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🗞️ Nova Scotia's forests are not okay

Plus, HRM clears out Grand Parade tent encampment

Good morning!

This past weekend, I got to experience a moment I’ve dreamt of for years: Seeing my book, Hell of a Ride, on a store shelf. It was everything I’d hoped it would be.

It’s a bit of an odd feeling as a journalist more used to writing about others to become the centre of a story, but it’s been encouraging to hear people reaching out with kind words and mental health-related stories of their own. The Next Chapter’s Shelagh Rogers once said that “we’re all in the same boat.” That adage has stuck with me.

Those words seem particularly prescient today, given our top stories in this morning’s Coast Daily edition: A climate emergency that continues to affect us all, and a housing crisis that threatens a growing number of Nova Scotians.

– Martin

🌡️ Traffic & Weather

Today: 🌧️ 3°

Tomorrow: 🌤️

Next Day: ☁️

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

ENVIRONMENT

Thanks to wildfires, Nova Scotia’s forests now emit more carbon than they sequester

📸 Communications Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia’s trees aren’t what they used to be. That stark report was the main takeaway from last Thursday’s Environment and Sustainability Standing Committee, where members heard that for the past two years, Nova Scotia’s forests have been adding carbon to the atmosphere—instead of sequestering it, as they did for generations.

The short-term and convenient answer might be to point toward last year’s wildfires, which burned at a record pace across the province. But as The Coast’s Matt Stickland reports, the deeper story begins with a look at how we’ve clearcut and replanted our forests over the years to become less resilient to global warming.

HOUSING CRISIS

HRM clears out Grand Parade tent encampment amid calls for better shelter options

📸 Martin Bauman / The Coast

A single ice-fishing tent is all that remained of the former Grand Parade encampment by Monday afternoon.

Under a blanket of wet snow, roughly two dozen onlookers watched as municipal staffers in trucks and bulldozers erected fences outside of Halifax City Hall—barring entry to where, mere weeks ago, around 20 people had been sleeping rough. The HRM says it is “de-designating” the site, citing a “number of steps” it has taken to support unhoused people in Halifax, including plans to identify potential sites for future long-term housing.

The HRM says the province has given assurances that there are enough shelter spaces for everyone sleeping outdoors in Halifax. But some onlookers say there’s more to the story—and on Monday, that included reports of staff clearing away one tent while its owner was away.

🗞️ In Other News

⚡ Thousands of Nova Scotians are calling on the province to intervene, claiming their latest power bills have far exceeded Nova Scotia Power’s 6.5% rate increase.

🏠 Facing what it calls a “longer waitlist than ever,” a provincial agency is asking nearly 2,000 public housing tenants in Nova Scotia to move to smaller units, CBC News reports.

⛺ While some Lower Sackville residents took to the streets to voice concerns about planned tiny shelters in the community, others sleeping rough in Halifax say they feel they’re stuck in an “impossible” situation with limited options.

🚨 The RCMP is investigating after a 41-year-old was hit and killed in a collision with a train near Wellington this past Saturday.

🛫 Premier Tim Houston is catching flak from Opposition leaders over his choice to travel during upcoming House debate about his government’s budget.

🔎 Two months after Truro’s Zackery Kellock went missing, the 23-year-old’s mother is asking for answers.

SPONSORED BY CANADIAN MUSEUM OF IMMIGRATION AT PIER 21

Go for free during March break

Spend a morning, afternoon, or both at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. Check out the immersive exhibitions, research your family’s immigration history, or participate in a scavenger hunt. Admission is free thanks to a partnership with Emera.

🤔 Trivia Tuesday

Ben Proudfoot's second Oscar win ties him for most Academy Awards won by a Nova Scotian. Who does he share the honour with?

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🗓️ Things To Do

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

🗓 Deepwater: A dark mystery set in Hants County, Deepwater makes its world premiere at The Bus Stop Theatre with evening shows Wednesday through Sunday, plus Saturday and Sunday matinees. | Mar. 13-17 | 7:30pm (matinees 2pm) | Pay what you can

🗓 Halifax Thunderbirds: The ‘Birds take on the Fort Worth, TX-based Panther City Lacrosse Club this Friday at the Scotiabank Centre as the NLL season ramps up toward playoffs | Mar. 15 | 7:30pm | From $26.25

🗓 Ian Sirota: See the Gemini Award-nominated comic who’s opened for Jerry Seinfeld and Robin Williams this Friday and Saturday at Yuk Yuk’s. | Mar. 15-16 | 8pm | $22.50

Find more Halifax events in The Coast listings.

⚓️ What’s In The Harbour

➡️ The 41,801-tonne CMA CGM Paranagua container ship is expected to leave Halifax for Bremerhaven, Germany, in the wee hours this morning.

🚢 The 158-metre-long Sonderborg container ship is slated to arrive around 10:15am from Saint Thomas, US Virgin Islands.

👀 In Case You Missed It

🚔 Halifax police are looking for a man who allegedly grabbed and tried to drag a 10-year-old girl on her walk home from school on Friday.

🔦 More than 60,000 Nova Scotians lost power over the weekend after mass blackouts on Saturday.

🎵 The Halifax Jazz Festival has announced its first slate of performers for this year’s music fest, including Emmylou Harris and Fitz and the Tantrums.

💸 A Halifax health clinic is asking for help after running out of funds to provide free contraceptives to those who couldn’t afford them.

That’s it!

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