1. Ship of Theseus
David Darrow, the deputy minister overseeing the Bluenose restoration, testified before the legislature’s Public Accounts committee yesterday. Darrow said the project should’ve been placed under the control of the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, and not under the Department of Culture and Heritage.
I watched most of the hearing, and couldn’t help but notice how tepid the questioners were. In fact Darrow, the witness, was more forthcoming than the politicians questioning him. The NDP wears much of the blame for the failed project—it started under their watch—but what explains the PCs’ inability to ask tough questions?
2. Publication ban
Freelance reporter Ryan Van Horne wrote a blog post this week naming the girl who had photos of her spread around her high school via social media. The post purposefully violated a publication ban on the girl’s name, as Van Horne says the ban further victimizes the girl, who went on to commit suicide. The girl’s father has also published her name, both on his own blog and dozens of times on social media, and both her father and her mother object to the ban.
Police confirmed yesterday that they are investigating a possible breach of a publication ban. “[The investigation has] been brought by a number of complaints,” police spokesperson Pierre Bourdages told the Chronicle Herald.
I find this interesting because in the Peter Kelly–Mary Thibeault matter, police repeatedly said they couldn’t investigate unless they got a complaint from a person with standing in the matter. Who has standing in the child porn case? The girl is dead. Her family hasn’t complained about Van Horne. The court? The same court that didn’t ask the police to investigate Peter Kelly’s failure to abide by court orders related to the Thibeault estate?
The foundation of our justice system is consistency. If the police have a rule against investigating unless a person with standing complains, then that rule should be applied across the board. If the courts want police to investigate breaches of court orders, then the courts should ask the police to investigate all breaches of court orders.
3. The stadium dream
Yesterday, the Examiner published an article by reporter Karen Rawlines looking at the big economic impact projections promised for the FIFA Women’s World Cup events held in Moncton, and comparing those rosy projections to the tiny number of spectators who came out for the games. Was the expenditure of $4.3 million in public funds worth it? And what does this say about Halifax’s bid for a new stadium? The article is behind the Examiner’s pay wall and so available only to paid subscribers. To purchase a subscription, click here.
4. Broken door
Landlord complains because firefighters broke into his unit thinking they might save lives.
1. Everywhere a sign
Stephen Archibald notices signs.
2. Editorial firewall
Marilla Stephenson bashes the former NDP government and its deals with the Nova Scotia Government & General Employees Union. Yea, whatever, but apparently the Chronicle Herald has rebuilt its editorial firewall, at least in this instance: Stephenson’s anti-NSGEU screed is framed by NSGEU ads.
Porters Lake Greenway Connector Open House (9:30pm, Lake & Shore Community Recreation, 40 Inspiration Dr, Porters Lake)—Yep, a city meeting starts at 9:30pm. It takes forever to drive out to Porters Lake, ya know. Deets here.
Sitting of the legislature (11am, Province House)
Speech from the throne (2pm, Province House)
The return of the legislature reminds me of Charles Dickens’ impression of Halifax, which he visited in 1842, a day after his ship ran aground when it tried to go around the wrong side of McNabs Island, and the day, like today, that the legislature opened. The passage below is often clipped to make it appear Dickens was making fun of Halifax, but if you read the whole thing, you see he was quite fond of the town. It speaks well of him, and of Halifax:
I suppose this Halifax would have appeared an Elysium, though it had been a curiosity of ugly dullness. But I carried away with me a most pleasant impression of the town and its inhabitants, and have preserved it to this hour. Nor was it without regret that I came home, without having found an opportunity of returning thither, and once more shaking hands with the friends I made that day.
It happened to be the opening of the Legislative Council and General Assembly, at which ceremonial the forms observed on the commencement of a new Session of Parliament in England were so closely copied, and so gravely presented on a small scale, that it was like looking at Westminster through the wrong end of a telescope. The governor, as her Majesty’s representative, delivered what may be called the Speech from the Throne. He said what he had to say manfully and well. The military band outside the building struck up “God save the Queen” with great vigour before his Excellency had quite finished; the people shouted; the in’s rubbed their hands; the out’s shook their heads; the Government party said there never was such a good speech; the Opposition declared there never was such a bad one; the Speaker and members of the House of Assembly withdrew from the bar to say a great deal among themselves and do a little: and, in short, everything went on, and promised to go on, just as it does at home upon the like occasions.
The town is built on the side of a hill, the highest point being commanded by a strong fortress, not yet quite finished. Several streets of good breadth and appearance extend from its summit to the water-side, and are intersected by cross streets running parallel with the river. The houses are chiefly of wood. The market is abundantly supplied; and provisions are exceedingly cheap. The weather being unusually mild at that time for the season of the year, there was no sleighing: but there were plenty of those vehicles in yards and by-places, and some of them, from the gorgeous quality of their decorations, might have “gone on” without alteration as triumphal cars in a melodrama at Astley’s. The day was uncommonly fine; the air bracing and healthful; the whole aspect of the town cheerful, thriving, and industrious.
We lay there seven hours, to deliver and exchange the mails. At length, having collected all our bags and all our passengers (including two or three choice spirits, who, having indulged too freely in oysters and champagne, were found lying insensible on their backs in unfrequented streets), the engines were again put in motion, and we stood off for Boston.
Thesis defence, Physics and Atmospheric Science (10am, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building)—PhD candidate Catherine Stevenson will defend her thesis, Electron Correlation Effects on Relaxation and Decoherence Times in a Quantum Dot.”
Oysters (4pm, Theatre D, CRC Building)—José Fernández-Robledo, a research scientist at the Bigelow Lab For Ocean Sciences in Maine, will talk on “’Dermo’ Disease: The Story of an Oyster Parasite with an Unexpected Twist.”
Free coffee??? Where do I sign up?
In the harbour
(click on vessel names for pictures and more information about the ships)
Ernest Hemingway, container ship, New York to Pier 42
Berlin Express, container ship, NewYork to Pier 42
Maasdam, cruise ship, Sydney to Pier 20
Carnival Splendor, cruise ship, Saint John to Pier 31
Conti Guinea, oil/chemical tanker, New Orleans to Imperial Oil
Depending on how the morning goes, I may head off to the legislature.