🗞 The RCMP wants more cops

Plus, Halifax Harbour’s rise (in popularity) in 2023.

Good morning, and welcome to Cheese Week!

This week is famous in my household, thanks to this internet comic that’s been kicking around for some time. And let’s be honest: It’s hard to do journalism when you’re confused and full of cheese.

This week, along with the regular breaking news, we’ll be sharing with you our favourite stories of 2023—or the stories of ours that were the most popular throughout the year. So while everyone (read: me) is contentedly confused and full of cheese this week, we hope you enjoy our work from this year that we are most proud of!

– Matt

🌡️ Traffic & Weather

Today: 🌧️ 5°

Tomorrow: 🌧️

Next Day: ☁️ -1°

🚗 Driving today? Check out the current traffic conditions and ongoing road closures.

CITY HALL

Halifax’s police board presents accountability theatre

📸 Waferboard / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

In much the same way an elementary school puts on a holiday show to end the year, Halifax’s Board of Police Commissioners used its last meeting of 2023 for a bit of theatre.

The board got a pitch from the RCMP about its recommendation of approximately $1.1M in extra annual spending, for six new RCMP officers—even though the board already passed this motion at its Nov. 29 meeting. The trouble, as The Coast Matt Stickland reports, is the recommendation motions were not actually on the Nov. 29 meeting’s agenda. And since they weren’t on the agenda, the public—that’s us—didn’t have adequate notice to give submissions or suggestions to the board.

🤔 Need to know

⛺ Halifax says 100 people are still sleeping rough in the HRM as New Year’s Eve approaches—while more than 1,000 are actively unhoused and in shelters, couchsurfing or sleeping in cars.

🚔 Nova Scotia RCMP is looking for witnesses after a Christmas Day shooting in North Preston.

🚨 Mounties are also investigating an armed home invasion in Cole Harbour on Dec. 23 that sent one man to the hospital with an “apparent life-threatening injury.”

STORIES OF THE YEAR

Halifax’s ships came in

📸 Wolfgang Fricke / Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)

A typical year in The Coast’s most-read stories is often a mixed bag that reflects Halifax’s multifaceted interests—some food stories, some news, a couple arts pieces, an investigative story that really blew up, the Best of Halifax. 2023 in popular stories, according to our web traffic results, reads like The Shipping News. “About those billionaire megayachts in Halifax Harbour this week.” “What’s up with all the ships bypassing Halifax Harbour?” “Halifax’s biggest cruise ship of the year (so far) arrives this week.” These are the sorts of headlines crowding the top of the list, pushing other topics lower down and even threatening Best of Halifax’s dominance. In terms of popularity, the story of The Coast’s year is the rise of the weekly harbour traffic report.

Coast reporter Martin Bauman deserves all the credit for seeing the potential in the harbour. Inspired by a similar look at the comings and goings of vessels in one of The Coast’s west coast sibling publications, Martin pitched the idea here. When the rest of our editorial team didn’t immediately bite, Martin waited a beat then pitched it again. And again? However it actually went down, Coast editor Kyle Shaw remembers it as his Dick Rowe moment, rejecting Martin the way the producer rejected The Beatles. To Martin it was more a Victor Frankenstein thing: On February 6 he finally got a chance to try a harbour report, and unleashed a monster.

If you’re a fan of these weekly looks at the comings and goings in the harbour, we’d love to know more about what the appeal is for you. Reply to this email to share your thoughts and help guide Martin’s harbour reports in 2024.

🗞️ In Other News

🚲 A Halifax emergency room doctor says it’s time for the HRM to get serious about safer cycling infrastructure after seeing a rise in ER visits due to cyclists getting hit by cars.

🚨 A Christmas Eve crash on Cape Breton’s Hwy 104 sent seven people to the hospital—including six people from Halifax.

📚 A Nova Scotia woman is fighting to get a book pulled from Amazon after she says someone used AI to write about her daughter’s life and death by stealing material from her own book and social media.

🦠 As Canada enters its fifth year since COVID-19’s arrival, some experts say our country is still falling short in supporting those with long COVID.

💭 Coast Polls

What’s the worst year of the Traumatic Twenties?

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🗓️ Things To Do

Looking for something to do this week? Check out these Coast picks:

🗓 Dickens’ A Christmas Carol: See Neptune Theatre's special 20th anniversary showing of the holiday classic Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. | Until Dec. 30 | 2pm & 7:30pm | $38-$75

🗓 Mooseheads hockey: See the Halifax Mooseheads take on the Charlottetown Islanders at Scotiabank Centre. | Dec. 28 | 7pm | $25.25

🗓 Lobster trap tree: Need fun for the whole family? Take a trip to Peggys Cove and check out Sou'Wester Restaurant & Gift Shop’s traditional lobster trap tree. | 10am-5pm | Free

🗓 Nowadays Fest: Catch some live music by local musicians Katie Wayne, Maed Vent and Rich Ohio at the Woodside Tavern. | Dec. 29 | 8pm | $15

🗓 Art Gallery of Nova Scotia: The AGNS is free through the holiday season. Gather friends and family for a day of cool art and creativity. | Until Jan. 14 | 10am-5pm | Free

Find more Halifax events in The Coast listings.

🍴 Where To Eat & Drink

🍟 In the mood for a late-night snack? Willy’s Fresh Cut Fries & Burgers was voted Best Poutine in The Coast’s annual reader-selected Best of Halifax Awards.

🍺 Garrison Brewing Co. has re-released its Spruce Beer this winter, with flavours of chocolate and molasses and the smell of a fir tree.

🍣 Spring Garden Place Mall sushi spot Ko-Doraku makes deluxe party trays—and damn, they look good.

👀 In Case You Missed It

⛸️ The Oval has officially opened for the skating season—here’s when you can go.

🎵 Looking to refresh your New Year’s playlist with something more local? The Coast breaks down the best Halifax album releases of 2023.

🏒 Halifax’s year in sports was never boring—from a deep Mooseheads playoff run to the North American Indigenous Games to World Juniors gold. The Coast’s Martin Bauman looks back on it all.

📚 In search of a good book to cozy up with over the holidays? The Coast digs into the best books released by Nova Scotia authors in 2023.

That’s it!

Thanks for reading The Coast Daily today ❤️ 

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