1. Bomb threats
Apparently, any idiot with a burner phone can disrupt air travel.
Last week, an Air France flight was diverted to Halifax after a bomb threat was called in. On Saturday, a Turkish Airlines flight was likewise diverted to Halifax for a few hours and the passengers evacuated while the RCMP searched for a non-existent bomb, and on Sunday a Calgary-bound WestJet flight was delayed from departing for three hours for yet another bomb search. The third bomb threat was called in from somewhere in Nova Scotia, reports the CBC.
We gotta cut this out and start ignoring bomb threats. Either the security measures we have in place work, or they don’t. We can’t let the air industry’s equivalent of internet trolls wreak havoc on a whim.
I say this as someone who is terrified of flying and who is getting catapulted across the continent in one of those physics-defying tubes later this week.
I just can’t imagine that there’s some sort of ethical terrorist out there, determined to blow up a plane but worried that someone might get hurt, so calls it in. No, the whole point of blowing up an airplane is to kill a bunch of people, so warning them is sort of counter-productive.
2. Examineradio episode #36
This week, Examineradio speaks with Claudette Legault of Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia about the 600-700 new refugees soon to settle in Halifax.
Plus, NSGEU accepts a tentative deal with the province, poverty-wage-offering corporations like RBC and Westin get behind the Game Changer Action Plan (which may mean they plan to ‘change the game’ by paying people even less), and Peter Kelly announces he’ll return home to Bedford.
3. Nova Scotia Power lights might kill children
Nova Scotia Power is warning parents of small children about a safety concern regarding LED lights the company handed out Saturday at the Parade of Lights after the IWK Health Centre reported two incidents of young children ingesting the batteries.
The battery compartment of the clip-on LED flasher — intended to promote pedestrian safety — is not secure.
4. Road mayhem
The short days coupled with rainy weather and lots of people on the roads for the Kill the Children With Lights Parade results in increased danger on the streets. Here is a string of police releases over the weekend:
Halifax Regional Police responded to a vehicle/pedestrian collision that occurred this afternoon in Halifax.
At 12:38 p.m., police responded to a vehicle/pedestrian collision in the 1900 block of Barrington Street. A car travelling southbound struck a 68-year-old woman as she was crossing the sidewalk. She suffered non-life threatening injuries and was transported to hospital by EHS as a precaution.
The 24-year old male driver was issued a summary offence ticket under Section 125(1)(a) of the Motor Vehicle Act for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
Shortly after 6:30 p.m. [on Friday] on November 20, a 64-year-old female motorist called police to report that she had struck a pedestrian in a crosswalk in the area of 6286 South Street. Emergency Health Services attended the scene as a precaution and tended to the 18-year-old female pedestrian. After the investigation was completed, officers issued the motorist a Summary Offence Ticket for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
At approximately 11:30 a.m. on November 21, members of Halifax Regional Police responded to a vehicle/pedestrian collision in the intersection of Agricola and Charles Streets in Halifax. A 16-year-old male was crossing Agricola Street at Charles Street in a marked crosswalk when he was struck by a vehicle that was travelling Northbound on Agricola Street. The pedestrian was not injured in this collision and the 75-year-old female driver of the car was issued a Motor Vehicle Act ticket for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk.
At 5:19 p.m. on November 21, Halifax Regional Police attended the intersection of Mumford Road and Olivet Street in Halifax in relation to a collision between a 25-year-old female cyclist and a motor vehicle. The 56-year-old motorist was pulling out of Olivet Street onto Mumford Road and collided with the cyclist. The cyclist sustained a leg injury and was taken to hospital for treatment by ambulance. The incident is still under investigation and charges have not been laid at this point.
Shortly after 6 p.m. on November 21, a 32-year-old woman was running across University Avenue in a marked crosswalk when a vehicle turning left from South Park Street onto University Avenue collided with her and threw her to the ground. Police officers who were working the Parade of Lights were nearby and assisted immediately. The pedestrian was taken to hospital for treatment for scrapes and bruises. The file is still under investigation and no charges have been laid at this point.
At approximately 6:40 p.m. on November 21, a 28-year-old man was walking on the North side of North Street heading eastbound when he approached the Clifton Street/North Street intersection. When the man entered the intersection, he was hit by a vehicle travelling northbound and fell to the ground. The driver of this vehicle, a 35-year-old woman, exited the vehicle and immediately called police. The man was transported to hospital for treatment of a broken ankle and the driver of the vehicle was issued a summary offence ticket for failing to yield to pedestrian in a crosswalk.
At approximately 5:40 p.m. on November 21, Halifax Regional Police responded to a vehicle/pedestrian collision at the intersection of Quinpool Road and Preston Street in Halifax. While turning onto Preston Street from Quinpool Road, a vehicle driven by a 61-year-old female struck a 20-year-old female pedestrian in a marked crosswalk. The pedestrian was transported to hospital by EHS paramedics for non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the vehicle was issued a Summary Offence Ticket for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk contrary to the Motor Vehicle Act.
1. Shandell McNamara
Stephen Kimber weighs in on the Shandell McNamara story. McNamara is the mixed-race woman who says she was wrongly accused of shoplifting at Shoppers Drug:
A police spokesperson told [reporter Haley] Ryan stores are private property. Nothing they could do, either.
The Nova Scotia Human Rights Act says it’s illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of race in “the provision of or access to services.” The Anti-Racism Resource Centre says “singling out an individual for greater scrutiny for no other reason other than their race…” is an example of prohibited behaviour.
Yet the police didn’t think to suggest McNamara take her concerns to the Human Rights Commission?
“War cries are in full throat across the Western world, currently led by French President Francois Hollande but backed, as usual, by a chicken-hawk chorus singing from the safety of their living rooms,” says Dan Leger.
3. Cranky letter of the day
Setting aside international affairs, our media appear once again to be transfixed by the bad/childish/foolish behaviour (pick one) of a public figure, while behind our backs, the FDA in the U.S. has approved the frankenfish that was developed, and the eggs of which will continue to be produced, on Prince Edward Island. The AquaBounty fish has the potential to contaminate wild stocks of the increasingly endangered Atlantic salmon.
Jean M. Chard, Dartmouth
Executive Standing Committee (10am, City Hall) — the committee is gearing up for its annual review of the CAO. That review won’t happen today, and when it does happen it will inevitably be closed to the public, but oh boy I’d love to be a fly on the wall.
Police Commission (12:30pm, City Hall) — the commission will look at next year’s proposed $77 million operating budget.
Environment and Sustainability Standing Committee (1pm, City Hall) — the entire meeting is in camera, so no sense anyone going.
District 7 & 8 Planning Advisory Committee (tim ) — the committee is looking at WM Fares’s proposal for 21-, 16- and five-storey buildings at the northeast corner of Windsor and Young Streets. Judging by the architectural renderings of the proposal, only two cars will use the 58 above-ground parking spaces, and the place will be full of blurry cyclists.
The city this morning issued a tender for “up to 60” new buses over the next three years. This isn’t exactly news — council has been approving these purchases as part of its annual budget package for many years now; about half the buses will replace old buses, and half are for new routes and more frequent service. And council doesn’t get enough credit for staying the course on the system expansion of Halifax Transit, even though that expansion isn’t yet resulting in increased ridership. Hopefully, the technology upgrades promised for next year — finally, real time GPS information delivered to riders’ smart phones — will get more people taking the bus.
Law Amendments (4pm, Province House) — under consideration:
Bill No. 122 – Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act (amended)
Bill No. 123 – Paramedics Act
Bill No. 124 – Social Workers Act (amended)
Bill No. 126 – Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act (amended)
Bill No. 127 – Labour Standards Code (amended)
This date in history
On November 23, 1809, convicted pirate Edward Jordan was hanged. Historian Alison Atkin tells the story:
Edward Jordan was described as being a man of “engaging appearance… His face was innocent and unlined, in spite of his thirty‐seven years, and he had a fresh, ruddy complexion, jet black hair, dark brown eyes, strong white teeth and an open hearty laugh.” Jordan was a ‘Black Irishman’ originally from County Carlow, Ireland. He had been involved in the events that prepared the way for the Irish rebellion of 1798. During the rebellion he was captured, tried, and sentenced to death; he managed to escape, only to be caught again. Turning informer, Jordan received a King’s Pardon and married, but was forced to flee Ireland when his past contacts discovered his betrayal. He and his wife Margaret landed in New York in 1803, moved to Montréal, Quebec, and finally to Gaspé, Newfoundland where he settled as a fisherman with the help of a creditor. The heart of Jordan’s livelihood, as a fisherman, was his schooner Three Sisters, named for his three young daughters at the time. However, distressed by consistent bad luck, Jordan fell into debt with his creditor and sought help from Halifax merchants J. & J. Tremain.
After a series of more woeful events, Jordan eventually became indebted to J. & J. Tremain. In late 1809 Captain Stairs was sent by these Halifax merchants to retrieve the 1000 quintals (1 quintal being approximately 100kg) of fish promised by Jordan to repay his debt. Once in Gaspé, Stairs instead found only 100, not 1000 quintals and was forced to take Three Sisters from Jordan to repay the debt. Still, Stairs offered Jordan and his family passage to Halifax aboard their ship, where he might find employment more easily than in Gaspé. On September 10th, 1809 Three Sisters sailed for Halifax with Captain Stairs, three crew members (John Kelly, Tom Heath, and Ben Matthews), Edward Jordan, his wife Margaret Jordan, and their four children.
Three days later on September 13th, Jordan pulled out a pistol and shot at Captain Stairs but missed and killed Heath, standing next to him. A conflict immediately arose pitting Jordan and Margaret against Stairs and Matthews. It was reported that throughout the entire struggle Kelly continued to navigate and steer Three Sisters. Jordan, with the help of Margaret, killed Matthews. After being wounded, Stairs jumped overboard. Jordan insisted on changing course to “make sure that John was finished.” Kelly refused, stating that it was unlikely Stairs would make the swim back to shore in the running sea and that were they to bring the ship around it would be difficult, if not impossible, to locate Stairs in the bad weather that was coming up around the schooner.
Jordan, his family, and Kelly sailed to Newfoundland with plans to hire a crew and continue on back to Ireland. A schooner heading for Massachusetts, however, rescued Stairs. He then made his way to Halifax, where he reported what had occurred aboard Three Sisters. The British Consul circulated a description of the ship all along the Eastern coast. The instructions to all legal authorities were to “arrest Jordan and Kelly, whenever found, on charges of piracy and murder.” The reason Jordan was charged with piracy and not mutiny was that he was technically a passenger aboard the ship and not a crewmember, though it made little difference as the penalties for both was the same: death.
Once the news of the crime reached the city of Halifax, a reward of £100 was offered for the capture of “the pirate Jordan.” Cruisers were sent out of Halifax Harbour to run down Three Sisters. She was eventually captured by the schooner H.M.S. Cuttle in Bay of Bulls, Newfoundland. Although Jordan and his family were determined to make their way to Ireland, all were brought to Halifax.
The Court of Admiralty held the trial under the Acts of William and Mary. Jordan was convicted and sentenced to be hanged. His wife, Margaret, was discharged, as the court felt she had acted out of “duress or fear of her husband.” Jordan was executed on November 23, 1809 “on [the bea]ch near Freshwater/ [Bridge] Halifax, being hanged from the neck until dead. After execution, his body was tarred and gibbeted, or hanged in chains, in Point Pleasant Park at Black Rock Beach near Steele’s Pond.”
Harsh laws developed during the Golden Age of Piracy (1690‐1750), such as the British Piracy Acts that required the bodies of executed pirates to be displayed in public as a warning to other mariners. The same year, the Royal Navy had gibbeted four or six mutineers on McNab’s Island at Mauger’s Beach (Hangman’s Beach), just across the Harbour from Black Rock Beach. Any ship entering Halifax Harbour in 1809 faced a gauntlet of rotting corpses as their welcome to Halifax. For those citizens of Halifax who walked through Point Pleasant Park, the sight of Jordan’s corpse would have been an unavoidable one, as it was located just beside the main road. It remained there for over three decades, slowly deteriorating, dropping into the sea, until only the skull remained. In 1844 the skull was collected from Point Pleasant Park and ultimately it was given to the Nova Scotia Museum (NSM). In 2007 it was on display at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic (MMA) as a part of their Pirates: Myth vs. Reality exhibit.
Freshwater Brook still flows, albeit underground, except for when it spills in the parking garages of the apartment buildings and condos of the south end. The bridge was at what is now the intersection of Barrington and Inglis Streets.
A pamphlet entitled “An interesting trial of Edward Jordan and Margaret his wife, who were tried at Halifax, N.S., Nov.15, 1809, for the horrid crime of piracy and murder, committed on board the schooner Three Sisters, Captain John Stairs, on their passage from Pierce, to Halifax, with a particular account of the execution of said Jordan,” was published almost immediately in Boston, and is available online.
I wonder whatever happened to Margaret.
Thesis defence, Interdisciplinary Studies (9:30am, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building) — PhD candidate Sherry Huybers will defend her thesis, “An Exploration of the Gendered Culture of Mountain Bilking in Nova Scotia and Mountain Bikers’ Practices of Masculinity.”
Guatemala (10am, and then again at 1pm, McCain Building, Room 2016) — George Lovell, from Queen’s University, will read from his book, A Beauty That Hurts: Life and Death in Guatemala.
Senate (4pm, Theatre A, Sir Charles Tupper Building) — I can’t find the agenda posted online. Maybe there’ll be snacks there, tho.
Someone on Reddit linked to the above creepy commercial from Halifax-based Highliner Foods in the 1970s. Says the YouTube description:
The very first Captain Highliner spot from 1979 — infamous for launching a 1,000 crude jokes, but also the unforgettable character of the Captain, abley portrayed by Bob Warner, who sadly passed away in 1994.
I never knew that there’s a Halifax connection to the Airplane “Joey, Have you ever…” scenes:
In the harbour
Trying to write stuff today. Who knows, it might actually happen.