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  • 🗞 Here's why Halifax is broke

🗞 Here's why Halifax is broke

Plus, The Coast's guide to saving money on heating this winter

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Good morning!

If you’ve been lurking around Halifax’s subreddit this past week, you might have glimpsed a question that got a lot of people talking. One Haligonian says their New Year’s resolution is to “NEVER tip more than 15% for dine-in and to ALWAYS tip 0% for takeout,” citing the need for restaurants and cafes to pay their staff a living wage, rather than count on customers to bridge the gap. Some people agree with them; others say it’s a little Scrooge-like. What do you think?

– Martin

When's an appropriate time to tip?

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🌡️ Traffic & Weather

Today: 🌨️ 0°

Tomorrow: 🌤️ -4°

Next Day: 🌤️ -2°

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

CITY HALL

The Grand Parade podcast: Where did Halifax’s budget crunch come from?

📸 Martin Bauman / The Coast

Halifax councillors have a choice to make, and neither option will leave them looking good: They can either opt to raise property taxes to cover a $68.7M shortfall—a move council seems especially reluctant to do—or they can cut a mix of programs, services and capital projects from a growing list of the region’s needs.

City staff told council in November that Halifax’s true shortfall was in the neighbourhood of $105M, until it slashed $37M from the books by cutting back on its Strategic Initiative funding and capital-from-operating funding. So how did we get here?

In this week’s episode of The Grand Parade podcast, Coast city hall reporter Matt Stickland explains to fellow reporter Martin Bauman why Halifax is in such dire financial straits. Plus, Matt gets excited about trains.

🤔 Need to know

⚡ More than 7,000 Nova Scotia Power customers remained without electricity as of Wednesday afternoon after severe storms blew through the Maritimes and left both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick with widespread power outages.

🛍️ With Christmas fast approaching, there’s no time to buy online! Shop at local businesses in North End Halifax to find your perfect gifts on time.*

💰 Some low-income Nova Scotians say they’ve been waiting months for government support amid ongoing cost-of-living challenges.

🎁 Looking for some last-minute gift ideas? Look no further than the 2023 Downtown Halifax Holiday Gift Guide for some local and unique gift-giving inspiration.*

*Sponsored Post

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LIVING COSTS ON THE RISE

8 ways to save money on heating this winter

📸 Jan Walter Luigi / Unsplash

We’ve had a milder mid-December with daytime highs reaching 13C and 11C earlier this week, but as the days churn on toward the coldest time of the year, there’s one thing on many Haligonians’ minds: Heating costs.

Even with Ottawa carving out a three-year exemption for home heating oil from the federal carbon tax in October, it remains the most expensive way to heat a home. It is also rather unpredictable: From January to December this year in Halifax, according to Natural Resources Canada, the cost of furnace oil dropped by as much as 67 cents per litre and climbed by as much as 65 cents per litre.

Which begs the question: How to stay warm on a budget?

From conventional to, er… highly unconventional wisdom, The Coast has you covered with the best ways to save on your heating costs this winter.

🗞️ In Other News

⚖️ The man who killed Halifax gay rights activist Raymond Taavel in 2012 has been released from a psychiatric hospital after eight years.

🚨 Halifax police arrested a suspect after a 30-year-old man was stabbed on Lake Crest Drive in Dartmouth early Wednesday morning.

✈️ Canada’s military is spending $2.5B on 11 armed drones—the majority of which will be stationed at a base in Nova Scotia.

🦠 The WHO has identified a new COVID-19 variant of interest but says the global health risk remains low.

🍷 Nova Scotia’s convenience stories are hoping the province will follow Ontario’s lead in allowing shop owners to sell alcohol—but will it happen?

SPONSORED BY ATLANTIC NEWS

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WHAT’S HAPPENING

Ring in 2024 with these New Year’s Eve events

📸 Ground Picture

How will you be saying goodbye to 2023? From comedy shows to concerts and every party in between, Halifax has no shortage of celebrations on offer for Dec. 31—and to help you get around safely, Halifax Transit will be free after 6pm in support of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

So, what should you do? The Coast’s newsletter editor, Alyssa Goulart, has you covered on all the ways to greet 2024 with an insider’s guide to New Year’s Eve events in Halifax.

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🗓️ Things To Do

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

🗓️ Into the Time Slip: An All-Drag Rocky Horror Shadowcast: Watch a cast of Halifax’s best drag talent perform the cult favourite Rocky Horror Picture Show as the film screens in this one-night-only performance. | Dec. 21 | 8:30-11:30pm | $17.31

🗓️ Symphony NS: Handel’s Messiah: The annual choral classic returns to Dalhousie’s Rebecca Cohn Auditorium for two nights, starting tonight. Tickets are limited. | Dec. 21-22 | 7:30pm | $20-80

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

🗓️ 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

🗓️ 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

🍗 In the mood for barbecue? North end favourite CHKN CHOP was voted Best BBQ in The Coast’s annual reader-selected Best of Halifax Awards.

🌮 Halifax food hall Bell’s Lane Kitchen opened earlier this month in Purdy’s Landing and offers a little bit of everything—from tacos to grab-and-go sandwiches to cocktails.

🍎 Lake City Cider has a holiday-ready Mac G cider made from McIntosh and Gravenstein apples at theirPortland Street taproom.

👀 In Case You Missed It

🎵 Time to freshen up your playlist? The Coast counts down the best albums and EPs from Halifax artists in 2023.

⚽ The Halifax Wanderers announced Aidan Daniels, Cale Loughrey and Riley Ferrazzo will return in 2024. Need more footy? The latest Wanderer Grounds podcast sees Matt and Martin give out Christmas presents and New Year’s resolutions to each of the Wanderers players.

🌬️ This week’s low-pressure system broke record-high temperatures in all three Maritime provinces.

📻 Nova Scotia is spending $7.5M on close to 2,000 new mobile radios for volunteer first responders as part of recommended actions following the Mass Casualty Commission.

That’s it!

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