Katie here. Tim had things to do Friday. I had things to do Tuesday. This is Morning File.
1. What the hell is Brendan Maguire talking about?
The candidate for Halifax Atlantic makes a non-announcment about Harrietsfield water.
2. Provincial jails are giving guards PTSD
A CBC investigation has found that volatile jails with few resources for Nova Scotia inmates are hard on both the prisoners and the people who work guarding them:
Jason MacLean, who has been a correctional officer at the Cape Breton Correctional Facility for more than 20 years, said every guard has at least one incident that haunts them at night.
“About 12 years ago, I cut someone down that hung themselves,” said MacLean, who is also president of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union. “I see that, and I know of my coworkers that it has affected and who are off on post-traumatic stress today. They were working with me that night when that happened.”
3. Icelandic dude basically Canadian now
That Icelandic dude who got screwed out of a permanent residency card by a 1969 clerical error, from an immigration official who didn’t believe he and his mother could have different last names, now has his card and can apply for Canadian citizenship.
4. Liberals to Tories: you’re full of shit
The Liberals are ripping into Jamie Baillie and the Tories’ new platform, saying that it has no actual funding commitments and hasn’t been costed out. Speaking of which, is it weird to you that the Tories’ slogan is ”Vision, Action, Baillie”? One of those things is not like the other.
5. Xpress Yourself
In light of its wins at the AJAs, I wrote about Local Xpress for CANADALAND on Wednesday. You can read that story here.
6. Andrew Younger speaks up
Andrew Younger responds to the rumours caused by an AllNovaScotia story that has led him to step away from the campaign trail in this interview with The Coast:
I’m not saying we’re being picked on, but there are over 153 candidates running for election in this province, and even among sitting MLAs and cabinet ministers there are family issues which have some similarities to this which are not being reported on — nor should they be — but somehow ours is a story.
We have had so much done over the past few years, and endured just so much—some was accurate—but so much misleading stuff on social media and in the news, that she just said it’s enough. She is my number one priority. I love her very much. When she said that, that was it.
1. Melvins and Marriotts
This is not so much a view as it is a request for the views of others. If you are on the jury for this murder this would be the time for you to stop reading.
I haven’t been following political news as much as I would like, because I’ve been in court covering the trial of Jimmy Melvin Jr. over Terry Marriott Jr’s death for VICE Canada. You should also read Nathaniel Janowitz’s thorough and nuanced discussion of the rivalry here.
An Atlantic Canadian who no longer lives in this region recently told me that this was going to be the trial of the year. He was not exaggerating. But a SMU professor who spoke to VICE in 2015 blew off a story of the rivalry, saying, ”Those guys are just knuckle-dragging morons.” It is a sentiment I have heard elsewhere.
What is it about the Melvins and Marriotts that captures the fascination of those not residing here — but seems to be less interesting to the people of peninsular Halifax?
If you have a theory, please let me know.
2. Waiting for another Westray
Tuesday this week was the 25th anniversary of the Westray Mining Disaster, where 26 people died underground. In a good column for The Coast, Chris Parsons writes that it will happen again, because our province is too desperate for jobs to keep workers safe:
Get into an argument with any pro-business bootlicker about unions on the internet and you’re bound to hear some variation of the same refrain: “Well actually, unions served a purpose back when we had one-armed orphans working in Dickensian widget factories or when people were being blown up in mines, but they don’t make sense in the modern economy.”
These people are too busy savouring the taste of leather to recognize that long-term care workers are more likely to become disabled due to on-the-job injuries than oil patch workers, or that whatever gains workers have historically won through unions have also been under relentless attack since the 1980s.
Parsons (who, in a late-morning disclosure addition, I should note did say a nice thing about my reporting in his column) also notes that after the Westray disaster the Canadian legislature passed a bill that made it possible to charge the head honchos of companies for crimes if people died while making them a profit — but the law has only been used to convict four people, and only one of them ever spent jail time. I would argue that even if CEOs and board directors were getting rounded up and jailed regularly for the deaths of workers, it would not really solve any problem: if the company was publicly owned, shareholders would still be making money, and nobody would be any less dead.
Unions with the power to push back on their employers — unfettered by laws siding with management — make it easier to say no to work. Saying no to unsafe work costs owners and shareholders money. The question is whether the ability to refuse work is worth the resulting reduction in profit. For any for-profit company, the answer to that question is always going to be No. As Susan Dodd, a political scientist and professor at the University of Kings College who has written on this extensively, says — tigers don’t act like house cats, and if we expect them to, we will be eaten.
Comedian John Mulaney surely felt like a duck, splashing around in all this wet, when he rolled into a damp Halifax for a stop on his comeback tour last night.
Mulaney gave a shoutout to the HRM’s sick joke of a “haunted carnival” greeting him on his way into the city. “If that’s what carnivals look like, what about your hospitals?” he asked.
Y I K E S
A little on the nose, bud. Overcrowding is rampant, a man died in the hallway this January, and I don’t remember ever hearing any answers to the Victoria General Legionnaires problem. That said, the Liberal government did promise some new dialysis chairs less than a month before they called an election, and we are all eagerly looking forward to an outpatient centre in congested Bayers Lake, the only part of town that is equally inconvenient for rural and urban users alike.
Speaking of election ploys, now Baillie and McNeil are duelling over whether redevelopment of the VG, as though this thing has not taken long enough. Earlier this week, Baillie said he would put the plan ”under the microscope.”
Stephen McNeil responded in an interview with Mike Gorman at the CBC, offering up a lot of bureaucratic jargon that basically says ”we should stick with my plan.”
He said the plan had been ”stage-gated” so that there would be milestones for certain work and that “We’ve told Nova Scotians how much it was going to cost them at the time.”
No public meetings.
Thesis Defence, Electrical and Computer Engineering (Friday, 9am, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building) — PhD candidate Mohamed Eldlio will defend his thesis, “Semiconductor-Based Hybrid Plasmonics.”
Thesis Defence, Psychology and Neuroscience (Friday, 10am, Room 430, Goldberg Computer Science Building) — PhD candidate Hera Schlagintweit will defend her thesis, “Expectancy as a Mediator of Drug and Placebo Effects: Methodological and Clinical Considerations for Human Research of Nicotine and Tobacco Effects.”
In the harbour
7am: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, arrives at Pier 36 from Saint-Pierre
7:20am: Skogafoss, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Argentia, Newfoundland
7:30am: Bilbao Bridge, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Fos Sur Mer, France
10:30am: Adriatic Highway, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from Emden, Germany
11am: Malleco, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Colombo, Sri Lanka
11am: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, moves from Autoport to Pier 41
3pm: Skogafoss, container ship, sails from Pier 42 for sea
4:30pm: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, sails from Pier 36 for Saint-Pierre
9:30pm: Bilbao Bridge, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for New York
Call off the search
“We found it,” my man whispered to me, as we sauntered through the aisles of Atlantic Superstore. “The world’s bougiest potato chip.”
Would you eat this?
I went into Riot Snack Bar last night. I was surprised to see that given all its communist imagery, it doesn’t sell borscht or pierogi. This is at a time when Polish and Eastern-European food is increasingly trendy.
It is a missed opportunity, and someone should rectify it.