Hello Examiner readers: Katie Toth here, curator and cultivator of the finest locally-sourced, organic, free-range news. Tim is sleeping, I’m writing Morning File, and Christmas is three days away! That means eggnog is in my coffee and I have wool socks on.
1. Nova Scotia now responsible for refugee support
Syrian refugees are coming up on the one-year deadline for receiving federal support if they’re in need. Now the province has to step up and make sure they receive what help they may need.
“It’s impossible to predict how many refugees in Nova Scotia will have to apply for income assistance, but it’s likely to be many,” Alexander Quon writes for the Coast, pointing to a new report from the Canadian Senate that says 12 per cent of government-sponsored Syrian refugees and 5o per cent of privately sponsored refugees have found work. “One of the biggest obstacles is language…Heather Fairbairn, a spokesperson for the department, says they’re in the process of hiring an Arabic speaking caseworker to make the transition from federal to provincial governments a little easier.”
It’s interesting that it’s so much easier to find work for refugees who come here through the private sponsorship program — a model that other countries are now hoping to replicate. I wonder if the kind of kinship, informal ties, and community that comes with a church or group of friends choosing to invest in a person’s arrival here are leading to an easier adjustment to a new life.
2. A human trafficker (allegedly) intimidates his victim one more time
Owen Gibson-Skier, 21, (allegedly) mouthed “I’ll see you” to his 14-year-old victim and (allegedly) “directed a gun gesture at her with his hand” on the way out of court according to Angela McIvor reporting for the CBC. He was the first person in Nova Scotia to be convicted of human trafficking. He pled guilty to three charges, McIvor writes: “trafficking a person under the age of 18, receiving material benefit from trafficking, and sexual assault.”
3. NS Gov amends ‘conquered peoples’ brief
Responding to public pressure, Nova Scotia’s Justice Department has withdrawn an argument that implied a First Nations band was a “conquered people,” Keith Doucette reports for CP.
The claim was in response to an appeal from the Indian Brook band over the province’s approval of salt caves to store natural gas near the Schubenacadie river. The band said the province had a “duty to consult” the band, when the province’s lawyer at the time responded that such a duty extends only to “unconquered people.” (Fact: Alex Cameron, that lawyer, also wrote a book in 2009 attacking the government for its acknowledgement of indigenous hunting and fishing rights.)
Stephen McNeil responded to the outcry in November with public hand-wringing, apologizing for the insult to Mikmaq people and taking Cameron off the case. But the offending brief still remained on the judge’s desk for weeks.
4. ER closures break records
As if the bed bug scandal in the Victoria General wasn’t enough of a nightmare, Nova Scotia’s emergency room closures in the span between March 2015 and April 2016 were at an all-time high since 2009, report Jean LaRoche and Rachel Ward for the CBC. Just don’t get sick and you’ll be fine!
Hockey Nova Scotia and Basketball Nova Scotia have invited students and teachers to play and coach sports despite an ongoing work-to-rule that prevents school teams. The Nova Scotia Athletic Federation, which oversees school teams, has given it their OK — as long as the teams are different and don’t have school names or uniforms.
Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union spokesperson Mark Laventure also says nothing in the work-to-rule guidelines prevent teams outside of school. “I know the coaches, the athletic directors, the principals all want kids back out being active,” he said to Stephanie vanKampen of the CBC.
Views on views
1. Donald Trump becoming president-elect: less than ideal
So suggests Matt Draper for the Port Hawkesbury Reporter, offering the controversial new take in his column on the best and worst of 2016.
2. Let’s build a hill on the Halifax Common
It’s Tristan Cleveland’s idea, not mine, and it was in Metro on Tuesday. Cleveland is getting blown to the ground by Nova Scotia’s gusts soaring through the Emera Oval, and thinks taking dirt from local construction sites to build a hill on the park would keep us all warm.
“That would, even better, relieve the Commons’ flat monotony and create a nice place to linger on summer days,” Cleveland says. “As it stands, I’ve heard it said the Commons are not so much a public space, but a poorly drained sports field.”
Never mind the fact that sweaters and the shady Public Gardens both exist, or that PEOPLE USE THE COMMON ALL SUMMER FOR SPORTS, PARTICULARLY BASEBALL.
Anyone want a town council seat near Canso?
CBU is looking for an external auditor.
Here are some local dogs who want you to have a good holiday:
No public meetings.
“Bright Stars at Christmas” (7:15 pm, Halifax Planetarium) — This December, the brightest star is actually a planet. Also, in the spirit of the season: newly born stars. Five dollars at the door; reductions for families; minimum age eight years old.
In the harbour
6am: Atlantic Sealion, barge, arrives at Pier 6
6am: ZIM Alabama, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Valencia, Spain
7am: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, arrives at Pier 36 from Saint-Pierre
7am: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, moves from Pier 41 to Autoport
11am: Juliette Rickmers, container ship, arrives at Pier 41 from New York
11:30am: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, moves from Autoport back to Pier 41
Noon: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, sails from Pier 36 for Saint-Pierre
3:30pm: Oregon Highway, car carrier, sails from Autoport for sea
4:30pm: ZIM Alabama, container ship, sails from Pier 42 for New York
6pm: Atlantic Sail, ro-ro container, arrives at Fairview Cove from New York
9:30pm: Juliette Rickmers, container ship, sails from Pier 41 for Kingston, Jamaica
Do you have a favourite place to buy truffle oil? Someone on Reddit is asking.