I didn’t link to this story when it came out because a couple of missing brothers didn’t seem like a big deal — dog knows, I went “missing” all the time when I was young — but it’s taken a weird turn, so let’s recap. Back in October, police issued this release:
Nineteen-year-old Damien Roy and 18-year-old Bailey Roy were reported missing to police at approximately 8:20 a.m. on October 4. One of the men returned to their residence on Fairfax Drive briefly on October 6 at 3:38 a.m. and neither have been heard from since.
Damien is described as a white man, 6’1”, with a thin build, blue eyes and a shaved head. Bailey is described as a white man, 5’8”, with a thin build, brown eyes and a shaved head. They were last seen wearing camouflage clothing.
There is no information to suggest that Damien and Bailey have met with foul play, however, police are concerned for their well-being. Officers request that Damien or Bailey, or anyone with information on their whereabouts contact Halifax Regional Police at (902) 490-5020.
Over the weekend, the men were found:
Halifax Regional Police have located two missing Clayton Park men.
Nineteen-year-old Damien Roy and 18-year-old Bailey Roy were reported missing to police at approximately 8:20 a.m. on October 4. One of the men returned to their residence on Fairfax Drive briefly on October 6 at 3:38 a.m. and neither had been heard from since.
Today at approximately 2:30 p.m., the two men were located safe in the area of Balsom Road in Bedford.
We thank the public and media for their assistance.
But now, reports Dan Arsenault, the men are missing again:
The two Halifax brothers who were missing for almost six weeks, until their discovery on Friday afternoon, have disappeared into the woods again.
“I’m absolutely worried about them,” Corey Roy said of his sons Damien Roy, 19, and Bailey Roy, 18.
“They’d lost a lot of weight … skinny as skinny can be.”
In an interview Sunday morning, Roy said his sons became interested in survival-related things, such as isolated life in the woods, about two years ago. He said they made about six forays into the woods in the last year or so and one of them, which started in September 2014, lasted about six weeks. In addition, the pair had driven off in sudden, secret runs to Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City.
Survivalism is an odd but otherwise harmless activity that doesn’t threaten anyone else, but the “secret runs” to points west and, well, that moustache, suggest something else is going on here.
2. Green crabs threaten lobsters
“New research is raising more concerns about the potential transfer of diseases from the invasive green crab to lobster in Nova Scotia waters,” reports Paul Withers:
“Our worry is there could be a pathogen transfer and it could damage our lobster industry. We are finding at least two pathogens of concern,” research scientist Fraser Clark says.
3. Cyclists assaulted
A police release from Sunday:
On November 15 at 11:21 a.m., officers responded to an assault on Old Sambro Road near West Pennet Road. Two cyclists were traveling on Old Sambro Road when a vehicle passed them. A disagreement occurred and the vehicle forced the cyclists to stop. The driver confronted the two male cyclists and assaulted both of them. The two cyclists received minor injuries. The driver, a 50-year-old Halifax man, will attend court at a later date to face two counts of assault.
One of those attacked was a member of a Facebook group devoted to local cycling issues. The group is closed and I haven’t spoken with him, so I won’t use his name, but here’s his account of the incident:
Out for a Sunday ride in the cold and riding with [my son] along Old Sambro Road and coming up to the stop sign at West Pennant Road ….. nice ride on the well-known-to-Halifax-cyclists Sambro Loop. We were dressed in reflective clothing, had running lights on, single file on the edge of the road. We get passed by a tanker truck who had to wait until the road was clear and so he slowed and executed a perfect pass by.
Then came a dangerous driver who passed us leaving only a foot or so, my son in front gesticulated with his mittened hand…then things got out of hand. Driver slams on his brakes in an effort to either injure us or “teach us a lesson.” Son has to brake hard then slaps the rear window of car in frustration. Driver veers into adjacent parking and jumps out in a rage and proceeds to sucker punch son in the face; he falls back on the ground, I intervene, also getting punched in the face and fall to the ground, curl up because I think I am about to get kicked in the head whereupon the man quits his assault.
So we took pictures, called it in, dude left the scene but returned 10 minutes later. Police came and were super professional and eventually lead him away in handcuffs. We are pressing charges. We both have swollen faces but nothing worse.
I am posting this for a couple of reasons. One to say everyone be careful, don’t react (as we did) to provocation and also keep your cell phone handy. The other is to ask the Halifax cycling community, how can we at least attempt to effect change in this atmosphere? We are all aware of the aggressivity that is prevalent out there in Halifax in general and on Sambro Loop in specific, especially directed to those of who use these roads for training and recreation. There is no other similar loop for road riding connected to Halifax center.
So I am throwing it out to the community and would very much like to hear your ideas…something needs to change. We suffered an assault, three weeks ago we lost a member of our community to a needless accident, we have all been the recipients of scary and abrasive behaviour — how can we make this different?
1. The Younger Games
You wish he would stop. For his sake. But he doesn’t. Andrew Younger seems constitutionally incapable of not hurtling down the same, self-immolating highway to the hell of political oblivion paved over — and then over again — by gone-but-not-forgotten former NDP MLA Trevor Zinck.
2. Public employee unions
“Stephen McNeil has triumphed in public-sector labour negotiations,” says Graham Steele. “He has succeeded where his four predecessors failed, leaving the unions cowed and powerless.”
Steele says this as a former Finance minister who had locked horns with the unions:
When I became the finance minister in 2009, the world’s financial markets were in turmoil. The economy was weak. We had a structural deficit in the hundreds of millions of dollars, revenue was flat or even falling, and previous governments had run up big debt. There was no room to breathe.
Labour relations were a mess. There were hundreds of bargaining units in a small province. The unions talked only of leapfrog and catch-up between different units. The previous government had set a multi-year wage pattern that the unions wanted to continue. Unions and arbitrators paid no attention to the public’s ability to pay.There was no common sense.
To cut a long story short, the Dexter government caved. The contract went to arbitration, a generous award was made, and the pattern was set that spread through the rest of the public sector.
Clearly there are limits to what can be paid to public employees, and the plethora of bargaining units in the end benefitted no one.
What I fear most about the last decade, however, is not that civil servants were paid too much, but rather that our collective eye was taken off the ball and we’ve learned exactly the wrong lessons. When the NDP Finance minister looks at the smouldering wreck of the global finance industry and concludes, “well, sure, those unions are too powerful,” we’ve got real problems.
It’d be one thing if the McNeil government’s battles with public employee unions were coupled with financial restructuring (say, a provincial bank), rejigging the tax code to reward work rather than wealth, and reeling in the transfer of tax dollars from the middle class to fly-by-night investors selling the moon. But instead, McNeil and company have swallowed the entire neoliberal agenda, attacking working people, slashing public services, and employing the divisive rhetoric of trickle-down economics.
HRM police officials will now consider themselves vindicated in their decision to deploy snipers and military-clad officers toting battlefield weapons at Remembrance Day services. They are not vindicated. It was a repulsive way for a civic police force to behave.
Such reactions to violence do not make us stronger. They make us weaker. They are what terrorists hope for.
I’ve been in no rush to comment on Paris, and what can I offer anyway? Beyond the horrific events themselves, we don’t have any real understanding of who specifically was behind the attacks, what security issues are at stake, and so forth. Very often in the immediate aftermath of such attacks, much of what’s reported in the press and on social media turns out to be incorrect.
I do know, however, that these events are always used to advance agendas — the warped nihilistic agenda of the attackers, but also political agendas of all stripes. Terrorist attacks serve as the political equivalent of the Shock Doctrine, used as the excuse to radically transform our own society, and not to the average person’s benefit.
The enemy is blind, stupid rage, killing for the sake of killing. Let’s not become what we so abhor.
4. Cranky letter of the day
Re: “Courts no place for feeding of any kind” (Nov. 10 Counterpoint). As the fifth child in a family of 14 breastfed children, I feel confident speaking on the subject.
Certainly the learned Gavin Giles is right in defending Judge Gregory Lenehan as a fundamentally good person. But that has nothing to do with the care and feeding of infants. Mr. Giles suggests “there were perhaps better places” than a courtroom to feed the infant. That is a pointless argument: the mother was in the courtroom, not elsewhere, and she had good reason to be there.
When an infant needs feeding, the caring mother feeds the infant. She should not be forced to defer to manufactured restraints imposed by others. Courts may be “serious” and even “solemn” places with lofty “decorum” but their “gravitas” is not disturbed by the quintessentially natural act of a mother feeding her totally dependent infant.
The life-sustaining nature of breastfeeding (which we must agree has quite a long history among mammals) and the importance of familial bonding certainly trump the niceties being defended by Mr. Giles.
It is an issue of taste that he raises — not an issue of any significant weight.
We may not dispute his aesthetic sense, but we can find him in error on the substance of the matter.
Tim Leary, Halifax
Public Open House Pre-Application (6:30, Central Library) — the first public display of a proposal for two buildings at South Park and Brenton Streets. More info here.
North West Community Council (7pm, Bedford-Hammond
Law Amendments (1pm, Province House) — under consideration:
This date in history
The year 1857 saw the so-called “Indian Mutiny” or “Sepoy Mutiny,” in which Indian soldiers across northern India revolted against the British military occupiers:
On the heels of the mutiny at Meerut, sepoys in garrisons across North India — Delhi, Aligarh, Lucknow, Kanpur, Jhansi, Gwalior, and dozens more — rebelled as well. If this were all, the “Sepoy Mutiny” would indeed be an accurate moniker. But the disturbances did not remain contained: as sepoys refused orders and turned on officers, captured the treasury and ammunition storehouses, burned buildings, shed their uniforms, and abandoned their garrisons, they were joined by civilians from adjoining towns and villages. Where this happened, civilians broke open jails, attacked police stations and tax offices, burned the account books and records of money-lenders and magistrates, plundered the property and in some cases persons of those—Europeans and Indian—associated with colonial rule (Bengali middle-men were a particular target). Before long, some 500,000 sq. miles of the northern plains, from Allahabad to Delhi, were in upheaval. What began as a military mutiny in several garrisons of the Bengal Army morphed into or converged with a civilian rebellion.
One of the places besieged by the rebels was Lucknow, and on November 16, 1857 the “relief of Lucknow” by British forces was successful.
The Nova Scotia connection? William Hall.
The son of escaped slaves who had made their way from Maryland to Nova Scotia, Hall was born in 1827 at Horton, Nova Scotia. He went on to work in Samuel Cunard’s shipyard in Hantsport, then went off for the adventures of war and glory, joining first the US Navy in 1847 and then the British Royal Navy in 1852. The Maritime Museum continues the story:
After the Crimean War, Hall was assigned to the receiving ship HMS Victory at Portsmouth, England. He then joined the crew of HMS Shannon as Captain of the Foretop. It was his service with Shannon that led to the Victoria Cross.
Shannon, under Captain William Peel, was escorting troops to China, in readiness for expected conflict there, when mutiny broke out among the sepoys in India. Lord Elgin, former Governor General of Upper Canada and then Envoy Extrodinary to China, was asked to send troops to India. The rebel sepoy army had taken Delhi and Cawnpore, and a small British garrison at Lucknow was under siege. Elgin diverted troops to Calcutta and, as the situation in India worsened, Admiral Seymour also dispatched Shannon, Pearl and Sanspareil from Hong Kong to Calcutta. Captain Peel, several officers, and about 400 seamen and marines including William Hall, travelled by barge and on foot from Calcutta to Cawnpore, dragging eight-inch guns and twenty-four-pound howitzers.
The key to Lucknow was the Shah Najaf mosque, a walled structure itself enclosed by yet another wall. The outer wall was breached by the 93rd Highlanders at mid-day, and the Shannon brigade dragged its guns to within 400 yards (366 m) of the inner wall. William Hall volunteered to replace a missing man in the crew of a twentyfour-pounder. The walls were thick, and by late afternoon the 30,000 sepoy defenders had inflicted heavy casualties from their protected positions. The bombardment guns from Shannon were dragged still closer to the walls and a bayonet attack was ordered, but to little effect. Captain Peel ordered two guns to within 20 yards (18 m) of the wall. The enemy concentrated its fire on these gun crews until one was totally annihilated. Of the Shannon crew, only Hall and one officer, Lieutenant Thomas Young, were left standing.
Young was badly injured, but he and Hall continued working the gun, firing, reloading, and firing again until they finally triggered the charge that opened the walls. “I remember,” Hall is quoted as saying, “that after each round we ran our gun forward, until at last my gun’s crew were actually in danger of being hurt by splinters of brick and stone torn by the round shot from the walls we were bombarding.”
Captain Peel recommended William Hall and Thomas Young for the Victoria Cross, in recognition of their “gallant conduct at a twenty-four-pounder gun… at Lucknow on the 16th November 1857”.
Hall is praised for being an African Nova Scotian who by his bravery rose up the ranks of the British military and was the first black person and the first Nova Scotian to get the Victoria Cross.
But I can’t help noting that the liberation of Lucknow involved killing 20,000 sepoys and their civilian allies. Black people fighting for empire shouldn’t be held to some higher ethical standard than all the white people fighting for empire, but let’s not kid ourselves that Lucknow was a morally pure intervention. It wasn’t.
Racism (6pm, Room 224, Student Union Building) — “The School of Social Work in collaboration with the Black Student Advising Centre, the James Robinson Chair of the Black Canadian Studies and the Association of Black Social Workers, presents the 5th lecture series on “Racism is Killing Us Softly” The event will be in form of a Panel discussion where the Exposition of the Systemic Racism in Education will be discussed.”
In the harbour
Yantian Express, container ship, Norfolk to Pier 41
Bahri Yanbu, ro-ro cargo, Baltimore to Pier 31, then sails to sea
Vera D, container ship, Lisbon to Pier 42
Atlantic Compass, container ship, New York to Fairview Cove, then sails to sea
Barkhald, bulker, Philadelphia to National Gypsum
I’ll be publishing a freelancer’s work later this morning.