3 photos: a smiling black man witha cool beard, an older white woman riding a bike, and a smiling white woman with blonde hair and a pearl earring

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, January 22

One of the black kitties wearing a white mask in Laura Kenney's hooked rug1. COVID in Nova Scotia, Jan. 22: 82 hospitalized, 502 new cases

Tim Bousquet had the first COVID update for the weekend. More hospitalization numbers, more new cases.

Sunday, January 23

Stacks of Canadian 50 dollar bills

1. Who’s really to blame for the QuadrigaCX scandal?

Many blame Jennifer Robertson, the widow of the company’s founder, for not realizing Gerald Cotten was a scam artist or, worse, for being a party to his crimes. But Stephen Kimber, who helped Robertson write her memoir, Bitcoin Widow, wondered why journalists aren’t asking investors the kind of tough questions they’re putting to her.

A green typewriter with COVID 19 written in impossibly big type on a sheet of paper on the roller2. COVID in Nova Scotia, Jan. 23: 85 hospitalized, 503 new cases

The Sunday COVID update had more data, all reported by our Tim Bousquet.

Monday, January 24

A graphic which reads "Stay the Blazes Home"1. Morning File: Nova Scotia’s COVID whiplash: we’ve come a long way from ‘Stay the Blazes Home’

There’s a lot of anxiety around COVID these days, as we all watch the numbers for hospitalizations, new cases, and tragic deaths of Nova Scotians. For months, we were doing so well and were the envy of the world with our collective way to beat down another wave. But this time is different and Nova Scotians are being told we just have to ride out the wave. But is it all we can do? As Tim Bousquet wrote, “We’ve been better than this.”

People at a protest hold a large banner which reads "We are in a climate emergency"2. Halifax councillors look for climate action ahead of budget talks

During a virtual committee of the whole meeting on Friday, councillors heard a presentation on the city’s progress in implementing HalifACT 2050, the ambitious action plan approved in 2020. Back in December, Zane Woodford reported that the plan is woefully underfunded. In this report, Woodford learned Halifax councillors want more accountability from the city’s managers on what they’re doing to implement their climate change action plan.

a mockup of a coronavirus, red and white, on a black background3. 5 new COVID deaths in Nova Scotia, 92 hospitalized, 362 new cases on Jan. 24

It was a sad start to the week as the province announced five Nova Scotians died from COVID-19. Tim Bousquet had the day’s update with all the numbers and graphs.

A young white boy under 11 years old gets his first vaccination

4. Only about half of Canadian kids aged 5-11 have been vaccinated; what’s going on?

Appointments for kids ages 5 to 11 to get their COVID vaccinations have been open for weeks now, yet only 51% of kids in that age group have had their first dose. Yvette d’Entremont interviewed Christine Chambers, scientific director of both the CIHR Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health, and Solutions for Kids in Pain (SKIP), about the reasons parents might not be getting their children vaccinated, such as fear of needles and pandemic fatigue.

Tuesday, January 25

A smiling Black man with a neatly shaved beard1. No More Excuses: Cecil Boutilier is trying to right his troubled past despite COVID and an overbearing parole system

Matthew Byard interviewed Cecil Boutilier, who was recently on a hunger strike to protest rules around COVID isolation at the halfway house where he’s living now. That was until Boutilier got COVID himself. But Byard also told us about Boutilier’s struggle to keep running his business running as his parole officer put more rules and barriers in place.

White young people partying outdoors2. Morning File: Quitting the hospitality business: You mean it wasn’t the CERB after all?

For months, we’ve been hearing from restaurant owners who say workers are just too lazy to take one of the many jobs out there — all those workers are sitting at home and collecting the CERB. Philip Moscovitch looked at a recent article about “The Great Realignment” and it turns out those former hospitality workers just moved on to new jobs. Turns out, those whining restaurant bosses just haven’t figured that out yet.

A stylized water drop painted on a sign3. New protected status for Tatamagouche water supply means an end to mineral exploration, mining in the watershed

Joan Baxter reported on the news that the province approved protection of the French River watershed, which provides Tatamagouche with its water. What the press release from the province didn’t say about the designation was that it also means no mineral exploration or mining will be permitted in the area either. Baxter talks with Sustainable Northern Nova Scotia (SuNNS) who were “delighted” with the news.

Omicron written in ballpoint pen on a beige wall4. For the second day in a row, Nova Scotia reports 5 new COVID deaths on Tuesday, Jan. 25

Another five Nova Scotians died from COVID-19. Tim Bousquet had all the details.

Wednesday, January 26

Buildings under construction.1. Confining construction to property lines and more from Halifax regional council

Zane Woodford reported on a motion Coun. Kathryn Morse brought to council’s virtual meeting on Tuesday looking for a staff report outlining “options for requiring large construction projects to be contained on private property rather than being permitted to close sections of public roads and sidewalks.” This could be great news for pedestrians in the city.

A small segment of a stencilled graffiti of a man with a censored symbol over his mouth2. Morning File: The first rule of fight club: don’t talk about dismantling the state

Wednesday was the big corporate hashtag day we here at the Examiner don’t like to write about. But Ethan Lycan-Lang said discussions around mental health are important any day of the year. Plus, he looks at how Chinese authorities influenced a change in the ending of the movie Fight Club. You may think it’s just one movie, but Lycan-Lang wrote that we need to keep our eyes on the bigger picture.

Dr. Robert Strang seen on a computer monitor3. 3 more COVID deaths, 91 hospitalizations, 346 new cases reported in Nova Scotia on Jan. 26

At the COVID briefing on Wednesday, Tim Bousquet asked chief medical officer Dr. Robert Strang if he was concerned that children now in school who might be exposed to COVID might bring that home to more vulnerable family members, possibly increasing hospitalization rates. Plus, all the COVID details for the day, which sadly include the deaths of three more Nova Scotians.

a pink italianate building in front of a modern glass and concrete building4. Halifax heritage committee recommends in favour of 10-storey addition to Waverley Inn

Council’s heritage meeting met on Wednesday to look at a proposed 10-storey addition to the Waverley Inn on Barrington Street. The committee voted unanimously in favour of a motion to recommend that regional council hold a public hearing on the proposal and approve the alterations to the heritage property. One committee member said the proposal “looks really good.”

Thursday, January 27

Closeup of scratches on the neck of a young Black woman1. ‘This town is very racist’: African student in Wolfville speaks out about experience with RCMP, mayor after filing complaint about an assault

Matthew Byard spoke with Sara Micheal, an African student who is living and studying in Wolfville, about an incident in which she said she was assaulted by a now-ex roommate. Micheal told Byard about her experience trying to file a complaint with the RCMP and a conversation she had with the town mayor.

a closeup of a finger over a mouth in a shushing gesture2. Morning File: In defence of keeping your private life private

Suzanne Rent is a private person. She wasn’t sure she wanted to tell you about this, but she thought about it and decided to share with you why a private life is a happy life. You can gossip about her after you read this.

A grey or beige gabled building with white trim3. Tenants could be living in ‘trailblazing’ Dartmouth housing project by mid-March

In a joint video conference on Thursday, the municipal, provincial and federal governments announced the Overlook, a new supportive housing project by the Affordable Housing Association (AHANS) and the North End Community Health Centre (NECHC). The building, which is expected to be ready and open in several weeks, will have 65 tenants.

A sign reading "No goldmine in our watershed"4. “Yacobo O’Hanley” and some other old boys have hurt fee-fees about protecting Tatamagouche’s water supply

Joan Baxter had this commentary on some of the comments shared on an article by CBC about the protected status granted to French River. As Baxter wrote, some of the commenters, who she said are part of the old boys’ network, had direct links to the Warwick Mountain Project, which won’t go ahead now because of the protected status for the watershed. One of those commenters, Yacobo O’Hanley, even weighed in on this article. Oh, Yacobo.

Coronavirus made of metal plates5. 1 new COVID death, 93 hospitalizations, 366 new cases in Nova Scotia on Jan. 27

A woman in her 70s is the 142nd Nova Scotian to died from COVID-19. Tim Bousquet told us more about her. Plus, he had new case numbers, hospitalization data, and more.

The red and white stacks of the Tufts Cove generating station on a bright sunny day6. Nova Scotia Power asks for 10% increase in residential power bills over three years

Nova Scotia Power wants more money from its customers. This week, the utility sent off a general rate application that would see residential customers’ power bills increase by 10% over the next three years. Small businesses could see their rates rise by about 11% over three years. Jennifer Henderson asked NS Power CEO Peter Gregg to explain the rationale for this.

Lisa Barrett, a smiling blonde woman7. Dr. Lisa Barrett: ‘Every day that we live through this we’re ticking off more immunity’

Yvette d’Entremont interviewed Dr. Lisa Barrett to talk about this current wave, people’s fears, and why she believes there’s light at the end of the tunnel and things will look much better this spring. Barrett said she knows Nova Scotians don’t feel like we’re making progress, “but if you look at every three months, we’re headed consistently in the right direction. That’s the way I look at it.”

An older lady with white hair rides her bicycle on a protected bike lane8. Transportation committee recommends partially-protected bike lane for Almon Street

Almon Street in Halifax is getting a partially-protected bike lane. As Zane Woodford reported, the bike lane is supposed to be part of the city’s planned all ages and abilities (AAA) bike network under its transportation plan, and would stretch from Windsor Street to Gottingen Street. And this week, Halifax regional council’s Transportation Standing Committee recommended unanimously in favour of the plan.

Friday, January 28

Viola Desmond on the ten dollar bill1. Thoughtful and respectful conversation starts with giving the Halifax Examiner money

After we published Joan Baxter’s story on “Yacobo O’Hanley” and his comments on a CBC article, Tim Bousquet reflected on the moderated comment section here at the Examiner. As Bousquet wrote, “there aren’t so many dumb comments (except from that one guy), and the comment section on the Examiner is generally more thoughtful and respectful than you’ll find on other sites.” But you have to pay to have your say, too. You can subscribe here.

A tree trunk with an orange property boundary ribbon tied around it2. Province pauses planned cut at Annapolis site after discovery of rare species of lichen

We were lichen this news on Friday. A lichen enthusiast discovered some rare lichens at a site in the Annapolis Valley that was expected to be cut. But after the discovery of the lichens, all of which are species at risk, the province put a hold on the planned cut until a review can be done. Ethan Lycan-Lang had that report, including comment from protesters called the Forest Protectors who’ve been camped out at the site since December 3.

a graph with spiky red and green lines3. 1 COVID death, 88 hospitalizations, 620 new cases reported in Nova Scotia on Jan. 28; weekly recap

A man in his 60s who lived in Nova Scotia Health’s Western Zone was  the 143rd Nova Scotian to die from COVID. Tim Bousquet had the Friday COVID update and weekly recap.

From our archives

Rolling hills with spectacular fall foliage.
The Cobequid Hills of northern Nova Scotia light up every autumn with colourful foliage. Photo: Joan Baxter

As Joan Baxter reported this week, there won’t be exploration and mining for gold in the Cobequid Hills now that the province approved protected status for the French River watershed. Baxter has been following this story, and many others on gold mining in Nova Scotia, for years. On May 30, 2018, we published part 3 of by Baxter’s series Fool’s Gold  in which she wrote about the Warwick Mountain Project and plans to mine gold in the Cobequid Hills. Baxter’s report included quotes from Garth DeMont, who back then said, “all we need is the discovery of one significant gold vein and the Cobequids will light up.”

In that article, Baxter also reported on the work of Sustainable Northern Nova Scotia (SuNNS) and its plans to advocate against gold mining in the area.

Baxter’s Fool’s Gold series was a silver finalist at the 2018 Atlantic Journalism Awards. You can read Baxter’s entire award-winning series here. 

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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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