Three photos: A white woman testifies at the MCC, a deer waits to cross the road, and a Black man smiles in a school hallway

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, June 11

A bird flies over glassy water near the Northern Pulp millThe “weird” legal mechanism being used by Northern Pulp in its $450 million lawsuit against Nova Scotia

Joan Baxter had part 2 in her series on how the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act is being employed in a lawsuit by Northern Pulp and its owners, Paper Excellence Canada and Hervey Investment BV (Netherlands), which are seeking $450 million from the province of Nova Scotia. In part 1, Baxter wrote how that same federal law was used in 2020 to destroy Mountain Equipment Co-op.

Sunday, June 12

Aerial view of the Waterville Michelin plant

When a worker dies, silence descends…

It’s been just over one month since a Michelin worker died at the Waterville plant, and yet we don’t know much about what happened. Stephen Kimber wondered about the silence behind that worker’s death, so he starting researching and sent out emails to Michelin and the provincial Labour Department. “After that, only silence from both the company and the labour department,” Kimber wrote. “But it seems they weren’t giving the silent treatment just to the media.”

Monday, June 13

a package of Wrigley's spearmint gum1. Morning File: Investors gone wild: gum, weed, and space

Tim Bousquet recently read an article from Politico that chronicled the legal problems of a cannabis company called Parallel. As Bousquet wrote, Parallel had embarked on an aggressive expansion plan across the US, and drew the attention of Special Purpose Acquisition Corporation (SPAC) called Ceres Acquisition. But the proposed $1.9 merger deal fell apart when Ceres investors decided Parallel was all junk. Now, Ceres has eyes on Maritime Launch Services, the company behind the proposed Canso space port. Bousquet wondered what Ceres would find there.

Halifax cops checking the grass2. Staff still looking to Halifax police to enforce new plan for tenting in municipal parks

Municipal staff are still recommending Halifax Regional Police be called in to enforce the city’s plan to limit tenting to a handful of parks. That recommendation was included in a staff report, which was a response to a motion from May when municipal staff were recommending 16 municipal parks be used, with a maximum of four tents each. Zane Woodford had the details.

Tuesday, June 14

A white woman in a pink blouse raises a finger while she speaks1. Two years after Portapique, call-takers and dispatchers are still struggling

Jennifer Henderson reported on the testimony of two shift supervisors who  described the working conditions on Sunday morning, April 19 2020 at the RCMP Operations Communications Centre (OCC). That’s where 911 operators answered call after call from residents reporting more shooting victims that weekend. Henderson wrote about what has happened at OCC since then, and how some of the employees haven’t yet returned to work.  

The outside of a donair shop at night2. Morning File: Unwrapping the story of the donair

Philip Moscovitch is back from his trip to Greece, and he wrote about the trend of getting the best selfies at tourist sites. “Even if you’re not in the photo yourself, the point is somehow to indicate, ‘I was here.’ It’s a natural human impulse, right?” Moscovitch wrote. He also recently listened to a podcast about the story of the donair and how cities across Canada are breaking all the rules when it comes to Halifax’s official food.

The white red and blue sign of the IWK hospital3. IWK emergency department over capacity, number of visits expected to increase

IWK Health Centre’s emergency department (ED) sent out a message via its Twitter account on Tuesday, saying they were over capacity. That IWK tweet also included a link to a video in which they explain how they triage patients. Yvette d’Entremont had this story about what’s going on at the children’s hospital.

A red sign with white lettering which says Save Owls Head4. Owls Head gets provincial park designation

Owls Head is the province’s newest provincial park, and will be operated as a natural reserve. Suzanne Rent got the details about the announcement, plus she had reaction from community and environmental advocates who had been fighting for two years to save Owls Head from being developed into golf courses.

Three Black people at a panel table5. Museum makes case to UN committee to designate Africville as an international site of historic memory

Matthew Byard attended The Routes of Enslaved Peoples Project meeting in Halifax last week. One session featured Juanita Peters and Carm Robertson from the Africville Museum, who were making the case to have Africville designated as an UNESCO international site of memory. That designation would be “a just tribute and a powerful statement of validation and recognition,” Robertson said in their presentation to the UN committee.

Police Chief Dan Kinsella6. Councillors approve new plan for sanctioned tent sites, with Halifax police as ‘final resort’

“The last thing that we want to do, the very last thing that we want to do, is physically remove anyone from their site.” That’s what Halifax Regional Police Chief Dan Kinsella told council this week. Zane Woodford was at the meeting,  where Kinsella was answering questions about the plan from municipal staff to allow people to shelter in tents in eight sites spread across four municipal parks.

Wednesday, June 15

A conservation officer in his truck1. The conservation officer shuffle: Houston government quietly moves inspection, enforcement and compliance officers out of Nova Scotia Environment and back to Natural Resources

Joan Baxter wrote about the quiet decision by the Houston government to move the province’s conservation, inspection, enforcement, and compliance officers from several departments to the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables. As Baxter wrote, there wasn’t even a press release about the decision, which was a reversal of a move made by the McNeil government back in 2016 when all those officers were moved to Nova Scotia Environment and Climate Change. Baxter reported on what this means, including potential conflicts of interest.

The white red and blue sign of the IWK hospital2. Chief of the IWK emergency department says hospital facing ‘unknown territory’ as visits reach record numbers

Yvette d’Entremont interviewed Dr. Katrina Hurley, chief of the IWK emergency department, about the increasing volumes of visits at the emergency department at the children’s hospital. On Monday, the emergency department saw 178 patients. That’s only two patients shy of the department’s busiest day on record. Hurley told d’Entremont she expected the numbers to exceed that record. “I’m quite confident that 178 is beyond what we are capable of doing, even on our very best day,” Hurley said.

An app on a phone's screen3. Morning File: ArriveCAN app: little health benefit, big costs for Canadian travellers

Ethan Lycan-Lang went on his first trip outside of Canada since the Before Times. He thought he had everything planned out, and getting across the border to Maine was a breeze. But the trip back home had a glitch: a border guard almost didn’t let him back home because Lycan-Lang hadn’t filled out the ArriveCAN app. What’s that app, you ask? Lycan-Lang had all the details, just in case you’re planning a cross-border shopping trip this month.

A brunette woman with glasses speaks in front of Nova Scotia flags4. Health minister says high volumes of visits at IWK emergency department ‘not unexpected’

Jennifer Henderson had this follow-up to Yvette d’Entremont’s story about the increasing volumes of visits to the IWK’s emergency department. Henderson got comment from Health Minister Michelle Thompson, who said while the numbers of visits to the IWK were “not unexpected,” the timing was unusual. Thompson also said the Department of Health and Wellness has authorized additional funding for two nurse practitioners and another doctor to cope with the surge in patients at the children’s hospital.

A young Asian woman wearing a blue mask5. New Dal study finds Asian Canadians witnessed, experienced discrimination during COVID-19 pandemic

Yvette d’Entremont spoke with Stephana Julia Moss, a researcher at Dalhousie University’s School of Health Administration and co-author on a new study about the experiences of Asian Canadians during the pandemic. That study found Asian Canadians witnessed or directly experienced discrimination during the pandemic. The study also found that the pandemic had a limited impact on the sense of belonging the Asian Canadians felt.

Thursday, June 16

A smiling Black woman with wavy hair and a black top1. The Tideline: Episode 83, Juanita Peters

Juanita Peters is a former broadcast journalist and current icon who writes, acts, and directs, including her debut feature 8:37 Rebirth. She stops by to chat about the film’s COVID shoot, her time as a reporter, what’s in the works —plays! docs! — directing Diggstown, and being named ACTRA’s Woman of The Year. Plus, a new song from Corvette Sunset.

A climate emergency protest group with a large banner2. Action on climate change too slow, opposition says

Jennifer Henderson reported on the discussions at the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, which was following up on a 2017 auditor general’s report on managing climate change. As Henderson wrote, the Department of Environment and Climate Change has completed nine of 10 recommendations and is still working on the last recommendation: “identifying risks associated with climate change.” During the committee meeting, opposition parties were demanding answers on why action on that recommendation was taking so long.

A deer hesitates at the side of the road3. Morning File: When wildlife and cars collide on our highways

After passing the aftermath of a collision between a car and a deer on the weekend, Suzanne Rent decided to find out how we can work to reduce the number of collisions on the roads and highways. Also, she wrote about researchers who are using ground-penetrating radar to locate the graves of Canada’s Black settlers.

A white female nurse comforts a senior white man in a wheelchair

4. Nurses aren’t signing up for jobs despite Nova Scotia Health’s offer of bonuses

Jennifer Henderson looked into why nurses weren’t scooping up nursing jobs across the province, even as Nova Scotia Health is offering a $10,000 signing bonus. As Henderson learned, nearly six months after the $10,000 signing bonus was discreetly introduced, only 24 registered nurses have signed on for jobs. Henderson also looked at how the signing bonus is affecting the recruitment of nurses at long-term care facilities in the province.

A young Black man smiles wearing a Black T-shirt which reads "I am Black Excellence"5. Schools across Nova Scotia to celebrate Black Excellence Day on Friday

On Friday, schools celebrated Black Excellence Day. Matthew Byard had the details, and he also talked with Lem Sealey, an African Nova Scotia student support worker at two schools, about what he teaches his students every day of the school year. Sealey told Byard it’s unfortunate Black Excellence Day didn’t happen when he was in school. “But sooner is better than later,” he said. “And hopefully next year it could just be added and it won’t just be a day of quote-unquote ‘celebration,’ but it’ll be a day of action, and awareness, and activities.”

a smiling Black woman wearing a bright red top6. Bernadette Hamilton-Reid talks advocacy, economics, and connectivity in the Black community

Matthew Byard recently interviewed Bernadette Hamilton-Reid, who works with African Nova Scotian Decade for People of African Descent Coalition, and is also a very active advocate in the Black community. The two covered plenty of topics during their discussion, including how Hamilton-Reid is connecting Black Nova Scotians through live-streaming events.

Friday, June 17

A young white girl with brown hair in a selfie1. Landlord asked Halifax tenant for illegal deposit, denied apartment when she refused

Zane Woodford spoke with Kirsten Parnell, who said she was denied an apartment in Halifax after refusing to pay an illegal deposit to her prospective landlord. The landlord, who asked Parnell to pay first and last month’s rent up front, on top of a damage deposit, told Woodford the request was “extra security.”

A young white man wearing a black hoodie and a rolex2. Weekend File: Masculinity, as defined by a friend of a mass murderer: “Men want art work that’s a picture of a gun enlarged seven feet high”

Tim Bousquet looked into the mass murderer’s past job as an embalmer. This detail was raised in the Mass Casualty Commission by Robert Doucette, a carpenter who sometimes worked for the killer, who Examiner is identifying only as GW. Bousquet spoke with a few people in the funeral home industry in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick who briefly worked with GW. Bousquet also had an item about masculinity as defined by a friend of the killer.

A historic yellow house with white trim and a magnolia tree outside in the yard. 3. Couple selling business in Mahone Bay after “unbearable” two years, staff shortages

Suzanne Rent spoke with Jessika Hepburn, who owns and operates The Biscuit Eater Café with her husband, Chris Graham. Hepburn told Rent about the “unbearable” time they’ve had with the business and dealing with staff shortages. Hepburn and Graham recently put the café up for sale, and Hepburn shared with Rent some of the reasons for their decision to sell.

From our archives

A birthday cake with white icing and blue icing trim. Candles on top of the cake spell out Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to the Examiner! It was eight years ago today that Tim Bousquet started the Halifax Examiner with this post, in which he wrote, in part: “Much of the content on the site will be free for anyone to view. This will include an early morning post every weekday, one-off opinion pieces and links to other work. More substantial work that takes substantial effort on my part —investigative pieces, analysis, etc. — or that is produced by a freelancer will be behind a paywall.” Over the last eight years, the Examiner has grown and now includes full-time and part-time staff and a slate of excellent freelancers. And, of course, we have our readers to thanks. So, thank you for subscribing and your continued support! We appreciate you all.

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