1. 451 missing laptops

A woman wearing glasses speaks to someone off camera. She's standing in a dimly-lit beige hallway.
Halifax auditor general Evangeline Colman-Sadd speaks to reporters at Halifax City Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. Credit: Zane Woodford

“Halifax can’t find hundreds of laptops, and like many municipal employees, most councillors failed to complete mandatory cybersecurity training,” reports Zane Woodford:

Those are some of the findings from outgoing auditor general Evangeline Colman-Sadd’s last report to council’s Audit and Finance Standing Committee on Wednesday.

“Computer inventory is tracked via a tool. There are inaccuracies in it and we also noted that the tool notes 451 laptops as missing,” Colman-Sadd said.

“IT does not know the location. That is a risk if the machines contain sensitive data.”

[Mayor Mike] Savage compared the work of an auditor general to a medical procedure.

“Having an auditor general is like had a regular colonoscopy,” Savage said.

Click or tap here to read “Municipality lost 451 laptops and has lax cybersecurity, says Halifax auditor general.”

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2. Nova Scotia Power’s crappy service gets even crappier

A table that shows annual service restoration for Significant Event Days, Major Event Days, and Extreme Event Day from Nova Scotia Power
Credit: Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board

The above table compares Nova Scotia Power’s response times for restoration of power after Significant Event Days (SED), Major Event Days (MED), and Extreme Event Days (EED) year by year; “the table shows that customers are now waiting longer in the dark than a few years ago,” reports Jennifer Henderson.

Nearly every aspect of Nova Scotia Power’s already crappy service has gotten even crappier — it’s taking longer to restore power after storms, longer to hook up new customers, longer to add new poles, longer to install new transformers, longer to turn temporary service into permanent service.

The one tiny improvement came in the number of planned outages — from 572 in 2021 to 467 in 2022 (an 18% decrease) — but it came with a cost of a 59% increase in the duration of planned outages.

Click or tap here to read “Nova Scotia Power’s service is getting even worse, so UARB fines the company $750,000.”

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3. Bouncer charged

A brick building with a sign reading "Halifax Alehouse." The words "a toast to Halifax Tradition" are written to the right.
Halifax Alehouse

On Christmas Eve last year, Ryan Sawyer was killed outside the Halifax Alehouse. On social media, many people said that Sawyer was beaten and choked by a bouncer.

Yesterday, a bouncer named Alexander Pishori Levy was charged with manslaughter and criminal negligence related to Sawyer’s death.

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4. Possible police impersonator

The replica police car used by the mass murderer in April 2020. Photo: RCMP

Update: Saint John Police have updated their news release:

Update: August 17, 2023, 10:38 a.m.

The Saint John Police have identified the operator of the unmarked vehicle as a police officer from another area of the province. The Saint John Police are now satisfied that there is no concern for public safety and no criminal charges are anticipated.

So just another dick cop, not an impersonator.

From a Saint John Police press release:

The Saint John Police Major Crime Unit are investigating a suspicious traffic stop by a middle-aged man who allegedly impersonated a peace officer.

It is alleged that:

On Wednesday, July 26, 2023, at approximately 4:00 p.m., the complainant was stopped westbound on Route 1 near Exit 114 to Grand Bay – Westfield by an unmarked older model (possibly 2008-2016) dark Toyota Venza with one set of red and blue lights in the windshield.

The operator approached the complainant, yelled at him about speeding, got back into his vehicle and drove off.

The operator was described as Caucasian male, 50-55 years old, 180-200 lbs, red hair, trimmed beard with grey in it, wearing a ballcap, sunglasses, and an orange plaid button up shirt.

Investigators have confirmed that the traffic stop was not initiated by the Saint John Police or any other policing agency in the neighbouring jurisdictions.

Investigators are appealing for witnesses or anyone in the area that has video of the incident at the time it occurred.

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5. Doctor signed death certificate for patient who was still alive

A smiling white woman wearing a white jacket with a blue collar.
Dr. Michelle Ciach Credit: Family Medicine and Wound Care Clinics

Halifax doctor Michelle Ciach signed a death certificate for a patient more than a year before the patient died. Ciach also used the signature stamps of two of her colleagues to write prescriptions for herself and for a family member.

For that professional misconduct, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia has suspended Ciach’s licence for six months, fined her $5,000, and ordered her to take an ethics course.

Ciach operates the Family Medicine and Wound Care Clinic on Lacewood Drive.

In its decision, the college explains that on July 26, 2021, Ciach signed a death certificate for a patient, naming the cause of death but leaving the date of death blank. She did so at the request of the patient’s daughter, who said she was travelling back to the United States and was afraid her mother would die when she was out of the country.

The death certificate said the patient died at home, but in fact the woman was very much alive.

The decision notes that had the daughter received the false death certificate, she “could have used it for many improper purposes.”

But the evidence attached to the decision notes that “when the patient’s daughter presented [at the clinic] to pick up the documents, the receptionist noted to the daughter that no date of death was included in the death certificate. The daughter explained that her mother was still alive… The receptionist did not give the patient’s daughter the death certificate.”

Ciach said it is common practice to pre-fill a death certificate because it makes it easier for the patient’s family should the patient die in a nursing home and a doctor can’t attend on short notice. The college acknowledged this is the case, but said that the document should not be signed until the patient dies.

It’s an open question, at least for me, as to how many deceased patients are lying in nursing homes unattended, and for how long.

As for the prescriptions, Ciach used her two colleagues’ signature stamps to write prescriptions for herself and a family member “over several months.” The colleagues did not know about this, or consent to it.

Additionally, Ciach “altered a prescription issued by another physician for one of her family members without that physician’s knowledge or consent.”

When confronted, Ciach “only admitted to using another physician’s prescription stamp for an antibiotic for a family member once.”

The decision notes that there’s no evidence that the prescriptions were medically unnecessary, and that “none of the prescriptions were for narcotics.”

The college found that “there are no issues of patient care of safety” related to Ciach’s misconduct, that she fully cooperated through the disciplinary process, and that she was “experiencing a period of particular personal and professional stress during the time when the misconduct arose.”

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No meetings

On campus

No events

In the harbour

07:00: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, moves from anchorage to Fairview Cove
07:30: East Coast, oil tanker, sails from Irving Oil for sea
08:30: Carnival Venezia, cruise ship with up to 5,145 passengers, arrives at Pier 22 from Saint John, on a five-day roundtrip cruise out of New York
10:00: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, arrives at Pier 41 from Saint-Pierre
11:30: Navious Happiness, bulker, sails from anchorage for sea
12:00: Atlantic Star, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for Liverpool, England
13:30: AlgoScotia, oil tanker, arrives at Pier 26 from Sydney
15:30: Grande New York, car carrier, sails from Autoport for sea
17:00: Lagrafoss, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Portland
18:00: Carnival Venezia sails for New York
22:30: Lagrafoss sails for Reykjavik, Iceland

Cape Breton
07:30: Caribbean Princess, cruise ship with up to 3,756 passengers, arrives at Sydney Marine Terminal from Halifax, on a 16-day roundtrip cruise of Atlantic Canada and Greenland out of New York
12:00: Pacific Zircon, oil tanker, sails from EverWind for sea
15:00: Blue Moon, Dead Dick Duchossois’s yacht, arrives at Sydney anchorage from Provincetown, Massachusetts
16:30: Caribbean Princess sails for Nuuk, Greenland
17:30: Rt Hon Paul E Martin, bulker, arrives at Coal Pier (Point Tupper) from Baltimore


I’m spending a few hours in the archives today.

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

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  1. So they sanction Dr. Ciach With a six month suspension which really is only punishing her patients. Nothing she did was dangerous. At worst it was unethical but appears to be just shortcuts. By suspending her practice they are putting the health of hundreds at risk.

  2. “How many deceased patients are lying in nursing homes unattended, and for how long?” I bet the number is higher than you might think. You would do your readers a good service by investigating that question as it would be an eye opener. The years of under investing in this branch of healthcare are a moral failure.