1. Deep Panuke
The Chronicle Herald’s Roger Taylor reports that, thanks to the crappy winter in New England, Encana made a lot of money from selling natural gas from its Deep Panuke wells on the Boston spot market. With warm weather here, prices are back to normal, but the company thinks it can repeat the performance next winter. Buried in the article is the Conference Board of Canada projection that the provincial economy “will expand by 2.3 per cent this year, primarily as a result of Deep Panuke production”—that is, most of our economic growth is coming from a single offshore gas field that will run dry in a few years. Of course, very little of that economic growth will reach the populace at large—a few industry jobs, some contracting, a bump in provincial tax revenues, and that’s about it—but I fear that policy makers will look at the numbers and conclude that the only way forward is to try to turn Nova Scotia into a gas exporting economy. Expect lots of below-market leases for the offshore tracts and a rush into fracking. It might even work, for a while. But what happens after the gas runs out? We will have contributed to the climate change that is this province’s biggest challenge, and will have no more resources to deal with it.
2. Loretta Saunders’s family interviewed
The preliminary inquiry of the trial related to Loretta Saunders’ murder starts next week, and Metro has interviewed her family.
3. Premier still campaigning against Nova Scotia Power
Stephen McNeil likely won election due to a cynical campaign against high electricity rates. I say cynical because the McNeil knows he won’t be able to reel in rate increases or, even more unlikely, decrease rates. Unless he is proposing a re-nationalization of Nova Scotia Power (which I’m all for), power rates will be determined by the market price of fossil fuels and the Utility and Review Board, and not by anything that happens in Province House or McNeil’s cabinet. But the premier seems determined to get all the political mileage he can out of attacking Nova Scotia Power. Yesterday he held a news conference to lambast the utility’s weak response to Arthur. Two easy stories—the weather and power outages—brought together in a single press conference sent CBC into a tizzy.
4. $13,000 returned
From a police department press release: “A 28-year-old man reported that, earlier in the day, he was driving on Herring Cove Road on his way to buy a tractor, when he realized that a bag containing $13,000 cash had fallen out of his vehicle. He frantically looked for the bag along his route but couldn’t find it. While an officer was taking the report at his residence, a Good Samaritan went to the Spryfield Community Office and returned the bag, with the $13,000 inside, after finding it on the side of the road. The complainant was able to provide a breakdown of the money and was reunited with his hard-earned cash—every last penny. ” With no other info, a bunch of media outlets simply re-wrote the press release, but I want to know: who pays cash for a tractor? If I were the cops, I’d be checking to see if the tractor was, ya know, stolen.
5. Child amputees
The Chronicle Herald interviews a couple of kids who use protheses, who are in town for the War Amps Atlantic child amputee seminar.
1. Why isn’t anyone talking about the Thiel suit over Nova Centre?
Bill Black gets his whacks in on Heritage Trust. Seemingly everyone is hating on Heritage Trust for daring to ask the court to review the Nova Centre project, but the Thiel family has also asked the court to review the Nova Centre, and nobody is saying squat about that. In fact, the Thiels asked for judicial intervention first, and asked the court to review the provincial side of things, where Heritage Trust only asked for a review of the municipal side of things—arguably, much more is at stake from the Thiel suit. Why aren’t we seeing the business community taking out full-page newspaper ads lambasting the Thiels? Why aren’t op-ed columnists tripping over themselves to call the Thiels bad names? I’ve thought about this a lot (behind paywall), and can come to only one conclusion: the silence over the Thiel suit reflects simple deference to monied interests. Beating up on the pensioners at Heritage Trust sits well within the acceptable discourse; taking on the multi-millionaire Thiel family doesn’t. It just shows how pathetic our commentariat is.
2. Politicians love storms
Marilla Stephenson chronicles politicians’ love of storms. If only she could aim that cynicism at her Chamber of Commerce buddies…
Stephen Archibald goes. We read about it.
Today is the monthly opening of the Household Special Waste Depot in Bayers Lake. In addition, the city has a roving mobile waste drop-off site, and today it’s at Georges P Vanier Junior High School in Fall River. More info here.
Detroit is having a rough time of it. It’s North America’s primary destination for disaster tourists, and the people
looting running the city are conducting a full-on assault on the human right to water. But there’s much more to Detroit than its broken economy, empty buildings, and pig-headed bureaucrats; the city is, above all, its people. And with reverence and good will, John Carlisle has long profiled the fascinating characters who populate the place. Four or five years ago I stumbled upon Carlisle’s Detroitblog; it’s been dormant for a couple of years, but I still go and get lost on the site. Carlisle has moved on to the Detroit Free Press, a paper that used to be a beacon of progressive thought but, since it was bought up by the MediaNews conglomerate in 2005, is now a Tea Party broadsheet. Carlisle doesn’t fit in so well.
In the harbour
(Click on vessel names for pictures and other information about the ships)
Maersk Pembroke, container ship, Montreal to Pier 41
Asphalt Eagle, asphalt Tanker, Gibraltar to Anchor in Bedford Basin
Asphalt Sailor, Asphalt Tanker, Marcus Hook (near Philadelphia) to Anchor in Bedford Basin
Maersk Pembroke, Pier 41 to Rotterdam
Both Asphalt vessels are owned and operated as dedicated asphalt carriers by Sargeant Marine of Florida. The McAsphalt dock in Eastern Passage could be the ultimate destination for these vessels, but having two show up at the same time suggests they may have recently been purchased by someone. Will update.
On Tuesday through Thursday of next week, the Assembly of First Nations will hold its Annual General Assembly in Halifax, and the Halifax Examiner will be there, providing exhaustive coverage.