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Despite being dead for over 240 years, the founder of Halifax remains a controversial figure. In 1749, he issued a bounty on the scalps of Mi’kmaq people. Conversations on whether to rename landmarks and remove a statue commemorating Edward Cornwallis ramped up this year after council voted to launch a special committee to rethink how the municipality honours him.
The Cole Harbour-native quickly recovered from yet another concussion during NHL playoffs to help the Pittsburgh Penguins win the championship, capturing his third Stanley Cup and his second Conn Smythe Trophy. He spend his 30th birthday hoisting the cup in the air while leading the Natal Day parade through the streets of Halifax and Dartmouth. Crosby also found himself thrust into a political storm when the team accepted Donald Trump's invitation to visit the White House.
Judge Gregory Lenehan
The provincial court judge made national news when he said "Clearly, a drunk can consent," as he acquitted taxi driver Bassam Al-Rawi on charges of sexually assaulting an intoxicated woman in the back of a cab. His words set off a storm of public criticism, protests and calls for him to be removed from the bench. Nova Scotia's chief justice has ordered an investigation into the complaints.
Premier Stephen McNeil
In late May, Stephen McNeil's Liberals secured the first back-to-back majority government in Nova Scotia since 1988. However, election night was a nail-biter, with the party sitting below the 26 seat threshold for several hours after the polls closed. When the dust settled, the Liberal ended up with 27 seats, down from the 34 seats they had at dissolution.
North Atlantic right whales have had a devastating year. Seventeen have died and officials say that, along with dwindling birth rates, leaves them on the brink of extinction. With only an estimated 450 left, they are one of the rarest of all marine mammal species. Canadian officials have announced new protection measures, including reducing the speed limit in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.