Three photos: a shelf of banned books, a blonde woman with her black dog, and an emergency homeless shelter

Welcome to Weekend File, where you’ll find links to all the articles you might have missed last week. We had no new articles last weekend. Jump to sections in this article:


Monday, April 25

Peter Kelly in a meeting at Charlottetown City Hall1. Morning File: Peter Kelly, the mendacious grifter, Chapter 27

Peter Kelly is back in the news because some people don’t know how to use Google. Tim Bousquet wrote about the latest in the saga on Halifax’s former mayor. This time, a chartered accountant said Kelly fired him after less than a year in the job as deputy CAO when he raised concerns around financial irregularities, among other issues. Bousquet wondered why people were always giving Kelly a pass: “Why would you hire a man who’s been exposed by multiple 20,000-word articles detailing his antics?”

A poster with a blue broken heart on a bright green background2. “I didn’t know he was the devil”: women recall their experiences with the mass murderer

Tim Bousquet went through documents from the Mass Casualty Commission and had this story on women who knew the killer the Examiner calls GW, and what they told investigators about him. One woman — referred to as AA in those documents — had an “intimate relationship” with GW, who she said held open doors, and was polite, soft spoken and articulate. She told investigators, “I didn’t know he was the devil.”

An older male judge adjusts his glasses in court3. Waiting for answers as the Lionel Desmond inquiry wraps up

Stephen Kimber said Judge Warren Zimmer, a veteran provincial court judge appointed more than four years ago to preside over the Desmond inquiry, had a lot of work to do in the coming months to answer questions about why Lionel Desmond killed his wife, daughter, mother, and then himself. Kimber wrote: “We do know enough from all the evidence presented at the inquiry that many of the systems that should have — could have — averted what happened didn’t.”

Tuesday, April 26

the outside of the Abbie J. Lane Memorial Building1. New Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act passes despite concerns

Philip Moscovitch dug into concerns with the amendments to the Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act, which passed this month. Moscovitch interviewed doctors, advocates, and people who’ve been hospitalized involuntarily. Advocates say the bar for involuntary hospitalizations should be high, while psychiatrists worry fewer people will receive necessary treatment.

Two laptops sit on a cardboard box and a chair in an apartment with other boxes of household goods2. Morning File: Zen and the art of moving out of Halifax

Ethan Lycan-Lang is the friend who will always help you move. For the past week, he’s been helping Leslie Amminson move out of her apartment as she prepares for an internship in Toronto. So for this Morning File, Lycan-Lang thought he’d share some advice about moving, including remembering your keys, how to sell stuff online, and where you can get free wine boxes (after you drink the wine).

two pedestrians walk past an emergency housing shelter3. Councillor blames Halifax Mutual Aid for alleged assault in Dartmouth park

Coun. Sam Austin sent out a statement this week in which he blamed Halifax Mutual Aid, a group of anonymous volunteers, for an assault that happened in a park where the group set up a temporary shelter. Zane Woodford had this report on Austin’s statement, and reaction from Halifax Mutual Aid and others.

Several photos of Portapique4. Special: Here’s all the Halifax Examiner’s reporting on the mass murders of April 18/19, 2020

The Halifax Examiner has been covering the mass murders of April 2020 since that weekend. We gathered all the articles we’ve published on the story since then and are archiving them on this page. We’ll update this page as we publish more.

A young girl peeks out a window5. New report finds poverty, systemic racism and discrimination “most urgent threats” to well-being of NS children, youth

A new study found that while many children and youth in Nova Scotia are doing well, many others are being left behind. Yvette d’Entremont spoke with the lead author of the  ‘One Chance to be a Child’ report, the first “comprehensive snapshot” of child and youth well-being in the province. “We don’t actually talk to children and youth about their experiences,” said Sara Kirk, lead author of the report told d’Entremont.

Wednesday, April 27

A bookshelf with a few books and signs reading "Banned" and Challenged"1. Morning File: Banned and challenged: it’s not wokeness gone wild that’s behind books being removed from libraries

Philip Moscovitch was fired up over a Facebook meme that showed a photo of the most banned books from public libraries and schools in the US. Turns out, that meme is not accurate at all (shocking!) Moscovitch finds out what books were actually challenged by libraries, and wrote, “Are the books the right-leaning people are so upset about and wanting to have removed the titles in the photo at the top of this piece? I don’t think so.”

a blonde woman smiling with her black dog2. Lisa McCully was ‘creeped out’ by a neighbour in Portapique; then he killed her

Tim Bousquet had this report on the mass killer’s history of abuse and intimidation, including that of his former neighbour, Brenda Forbes, who moved to Portapique with her husband in 2004. Bousquet also wrote about what Leon Joudrey — another Portapique resident — told Mass Casualty Commissioners about the killer harassing Lisa McCully just days before the killing.

The fake RCMP car3. The RCMP didn’t tell the public about the mass murderer’s fake police car because they didn’t want to create a ‘frantic panic’

One of the biggest unanswered question remaining since the mass killings of April 2020 has been: Why did the RCMP wait so long to notify the public about the killer’s fake police car? Tim Bousquet reported on documents from the Mass Casualty Commission that looked at what happened that weekend, and why the delay in telling the public about the fake car.

a big red brick church soars skyward4. Halifax committee recommends heritage registration for former United Memorial Church

Zane Woodford was at Halifax regional council’s advisory committee where, for the second time, it recommended in favour of heritage registration for the former United Memorial Church on Kaye Street in Halifax. The former church, which was built in 1921 following the Halifax Explosion, now has a new owner, who is in favour of heritage designation and has plans for a “creative adaptive reuse project” for the church.

Thursday, April 28

n elderly white woman with grey hair and an orange top1. The Tideline, Episode 77: Elizabeth Murphy 

This year is Shakespeare by the Sea’s 28th season, and its surviving founder, Elizabeth Murphy, is retiring. She joins Tara Thorne on The Tideline this week to chat about the company’s history, challenges, its legacy in the theatre community, and her next act. Plus, a new song from Rich Aucoin.

a cellphone on top of an open phone book1. Morning File: Share, not scare: how technology has changed what information we tell others

Suzanne Rent recently had a conversation with her daughter, who just discovered the phone book and was creeped out that it included people’s phone numbers and addresses. Rent wrote about how social media has induced us to share even more information, making it even creepier than the phone book. Plus, she ran a selfie through photo editing app, FaceApp. Are the results fooling anyone? You decide.

an arm preparing to donate blood2. Canadian Blood Services to end restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men

Yvette d’Entremont had this report on a decision many have waited for years to be made. Health Canada gave Canadian Blood Services the go-ahead to finally lift the three-month deferral period for in place for sexually active men who have sex with men. As d’Entremont reported, a new screening approach will include a questionnaire about sexual behaviours applicable to all blood and plasma donors.

a number 55 bus on a sunny day3. Halifax Transit identifies ‘no operational or safety issues’ with revamped Route 55

Residents of a neighbourhood off Waverley Road who don’t like the bus joined a virtual meeting of the Transportation Standing Committee to express their concerns about the new route for Halifax Transit’s Route 55. Zane Woodford was there, too. While the residents complained about everything — including “stranger danger” of having the bus drive past their children — the committee didn’t agree.

Friday, April 29

a blue jagged line on a graph1. Morning File: Record numbers of people are dying of COVID in the ‘So What?’ wave of the pandemic

Twenty-four people died from COVID in Nova Scotia last week. That’s the highest weekly COVID death toll for the duration of the pandemic. Hospitalizations are also up. While we’re in the sixth wave of the pandemic, as Tim Bousquet wrote, as people continue to die, too many people are saying, “So what?”

From our archives

Two smiling white guys at a table with notepads and pens in front of them.

In September 2014, when Tim Bousquet found out former Halifax mayor Peter Kelly got a new job as the CAO of Westlock County in Alberta, he decided to make some phone calls. He called all the councillors in the county of 7,000 people just outside Edmonton. Bousquet finally got Councillor Mel Kroetsch on the line. The two talked about Kelly’s hiring at the county, and Bousquet told him about the scandals Kelly was involved in back in Halifax. Bousquet wrote: “Before I called him, Kroetsch knew nothing about those issues at all. He had never heard of them. Five minutes after I got off the phone with Kroetsch, Massey, the county reeve, called me back.” Check out this Morning File to find out how the rest of those conversations went.

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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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