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1. The evolution of Carrie Low
This morning, we’ve published my profile of Carrie Low. It begins:
Carrie Low wants to tell her story.
That may sound odd, as Low has made the details of her sexual assault and the subsequent battles for police accountability quite public. Painful testimony was offered in a criminal trial that was widely reported on. Low was the subject of a CBC podcast series. And earlier this month, still more details of the assault and the police response to it were rehashed at a two-week public hearing before the Police Review Board.
But that’s not the complete story.
In the middle of the Police Review Board hearing, Low met with me in a private room at the Halifax Central Library on a Saturday.
“I want to give you my experience through all this,” she says. “I just haven’t been given the platform or space to be able to tell it all the way it happened.”
We spend a couple of hours looking at documents and reading Low’s notes — she’s an obsessive note-taker, and writes down seemingly everything — but as we talk, I realize there’s another entire dimension to Low’s story, and so I ask for a second interview. After the hearing is over, we meet for another couple of hours at the offices of the Elizabeth Fry Society.
At both interviews, Low has friends as support for her. She speaks plainly, openly, and often tearfully about painful events, but also about potentially embarrassing details. She tells me she wants all of it public, but to be absolutely certain, I go against standard journalist principle and give her the opportunity to review this article, and the right to squash this article if she chooses. She consents to publication.
Here’s what I learn from the interviews. While the assault itself and its aftermath are central, there’s a greater, much more positive story to be told, and that’s about the long arc of Low’s entire life.
It’s a story about how a particular young woman grew up injured and defensive in a man’s world; how she developed strategies that served her — sometimes for the better, sometimes not; how a terrible event in 2018 led to stark realizations and reevaluations; and how armed with her experience and knowledge, she has become an advocate, supporter, and shoulder to lean on for scores of other women.
This is the story of the evolution of Carrie Low.
I am immensely grateful for Low’s time, patience, and above all, her trust in me. She opened herself to me, and now by extension, to the broader public, speaking of deeply personal and sometimes painful experiences. That’s not done lightly.
I’m exhausted from merely reporting on Low’s life; I can’t imagine having actually lived it.
Low’s story should move us all to examine our attitudes about women and sexual assault.
And in particular, men, it’s far past time to start talking about sexual assault frankly and directly among ourselves.
Additionally, as Low’s story makes clear, the collectives of (mostly) men that are our police forces have internalized the societal disregard for women, and that plays out in repeated failure to properly investigate sexual assault. Low’s case is not a one-off; next week, we’ll begin publishing many more accounts of sexual assault investigations gone wrong.
“The evolution of Carrie Low” is a long read, clocking in at just shy of 10,000 words. Take your time with it, and take care while reading.
2. Jeering and bigoted neighbours
“Councillors have approved an affordable housing development in Cole Harbour despite jeers from neighbours,” reports Zane Woodford.
The Harbour East Marine Drive Community Council. The first was an affordable housing project in Cole Harbour:
Coun. Trish Purdy, chair of the community council and the representative for the Cole Harbour area, agreed the development is badly needed.
“It’s desperately needed,” Purdy said.
“I am in favour of this, and I know it’s hard for the residents that live on the street. I understand the difficulty of the cramped streets and the parking issues and that tight turn and corner. It is not ideal, but I believe the need the need far outweighs that.”
As it became clear Purdy would support the development, some in the audience started heckling. The Halifax Examiner didn’t attend the meeting in person, covering it via the livestream, but the heckling could be heard on video.
“What a joke,” one man said.
“Shameful, shameful,” said a woman.
Coun. Tony Mancini eventually rose to escort those people out of the meeting.
The second was a proposed development on Shore Road in Eastern Passage:
“You have to take into account who’s planning this,” Mary Sharma told councillors, speaking of an online meeting she attended.
“This gentleman and his brother said they had grown up in Cairo, Egypt. I don’t know what Cairo’s like, but to me, that’s a high density area, and they were able to play out in the street and all this other stuff. Well, you can’t take a piece of Cairo, and set it down in Eastern Passage.”
Coun. Becky Kent, who represents Eastern Passage, apologized for Sharma’s remarks.
“I absolutely want to acknowledge and apologize … for what I consider to be bigoted comments. That’s my opinion,” Kent said.
People being flat-out openly racist at a public meeting, isn’t that lovely? What do they think this, the United States?
Councillors approved both projects.
Reports Matthew Byard:
Systemic racism plagues the Crown prosecutor’s office in Nova Scotia, and the office’s efforts to address the problem have only made the situation worse, say critics.
Robert Wright is the executive director of the African Nova Scotian Justice Institute, an organization made up of Black lawyers and legal experts whose mandate is to support Black Nova Scotians in contact with the law and to address racism and overrepresentation of Black people in the criminal justice system.
In an open letter on behalf of the Justice Institute and in the interview with the Examiner, Wright said the institute’s correspondence with government officials and leadership at the Crown prosecutor’s office, formally known as the Public Prosecution Service (PPS), leaves them doubtful their concerns about systemic racism at the PPS are being heard and addressed.
“There has been a longstanding concern, not only of systemic racism in generic practice in the Public Prosecution Service but systemic racism in HR practices at the Public Prosecution Service,” said Wright in an interview with the Halifax Examiner.
“What do South Bimini in the Bahamas and the Tancook Islands have in common? They are both (as of this summer) home to marine research field stations studying shark behaviour,” reports Philip Moscovitch:
The Bimini Biological Field Station Foundation (Shark Lab) has been running since 1990 though, while the Tancook Islands Marine Field Station welcomed its first graduate student in June of this year.
Last summer, a white shark spent close to two months hanging out in Mahone Bay. And at least 82 other white sharks spent some time either in, or passing through the bay.
The acoustic receivers in the bay will register a tagged shark if it swims within 500 to 800 metres of them.
“Last year, was the first time we did that, and we had 35 receivers out there. This summer we’ve expanded a bit and we’re at 47,” [student Wesley Ogloff] said. “And so my work is looking at how [the sharks] are using Mahone Bay, how many sharks are coming in, what areas they’re coming into, and how repeatable that is across the years.”
Last year, the array registered 83 individual sharks. In addition to the one who spent a good part of the summer in Mahone Bay, Ogloff said, “There was a handful of individuals who hung around for a week or two, kind of bouncing between the sites before they moved on.” The rest of the white sharks were just passing by the mouth of the bay, off Cross Island and Pearl Island.
5. Union of Black artists
“The founder and president of a new union for Black artists that launched this week says its mandate is to support Black talent and fight for fair wages, unlike local unions from the past that she says were ‘flawed from the beginning,” reports Matthew Byard:
Tara Taylor said the Union of Black Artists Society (UBAS) will have collective agreements for artists in theater, film, television, music, and fashion.
“It’s for anyone that is interested in the industry. So, either you join with an interest and we train you to do what you want, or you join with credits and then we put you to work. It should be as simple as that,” Taylor said.
Taylor said local unions from decades past left out Black people in the entertainment industry.
“They basically were a group of people that got together and they knew what they needed, they knew what they wanted, but there weren’t a whole lot of Black folk that were in Nova Scotia that were in the film industry at that time,” Taylor said.
6. Terri-Lynn Marie Keddy
Lindsay Jones with the Globe and Mail reports on Terri-Lynn Marie Keddy, the 14-year-old who was lost to flood waters in West Hants:
Terri-Lynn was a cancer survivor who had finished her last round of chemotherapy six months ago. She had recently been given the all-clear, said her stepmother Jacqueline Reid. “She was the most happy-go-lucky kid I’ve ever had the pleasure of loving,” she said in a statement to The Globe and Mail. “She was never not smiling. … She definitely saw sunshine and rainbows daily.”
Ms. Reid said her stepdaughter loved to bake and cook alongside her in the kitchen, and was extremely close with her sister and stepbrother.
7. Emergency alerts
CTV reporter Sarah Plowman does some fantastic reporting here.
8. The future of Touquoy mine is anyone’s guess
We’ve taken Joan Baxter’s July 6 article, “St Barbara sells off its Australian gold mine, but what happens to its mines in Nova Scotia?,” out from behind the paywall.
In the harbour
06:00: Contship Leo, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Kingston, Jamaica
07:30: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, moves from Pier 31 to Pier 42
09:30: One Apus, container ship (146,694 tonnes), arrives at Pier 41 from Colombo, Sri Lanka
12:00: NYK Constellation, container ship, sails for Southampton, England
14:30: Contship Leo moves to Bedford Basin anchorage
15:30: ZIM Vancouver, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Valencia, Spain
16:00: MSC Michaela, container ship, arrives at Berth TBD from Baltimore
17:00: Eagle II, container ship, arrives at Berth TBD from Moa Cuba
18:00: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, sails from Fairview Cove for St. John’s
18:00: Contship Leo moves to Fairview Cove
21:30: One Apus sails for New York
01:30: ZIM Vancouver sails for New York
02:30: Contship Leo sails for Kingston, Jamaica
05:00: Onego Deusto, cargo ship, arrives at Sheet Harbour from Philadelphia
06:00: Volga Maersk, container ship, arrives at Berth TBD from Montreal
11:00: Oceania Insignia, cruise ship with up to 803 passengers, arrives at Pier 20 from Bar Harbor, on an 11-day cruise from New York to Reykjavik
18:00: Oceania Insignia sails for Paamiut, Greenland
One tiny point almost inconsequential to Carrie Low’s story is that she is a small woman and so could easily slip right out of police handcuffs. When she told me that, I immediately thought of Lisa Banfield. Banfield isn’t quite as slight as Low, but she’s a small woman, and managed to slip out of a handcuff that terrible night. Lots of people refused to believe that was possible, because lots of people are terrible.
I find value in doing this kind of deep dive reporting, and I’d like to more of it but my boss won’t let me. My boss is an asshole.