1. Laura Daye passes away

Laura Daye, the widow of the late Delmore “Buddy” Daye, passed away last Monday in hospital at the age of 90.

Daye was a teacher assistant in special education and resource for 27 years. She was the youngest of 17 children. Daye was just a toddler when her own mother passed away.

“Mom always had a certain sadness and a certain longing for a mother’s love, because she was only two when her birth mother passed,” Daye’s daughter Leslie Daye told Alex Cooke at Global News. “[She] finally gets to meet her mother.”

“I leaned down, and she said, ‘I want to say thank you.’ And of course, the tears came, I just bawled.”

“I said, ‘Mom, you don’t have to thank us. Thank you, you were a good mother. You were a very good mom for all of us.’”

A funeral for Daye was held this past Saturday. The family asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the New Horizons Baptist Church Building Fund or the Delmore Buddy Daye Scholarship.

A tribute video and obituary can be viewed here. 

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2. Information revealed in Martin David’s workplace death investigation

Martin David from Hammonds Plains passed last on June 9, 2020, after being found unconscious at The Brick warehouse in Bayers Lake where he worked.

Last week, Saltwire reported on new court filings by a lead investigator into David’s workplace death.

“My belief is that … Martin David entered a dark washroom, stumbled, following him hitting the wall and falling to the floor,” Richard Walkinshaw, an investigator with the occupational health and safety division of the provincial Labour Department wrote in court filings for a search warrant.

Video footage indicates that David had potentially suffered a workplace injury prior to entering the bathroom where he was found.

“I acquired video footage depicting David loading a truck with furniture and other household appliances when he fell in between the gap in the truck tailgate and the ramp,” Walkinshaw said.

“This also included video of David walking towards the washroom minutes before he was found on the washroom floor.”

Over a year since David’s death, Walkinshaw obtained a search warrant for The Brick just last month on September 16. According to Walkinshaw, conditions that may have led to David’s death still had not been changed.

“The washroom lights were on a timer system slated to come on later in the morning, which left the employees no means to activate the washroom lights when they needed access to the washroom,” Walkinshaw said in his affirmed statement. “The lighting system has not been changed.”

Walkinshaw said he spoke to two employees who discovered David. He said he learned that employees have to use the light from their personal cell phones to navigate through the bathroom before the bathroom lights become active through the timer.

Walkinshaw also spoke to Jonathan Garon, operations manager at The Brick. “He explained that the lights could have been turned on manually, but he couldn’t explain why they weren’t,” said Walkinshaw.

“Anyone should be able to go in the bathroom and flick the light on,” David’s mother LaVerne David told Saltwire.

As Saltwire reported:

His family only learned about his injuries from staff at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre the day after it happened. They later heard from company management, but not from the store where the accident happened.

“Nobody called us from that place yet to say, ‘We’re sorry, we dropped the ball,’” LaVerne David said. “They could have called us.”

According to Chris Hansen of the Public Prosecution Service, investigators have up to two years to lay charges under occupational health and safety regulations.

Martin David was 47 when he passed. He had four children age two to 23 at the time.

The Brick warehouse in Bayers Lake.

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3. 69-year-old senior loses income assistance thanks to CERB

CTV’s Bruce Frisko reported last week about Elmer Paris, a 69-year-old African Nova Scotian man from Halifax whose guaranteed income supplement cheques have stopped coming in.

Paris says he believes it is because he collected the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) last year. The report says that experts believe there are likely many others in the same boat as Paris.

“All of a sudden, the monies that we’re used to getting — gone,” Paris told CTV on Wednesday. “And there’s really nobody giving us any explanation.”

“The farthest I’ve been able to find out is that I’ll get reassessed next July,” he said.

In a statement to CTV, Employment and Social Development Canada said, “Any income that is considered to be net income under the Income Tax Act is used to determine the amount of GIS.”

“Federal benefits like the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) are taxable income.”

“This means that CERB and CRB income in 2020 may affect GIS benefits for the July 2021 to June 2022 payment period.”

A second statement released by the Canada Revenue Agency read: “The CRA recognizes that when applying for benefits, applicants may make an honest mistake or apply for a benefit period for which they are not eligible for. We have published information on our website to explain how individuals in these situations can easily return overpayments.”

“To date, the CRA has not required any individuals to repay the CERB and no repayment deadline has been established.”

“The CRA is sympathetic to the fact that, for some individuals, repayment of these amounts may have financial implications.”

“For this reason, payment arrangement parameters have been expanded to give Canadians more time and flexibility to repay based on their ability to pay.”

Neither statement seemed to confirm, however, whether people like Paris who have been unexpectedly kicked off of income assistance would be reassessed while making re-payment arrangements, if necessary, with CERB.

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4. Online fundraiser for racial justice launched

Kayla Borden. Photo: Matthew Byard

Last week I reported about a GoFundMe campaign set up for Kayla Borden by her lawyer, Devin Maxwell, to help her with legal fees in her ongoing complaint process against Halifax Regional Police.

Borden says she was racially profiled when she was followed from Bedford to Burnside before being pulled out of her car, swarmed, and wrongfully detained before being released without charges.

Borden, a Black Nova Scotian woman, says the police told her they were looking for a white man in a different model vehicle. A Freedom to Information request into those claims was since denied despite police saying that the matter had been closed.

After saying she had been given the runaround when initially filing a complaint, Borden’s complaint has since been denied. She has filed an appeal, which is set to be heard in December.

Borden’s lawyers have been working pro-bono. Speaking with The Examiner’s Zane Woodford in October 2020, Borden and her lawyer expressed an interest in potentially suing the police.

“Judges have a lot more power and judges have a lot more power and judges have a lot more independence and impartiality than the police review board does,” Maxwell said.

The day after launching the GoFundMe campaign, Borden’s lawyer received an email from a lawyer representing the city objecting to Maxwell subpoenaing Halifax Police Chief Dan Kinsella and Insp. Derrick Boyd (responsible for Professional Standards) to testify at the appeal.

“HRP sees no basis or foundation for calling Insp. Boyd and Chief Kinsella,” he wrote.

“The complaint was not broadened to somehow extend to the department as a whole, nor was the complaint expanded to include allegations against Insp. Boyd, or other witness officers.”

“With respect to Chief Kinsella, he has no direct involvement with this incident, and the only basis on which I imagine you are intending to call him is to advance an argument of departmental bias.”

Two days later, Maxwell responded, writing, “You have asked that the subpoenas to Insp. Boyd and Chief Kinsella be withdrawn. I am not compelled or inclined to do so.”

“Not only is Chief Kinsella eminently qualified to speak about the conduct of his officers and the policies and procedures of the Halifax Regional Police, he is the perfect person to speak to the racial bias that Ms. Borden alleges in her complaint. He has spoken on multiple occasions about racism and his department’s promises and efforts to combat it. He has made public promises to Nova Scotia’s Black Community.”

“In our view, there couldn’t anyone more suitable to speak to why Ms. Borden was removed from her vehicle and arrested on 28 July 2020, and why the rank and file of his department not only continue to wrongly stop Black Nova Scotians at an extraordinary rate, but also disavow that racial bias even exists within the Halifax Regional Police.”

Halifax Police Chief Can Kinsella and Insp. Derrick Boyd at a 2020 promotion ceremony. Photo: Dan Kinsella / Twitter.

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5. Racism in the army contributed to Lionel Desmond’s PTSD, inquiry hears

Lionel Desmond (left), Raymond Sheppard (right).

Last week I reported about Raymond Sheppard, a cousin to Lionel Desmond, and his continued efforts to shed light on how the effects of trauma caused by racism contributed to Desmond’s PTSD, which likely contributed to Desmond killing his wife, mother, and daughter in 2017, before taking his own life. Sheppard’s efforts led to him to testify at inquiry into the Desmond family fatalities earlier this month.

“In my opinion, Lionel Desmond had none of the severe risk factors like an alcoholic or drug-abusing parent, sexual molestation, violence at home, as well as mental illness in a family member that might have triggered or stimulated violence,” Sheppard said in his testimony.

“It does not take a genius, although the research is available to appreciate that racism and hate experiences induce physiological and psychological trauma that leads to adverse changes in mental health.”

“When sustained for a period of time this internalization can lead to physical and mental problems, even disease.“

“In February 2021, only one mental health professional mentioned that Lionel has shared that he was subjected to racism while a member of the CAF. Since 2017 I have personally spoken with at least 17 present and past members of the CAF, who all say that they also experienced racism in the CAF, and that there is no doubt in their minds that Lionel was also a victim of racism.”

Sheppard said that Desmond’s 2007 tour in Afghanistan “was said to be the bloodiest of the Canadian Military’s combat mission with many casualties as a result of the gruesome guerrilla campaign of the Taliban.”

“Any racist bullying, racial taunts and slights in any workplace can mentally scare, but in confined quarters it is compounded.”

The day after Sheppard’s testimony, Shane Russell, senior legal council for The Desmond Inquiry wrote him to thank him, stating, in part: “I want to thank you. Your submissions yesterday were insightful, eloquent, and will no doubt be a catalyst for meaningful and accountable change as we attempt to learn from such a horrific tragedy. I’m certain the community and the Desmond and Borden families are grateful that you have been with them every step of the way.”

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6. Black writers and activists pay tribute to Robert Devet

Angela Bowden, Raymond Sheppard, Lynn Jones, and El Jones.

In the days following his testimony at the Desmond Inquiry, Raymond Sheppard was one of several speakers at a public memorial at the old Halifax Library for Robert Devet, who founded the Nova Scotia Advocate. Devet died in September. Activist and Examiner contributor El Jones emceed the event and advocate Lynn Jones also spoke.

“He has brought this province some of the most honest, in-depth reporting on issues mainstream media glazes over or ignores. He was the people’s friend. All people. All races, religion, gender and class,” poet and author, Angela Bowden, who wrote for The Nova Scotia Advocate, told the Examiner. “Nova Scotia journalism will never be the same. We lost one of the good guys.”

Sheppard told the Examiner that, among other benefits, writing about the case of Lionel Desmond in The Nova Scotia Advocate helped him prepare for his testimony at the inquiry.

“I really came into myself, if you will, as a writer, in writing for The Nova Scotia Advocate,” he said. “Because I could write on anything pertaining to The Struggle — the struggle that African Nova Scotians have on a daily basis, and African North Americans for that matter. So, I got to write better, I got to write the things that really mattered, and still matter.”

Speaking with The Examiner prior to the memorial, El Jones said, “Certainly, Robert never presented himself as somebody saving Black people, in fact, he invested quite a lot in making sure that Black people were speaking for ourselves.”

“He would always come and do the coverage with the community. So, instead of having the only coverage being … mainstream coverage, you would have coverage from the point of view of the community,” she said.

Though his website has stopped publishing articles since Devet’s passing, all past articles remain archived and available to view at nsadvocate.org.

The memorial event for Robert Devet.

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7. Trobiz doesn’t miss a beat

Tremayne “Trobiz” Howe cuts a customer’s hair at his Fademasters barbershop.

Finally, we stopped by Fademasters barbershop in Fairview last week to talk to the shop’s owner Tremayne “Trobiz” Howe about his latest hip-hop instrumental album, Boom Bap, and the process behind its creation.

Howe is originally from a Black community in Montreal called Little Burgundy where his mother, jazz musician Muzz Marshall, is also from. His father, jazz musician Coleman Howe, is from Africville, and at 17, Trobiz moved to Nova Scotia into his father’s family home with his grandfather and relatives.

After attending Queen Elizabeth High School and playing for the Dalhousie men’s basketball team, Howe forged his way in the local hip-hop music scene. He says he reached national notoriety in Exclaim! Magazine for praise he received for one of his beats on rapper Classified’s album on a song in which he was also featured (a remake of one of his own unreleased original solo tracks). He since went on to win and be nominated for several awards.

Howe talked to The Examiner about many of the local Black artists he’s worked with, his passion for both making beats and writing and reciting rap vocals, as well as balancing being a full-time entrepreneur with creating music.

Click here to read that story.

Tremayne “Trobiz” Howe created the graphic design work for his latest two instrumental albums, Distance and Boom bap.

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Matthew Byard, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Matthew Byard writes news, profiles, and stories of the Black Nova Scotia community. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.

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  1. Martin David’s death is terrible, such a simple thing that should have easily been rectified. I don’t know why these cases take so long to be investigated. Is it just a lack of investigators? Is it the organizational culture of the Labour Dept. that these investigations just fill the available time?