Hi, I’m Erica Butler, the Examiner’s transportation writer, filling in this morning while Tim is off visiting his mom.
1. Sidewalk snow clearing
Councillor Shawn Cleary is taking another stab at fixing sidewalk (and bike lane) snow clearing in Halifax, with a motion slated for council’s transportation committee this month. Erica Butler talks to Cleary and sustainable transportation advocate Eliza Jackson, and looks at the latest reports from city staff, which explain why some sidewalks in Halifax are better maintained than others.
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2. Cecil Clarke does double duty
Another hat has been thrown in the ring for leadership of the provincial Progressive Conservatives, reports Mary Campbell in the Cape Breton Spectator:
CBRM Mayor Cecil Clarke has declared his candidacy for the provincial Tory leadership, which he intends to pursue while remaining mayor.
Campbell questions Clarke’s decision to remain mayor while running for party leader, and takes a comparative look at other mayors and city councillors across Canada who have taken the plunge into provincial or federal politics over the years.
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3. Police reopening 2014 sexual assault case possibly related to 2017 attacks
A sexual assault case that was closed after one month back in January 2015 has been reopened by Halifax Police, reports the CBC’s Elizabeth McMillan.
In December 2014, a 19-year-old woman reported being sexually assaulted by a 31-year-old man in Halifax, according to Halifax Regional Police.
CBC News has learned she identified the man as Matthew Percy, who is now 34 and is facing two charges of sexual assault and two charges of voyeurism related to attacks last September.
Halifax police have not confirmed any connection between the cases. Matthew Percy is in custody and will be in court later today, reports the CBC.
4. Cooke Aquaculture gets the boot, again, in Washington state
The Associated Press reports:
Washington state officials on Sunday cancelled a lease with Cooke Aquaculture Pacific at the site where net pens holding farmed Atlantic salmon collapsed last summer, releasing tens of thousands non-native fish into Puget Sound.
The decision comes days after a multi-agency state investigation found the Saint John, N.B., company negligent for failing to adequately clean its nets, saying that directly contributed to the net-pen failure in August at the facility.
The report, published in the Chronicle Herald, goes on to detail accusations that Cooke is misreporting fish escape numbers to authorities. This lease is the second lease that Cooke has had terminated in as many months.
On the east coast, Cooke Aquaculture has recently admitted to “slightly higher fish mortality due to the harsh recent storms” at its Jordan Bay facility near Shelburne, reported the Chronicle Herald in late January. Earlier the company had claimed no fish deaths related to the storm in question.
5. Gender identity starting to be recognized in prison system
“A new Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) policy means that Transgender women can now be sent to women’s prisons while Transgender men will serve their time in a men’s prison, if that is their preference,” reports Rebecca Rose in the Nova Scotia Advocate.
Rose tells the story of the advocacy and human rights complaint behind the changed policy, and goes on to explore remaining issues with the “transphobic culture” in Canadian prisons.
6. Waye Mason visits Port Williams students to talk Cornwallis
A group of middle school students in Port Williams have been getting press for their proposal on what to do with the statue of Cornwallis now in storage somewhere in Halifax. And yesterday, they got a visit from Halifax’s deputy mayor, Waye Mason, reports CTV news. Considering the tone of chatter on social media surrounding the fate of the statue, it’s not surprising to read this comment from Mason:
“The quality and maturity of the presentation from the Grade six to eight students has been superior to some of the emails I’ve been getting the last little while,” says Mason.
Still no word from the city on when we will see formation of that special advisory committee on “the commemoration of Edward Cornwallis and the Recognition and Commemoration of Indigenous History.”
7. O Canada now commands everyone
“The national anthem is now officially gender neutral after legislation altering the lyrics received royal assent Wednesday morning,” reports CBC. The lyric “in all thy sons command” has been changed back to its original version, “in all of us command.” Of course, before any of those lyrics were written, the anthem was a French composition entitled Chant national, which includes problematic references to the commingled power of the church and state.
I was struck by this little tidbit in the CBC story: “Members of Parliament traditionally sing the national anthem each Wednesday before the start of business.” At my kid’s school, the anthem is a daily occurrence, and I’m frankly surprised that it’s not standard operating procedure every day that parliament is in session.
1. When corridors run through neighbourhoods
The debate over a proposed northbound-only bus lane on Gottingen is just getting started. Halifax resident Matt Neville has been speaking up on Twitter:
#Halifax Transit Priority Corridors in a nutshell — Robie, Bayers + Young have long been major divides that define neighbourhoods — they are corridors already. Gottingen, however, is the street that holds the neighbourhood together. @shawncleary @wayemason @hfttransit @NEBAhfx
— Matt Neville (@mn_ville) February 7, 2018
Neville went on to explain his aversion to the plan in a follow-up tweet: “There is no way to send 90 buses an hour in express lanes down the street — 55 of which don’t stop or stop once only — and not negatively affect life on the street or negatively impact the safety of non-motorized users without major street redesign.”
Design Review Committee (Thursday, 4:30pm, City Hall) — the committee will rubber stamp an eight-storey development at Hollis and Bishop Streets.
Public Information Meeting – Case 20795 (Thursday, 7pm, Cafeteria, Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea Senior Elementary School, Timberlea) — a Lakeside development.
No public meetings.
Economic Development (Thursday, 10am, One Government Place) — for some unfathomable reason, the committee has asked Jordi Morgan to speak about “Red Tape Reduction.” We’ve been on this train for 35 years — taxes are too high for businesses, there’s too much red tape, blah, blah, blah, and every government has responded by cutting business taxes and doing away with regulations and still they come back and say taxes are too high and there’s too much red tape, blah, blah, blah. Truth is, business promoters like Morgan won’t be happy until we achieve the tax- and red tape-free Nirvana of Somalia, and even then they’ll blame business failures on governments.
No public meetings.
Surviving Progress (Thursday, 7pm, Ondaatje Auditorium, Marion McCain Building) — a screening of the 2011 documentary which “connects the financial collapse, growing inequity and the Wall Street oligarchy with future technology, sustainability, and the fate of civilization itself.”
Love Is In The Stars (Thursday, 7:15pm, Planetarium, Dunn Building) — $5, minimum age 13 with parental guidance. Reservations required.
Failure — A Key Ingredient For Success? (Thursday, 7:30pm, in the auditorium named for a bank, Marion McCain Building) — Liesl Gambold moderates “Fail Forward: Falling Short and Climbing Up,” billed as “an informal forum to hear about the failures and experiences that led to the success of several FASS faculty members and a Dal Tigers coach.”
Piano Recital (Friday, 11:45am, Room 406, Dalhousie Arts Centre) — students of Peter Allen and Lynn Stodola will perform.
Pain: Through the Lens of Loss (Friday, 12pm, Room 1014, Rowe Management Building) — Janice MacInnis leads this group discussion. Register here.
A Matter of Survival: Health Rights from the Bottom Up (Friday, 12:10pm, Room 104, Weldon Law Building) — Pascale Allotey, Director of the United Nations University International Institute for Global Health, will speak.
Nonlinear Optical Properties of Molecules for Microscopy (Friday, 1:30pm, Room 226, Chemistry Building) — Danielle Tokarz from Saint Mary’s University will speak.
Does Place Matter? Debates and Burial Decisions of Muslims in Canada (Friday, 2:30pm, Room 1028, Rowe Management Building) — Chedly Belkhodja from Concordia University will speak.
Seeing at Sea: Lighthouses, Sailors, and the Politics of Vision in Late Nineteenth-century Nova Scotia (Friday, 3:30pm, Room 1170, Marion McCain Building) — Sara Spike, director of the Eastern Shore Islands Heritage Research project, will speak.
Violin Masterclass (Friday, 4:30pm, Room 406, Dalhousie Arts Centre) — Rachel Barton Pine will perform, following her Thursday night concert with Symphony Nova Scotia.
Liederabend: An Evening of Song (Thursday, 7:30pm, President’s Lodge) — Marcia Swanston will speak.
In the harbour
6am: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, arrives at Pier 41 from St. John’s
10am: Frieda, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for sea
Noon: YM Essence, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from New York
Noon: Nord Gainer, oil tanker, sails from Imperial Oil for sea
2pm: STI Notting Hill, oil tanker, sails from Imperial Oil for sea
While you’re singing or whistling the “in all of us command” rendition of “O Canada” to yourself this morning, figure what we can do about that God stuff.