1. Trudeau and Abdi
“A 23-year-old former refugee from Somalia waited in a segregated cell in New Brunswick Tuesday night as about two dozen of his supporters called attention to his case at the prime minister’s town hall in Lower Sackville, N.S,” reports Emma Smith for the CBC.
I detailed Abdi’s plight in yesterday’s Morning File.
I don’t see any news coverage of it, but in the meeting, Abdi’s sister, Fatuma Alyaan, asked Trudeau directly about Abdoul Abdi. A Facebook Live video of the Prime Minister’s mealy-mouthed response is here.
“Fracking is a controversial political topic,” notes Graham Steele, stating the obvious:
So far the McNeil government has mostly steered clear of the controversy. It essentially banned fracking, without ruling out future development.
That may change now that the government has posted an “Onshore Atlas” of shale gas potential.
The Onshore Atlas is broken down into many sub-documents. For those who don’t want or need to read the technical reports, there’s an Executive Summary.
The Onshore Atlas puts some hard numbers on how much shale gas there is in Nova Scotia. TL,DR: Lots, and it’s worth billions.
This Onshore Atlas was quietly posted yesterday on the Department of Energy website. There was no news release. Even on the Energy website, you have to hunt for it. Remember that the provincial government issues a news release every time a Cabinet minister farts.
Allnovascotia.com, a subscription-based news service, has been after the Onshore Atlas for a year. It turns out that yesterday was the deadline for responding to an Allnovascotia.com freedom of information (FOI) request. That would explain why the document went up yesterday.
Because Allnovascotia.com is a subscription service, I can’t link to its story in today’s edition. But compliments to them and reporter Geoff Bird for staying on top of the story.
The Onshore Atlas will surely re-open the fracking debate in Nova Scotia. There’s lots of gas out there. Fracking is the only way to get it. So should we start fracking?
Here’s the Executive Summary.
The entire Atlas is here.
I check the province’s Open Data Portal every morning, and the Atlas hasn’t yet been listed on it. The Atlas is sorta public, but sorta not.
3. Another CEDIF bites the dust
Yesterday, the Nova Scotia Securities Commission issued a cease trade order for West Nova Agro Commodities Ltd. A similar order was issued last year for West Nova Agro, but that order was revoked in March. After the 2017 revocation, West Nova Agro manager Jonathan McClelland told the Chronicle Herald that “We just need to get it filed and everything will be on track.”
Established in 1999, West Nova Agro was one of the very first companies organized to take advantage of the Community Economic Investment Fund (CEDIF), which gives tax breaks to Nova Scotians who invest through it.
Last month, I noted the failure of another CEDIF, Fundy Tidal, and wrote:
I’m skeptical that tidal power will bring meaningful returns either economically or in power generation any time soon. I’m happy to be wrong about that.
But I’m even more skeptical of the CEDIF program. I’m not aware of even a single CEDIF project that has succeeded, while off the top of my head I can rattle off three that have failed: Seaport Farmers Market, Unique Solutions CEDIF, and now Fundy Tidal. Surely there must be some successes, but I’d like to see a success rate for the program over all.
4. Blue Thunder
The things I learn from my google news alerts…. For instance, this morning I learned via the websites Dangerous Minds and Vice that, Victor Willis, the author of “Just a Gigolo” (above, before it was covered by David Lee Roth, who made it even more famous) and the cop in the Village People, was the inspiration for a 1990s-era Halifax police band called Blue Thunder.
Blue Thunder somehow made its way to Slovakia, where the band played before a bunch of Eastern European step dancers and teeny boppers and recorded a few videos, including “Let Me Tell you Something,” which seems to be about a 42-year-old woman working in a liquor store talking down a 16-year-old boy robbing the place:
Er, 42-year-old women working in liquor stores (and anyone else facing a shotgun-wielding robber)… DON’T DO THIS. Give the thief the money, let the cops and insurance companies deal with it later. Your safety is more important than the eighty bucks in the till.
Christ on stick, cops, don’t be telling people this.
5. Spitting on cops
On a much more serious note, a recent court filing illustrates some of the issues cops have to worry about on an ongoing basis. I’m withholding names in this account because the court filing contains personal health information.
In the early morning hours of December 8, Cops A, B, and C. went to a home in North Dartmouth to arrest Mr. P for assault with a weapon. I know nothing else about the underlying charge.
According to Cop A’s affidavit, when the officers got to the house, Mr. P’s mother answered the door and told them that Mr. P was inside. The cops went in and found Mr. P hiding under the kitchen sink. They told him he was under arrest but he refused to come out. “He actively resisted our attempts to handcuff him,” wrote Cop A.
Cop A and Cop B finally got Mr. P out from under the sink and marched him out to a police wagon, and as they were placing him in the wagon, “before we closed the door, Mr. [P] attempted to exit the wagon. Mr. [P] spat on me at this time. His spittle went into my eyes and mouth, and onto my face and vest. Mr. [P] also spat on [Cop B’s] forehead and [Cop C]’s forehead and left shoulder.”
Under questioning at the police department, Mr. P told detective Kristen Bradley that he (Mr. P) was infected with both Hepatitis C and HIV. Bradley asked him to consent to take a blood sample, “However, as Mr. [P] was being taken back to his cell, he attempted to disarm Constable Ross Webb and was fighting him.” So, no blood sample.
A few days later, on December 14, while Mr. P was being housed at the Burnside Jail, he once again was asked to provide a blood sample, but “refused to leave his cell.”
Meanwhile, Cop A had immediately gone to the Halifax Infirmary and “started a course of prophylactic treatment consisting of a 28-day cycle of antiretroviral drugs.”
“I am unable to conclusively determine at this time whether I have been infected with HIV or Hepatitis C,” wrote Cop A in his affidavit. “This ongoing uncertainty is profoundly distressing to me and my family.”
Cop A’s affidavit was filed as part of a request to compel Mr. P to give a blood sample. But as soon as it was filed, Mr. P agreed to provide the sample.
The court document doesn’t say what the results of that sample were, or whether Cop A was infected. The allegations in the affidavit about Mr. P have not been tested in court.
6. The city’s website sucks
Have I mentioned that the city’s website sucks? It’s been taken over by demons this morning, and I’m getting various messages like this:
As a result, I can’t provide much info on the meetings listed below.
Budget Committee (Wednesday, 9:30am, City Hall) — council begins debating next year’s budget.
Halifax Explosion Advisory Committee (Wednesday, 3pm, Room B239, NSCC Leed Street Campus) — the committee will evaluate its grant program, just in case we have another Explosion and those people 100 years later wonder if we got it right.
Regional Watersheds Advisory Board (Wednesday, 5pm, HEMDCC Large Meeting Space, Alderney Landing) — just an organizational meeting.
FCM 2018 Conference Advisory Committee (Thursday, 1pm, City Hall) — here’s the agenda.
Harbour East Marine Drive Community Council (Thursday, 6pm, HEMDCC Meeting Space, Alderney Gate) — the agenda.
Public Information Meeting – Case 21076 (Thursday, 7pm, NSCC Leeds Street Campus) — the agenda.
Public Accounts (Wednesday, 9am, Province House) — the committee will discuss funding for Ocean Innovation Centre: COVE (Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship). I was going to go, but I’m already too late.
Economic Development (Thursday, 10am, One Government Place) — about immigration.
Newfangled Rounds: GreyLit (Wednesday, 8am, Weather Watch Room, Dickson Building, VG) — Cora Cole and Lori Wozney, from the IWK Centre for Research in Family Health, will speak on “GreyLit – The Missing Piece in your Decision Making.” To register: Elaine.Strohm@nshealth.ca
rDNA (Thursday, 10am, Theatre A, Tupper Building Link) — Marlene Snyder from Acadia University will speak on “The Hidden Signature of rDNA Evolution in Our Genome.”
Opening Reception: 64th Student, Staff, Faculty and Alumni Exhibition (Thursday, 4pm, Dalhousie Art Gallery) — Open until January 28, and includes folks from King’s. See here.
In the harbour
5am: Berlin Bridge, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Fos Sur Mer, France
6am: East Coast, oil tanker, arrives at Irving Oil from Saint John
8am: Damia Desgagnes, asphalt tanker, sails from MacAsphalt for parts unknown, at least to us
8:30am: Horizon Star, offshore supply ship, arrives at Pier 9 from Bay Bulls, Newfoundland
11:30am: Berlin Bridge, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for New York
4pm: Grand Pioneer, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from Southampton, England
4pm: Hafina Daisy, oil tanker, arrives at anchorage for bunkers from Montreal
4pm: East Coast, oil tanker, sails from Irving Oil for Saint John
6pm: Hermitage Bridge, arrives at Irving Oil from Saint John
I’m disappointed that nobody seems to have caught my Dead Dog Cafe reference yesterday.
I’ll be on The Sheldon MacLeod Show, News 95.7, at 2pm.