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Tuesday's 7 things you need to know

Shell’s licensed to drill, funeral home’s licensed to swill. Chill?

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Oh, Mother Canada. - NEVER FORGOTTEN NATIONAL MEMORIAL
  • Never Forgotten National Memorial
  • Oh, Mother Canada.

1
Shell Canada has received the go-ahead to start exploratory oil drilling in the Shelburne Basin. Environment minister Leona Aglukkaq’s environmental assessment claims the nearly $1 billion energy project doesn’t pose a significant environmental threat. Milage on “significant” will vary. As John Davis points out in the Shelburne County Coast Guard, Stantec’s environmental assessment of the project found that Shell has very little equipment on site for spill cleanup. If there was a major oil spill, equipment from Dartmouth’s ECRC would have to be mobilized. But ECRC doesn’t have a vessel capable of reaching the Shelburne rig, so a lease rental would have to be arranged. Davis pegs minimum effective deployment after the leak is noticed at 3 to 4 days. In a blow-out situation, Shell would bring the necessary equipment in from Norway (taking 14 days). The plan for dealing with oil spills appears to be using chemical dispersants, which are illegal to dump into the ocean. Of course, under newly enacted federal Bill C-22, Shell can decide when to use dispersants of their own initiative and report back later about their actions.

”Shell managers decide to undertake this action by consulting amongst themselves in a process called N.E.B.A., a Net Environmental Benefit Assessment and then they are apparently free to proceed. Well I don’t want to sound too cynical here but a net environmental benefit for Shell might be to spray and sink as much oil as they can as quickly as is possible in a kind of “out of sight, out of mind” process so I’m not at all sure that the interests of the South Shore or our fishing industry would be reflected in this process.” —John Davis

2
Today’s weather outlook for Thursday’s Food Truck Party is calling for a mix of sun and cloud. Hello Tin Pan Alley fries and tea (hot or iced, depending on the cloud or sun) from Teageek’ery.

3
Atlantic Funeral Homes in Dartmouth will soon start serving alcohol in the tradition of “old Irish wakes.” General manager Mark Hooftman doesn’t exactly say to Metro’s Zane Woodford whether the booze would be complimentary or sold at funeral home prices. He also doesn’t worry about any potential drunk drivers. “We have a fleet full of limousines…we can drive people home.” Sleep it off in the hearse, basically.

4
CBC reports opposition continues to grow against the massive and massively stupid Mother Canada war memorial proposed for Green Cove in Cape Breton. Diane Paquette writes about four Mount Saint Vincent University history professors who expressed their disapproval for the project in an op-ed to the Chronicle-Herald. Which is neat since the Herald’s Andrew Rankin is writing about CBC, and why “two high-profile CBC employees have put their support behind” the Mother Canada project. It appears Peter Mansbridge and Rex Murphy are among the 31 honorary patrons of Mother Canada. Neither could be reached for comment by Rankin. A reminder; it’s not too late to vote on which CBC personality should be fired next.

5
Halifax Regional Council sits at 1pm. The Coast’s city editor Jacob Boon will be there, live-tweeting today’s agenda. Items of note include Matt Whitman’s attempt to drown plans for an asphalt plant in St. Margaret’s Bay, more discussion on the right-of-way stormwater charge and the interim professional arts organization grants will be awarded.

6
Have you got your tickets for the first ever Smart Phone Film Festival? If not, why not? Let 30 short films made by a variety of your friends and neighbours entertain you this Friday.

+1 Sure Thing
Tonight at the Music Room, Alliance Française Halifax presents an evening with Alex Toucourt, a heartthrob of a singer-songwriter all the way from France. His musical offerings are playful, poetic and don't need to be translated to be felt.

A little Alex Toucourt can brighten anyone’s day.

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