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🗞️ Province's teachers to vote on strike

Plus, everything you need to know from HRM council's meeting this week

Good morning!

It’s Groundhog Day all over again, as once again, I find myself rolling into spring facing the possibility of bringing my child to work—because, once again, his teacher is on strike. Or could be soon, in any case: The Nova Scotia Teachers Union and its nearly 10,000 public school teachers will hold a strike vote next month, following months of back-and-forth negotiations with the province.

The last time the NSTU went on strike, it was 2017 and Stephen McNeil’s Liberal government forced teachers back to work with legislation. At the time, the Nova Scotia PC leader of the day blamed the fallout on McNeil, telling reporters that when politicians “keep turning a blind eye to today’s classrooms, this is what inevitably happens … he’s pushed teachers to the breaking point.”

(The teachers fought that back-to-work legislation in court and won in 2022.)

Flash forward, and negotiations between today’s governing PC Party and the teachers’ union have fallen apart after 10 months at the table—which, it would seem, suggests the Tories only cared about teachers when they could stick it to the Liberals.

Regardless of what happens next, I’d just like to say a big thank you to the teachers for waiting until after the municipal budget season before going on strike.

– Matt

🌡️ Traffic & Weather

Today: 🌨️ 0°

Tomorrow: 🌨️

Next Day: 🌧️ 8°

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

CITY HALL

Everything you need to know about HRM council’s meeting this week

📸 Coast files

Halifax’s budget season is in the break between the normal budget debates and what Coast reporter Matt Stickland calls the “budget playoffs” (otherwise known as the Budget Adjustment List debates), so council got back to normal business this week in a relatively quick city council meeting.

Here’s a glimpse of what happened:

  • Halifax Water wants to raise its rates to offset an $18M deficit—prompted, in large part, by a number of big infrastructure pieces in need of renewal;

  • Councillor Lisa Blackburn wants a report on the status of damage after last July’s floods;

  • Blackburn and councillor Pam Lovelace asked staff to expedite the master planning process for the Middle Sackville area; and

  • Councillor Patty Cuttell wants to know what the HRM can do to protect its coastline.

🤔 Need To Know

❄️ Expect a weekend of heavy rain—and possibly some snow—across Nova Scotia as a spring storm arrives from the northeastern US.

🚨 The HRCE cancelled classes at Halifax West High School yesterday as police investigated a possible threat.

🔎 A report from Halifax’s auditor general finds “significant issues” with some of the municipality’s hiring practices.

🌖 REMINDER: Nocturne's 2024 call for submissions closes on April 2! Are you an artist who's interested in participating in this year's festival? Find out more.*

🩺 Nova Scotia’s premier says the province may get rid of the need-a-family-practice registry in the future, calling it outdated.

📝 Meanwhile, the provincial government says it’s working toward new sick-leave legislation that would offer stronger job protection.

*Sponsored Post

SPORTS

The Wanderer Grounds podcast: Where does Halifax fall in the CPL’s pre-season power rankings?

📸 Trevor MacMillan / HFX Wanderers FC

A year after the Halifax Wanderers’ best season yet, there’s hope—among players and fans alike—that an even better season is to come. (A deeper playoff run? A moment of Canadian Championship magic against a Major League Soccer opponent? How about both?)

The squad—bolstered by the additions of winger Ryan Telfer, centre-back Julian Dunn, and midfielders Giorgio Probo, Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé and Vitor Dias (pictured above, right)—is deeper than any Wanderers team previously assembled.

But while Halifax has retooled, so, too, has the rest of the CPL—most notably the Wanderers’ nearest rival, Atlético Ottawa, who looks to be building a super-team.

Do the Wanderers have enough firepower to match?

In this week’s Wanderer Grounds episode, Coast reporters Martin Bauman and Matt Stickland dive into the Wanderers’ off-season retooling approach and chat about kit reveals, the CPL’s version of the Avengers and what Halifax could learn from Wrexham AFC.

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🗞️ In Other News

🚑 Five Halifax elementary students went to hospital after eating a classmate’s weed edibles at school.

⚖️ A 36-year-old former Nova Scotia man was flown back from Alberta to Halifax to face human trafficking and drug charges for a series of alleged incidents between 2007 and 2010.

🔥 A 43-year-old man is charged with arson after allegedly trying to start four fires at the Halifax Shopping Centre this week.

💸 Halifax has spent more than $33K clearing out “de-designated” tent encampments—money some advocates say could have been spent offering better social supports instead.

🏠 Nova Scotia’s government is pushing back the registration deadline for short-term rental property owners.

🏫 A former Halifax-area school teacher wants the Nova Scotia Supreme Court to dismiss some of the sexual assault charges against him.

📉 The federal government will be setting targets for temporary workers coming to Canada—with an aim to bring the number down from 6.2% of the population to 5% over the next three years.

SPONSORED BY 2024 HALIFAX JUNO HOST COMMITTEE

Get your wristband to JUNOfest

JUNOfest is a two-night music festival happening tonight and tomorrow, taking over intimate stages and bustling pubs across Halifax. It’s going to be action-packed with over 100 artists; fans can catch some of their favourite Canadian musicians and JUNO nominees in more than 10 venues across the city. Purchase a wristband for $65 to get access to all JUNOfest shows.

🗓️ Things To Do

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

🗓 JUNOfest at St. Matthew’s United Church: Hear Nova Scotia’s own Essential Opera and Jennifer King in concert this afternoon, along with performances from JUNO nominees Cheng2 Duo (“Classical Album of the Year: Small Ensemble”) and Matt Haimovitz (“Classical Album of the Year: Solo Artist”) | Mar. 23 | 1-2:40pm | multi-day passes $65.28

🗓 JUNO Block Party: Canadian country stars James Barker Band and Tyler Joe Miller headline a free show on the Halifax Waterfront with opening sets from SACHA and Dave Sampson | Mar. 23 | 7pm | Free by reservation (first come, first served)

Find more Halifax events in The Coast listings

SPONSORED BY CROWTHER & BRAYLEY

Crowther & Brayley Online Auction

Artwork by Jack Gray, Maud Lewis, Edith Smith, Dusan Kadlec, Alan Wylie, Robert Boyer, John Cook, Anthony Law, Eric Riordon, exceptional Lorenzen mushrooms, jewellery, Hermes scarves, Georgian silver, antique oriental rugs, Asian items good argillite totem pole.

Bidding opens Friday, March 29th. Preview auction here.

⚓️ What’s In The Harbour

➡️ The 71,552-tonne CSL Tacoma bulk carrier is slated to leave Halifax for Portsmouth, UK, around 4pm.

🚢 The 144-metre-long Gotland general cargo ship is expected to reach Halifax around 4:45pm from Moa, Cuba.

➡️ Both the Nolhan Ava ro-ro/cargo ship and Bakkafoss container ship are due to leave Halifax for Argentia, NL, at 6pm.

➡️ The 193-metre-long Oceanex Sanderling ro-ro/cargo ship is planned to leave Halifax for St. John’s, NL, at 6pm.

That’s it!

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