Author Archives: Peter

About Peter

is a Blogger. Photographer. Longshoreman. IT Guy. also the brains behind and Personal site

Atlantic Sea sails.. Finally

Atlantic Sea finally sailed this morning at 4 am. She spent the week tied up at the east end of Fairview Cove with a ramp issue. Parts and technicians were due to arrive over the weekend, and were able to clear up the problem.

i was told that the ramp was able to raise and lower, however the articulation joint in the center was what failed. when the Ship sailed, it was bypassing New York – and all New York bound Cargo was offloaded, and will be restowed on Atlantic Star on Tuesday.

How can Halifax Mitigate Trucks to the Port? look to Vancouver.

The issue of trucks to the Port recently was cited by the federal government as a reason to deny funding to modify Halterm and the Halifax Ocean terminals to accommodate multiple ultra class container ships. these ships, which are 10,000+ teu vessels are supplanting smaller ships on more routes, as carriers form alliances, and look to find efficiencies.

But are trucks really that big a problem? The port of Halifax has an 80/20 split rail vs trucks. in 2017, the port handled 559,242 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). A 2016 study conducted for the city counted 648 trucks in a 24 hour period. This is just over 300 vehicles. By Comparison, Hollis street sees 700 vehicles in an hour during peak times.

I conducted 2 polls via twitter. while they have a selection bias, the results were interesting. the first poll found that 39% of respondents felt that trucks to the port were the worst downtown traffic, however, 61% thought something else was worse. The Road Train (19%) Harbour Hopper (15%) and cyclists (27%) combined are more hated then trucks.i found it interesting that for all the talk they get, more people are actually annoyed by another group of road users, which are actully largely seasonal.

follow up conversations actually identified couriers and people illegally stopping as a big problem for all road users, as their stops block lanes, and sidewalks and force people to have to go out of their way to avoid them.

I also conducted a second poll to see how many trucks people thought were traversing downtown to the port. 33% of respondents thought there were more trucks then there actually are, with 14% believing there are over twice as many as there really are.

So seemingly the problem may not be as bad as we think it.

I reached out to the Port of Vancouver, which has 2 terminals, Centerm and Vanterm, just east of downtown. In 2017 the Port of Vancouver Handled 3,252,223TEU. I asked the port how they handled trucks.

The Port of Vancouver is an interesting case study for a Number of reasons. First – like Halifax, the port facilities are located through communities away from highway access. Second, Vancouver is ranked consistently as one of the most livable cities in the world, and third, thier port operations are significantly bigger then ours, so if their solutions are working, then that should be adoptable here.

I was told by Chris Clarke, a spokesperson for the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority that 2/3 of the ports cargo arrives by rail, and 1/3 by truck. Vancouver therefore has many more trucks then Halifax does. Vancouver also lacks direct highway access.

The Port of Vancouver has a community liaison committee to collect feedback and offers a feedback line where residents can call in to report issues including noise.  Vancouver worked with the Province of BC to institute a truck licensing process. Trucks delivering to the port, must meet certain age and environmental standards to be permitted port access. Clarke also told me that they work with local law enforcement to ensure trucks operate safely, and meet standards.

One interesting thing the Port of Vancouver mentioned is that they try to route trucks over fresh pavement. by smoothing out the ride, they are able to keep noise from rattling empty containers down.

A study conducted by the City of Halifax looked at constructing an inland terminal. Essentially all truck activities and empty container storage would happen at the inland terminal, and containers would be moved between the port and the inland terminal by rail. Such a system solves the downtown truck problem, and expands port capacity by 250,000 TEU, from the current upper limit of 900,000, simply be re-allocating land use.

that study also looked at the feasibility of using the railcut to move trucks as well as trains. it found it could be a viable solution, though careful consideration would be needed to ensure rail uses were not impacted, and to leave room for commuter rail in the future. presumably the truck entrance to the railcut would happen around the Fairview overpass, possibly via a ramp off Joseph Howe. This would also have the benefit of a direct road link between the terminals.

A final option that has not been previously proposed or studied, is actually a variation on an old plan for a Northwest Arm bridge. If the city built the planned, but never started Northwest Arm bridge, and highway connection to the 103, it could be used as a dedicated transit and Truck route. this would solve the problem of getting buses from Spryfield, Tantalon and Timberlea onto the peninsula bypassing traffic choke points, and remove trucks from downtown. Trucks could exit into the railcut to access the port from Robie street, and could be subject to a toll to fund the road. Busses could connect to Robie.

Now might be the time to invest in infrastructure. However,  if the Port of Halifax working with the city and Province adopted some of Vancouver’s strategies to mitigate disturbances caused by trucks,  we could offset the impact of trucks on our community.

CSC Winner Announced

the federal government issued a release identifying Lockheed Martin as the preferred design for the CSC. Canada’s Combat Ship Team – composed of Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems and CAE, MDA, L3 Technologies, and Ultra Electronics – submitted a proposal based on the British Type 26 Global Combat Ship. the British are currently building this ship, though it is not yet in service.

so much for a proven off the shelf design. I covered the 3 eligible bidders in a post earlier this year.

Anyway, the release says:

The Government of Canada and Irving Shipbuilding Inc. have identified Lockheed Martin Canada Inc. as the preferred bidder to provide the design and design team for the Royal Canadian Navy’s future Canadian Surface Combatants.

While this represents a significant milestone in the competitive process, more work is required before a contract is awarded.

Lockheed Martin Canada Inc. must now go through the “due diligence process,” which includes:

  • negotiations with the company on intellectual property rights
  • an assessment of combat systems performance
  • an assessment of the company’s financial capability to deliver the project, together with the verification of various other administrative matters

Should the preferred bidder not successfully demonstrate to Canada and Irving Shipbuilding Inc. that it meets all of the due diligence requirements, then the next highest ranked compliant bidder will become the preferred bidder. The new preferred bidder will then have to successfully demonstrate that it meets all of the due diligence requirements.

The identification of the preferred bidder follows a rigorous bid evaluation process. This process has been, and will continue to be, overseen by an independent Fairness Monitor. To date, the Fairness Monitor has submitted a series of interim reports on the Canadian Surface Combatant procurement process, and each of these reports have not identified any fairness deficiencies.

More recently, the Fairness Monitor provided the following statement to Public Services and Procurement Canada:

“As the Fairness Monitor for the Canadian Surface Combatant project, we have monitored the evaluation of proposals submitted in response to the Request for Proposals and have identified no fairness deficiencies. It is our opinion that the evaluation of proposals was conducted in a fair manner. Decisions were made objectively and free from personal favouritism or improper influence, and the process encompassed the elements of openness, competitiveness, transparency and compliance with the Request for Proposals.”

A contract award is expected this winter, with construction beginning in the early 2020s.

The Canadian Surface Combatant project is the largest, most complex procurement ever undertaken by the Government of Canada. These ships will form the backbone of our Royal Canadian Navy and will be Canada’s major surface component of maritime combat power for decades to come.

The Government of Canada remains committed to being open and transparent at each stage of the procurement process.

To save jobs the Halifax Shipyard should build a port in Dartmouth. Weekly News #21

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1.Local MP Hates the port..
the Feds reject port funding request for expansion.

2.Local MP Hates the port

Here is what i had to say in the herald

3.Local MP Hates the Port.
CBC Follows up. apparently it was a 500million ask that was rejected, however the port is still borrowing money to expand pier 41/42

4.This week in the Herald.

This week I talk about the shipyard, the competition for repair work, and how they may have shot themselves in the foot.

5. Ships Stay Here, and 1 more ship to start here?
from the Ottawa Citizen – Irving is hoping to keep all the Halifax Class repair work, and wants to build a 7th AOPS? the feds have contracted for 5, with incentives to lead to a 6th. Also Council has given its support to the Shipyard workers.

6.ABCO to build Landing Craft for AOPS

NS Built small boats will be carried on the new AOPS. the Baots will be built in Lunenburg.

7.Ship Selection Soon.

word is the feds will be choosing the design for the CSC by the end of the month. then negotiations will start. The 3 options were outlined into this post.


1. Bad Seamanship

2.Bad Seamanship


Oct 16, 1970 – CSS Hudson returned to Halifax, completing the first circumnavigation of the Americas

Oct 14, 1942 – SS Caribou torpedoed by U69 in the Cabot Strait. The Newfoundland ferry was traveling from Sydney to Port Aux Basques.  101 survivors, 137 passengers and crew are killed.

Oct 12, 1492 – Christopher Columbus sights his first landfall in the Americas at 2:00 am.

Oct 11, 1963 – HMCS Haida is paid off

Oct 11, 1942 – RCMP St. Roch entered halifax harbour, becoming the first vessel to transit the north west passage west to east.

New tugs for the Navy. this time for sure.

The Feds have another tender on the street for the construction for 4 large navy tugs to replace the glen Class. this one has been working through procurement circles for a number of years, they first tried for 6 tugs in 2012. that went nowhere, so in 2015 they went looking to bareboat or time charter commercial tugs. that too went nowhere and now they are looking to buy again.

the request is for an off the shelf design, and the tender requires bidders to present a working example of the design, not more then 10 years old, with more then 1000 working hours.

this tender reads:

the Department of National Defence (DND) has a requirement to replace the Royal Canadian Navys (RCNs) five Glen-class tugs and two Fire-class fireboats with four Naval Large Tugs (NLTs). The procurement strategy is to award a single contract for the design and construction of four commercial-off-the-shelf tugs through a competitive process on

Two tugs will be delivered to Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Esquimalt in British Columbia and the other two tugs will be delivered to CFB Halifax in Nova Scotia.

DND is seeking to acquire four NLTs of a proven, in-service, commercial off-the-shelf design. The primary mission of the new NLTs will be to provide a platform to conduct moves of larger RCN vessels, along with providing towing and afloat firefighting capability, in the harbors on both coasts. Each new vessel is expected to have a minimum 25-year life expectancy. In addition, as part of this procurement, DND will also acquire the necessary technical data packages, operator and maintenance training, and two years worth of spare parts for each vessel.

the tender also mentions that The vessels must be delivered with no more than 500 hours on the main engines and that The vessels shall not be towed from the shipyard to the delivery points.

Masterpiece in Focus: Halifax Harbour 1918

Harold Gilman, Halifax Harbour, 1918. Oil on canvas, 198 x 335.8 cm. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Transfer from the Canadian War Memorials, 1921. Photo: NGC The Painting looks to be looking south, from Dartmouth cove.


The paintings Halifax Harbour, the largest and most ambitious work executed by British artist Harold Gilman, and Winter Camouflage, by Group of Seven co-founder Arthur Lismer, are at the heart of the new exhibition Masterpiece in Focus: Halifax Harbour 1918. The show, which marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, is presented at the National Gallery of Canada from October 12, 2018 to March 17, 2019. It is organized in partnership with the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, where the exhibition will be on display from April 12 to September 2, 2019.

Harold Gilman, Halifax Harbour, 1918. Ink and watercolour on paper, 33.5 x 54.5 cm. Gift of Mrs Harold Gilman (no.VAG 31.57). Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery.


In 1918 the Canadian War Memorials Fund (CWMF) commissioned artists Harold Gilman (1876–1919) and Arthur Lismer (1885–1969) to depict the war effort at the port of Halifax. The assignment came after the most destructive explosion of the First World War, when a freighter collided with a munitions ship in the Halifax harbour in 1917 killing nearly 2,000 people and injuring thousands more.

Arthur Lismer, Winter Camouflage, 1918. Oil on canvas, 71.5 × 91.6 cm. Purchased 1918. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. © Estate of Arthur Lismer. Photo: NGC

Featuring 35 works, including preparatory paintings and drawings, sketches, prints and photographs, Halifax Harbour 1918 explores how these two painters-turned-war-artists approached their respective missions during a critical moment in the history of Canadian landscape painting and the challenges they faced while working in Halifax in the aftermath of the tragedy. For the first time, Gilman’s monumental canvas can be viewed alongside his preparatory works.

the gallery magazine has an article on the Exhibit.

A bilingual and fully illustrated catalogue, as well as essays by Anabelle Kienle Poňka, Lily Foster and Sarah Fillmore accompanies the exhibition. Co-published with Goose Lane Edition. Available at the Boutique at the price of $35, or online at

Halifax Harbour, 1918, organized by Kienle Poňka and Gilman scholar Lily Foster,   includes loans from the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the Canadian War Museum, Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the British Council, the Higgins Art Gallery & Museum in Bedford, England, and private collections. Following its run at the Gallery, the exhibition will be on view at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia from April 12 to September 2, 2019.

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