1. Dentistry scandal
The post-holiday reopening of the Dalhousie Dentistry Clinic has been delayed a week, to January 12. The delay is “one of the many steps being taken so patients, students, faculty and staff are able to return to classes and clinics in a safe and supportive environment,” reads a university statement.
The Coast has published more screenshots from the offending Class of DDS 2015 Gentlemen Facebook page, which was formed in 2011. Writes Jacob Boon:
Perhaps most troubling, three male Dalhousie dentistry faculty and staff members are praised by the group for their “gentlemanly” behaviour. One current instructor is lauded for being “under more heat for sexual harassment than anyone since” a previous faculty member. “What a boss.”
And the Coast has also published a bizarre “public apology” from a former member of the Facebook group. While the author says he was “was one of the people directly involved with bringing this forward,” he remains anonymous, which causes one, well, me anyway, to question his sincerity:
…Later that night, as I held my one-month-old daughter in my arms, I shed quite a few tears thinking about how I would feel if her name was among those in the post. My two-year-old son also came to mind, as I imagined the hurt I would experience to have him voting on such an event.
No father can stand idly by with this happening and consider himself a man. I knew it was time to step forward. My children deserve to know their father did the right thing.
To the direct victims: I am eternally sorry for the damage caused by what has occurred. You deserve far more respect as daughters of god, and for the hard work you have devoted to getting to this point in your career.
To the gentlemen: I cannot sincerely apologize enough for being so proud as to abandon my own convictions and allow our actions to carry on unchecked. I let you down as a brother for not stepping in sooner and stopping this.
Let’s see… Appeal to (traditional, male-headed) family, check. Invocation of the sky god, check. Overwhelmed by unholy urges that can only be controlled through brotherly love and support, check. Is it possible that Ted Haggad, the fundamentalist preacher caught up in a meth-and-gay-sex-worker scandal, is a student at the Dalhousie Dental School? Because the anonymous apology sure sounds a lot like Haggard’s apology to his church.
Oh, and Dal prez Richard Florizone is on Twitter, and has posted a long string of tweets about restorative justice and such.
On December 21, Police were called to the Quinpool Centre located at 6169 Quinpool Road for a report of found property. Officers were informed that an employee of the Centre located a large sum of money in the parking lot around noon on December 19. The sum of money was located inside an item along with other things; however, there was nothing to identify the owner. The officer checked local businesses and didn’t find any information in relation to the item or its owner.
The owner, or anyone with information regarding the owner, is asked to contact police at 902-490-5016. In order to claim the money, the person must be able to specify what the money was in, the amount of money and in what denominations, and where the item was lost.
I don’t know what’s the most strange thing about this story—that someone would simply lose a bag full of money, that someone who found a bag full of money didn’t immediately go on a spending spree at the NSLC right there next to the parking lot, that although the person who found the money didn’t immediately go on a booze-buying spree they waited a full two days to before turning it in to the cops, or that the cops themselves took another day or so to get around to telling the public about it.
On that last point, there have been a few cases recently where the cops have asked the public’s assistance, but long after the event occurred. For example, yesterday, the police asked the public’s help in identifying an arsonist at St. Andrews United Church—but the arson happened in May, seven months ago. And last week, police released photos of a man accused of attacking another man on a Metro Transit bus—in October, two months ago—and asked the public’s help.
With these long delays memories fade and people move on. I guess I’ll ask the cops why it takes them so long to get around to asking the public’s help. Maybe there’s a good reason.
Councillor Darren Fisher, who doesn’t get out much, says the idea of building a roundabout at Burnside Drive and Ackerley Boulevard is “exciting.”
4. Crazy chicken lady
Someone shot Riki Lee Christmas’s chicken, Boo-berry, with an archery arrow, the Chronicle Herald reports:
“I had her [Boo-berry, not Christmas] inside for about a week so she recovered. She’s a lot better now. She’s walking and all that. Before, she wouldn’t even move. I just let her out (Sunday) and I noticed she was able to do what she usually does.”
All of Christmas’s chickens, including Homer and Marge, Roosty, Snowball and Peep-ums, are used to being around people and have been shaken up by the ordeal, she [Christmas, not Boo-berry] said.
“I love animals, especially birds and chickens. I find they’re silly and very entertaining to watch.
“They’re pretty much just pets to me. I couldn’t care less about the eggs and stuff, but it’s a bonus.”
Two boys are suspects, and the cops will see if the chickens can pick the boys out of a line up.
5. Peter Kelly
In Westlock County, Alberta news, former county reeve Ken Mead is over halfway to his goal of collecting 1,600 signatures on a petition calling for the provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs to “conduct an inquiry into the affairs of Council and Administration of Westlock County.” The county CAO is Peter Kelly, the former mayor of Halifax.
Mead was distracted by personal business, so may not make the December 29 deadline for the petition. Cleverly, however, he has started a Facebook page to help collect signatures. “Looking back, I should have done this [started the Facebook page] from the beginning,” Mead told the Westlock News. “I never even thought of that.”
The Facebook page explains that:
We are asking resident electors of Westlock County to sign the petition based on some questionable decisions that our Council has made over the last year. Some of these decisions, but not limited to, are the hiring of an out of province CAO with a questionable background, construction and delayed opening of the Tawatinaw Valley Ski Hill, all union and non-union staff being given a letter offering 3 months severance pay if they were to quit, budget practices and other decisions. This petition is NOT to remove anyone, Council or Administration from their current position. We would like the Minister of Municipal Affairs to direct our Council as to the proper duties and responsibilities of an elected official as set out under the guidelines of the MGA. This petition goes directly to the Minister of Municipal Affairs.
Mead says if he can’t get the 1,600 signatures by December 29, he’ll just start a new petition in the new year.
1. Next year at Province House
Michael Gorman outlines the issues likely to be at play next year.
Parker Donham takes issue with CBC reporter Catharine Tunney’s reporting on daycares:
In short, the CBC’s new Halifax-based “investigative unit” portrayed two technical violations of reporting requirements in such a way as to lead a casual listener to believe actual abuse had taken place at two day care centres. Reporter Catharine Tunney even stopped passersby on the street outside the two centres, and reported they were “shocked at the news.” In fact, several protested they had always found the centre to be excellent and trustworthy.
This adds up to reckless disregard for the reputations of two community institutions. The CBC’s investigative unit appears to have been more concerned about hyping its own reputation for digging up dirt than for accurately representing the impugned organizations.
No public meetings today.
No public events today.
Yesterday, the provincial government released its $490 million capital plan, which includes:
— $222.5 million for highways and structures
— $114.8 million for buildings and land
— $47.4 million for information technology projects
— $15.3 million for vehicles and equipment
— $63.8 million for capital grants
There is also a contingency fund of $26.2 million.
The Department of Transportation also published its list of major capital projects yesterday, but annoyingly didn’t include dollar amounts per project:
The above chart is just for major projects. The list for regular asphalt jobs goes on for three pages, and then there’s another page worth of bridge replacements.
Of course maintaining and repairing highways is important, but I don’t really see the need for all these new highways—our population isn’t growing.
We could argue about the safety element of twinning highways. I think in most places we could achieve higher levels of safety with far less money by simply outlawing passing except in passing lanes and installing safety barriers between the traffic lanes on two-lane highways. But it doesn’t much matter any way because there’s only one twinning project on the list—a kilometre-long stretch of Highway 125 in Sydney.
Imagine if much of the $200 million or so we spend every year on new roads was invested in transit or rail projects. We’d very quickly have a commuter rail line in Halifax and a good regional transit systems in rural areas. It wouldn’t even take that long to re-create the passenger line network of old, with routes through the valley to Windsor and on to Halifax, and one down the south shore as well.
As is, though, it feels like the (probably) apocryphal tale of the Eastern Islanders continuing to cut down their ever-dwindling supply of trees to convey their stone statues to the shore in order to appease some god or another. We’ll just keep building highways until climate change and rising sea levels make us go extinct.
In the harbour
(click on vessel names for pictures and more information about the ships)
Atlantic Companion, ro-ro cargo, New York to Fairview Cove, then sails for Liverpool, England
Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro cargo, St. John’s to Pier 36
FPMC 21, tanker, New Orleans to Imperial Oil
Zim Luanda, container ship, Valencia, Spain to Pier 41, then sails for New York
Zim Beijing, container ship, New York to Pier 42, then sails for Kingston, Jamaica
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