Three photos: A cartoon of Grandpa Simpson yelling at a cloud; a dental x ray; a sleepy cat looking at a laptop screen.

Welcome to Weekend File, where you’ll find links to all the articles we published this week. Jump to the separate days, if you like:


Sunday, March 27

A brass set of scales on a wooden table, with a blurry courtroom in the background.

Should Nova Scotia lawyers really be allowed to regulate themselves?

In Stephen Kimber’s weekly column he suggested, “Not based on the actions of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society over the past two years. Perhaps it’s time we followed the path of most Commonwealth countries and decided it’s time — past time — to reconsider letting lawyers be their own judges.”

Monday, March 28

Buildings under construction.1. Morning File: The rules of supply and demand no longer hold for housing, so simply building more market housing won’t bring prices down

Tim Bousquet wrote about the delusional thinking behind removing a few bureaucratic steps for some favoured developers, some questions about the training of the first three RCMP officers at the scene in Portapique, COVID notifications for the legislature (but nobody else), and Zephyr the dog.

A multicoloured housing development map

2. Province announces $21.8 million forgivable loan to developer to build affordable housing in Dartmouth

Ethan Lycan-Lang wrote that this development will be built in one of the nine “special planning areas” the province announced Friday, despite concerns it could affect the sensitive Eisner Cove Wetland. And the “affordable” aspect only applies for 20 years.

Three white men in dark suits sit at a table3. First 3 cops at Portapique testify at public inquiry

Tim Bousquet was at the Mass Casualty Commission to hear one of the officers describe the night of April 18, 2020, as “a war zone.” Bousquet reported that a remarkable new fact emerged: the three constables’ radios were indeed equipped with GPS capability, but it had not been activated.

Tuesday, March 29

A white man and a white woman talk at a table1. NDP drum up support for bill they say will create safe drug supply, prevent overdoses

Jennifer Henderson reported on a news conference where MP Gord Johns and Dartmouth North MLA Susan Leblanc discussed Bill C-216. Said Johns, “It’s time to treat substance use and the toxic drug supply crisis as a health issue, not a criminal issue. Politicians are more worried about votes than they are about saving lives and what we have seen is that these lives don’t matter enough.”

A coffee in a white mug with multi coloured foam on top2. Morning File: Cafés as centres for “queer memory, identity, and place” in Halifax

Philip Moscovitch wrote about Portland, Oregon’s pilot program  designed to respond to mental health crisis calls (and which doesn’t involve police); Sarah Budgell’s thesis on the queer community and how it fits into the broader cultural narratives of Halifax; and Stephen Archibald’s “Old Album, Number Sixteen”, featuring photos of Barrington Street in transition.

Two white male politicians walking down the street laughing3. NS budget: big spending on health care, new taxes on non-residents

Jennifer Henderson took a magnifying glass to the new budget: more money for health care, long-term care, community services, and emergency shelters. (Is it just me, or do these guys look like an ad for a menswear catalogue?)

young white man and woman smiling in sunglasses4. Nova Scotia Power one of three companies facing charges in Andrew Gnazdowsky’s workplace death

Nicole Gnazdowsky said that she was glad to learn of the charges, but they’re not enough. “To hit a company like Nova Scotia Power with something that’s actually going to impact them in a way that forces them to change? It’s not going to be these charges,” she said. “My big issue now is with the investigation.” Yvette d’Entremont had that story.

A sepia photo of a battalion of Black men in military uniforms5. Defence minister: formal apology to No. 2 Construction Battalion to take place this summer

Matthew Byard wrote about a virtual event on Monday, at which National Defence Minister Anita Anand reaffirmed the federal government’s intent to apologize to the former members of the No. 2 Construction Battalion. This was formed and enlisted Black soldiers to participate in non-combative roles overseas during the First World War.

Wednesday, March 30

A white woman with wavy dark chin length hair and dark rimmed glasses1. NS budget fails to take action to deal with the higher cost of living, critics say

These critics included the NDP, the Liberals, the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers, Halifax Chamber of Commerce, the NSTU…Jennifer Henderson had the details.

a dental x ray2. Morning File: No more grinning and bearing it: dental care is health care

Ethan Lycan-Lang looked at the Liberal-NDP agreement to fund dental care, and why we don’t already have universal dental coverage. And he played around with numbers to see what you would need for an annual income to afford “affordable” rent tied to market rates.

a memorial with flowers and cards on a grassy area3. The RCMP didn’t warn the public a mass murderer was on the loose, but people on Hunter Road figured it out themselves

Tim Bousquet was back at the Mass Casualty Commission. This article continued the narrative of events that horrible night and morning.

a smiling blonde woman4. Budget 2022: unmet needs and mental health in Nova Scotia

This op-ed was contributed by Karn Nichols, executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association of Nova Scotia, and Alec Stratford, RSW, executive director/registrar of the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers.

Thursday, March 31

A white couple smiling1. “I’m going to blow his fucking head off”: A Glenholme couple’s close call with a mass murderer

Jennifer Henderson wrote about Carole and Adam Fisher’s ordeal the morning of the mass killing; as he said to RCMP Const. Mike Townsend, “It was a shock. It still is — to realize we are the only frigging survivors — and why?”

A young Black woman with round sunglasses and an orange T shirt2. The Tideline, with Tara Thorne: Jah’Mila

Halifax reggae queen Jah’Mila was in the studio to talk about growing up in Jamaica, how she became part of the Halifax scene, the way the pandemic has pushed her to look at her music career, and what she’ll be wearing on stage at the Cohn when she performs with SNS this weekend. Listen here.

A cartoon of an old man shaking his fist at the sky3. Morning File: Community Facebook groups: these are the people in your neighbourhood

You think your community Facebook group is awful? Suzanne Rent wrote a hilarious and disturbing piece with examples that may make your group look quite civilized. “Oh, adults these days,” she said. And buildings go down, buildings go up. (Tell me about it.)

A red and white for sale sign on a residential street4. Halifax, housing minister shoot down Liberal first-time homebuyers bill

Zane Woodford reported on a proposed bill that would waive deed transfer tax for first-time homebuyers. But as NDP MLA Suzy Hansen argued, “Eliminating the deed transfer tax for first-time buyers would make it easier for those who can already afford to enter the property market. It does nothing to address the core structural issues of affordability.”

Friday, April 1

An orange cat looks at a laptop screen through half-closed eyes1. Morning File: “Writing is stupid”

Tim Bousquet had the latest COVID numbers, and Philip Moscovitch worried that we’re getting too used to reporting the “low hum of death”, rather than adopting any meaningful prevention techniques. Moscovitch also wrote about a brazen fraud at Yale, the “shared madness” that is driving, and how he’s made peace with writing as a career.

a grey A frame building with a red door and cross on top2. Halifax shelter moving from Commons; province spending $195k to keep beds open at new location

Ethan Lycan-Lang reported that the Department of Community Services is adding 25 new overnight beds to the Brunswick Street Mission, at a price of $2600/month per bed. These replace the beds at the temporary shelter at the Pavilion building on the Commons, which cost just over $1400 each.

Three tents under tarps on a wet day in the autumn3. Volunteer group asks HRM to use bylaw to allow unhoused people to continue camping in public parks

Leslie Amminson wrote that P.A.D.S. Community Network met with Mayor Mike Savage and several HRM councillors to discuss Bylaw P-600, which prohibits camping in public parks “unless by permission.” This comes two weeks after Halifax’s CAO Jacques Dubé asked the group to assist with “peacefully” shutting down the park.

From our archives

Rather than highlight an archived article or series like Suzanne Rent does, I’ll give you some tips on how to find past Halifax Examiner articles:

1. You can see a list of articles by a particular author by clicking on their name in the byline under the headline

2. You can click any of the subjects in the menu bar at the very top of the page or

3. You can use the search box to the right of our logo, and type in various subjects or people

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