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, October 31
Premier Tim Houston fired a staff at the Department of Justice over racist comments they made about Preston MLA Angela Simmonds. Stephen Kimber has been watching Houston in his new job. But what else will Houston and his government do to stop racism? As Kimber wrote in this column, there’s still more work to be done and we need more than words to do it.
Colchester County Mayor Christine Blair accuses the Halifax Examiner of publishing “misinformation” about the county’s wastewater agreement with Northern Pulp, but won’t tell us what we supposedly got wrong. Joan Baxter had that story.
Monday, November 1
After 20 months, Hope Cottage opened its doors once again to serving its clients for sit-down meals. Anyone going there for a meal needs to show proof of vaccination, just like restaurants in the city do. But a group called Nova Scotia Coalition for Justice and Freedom said Hope Cottage shouldn’t have to follow Public Health rules. Jennifer Henderson reported on that story.
Tim Bousquet followed up on his skepticism that “ultra-large” container ships would overtake the shipping industry after reading a report from Mary Campbell at the Cape Breton Spectator, who wondered what the insurance industry thinks about those mega ships.
The province announced that another Nova Scotian died from the virus. Tim Bousquet had that report, plus details on new cases.
4. Residents of Prospect Village got “no warning, and no communication” about upcoming demolition of house
Philip Moscovitch had a follow-up on a story he first wrote about last year. A house in Prospect Village will soon be demolished, after the Department of Public Works deemed it a risk to motorists and snowplow drivers. As Moscovitch learned, residents and the district councillor didn’t know about the plans to tear down the house, which the province bought for $11,000 over asking.
Tuesday, November 2
1. Environmentalists: climate change bill is good, but not good enough; Landlords: the rent cap hurts us and tenants
Tim Bousquet and Jennifer Henderson both covered the 10-hour session of the Law Amendments committee and reported on the latest on the environment bill, landlord concerns about the rent cap, and what a councillor, the CAO of the Halifax Regional Municipality, and HRM Mayor Mike Savage all had to say about Bill 63, the Housing in HRM Act.
2. Morning File: Coincidence or just habitus?
Do you have a story of meeting someone somewhere in Canada and discovering you had mutual connections? We love these stories of amazing coincidences, but as Philip Moscovitch learned, maybe these stories aren’t coincidences after all, but just habitus. He also had a fun bit on those really silly algorithmic T-shirts you see on social media.
Matthew Byard took part in a virtual panel hosted by Dalhousie, University of King’s College, and the Black Cultural Centre that featured three academics — Delvina Bernard, Cikiah Thomas, and Andrea Douglas — who talked about allyship, reparations, and how slavery’s legacy is still affecting the Black community today.
The number of new cases was relatively low on Tuesday. Tim Bousquet had the report.
Wednesday, November 3
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Nova Scotia office released its annual report on the living wage in Nova Scotia, which is now $22.05/hr. And for the first time, the report included living wage calculations for all five economic regions in the province. Suzanne Rent took a look at how the new living wage rates were calculated.
2. Morning File: No one is tampering with Halloween candy, smarty pants
The Examiner has been on the tampered Halloween candy beat for years, proving that no one is tampering your kids’ candy. In this Morning File, Ethan Lycan-Lang looks at one of the first tampered candy reports to come out after Halloween. A “concerned” parent in the Valley turned into Kentville Police some Smarties that were missing their candy coating. The urban legend lives on.
Midweek saw a big jump in the number of new cases. Tim Bousquet had the update.
Thursday, November 4
1. Morning File: Technology in health care is a matter of fax
Earlier in the week, Nova Scotia Health tweeted about an issue involving some faxes that weren’t received. Fax machines in the year 2021? As Suzanne Rent learned, it turns out fax machines are still pretty important in the Nova Scotia health care system and others around the world.
The number of new cases continued to climb with most of the new cases in the Nova Scotia Health’s Northern and Western Zones.
Matthew Byard had his latest roundup of news from the Black community in the Maritimes, including stories about a Black man who worked at Xerox in New Brunswick who said he was paid thousands less than his white colleagues.
On Thursday in the Nova Scotia Legislature, Premier Tim Houston said, “I don’t know many Nova Scotians that grow up thinking, ‘boy, I hope I make minimum wage when I grow up.’ That’s not the way people think. They want real jobs.” Jennifer Henderson reported on Houston’s apology. She also wrote about how 16 nursing homes in the province are no longer accepting new residents because they can’t find staff.
Friday, November 5
1. Why isn’t Northern Pulp using the wastewater treatment plant next door at Canso Chemicals? Is mercury an issue?
Joan Baxter has the latest in the Northern Pulp story. This time, she learned about a treatment facility built by Canso Chemicals to take care of its long-mothballed plant. Northern Pulp, meanwhile, doesn’t appear to have any plans to build a treatment facility for its mill on Abercrombie Point. Baxter reported on why.
2. Morning File: Tim Houston has it all wrong: minimum wage work is dignified work
After Premier Tim Houston’s comment and apology about real jobs, Tim Bousquet wrote about those workers who may make minimum wage, but do those jobs with self-respect and dignity, but what are they getting from all of us? As Bousquet wrote: “By keeping their pay at below poverty levels, we as a society are not valuing or dignifying the work in return.”
The number of new cases keep going up — 40 new cases were announced on Friday — so Tim Bousquet went to the COVID briefing to learn more. And it turns out, a multi-day faith event is at least one of the causes for the climbing case count.