Articles & Reports

In alphabetical order by media outlet

Al Jazeera

The new African land grab, Al Jazeera, 30 June 2011.

BBC (selected)

World’s most profitable gold mine – but not all glitters in Morila, Mali, BBC Focus on Africa Magazine, April – June 2003, pp 33-35

Spoiled for choice, BBC Focus on Africa Magazine, July – September 2002, Vol 13(3), pp 26-29

Burying capitalism, BBC Focus on Africa Magazine, April – June 2002, Vol 13(2); p 32

Challenging tradition, BBC Focus on Africa Magazine, January – March 2002, Vol 13(1); pp 48-50

Barefoot behind bars, BBC Focus on Africa Magazine, July – September 2000, Vol 11(3), pp 46 – 49

Making haute couture out of mud, BBC Focus on Africa Magazine, April – June 1999, Vol 10(2), pp 52 – 55

Bark with a bite, BBC Focus On Africa Magazine, January – March 1999, Vol. 10(1), pp 51 – 54

The battle of Sikasso revisited, BBC Focus on Africa Magazine, July – September 1998,  Vol 9(3), pp 46-52

Book Reviews

Nov. 17, 2021      ‘It pains me to tell you that the image of Canada is severely damaged.’ Damning testimony in a new book reveals the horrific record of Canadian mining companies in Guatemala.

March 18, 2011        How corporate tax breaks hurt humanity,

Sept 17, 2009          A better way for Africa,

Feb 27, 2006           Africa: Heart of despair, History of continent’s fight for freedom fails to acknowledge West’s culpability, The Chronicle Herald: The Nova Scotian

The Chronicle Herald

Sept. 21. 2020    Wilfully wrong about gold mining critics

Aug. 2, 20             Gold mining in Nova Scotia panned for good reason

Mar. 20, 2020     Don’t swallow Atlantic Gold’s PR nuggets

31 May 2013     Security overseer posting yet another lapse

21 June 2012     Nova Scotia – open for what kind of business?

22 Feb. 2012     Canada under Conservatives not what it used to be

13 April 2008     Rich drive SUVs, poor go hungry: food prices soar as crops burned to fuel the West. The Nova Scotian.

13 Nov. 2005     A tent of sticks for a school, The Nova Scotian

6 Nov. 2005     Whycocomagh to Timbuktu: How a Nova Scotia girl ended up in Timbuktu married to a village chief The Nova Scotian

30 Oct. 2005     Journey to the centre of the world: In Timbuktu the Road of Hope is also the Road of Despair,  The Nova Scotian

The Coast

Oct. 5, 2017    Clearcutting our losses: the long history of Nova Scotia sacrificing its forests to big pulp, and why it has to end.

The Energy Mix

Sept. 18, 2022      EXCLUSIVE: Nova Scotia Start-Up Touts ‘Green’ Hydrogen Plant Powered by Coal

Sept. 21, 2022      5 GW of Offshore Wind Won’t Stop NS Hydrogen Plant from Starting with Coal

The Globe and Mail

June 30, 2021         Opinion: What Atlantic Canada’s troubled COVID-19 travel bubble can teach us about the crisis to come.

The Guardian

Oct. 26, 2022      Nova Scotia touted its huge ‘green’ energy plant. Turns out it’s powered by coal (co-authored with The Energy Mix)

Halifax Examiner (articles on mining & other extractive industries & their legacy)

Nov. 10, 2022         Critics ‘extremely concerned’ as St Barbara changes gold mine proposal at Fifteen Mile Stream from one open pit to four

Nov. 4, 2022      Port Wallace development steamrolls ahead over concerns about poisoning of Barry’s Run and Lake Charles

Oct. 25, 2022      No need to lobby: Newly hired bureaucrats to turn Environmental ‘Assessments’ into Environmental ‘Approvals’

Sept. 1, 2022         Nova Scotia is St Barbara’s ‘black cat’

Aug. 18, 2022       Canadian regulators giving Australia’s St Barbara what it wants

Aug. 10, 2022       Nova Scotia Environment minister approved Signal Gold’s open pit mine at Goldboro despite concerns and criticisms from scientists in his own department

July 4, 2022      Fast-tracking Port Wallace development threatens Lake Charles and health of future residents. An unelected housing panel has approved ‘early tree removal’ and ‘mass work’ in the special Port Wallace development area, as if the arsenic-laden historic mine tailings in the area pose no threat.

June 25, 2022      Atlantic Gold’s parent company hints it may halt its Nova Scotia operation 

June 15, 2022       The conservation officer shuffle: Houston government quietly moves inspection, enforcement and compliance officers out of Nova Scotia Environment and back to Natural Resources

June 1, 2022    Nova Scotia has a draft list of ‘critical minerals’ and gold is not on it.

April 13, 2022    Port Wallace Gamble: the real estate boom meets Nova Scotia’s toxic mine legacy. Part 4. The provincial government has taken over control of the Port Wallace ‘special planning area’ to fast-track development, but what about toxic tailings in Barry’s Run and other risks to the area?

March 23, 2022    Public paying the price to clean up old gold mines: Anaconda Mining says the province indemnified it from any liabilities associated with the toxic historic tailings in Goldboro, and plans to mine around them, while Nova Scotians pay to clean them up.

Feb. 13, 2022           Anaconda Mining joins the gold rush on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore. Part 3: From West Africa’s gold fields to Canada’s ocean playground.

Feb. 11, 2022          Anaconda Mining joins the gold rush on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore. Part 2. Anaconda aims to avoid a federal impact assessment for its proposed open pit gold mine, but some say the whole regulatory process in Canada is “rigged.”

Feb. 10, 2022       Anaconda Mining joins the gold rush on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore. Part 1. What do we know about its plans for a new open pit mine in Goldboro (and haven’t we been here before)?

Feb. 7, 2022     What if we just left the gold in the ground? An Australian professor envisions a greener gold market, with investors trading in un-mined gold.

Jan. 27, 2022     “Yacobo O’Hanley” and some other old boys have hurt fees-fees about protecting Tatamagouche’s water supply.

Jan. 25, 2022     New protected status for Tatamagouche water supply means an end to mineral exploration, mining in the watershed.  Sustainable Northern Nova Scotia “delighted” with the decision from the province, but says work continues to stop five other large-scale gold mining projects that are ongoing or planned for Nova Scotia.

Jan. 21, 2022     Millbrook First Nation to Atlantic Gold and government regulators: ‘We oppose the Beaver Dam mine project.’

Dec. 15, 2021    ‘We cannot imagine two locations less suited for extractive projects such as gold mining.’ The Nova Scotia Salmon Association comes out swinging against Atlantic Gold’s plans for open pit gold mines on crucial river systems on the Eastern Shore.

Nov. 26, 2021      Expansion of gold mining on the Eastern Shore meeting with stiff resistance. The public and Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia have until December 16 to comment on this latest round, but in a letter from June, Millbrook First Nation said they “do not support” the mine on the Eastern Shore.

Oct. 26, 2021        Atlantic Gold agrees to a tentative plea deal that would have the company pay $120,000 to the Nova Scotia Salmon Association to atone for breaking environmental rules, but ‘no deal,’ says the Salmon Association.

Aug. 29, 2021        Updated: Photos suggest that there is a tailings leak at Atlantic Gold’s Moose River gold mine.

July 30, 2021         The Examiner quizzed the four main political parties on gold mining issues. Here are their responses.

June 21, 2021        Who benefits from Atlantic Gold’s Nova Scotia operations? Firm with gold mines on the Eastern Shore pays no taxes and low wages to its employees while it gets large government subsidies and maximizes profits. Oh, and it will leave toxic mine tailings that will be with us forever.

May 22, 2021         Aurelius Minerals is still making false claims to potential investors about its Nova Scotia gold mine: Two months after the Halifax Examiner learned that Aurelius does not have “active and valid” environmental or industrial approval for the gold mine site on Eastern Shore, the company continues to say its site is “one of only two permitted gold mines and mills in the province.”

May 20, 2021        Atlantic Gold’s imaginary conservation land: In 2008, Atlantic Gold was given provincial approval for the gigantic Touquoy open pit gold mine with the condition that within 4 years the company buy and give the province nearby land for conservation purposes. 13 years later, that condition is still unmet, and the province is making no real effort to enforce it.

Mar. 21, 2021           Atlantic Gold plans to mine “paradise”: Citizens near Beaver Dam and Moose River raise the alarm about the high environmental costs of open pit gold mines in eastern Nova Scotia, the province’s “sacrifice zone.”

Mar. 17, 2021             Tall tales about Nova Scotia gold: investors should beware of Aurelius Minerals’ spin job  …. Aurelius Minerals bought the old Dufferin Gold Mine, and Aurelius is now telling potential investors the site “is permitted” and ready for mining. But a provincial permit was issued to the previous company nearly 27 years ago, and even that expired in 2017. No application has been made to transfer the permit to the new owner, and it likely wouldn’t meet modern environmental standards in any event.

March 3, 2021.        Greenwashing the goldfields Atlantic Gold “partnership” with St. Mary’s University: Linda Campbell’s work is invaluable, so why is it a mining company supporting it, and not the government?

Feb. 18, 2021.          Atlantic Gold says it is getting “into the halls of government” in Nova Scotia, but it has no registered lobbyist.

Jan. 27, 2021          Atlantic Gold paid $0 in taxes in 2019: Even as the company is in court facing 32 charges of polluting the environment, the promised windfall in tax revenue is proving illusionary.

Jan. 23, 2021            After reading a Halifax Examiner article, two cops showed up at an author reading at Mount Allison University: Joan Kuyek wrote a book about communities protecting themselves from mining compan, and so the RCMP sicced its Criminal Intelligence Section on her.

Jan. 20, 2021            Atlantic Gold is going to court: The St. Barbara Limited company is facing 32 environmental charges, even as more complaints roll in

Dec. 23, 2020           Nova Scotia has laid charges for 32 environmental infractions against Atlantic Gold

April 10, 2020       Mining Association of Nova Scotia uses the pandemic to promote its own agenda

April 3, 2020       The Moose River betrayal: In 2008, the approval of the Moose River gold mine was conditioned on the mining company giving the province hundreds of acres of conservation land within four years; 12 years later, there’s still no approved plan in place.

Mar. 29, 2020       The possible horrible legacy of the “Coronavirus Convention” : Against suggestions that it be cancelled, 23,000 people from around the world attended a mining convention in Toronto in March.

Mar. 25, 2020       Atlantic Gold is waging a propaganda blitz in Nova Scotia

Mar. 11, 2020       Atlantic Gold’s incommunicative communications (item in Morning File)

Mar. 5, 2020              “Coronavirus Convention” Joan Baxter is reporting on an international mining convention in Toronto for the Halifax Examiner: here’s what’s happened so far

Mar. 5, 2020             Profits before people: Nova Scotia is offering its “world class mineral deposits to the world

Mar. 1 – 3, 2020             Three-part series “Port Wallace Gamble: the real estate boom meets Nova Scotia’s toxic mine legacy”:

Part 1. The making of a toxic mess and the uncalculated costs of previous gold rushes.

Part 2. The suburb proposed to be built in the shadow of Montague Gold Mines

Part 3. Cleaning up the historic tailings from Montague Gold Mines – does Port Wallace Development hang in the balance?

Nov. 18, 2019           Mining for (public) dollars: The Mining Association of Nova Scotia (MANS) has created a new organization called the Minerals Research Association of Nova Scotia (MRANS) with the aim of leveraging still more provincial grants to enrich global mining companies – and their local operatives.

Feb. 5, 2020              Survey says: Why are people calling me with pro-mining propaganda?

Oct. 25, 2019            Nova Scotia government doubles down on gold mining

Oct. 16, 2019             Joan Kuyek: ‘Our job is to take our governments back from the mining interests’

Oct. 13, 2019       Gold fever is coming to Halifax: Mineral exploration companies have staked claims next to the Halifax and Dartmouth lakes that are the source of our drinking water.

Sept. 27, 2019     Cheques for mining propaganda, but not for corporate registry: The lobbyist group Mining Association of Nova Scotia receives a lot of public money from the province, and yet it is in default for its provincial registration fees

June 25, 2019     After the gold rush: Nova Scotia is ignoring the toxic legacy of past mining manias while rushing headlong into the next

June 3, 2019        St. Barbara still intends to acquire Atlantic Gold: The violent arrest of John Perkins has put the critical spotlight on gold mining on the Eastern Shore, but for the mining companies, operating in low-regulation and low-royalty Nova Scotia is, well, a gold mine.

May 27, 2019       Setting the record straight on Atlantic Gold’s spin job

May 24, 2019       RCMP violently remove and arrest citizen at public meeting about gold mine

May 17, 2019       The $722 million deal: An Australian company is buying the Vancouver company that owns Nova Scotia’s largest gold mining operation; What’s in it for us?

March 15, 2019       Spill at Moose River gold mine raises environmental concerns: Atlantic Gold springs an effluent leak, plugs a new mine, and sells itself to investors

Feb. 7, 2019        Like blood from a stone: trying to get information out of the Department of Energy and Mines

Jan. 25, 2019      Friends of St. Mary’s River say “NOPE” to Atlantic Gold

Award-winning 2018 “Fool’s Gold” Series, a Halifax Examiner / Cape Breton Spectator special investigation into mining and quarrying in Nova Scotia (silver award at the 2018 Atlantic Journalism Awards)

May 16, 2018            Fool’s Gold Part 1: Welcome to the Gold Rush and:

May 23, 2018            Fool’s Gold Part 2: Going for gold and:

May 30, 2018            Fool’s Gold Part 3: Cobequid Gold and Tatamagouche water and:

June 13, 2018           Fool’s Gold Part 4: How the mining lobby is working to undermine environmental protection in Nova Scotia and:

Halifax Examiner (articles on Northern Pulp / Paper Excellence / forests and forestry industry / energy / climate crisis)

Nov. 15, 2022     ‘Green’ hydrogen industry takes aim at Nova Scotia’s underground salt deposits. Hydrogen entrepreneurs have taken out exploration claims to hundreds of thousands of acres in the province, in the hope of finding salt caverns to store green hydrogen that hasn’t been produced yet and won’t be for years to come

Nov. 7, 2022    The curious case of ‘Red Roof Events’: A ‘global leading speakers agency’ contacted a Nova Scotia lawyer with strange questions about his work for groups opposed to Northern Pulp’s proposed effluent treatment facility. Then the agency vanished.

Oct. 31, 2022      British Columbia Supreme Court grants Northern Pulp six-month creditor protection extension; Nova Scotia takes no position

Oct. 31, 2022      Northern Pulp wants another six month delay in B.C. court and forced mediation with Nova Scotia

Oct. 24, 2022      Report: Paper Excellence, the owner of Northern Pulp, is part of the corporate group of Asia Pulp & Paper and Sinar Mas. This matters to Nova Scotians.

Oct. 21. 2022      Green-washing hydrogen with amendments to Nova Scotia’s Electricity Act

Oct. 19, 2022      Analyst: “green hydrogen” is a bunch of hot air

Oct. 14, 2022      Sipekne’katik band members say they weren’t told about wind power deal

Sept. 21, 2022      Nova Scotia government announces a target of five gigawatts of offshore wind energy

Sept. 20, 2022      The ‘hydrogen hyperbole epidemic’ comes to Nova Scotia

Sept. 19, 2022      EverWind Fuels’ ‘green hydrogen and ammonia’ project in Nova Scotia will be partly powered by coal

July 25, 2022    A quietly negotiated trade agreement with Indonesia is a bad deal for Canada. Through its subsidiary Paper Excellence, the giant Asia Pulp & Paper conglomerate already controls much of Canada’s pulp industry. The company is now suing Nova Scotia for $450 million, and the new deal will expose Canadians to even more corporate litigation before judges who are not appointed by elected governments. It’s the latest “bilateral trade agreement” that threatens labour and environmental protections.

July 6, 2022     An Indonesian company is increasingly controlling Canada’s pulp industry, but regulators seem unwilling to act. Paper Excellence, already Canada’s largest pulp and paper producer, now plans to swallow Resolute Forest Products.

June 11, 2022    The “weird” legal mechanism being used by Northern Pulp in its $450 million lawsuit against Nova Scotia. Northern Pulp’s biggest debt is a paper debt to its owner, Paper Excellence, and that indebtedness is being used to circumvent Nova Scotia’s environmental laws.

June 9, 2022     The demise of Mountain Equipment Co-op could spell expensive trouble for Nova Scotia. In 2020, a federal law and a BC judge dismantled Mountain Equipment Co-op. Now, the same federal law that was used to destroy MEC is being cited by Paper Excellence in its $450 million lawsuit against the province of Nova Scotia related to the creditor protection of Northern Pulp. And the case is being heard by the same judge.

April 20, 2022   Northern Pulp says it is ‘insolvent’ and can’t pay its pension obligations, but it’s got plenty of cash to bankroll legal assaults on Nova Scotia’s government and laws.

April 11, 2022   Northern Pulp is in a polluting league of its own: A new study shows the mill’s emissions of some air pollutants greatly exceeded federal reporting thresholds and were often much higher than other mills in Atlantic Canada.

April 4, 2022    Northern Pulp and its wealthy owners seem intent on taking Nova Scotians to the cleaner: But the Pictou pulp mill has had plenty of Nova Scotian accomplices helping them fleece the province.

March 21, 2022       Premier Tim Houston orders ‘Friends of a New Northern Pulp’ sign removed from Minister Pat Dunn’s constituency office window.

March 9, 2022        Northern Pulp has a new set of “friends.” But the “friends” look familiar, and the “new” Northern Pulp sure looks a lot like the same old Northern Pulp.

March 1, 2022         Dalhousie University’s decision to source “sustainable biomass” from J.D. Irving and Wagner a “piss-off.” News that Emera’s Brooklyn biomass plant is out of commission is making waves in Nova Scotia, while Dal’s biomass facility in Truro garners little publicity.

Dec. 20, 2021       The Pictou mill: fleecing Nova Scotia for 53 years – and counting. The company claims it’s the victim of unfair treatment in Nova Scotia, and that it should be paid hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. But what about the high costs Nova Scotians paid for the mill for more than half a century? A quick tally of those suggests the real victims are the people of this province, whose politicians sold them down the river. 

Dec. 17, 2021      Northern Pulp mill plans “best in class” or best in BS? The Paper Excellence company that is part of the global corporate empire of the Widjaja family has submitted plans for the “transformation” of its hibernating pulp mill to the Nova Scotia government for approval, even as it sues the same government for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Dec. 6, 2021     Proposed Wentworth wind farm gets blowback. While local group fears negative effects, Northern Pulp stands to profit from the giant wind project because it’s on Northern Pulp land purchased with a loan from Nova Scotians.

Nov. 5, 2021          Why isn’t Northern Pulp using the wastewater treatment plant next door at Canso Chemicals? Is mercury an issue?

Oct. 31, 2021          Woo and sue: Northern Pulp’s strategy in Nova Scotia. Colchester County Mayor Christine Blair accuses the Hali Examiner of publishing “misinformation” about the county’s wastewater agreement with Northern Pulp, but won’t tell us what we supposedly got wrong.

Oct. 20, 2021        Northern Pulp is demanding it be given “more than $100 million” from the province.

Sept 7, 2021           Wastewater from Northern Pulp’s hibernating paper mill is being discharged into the Bay of Fundy.

July 26, 2021          Paper Excellence’s very big deal. Northern Pulp’s parent company is set to acquire the North American pulp and paper giant Domtar. While the acquisition is getting very little media attention in Canada, around the world many people are worried about it — for many good reasons.

July 21, 2021           What are Paper Excellence’s real plans for Northern Pulp? This week two men presented the company’s plans for a “complete transformation” of the the mill at a special Pictou Town Council meeting. They faced persistent questions and made some telling comments that do not bode well for Nova Scotia.

July 16, 2021            Paper Excellence holds a media show and piles on the PR. Northern Pulp’s owner is working on a $350 million “complete transformation” for the mill in Pictou County, but doesn’t say whether any of that money will be public, or why Nova Scotians should trust them.

June 10, 2021      Public engagement, future of the forestry, and the Harvest Plans Map Viewer. Activists says the online tool where Nova Scotians can submit feedback on what happens to the forests on public lands is inaccessible and lacks historical data.

May 12, 2021      Northern Pulp is “insolvent,” but the company that owns it, Paper Excellence, is on a $3 billion buying spree.

April 20, 2021       How the Biodiversity Act was killed. Forest Nova Scotia, which represents the biggest forestry players, gets an awful lot of public money — including millions of dollars to administer a forest roads program panned by the auditor general. It also has a paid lobbyist swaying the policies of the very government that funds it, and who started working on its behalf just as the Biodiversity Act was gutted.

April 15, 2021         Communications specialist: “hundreds of thousands of dollars” were spent to produce “blatant lies” for the campaign against the Biodiversity Act.

Mar. 23, 2021       The most ‘Trump-like thing’ in Nova Scotia: how big forestry companies gutted the Biodiversity Act.

Feb. 24, 2021     The French Connection. People in southern France are battling pollution at a paper mill owned by a corporate behemoth: Paper Excellence Canada, the owner of the Northern Pulp Mill in Nova Scotia.

Jan. 7, 2021      Paper Excellence in France: different country, same game plan.

Dec. 9, 2020      Northern Pulp is misleading the British Columbia Supreme Court about how the environmental assessment process works in Nova Scotia.

Nov. 6, 2020      Excellence in paper profits.  Court documents show that after Northern Pulp made $59.9 million in loan repayments to its corporate owner Paper Excellence, it asked the province of Nova Scotia for $50 million in new financing, over and above the $85 million it already owes the province. The province declined to provide new loans, but did agree to a freeze on all payments from the existing loans.

July 19, 2020      Corporate shell game: Part 1. Northern Pulp seeks protection from creditors in a BC court – and its largest creditor is its owner, Paper Excellence.

July 21, 2020       Corporate shell game: Part 2. Northern Pulp-affiliated companies say that without major concessions, they won’t be able to pay back nearly $86 million they owe to the province of Nova Scotia. So far, however, the government has not caved, and is not agreeing to new financing.

May 12, 2020       Nova Scotia government doles out $10 million more for Northern Pulp  The effluent pipeline may have been turned off but the provincial money pipeline continues to flow.

April 10, 2020      Northern Pulp statement off-based and ill-timed during the COVID-19 crisis

Jan. 31, 2020          The province issues tough new orders to Northern Pulp

Jan. 24, 2020        Northern Pulp takes province to court: The saga continues   The unfolding saga of the 53-year-old Pictou County pulp mill operated by Northern Pulp Nova Scotia – a Paper Excellence company that is part of the corporate empire of the billionaire Widjaja family of Indonesia – continues to get “curiouser and curiouser” as Alice in Wonderland once remarked.

Jan. 10, 2020        Northern Pulp, past and future: “It ain’t over till it’s over”.

Dec. 20, 2019           The Northern Pulp saga is a “really, really, really, really difficult time” for Pictou Landing First Nation.

Dec. 17, 2019           No federal assessment will be required for Northern Pulp’s proposed effluent treatment project.

Dec. 17, 2019           Pictou Landing First Nation: “We are sticking to the January 31, 2020 date.”

Dec. 11, 2019           Northern Pulp lobbyists and the revolving door with government.

Dec. 9, 2019              Saltwire finds one scientist who thinks Northern Pulp’s effluent isn’t toxic

Dec. 8, 2019              Deciding Northern Pulp’s future: A tangled mess of dubious science, loans and liabilities will determine who government officials will act in coming days – and how much it will cost Nova Scotians.

Nov. 21, 2019           Northern Pulp’s “political game”: It’s decision time for the Nova Scotia government. It will either approve a pipeline for pumping mill effluent into the Northumberland Strait, or won’t. And it will either extend the Boat Harbour Act, or won’t. Those affected by the mill operation are laying out their case and preparing next moves.

Oct. 6, 2019              Pictou Landing First Nation to Stephen McNeil: Honour the Boat Harbour Act and No Pipe in the Strait.

Oct. 3, 2019              Northern Pulp’s sci-fi future

July 8, 2019              Northern Pulp Mill’s missing environmental data.  The mill says its effluent comfortably meets federal regulations, but a new study published by Dalhousie researchers suggests there is no way to know.

April 9, 2019            Nova Scotia has a mercury problem. Facilities associated with Northern Pulp’s proposed effluent pipe are immediately adjacent to a mercury-contaminated toxic waste site left over from the Canso Chemicals operation.

Mar. 7, 2019             The Canso Chemicals mystery: With the chemical plant long gone, why is the company still alive? And what about all that mercury pollution?

Mar. 5, 2019             Northern Pulp’s environmental documents, missing mercury, a pulp mill that never was, and oodles of contradictions.

Feb. 21, 2019           Northern Pulp says it “cares” – but for whom and what?

Feb. 1, 2019              “Everything won’t stink so bad”: the countdown to Boat Harbour closure begins.

Nov. 3, 2018             Containing Northern Pulp’s mess: A half century of toxic waste in Boat Harbour, a leaky pipeline, and what happens next in the mill saga.

Mar. 20, 2018           Battle for the mill: The plan to pipe effluent from the Northern Pulp mill into the Northumberland Strait is dividing the community of Pictou, pitting neighbour and fishermen against mill workers.

Halifax Examiner (various topics: Portapique mass murder, Lyme disease, far-right Germans in Cape Breton, land ownership in Nova Scotia, fishery)

July 19, 2022     Civilian Review & Complaints Commission to investigate how the RCMP handled sexual assault complaints from Susie Butlin

July 14, 2022    An RCMP officer’s evolving recollection of Brenda Forbes’ complaint about the mass murderer. RCMP Constable Troy Maxwell took the 2013 complaint about the man who would shoot and kill 22 people in Nova Scotia in 2020, but he claims it was just a traffic complaint. His explanation and notes leave a lot to be desired.

July 12, 2022     Brenda Forbes tried to warn neighbours and the RCMP about the “psychopath” in Portapique years before he went on his murderous rampage. No one listened.

June 5, 2022     The clock is ticking, but Nova Scotia is still not acting on ticks and Lyme disease. The province has by far the highest per capita incidence of Lyme in the country but ‘Lyme Disease Awareness Month’ came and went without much awareness at all.

June 1, 2022     The conservation officer shuffle: Houston government quietly moves inspection, enforcement and compliance officers out of Nova Scotia Environment and back to Natural Resources.

Dec. 31, 2021       Controversial Cape Breton land seller Frank Eckhardt arrested for the second time in just two weeks, this time on a slew of weapons charges.

Dec. 10, 2021        Controversial Cape Breton land seller Frank Eckhardt arrested, charged with extortion.

Nov. 28, 2021        “Please don’t sell Nova Scotia” Additional taxes on non-resident landowners has been discussed since the 1960s. Now the debate is on again as non-residents snap up property in Cape Breton.

Nov. 23, 2021         Developers are selling off Cape Breton, one subdivision after the other, to German-speaking non-residents? What — if anything — is wrong with that? It’s not illegal to have extremist views, spread conspiracy theories, sell land to foreign buyers, or charge those buyers inflated prices for real estate in Nova Scotia. But there’s no evidence those foreign buyers ever intend to move here, live here, or go through the immigration process that would allow them to do so.

Nov. 19, 2021        Marketing Cape Breton as a “refuge” for “clear thinkers.” Two development companies have sold 144 lots in Richmond and Inverness counties to German-speaking non-residents “who want to live with the values of Germany from 1933 to 1945.”

Nov. 17, 2021       “It pains me to tell you that the image of Canada is severely damaged.” Damning testimony in a new book reveals the horrific record of Canadian mining companies in Guatemala.

Sept 27, 2021      Happy “Right to Know Week,” Canada. Besides asking for a billion dollars from the federal government, Pieridae Energy also wanted provincial money for its proposed Goldboro LNG plant. The Halifax Examiner used the Freedom of Information Act to find out details and discovered… not much.

Sept 24, 2021      Worse than Russia: Access to information in Nova Scotia places 66th in world ranking. One expert says the FOIPOP Act needs improvements, but that isn’t all: “We need an attitude change within the public sector, in which people would see themselves as servants of the people, working for the people, and being open and transparent with the people.”

Sept 23, 2021      The “Right to Know” in Nova Scotia often goes right to “no. It’s almost “Right to Know Week” in Nova Scotia, but that doesn’t mean that access to information in the province is something to celebrate, as a recent freedom of information request illustrates.

July 6, 2021       A plague of ticks, tick-borne diseases, and polit-ticks. Part 2: What can be done to better manage and minimize the risks of tick-borne diseases in Nova Scotia?

July 5, 2021       A plague of ticks, tick-borne diseases, and polit-ticks. Part 1: Tick populations in Nova Scotia are exploding largely because of climate change and the province is Canada’s “hot spot” for Lyme disease. So, how is the province monitoring and managing tick-borne diseases and health risks?

June 26, 2021    Maritime Launch Services has hired a PR firm to conduct a “push poll” for its proposed Canso spaceport.

May 30, 2021    Mi’kmaw opposition to the Goldboro LNG project is growing.

May 30, 2021     Is the Canadian government about to spend nearly a billion dollars on a dubious, greenhouse-gas-target-busting natural gas scheme? Federal and provincial officials had secret talks with Pieridae Energy about spending using $925 million in public money to finance the company’s proposed Goldboro LNG project. The Examiner used public record laws to find out what happened, but the documents we obtained are highly redacted.

May 14, 2021       Report: Canada’s “critically depleted” fish stocks are further threatened because the Fisheries Act doesn’t address climate change.

May 1, 2021          Sea lice are decimating Atlantic salmon, and climate change is making the situation worse: A recent study shows that the negative effects of sea lice increase as water warms, and that increases the risk that open-net pen salmon farming present for wild salmon.

April 13, 2021        Pieridae’s pipe dream: Pieridae Energy’s plans for a liquified natural gas plant in Nova Scotia sit in the sweet spot of an elaborate Rube Goldberg financing machine that requires Shell Oil offloading some aging gas wells in Alberta to a cash-strapped energy company living on the hope of sky-high gas costs in Germany years from now.

Mar. 20, 2021       Company behind proposed Goldboro LNG plant threatens environmentalists with legal action 

Jan. 7, 2021        Miscommunication: how government’s PR gatekeepers are increasingly controlling the message

Dec. 8, 2020        Small dam, big controversy: How the contentious aboiteau at the Windsor causeway could generate a national conversation about fish passage.

Nov. 24, 2020      What “netukulimk” means and how it applies to the moderate livelihood fishery: An interview with Mi’kmaw Elder and Knowledge Keeper Kerry Prosper

Nov. 24, 2020      Blockade continues to stop Digby County clearcuts Moose habitat protectors still waiting for word from the Department of Lands and Forestry – or is it the Department of Silence?

Nov. 16, 2020       Independent inshore lobster fishers fear the Clearwater purchase could decimate their livelihoods

Nov. 5, 2020       What about Clearwater and the offshore lobster fishery? “There’s something awful fishy going on here”: The complete story about how Clearwater obtained its monopoly on the offshore seems lost to history, but it provides a cautionary tale for the current inshore fishery.

Oct. 19, 2020      The Goldboro Gamble: Part 1. For nearly a decade, Alfred Sorensen has been assuring us that the multi-billion Goldboro LNG plant is a done deal. But his supposed German financiers aren’t as certain as Sorenson pretends, and his company struggles to find a secure source of gas.

Oct. 20, 2020      The Goldboro Gamble: Part 2. Germans and Canadians joint to oppose proposed Nova Scotian liquid natural gas plant that “nobody needs.”

Oct. 10, 2020     Lobster fishery at a crossroads, Part 3. (series co-authored with Linda Pannozzo) What are the prospects for the Atlantic lobster fishery?

Oct. 7, 2020        Lobster fishery at a crossroads, Part 2. (series co-authored with Linda Pannozzo) Tensions over a moderate livelihood fishery are hiding a much bigger threat to the inshore.

 Oct. 5, 2020         Lobster fishery at a crossroads, Part 1. (series co-authored with Linda Pannozzo) It’s been 20 years since the Marshall Decision, so why is there still no moderate livelihood fishery?

Sept. 29, 2020       Activists “occupied” North Mountain to stop herbicide spraying, but how big of a victory was it?

Sept. 13, 2020        QAnon knows no borders.  A conspiracy theory that originated in the US has become a global movement and is attracting adherents in Nova Scotia. Anti-hate activists are concerned about where it will lead.

Sept. 1, 2020         Occupy North Mountain.  Kings County residents opposed to aerial herbicide spraying on a Northern Pulp clearcut take action to try to stop it.

Aug 24, 2020        Doppelsprach.  Andreas Popp and Eva Herman deny they are right-wing conspiracy theorists, or that they are setting up a colony of like-minded German-speaking Europeans seeking refuge in Cape Breton. But what they say in German suggests otherwise.

Aug. 20, 2020     It’s spraying time again in Nova Scotia, and that makes on cancer patient in the province “incredibly angry.” Although glyphosate has been found to be a probable carcinogen, the province just approved its aerial spraying on nearly 1500 hectares of forest and continues to allow its widespread use on farms and lawns, insisting it is safe.

July 30, 2020       A Q and A with the German journalist who broke the story of an extremist colony in Cape Breton

July 29, 2020       Germans in Nova Scotia “devastated” by reports of hard-right extremist colony in Cape Breton

July 27, 2020        Who are the Germans selling land, doomsday ideology, and dreams of a refuge in Cape Breton?

July 23, 2020       Report: Right-wing German extremists are buying up land in Cape Breton

July 2, 2020         The borealization of Acadia  Due to climate change, warm weather-friendly trees should be dominating our forests; instead, cold-weather species are taking over. We now understand why – thanks to a phone call from the Irving company to lean on a professor’s dean.

June 24, 2020      Court documents contradict RCMP denial that they ignored Susie Butlin’s pleas before she was murdered.

June 18, 2020      “Insufficient grounds” Susie Butlin repeatedly pleaded with the RCMP to intervene to stop her neighbour Junior Duggan from harassing here. The police took no action. A friend says an RCMP officer told Butlin her allegations made her, not him, a “menace of society.” Three days later, Duggan killed Butlin.

June 17, 2020      “A political act of opportunism”: Conservatives go hard right on gun laws. CPC leadership candidates cozy up to firearms rights advocates, who compare Bill C-71 to the internment of Japanese Canadians in World War 2.

June 14, 2020           Pro-gun doctors’ group disbands amid accusations of racism. Doctors for Firearms Safety and Responsibility is no more.

June 8, 2020             Gunning for change: Doctors in the gun control debate in Canada

May 18, 2020            Canada is an “after-the-fact country”  Could a red flag law have helped prevent the mass shootings in Nova Scotia or help reduce gun violence in Canada? Or do such laws give cover to the failure of policing agencies to act under the authority they already have?

May 12, 2020            “He was a psychopath” A former resident of Portapique says she called the RCMP to tell them the future gunman assaulted his domestic partner and that he had illegal weapons. The police took no action.

May 8, 2020              Trigger warning  The ban on assault style weapons comes in the wake of the Nova Scotia shootings, but it is just one cautious step in decades-long debate over gun control.

April 30, 2020         “Today is a great day! A’se’K day!”  The Northern Pulp mills stops dumping effluent into Boat Harbour today, and the pipeline will be sealed tomorrow.

April 26, 2020         Memorial trail of grief and love: Nova Scotians mourn the victims of last week’s tragedy

April 14, 2020         Living through the coronavirus crisis: stories from the African continent

Mar. 30, 2020           Sheree Fitch’s new podcast offers some “narrative medicine” in a time of COVID-19

Feb. 20, 2020           Ellen Page: “The more we filmed … the more incredible women we met.” The Halifax-born actor says her new film, “There’s something in the water,” which is coming to Netflix, is a testament to the Black and Indigenous women who have been advocating for their communities in Nova Scotia.

Jan. 17, 2020            PR coup: Maritime Launch Services signs agreement with St. Francis Xavier University

Nov. 5, 2019             Maritime Launch Services and its private / public servants. One government bureaucrat sent a nasty email to a CBC reporter. Others had rude things to say about the Halifax Examiner. And Stephen McNeil met with MLS and it Ukrainian “partners” even though they aren’t registered as lobbyists.

Sept. 25, 2019          The ban on uranium exploration and mining is safe – for now.

Aug. 14, 2019           “There’s something in the water.” Ellen Page speaks to the Halifax Examiner about her forthcoming feature film and what she hopes it will accomplish.

Aug. 5, 2019             Opposition to Canso spaceport grows “The government of Nova Scotia and the government of Canada are partnering with a dubious, nearly-bankrupt Ukrainian company using cold-war technology,” says Michael Byers, an expert in space law.

July 21, 2019            “Hands off out protected areas, and lay off our Crown land”  The proposed Inverness airport will either encroach on or be very near to the Masons Mountain Nature Reserve, a protected nature reserve. It’s not the kind of place one wants to have commercial jets “screaming in and out,” says the Raymond Plourde, the Ecology Action Centre’s wilderness coordinator.

Sept. 14, 2018          “Pig in a poke”: die-hard proponents want to open Nova Scotia to fracking.

May 6, 2018              Fracking is back on the agenda in Nova Scotia  After years during which nobody seemed to be asking the F-question in the province, suddenly it is being asked all over the place: to frack or not to frack? Who’s asking and why?

The Narwhal

March 26, 2019          Fishers, First Nations fight Northern Pulp mill’s proposed effluent pipeline into ocean

Oct 3, 2018               How international gold mining companies are getting their way in Nova Scotia:

National Observer

July 25, 2018             Uproar in Nova Scotia over plan to dump pulp effluent into Northumberland Strait

Pambazuka News

Palm oil fuels land grabs in Africa, Issue 547: 15 September 2011.

The war on Africa’s family farmers, Issue 524, 6 April 2011.

The glossary of greed,  Issue 523. 30 March 2011.

Protecting investors, but what about the people? Dissecting the contradictions on agricultural investment in Sierra Leone.  Issue 48. 6 May 2010.

Profits before people: The great African liquidation sale. Issue 456. 11 May 2009.

Toronto Star

A modest man’s big idea Digital chip changed the world, 16 Feb. 2006.

The treasures of Timbuktu, 18 Dec. 2005

Relaxed Mali village hosts `poor people’s Kananaskis’, 26 June 2002


Farmland – the New “Blood Diamonds” in Sierra Leone? 23 May 2013.

Selected Research Reports

Understanding land investment deals in Africa. Country report: Sierra Leone. 2011. Oakland, CA: Oakland Institute

Understanding land investment deals in Africa. Country report: Mali. 2011. Oakland, CA: Oakland Institute

Sierra Leone”, pp 14 – 18. In: Sierra Leone Diamonds and Human Security Annual Review (edited by Ian Smillie). 2009. Ottawa, Partnership Africa Canada.

Policy Brief: Filling in the holes – Policy Implications in land rehabilitation, Sierra Leone’s artisanal diamond mining challenge. Diamond Development Initiative, 2009.

The World Agroforestry Centre — looking back at the first quarter century and ahead to the next. 2003. Writer.