Three photos from this week's articles: Angela Bowden, a Black woman, Mar Mar Cain, a young Black boy, and three white people paddling a canoe on a local lake

Welcome to Weekend File, where you’ll find links to all the articles you might have missed last week. Jump to sections in this article:


Saturday, December 18

1. After three days of testimony, Kayla Borden’s appeal hearing adjourned until January

Matthew Byard followed the the testimony at Kayla Borden’s appeal hearing recently before it was adjourned for the new year — and before Halifax Regional Police Chief Dan Kinsella testified. In this article, Byard has a recap of what we heard from Borden, as well as constables at that traffic stop where she was arrested in July 2020.

Sunday, December 19

1. Journalism’s future is in our hands

Stephen Kimber took a look at who will save journalism. Will it be the government? Probably not. What about the online platforms? Hmmm, probably not them either. So, who? As Kimber wrote: It’s up to “the consumers who have never fully paid for content but who stand to lose the most if the media goes away.”

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Monday, December 20

1. AltaGas files plan to decommission the Alton Gas site

Jennifer Henderson reports on the Decommissioning and Reclamation Plan for the Alton natural gas storage project. The plan was recently filed with the province and you have until January 25 to comment on it. Henderson had the details, but basically the plan is that AltaGas of Calgary will leave the buried PVC pipelines in the ground and dismantle the buildings above ground at two separate sites. 

2. The Pictou mill: fleecing Nova Scotia for 53 years — and counting

As you may know, Northern Pulp is suing the province for hundreds of millions of dollars over its mill in Pictou County. But as Joan Baxter detailed in this article, it was Nova Scotians who paid the real costs of that mill over the last several decades.

3. Morning File: Indigenous people and environmentalists prevented an enormous piece of carbon-intensive infrastructure being built at the Shubenacadie River

Tim Bousquet had thoughts on the plans to decommission the Alton natural gas storage project: “Had the Indigenous people and environmentalists not acted to oppose the Alton Gas project, there would now be an enormous piece of carbon-intensive infrastructure at the Shubenacadie River, responsible for decades’ worth of continued greenhouse gas burning.”

4. Don’t go to pharmacies for free rapid tests or symptomatic testing

Yvette d’Entremont interviewed Allison Bodnar, the head of the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia (PANS) who asked Nova Scotians to not visit pharmacies for rapid tests or symptomatic testing. Bodnar told d’Entremont that people are going to pharmacies with COVID symptoms and putting staff and other customers at risk.

5. 485 new cases of COVID-19 announced in Nova Scotia on Monday, Dec. 20

More new cases and an outbreak at Parkstone Enhanced Care in Halifax, where one resident and one staff member tested positive. That was all in Tim Bousquet’s first COVID update of the week.

Tuesday, December 21

1. Is the time finally right for a municipal bike-share program?

Philip Moscovitch had part 1 of a two-part series on bike-share programs. This is a good explainer on how bike sharing can work. He looks at successful programs in Nova Scotia and across the country and what the HRM needs to do to make a program successful here. We will have part 2 next week. In that story, Moscovitch looks at accessibility and equity in bike-share programs.

2. Nova Scotia Power keeps consumers in the dark about costs of delayed Muskrat Falls power

At a public hearing last month, consumer advocate Bill Mahody had some questions about how much Nova Scotians will have to pay in the future to replace the undelivered hydro from Muskrat Falls. Nova Scotia Power is refusing to answer that question in what Jennifer Henderson called “a galling display of arrogance.” She detailed that in this report.

3. Morning File: It’s OK to not obsess over every bit of COVID data

There’s a lot of data about COVID-19 these days. A LOT. And it can be a lot for people to handle. So Philip Moscovitch wrote about how it’s okay to take a break from it. Or not, if you really like that data, too!

4. Houston: No “Hunger Games” for Nova Scotians looking for booster shots; new COVID restrictions and changes to testing protocols announced

Tim Bousquet was on the phone during the COVID briefing on Tuesday, where new restrictions were announced on gathering limits, masks, businesses, and long-term care. The news was not welcome just a few days before the holiday. The province also announced limits on testing, too.

Wednesday, December 22

1. Provincial revenues up a billion dollars more than expected

Jennifer Henderson reported on the news that provincial revenues are up $1 billion more than forecast when the provincial budget came down nine months ago. So, how did that happen? Well, Nova Scotians kept spending money, the population grew, and wages increased.

2. Morning File: Yesterday was the darkest day of the year, but brighter days are ahead

Ethan Lycan-Lang looked on the brighter side of life and some of the good things happening in the province by good people. And he also discovered his inner Scarlett O’Hara.

3. A man has died from COVID-19; 537 new cases announced on Wednesday, Dec. 22

The province announced another death from COVID-19, a man in his 50s who lived in the Northern Zone. And those new case numbers keep going up. Tim Bousquet had the details.

4. What’s at stake as Halifax heads to Supreme Court of Canada over Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes

Zane Woodford looked at a case that’s heading to court in February that will see the Halifax Regional Municipality battle against Annapolis Group over land in a potential park. As Woodford learned, there are eight intervenors for the case, which include provincial governments and environment groups.

Thursday, December 23

1. Researchers launching online survey to learn how pandemic is affecting grocery store workers

Yvette d’Entremont interviewed Dalhousie University professor Haorui Wu who, along with a co-investigator at the University of Calgary, is launching an online survey in the new year with the goal of learning how the pandemic is affecting grocery store workers. Wu said he was inspired to create the survey after hearing stories from his students who work in grocery stores and the abuse they’ve dealt with from customers over the last year.

2. Poet, author Angela Bowden responds after assault charges dropped against New Glasgow mayor Nancy Dicks

Matthew Byard talked with poet and author Angela Bowden for her response after assault charges were dropped against New Glasgow mayor Nancy Dicks. Those charges were laid after an incident at a Black Lives Matter event in September 2020.

3. Morning File: Periods, productivity, and posting on social media

Suzanne Rent recently heard a podcast in which a local naturopath said social media strategists should schedule their work around their menstrual cycles. So she decided to ask some experts about this topic, and also learn about the connection between productivity and periods. Is there a connection at all?

4. A record 689 new cases of COVID-19, 14 people in hospital, announced in Nova Scotia on Thursday, Dec. 22

We are in the thick of this pandemic as numbers continued to rise with a record new case count. Tim Bousquet had the details in this update, which also included new details on testing and hospital outbreaks.

Friday, December 24

1. Online vigil held for eight-year-old boy killed in shooting in Dartmouth

On Thursday night, Matthew Byard attended an online vigil for little Lee-Marion “Mar-Mar” Cain, who was killed this week in a shooting in Dartmouth. Pastors from across the province spoke, offered prayers, and shared details about supports for the community for what one pastor called “a situation which goes beyond imaginable.”

2. Nova Scotia struggles to cope with COVID

In our last Morning File before the holiday, Tim Bousquet had a message for readers: “These are difficult times. I hope readers can find a bit of peace and solace with loved ones, if even remotely. We will get through this.”

3. COVID-19 in Nova Scotia, Dec. 24: 611 new cases, 15 hospitalized

Tim Bousquet ends our week with another COVID update, with all the graphs, pie charts, links, and colour-coded advisories map that we depend on. He’s going to need a new set of markers for Christmas.

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Suzanne Rent

Suzanne Rent is a writer, editor, and researcher. You can follow her on Twitter @Suzanne_Rent

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