1. Greg Wiley, coward
This item was written by Tim Bousquet.
RCMP Constable Greg Wiley is testifying before the Mass Casualty Commission (MCC) today… sorta.
Wiley is an RCMP constable who played a prominent role in events now being investigated by the MCC.
Here’s what we know about Wiley in relation to the MCC’s work:
• Wiley visited the killer’s house in Portapique 15 or 16 times (the Examiner refers to the killer as GW), mostly in the period between 2007 and 2008, but some years later Wiley ran into GW at the grocery store in Truro, and then, weirdly, one day in 2017 Wiley stopped to relieve himself in the woods and GW drove up on an ATV;
• In 2010, after GW threatened to kill his parents, Halifax police asked Wiley to contact GW and investigate whether GW had any weapons, but Wiley never did so;
• In 2017, Wiley was one of the officers who responded to Susie Butlin’s complaints that she had been sent harassing texts by her next door neighbour, Junior Duggan. Wiley told Butlin there was no criminality involved, and suggested that she simply block Duggan’s number on her phone. She did. There’s no evidence that Wiley attempted to contact Duggan or take any other action related to Butlin’s complaint. Three weeks later, Duggan killed Butlin.
In his April 25, 2020 interview with an RCMP investigator brought in from Ontario and his June 2021 interview with an MCC investigator, Wiley seems forthcoming (he didn’t ask for a lawyer) if, by my read, somewhat overly guileless.
As Wiley told it, on his way back from other calls along the coast, he’d occasionally stop in unannounced to visit GW because he was trying to maintain relationships in the community and GW seemed like someone who would have an understanding of what was happening in the area. The stops would take five minutes, or an hour, depending. GW struck him as polite, in the manner of a private school kid. They’d talk about woodworking and GW’s construction projects — Wiley was impressed with the deck on the back of GW’s cottage, and just shoot the breeze until Wiley had to head on for another call. Wiley never saw any police memorabilia or firearms.
The two or three times he met Lisa Banfield, he sensed no tension between the two; if Wiley had any inkling of abuse, he would’ve been on that “like a fat kid on smarties,” he said.
Wiley’s interactions with GW raise all sorts of questions: Was Wiley aware of a 2002 incident, in which police are said to have responded to a violent encounter between GW and Banfield at Sutherland Lake? Why didn’t Wiley follow up on the 2010 request from Halifax police to investigate whether GW had weapons? Wiley said he was aware of a police bulletin that said GW wanted to kill police, but why didn’t Wiley ask him about it when they came across each other at the grocery store? And does Wiley have any more insight into the murder of Butlin?
These are just some of the areas worth pursuing at the inquiry today. The courts tell juries that they are to judge the truthfulness of witnesses in part on their demeanour, and how they respond to questioning, but unfortunately, the public (which is a sort of jury in the MCC proceedings) won’t be able to see Wiley’s testimony today. That’s because due to an “accommodation request,” Wiley’s testimony will only be available to those who register for a video link beforehand, and his testimony can’t be broadcast by media on the nightly news or the radio.
Accommodation requests are granted as part of the MCC’s “trauma-informed” approach. Stephen Kimber this morning covers many of these issues, concluding that:
That isn’t trauma-informed. It isn’t transparent. And it’s far from accountable.
I have no idea what Wiley’s physical or emotional issues are that preclude the public from seeing him testify, but I suspect that, real or imagined, whatever they are, they pale in comparison to the trauma experienced by Lisa Banfield. At worst, Wiley had some interactions with a man who later killed a bunch of people — Wiley himself was never physically injured, and by his own admission, reflecting upon his interactions with GW, “I do sleep at night.”
Banfield’s injuries during the mass murders — both at the hands of GW and from spending a very cold night in the woods — were so severe that she was hospitalized for five days. She was proximate to the murders of many of her neighbours, and she feared for the lives of her own family members. Her life was upended in ways none can imagine. She’s been unfairly vilified in the media and the community, and will forever be held suspect for the actions of a man. Banfield’s trauma is real, and profound.
And yet… I know people have issues with the limited questioning of Banfield, but that issue aside, Banfield showed her face, testified in public, and agreed to have that testimony live-cast, recorded, and broadcast on the evening news. You can still watch Banfield’s testimony today, here.
I can’t come away from this without respecting Banfield for her bravery, and thinking that by comparison, Wiley is a coward.
2. New poll plugs bigger shift to electric vehicles
This item was written by Jennifer Henderson.
Three out of four Canadians believe vehicle manufacturers have a responsibility to increase the production of zero-emission vehicles (ZEV), and shift away from producing gasoline-powered vehicles, even if it has a negative impact on their profits. Those results are contained in a new national poll of 1,500 Canadians released today.
The survey was conducted by the firm Abacus Data for four environmental groups that include Nova Scotia’s Ecology Action Centre, Equiterre in Quebec, Environmental Defence, and the David Suzuki Foundation. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 2.53%, 19 times out of 20.
“It’s clear that Canadians are ready to buy zero-emission vehicles,” said Nate Wallace, the clean transportation program manager for the group Environmental Defence. “What is standing in their way are vehicle manufacturers who are dragging their feet in ramping up supply of more affordable clean cars. Automakers don’t want to shift towards making ZEVs instead of gas cars at the pace required by a net-zero emission pathway because it means they’ll make slightly less profit.”
A further 58% of Canadians surveyed agree that vehicle manufacturers should face financial penalties if they fail to shift production and meet the government’s emissions reduction plan that would require all new vehicles sold in Canada to be zero-emission by 2035.
The transportation sector — the cars and trucks we drive — is responsible for 24% of Canada’s carbon emissions. Between 1990-2020, GHG emissions grew by 32% with most of the increase coming from freight trucks and pick-up trucks.
The environmental groups that commissioned the July survey say while vehicle manufacturers have a moral responsibility to shift production toward electric vehicles, it’s the federal and provincial governments that have the power to regulate how quickly the transition occurs through the establishment of what’s called Zero Emission Vehicle mandates.
Daniel Breton is the president of a group called Electric Mobility Canada. His description of how these mandates work was first published in the Globe & Mail.
“Introduced last March, Canada’s new 2030 Emission Reduction Plan includes establishing zero-emission vehicle, or ZEV, sales mandates for light-duty passenger vehicles and for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. A ZEV mandate is a regulatory credit program that requires a growing percentage of a manufacturer’s sold vehicles in the regulated market to be electric, and its main objective is to improve availability of electric vehicles for consumers and businesses who wish to acquire them.
Under the ZEV mandate, auto manufacturers will be required to sell a growing number of EVs and plug-in hybrids annually, based on the total number of vehicles they sell in the regulated jurisdiction. The ZEV sales targets are 20 per cent by 2026, 60 per cent by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2035.
For each EV sale, the manufacturer receives a certain number of credits. Surplus compliance credits in a given year can be banked for future use, traded, or sold. A manufacturer who does not comply with the regulation can buy credits from another manufacturer who has surplus credits. Currently, 16 states representing more than a third of the U.S. market and two Canadian provinces (B.C. and Quebec) have adopted a ZEV mandate.”
Unsurprisingly, the majority of the limited supply of zero-emission vehicles currently go to jurisdictions that already have sales requirements in place: British Columbia and Quebec.
Nova Scotia’s Zero-Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) Mandate has yet to be implemented.
And without federal government intervention, environmental groups say the problem of access to electric vehicles will continue. Eighty-four per cent of those who responded to the survey support the development of a national standard for ZEV availability so everyone can have fair and equal access. In Atlantic Canada, where wait times for ZEVs can stretch up to three years, support for national availability standards is even higher at 86%.
“The Government of Canada should move quickly to implement a strong ZEV standard with provisions for supply equity,” says Thomas Arnason McNeil, climate policy coordinator for sustainable transportation at Nova Scotia’s Ecology Action Centre. “The federal government needs to ensure that smaller provinces, including those in the Atlantic region, get our fair share of electric vehicles. Atlantic Canadians want to opt out of spiking gas prices and be certain that we have the same access to sustainable transportation that is afforded to people in larger provinces.”
Federal sales requirements are currently under development and Canada will soon join a list that includes California, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, which have implemented measures to phase out sales of gas-powered vehicles by 2035.
“A strong, federal zero-emission vehicle regulation will help the Canadian car industry better compete in the electrified future that the global market is demanding,” says Tom Green with the David Suzuki Foundation. “ The U.S.’s recent Inflation Reduction Act, for example, will make electric cars widely available to Americans. For the climate and our health, it’s time for regulations that signal the internal combustion engine’s final days are just around the corner.”
3. Nova Scotia Power files for even higher power rates
“Nova Scotia Power is asking for a rate increase for households of 11.6% over three years instead of the 10% it requested in January. The company cites rising fuel costs, higher-than-expected prices for power purchased from other utilities, and the costs of failing to meet greenhouse gas targets,” Jennifer Henderson reported this weekend.
“The forecast fuel and purchased power costs for the 2022-2024 General Rate Application test period have increased by $681.5 million (including Greenhouse Gas compliance costs) over the amounts forecast in the 2022-2024 GRA Application,” states Nova Scotia Power in the updated forecast it filed with the Utility and Review Board (UARB) Friday afternoon.
That amount is approximately one-third more than what the company predicted when it asked the UARB for a rate increase last January.
Nova Scotia Power’s initial rate application in January meant residential consumers were looking at an average 10% increase in power bills over 2022-2024. That was in the range of an extra $5 a month for the average residential ratepayer. That increase was based on a forecast of fuel costs the company did in May 2021.
As Henderson wrote, the fuel cost update filed on Friday included actual costs for the first six months of 2022. Here’s Nova Scotia Power’s explanation for why it wants more money from ratepayers:
Since that time, world-wide inflationary pressures and geopolitical events have caused significant cost increases in services and products, including fuel to operate vehicles and fuel to generate electricity. In addition to these cost pressures, NS Power’s fuel costs are also being driven upward by the costs to comply with the provincial GHG emissions program and the lower than forecast availability of market-priced energy from Muskrat Falls.
4. Province revises carbon-tax alternative proposal
“In the final hours before Ottawa’s Sept. 2 deadline for provinces to submit proposals around the implementation of a rising federal carbon tax, the Houston government has changed the proposal it submitted two weeks ago,” Jennifer Henderson reported Friday.
As the Halifax Examiner reported earlier this week, the federal government rejected Premier Tim Houston’s plan to meet federal requirements without a tax.
The new version still does not include a carbon tax; what it does is ask Ottawa to allow Nova Scotia to establish performance standards or limits on how much carbon large polluters like Nova Scotia Power and LaFarge Cement can emit.
According to Jason Hollett, associate deputy minister of Environment and Climate Change in Nova Scotia, the current federal standards regulate emissions from each power plant based on the fuel type. The proposed provincial standards would regulate Nova Scotia Power’s emissions as a whole or in total, offering the utility more flexibility about how they cut GHG emissions as well as lowering the company’s compliance costs.
An analysis by the province suggests power rates could rise as much as 7% over the next few years if Ottawa does the regulating. Under Nova Scotia’s model, known as an “output-based pricing system,” the government said power rates would rise only 1%.
“Rate impacts for consumers are minimized while leading to similar emissions reductions,” Hollett told reporters at a Friday afternoon briefing.
5. Protestors want ban on glyphosate-based products
“As another season of aerial herbicide spraying begins, citizens of the Annapolis Valley are once again gathering to protest the use of glyphosate-based products on lands surrounding their communities,” Ethan Lycan-Lang reported on Friday.
On a dirt road in Burlington, King’s County Thursday evening, about 50 people, mostly locals, gathered next to a 45-hectare plot of land at the top of the North Mountain to protest planned spraying of forest there. A small faction of that group is setting up camp on the plot, intending to prevent spraying until Freeman and Sons Ltd. – which holds the application under the umbrella of ARF Enterprises, Inc. – or the provincial government says herbicides won’t be used.
Their concern: the carcinogenic dangers of glyphosate to community health, as well as the health of their surrounding forests and wildlife. And they want to see the product and practice banned.
“I find it very disturbing that there’s any thought of spraying in this area, or really any area in the province,” Leo Glavine, the spokesperson for the protestors, told the Halifax Examiner in an interview. “We now can go about selective harvesting. We don’t need to spray so only coniferous trees will go up… and of course, they’ll be clear cut.”
“To come and spray and create a monoculture adds to one of the greatest threats in our province – and nationally and globally – and that is the loss of biodiversity.”
The protestors want glyphosate banned, but the chemical is approved as a herbicide by Health Canada. Montreal has stopped its sale over the counter as a weed killer, though.
6. Pat Stay
Anjuli Patil with CBC spoke with friends of internationally renowned battle rapper Pat Stay, who was killed outside of a club on Lower Water Street early Sunday morning. Stay was just 36.
“He was right on the verge of breaking through,” said Behnny Mennier, a close friend of Stay who knew him since their days at Northbrook Elementary School in Dartmouth. “He’s loved and he’ll always be remembered.”
Mennier described Stay as a “gentle giant” who would go above and beyond to make others feel better.
“He always had time for everybody. He had the kindest words to speak to anybody. If they were upset, he could read their situation and fix it instantly with his drop-of-a-dime humour,” he said.
Stay’s appreciation for hip hop began at an early age through Stay’s older brother, Mennier said.
Verena Rizg, a spoken word artist and friend of Stay’s, spoke to CBC’s Information Morning about Stay.
“You have this battle rapper who, on stage, comes across as this very strong, ferocious-type being … but then in person, anyone who knows him would tell you that he’s a gentle giant,” Rizg said.
“He didn’t want to be seen as too much of a softy, but he would always speak about that, even on his social media about how much he cared about people.”
Another childhood friend of Stay’s, Joey Hawkins, started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Stay’s partner and two children. As of this morning, it’s raised more than $139,000.
Views: Keith Bain wonders ‘what are we coming too [sic]?’
On Saturday Keith Bain, MLA for Victoria-The Lakes, shared this Facebook post:
Oh boy. The comments, as you can imagine, are all of the same complaints we’ve been hearing for eons: no one wants to work anymore, kids these days, people are lazy, everyone is on welfare or the CERB, and more. Here’s the first comment from Thomas Bethell:
Nova Scotia minimum wage is to low not worth it to go work there when welfare is so easy to get.
George Rahey had this to offer:
People are lazy pure and simple!
When Terri Shobbrook asked Rahey if he could survive on minimum wage, Rahey responded with this:
I’ve done it on $7.82 per hour raised a family. I wasn’t LAZY! Besides go to school get a degree earn more and get off the backs of taxpayers! Work for what need you aren’t owed a living earn it.
I bet Rahey walked several miles to school in 10 feet of snow, too.
Could you do all that today on min wage with high rent, fuel and food costs? I don’t think folks are lazy at all. I think many are tired of the stress of trying to make ends meet. How cruel and presumptive of you.
It’s those darn lazy kids, Astelle Stubbert said, but her grandchildren know better:
Well, my son Troy has his own business and trying to hire but the kids today just are not reliable. He said if they don’t feel like working today they just call in to tell him they don’t want to work today although his are all hard workers that’s the way him and his wife brought them up.
A supporter of Cape Breton autonomy shared this:
Our Island is full of international students and immigrants. They are willing to work for minimum wage — which compromises ‘heat or eat’ in Cape Breton, it also rises the price of rent to being far out of reach for lower income earners and their families. I respect the students and the immigrants – many come from a culture where everybody works together and lives together and that’s how bills get paid. Our culture is not 100% that way in Cape Breton, I figured I’d start off with that point.
On top of that we have a housing crisis, a 30% child poverty rate, food insecurity, food price increases, a mental health crisis, a health system that will not rehire unvaccinated staff, gas prices that are still exorbitant and we’re paying a crazy carbon tax
The next tax will be a tax on ‘smiling’ (the Liberal’s way).
Maybe the government should stop spending in areas that don’t need spending, put a cap on taxes, a cap on rent, and back businesses with some incentives in their hiring processes. Waiting years to have more housing built does not fix the problem of housing insecurity or homelessness right now. It’s not even a Band-Aid – it’s a shove it in the drawer and forget about it till later. ( The PC way).
There is not one single politician who wants to address the idea of Cape Breton Island autonomy. We should be getting our full federal transfer money, not Halifax. Cape Breton has what they have because they’re willing to put up with it. As long as Caper’s do that, we’ll get what we’ve always got.
Fix the problem, cut the snake off the head, and separate.
Oh my god Keith you can’t go out to dinner in the Valley on Mondays because most restaurants are closed. Tim Hortons in Greenwood was closed 3 days last week because no staff. I been looking for employees for going on a year. Government is paying to good to stay home I guess.
Most Restaurants are not closed Monday! Can you imagine rolling into McDonald’s only to find it closed and Tim Hortons. I am sure in very rural Nova Scotia that might be the case. Not in my life time have I needed to call ahead to restaurants to find out if I can eat. I eat out every day. There is also more than social assistance available for people whom don’t want to work. I appreciate your view however it’s not that way. There is a extreme work force shortage.
The comments did include supporters of a living wage, including Donna M:
Pay more!Share the profitsHave a living wage
Lawrence Barron had some good insight:
Keith, part of the problem is the fact that some employers will only offer PART time work to employees so that they won’t have to pay benefits like they would have to do if someone worked full time. Many hospitals, restaurants, homes for special care only want part-time workers. Even the NSLC will only hire part-time workers to avoid paying people benefits. Maybe the Provincial Legislature could CLOSE this loop hole so that employers have to pay benefits to part time workers and God forbid offer them a full-time job.
Bain responded to Barron with this:
Will suggest, Lawrence, but in this case someone mentioned (true or not) that some just want the long weekend off…
What is wrong with wanting the weekend off? Are there only certain workers who deserve a weekend off?
Joyce Ellsworth had this to say:
It’s sad, we went to Tim Hortons on the way home from Brian Adams last night and they were closed, it’s terrible.
I know it cuts like a knife, Joyce, but is it really that terrible you couldn’t get your double-double after seeing Bryan Adams in concert?
Bain replied with:
I know that the Park Road Tim’s started closing at midnight.
I wouldn’t work at midnight for minimum wage either (and I have worked for minimum wage).
Ariel Patricia Dixon offered this:
I was told the Tim Hortons in Baddeck is closing for two days next week because they have no workers. Scary times. Minimum wage has to increase and we need more housing with AFFORDABLE pricing! Baddeck lost a few good restaurants this year due to staff shortage and people are usually fighting over those jobs for the good tips! Something has to change, we are headed down a very scary path. I am afraid for my children.
Now, I have to write a history of “what are we coming to.”
Editor’s note: We cleaned up the tweets to make them legible, but we’re not responsible for other people’s typos and misspellings. Sorry about that.
In January, I wrote this Morning File about what marketing, advertising, and social media get wrong about women’s lives. The Women of Twitter helped me gather all sorts of ads and posts about what advertisers think about women and their lives, including that we love everything in pink, smile when we eat salads, and disappear and become irrelevant as we get older.
Well, advertising never disappoints. Last night, Terri Gerstein, a workers’ rights lawyer in New York, shared this post she said kept popping up on her Facebook feed. It’s a walking challenge for women over the age of 45, breaking down the walking routines for age groups. Gerstein asked, “Is this what they think women over 45 look like?”
At first I thought a young marketer under the age of 30 created this because anyone over 45 is invisible to them and they think we all look like Sophia Petrillo from the Golden Girls. And why does the woman in the 45-50 category look the oldest of all of them? There’s a fun typo in the text, too, that says, “ease into your walkink program …” I guess that’s why she needs the cane at the age of 45?
Perhaps the only accurate part of this is the cat.
I love the bit of text that says, “assess whether you feel good enough to progress to the next week.” What happens if you don’t feel good enough to progress to the next week? What clothes do they put on you then? Or is that just the end for you?
This is my age group. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with this look, but I know no woman in my age range who dresses like this. I guess I have to stop shopping in the junior section at Winners. Also, this outfit is not appropriate for walking.
It looks like the ad was created with these graphics from Shutterstock. Here’s the description of the drawings:
Senior confident Ladies. Different clothing and accessories. Old and mature women standing in trendy clothes. Modern fashion look. Hand drawn Vector illustration. Cartoon style. Every lady is isolated.
Modern fashion? Trendy clothes? Really?
And every lady isolated. That one hit hard.
Then someone shared this post, another workout challenge, but this time for men. Again, the graphic includes separate sections with a drawing and a routine for each particular age group. Can you see the difference?
Apparently men are ripped, until the age of 65 when they FINALLY get to wear a shirt. I guess the shirt is a retirement gift for being jacked for so many decades. At least men get another 20 years before they have to cover up!
Also, I don’t know any men over the age of 40 who look like this.
Sexism is alive and well in advertising.
Board of Police Commissioners (Wednesday, 12:30pm, online) — agenda
Community Services (Tuesday, 10am, One Government Place) — Progress Update on Phasing out Adult Residential Centre and Regional Rehabilitation Centre Facilities and Agenda Setting, with representatives from Dept. of Community Services, Disability Rights Coalition, and Community Actions Home Group
Public Accounts (Wednesday, 9am, Province House) — Grant Programs – May 29, 2018 Report of the Auditor General, Chapter 1 (2022 Report of the AG-Follow-up of 2017, 2018 and 2019 Performance Audit Recommendations), with representatives from Departments of Communities, Culture and Heritage, Finance and Treasury board, and Natural Resources and Renewables
In the harbour
04:30: CMA CGM Marco Polo, container ship (176,546 tonnes), arrives at Pier 41 from Colombo, Sri Lanka
06:00: MOL Maestro, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Norfolk, Virginia
10:00: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, arrives at Pier 36 from St. John’s
11:30: Seaborne Quest, cruise ship with up to 540 passengers, sails from Pier 23 for Bar Harbor, on a 30-day cruise from Dover, England to New York
18:00: Federal Rideau, bulker, sails from anchorage for sea
22:00: MOL Maestro sails for Dubai
07:30: Caribbean Princess, cruise ship with up to 3,756 passengers, arrives at Sydney Marine Terminal from Halifax, on a 10-day cruise from New York to Quebec City
15:00: Sarah Desgagnes, oil tanker, sails from Liberty Pier (Sydney) for sea
17:30: Caribbean Princess sails for Charlottetown
I found a red leaf in my driveway.