November subscription drive
It’s that time again: a month when we unceasingly plead for new subscriptions. To be fair, for most of the rest of the year we mostly leave you alone; aside from a few gentle reminders here and there, there are no popup windows or other annoying admonishes. We’re usually a soft sell.
Still, we depend on your subscriptions: they are the Examiner’s only source of revenue. So this month we offer a couple of inducements for subscribing — every annual $100 subscription received this month will be rewarded with a Halifax Examiner T-shirt, and all subscribers at any level are invited to our Dec. 1 subscribers’ party (details at a later date).
The Halifax Examiner is over five years old, and it looks like this business model will probably succeed into the future. But I’ll be honest with you: for the first time in that five-year history, we’re in debt. That’s because in our reporting on the Glen Assoun wrongful conviction, we’ve spent an enormous amount of money on legal services this year, and those costs continue. It’s money well spent. Still, being in the hole limits what we do into the future. So if you’ve been admiring the work the Halifax Examiner does but have been holding off on subscribing, this would be an excellent time to take the plunge.
And to underscore the value of the work your subscriptions fund, each day this month we’ll highlight a past article that we’re proud of and that we think demonstrates the importance of your subscription.
Today, I’d like to call your attention to Joan Baxter’s work on mining in Nova Scotia. Early last year, Baxter dropped me a pitch about gold mining; at that time, it was completely off my radar, as was probably the case with most Nova Scotians. It seemed like a good topic for a joint Halifax Examiner – Cape Breton Spectator series funded through our joint subscription offer. The result was Baxter’s “Fool’s Gold” series. (Mary Campbell did the heavy lifting on editing that series.)
Since then, Baxter has kept on the beat. This spring, Baxter asked to be assigned to cover a public meeting Atlantic Gold was holding in Sherbrooke about the proposed Cochrane Hill mine. I figured this was simply moving the story along a bit, getting local public reaction to the mine and maybe spelling out some issues of particular concern. Basic meeting coverage, worthy but not ground-breaking. I agreed.
But what happened next underscores the importance of beat reporting. Here was a reporter conversant with the issues just doing her job, going to a meeting in an obscure location no other media would bother to attend, when up popped the violent removal of a concerned citizen from the meeting. Because Baxter was there to record and report on it, it was a PR disaster for Atlantic Gold and put gold mining front and centre in the public’s consciousness.
Baxter continues to stay on top of the mining beat, and the Examiner continues to fund her work.
Which is to say, subscribers continue to fund her work. You funded Baxter’s “Fool’s Gold” series. You funded her travel to Sherbrooke. You funded the very many public records requests Baxter makes in researching mining. You funded her pay. You funded the editing and other support provided by the Examiner for Baxter’s work.
You’ve made this work possible, and you continue to support it.
We very much appreciate that support. Thank you. And yet, we know we can do even more with still more subscriptions. Please consider subscribing.
And for those who are comfortable being public about their support for the Examiner, please promote our November subscription drive on social media with the #HalifaxExaminerSubscribe hashtag.
1. Corey Rogers
The trial of Daniel Fraser and Cheryl Gardner for criminal negligence related to the death of Corey Rogers continues at Supreme Court. Fraser and Gardner are “special constables” — people who work as peace officers but are not police; in this case, working in the holding cells at the police department. Rogers was brought to the cells while intoxicated; he died as a result of asphyxiation after vomiting into a spit hood. The allegation is that Fraser and Gardner failed to check on Rogers as required for over two hours.
Canadian Press reporter Michael Tutton and CBC reporter Blair Rhodes walk us through a disturbing video that was presented at trial yesterday.
2. Hollis Street
Yesterday, the city issued a tender offer for “Active Transportation Improvements on Hollis Street,” through downtown, from the Cogswell interchange to Terminal Road. The changes include moving the bike lane from the east side (left as travelling down the street) to the west (right) side of the street, and protecting it with a curb and bollards. As on South Park Street, the bike lane will rise at bus stops, providing a raised section for passengers to get on and off the bus.
The work is to be completed by June 15, 2020.
3. Elizabeth Fry
“The former executive director of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland Nova Scotia has been sentenced to 60 days in jail, to be served intermittently, and three years probation for defrauding the non-profit organization of nearly $10,000,” reports the CBC:
Tammy Gloade, 53, of Dartmouth, pleaded guilty to one fraud and one forgery charge related to incidents between December 2015 and March 2017.
According to court documents, Gloade took money from the society for her personal use, including funds earmarked for clients.
The bulk of the missing money was in the form of cheques forged by Gloade and altered invoices. In one case, the woman kept $4,280 paid by a client for rent in a room provided by the Elizabeth Fry Society.
The total amount of loss was $9,933.70, none of which has been recovered.
Judging from a previous CBC article, it appears the fraud was detected by Elizabeth Fry itself.
Elizabeth Fry does important and needed work, and I’m not worried about the organization’s financial controls. Emma Halpern, the current executive director of Elizabeth Fry Society Mainland Nova Scotia, is a whirlwind of dedication, and is steering the org dependably.
Non-profits are rife with fraud. I’ve seen it in sports leagues, charities, advocacy organizations, health awareness campaigns. These are all groups of well-meaning people with good intentions but often without the experience of running professional organizations, and it’s easy for a volunteer or a wayward staff person to take advantage.
I know of one local org that discovered substantial financial misappropriation by an employee but decided not to raise the issue with police or otherwise publicize it because it feared the reputational hit. That may be understandable, but the employee has gone on to work in a similar position of trust, their current employer none the wiser. I’m not sure this is the most responsible route to go.
Which is to say, it was better for Elizabeth Fry to have detected some financial chicanery and address it forthrightly before the loss was too big, despite some potential embarrassment.
4. Nova Scotia Power: Blame Hurricane Dorian
Nova Scotia Power yesterday submitted an update to its quarterly report on its performance standards to the Utility and Review Board:
As of September 30, 2019, nine of the thirteen Performance Standards (Reliability, Customer Service, and Storm) are on track to achieve their 2019 targets. However, two standards in the area of Customer Service have been negatively impacted by Hurricane Dorian: (i) the annual percent of estimated bills; and (ii) regular business call answer rate.
In addition to these two Customer Service standards, there are two reliability standards, namely the CKAIDI standard (circuit duration) and the CKAIFI standard (circuit frequency), that are trending to exceed the annual targets for two feeders in Cape Breton. The two feeders at issue are 85S‐401 and 58C-403. Both feeders are subject to extreme weather and are presently undergoing significant reliability investments, targeted to improve the reliability performance for the customers served from these feeders.
“Happy families are all alike,” wrote Tolstoy; “every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
And an unhappy divorce is playing out in a very public way between the owners of a local business: the man in the failed relationship is using the business’s roadside sign to slag on the woman.
Thus far, the sign has had such messages as:
Forty years married
30 days notice
see you in court
Saying I cheated
isn’t fair or nice
God will have revenge
That’s really dickish behaviour, and I can’t believe the man (a failed politician) is winning any sympathy at all. Quite the contrary, I’d guess the average passerby is revolted by the spectacle.
Perhaps that’s why this week someone removed the letters from the sign: out of respect for all involved, maybe someone just wanted this drama to not be played out so publicly. But, alas, now the sign reads:
No public meetings.
Legislature sits (Friday, 9am, Province House)
Noon Hour Piano Recital (Friday, 11:45am, Room 406, Dal Arts Centre) — students of Peter Allen will perform.
FLPs, Silylenes, and Polymers Containing Heavy Main Group Elements (Friday, 1:30pm, Room 226, Chemistry Building) — Eric Rivard from the University of Alberta will speak.
National Retail Newfangling Awards (Friday, 11:30am, Halifax Marriott Harbourfront) — the third annual celebration of retail excellence and newfangling. Tickets here, $75, $500 for a table of eight.
Mapping the Heavens: The Radical Scientific Ideas that Reveal the Cosmos (Friday, 7pm, McNally Main Theatre Auditorium) — Priyamvada Natarajan from Yale University will talk.
Our cosmic view has been rapidly evolving. Until 1914, we believed that we were unique and alone in the universe. In addition to demonstrating the existence of other galaxies, in the 1920s the astronomer Edwin Hubble also discovered that our cosmos was in motion. Since then we have been rapidly uncovering many other features of our cosmos — the existence of dark matter, black holes, dark energy, extra-solar planets — that have fundamentally transformed our current understanding of the cosmos. Dr. Natarajan will focus on two of these radical ideas, dark matter and black holes, and examine how despite being deeply contested, they were eventually accepted. Mapping the seen and the unseen elements in the universe continues to help us refine our understanding of the cosmos and our place in it.
Free, register here.
In the harbour
Midnight: Vega Fynen, container ship, sails from Pier 41 for Port Au Prince, Haiti
01:00: Mol Paramount, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for Dubai
03:30: Hansa Meersburg, container ship, sails from Pier 42 for Kingston, Jamaica
05:00: Gerhard Schulte, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Norfolk
06:00: ZIM Monaco, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Valencia, Spain
07:00: Theban, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from Portbury, England
08:00: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, moves from Pier 9 to Fairview Cove
14:00: HC Svea-Kim, cargo ship, sails from Pier 27 for sea
16:00: Gerhard Schulte sails for Liverpool, England
16:30: Theban sails for sea
16:30: ZIM Monaco sails for New York
18:00: Skogafoss, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Argentia, Newfoundland
21:00: Southern Quokka, oil tanker, sails from anchorage for sea
23:30: Skogafoss sails for Portland
I got my flu shot Wednesday.
Years ago, I had a ridiculously inept nurse at one of those blood collection centres. It was an ugly scene: blood squirting a foot skyward from my arm out into the open room. The experience left me needle-phobic, and I avoided donating blood or getting flu shots for a couple of decades after. As for the flu shot, I figured I was young and healthy, and even if got the virus, I’d fend it off without too much ado.
That was stupid. A couple of years ago I watched as an elderly couple I care about got hit with the flu and suffered for four weeks, both bedridden and unable to tend to daily needs. It was then I decided I would not be a disease vector resulting in someone else’s death. I set my needle phobia aside and got the flu shot. Herd immunity trumped my selfish and stupid fears.
Last year, I stopped by the Shoppers, filled out the form, and gritted my teeth as the pharmacist plunged… no, it wasn’t like that at all. It was a simple prick, and honestly I didn’t feel it at all. Same again this week. Took all of five minutes.
Now that I’ve crossed that barrier, it’s probably time to work up the courage to get back in the blood donation habit.