, Dalhousie Arts Centre) — Stéphane Tétreault will perform.

Catalytic Chemistry (Friday, 7:30pm, McCain Scotiabank Auditorium) — Amir H. Hoveyda of Boston College will speak on “Increasing Challenges in Catalytic Chemistry: Implications Regarding the Future.”

In the harbour

The seas around Nova Scotia, 8:20am Thursday. Map: marinetraffic.com

Cruise season kicks into high gear; today, nearly 9,000 tourists may debark today from cruise ships in Halifax.

4:30am: Itea, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for Liverpool, England
7am: AIDAdiva, cruise ship with up to 2,050 passengers, arrives at Pier 34 from St. John’s
7am: CSL Tacoma, bulker, arrives at National Gypsum from Norfolk
7am: Skogafoss, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Argentia, Newfoundland
7am: Veendam, cruise ship with up to 1,350 passengers, arrives at Pier 20 from Sydney
8am: Zuiderdam, cruise ship with up to 2,364 passengers, arrives at Pier 31 from Bar Harbor
9:30am: Carnival Sunshine, cruise ship with up to 3,000 passengers, arrives at Pier 22 from Saint John
9:30am: Insignia, cruise ship with up to 800 passengers, arrives at Pier 23 from Bar Harbor
10am: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, arrives at Pier 36 from Halifax to Saint-Pierre
10:30am: Siem Cicero, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from Emden, Germany
10:30am: Skogafoss, container ship, sails from Pier 42 for sea
Noon: YM Moderation, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for Dubai
3:30pm: Veendam, cruise ship, sails from Pier 20 for Bar Harbor
4pm: Siem Cicero, car carrier, sails from Autoport for sea
4:30pm: Zuiderdam, cruise ship, sails from Pier 31 for Sydney
5:45pm: AIDAdiva, cruise ship, sails from Pier 34 for Bar Harbor
6pm: Zim Antwerp, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from New York; at 114,000 tonnes, this is the largest container ship to call in Halifax
7pm: Carnival Sunshine, cruise ship, sails from Pier 22 for New York
10pm: Insignia, cruise ship, sails from Pier 23 for St. George, Bermuda

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  1. The childhood poverty is discouraging but not entirely surprising. This is mostly a province of students and retirees. Most of those retirees have children with successful jobs and grandchildren who’ve moved further west. For the most part, if their children weren’t successful, they’re still here, close to home and struggling.

  2. Cornwallis:

    It should be mentioned that 1931 saw major changes to the constitution of Canada as the UK met with its ‘Dominions” in the Empire and at the Statute of Westminster gave up almost all residual powers over the rights of parliaments such as Canada’s. The Dominions had become “autonomous communities … equal in status to Great Britain”.

    This marked recognition of Canada’s supreme authority over its own affairs – except for the power to alter its own constitution (Canada could not agree among its own governments prior to 1982 – when unanimous agreement was still not attained). The definition of Canadian citizenship as separate from that of British status was defined in 1947; the matter relating to the referral of questions to the UK Privy Council was abolished in 1949.

    The erection of the statue in Halifax can therefore be seen at a time of separation as an underlining of the British origin of Canada and Nova Scotia. The connection to the Crown at a time of breaking a major legal link and assumption of sovereign powers by Canada is commemorated with a recognition of the growth and maturity of the two hundred year old link to Britain.

    The statue can be seen in this light as a statement of transition from British to Canadian control of its destiny and as such may be seen in quite a different light from the personal qualities of the individual who laid out the townsite.

  3. The Oxford theater is and always was a private, for profit, business. Its sad, but it was a good run. Things change. I’ll miss walking by it and never going inside.

    I’d like to say that the way to keep the likes of the Oxford running is to go to them, so they can afford to stay open. That, being a business, its all about money and profit. But that is as simplistic as boycotting someone who is planning on doing something with the space.

    It isn’t always ” if (profit > $0) keepOpen()”. The Volvo plant closed because they got out of the North American manufacturing business; it was a distraction. Ace is closing out of Gus’ because it is a distraction. When Bud sold The Spud, he sold everything and retired; managing a chip truck wasn’t his jam. To Cineplex, it was a distraction; they just wanted rid of it; it isn’t the business they are in. Negotiating with community groups wanting to buy it, that neither exist, have cash or credit, doesn’t seem like an fun way to deal with an annoyance.

    And such a community group would never be credible. The rep/community/independent theaters I have been to in Toronto and Austin were less than half the size of the Oxford.

    1. Exactly…

      The Oxford was great while it lasted, but it was too big for Halifax. I think a great business model would be a way for bars, university clubs, etc. to pay a reasonable fee to show old/indie movies that aren’t going to pull enough of an audience for a traditional theater.

          1. McMenamins projects are pretty wild. They refurbished an old school (The Kennedy School) in Portland, incorporated volunteer labour from the community, and now if you live within that community you have free or very cheap access to the pool and gym. The auditorium is a working cinema, the gyms are bookable space for sports leagues, and the classrooms have been converted to hotel rooms. For me, as a Canadian, trying to understand the tight interplay between public/not-for-profit and private/for-profit at play in that project is wild. I can barely grasp it! It’s definitely an aspect of American economic culture that we don’t really have here. Not saying we can’t have it, ever. We would need to build it, is all.

          2. The Kennedy School is really neat. I watched The Score there while eating pizza and drinking beer on couches. There was a dance going on at the same time in a separate part of the school. Previously that week, we watched another movie while eating dinner in the balcony of an older theatre they had converted. (Can’t remember the movie, though).

    1. But waiting until mid September to start looking for a service to start in November for a major business and very large building IS news.

      1. Any one of of the handful of trash haulers could pick up the Nova Center without a concern.

        Miller or REGroup could respond to the question with their list prices in 10 minutes. Being a tender, it might take a few hours.

        It would not change their operations in any meaningful way.

        1. I think the point is the tender starts for November, while the convention centre opens… I dunno, 2019?

          1. The indicator here is that there will be a transition from the developer being responsible for ensuring waste materials a picked up and the operator of the facility. This a first indicator that the facility operator is ramping up from a management perspective. One may criticize the timing; but in the end, it is good to see the operator finally making some positive moves.

  4. “Tang says there’s no reason for an employer to hire an international student if there’s someone local who’s just as good. ”

    No shit, Sherlock.

    The university-as-job-training model is absurd.

    Imagine if a corporation selected a bunch of people for training, spent $10,000/yr training them, then randomly let a bunch of them go at the end – yet this is what we collectively do. We just socialize the cost (subsidy to universities, tutition) and privatize the profits (employers have a surplus of potential workers, so can take the best and pay them less because there’s plenty of ‘good enough’ people waiting to take their spot).

    The Unabomber was right about everything.