1. Who’s (probably) behind Draft Kelly
Jesse Ward compiles convincing evidence for who was responsible for the now-aborted Draft Kelly website.
This article is behind the Examiner’s paywall and so available only to paid subscribers. To purchase a subscription, click here.
2. Pedestrians struck
Halifax Regional Police is investigating a vehicle/pedestrian collision that occurred today in Halifax.
At 2:45 p.m., police responded to a vehicle/pedestrian collision on Dutch Village Road at Alma Crescent. A 19-year-old man crossing Dutch Village Road in a marked crosswalk was hit by a car that was travelling eastbound. He suffered non-life threatening injuries and was transported to hospital by EHS.
The collision is still under investigation at this time.
And, the CBC reports:
A man was found unconscious and bleeding at a Dartmouth crosswalk Wednesday evening.
Police say the pedestrian was hit by a vehicle around 8 p.m. It happened at the intersection of Caledonia Road and Gourok Avenue. The vehicle stayed on the scene until help arrived.
Emergency responders found the man bleeding from the head and determined he was in the crosswalk when he was struck.
The man was taken to hospital, but we have no word on the his condition.
3. Jobs Fund
The CBC’s Jean Laroche gives a quick, but frustrating, overview of the $700 million the provincial government “invested” in private companies via the now-defunct Nova Scotia Jobs Fund.
It’s not Laroche’s fault the overview is frustrating; as he notes, “confidentiality clauses or rules, agreed to by previous governments, make it hard to determine which of those investments are paying off and which are not.”
The Chronicle Herald’s Michael Gorman has more details here.
It’s not completely impossible to get at least a ballpark figure of the total value of past investments. For the past six months, as I’ve had time, I’ve been working on a spreadsheet to track equity values, write-offs and write-downs, and new “investments” as reported in annual reports and news releases, with the idea that that information could give us a sense of the performance of each of the government’s economic development agencies. But building the spreadsheet is a tough slog and requires more attention than I’ve been able to give it. It’d be a good project for a journalism class, or maybe a business class.
Stephen Archibald has, of course, a collection of vintage canned tomato labels.
2. Demographics and immigration
Mike Turner has published his latest quarterly newsletter, where he takes a look at the demographic challenges the Maritimes face. As Turner is an appraiser, his interest is in how the unfolding demographic collapse of the Maritimes affects the real estate market, and specifically the commercial real estate market. The short of it: it ain’t good.
I like Turner, and I respect his analysis. That said, I think he makes unnecessary and, frankly, red herring attacks on organized labour. If he thinks the outlook for real estate is bad now, just wait to see what happens when the best paid sector of the workforce is downsized, their pay cut and pensions disappeared. (I’m also put off by the headline comparing the Maritimes to Greece. That’s just plain stupid. But as the article doesn’t make the comparison, I’ll assume Turner didn’t write the headline.)
In any event, Turner makes an excellent case for increasing immigration, and especially immigration from foreign countries, albeit he notes:
The Ivany Report placed great emphasis on meeting population shortfalls by promoting immigration from outside the country, instancing Prince Edward Island’s success as evidence that such was possible. The Atlantic Region’s working age population peaked in 2011. Stats Canada’s Medium Growth Scenario predicts that it will lose 20% of its workforce during the period 2011 to 2036. Immigration to the Region would have to quadruple its 2001-2014 rate to combat that shortfall. This appears unlikely.
I agree that quadrupling immigration appears unlikely. There are lots of reasons why the Maritimes aren’t attractive to potential immigrants: a broad distrust of “CFA”s; the lack of existing immigrant communities that can provide support for newcomers, and the absence of a large urban centre in which immigrants can most comfortably start a new life, to name a few.
But had the $700 million that was wasted on the Jobs Fund (see above) instead been spent on immigrant support, maybe the situation would not now look so bleak.
There are good moral and humanitarian reasons to take immediate action to help address the colossal crisis facing refugees from the Syrian civil war. But morality and humanitarianism aside, the refugees present an enormous opportunity, especially for places like the Maritimes. Many of the refugees are highly educated and they include a good mix of professionals who could immediately contribute to our economy. And all of them — desperate people who value peace and stability — will make excellent future citizens. Moreover, they have children, something we very much need if we’re going to ward off economic collapse.
It’s probably too late to put the support systems in place needed to immediately attract and retain a significant number of refugees, but the Syrian civil war will undoubtedly be just one of a series of mass migrations over the next years and decades caused by climate change and its attendant political, economic, and political disruptions. Welcoming those future refugees is the right thing to do, for them and for us.
3. Cranky letter of the day
On Aug. 4, Halifax city council passed a bylaw for train whistle cessation at the King Street crossing in downtown Dartmouth.
It was cause for celebration for sleep-deprived Haligonians tired of a whistle widely seen as unnecessary and antiquated.
It was also the culmination of an arduous fight that began back in December and ended, we thought, with the implementation of safety requirements deemed necessary in a safety study demanded by CN, and with the passing of a bylaw.
Residents have been losing sleep for years, unnecessarily it turns out.
After the King’s Wharf developer installed crossbucks, flashing lights, bells and barriers at the crossing, city council was to introduce an anti-whistling bylaw.
This did not happen and residents of downtown Dartmouth have been enduring a loud and obnoxious whistle, often several times in the overnight hours.
Now they have their anti-whistling bylaw. And yet CN is persisting with the whistle.
CN is coming up with new “safety concerns” that have no bearing on the crossing in question.
Halifax taxpayers are being held to ransom so that CN can extort yet more money to fix yet more infrastructure and get away with thumbing their nose at a bylaw that threatens to take away its power.
Agnes Malouf, Halifax
Appeals Standing Committee (10am, City Hall) — the most obscure of city committees has recently come into the spotlight, first when allegations of a conflict of interest on Gloria McCLuskey’s part were validated by a judge (behind paywall), and secondly when the committee voted to allow alleged sexual predator Bassam Aladin Al-Rawi to continue to drive his cab while the allegations are tested in court. Today, the committee goes in camera to discuss a taxi licence appeal, but the agenda (improperly, I think) doesn’t mention the appellant.
Accessibility Advisory Committee (4pm, City Hall) — the committee will discuss “Options to Improve Winter Sidewalk Clearing Outcomes.” Good luck with that, eh?
Design Review Committee (4pm, City Hall) — the committee starts its five-year review of the land use bylaws wrapped up in Halifax By Design that created the committee in the first place.
Harbour East–Marine Drive Community Council (6pm, the fancy new Harbour East Meeting Space, Main Floor Alderney Gate) — the only thing on the agenda is “housekeeping amendments” to the Dartmouth land use bylaws.
Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs (9am, Room 233A, Johnston Building) — BGen (Ret’d) Gregory C.P. Matte will give an overview of the Helmets to Hardhats Canada (H2H) – Program, of which he is the national director.
Unconventional instruments (Thursday, 1:30pm, Room 111, Dalhousie Arts Centre) — Quebec artist Jean-François Laporte begins his series on unconventional musical instruments with a lecture. Over the weekend some demonstrations will be held.
Nanodiamonds (1:30pm, Friday, Chemistry Room 226) — Jean-Cyrille Hierso of the Institute of Molecular Chemistry at the University of Bourgogne will talk on “From Palladium Chemistry exploiting Chloroarense and C–H functionalization in C–C and C–X bonds formation (X = O, S, F) to the emergence of nanodimanods organohybrid CVD materials.”
Propaganda and Canada’s clash of cultures (Thursday, 6:30pm, Halifax Central Library) — military journalist and ex-soldier Scott Taylor will speak:
“We don’t go to war against people, we go to war against stereotypes,” Taylor has said. Whether used to justify foreign military excursions or simply to boost morale on the home front, increasingly sophisticated propaganda continues to perpetuate a simplistic narrative about the people and nations in which Canada is entangled, creating an unnecessary us-vs.-them divide.
Toxic Legacies (Thursday, 7pm, CCEPA, 630 Francklyn Street, Atlantic School of Theology) — Ingrid Waldron will speak on Environmental Racism in Mi’kmaw & African Nova Scotian Communities. I interviewed Waldron for Examineradio; you can hear that interview here. Space at tonight’s event is limited, and CCEPA asks that people register via [email protected] or 902-428-1416.
A commenter on the mapporn subreddit draws our attention to Brasil, a mythical island in the Atlantic, somewhere vaguely west of Ireland. I’ve written before about Frisland, another mythical island somewhat east-southeast of Halifax.
It occurs to me that these islands would make a good setting for a novel parodying Nova Scotia.
In the harbour
ZIM Virginia, container ship, arrived this morning at Pier 42 from New York; sails to sea this afternoon
Alpine Hibiscus sails to sea
The cruise ship Maasdam is in port today. It can carry up to 1,258 passengers, all of them wanting a K-dog.
We’ll be recording the next edition of Examineradio today.