Three photos: JP Simms, wearing a red t shirt holding a gold wrestling belt above his head; Robert Devet smiling happily with his camera; and Zack Burkey, who is in grade 5, and his sister Maggie who's slightly older, wearing masks in a selfie

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:


Sunday, September 26

A multi-coloured pie chart showing the Popular Vote in the federal election1. Canada voted, but your vote may not count ⁠— again

The last federal election was a missed opportunity to fix our electoral system. You remember the promises from 2015, right? Stephen Kimber looked at two simulations created by the experts at Fair Vote Canada and what results they could have produced.

Monday, September 27

An ambulance at the hospital1. Code critical: patients waiting hours to be transferred from ambulances to emergency departments

Jennifer Henderson looked at the ambulance offload wait times from Nova Scotia Health and learned patients in every health zone are waiting hours for ambulances. Henderson also wrote about a pilot project that would have vans transport patients who aren’t critically ill.

a memorial with a pink cross, with flowers and flags and mementos below its2. “An apology would be nice and I would like to know what happened”: people suffering from the Nova Scotia mass murders speak to commission

Henderson had a busy weekend. She also reported on the first public open house hosted by the staff with the Mass Casualty Commission. Family members who attended, like Victoria Dickie, Joey Webber’s aunt, said there “will be no rest until we get some answers.”

The Right to Know website image, with a maple leaf and a keyboard3. Happy “Right to Know Week,” Canada!

This week was Right to Know Week across the country and Joan Baxter wanted you to know about an Access to Information (ATIP) request she filed about Pieridae Energy’s big money ask for its LNG plant in Goldboro. What did Baxter discover through that ATIP? Turns out, not much.

Maggie and Zack in a selfie, wearing black covid masks

4. Morning File: Lessons in acceptance and inclusivity from Zack’s crew

Suzanne Rent talked with Leona Burkey, mom to nine-year-old Zack who is autistic. Every September, Burkey gives a talk at Zack’s school about autism. Burkey told Rent that the students’ support of Zack gives her hope.

the embroidered logo of the Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency

5. One person dead after ‘heavy fire’ at an outdoor structure in Bayers Lake

Zane Woodford reported on a structure fire in a wooded area near Susie Lake Crescent where police found a body. The death isn’t considered suspicious.

Coronavirus made of metal plates6. Nova Scotia announced 1 new COVID-19 death, 83 new cases over 3 days

The first COVID update for the week included the news about another death. A man in his 80s who lived in Nova Scotia Health’s Central Zone has died from COVID-19. He is the 96th Nova Scotian to die from the disease. Tim Bousquet had the full update.

Tuesday, September 28

The stone entrance sign to Dalhousie University1. Morning File: The Dal parties probably aren’t a big COVID risk; I’m more worried about elementary schools

Hundreds of students partied in the streets of south end Halifax recently and a lot of people weren’t very happy about it. But Tim Bousquet broke down the issues around the party and wrote “there are two different sets of issues here: 1) the effect of the partying on the neighbourhood, and 2) the COVID risk of the parties. Let’s not conflate the two: the effect on the neighbourhood would be there without COVID.”

The green Portapique road sign with a Nova Scotia tartan sash tied around the post2. Lisa Banfield wants part of mass murderer’s estate

The common-law spouse of the man who killed 22 people in April 2020 filed a claim in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, asking the court to declare that she is entitled to “a share of the proceeds” of the killer’s estate. Tim Bousquet reported on the details of the claim.

A rectangular dark red button reading COVID 19 in white lettering3. Another man in Nova Scotia has died from COVID-10; 32 new cases announced on Tuesday, September 28

A man in his 70s who lived in Nova Scotia Health’s Northern Zone was the 97th Nova Scotian to die from COVID-19. Tim Bousquet reported on that and the details of the new cases.

A shower trailer built into a long truck4. Halifax council approves mobile shower pilot program, doubles housing grant program

A mobile shower pilot program started on Friday and will run for the next nine weeks. That program got the approval from Halifax council on Tuesday. Zane Woodford learned all about it, including the possibility of permanent options.

JP Simms holds a gold trophy belt over his head5. The Real Maritime King of the ring

Matthew Byard wrote this excellent and detailed profile about pro wrestler JP Simms, who dreamed of finding success in the ring from the time he was eight years old. You don’t have to be a wrestling fan to enjoy this story.

The front door of the convention centre6. New budget, new deficit for convention centre, and more from Halifax council

Zane Woodford had his “Woodford Report” on what happened at Halifax Regional Council’s meeting this week. News included that the Halifax Convention Centre would lose $8.4 million this year, and a park in the city would be named after the charity arm of Canadian Tire.

Wednesday, September 29

The Canadian flag and the Mi'kmaq Grand Council's red and white flag fly side by side on a clear day1. New traditions for a new national day

Thursday was the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Ethan Lycan-Lang looked at what the new traditions might be for the day.

Tents and an emergency shelter in People's Park2. City setting up trailers in Halifax and Dartmouth for people currently living in parks

Zane Woodford reported that the city will house 73 people in 24 “modular units” to be set up in undisclosed locations in Halifax and Dartmouth. Mayor Mike Savage said “there’s no perfect solution to homelessness” but told reporters these shelters with a bed and a roof over their heads is “what everybody deserves.”

Tim Houston looks at Michelle Thompson at a Covid-19 briefing.3. Nova Scotia’s reopening plans include vaccine mandates for teachers, health care workers

We were all waiting for Phase 5, but as Tim Bousquet reported, we’re heading into a modified version of that phase, kicking in Monday with vaccine mandates for specific sectors. You can now download your proof of vaccination. Bousquet had all the details here.

the blue roadsign which announces Welcome to East Preston Halifax4. Black News File

Matthew Byard had his weekly Black News File with stories on a Liberal MLA being appointed as one of two deputy Speakers for the Nova Scotia Legislature, and a study on how the East Preston Empowerment Academy (EPEA) directly contributed to the Nova Scotia economy.

Thursday, September 30

The poster for AfterWords Literary Festival, which shows several authors photos in black and white on a pinkish beige background1. The Tideline, with Tara Thorne

Tara Thorne and Stephanie Domet talk about the AfterWords literary festival, which Domet co-founded with Ryan Turner. Domet also gives a good talk on critical thinking, too.

Allan MacMaster and Ryan Grant at a press conference2. Provincial deficit smaller than forecast

Jennifer Henderson got an update on the provincial budget and learned the deficit will be smaller than expected, even with more pandemic-related spending. The finance department officials expect it will be 2022 before the economy returns to where it was before the pandemic. That sounded like good news given we’re still in the fourth wave.

Friday, October 1

Robert Devet, looking dapper in a grey hat and coat, smiling with his camera in his hands.1. Morning File: Robert Devet: tireless champion of justice

Robert Devet, publisher of the Nova Scotia Advocate, suddenly died earlier this week. Philip Moscovitch paid tribute to Devet, who through his online publication gave a voice to marginalized Nova Scotians whose voices are often ignored elsewhere. His death is a huge loss for the community.

Angela and Dean Simmonds in studio photos2. RCMP release redacted email to councillors about traffic stop involving Halifax cop

Zane Woodford had a follow-up on his story about that email Insp. Jeremie Landry, in his capacity as acting chief officer of Halifax-district RCMP, sent to some Halifax councillors about a traffic stop involving HRP Supt. Dean Simmonds and his wife Angela Simmonds, current MLA for Preston.

3. Halifax releases more details on planned modular housing for people living in parks

In Woodford’s second story on Friday, he got more details on those modular units the city is providing for people living in parks. One unit will go in Dartmouth and another in Halifax, although there are no details on date or exact locations just yet.

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

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