1. Blind justice

The Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility. Photo: Halifax Examiner Credit: Halifax Examiner

A Musquodoboit Harbour man who served an intermittent two-year sentence in the Central Nova Correctional Facility in Burnside is suing the jail and the province for “permanent loss of vision in his left eye.”

Peter Galbraith says he has rheumatoid arthritis, which he manages with weekly injections of the drug Enbrel.

Galbraith entered the jail in January 2015 and regularly received his medication. However, claims the suit, in the first week of March 2015, he was refused his medication, resulting in inflammation to the eye and an emergency trip to the QE2 Health Sciences Opthamology Clinic.

The suit claims that Galbraith was again refused his medication in late April, again causing inflammation to the eye; that for an entire month, July 12, 2015 to August 12, 2015, he requested to go to the clinic for treatment of the eye but was denied; and that in January 2016 he was again denied an Enbrel injection.

“In or about early April 2016,” reads the suit, “Mr. Galbraith was assessed at the Nova Scotia Health Authority eye care centre where it was determined he suffered a permanent loss of vision in his left eye.”

The suit claims Galbraith was denied both his Enbrel injection and an eye drop prescription.

Galbraith is represented by Dartmouth lawyer Craig Arsenault.

The province has yet to file a statement of defence, and the allegations have not been tested in court.

Not that it matters, but Galbraith’s conviction record as contained in another court file I reviewed yesterday consists mostly of failure to comply with conditions; the most serious underlying conviction was for uttering threats.

In 2015, while in the jail, Galbraith filed a habeas corpus claim that resulted in a hearing before Justice Jamie Campbell. In that claim, Galbraith said he had been improperly punished with a 10-day stay in segregation for intervening on behalf of another inmate who was being attacked, purportedly by guards. Campbell rejected Galbraith’s application, but in the course of the same hearing the judge did amend a second prisoner’s segregation order from 10 days to seven.

As alleged in the new lawsuit, the denial of medical services came after the habeas corpus application.

2. Loretta Saunders and police response

Loretta Saunders

“Family members of a murdered Inuk woman said Monday that merely appearing to be white often heightens police and public interest in a crime or missing person case involving an aboriginal person,” reports Michael Tutton for the Canadian Press:

Meriam Saunders said that in the early days of the investigation of her daughter’s death, police advertised the case as a missing white woman.

Loretta had fair features and her hair was blonde.

Meriam said she found it more difficult to get information from officers after they started to correctly refer to her as an Inuk woman.

“When my daughter went missing, they had it as white woman missing,” she told commissioner Qajaq Robinson.

“I would call to the investigators and they would answer me and I would talk personally to the investigators. And when they started calling her Inuk, I had to start swearing at them and everything to get answers.”

“I didn’t get to talk to the investigators after that,” she said. “I had to talk to the go-between. And he would say ‘I can’t answer that.’”

3. City Hall

“A city councillor’s use of the word ‘negroes’ while stating that it’s impossible to be racist against Mexicans has prompted the latest public tweet storm between Halifax’s elected leaders,” reports Jacob Boon for The Coast:

The back-and-forth between city councillors devolved out of Halifax West Armdale representative Shawn Cleary’s statement Tuesday that he would personally no longer use the term “marijuana” when speaking about cannabis products.


But Hammonds Plains–St. Margarets councillor Matt Whitman feels it’s impossible to be racist against Mexicans because it’s a nationality, not a race.

What followed was a truly bizarre Twitter exchange, which you can read in full at The Coast.

Seems some in the public weren’t too happy about it.

“On Monday, municipal spokesperson Nick Ritcey said there have been four ‘recent, outstanding councillor conduct complaints’ filed with the clerk’s office, but he couldn’t say which councillor was the subject of the complaints, or even whether all the complaints were about the same councillor,” reports Zane Woodford for Metro:

When asked if he was aware of any complaints, [councillor Matt] Whitman said, “I’m not gonna comment on that.” He also declined to comment on the reaction to his comment.

There are some interesting issues on today’s council agenda. I wrote yesterday about the road train and WE Day, and the meeting opens with a Committee of the Whole discussion about doing away with the property assessment cap — council has no authority to do so, and will instead ask the province to do so; there’s no chance in hell that the province will act on it, but it gives the opportunity for councillors to pontificate and try to sound knowledgeable (they’re not) and socially progressive (ditto) on the property tax issue. However, there’s little doubt the focus of the meeting will be on the Twitter spat.

The meeting starts at 10am, which makes it difficult for me to get there for the beginning, but I’ll try. I’ll be live-blogging it at @hfxExaminer.

4. Workers at NSCC-contracted food service Chartwells are paid shit wages

“Overworked and not paid enough, food service workers at Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) campuses in Dartmouth and Halifax set their minds on joining a union,” reports Robert Devet:

Pay is a big issue for the workers. Or rather, the lack of pay.

“I just got bumped up to $12 per hour,” says first cook Gerard Hardy. “And I have 15 years worth of experience, I am one step away from being a chef.”

I have a hard time paying bills,” Hardy adds. “ Last month I had my phone cut off, it was either pay my cell phone bill or pay the rent. I figured I needed a roof more than I needed a phone. $700 every two weeks, nobody can live on that.”

The community college should have a living wage policy, obviously.

5. North end Dartmouth

A police email to reporters:

0334 hours officers responded to the Primrose Street area of Dartmouth to the report of an unconscious male. Members located a 28 year old male lying on the ground. The intoxicated male was found to be in possession of a knapsack which contained a long gun. It appears that the male had fallen out of the tree rendering himself unconscious. The male party was arrested without incident and will be making a morning court appearance to face numerous firearms related charges.

6. Shark

Photo: Sean O’Connell

A three-metre long shark was found dead on a Cape Breton beach.


1. Cranky letter of the day

To the Charlottetown Guardian:

As a driver, I found that a great many drivers in P.E.I. are unsafe and discourteous. As a pedestrian saying that drivers on the Island are unsafe and discourteous is too mild.

When I learned to drive, I was taught two very important things. First you must be aware at all times what is going on in front, back and at the sides. Standing at a crosswalk, with the lights flashing, drivers just sail through. They are looking straight ahead. They are not looking both ways and are not aware that the lights are flashing.

I bet even if a policeman in full uniform were at the crosswalk, people would still drive through.

In fact, I think uniformed police should walk around and try crossing the street. It would be quite the eye opener for them. Secondly, one should drive to the conditions of the road and weather. A great many Islanders seem to think that speed signs are suggestions. If weather is bad, the road is icy or driving into the sun, no one slows down.

In Summerside the main roads for the most part only have sidewalks on one side of the road. And sometimes you must walk on the side of the road with no sidewalk. It is the very rare driver that slows down as they pass you. Almost to a person they are speeding.

Crossing the street in Summerside, even walking on the sidewalks requires the utmost care because they are very dangerous places.

Carol Capper, Summerside




City Council (Tuesday, 10am, City Hall) — here’s the agenda.


North West Planning Advisory Committee (Wednesday, 7pm, Sackville Public Library) — the committee will have the first look at a small-ish development in Beaver Bank.



Human Resources (Tuesday, 10am, Province House) — just the per diem-grabbing Appointments to Agencies, Boards and Commissions.


No public meetings for the rest of the week.

On campus



Visualizing AIS Fishing Activity with Datashader and Cesium (Tuesday, 11:30am, Room 127, Goldberg Computer Science Building) — Johna Latouf will speak.

Half Empty or Half Full? The Outlook for the Canadian Water Sector (Tuesday, 12pm, Room 1009, Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building) — a panel discussion about water. From the event listing:

Is our drinking water safe from contamination? How vulnerable are our water filtration plants to natural disasters, cyber-attacks or break-ins? How is water security different for those in First Nations communities? This discussion will focus on new research about the resilience of the Canadian water sector. Panelists will discuss the state of this valuable resource from local and global perspectives.

On Suborbifolds (Tuesday, 2:30pm, Room 319, Chase Building) — Dorette Pronk will speak about a paper she co-authored with Laura Scull and Matteo Tommasini. The abstract:

Just as the notion of orbifold has developed over the 60 years, so has the notion of suborbifold. It was introduced by Thurston in the late 70s, along with the first revision of the definition of orbifold. This original definition was geometrically elegant, but fails to encompass some of their examples that have since been introduced by a more topological/homotopical view of orbifolds. This has led to various more recent definitions of suborbifolds, all based on presenting orbifolds as groupoids. However, none of these definitions fully captures the properties and phenomena their authors intend to include. Therefore, we propose an alternate approach, based on atlases and modules rather than groupoid homomorphisms. We believe that this new definition will better describe and encompass the examples and geometric structure in the literature.


Nadia Lahrici. Photo: Polytechnique Montréal

Stochastic Tabu Search: Application to Align Physician Schedule with Patient Flow (Wednesday, 11:30am, MA 310) — Nadia Lahrichi from Polytechnique Montréal will speak. She describes it thusly:

In this study, we consider the pretreatment phase for cancer patients. This is defined as the period between the referral to a cancer center and the confirmation of the treatment plan. Physicians have been identified as bottlenecks in this process, and the goal is to determine a weekly cyclic schedule that improves the patient flow and shortens the pretreatment duration. High uncertainty is associated with the arrival day, profile and type of cancer of each patient. We also include physician satisfaction in the objective function. We present a MIP model for the problem and develop a tabu search algorithm, considering both deterministic and stochastic cases. Experiments show that our method compares very well to CPLEX under deterministic conditions. We describe the stochastic approach in detail and present a real application.

Voice Recital (Wednesday, 12pm, Sculpture Court, Dalhousie Arts Centre) — students of Marcia Swanston will perform.

Saint Mary’s


No public events today.


YouTube video

The Milk of Sorrow (Wednesday, 6:30pm, in the theatre named for a bank in the building named for a grocery store) — a screening of Claudia Llosa’s 2009 film.

In the harbour

6am: Seven Seas Mariner, cruise ship with up to 779 passengers, arrives at Pier 20 from Quebec

Algoma Dartmouth. Photo: Halifax Examiner
Algoma Dartmouth. Photo: Halifax Examiner

6:15am: Algoma Dartmouth, oil tanker, moves from Pier 9 to NB
6:30am: Goodwood, car carrier, arrives at Autoport

Acadian. Photo: Halifax Examiner
Acadian. Photo: Halifax Examiner Credit: Halifax Examiner

7:30am: Acadian, oil tanker, arrives at Irving Oil from Saint John
8:30am: Atlantic Sky, ro-ro container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Norfolk
8:30am: CSL Tacoma, bulker, arrives at National Gypsum from Norfolk
10:30am: Silver Whisper, cruise ship, sails from Pier 23 for Portland
11am: Tirranna, car carrier, arrives at Pier 31 from Southampton, England
1pm: Victory 1, cruise ship, sails from Pier 24 for sea
3pm: YM Enlightenment, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from New York
3:30pm: Seven Seas Mariner, cruise ship, sails from Pier 20 for Saint John
4pm: Crown Princess, cruise ship, sails from Pier 22 for Saint John
4pm: Goodwood, car carrier, sails from Autoport for sea
4pm: Tirranna, car carrier, moves from Pier 31 to Autoport
5pm: ZIM Djibouti, container ship, arrives at Berth TBD from New York
8:30pm: Tirranna, car carrier, sails from Autoport for sea

To open our annual November subscription drive, the Halifax Examiner is having a party.

It will be held Sunday, November 5, from 4-7pm at Bearly’s (1269 Barrington Street). We’ll have short readings from Halifax Examiner contributors Stephen Kimber, Linda Pannozzo, El Jones, and Evelyn White, special surprise musical guests, new Halifax Examiner swag for sale, and cake.

It’s a subscription drive party, so admission is for subscribers only, but you can buy a subscription at the door. There are no advance tickets, so plan to come early for a good seat.

Tim Bousquet is the editor and publisher of the Halifax Examiner. Twitter @Tim_Bousquet Mastodon

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    When several Nova Scotians said to me in the 1970s ‘ You fucking Limeys coming over here taking our jobs’. I ignored them until one day I replied ‘ Get yourself to college and pass the requisite examinations and then when you come back you won’t have to obey my instructions and Limeys won’t need to come over here to do what you are not qualified to do. Until then you will do as you are told.”
    I took no offence to the word ‘Limey’. The word was probably used to cause a reaction, but my reaction was not what they expected.

    1. Most people would not have a clue as to the origin of the term “Limey”. Often colloquialisms are used in a derogatory fashion; but that just exemplifies that person’s ignorance.

  2. One must feel great pity for the person who makes an error an uses a word that has negative racial overtones or history. Once spoken, especially in a public venue, we can expect the sharks to gather around the poor sole and the news media to air every bit of vitreous that stems from the mistake.

    If we really do want to develop an environment that fosters tolerance, things have to change when dealing with these type of transgressions… consider the source, consider the intent and act accordingly… or even a minor state of tolerance will never be achieved.

    1. The source and the intent are definitely both factors. As was his “I’m sorry to anyone who was offended” half-apology. As were his repeated past blunders regarding the topic of racial sensitivity. To err is human, but an elected official should be competent enough with their words to avoid putting their foot in their mouth time after time.

      1. When will anyone ever exhibit tolerance if only “no mistakes” are acceptable…. as far as news worthiness goes, this event has taken up far too much space. He meant no harm, he made a mistake and he has become a whipping post, because every misstep he might make is blown up to proportions greater than they are worth. Does anyone actually think he meant to do harm when he spoke that word which caused the volcano to blow? Tolerance for minor errors is essential, his peers corrected him in house; I am not convinced the event was worthy of a news storm.

        1. On its own, not a big deal if he apologized sincerely after someone pointed out his error. However, this is just the latest in a never ending stream of blunders from this guy.

    2. I’m not sure. Are you asking me to be more tolerant of Whitman? Not going to happen. Tolerate his choice of words? Nope.

    1. Well there you have it – Matt Whitman is right, no one should ever be offended by anything he says and all us snowflakes can melt in hell!

      The conclusion of the linked article states: “Thus, the concept of human races is real. It is not a biological reality, but a cultural one. Race is not a part of our biology, but it is definitely part of our culture. Race and racism are deeply ingrained in our history.”

      So I dunno, maybe Matt Whitman’s an offensive turd after all?

  3. Chartwell has the contract for a lot of the school in hrsb as well.
    Our local school used to have their own school cafeteria staff and they were paid for the school from the money brought in from the cafeteria. This happened for decades and went very well. Then a new principal came along and didn’t like that and when we switched into our new school it gave her the excuse to change it and she let the 2 long time workers go and contracted out the cafeteria. Well, they didn’t last long as they weren’t making enough money and soon were gone. So now the school (Community school really) is teatering on not having a cafeteria for the students all because of 1 principals decision (and power) to do it to save money and the company offered kickbacks (which never happened).

  4. Surprised the CBC didn’t bother specifying the species of shark in their article. I believe it’s a shortfin mako, though I’ve also heard from some people who think it’s a porbeagle due to the unusually rounded dorsal fin. The tail is too symmetrical to be a porbeagle though, in my opinion, and it would be extremely rare for them to grow to that size around here.