1. Matthew Hines

Matthew Hines. Photo: CBC

“Matthew Hines didn’t have to die,” report Karissa Donkin and Joan Weeks, who have been doing excellent work and follow-through on this story for the CBC:

That’s the conclusion of a scathing report by Canada’s prison watchdog, who found that staff at New Brunswick’s Dorchester Penitentiary ignored repeated cries for help from the mentally ill man as he was dying.

Hines was beaten and repeatedly pepper sprayed by guards, force that correctional investigator Ivan Zinger deemed unnecessary and inappropriate.

After his death, Correctional Service Canada ordered the bloodstains to be cleaned, “compromising the preservation of a potential crime scene.”

Donkin and Weeks’ report includes horrific details of what can only be described as the torture of Hines by prison guards.

2. Court Watch

This week, Examiner court watcher Christina MacDonald looks at the upcoming trials for Jimmy Melvin Jr. and Raymond Kobylanski, and the ongoing trial of William Sandeson

Click here to read Court Watch.

This article is behind the Examiner’s paywall and so available only to paid subscribers. Click here to purchase a subscription.

3. Bern Coffey

Bern Coffey. Photo:

A political scandal is unfolding in Newfoundland and Labrador related to the Muskrat Falls hydro project. It involves Bern Coffey, who was the province’s top civil servant and right-hand man to Premier Dwight Ball. Coffey was forced to resign Sunday night.

Ryan Young gives background:

After days of controversy, Bern Coffey has stepped down from his position of Chief of the Executive Council. The move came after a flurry of criticism was aimed at both Coffey and the government when the public learned that Coffey was representing a client who was suing Nalcor through his private law practice.

Allegedly, there was an agreement made when Coffey was appointed last September that would allow him to finish off any existing cases at his practice, but that he would not take on any new ones. In his defence of Coffey, Premier Ball said that the work was being done in Coffey’s personal time and that he was confident that he would continue to work diligently on behalf of the people. It probably would have been a fair arrangement, except for the fact that one of Coffey’s clients is suing Nalcor, and by extension, the government. Despite Coffey’s claims that “Chinese Walls” have been put in place to assure that there is no conflict of interest, the whole situation has been perceived very negatively by the public.

Nalcor is the provincial crown corporation established to construct and operate the Muskrat Falls dam. It is by far the largest public works project in Newfoundland and Labrador; that province is contractually obligated to deliver 20 per cent of the power generated to Emera, the parent company of Nova Scotia Power. The deal is the foundation of this province’s requirement that 40 per cent of all electricity used in Nova Scotia be generated by renewable sources by 2020.

Back in Newfoundland and Labrador, the CBC reports that Coffey, as lawyer, also “represents a surgeon who has sued Western Health. That court action alleges abuse of power, and seeks damages. It was filed the same day Coffey accepted the job as top civil servant last September.”

4. Lori Katherine Jollimore

“Police aren’t providing any information on possible suspects in the Halifax Regional Municipality’s first homicide of 2017,” reports Philip Croucher for Metro:

Last Thursday police ruled the death of 58-year-old Lori Katherine Jollimore a homicide, after responding to a sudden death call at home on Farquharson Street in Dartmouth at 1:09 p.m. on Thursday.


“We are not going to speak to suspects at this time,” said police spokeswoman Const. Dianne Penfound, adding the investigation remains “active.”

5. Ford Doolittle

Ford Doolittle. Photo:

Yesterday, Dalhousie president Richard Florizone announced that Ford Doolittle has won the Killam Prize in the Natural Sciences from the Canada Council for the Arts. The Killam prize rewards Doolittle with a $100,000 cheque for “outstanding career achievement.”

Doolittle is a molecular bioligist; I profiled him in an 2009 article for The Coast, “Doolittle, Darwin and the Deeply Dumb.”

I find Doolittle’s latest work, in which he hopes to reconceptualize evolution, fascinating. I want somehow to find the time to do some pop science journalism about it.


1. The $390 million highway dodge

Two of the highways that will get twinned within the next seven years, if Nova Scotia’s government announcement is to be trusted.

“The idea that, after the past several years of fiscal belt-tightening, we should accept as reasonable the doubling our planned highway investment is absurd,” writes Examiner transportation columnist Erica Butler.

Click here to read “The $390 million highway dodge.”

This article is behind the Examiner’s paywall and so available only to paid subscribers. Click here to purchase a subscription.




Special Regional Watersheds Advisory Board (Wednesday, 5pm, Alderney Public Library) — nothing much on the agenda.

Almon Street Bike Lane – Engagement Session (Wednesday, 6:30pm, Maritime Hall, Halifax Forum) — Info here.

North West Planning Advisory Committee (Wednesday, 7pm, Sackville Public Library) — Doggo Adventures!


Appeals Committee (10:30am, City Hall) — there are two taxi drivers appealing denials of their taxi driver’s licences.

The first is Kalvin Cole, who had his taxi licence revoked in August 2016 after Halifax police charged him with operating an unregistered vehicle, having no insurance, and driving with a revoked driver’s licence. According to a report filed with the committee by HRM staffer Kevin Hindle, the city’s licensing authority:

also discovered:

• the vehicle in question Mr. Cole was operating was an unlicensed taxi displaying fraudulently modified taxi license sticker #D338, which actually expired on October 21, 2015.

• Mr. Cole also failed to notify the Licensing Authority or surrender his taxi driver license to the Licensing Authority upon the revocation of his NS driver license on December 14, 2015, in accordance with Section 47.4 of By-law T-1000.

Cole’s taxi driver licence was revoked by the city on August 12, 2016.

But as reported by Hindle, Cole compounded his problems:

On February 22, 2017, Mr. Cole made application for an HRM taxi driver license. The application included a Statutory Declaration… Upon review of the document it was determined to contain false information. The specific question asking if the applicant of any charges or convictions in the past three years was answered “NO.”…

After further review of Mr. Cole’s application, it was identified that the NS Driver Abstract contained numerous suspensions.

The second driver appealing the denial of his taxi driver’s licence application is Doug Brine.

Brine applied for a taxi driver’s licence on February 28, 2017, but a criminal record check found that he had multiple convictions, including “Violation of undertaking by officer in charge” (August 2015); failure to comply with probation order (November 2015); and then multiple convictions for what appear to be one incident in April 2016 — one count for assault with a weapon, two counts of uttering threats to cause bodily harm or death, one count of possessing a weapon, and two counts of failure to comply with a recognizance order.


The legislature and its committees won’t meet until after the election.

On campus



Thesis Defence, Industrial Engineering (Wednesday, 1:30pm, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building) — PhD candidate Rayan Omar will defend his thesis, “Manufacturing Planning and Shop Floor Congestion Analysis in Multi-Product Networks Using a Data-Driven Approach.”

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Seminar (Wednesday, 4pm, Theatre A, Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building) — Kenneth D’Souza, Ph.D. Candidate, will speak on “Regulation of Autotaxin and its Role in Obesity-Induced Skeletal Muscle Insulin Resistance.”

In the harbour

The seas around Nova Scotia

5am: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, sails from Autoport for St. John’s
6am: ZIM Constanza, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Algeciras, Spain
8am: Atlantic Huron, bulker, sails from National Gypsum for sea
8am: Glenda Megan, oil tanker, sails from Imperial Oil for sea
11am: ZIM Haifa, container ship, arrives at Pier 41 from New York
4:30pm: ZIM Constanza, container ship, sails from Pier 42 for New York


I’ll be on The Sheldon MacLeod Show, News 95.7, at 2pm.

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

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  1. It is very interesting that today’s offering from the Halifax Examiner includes a story of a man sentenced to 4 years in jail for destroying evidence of a murder, and the story of Corrections Canada destroying evidence of a murder.

  2. Murder of a prisoner and then a cover up. And the spokesperson for Corrections Canada pulls out the Public Relations Bullshit Manual and writes the stock statement “CSC takes every death in custody seriously.” Yeah, seriously enough to lie and cover up evidence to get away with it.

  3. Christina MacDonald’s Court Watch analysis is *always* interesting and a great addition to the Examiner.