1. Abdoul Abdi hearing

Yesterday, El Jones attended the emergency hearing held to determine whether the court should intervene and put a temporary stop to the government’s efforts to deport Abdoul Abdi.

Jones gives an overview of the proceedings, and then notes:

I was invited to go to the Black History Month celebration last Monday at the Canadian Museum of History. I didn’t go. On social media on Monday, I saw the pictures roll in, the politicians standing on stage, Minister Hussen among them. Trudeau was there speaking about anti-Black racism, words he couldn’t find when Fatuma faced him and asked about the deportation of her brother.

I can’t imagine myself standing there watching. I can’t imagine a situation where I wouldn’t have ended up dragged out by security, because I cannot attend a party on Monday and listen to the government try to deport Abdoul on Thursday.

I saw links posted about how Trudeau “acknowledged anti-Black racism,” and in my head I crafted responses, thought about telling them about Abdoul in that cell, about all those names of people disappeared. I thought of writing to them about how when you walk down the street with Abdoul, he gives all his money away to people on the street, how he says he knows what it’s like to have nothing or no-one. How he talks about the good things he wants to do with his life, the reparation he wants to make.

I raged inside about how Abdoul’s case represents Canada’s anti-Black racism in all systems — child welfare, youth justice, criminal justice, education, immigration — and I composed 1,000 rants about how you can’t say you care about anti-Black racism and see Abdoul as disposable. There is no Black future I care about or that I am fighting for that doesn’t have Abdoul and people like him in it. He is not expendable for some other project of recognition.

Click here to read “As Justin Trudeau calls out anti-Black racism, his government prepares to deport Abdoul Adbi.”

2. Nowhere to turn

Associate Chief Justice Lawrence O’Neil. Photo: Nova Scotia Barristers Society

Last November, I wrote about the case of a man with a history of domestic assault convictions who had been awarded custody of his child:

Justice Lawrence O’Neil has had a long and controversial career, first as an MP railing against women’s right to abortion, then as a judge overly protective of the rights of fathers. Now, the Associate Chief Justice has awarded custody of a small child to a father with a history of domestic assault, downplayed another allegation of domestic assault against the father, implied that the mother was lying, and accused the police of misleading the court.

Click here to read “Man with history of domestic assault awarded custody of five-year-old boy.”

There were a lot of very strange things in that case — including O’Neil’s history, the father’s record, and a bizarre allegation that the police were lying to the court —which I got into in some detail in my article.

I never know what’s going to happen to one of my investigative articles. Sometimes they just fall down the memory hole, all my work for naught. But this article was picked up by Huffington Post reporter Zi-Ann Lum, who has spent the last three months building on my work with some solid shoe leather reporting. Yesterday, the Huffington Post published the results of Lum’s work: “Nowhere to turn: A secretive government service was supposed to protect an abused mom. A judge undid it all.

Zum summarizes the case as follows:

Because Maria was judged by provincial and federal authorities to be a victim at risk of serious injury or death and eligible for the Confidential Service for Victims of Abuse (CSVA) initiative, her whereabouts were protected, leading police to a thorny situation. If they served her court documents or subpoenaed her, it would risk revealing her location to the court and to her alleged abuser — which would undermine the whole point of being a client of the service. If she submitted an affidavit, she would have to be willing to be cross-examined by Jim or his lawyer in court. There are special protocols, including participating via telephone or video — but only if the court determines someone to be at a high risk of lethal danger if they show up in person.

Only a handful of people knew Maria’s location, including a few police officers tasked with protecting her and Mark.

Court hearings continued with no word from Maria. They ended on Aug. 17, 2017 when O’Neil decided to reverse custody and also issue a Canada-wide warrant for her arrest.

“Once located, the child shall be removed immediately from the care of the mother,” O’Neil wrote in his ruling. He questioned Maria’s capacity to be a parent, saying her mental health “may be affected by the pending removal of her child from her care.”

Maria is currently still in hiding because the police — once tasked to protect her — are now supposed to arrest her and take away her son if she comes forward for help.

Months later, police haven’t located her despite O’Neil’s bench warrant. The case could escalate if RCMP asks INTERPOL to issue a red notice — an international arrest warrant. That could classify Maria as an alleged child abductor and place her in the company of fugitives wanted on criminal charges ranging from drug trafficking to murder.

Here’s how a controversial provincial Supreme Court justice, and slip-ups from police failed to protect Maria and her rights as a victim of abuse. She’s caught in an impossible Catch-22.

Click here to read “Nowhere to turn.”

3. Trenton

The 2011 plant opening. From left to right: DSTN CEO Nam-Ki Lee, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Ltd. (DSME) president and CEO Sang-Tae Nam and Premier Darrell Dexter. Photo: Nova Scotia government

“Time appears to be running out to find a new operator for a former wind tower manufacturing plant in northeastern Nova Scotia developed with $56 million in provincial funding,” reports Keith Doucette for the Canadian Press:

In an interview Thursday following a tour of the former DSME Trenton plant, Business Minister Geoff MacLellan said the province would have to make a decision on what comes next by the end of this fiscal year if a buyer isn’t found.

The minister said possible future steps could include finding buyers for the equipment, or in the worst case scenario, liquidating the plant’s assets.

MacLellan said two years into the receivership process and near the end of a second round of bids, it’s costing the province $150,000 a month to keep the plant in operational shape.

The first round of bids was abandoned in late 2016 after the province rejected three, including two of only $1.

The plant closed in February 2016 after taxpayers had sunk $56.3 million into the facility. Operations wrapped up less than a month after the province said it wouldn’t put any more public money into a plant that had hoped to develop the capacity to produce 250 wind turbine towers and 200 blade sets per year.

4. Dartmouth North Library

The Dartmouth North Library has gained the attention of Against the Grain, a periodical dedicated to libraries:

According to Asa Kachan, the chief librarian of Halifax Public Libraries, the Dartmouth North Public Library is “blazing a trail” and it’s being noticed. Ms. Kachan has “colleagues across the entire country watching this project very closely.” 

Dartmouth North “is now home to what the head of Halifax’s library system calls the first outdoor library space in Canada, and one of only a handful of similar examples in the world…

The exterior wall of the building has been replaced with glass sliding doors that look out onto a deck and a new playground. Books and deck furniture will be moved to the outdoor space in the spring, as soon as the weather allows it. The bookshelves will be mobile so staff can shift them back indoors during poor weather.” Not only that, the new space will also feature special events from “outdoor storytelling to family movie nights…”

5. Delay in legal cannabis

“Canadians will have to wait until at least early August — and maybe as late as early September — to legally purchase recreational marijuana,” reports Andrea Gunn for the Chronicle Herald:

That’s the bottom line now that senators have struck a deal to hold a final vote by June 7 on the legislation that will usher in the legal cannabis regime.

Assuming Bill C-45 is passed by the Senate, royal assent would then immediately follow.

Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor has said provincial and territorial governments will need eight to 12 weeks following royal assent to prepare for retail sales.


1. Racism

Halifax lawyer Barbara Darby writes about growing up in Lethbridge, Alberta:

Why am I writing about this?  I’ve been thinking about the racism I grew up with, as I’ve been thinking about Colten Boushie and the not guilty verdict for the man who shot and killed him.

Actually, to be more accurate, this is a little about the racism I was taught, and the racism that I grew up with, but not racism that I had to deal with in any real way.  That’s part of the issue.


“Four camera operators with Global News in the Maritimes are losing their jobs, and local evening news will now be hosted out of Toronto, the union confirmed on Thursday,” reports Marina von Stackelberg for the CBC:

Corus Entertainment is laying off 70 employees across Canada, including camera operators, reporters, anchors, control room staff, makeup artists and other production crew members, according to Unifor.

The layoffs in the Maritimes include two camera operators in Halifax, one in Saint John, N.B., and one in Fredericton, according to David MacPherson, president of the local.

“We had four, and now we have none,” he said. “It’s not good. Morale in the newsroom is not good. The [camera operators] gather a lot of content for us. It’s going to be more work for fewer people.”

The Global announcement comes on the heels of the Toronto Star announcing that it is ending its intern program.

At least in the case of the Star, it appears the announcements are a political move to pressure the federal government to increase the money to be used for bailing out legacy media.

I can say a lot about this, but from my own selfish perspective as owner of an upstart digital local news source, the bailout is the worst thing that can happen. It will undermine plans I have to slowly expand this operation, and it will put me at a competitive disadvantage.


No public meetings.

On campus


1848: Wuthering Heights, the Brontes, and Europe’s Revolutionary Year (Friday, 9am, Room 25, Banting Building, Dal-AC Campus, Truro) — Patricia Cove will speak.

Piano Recital (Friday, 11:45pm, Room 406, Dalhousie Arts Centre)— students of Peter Allen and Lynn Stodola will perform.

Fostering an Effective Relationship with the Medical Expert (Friday, 12:10 pm, Room 104, Weldon law Building) — Amy Orenstein will speak.

Catalysis in Ionic Liquids (Friday, 1:30pm, Room 226, Chemistry Building) — Robert D. Singer from Saint Mary’s University will speak.

The Holy Roman Imperial Nationaltheatre and the Musical Canon, c. 1800 (Friday, 3:30pm,  Room 1170 Marion McCain Building) — Austin Glatthorn will speak.

Magnetic Resonance Neuroimaging Research: Practical and Ethical Considerations, and Cautionary Tales (Friday, 3:40pm, Room 5260, Life Sciences Centre) — Matthias Schmidt will speak.

Facing Race: The Current Town Hall in Halifax (Friday, 6:30pm, Halifax Central Library) — Anna Maria Tremonti from the CBC hosts this public forum to discuss “Legacy of anti-black racism: How does it affect property rights and environmental decisions?”

Mount Saint Vincent

Senate Executive Meeting (Friday, 10:30am, MCC 201B) — here’s some info:

In the harbour

6am: Hyundai Mercury, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from New York
10am: YM Moderation, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for Dubai
10am: YM Modesty, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Colombo, Sri Lanka
11:30am: Hoegh Trident, car carrier, sails from Autoport for sea
4:30pm: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, sails from Pier 36 for Saint-Pierre
9:30pm: YM Modesty, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for New York
9:30pm: Hyundai Mercury, container ship, sails from Pier 42 for Kingston, Jamaica


Examineradio will be published later today. I’m going to take the long weekend and sleep. See you Tuesday.

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

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  1. I am not sure who thinks bailing out “legacy media” with public dollars is a good idea but it isn’t.
    Journalism is in a massive state of flux right now. There are PR sites disguised as news, investigative pieces being slugged off as “fake news” and fake news getting covered as real. CTV has been on this slippery slope for a while and it seems to be getting worse.
    The worst thing that can be done now is start pokin around with bail outs and artificial support. Let nature ale it’s course and not give unfair advantage to media outlets which are trying not to change.

  2. The Dartmouth North library is a result of the work of former Dartmouth councillors Jerry Pye and John Woods. Without their persistent advocacy in the early 1990s and before amalgamation the branch would have been delayed for many years.

    1. Where does North end Dartmouth begin – Woodland Avenue or Albro Lake Road ?
      Where does North end Halifax begin – North Street or Cunard Street ?

    2. There was one time when I went knocking on doors in Dartmouth North during an election, and many people told me they refused to vote “on principle” as though that would inoculate them from the consequences. There was one guy who told me he never votes, but the only exception he ever made was for was Jerry Pye, whom he called the only honest politician he ever met. He is a decent guy who really put his heart into representing his constituents.

      I’ll pass that along to Jerry. Colin, I’m sure your comment will make him very happy.

      1. We worked together when I was on council 1991-94.
        He’ll tell you how we tried and failed to get council to agree to pay a decent wage for crosswalk guards, almost all were women with no benefits; at the same time the cleaners at the police station were unionised city workers on higher pay and with full range of benefits. Details are online in the Dartmouth council minutes.

  3. The HuffPo dive into the Maria story is a great illustration of why I don’t like AllNovaScotia’s no-journalists policy. Good reporting leads to more good reporting, and a broader audience for important stories. Anything to stifle that, even if aimed at the bad actors we know exists, does more harm than good.