Three photos: A white woman pharmacist. A brightly coloured quilt with an image of a Black woman. A collage of images off Pinterest to illustrate the phrase "Girl boss".

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, April 3

a memorial on church steps with red paper hearts and tulips

1. A Tragedy of Errors: how RCMP mistakes, missteps, and miscommunications failed to contain a mass murderer

Tim Bousquet chronicled what happened in Portapique on April 18, including how police didn’t seem to believe the killer was driving a fully decked-out RCMP replica car, and Lisa Banfield’s condition when she came out of the woods the morning of April 19.

Monday, April 4

A white man in a black ball cap talks to reporters1. Nick Beaton has every right to be angry, but…

In his column, Stephen Kimber wrote that the Nova Scotia Mass Casualty Commission is now doing what it needs to do — methodically assembling facts and evidence about what happened during Canada’s worst modern mass shooting and exploring the many larger issues the tragedy requires us as a society to confront. The rest of us need to let it do its job because there are more documents — and revelations — to come.

The red and white stacks of the Tufts Cove generating station on a bright sunny day2. Electrifying politics: NDP, Liberals to introduce bills that will change how Nova Scotia Power operates

Last week, NDP House leader Claudia Chender introduced four bills in the legislature that could change the rules under which Nova Scotia Power has operated since it was privatized in 1992. Jennifer Henderson reported on the “what ifs” the bills could mean for ratepayers in the province.

A closeup of some flowers and notes in a roadside memorial3. Morning File: Missteps, Mistakes, and Miscommunications

In his first Morning File of the week, Philip Moscovitch dove into the details of Tim Bousquet’s report on what happened in Portapique that weekend in April 2020. Moscovitch also wrote about old baseball cards, and the city’s hunger for Popeye’s chicken.

A Black woman and two Black men sitting at a table

4. Thriving in the Maritimes: Black Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI advocates look to strengthen connections

Matthew Byard spent some time in PEI recently where he met Black organizers and advocates from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI at the offices of the Black Cultural Society of Prince Edward Island. Together, those advocates are talking about ways of strengthening Black community connections throughout the Maritimes.

Northern Pulp at night

5. Northern Pulp and its wealthy owners seem intent on taking Nova Scotians to the cleaners

Joan Baxter looked at the latest on Northern Pulp. On April 1 in British Columbia Supreme Court, Justice Shelley Fitzpatrick issued an order that forces Nova Scotia into a “mediation” process in the BC court, where Northern Pulp and six related companies have been enjoying creditor protection since June 2020. But as Baxter wrote, the lawsuit is against the people of Nova Scotia, who will be paying the price.

A new house in three shades of grey, with angled soffits protruding up and to the right.6. Nova Scotia contributes $200,000 to revised Habitat for Humanity project in Spryfield

Zane Woodford reported on the announcement by the Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing that it’s giving more than $200,000 to a Habitat for Humanity project in Spryfield that will create 70 affordable homes. As Woodford reported, the money will go toward pre-construction costs at Habitat Way, Habitat for Humanity’s housing project off Drysdale Road.

A white woman pharmacist with a blue mask7. Study examines work of Nova Scotia pharmacists, the pandemic’s ‘unsung heroes’

Yvette d’Entremont interviewed the authors of a new research paper that looked at the under-recognized role community pharmacists played in providing primary health care during the pandemic. The study’s lead author told d’Entremont community pharmacists are “unsung heroes” in this pandemic.

Tuesday, April 5

A collage of images from the internet1. Morning File: Well-behaved women are rarely quoted properly

Philip Moscovitch wrote about a couple of podcasts he’s been listening to lately, including one he describes as a “tour through common misconceptions — from baby carrots not being actual, you know, baby carrots, to the origins of the quote “Well-behaved women rarely make history.’”

A man in green police gear with a police dog2. Here’s how Cst. Craig Hubley killed the mass murderer

Cst. Craig Hubley spent the morning of Sunday, April 19, 2020 driving around in his truck with his service dog Dux, and looking for a man in the midst of a killing spree. With his truck low on gas, Hubley stopped at the Irving Big Stop in Enfield to get gas and found himself next to the killer, and shot him dead. In this report, Tim Bousquet detailed how that morning unfolded.

An older white man with dark red hair3. Halifax council votes to cut off Reg Rankin’s salary as executive director of landfill monitoring committee

Zane Woodford had this report on Halifax regional council vote to stop funding the former councillor Reg Rankin’s salary as executive director of the community monitoring committee for the city dump. As Woodford wrote, the move is part of council’s effort to clean up governance issues with the Otter Lake Community Monitoring Committee (CMC).

A woman with dark hair in front of a wall of Nova Scotia flags4. Some Nova Scotians soon to be eligible for fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose

Seniors aged 80 and older, nursing home residents, and seniors in other group settings will soon be eligible for a fourth dose of vaccine to help reduce the impact of COVID-19. Yvette d’Entremont had more details.

Wednesday, April 6

A hand holds up a bristol board sign which says Housing is a human right in capital letters.1. Researchers explore homelessness in Nova Scotia during early months of COVID-19

Yvette d’Entremont had this story on a collaborative study between researchers at Dalhousie University, Cape Breton University and University of Toronto that looked at the “ongoing systemic disaster” of homelessness in Nova Scotia during the pandemic’s early months. The researchers told d’Entremont they hope their work will inform future disaster responses.

people onstage in period costumes2. Morning File: Reopening and rediscovering community theatre

Ethan Lycan-Lang wrote about his acting debut in a community theatre production of Romeo and Juliet. Lycan-Lang took on the role of Paris, and told us what he learned. His first lesson? Acting is hard. “It was fun, but I should stick to writing,” he wrote.

A Black man in a dark ball cap, with a mask, inside a hockey arena3. Black ice: Continuing the tradition of Black hockey in Nova Scotia and P.E.I.

Matthew Byard had another story from PEI. This one focused on Ryan Maxwell, who as a youth was the only Black player in PEI. He now coaches his daughter’s minor hockey team in Charlottetown. But Byard also wrote about the history of the Black community on the island, including a story on a Black neighbourhood known as The Bog.

An older white man with white hair and dark rimmed glasses in front of some Nova Scotia flags at a press conference4. Nova Scotia housing minister moves to cut Halifax planning committees for three years

Zane Woodford looked at Bill 137, which Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister John Lohr introduced in the legislature on Wednesday. The bill includes amendments to the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter designed to create a smoother process to get more housing approved. As Woodford wrote, Lohr called the bill “bold,” but Coun. Waye Mason said he finds “the whole thing depressing.”

Thursday, April 7

A young woman in a hi viz vest tests water samples in a sewer

1. As COVID spikes in wastewater across Canada, Halifax project hopes for funding renewal

As the number of cases of COVID continue to rise in Nova Scotia and across the country, a wastewater surveillance project in the province might get more funding to study the amounts of virus in wastewater. Yvette d’Entremont reported on what the study can tell us about patterns and how much COVID is in our communities.

Houston and Strang standing awkwardly in a video2. Premier Houston and Dr. Strang make a video

Jennifer Henderson reported on that folky video with Premier Tim Houston and Dr. Robert Strang, in which they encourage Nova Scotians to get back out there while still being kind, wearing masks, and keeping their distance. The video was released on Wednesday, as case numbers continue to rise in the province. And not everyone is pleased with the PR campaign.

3. Rejecting the “Girlboss” bullshit

Suzanne Rent is not a fan of language used to “empower” women. Words like superwoman, warrior, and girlboss. Turns out, plenty of other women dislike this bullshit, too, especially the girlboss concept. Rent wrote about all this nonsense language and found out more about the origins of the girlboss.

Friday, April 8

three women at a table with microphones1. Private member’s bill seeks to limit the use of non-disclosure agreements in cases of harassment, discrimination

Jennifer Henderson reported on a private member’s bill that seeks to restrict the use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in circumstances where people have been the victims of harassment or discrimination. Supporters of the bill say the NDAs have long silenced survivors of harassment.

Lucy in her Psychiatric Help 5 cents booth2. Morning File: Relying on junk science, the RCMP made a terrible decision during the mass murders

Tim Bousquet wanted to know what kind of training crisis negotiators get after reading that the negotiators on the job during the April 2020 said the killer had killed himself. Bousquet also looked at the most recent — and scant — data on COVID in Nova Scotia.

Three black women and a Black man in front of a brightly coloured quilt hanging in an art gallery3. Stitching together a history of quilting in African Nova Scotia communities

Matthew Byard recently attended the opening The Secret Codes: African Nova Scotian Quilts at the Confederation Centre of Arts in Charlottetown. The exhibit includes quilts gathered from creators in Black communities across Nova Scotia. Byard spoke with curator David Woods, as well as Myla Borden, about the beautiful works of art and what they mean to Black communities.

A reminder

We’re eligible for the Digital News Subscription Tax Credit, which Tim wrote about in detail here.

If you’re looking for your receipts, start here.

Subscribe to the Halifax Examiner

We have many other subscription options available, or drop us a donation. Thanks!

Suzanne Rent is a writer, editor, and researcher. You can follow her on Twitter @Suzanne_Rent and on Mastodon

Leave a comment

Only subscribers to the Halifax Examiner may comment on articles. We moderate all comments. Be respectful; whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims. Please read our Commenting Policy.