No new cases of COVID-19 were announced in Nova Scotia yesterday (Monday, Jan. 18).
There are 25 known active cases in the province. No one is in hospital with the disease.
Nova Scotia Health labs conducted 1,079 tests Sunday.
Here are the new daily cases and seven-day rolling average since the start of the second wave (Oct. 1):
And here is the active caseload for the second wave:
Last night, Public Health issued potential COVID exposure advisories for two locations in the Truro area:
Anyone who worked or visited the following locations on the specified dates and times should immediately self-isolate and visit covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/ to book a COVID-19 test, regardless of whether or not they have COVID-19 symptoms. You can also call 811 if you don’t have online access or if you have other symptoms that concern you.Anyone present at the below location must self-isolate while waiting for their test result, regardless of whether or not they have COVID-19 symptoms.
- Roadside Willies Smokehouse & Bar (27 Jennifer Dr, Truro) on Jan. 8 between 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Jan. 22.
- Double C Truck Stop (3926 Highway #4, Debert) on Jan. 9 between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Jan. 23.
Here is the possible exposure map:
2. Police cameras
“The city’s board of police commissioners wants to wait at least a year before putting body-worn cameras on Halifax Regional Police officers,” reports Zane Woodford:
At the board’s meeting on Monday, it voted unanimously in favour of a motion from Coun. Lindell Smith to ask the police to develop policies for the use of the cameras, along with a privacy impact assessment, and come back to the board next year, for implementation in the 2022-2023 budget year.
3. Compassion fatigue
“Public health orders, restrictions, shutdowns, lockdowns. It’s no secret the uncertainty and stress created by the pandemic has upped our anxieties and kept mental health professionals busy,” reports Yvette d’Entremont:
“Right now the waiting lists are exploding because of the stresses of this pandemic on people,” Halifax-based psychologist Lesley Hartman said in an interview.
“I don’t know a counsellor, therapist, or psychologist in the city that doesn’t have a really long waiting list. And we’re also dealing with our own stress related to the pandemic.”
Being immersed in highly emotionally supportive and emotionally draining work over a period of time can be challenging. Hartman said for some, feeling stressed or overwhelmed can lead to a sense of shame. That’s because there’s a sense that because they help others deal with a variety of issues, they should know how to cope themselves — without any outside help.
4. Search warrants and the FBI
The media consortium that includes the Halifax Examiner continues its legal efforts to unseal the search warrant documents related to the investigation into the mass murders of last April 18 and 19, and so yesterday I found myself (virtually) attending a court hearing related to scheduling.
It was mundane stuff, and not really worth reporting on. Long story short: our efforts continue, and there are delays.
But there’s one tiny data point that might be of a correspondingly tiny bit of interest. We were expecting that a US FBI agent would testify on Jan. 26. I won’t get into the weeds of why the agent would testify because it’s so convoluted that I’m not sure that I even understand it, but the gist of it is that information provided by the FBI found its way into the affidavits submitted to the court by the RCMP in support of an application for a search warrant, and now there’s some issue as to whether that information can be un-redacted in a release to the media. That’s not what’s interesting, however.
What’s interesting is that the FBI agent cannot be made available for a briefing with the Canadian federal and provincial Crowns in preparation for the Jan. 26 hearing because the agent is pulled away by events in Washington, DC.
I don’t think the FBI is especially interested in the Canadian media’s effort to unseal search warrants, although I’m sure they’ll show reasonable professional courtesy. And of course the FBI has more urgent matters at hand, and we all want tomorrow’s inauguration to go proceed smoothly, so.
5. Real estate agents gone bad
I’ve had a love-hate relationship with the stereotypes about real estate agents. For one, stereotypes can be messy, and they’re generally unfair besides. More personally, I’ve known some truly and amazingly decent people in the profession, people I respect for their character.
On the other hand, as with banking and finance, the industry seems wide open to be infiltrated and abused by the absolute worst kind of people. And besides, it’s just plain fun to watch the stereotype of the more monstrous of the group.
The archetypical real estate agent of this sort is Buddy Kane, the “real estate king” in the 1999 film American Beauty, who gave us such memorable lines as “You like getting nailed by the King?” Kane was played by actor Peter Gallagher who, I learned this morning, based the character on none other than Donald Trump. “I thought, who has the hugest opinion of themselves in real estate?” Gallagher told the Independent last year.
And outdoing that fictional portrayal is the real-life example of Texas real estate agent Jenna Ryan, who, along with a riotous mob with murderous intent, stormed the US Capitol. According to NBC News:
In court papers, prosecutors said a Facebook Live video taken by Ryan — which was captured before it was deleted and reposted to YouTube — shows her entering the Capitol through the Rotunda entrance.
“We’re going to f—ing go in here. Life or death,” she says at the start of the video, according to prosecutors. “It doesn’t matter. Here we go.”
When she reached the top of the stairs, Ryan turned on her rear-facing camera and said: “Y’all know who to hire for your realtor. Jenna Ryan for your realtor,” according to prosecutors.
— Swimming World (@SwimmingWorld) January 12, 2021
The Capitol mob was a distinctly well-off group with the financial wherewithal to take time off from their jobs and buy a ticket to Washington. Ryan wasn’t the only real estate agent among the group; she was joined in the attack by Klete Keller, a former Olympic swimmer from Colorado who had, er, floundered after his sports career before finding purpose in right-wing politics and real estate, explains the Guardian:
His marriage collapsed, he was unable to hold down a series of sales jobs and he struggled to afford a place to live while paying child support for his three kids. He felt bitter and angry, losing motivation and gaining weight as he ate and drank to excess. He said his money problems prompted him to live in his Ford Fusion after his divorce in 2014. He would squeeze his 6ft 6in frame into the car and try to grab some sleep in Walmart parking lots.
He grew more interested in right-wing politics in recent years but was not known as especially radical. His reputation among friends was as more of a mild-mannered goofball than a committed extremist, though one told the Washington Post Keller was “infatuated” with guns and he was increasingly supportive of Trump on social media.
Keller appeared on local television news in 2018 (his Olympic status unmentioned) after he became the unwitting victim of a bizarre episode with shirtless men and a dog-sitter. Still, he appeared to have turned his life around: getting engaged, finding work with a commercial real estate firm and launching a personal website, The Olympic Agent. It pledges “Gold Medal Service” to help clients “navigate the waters of real estate”.
Now he has lost his job and potentially faces a long prison sentence.
Closer to home, we have two examples of less-than-exemplary behaviour from real estate agents Sarah Sullivan and Adam Scott, who have received disciplinary licence suspensions by the Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission:
Effective January 16, 2021
The Registrar hereby gives notice the real estate salesperson licence for Sarah Sullivan of Century 21 Trident Realty Ltd. is suspended effective January 16, 2021 up to and including February 15, 2021 for violating the following section of the Real Estate Trading Act and the Commission By-law:
- Real Estate Trading Act, Section 22 (1) (a)
- Commission By-law 816
The violations resulted from an investigation of a complaint from a member of the public. The complainant, who owned a dog, was a tenant of a property that was listed for sale. Ms. Sullivan viewed the property with a potential buyer.
At a later date, Ms. Sullivan approached the complainant, and asked if they were interested in selling the dog, which they advised they were not. Ms. Sullivan offered to take the dog while they moved out of the property. Ms. Sullivan took the dog and failed to return it. In response to efforts by the complainant to have the dog returned, Ms. Sullivan inappropriately used or threated to use information she acquired only as a result of her access to the property as a real estate licensee. When the matter was investigated, she provided false/misleading information to the investigator on several occasions. Ms. Sullivan had previously been disciplined in 2014 for providing false information to the Commission during the course of an investigation.
This conduct is dishonourable, unprofessional, harmful to the best interests of the public and to the reputation of the industry at large. The public must have confidence that when they provide access to their property to members of the profession, that their privacy will be respected and information shall be gathered, used and shared, only for reasons related to the trading in real estate. Further, it is a violation to provide false/misleading information to the Commission.
Ms. Sullivan is ordered to pay $2,500 in fines and is subject to a one-month licence suspension.
This notice has been distributed to licensees in accordance with Commission By-law 839.
Effective January 18, 2021
The Registrar hereby gives notice the real estate salesperson licence for Adam Scott of HaliPad Real Estate Inc. is suspended effective January 18, 2021 up to and including February 17, 2021 for violating the following section of the Real Estate Trading Act:
- Real Estate Trading Act, Section 22 (1) (a)
The violation resulted from an investigation of a complaint from a member of the public. The evidence supported Mr. Scott facilitated a viewing with a client knowing the client arrived from outside of Atlantic Canada the night before and had not completed the province’s COVID-19 pandemic mandatory 14-day self-isolation. The Commission communicated to the industry numerous times via e-mail and posted on our website that licensees are required to follow the COVID-19 health directives from the federal and provincial government. The Commission also provided licensees with the direct link to this information.
Mr. Scott is ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and is subject to a one-month licence suspension.
This notice has been distributed to licensees in accordance with Commission By-law 839.
I don’t know much about real estating, and I’m sure most agents are fine people. It’s just hard to wrap my head around the actions of these proverbial bad apples. Real estate — especially residential real estate — is booming, and the pandemic has only made things better for the industry as people work from home and are upgrading their residences. It’s easy to be generous when the money is flowing in, but I guess for some people, just the opposite happens.
On my podcast playlist is Fall of Civilizations, produced and narrated by Paul Cooper, who explains:
Fall of Civilizations tells the story of what happens when societies collapse.
Each episode, we look at a civilization that rose to glory, and then collapsed into the ashes of history. We ask: Why did it collapse? What happened next? And what did it feel like to be a person alive at the time?
Each episode is a massive affair, and can be as long as three hours. Most recently published is Episode 12, about the Incas, and as usual, I learned a ton.
But for the new listener, I recommend you start with Episode 6, about Easter Island.
If you’re like me, you know the well-told story of Easter Island, most recently recounted by geographer Jared Diamond in his book Collapse, which goes something like this: The people of Easter Island were so committed to their religion of building giant heads, that they didn’t even realize that they had cut down the last tree to use it as a roller to move a head from the quarry to its position on the coastline, and this single-minded devotion without regard to their environment led to their downfall. It’s a story of hubris and collective stupidity.
Well, thanks to Cooper, I now know that story is utterly wrong. The collapse of Easter Island had nothing at all to do with some innate shortcoming, but rather because the island was a victim of imperialism, ravished by disease and predatory traders, and then by slavers — at one point in the late 19th century, the entire indigenous population of the island was enslaved. Even the story of the “stupid Easter Islanders” is itself a product of imperialism, seemingly invented to create a counter-narrative to the truth of the matter.
Cooper tells the story compassionately, and with the aim of giving life to a still-struggling culture.
Audit and Finance Standing Committee (Tuesday, 10am) — virtual meeting with live audio broadcast
Community Design Advisory Committee (Tuesday, 11:30am) — the committee will pass the Regional Centre Secondary Municipal Planning Strategy (Package B) and then there will never again be built a crappy building and we will all marvel at the quality architecture, affordable housing will become abundant, and our streets will welcome pedestrians without endangering their lives at every turn. Or, you know, not.
Halifax and West Community Council (Tuesday, 6pm) — live webcast; live captioning available
Budget Committee (Wednesday, 9:30am) — live webcast, with captioning available on a text-only site.
North West Planning Advisory Committee (Wednesday, 7pm) — virtual meeting; live broadcast not available.
Veterans Affairs (Tuesday, ) — video conference, agenda TBA
Stone Duality for Topological Convexity spaces (Tuesday, 2:30pm) — Toby Kennedy will explain via Zoom that
A convexity space is a set X with a chosen family of subsets (called convex subsets) that is closed under arbitrary intersections and directed unions. There is a lot of interest in spaces that have both a convexity space and a topological space structure. In this talk, we will study the category of topological convexity spaces and extend the Stone duality between coframes and topological spaces to a duality between topological convexity spaces and sup-lattices. We will also identify some of the important classes of morphisms in the category of topological convexity spaces, and some of their properties, in preparation for identifying Euclidean spaces as object within the category of Topological Convexity Spaces.
Studies in Materials‑Driven Innovation (Tuesday, 6pm) — Peter Yeadon from the Rhode Island School of Design, and founder of Yeadon Space Agency will talk. Info and registration here.
It’s Never Too late for University (Tuesday, 8pm) — Mature Student Advisor Jennifer Hann will lead this Zoom webinar.
Moving Through Trauma: Indigenous Futurism, Survivance, and the Apocalypse in The Marrow Thieves (Wednesday, 7pm) — online talk with writer Tiffany Morris.
Indigenous Futurism is a field of literature, art, and other expressions that roots Indigenous presence in the future, removing the stereotypical historicization of Indigenous Peoples from the present. In The Marrow Thieves, the future is dystopian and apocalyptic, signaling the continuation of colonialist trauma from past to future. This talk explores how the apocalypse can create narratives of survival and survivance that situate The Marrow Thieves and other Indigenous literature in the future.
Winter Photography (Tuesday, 12pm) — webinar info and registration here
The Librarian Is In: Navigating the Library Catalogue (Tuesday, 3pm) — workshop to learn new strategies for navigating resources and digital collections
In the harbour
04:00: Algoma Integrity, bulker, sails from National Gypsum for Baltimore
05:00: MOL Maneuver, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Norfolk
11:30: Morning Cornelia, car carrier, sails from Autoport for sea
16:00: Onego Deusto, cargo ship, arrives at Sheet Harbour from Baltimore
19:00: NS Stream, oil tanker, arrives at Imperial Oil from Port Arthur, Texas
My reporting output has declined lately, and I’m trying to do something about that. Part of the problem is that I’m increasingly busy with mundane managerial stuff. And then there’s the guessing game regarding COVID updates and briefings — it’s hard to set into a bigger project when the daily numbers could come out any unpredictable time between noon and 4pm, and Dr. Strang and Stephen McNeil can keep me sitting doing nothing as they show up as much as 45 minutes late for the bi-weekly briefings. And then there’s the fact that my birth country basically imploded over the last few weeks, and it draws my attention and emotional energy away. On top of all that, I think I’m simply exhausted. Maybe I should read about time management and self-care woo-woo, but come on. But anyway, I’ve kind of shelved a couple of very interesting projects, and somehow I’ll find a way back into them.