🗞️ The JUNO Week issue

Plus, warm spring expected for Maritimes

Good morning!

Weeks after Nova Scotia’s government introduced a controversial subsidy for wine bottlers that some warned would have a “catastrophic effect” on the province’s wineries, premier Tim Houston changed course this week. On Tuesday, Houston told wine producers that he’s “pausing” the subsidy program—or putting a cork in it, if you will—to create a working group that can come up with a solution to benefit bottlers and wineries alike.

That’s a different tune to when the premier suggested Nova Scotia’s small wineries should “ramp it up” if they’re worried about foreign grapes flooding the wine market. (Houston also faced scrutiny for his apparent friendship with the co-owner of one of the province’s two largest bottlers, with whom he was recently photographed. Houston scoffed at any suggestions that he was helping a friend, calling it “absolutely ridiculous.”)

How the times change.

“Obviously, concerns have been raised and heard, and I would say, respected,” Houston told the wine producers on Tuesday.

Now that’s an apology to raise a glass to.

– Martin

🌡️ Traffic & Weather

Today: 🌧️ 4°

Tomorrow: 🌤️

Next Day: 🌦️ 2°

🚗 Driving, biking or busing today? Check out the current traffic conditions and ongoing road closures.


The Coast’s guide to all the JUNO Week events in Halifax

📸 L-R: Maestro Fresh Wes, Nelly Furtado, Begonia

When Nelly Furtado steps onto the Scotiabank Centre stage to host the 2024 JUNO Awards this Sunday, Mar. 24, it will mark a big moment for Halifax: The first time since 2006 that Nova Scotia—or any part of the Maritimes, for that matter—has hosted the annual awards ceremony, and the first time since 2010 that Atlantic Canada has welcomed the JUNOs, when rapper K’Naan won “Artist of the Year” in St. John’s.

Sunday promises to be a party, but it’s not the only one in town this week—true to Halifax’s nature, there are shows all week long, ranging from the JUNO-affiliated to the JUNO-adjacent to the not-quite-adjacent-but-definitely-worth-the-admission.

🤔 Need To Know

⚖️ A 22-year-old charged in connection with last year’s historic wildfire in Shelburne County has pleaded not guilty.

🚰 Halifax Water plans to apply for a rate increase to offset an $18M deficit, the utility told HRM council this week.

🚨 Mounties are now treating a recent shooting in North Preston as a homicide after the 18-year-old victim passed away in hospital.

🛒 We need your help: As The Coast reports on food insecurity and the challenges many Haligonians face under a grocery duopoly, help us to update our map of the HRM’s independent grocers.

🎶 The JUNOS are here! And Downtown Halifax will be jam-packed with exciting things to do to celebrate. Find out everything that is happening here.*

*Sponsored Post


Get your wristband to JUNOfest

The 2024 JUNO Awards are being hosted in Halifax between March 21-24. One of the events is JUNOfest - a two-night music festival this Friday and Saturday, taking over intimate stages and bustling pubs across Halifax. It’s going to be action-packed; featuring over 100 artists, fans can catch some of their favourite Canadian musicians and JUNO nominees in more than 10 venues across the city. Fans can purchase a wristband for $65 to get access to all JUNOfest shows. Get your wristband here.

Venues include Hide + Seek, Pacifico, ROX LIVE, Sanctuary Arts Centre, St. Matthew’s United Church, The Carleton, The Local, The Loft, The Marquee Ballroom and The Seahorse Tavern.

Find out about the FREE JUNO Express bus, and other transit options here.


King’s to host conversation between authors of The Wall Between: What Jews and Palestinians Don’t Want to Know About Each Other

📸 Left: Raja Khouri. Right: Jeffrey Wilkinson

Haligonians looking for answers and reflection about the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict may find some tonight, as the University of King’s College hosts a conversation with the authors of the book, The Wall Between: What Jews and Palestinians Don’t Want to Know About Each Other.

Co-authored by Raja Khouri and Jeffrey Wilkinson, the book makes the case for how dialogue and connection across cultural lines is more important than ever before. Khouri, a Palestinian-Lebanese Canadian, co-founded the Canadian Arab-Jewish Leadership Dialogue Group, while Wilkinson, a Jewish American living in Guelph, Ont., works as a facilitator within the Jewish community on issues relating to trauma, memory and the Israeli-Palestinian struggle.

In a November op-ed for The Walrus, the two write about how trauma “acts like a force field that repels narratives that appear threatening to our own perspectives.

“The respective traumas—incurred by Jews through millennia of exile, culminating in the Holocaust, and by Palestinians through mass displacement during the Nakba—have kept us each in our camps, resistant to viewing the other and the other’s pain,” they write. “It is a very real obstacle to reaching out beyond our own painful stories and to grasping the depths of the other’s pain.”

Tonight’s event at King’s is free and starts at 7pm at Alumni Hall.

Join The Coast team!

We’re hiring an Account Executive to join our team. If you’re a digital hustler interested in this full-time sales role, apply here.

🗞️ In Other News

⚖️ Nova Scotia’s Utility and Review Board says a disciplinary hearing for the Halifax Alehouse—under scrutiny for a series of alleged violent incidents involving its bouncers—will be public, despite the wishes of the Alehouse’s lawyers.

🌡️ Meteorologists are expecting a warm spring across the Maritimes, after the third-warmest winter on record in Nova Scotia.

☣️ Researchers find some Nova Scotia lakes are still showing traces of arsenic and mercury, decades after the province’s gold mining era ended.

🏥 Nova Scotia frontline health-care workers told a provincial standing committee they’re still facing burnout and pressure amid a system struggling to recruit enough workers.

🪧 Nova Scotia’s NDP wants the province to enact a bill that would ban the use of replacement workers by companies during a strike.


Halifax Burger Bash April 11 - 20

Get ready for Halifax to become Burger City.

Start planning your burger bash now, with over 150 burgers there is something for everyone.


Halifax punk rockers Customer Service spearhead relief concert for unhoused Haligonians

📸 Belinda Naugler Adams

Owen Harris and his bandmates knew they wanted to do something when they saw the HRM had cleared out and fenced off the Grand Parade tent encampment. Raised in Halifax, the Customer Service drummer had watched the city’s housing crisis turn “very severe” in recent years as the province grew and struggled to keep pace with living costs. And as the city prepared to welcome the country’s biggest music stars for the JUNO Awards, it felt to Harris like Halifax’s most marginalized residents were getting pushed out of the frame

His band, Customer Service, is organizing a benefit concert for Mobile Outreach Street Health (MOSH), which offers health-care services for unhoused and insecurely-housed Haligonians. The concert will take over the Seahorse Tavern tonight.

“We were kind of like, what’s something we can do to show our support for our neighbours?” Harris says, speaking by phone with The Coast. “For us, we figured we could hold a show and hopefully raise a good amount of money.”

🗓️ Things To Do

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

🗓 Allison Russell at Light House Arts Centre: The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and activist visits Halifax alongside Oji-Cree singer Aysanabee for a special pre-JUNOs show | Mar. 21 | 8pm | From $44.45

🗓 Amir Amiri Ensemble: Hear the diverse sonic palette of Persian traditional, folkloric and dastgahi music at the Lilian Piercey Concert Hall this Saturday | Mar. 23 | 7:30pm | Pay what you can

🗓 Canada vs. Trinidad & Tobago Watch Party: See Nova Scotia’s Jacob Shaffelburg and the Canadian men’s national team take on Halifax Wanderers captain Andre Rampersad and the Soca Warriors in a Copa America qualifier. Niche Lounge is hosting a viewing party with the Wanderers | Mar. 23 | 5pm | No cover

Find more Halifax events in The Coast listings.

⚓️ What’s In The Harbour

➡️ The 183-metre-long East Coast oil tanker is expected to leave Halifax early this morning for Charlottetown, PEI.

🚢 The 14,669-tonne Bakkafoss container ship is due to arrive at Halifax’s South End Container Terminal around 1pm. It’s inbound from Portland, ME.

🚢 The 364-metre-long ONE Apus container ship is expected to arrive in Halifax from Colombo, Sri Lanka, around 4pm.

🚢 The 71,552-tonne CSL Tacoma bulk carrier is scheduled to arrive in Halifax around 8pm. It’s en route from Wilmington, NC.

🚢 The CB Pacific oil tanker is due at the Irving Oil Terminal from Albany, NY, around 8:40pm.

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