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, March 5
“Nova Scotians need to know that this is a war,” say organizers of peace rally set for today
Yvette d’Entremont spoke with Lyubov Zhyznomirska, a political scientist studying Ukraine, European Union, Russian relations — who was born in the Ukraine — in advance of a rally in downtown Halifax that Zhyznomirska helped organize. She told d’Entremont, “we demand action from our politicians, from our governments.”
Sunday, March 6
A cautionary tale for Nova Scotia’s Liberal leadership hopefuls
Stephen Kimber wondered about the future of the provincial Liberal party. And he suggested those hoping to lead the party today might take a moment to remember how the Liberals fared the last time they lost an election. Anyone remember Francis MacKenzie?
Monday, March 7
1. Black mother dissatisfied with school’s response to racist bullying of her children by white classmate
Matthew Byard spoke with a Black mother whose children attend an elementary school in Dartmouth, who she said were being bullied by a white student. The mother told Byard she repeatedly tried to address the issue, even showing up at the school unannounced. “This hasn’t been the first time,” the mother told Byard. “This has been going on since probably the beginning of the school year.”
2. Morning File: Space, the final frontier (for Ceres)
Tim Bousquet wrote about rockets this week — specifically rockets made in Ukraine — and how that might affect Ceres and its company, Maritime Launch Services, and its sketchy plan to launch Ukrainian rockets from Canso.
3. Black News File
Matthew Byard had his latest Black News File, looking back on stories he reported on in February. These included Preston MLA Angela Simmonds announcing her run for the Nova Scotia Liberal Party leadership; the legacy of reverend Richard Preston; and also the legacy and activism of Wanda Robson, sister of Viola Desmond, who died early last month.
4. Co-op council converting New Glasgow inn to affordable housing
Zane Woodford reported on an announcement from the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council, an economic development agency owned by co-ops and credit unions in the province, that it bought the Tara Inn on East River Road in New Glasgow. Dianne Kelderman, president and CEO of the council, told Woodford one room is already renovated and they expect full occupancy by the end of June.
Tuesday, March 8
1. Morning File: People are bigger assholes than ever
After making a call to the CRA and hearing a message that its agents would not tolerat abusive language or behaviour, Suzanne Rent wondered if we were all getting worse with customer service. And it turns out, it’s not just customers. Drivers are bigger assholes now, too.
2. $23 million to boost NS film industry “historic,” says executive director of Screen Nova Scotia
Yvette d’Entremont reported on the announcement that the province was spending money in the local film industry. The announcement includes $15 million for a new fund that will benefit local film and television productions and another $8 million toward a soundstage. Screen Nova Scotia executive Laura Mackenzie called the news “historic.”
3. Halifax considering two options for Water Street redesign
Zane Woodford looked at the plans for the redesign of Water Street. One design is “transit-focused” while the other is pedestrian-focused. Now the municipality wants feedback from the public on its choice.
4. ‘A couple of glasses of wine,’ poor communications, and indecision about alerting the public were factors in RCMP command decisions after Portapique shootings
Jennifer Henderson reported on the details of a 56-page transcript of an interview with Colchester County RCMP District Commander Al Carroll on November 21, 2021, months after the tragedy in Portapique. That transcript outlines how RCMP leaders missed or failed to act on key pieces of information the night of the shootings.
Wednesday, March 9
1. Two kids were hanging out, listening to music, when they saw the man who had just killed 13 people in Portapique
Tim Bousquet looked at testimony from AG, 13 years old, and AJ, 15, who were hanging around in Debert Business Park the night of the mass killings. The two teens recalled seeing the mock police car, and ran home. This report also had testimony from Dave Brown, who also saw the car, and Brian MacDonald, who knew the killer.
2. Morning File: Life goes on, but at what cost?
The price of gas and groceries got to Ethan Lycan-Lang this week. And he’s also looking at short-term rentals for a temporary stay in Toronto. It all got to be too much, so he asked, “Is it still free to breathe? I think I’ll go hyperventilate now.”
3. Halifax councillor proposes $15 minimum wage for city staff
Zane Woodford was at the virtual meeting of council’s Audit and Finance Standing Committee on Wednesday, where Coun. Shawn Cleary brought a motion asking for a staff report on a $15 minimum wage for all staff. Coun. Trish Purdy was the only vote against Cleary’s proposal; she said business owners she’s spoken with are worried about the implications of a living wage policy.
4. Mental health day hospital opening in Halifax will “bridge a gap for patients who need intensive treatment”
The province is getting a new mental health day hospital with capacity for 10 patients, with a possible expansion of up to 20. Yvette d’Entremont was at announcement for the new $1.4 million hospital, which is expected to open mid-April.
5. Northern Pulp has a new set of “friends”
Joan Baxter learned more about the new friends of the new Northern Pulp, which is not different from the old Northern Pulp. Baxter looked at the friends’ signs and their claims of “science first” and how a mill is good for the forests.
Thursday, March 10
1. The Tideline, with Tara Thorne
Author Anna Quon joined Tara Thorne on The Tideline to talk about her third and latest novel, Where the Silver River Ends, a story about a wandering woman, Joan, who is in Bratislava, Slovkia, on the heels of a sudden exit from Budapest. Quon and Thorne also have a chat about sensitivity readers. This is a great episode to catch if you want to learn more about that topic.
2. Halifax police board recommends new 0.4% budget increase
Zane Woodford continued to follow the police budget review, which has been going on since December. At what Woodford described as a “messy” meeting on Wednesday night, the city’s Board of Police Commissioners recommended in favour of a 0.4% increase to the Halifax Regional Police budget.
3. Lisa Banfield and cops who responded to Portapique will testify under oath at the mass murder inquiry
Three commissioners at the Mass Casualty Commission ruled that Lisa Banfield and the RCMP officers who responded to the mass murders of April 18/19, 2020 will be required to testify under oath before the commission. Tim Bousquet learned more about that decision, which he said mostly aligns with what the victims’ families want, but they’re still concerned about the process.
4. Morning File: Cruise ships are returning, but do we want them back?
The city will soon be bustling with cruise ship passengers as the port of Halifax opens up once again. It’s good business for many, but Philip Moscovitch looked at the other side of the cruise ship industry and the “quagmire of bullshit” behind the economic development studies on the industry’s benefits.
5. Nova Scotia has abandoned meaningful COVID reporting
This week was the first time COVID data was released on a weekly basis. But not much data was released at all. Tim Bousquet looked at the data that was missing and that he’s been reporting on for months. “Welcome to ‘living with COVID,’” Bousquet wrote.
Friday, March 11
1. Morning File: “I wasn’t surprised,” said Chris Wortman after his nephew killed 22 people
Tim Bousquet looked at transcripts from an interview with Chris Wortman, uncle of the killer, who told RCMP, “I knew he was always capable of killing somebody or serious harm, but not to this extent.” In that interview, Wortman told RCMP about the killer’s dysfunctional family and his relationship with Lisa Banfield,
2. Halifax councillors vote for increased police budget
Zane Woodford was back on the police budget reporting again, and this time councillors voted on Friday in favour of an increased budget, but by a thin margin. The budget won’t be finalized until the vote on the overall 2022-2023 HRM budget, scheduled for early next month.
From our archives
On Thursday, Tim Bousquet tweeted out this photo of a sidewalk in Halifax covered in layers of ice that he took on March 10, 2015. Just a few days after Bousquet took that pic, the city was covered in record amounts of snow. That was the winter many of us want to forget. (Bousquet said, “I still have waking nightmares about the winter of 2015.”) Later that month, he wrote about the winter of our discontent in this Morning File.
Oh, there’s more bad weather on the way for today.
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