3 photos: a smiling young black man, a shelter and a tent in a park, and a laughing white senior lady

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, March 13

A very intimidating Halifax police officer, dressed in full black gear with a padded vest, black helmet, visor, police shield and baton.Defunding the police by increasing funding for the police?

Halifax regional council recently approved a slightly smaller increase for policing than Chief Dan Kinsella requested. But it’s still an increase. And as Stephen Kimber wrote, it’s definitely not the “rethinking” of the role of policing in our society that critics are asking for.

Monday, March 14

the Portapique road sign wiith a tartan sash on the post1. “If he had come to my house that night in a police car, I would have opened my door and welcomed him in, and I would probably have been dead”

Autumn Doucette was one of the many onlookers who saw the fires in Portapique the night of April 18, 2020. Doucette and her son, Dean Dillman, drove around that night keeping an eye on those fires. Jennifer Henderson reported on what Doucette and Dillman told private investigators and investigators with the Mass Casualty Commission about that night.

Tuesday, March 15

a white church beside a graveyard on a bright winter day1. New life for old churches

A few weeks ago during a road trip, Suzanne Rent wondered what was happening with the small churches in rural communities in Nova Scotia as their congregations dwindled. So, she spoke with a few owners of old churches who converted them into homes, restaurants, and art galleries.

A senior white lady laughs while sitting in a very comfy chair2. Morning File: Remembering Elly Danica

Philip Moscovitch wrote about Elly Danica, who in 1988, wrote Don’t: A Woman’s Word, a book about the physical, sexual, and verbal abuse she suffered at the hands of her father and his friends. Danica’s book became a “sensation.” She appeared on Morningside with legendary Peter Gzowski, who later called it the best interview he had ever done. Danica, who moved to Nova Scotia, died in October. Moscovitch looks at her legacy and the lives she touched.

Halifax Examiner logo3. 2 years ago today, the first cases of COVID were announced in Nova Scotia, and 35 days later the mass murders occurred; the Halifax Examiner has been here for you ever since

Tim Bousquet looked back on the last two years and the reporting by the Examiner and its team. Bousquet wrote, “We’ve also expanded the range of topics we cover, and we want to do more. We want to use our proven reporting heft to tackle new and difficult topics, but that depends on growing reader support.” You can subscribe here. 

Wednesday, March 16

A green beer mug painted on the window of a pub1. Morning File: Setting the suds aside on St. Patrick’s Day

On the day before St. Patrick’s Day, Ethan Lycan-Lang wrote about when he gave up drinking for a month and what got better when he did (he included a list!). But he had a few Guinness on Thursday, though, and wrote, “It’s a special occasion after all. But I’m not too concerned if I miss out on the pub if I can’t have the full intermingling experience.”

The sign outside an RCMP detachment2. Nova Scotia RCMP officer charged with assault

In a news release on Wednesday, the province’s Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT) announced Const. Aaron Brown was charged with assault on Monday. Brown is expected to appear in Sydney provincial court on May 17. Zane Woodford had the report.

A smiling young Black man with a shaved head and trim beard3. Talking about diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism in hockey

Matthew Byard recently interviewed Bradley Sheppard, a retired veteran and current diversity and inclusion consultant, who’s working with Sports PEI to host online sessions about anti-racism in hockey. Sheppard told Byard he was inspired to reach out to the sports organizations after reading about a Black minor hockey player from Halifax, who said he was repeatedly taunted with racial slurs at a hockey tournament in Charlottetown last November.

Thursday, March 17

A woman on a stage with a microphone red backdrop1. The Tideline: Episode 71, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Tara Thorne, host of The Tideline, and her friends, Denise Williams and Holly Gordon, dissect the just-aired fourth season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Plus, a new song from Don Brownrigg!

A blue neon sign whiich reads "Work Harder"2. Morning File: No one wants to work for terrible bosses who pay crap wages while exploiting their talent these days

An article in which Kim Kardashian said, “Get your f—ing ass up and work. It seems like nobody wants to work these days,” got Suzanne Rent all fired up. She wondered what work these days actual means and how we shouldn’t just be valued if we’re producing something for money.

A smiling white middle aged man in a suit3. Emera president Scott Balfour received $8.28 million in compensation in 2021

Jennifer Henderson took a look through Emera’s Management Circular where she learned the pay of the company’s top executives. Emera president Scott Balfour was at the top of the list, receiving $8.28 million in compensation in 2021. See Henderson’s story for what the others made.

An Asian woman and an Asian girl, both smiling in black masks4. What it means to live with COVID

Yvette d’Entremont interviewed Dr. Scott Halperin, professor of pediatrics and microbiology and immunology at Dalhousie University and infectious disease at the IWK Health Centre, about what it means to live with COVID after the restrictions are lifted on Monday. Halperin told d’Entremont, “we need to be very careful about letting down our guard too much at this point.”

a tent and a wooden shelter in a muddy park on a winter day5. Volunteer network says it won’t help dismantle People’s Park after CAO Dubé asks for group’s help to “peacefully” close park

Ethan Lycan-Lang and Leslie Amminson had this report on the latest on People’s Park and how the P.A.D.S Community Network responded when it got a letter from HFM CAO Jacques Dubé, who told the network of volunteers he was “optimistic that in the coming weeks [they would] participate in a process to peacefully close the park and move those in need of shelter to safe housing.”

Friday, March 18

A sign for the Silver Sands Beach park public easement1. Halifax sues over Silver Sands Beach access

Halifax Regional Municipality is headed to court to restore the public’s access to Silver Sands Beach in Cow Bay. The beach was once one of the municipality’s most popular beaches. Now, people can only access it via a right-of-way across private property. Zane Woodford had the report.

containers stacked on a mega ship2. Morning File: A giant ship running aground in the Chesapeake Bay shows why there will never be a megaport in Nova Scotia

Earlier this week an Evergreen ship, the Ever Forward, ran aground in the Chesapeake Bay. That got Tim Bousquet thinking about the megaports these ships need and why Nova Scotia will never need one (hint: the economics don’t make any sense).

A map of Nova Scotia with the Sackville Amherst area circled in red3. Engineering study: three top options to protect Chignecto Isthmus will cost between $189 million and $301 million

New Brunswick Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Jill Green and Nova Scotia Public Works Minister Kim Masland met virtually with reporters to discuss the Chignecto Isthmus Climate Change Adaptation Engineering Feasibility Study and its final report. That report included three options on protecting the Chignecto Isthmus, the piece of land that connects NB and NS that is now under risk. Yvette d’Entremont had the story.

From our archives

COVID 10 spelled out in white pills on a red background.

On Monday, most of the public health measures will be lifted, although as we learned on Friday, masks will continue to be required in school for a few more weeks. The lifting of the public health measures comes almost two years to the day that then premier Stephen McNeil involved the Emergency Measures Act, officially declaring a state of emergency in Nova Scotia. Tim Bousquet reported on that here on March 22, 2020 and detailed the new measures, including limits on public gatherings, screenings at airports, closure of provincial parks, and fines for people and businesses violating social distancing rules.

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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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