Cellufuel has stopped operating its Brooklyn biofuel plant, the Halifax Examiner reported Friday.
The start-up biofuel company has received at least $4.5 million in public money; the shut-down is temporary and just part how “innovation” works, insists president Chris Hooper.
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2. Who’s going to fix our broken criminal justice system?
“Last week, I wrote about the Lyle Howe decision with a focus on the decision itself,” writes Stephen Kimber:
But there is a separate but related issue the bar society’s inquiry panel touched on in passing — “the current standards of criminal defence practice in the Halifax metropolitan area” — that’s also worth circling back to, and quoting from at length.
Kimber gets into those details and then concludes:
The panel’s perhaps self-evident but nonetheless shocking admission: there are only a “limited number of people” — almost all of them with “substantial social and financial resources” — who can hire lawyers who have the time and resources to represent them fully and adequately in the criminal justice system.
What happens to the rest? Solving that problem wasn’t within the purview of the inquiry panel, which had its own, much more limited assignment. But their findings shouldn’t be allowed to disappear simply because they weren’t central to the panel’s mandate.
We have a system that is clearly broken, and real people who suffer as a consequence. What is the bar society going to do about that? The justice minister?
It is time for them to be accountable.
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3. Solitary confinement
Relatedly, this morning the province published the policies and procedures for close confinement for prisoners in provincial prisons. “Close confinement” is a broad category that includes the narrower category of solitary confinement (in the policy, this is referred to as placing the prisoner in the CCU, the “close confinement unit” at a prison).
The overall policy has always been a public document, but the operating procedures distinct to each prison were considered “protected”; they were published today in response to a freedom of information request from an unnamed public interest group.
4. Examineradio, episode #122
This week, we’re joined by Halifax Examiner transportation columnist Erica Butler, who digs into the province’s recent announcement of more than $65m in funding to twin portions of Highway 103, as well as the inaccessibility of Africville Park.
Plus, 2,000 images from famed photographer Annie Liebovitz remain shuttered in a storeroom somewhere in Halifax, after the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board ruled for the fourth time that random rich dude patron of the arts Harley Mintz can’t claim a $20m tax break after donating them to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
5. Private email for government work
“Documents obtained by Global News under an access to information request show cabinet minister Leo Glavine relied on a private email account when he was minister of health,” reports Marieke Walsh for Global.
By carefully noting email addresses in the documents she requested, Walsh was able to document one instance of such improper email use, but I suspect that this is a common practice among politicians and bureaucrats, precisely because it’s a way to avoid the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. When the premier himself has stated plainly that he makes phone calls instead of using emails so that there’s no public trail of accountability, what else would we expect?
Unfortunately, there’s no way to know for sure the extent to which private email accounts are used to avoid adhering to the law, or at least no way that I can figure out. It will take some unknown future scandal and an investigative agency with subpoena power to pull private email accounts before we really understand the breadth of the problem.
But that’s good work on Walsh’s part.
6. More dead whales
“Three North Atlantic right whales have washed ashore on western Newfoundland’s coast in the last few weeks, according to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, with the number of recent confirmed deaths of the endangered animals in Atlantic Canada now at nine,” reports the CBC:
Last week, DFO was investigating a dead whale in Chimney Cove, just south of Trout River on the Northern Peninsula, to determine if it was a new death or one of the seven that were previously recorded in the Gulf of St. Lawrence this summer.
In a Facebook post early this morning, the Marine Animal Response Society notes that:
Unfortunately, the carcasses are in very poor condition. This means it is very difficult to determine if any are either of the two animals that were missing from the original eight. It will also be unlikely to determine cause of death for any of these animals given their extreme decomposition. In any case, this takes the total number of dead right whales through this entire incident up to at least 9 individual right whales.
Cancelled – Board of Police Commissioners
City Council (Tuesday, 2pm, City Hall) — by far the most important item on the agenda is approval of a $8.6 million tender that will finally, in the 2019-20 fiscal year, result in new fare boxes on buses, but most of the media attention is focused on ferries.
Councillor Sam Austin wants a report on increasing ferry service during special events like the Pride Festival and the Tall Ships Festival.
Councillor David Hendsbee, the fellow who wanted to move lighthouses inland so tourists could more easily access them, now wants to allow dogs on the ferries. There are dog people, then there are non-dog people, and this will undoubtedly start a war between them. The only solution is to have two ferry systems, one for people who “love, love, love dogs aren’t they so cute look at him will ya? I’m a responsible pet owner and a dog under verbal command is just as controlled as a leash and how could you ever suggest that I not be able to take my dog everywhere?” and those who think “jesus, that thing’s going to stick his wet nose in my crotch, why should I sit in all this dog hair this boat smells it’s a confined space and that fucking barking is driving me crazy.”
No public meetings until September.
Thesis Defence, Microbiology and Immunology (Monday, 9am, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building) — PhD candidate Chi Yan will defend his thesis, “The Role of the Il-17 Receptor-A20 Axis in Tumor Growth and Tumor Microenvironment.”
In the harbour
7am: Rotterdam, cruise ship, with up to 1,685 passengers, arrives at Pier 31 from St. John’s
7:45am: Maasdam, cruise ship with up to 1,510 passengers, arrives at Pier 22 from Bar Harbor
7:45am: Algoma Dartmouth, oil tanker, moves from Pier 34 to Dockyard
9:45am: YM Evolution, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for Bremerhaven, Germany
10am: Itea, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Liverpool, England
3:30pm: Viking Conquest, car carrier, sails from Autoport for sea
4:30pm: Rotterdam, cruise ship, sails from Pier 31 for Boston
5:45pm: Maasdam, cruise ship, sails from Pier 22 for Sydney
9:30pm: Itea, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for New York
These are the news doldrums of the summer, and all the commentariat seem to be on vacation.
I thought about writing about those graves being dug up in Louisbourg — I like the poetry of them simply washing into the ocean, but I guess there’s some archeological value in them, so I dunno.
Also, the federal government is trying to better understand the extent of the fisheries. This is all well and good, but the reasoning is that we should know what we have now so that when an oil tanker breaks apart and kills everything, we know what we’ve lost. Maybe we can build a monument to all the dead fish and the communities that fished them. The biggest concern is tankers coming out of the Irving refinery in Saint John into the Bay of Fundy, followed by tankers coming in and out of Port Hawkesbury.
Tall Ships: glad people like them. Too many people for me, tho.
The copyeditor is late today, so I’ll publish without and clean up copy later. Please send your scathing comments about improper grammar and typos to [email protected]