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🗞 Is Halifax turning a corner?

Plus, The Coast looks back at Halifax's year in sports

Good morning!

Yesterday’s tipping poll sparked quite the response among Coast readers: 44% of you felt that tipping has gone too far, while 40% of you said that you’ll tip for a sit-down meal (but not takeout) and 16% responded that if you can afford to eat out, you can afford to tip—regardless of whether you’re eating in or picking up. One of the most common concerns, though, was about automatic tip amounts being set too high on pay machines.

– Martin

What should the default tipping option be on pay machines?

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🌡️ Traffic & Weather

Today: 🌨️ -4°

Tomorrow: 🌤️ -2°

Next Day: ☀️

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

2023 IN REVIEW

Halifax’s 2023 in sports was an absolute whirlwind

📸 Hockey Canada / Twitter

You didn’t have to look far for good sports headlines in Halifax in 2023. Unlike some years, in which the silver linings could be as flimsy and brittle as your Christmas tree’s needles in mid-January, they seemed to be everywhere this year. Behold, a World Junior triumph. A historic Mooseheads season. A night to remember, courtesy of the Canadian women’s national soccer team—and not just for the chill that hung in the air at the Wanderers Grounds.

The moments came at such a flurried pace, it was hard to keep track of it all.

From the good—of which there was plenty—to bad—thankfully, little—to historic, we break it all down in our Coast year-in-review.

🤔 Need to know

🔎 A Canadian COVID test supplier that reaped $2B in federal contracts was found to have given incomplete data about its tests’ accuracy, according to a Global investigation.

🎨 Registration is open now for art classes, March Break Camps, and PD camps at The Art Space, a new art studio in Fall River.*

🥂 Join Lot Six as they ring in the New Year in style, with fabulous cocktails, oysters, and a glass of Bubbly for all at midnight!*

🩸 More than 900 blood donations are needed in Nova Scotia this holiday season, according to Canadian Blood Services.

🎁 It's the final countdown for holiday shopping! Dive into your favourite North End Halifax shops and find the ultimate gifts that will warm everyone's hearts.*

*Sponsored Post

CITY HALL

Halifax’s budget future is wildly unclear—and that could be a good thing

📸 Martin Bauman / The Coast

Halifax’s budget pre-season is in the books, and reading the tea leaves, it’s increasingly difficult to predict what the future will hold. That’s on account of the regional plan review—which came back to council after a summer of gathering public feedback and actually seemed to change some things.

One of the things council heard loud and clear was that transportation planning was not as holistic as it should be, if the city is serious about meeting its goals as outlined in the Green Network Plan and Integrated Mobility Plan. That’s because—to get into the bureaucratic weeds for a moment—they lacked legislative teeth. Not anymore.

As The Coast’s city hall reporter Matt Stickland writes, the change could have far-reaching, but subtle, influences on how the city achieves its strategic goals. And there’s good reason to be optimistic about the future.

🗞️ In Other News

💰 A Halifax-area MLA is calling on the province to increase its staffing budgets after a recent attack at a constituency office.

⚖️ A convicted rapist who sexually assaulted three women in Halifax has been granted day parole after seven years in prison.

⛺ High winds and icy weather have brought added challenges to people sleeping in tents in Halifax’s Grand Parade.

🌲 Nova Scotia’s government has designated 14 new protected wilderness areas and nature reserves—including 3,900 hectares near St. Margarets Bay.

🏥 The province is inviting Nova Scotians to vote on a list of suggestions to improve the health-care system.

🥀 John Godfrey, who founded the King’s journalism program and served as an MP from 1993-2008, has died at 80. Prime minister Justin Trudeau says Godfrey “believed in building better communities.”

SPONSORED BY ART GALLERY OF NOVA SCOTIA

Last minute gifts at AGNS’ Gallery Shop

The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia’s Gallery Shop has all of your last-minute gift needs. From one-of-a-kind jewelry, art prints, everything Maud and more, the Gallery Shop has something everyone on your list will love. We’re open 10am to 5pm today and tomorrow, and until 2pm on Sunday.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

The ultimate list of Nova Scotian-filmed holiday movies—and how to watch them

📸 Christmas With Holly, November Christmas, Candles on Bay Street

When it comes to the golden age of Halifax-shot holiday films, it’s really all about the early 2000s: From the type A bride scuttling cross-country for her Dec. 25 wedding to a single mother making the most of things, there was no better place for a heroine to flick her skinny scarf, snap shut her flip-phone and fall in love than on film sets in Chester, Mahone Bay or Halifax proper.

Many of these made-for-TV movies would have been lost to time if not for dedicated Christmas lovers on YouTube—and all of them offer a hearty dose of Nova Scotia on screen.

If you’re looking for something local to watch over the holidays, The Coast has you covered—and then some.

SPONSORED BY HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY

Holiday Fire Safety!

Follow along as Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency shares tips to keep you and yours safe this holiday season.

🗓️ Things To Do

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

Holiday Concert at Woodlawn Public Library: Jazz vocalist Daniel Matto, pianist Scott Taylor and violinist Anders Balderston put on a free, hour-long show this morning. | Dec. 22 | 11am-noon | Free

Symphony NS: Handel’s Messiah: The annual choral classic continues at Dalhousie’s Rebecca Cohn Auditorium for one more performance tonight. | Dec. 22 | 7:30pm | $20-80

Callehan Duo at Loose Cannon Pub: Billed as Celtic folk Americana, vocalist and guitarist Tony Trimper leads a weekly Friday set at the Argyle Street pub. | Dec. 22 | 10pm-1am | No cover

Owambe Christmas Vibes: Enjoy a buffet of Nigerian food and festive classics with a traditional OWAMBE celebration (a Yoruba party), complete with DJs and a dancefloor. | Dec. 23 | 7-10pm | $75.88

Holiday Sweater Run: Take part in a free, timed 5K fun run at the Chain of Lakes (one dog allowed per runner). Bring your favourite holiday sweater. | Dec. 23 | 8:45am-11:45am | Free

Mellotones at Bearly’s: Catch the horn-driven Halifax band live in concert this Saturday at the Barrington Street blues bar. | Dec. 23 | 9:30pm-midnight | No cover

Find more Halifax events in The Coast listings.

🍴 Where To Eat & Drink

🦪 Portland Street cocktail bar Dear Friend was voted Best Oyster Bar in The Coast’s 2023 reader-selected Best of Halifax Awards.

🍸 Field Guide has a Cool Runnings cocktail made with Appleton rum, Jägermeister, spiced sorrel, ginger and lime.

🧁 Xena’s Bread and Butter celebrates its one-year anniversary on Brunswick Street tomorrow with live music, Bingo and a portion of proceeds going to the Bide Awhile animal shelter.

👀 In Case You Missed It

🎙 How did Halifax wind up in a $68.7M hole? Coast reporter Matt Stickland dives into the issue in the latest Grand Parade podcast.

💸 If your latest heat bill sent a chill up your spine, The Coast has you covered with a list of ways to save money on heating this winter—or at least find some humour in the situation.

🥂 With New Year’s Eve just around the corner, The Coast’s Alyssa Goulart brings you the inside scoop on all the parties and festivities around the HRM.

That’s it!

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