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How many international students can Nova Scotia accept?

The numbers are out for the federal government's new cap on visas

Good morning!

The ones about my Amazon Prime account getting hacked don’t rattle me, because I don’t do Prime. Ditto the warnings about suspicious activity happening on my MasterCard. My family has been wrestling with Netflix to access the account we (pay what Netflix asks so we can) share, and the legitimate permission-needed texts look a lot like the phishing texts telling me it’s vital to my continued viewing that I click a link.

But it was the text alerting me that “For security reasons, this Apple ID has been disabled” that nearly got me clicking last week. After all, as a devoted Apple customer I’ve put up with all sorts of nonsense from the company. Following a link called “https://2j.ad/applestore” in order to regain access wouldn’t even register on the list of annoying tech support fixes Apple’s made me try over the years—although if the crooks at the other end of that phishy URL had their way, it would have been number one on my list of online regrets.

Internet scams, and talk about scammers, seems to be everywhere right now. The use of pig butchering scams raises the stakes; financial-advice columnist Charlotte Cowles’ recent blow-by-blow feature, about being tricked out of $50,000 in cash at the behest of some guy who got her on the phone, did a lot of raise awareness. And apparently law enforcement can’t keep up—that was the point of a big story CBC dropped yesterday about “Why Canada is a main target of investment scammers.”

So I’m wondering if this is affecting you. Have you encountered the couch scam on Facebook? Gotten a text with just the right word (PayPal? Trudeau?) to trip you up? Take today’s poll to let me know—I promise it won’t ask for your bank account number—or hit reply to share your story with me.

Have you fallen victim or come close to falling for an internet/phone scam?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

– Kyle

🌡️ Traffic & Weather

Today: 🌦️ 5°

Tomorrow: 🌧️ 10°

Next Day: 🌧️3°

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

🤔 Need To Know

🤢 Nova Scotia's COVID public health hero, Dr. Robert Strang, is watching cases of measles increasing around the world, and he wants you to check your measles vaccination status.

⛺️ The tent encampment at Victoria Park was shut down yesterday. Fencing went up, and city workers removed tents and other belongings that hadn't been taken away. Some of the unhoused people living in Victoria Park moved a block away, to the large grass median on University Avenue.

🔎 RCMP are looking for two men who've gone missing in different parts of the province: Johnathan Asselin is a 31-year-old from Lower Sackville, with brown hair and beard; Anthony Schofield also has brown hair and beard, but is 46 years old and from Rockland, in Shelburne County. The links includes photos and ways to contact the police with information.


Ottawa cuts Nova Scotia’s international student visa allowance by 35%

📸 Lauren Phillips / The Coast

Last week the provincial budget came out, this week it gets debated in Province House, department by department. Among the first to go was the Department of Advanced Education, on Monday, in the Red Chamber (like a game of Clue). The Coast’s education reporter Lauren Phillips was there for hours, from the afternoon well into Monday night, and was pleasantly surprised when the discussion brought up some details about the federal government’s new plan to limit international student visas. Details that have been scarce, at least in public, since the plan was announced on Jan. 22.

Advanced education minister Brian Wong, front and centre in the picture above, told the sub-committee on supply that Nova Scotia has received the total count on international study applications it can receive for the 2024-25 school year: 12,900 to be shared by universities, NSCC, private career colleges and language schools. That’s 7,000 fewer applications than last year, on track with the federal government’s target of reducing applications across the country by 35%. 

All designated learning institutions will be sharing the 12,900 quota, but Wong didn’t go into how this number will be divided—whether every school gets an equal share, for example, or if it’s weighted by the current number of students each school has, or by the number of international students now on campus. Apparently designated learning institutions recently learned about the 12,900 figure, but the province has until the end of March to determine how exactly it will be allocated. 

As of 2023-24, Nova Scotia’s 10 universities alone welcomed more than 14,500 international students. A big unanswered question is how universities will make up for any drop in international student tuition revenue without additional provincial funding to cover that loss.

🗞️ In Other News

✏️ Yesterday CTV Atlantic put the spotlight on Glen Carabin, creator of the Dart Mouth comic book series. A Cape Bretoner living in Eastern Passage, Carabin writes and draws the books about a super hero who serves Dartmouth, with two issues of a planned trilogy already out, and the third well underway.

💰 Toll booths on the bridges over the harbour were staffed by the Commissionaires for almost 70 years, but with the Commissionaires deciding to give up the job, a security company based in Montreal is taking over. GardaWorld's two-year, $2.7 million contract starts in early April.

ℹ️ Tricia Ralph, Nova Scotia's information commissioner, says the public's information access requests are going to be delayed for years because the province rejected her funding request for more staff in the recently released provincial budget.

⚠️ Starting this week, speed limits are being reduced from 50km/h to 40km/k on streets in two neighbourhoods on the peninsula. One is at the very northern end of the peninsula, roughly between the MacKay Bridge ramp and Duffus Street; the other is between Quinpool and Chebucto Roads, from Connaught Avenue almost all the way down to the Northwest Arm. The city says the speed drop "increases the pedestrian survival rate by 40 percent" when a car hits somebody.


Jim Witter Returns to Symphony Nova Scotia

Never one to disappoint, Jim Witter brings his favourite Simon and Garfunkel songs to Symphony Nova Scotia April 5-7. Tickets are selling quickly. Get yours.

🗓️ Things To Do

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

🗓 Irshad Manji: As part of the library’s Hear Me Out series, best-selling author Irshad Manji, creator of the Moral Courage Project, is giving a public talk on the fear of offending and being offended. It happens Tuesday at the Central Library, and is hosted by the CBC’s Caroline Hillier | Mar. 5 | 6:30-8:30pm | Free

🗓 Music Bingo: East Coast Queers is hosting at the queer-friendly Freeman’s Little New York in Fairview, and everyone’s welcome as long as you’re on time. Tonight’s theme is queer anthems | Mar. 5 | 7pm | Free

🗓 The Environmental Gala: The School of the Environment at Saint Mary’s University and the SMU Environmental Society invite you to an evening of food, drinks and dancing, tonight at SMU | Mar. 5 | 7-11pm | $17.31 and up

🗓 Aaron Pritchett w/ Cory Marks & Matt Lang: The “Better When I Do” country singer visits Halifax on his Liquored Up Tour this Wednesday | Mar. 6 | 8pm | $46

🗓 Sackville Sandwich Week: Burger Bash doesn’t start until April 11, but for an appetizer you can take in Sackville’s celebration of sandwiches, with 15 restaurants participating now through Saturday | final day Mar. 9

🗓 Oodles of Noodles: Can you handle another food event? Is that even a question? Quinpool Road’s first-ever ode to the noodle kicks off Wednedsay | final day Mar. 10

🗓 Dartmouth Queer Trivia Night: Alex B is busy this week, celebrating the two-year anniversary of Queer Trivia Night—that’s general trivia in a queen-safe space—by hosting events on both sides of the harbour. The Dartmouth edition happens Wednesday at Brightwood Brewery (Halifax info below) | Mar. 6 | 7pm | $7 per person, minimum two-person table

🗓 Halifax Queer Trivia Night: Join host Alex B on Thursday for a night of trivia for the 2SLGBTQ+ community and allies, happening Thursday at The Duke’s Public House (former Foggy Goggle) | Mar. 7 | 7pm | $7 per person, minimum three-person table

🗓 International Women’s YAY!: Celebrate International Women’s Day this Friday with this comedy show/fundraiser at Elle’s Bisto. Half of ticket sales go to Adsum for Women & Children | Mar. 8 | 8-10pm | $22.63  

🗓 Holly-Bolly Friday: DJ Spin Singh is coming in from Toronto to power a party of Bollywood hits and Hollywood glitz at the Toothy Moose | Mar. 8 | 9pm | $10.90 and up

Find more Halifax events in The Coast listings

⚓️ What’s In The Harbour

🚢 Container ship Atlantic Sail is scheduled to arrive at the Fairview Cove terminal at 5:20am. The 296-metre-long ship is coming from its home port of Liverpool, England, with a quick turnaround in Halifax before leaving for New York at 4pm.

➡️ The Fairwind Legion, a 16,957-tonne general cargo vessel, is heading out to sea at 6pm.

➡️ Car carrier Tirranna will be leaving CN’s Autoport terminal, where replacement workers have been brought in to replace striking regular workers, at 10:30pm. The 30,089-tonne ship’s next port of call is New York.

🚢 The Algoma Integrity, a bulk carrier that’s 197 metres long, is supposed to finish its relatively short journey from New Hampshire to Halifax at 11:21pm.

👀 In Case You Missed It

🎥 Meet Alvena Poole, a working actor at 86 years old, who's known as the heart of the local film community.

⛴️ After years and years of talk, yesterday the province announced that ferry service between Halifax and Bedford is coming. Federal, provincial and municipal governments are putting together a combined $258 million for the project that includes buying five electric ferries and building two terminals. “No more studies, no more plans, no more market studies, no more consultation, no more funding debates," said councillor Tim Outhit. "This is happening.”

That’s it!

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