1. Beatrice Hunter
“Police have taken an Inuk woman into custody in Happy Valley-Goose Bay after she refused to promise a Supreme Court of N.L. judge she would stay away from the Muskrat Falls construction site in Central Labrador,” reports Justin Brake for the Newfoundland and Labrador Independent:
Beatrice Hunter, a mother, grandmother and land protector from Hopedale now living in Goose Bay, went before Supreme Court Justice George Murphy on Monday after allegedly defying a recognizance in protest on May 22 after promising not to be within one kilometre of the Muskrat Falls site.
Hunter was then put on a plane and taken a thousand kilometres away and placed in a maximum security prison for men:
Hunter said she spent one night in the Supreme Court of N.L. lock-up downtown St. John’s before being transferred to Her Majesty’s Penitentiary (HMP), a maximum security men’s prison, on Thursday.
“My first thought was, ‘Even the Queen wants to keep her greedy claws on Labrador,’ she read from her statement. “The female inmates here, like others I’ve met on this crazy journey I’ve chosen, have been very kind and compassionate, unlike the cold-hearted Judge Murphy and Nalcor.”
Hunter “will remain in custody until a subsequent hearing on June 9, or unless she concedes in the interim to stay away from Muskrat Falls,” reports Brake.
2. Examineradio, episode #114
Nova Scotia had an election, eh? The end result is the Liberals have a few fewer seats, the PCs and NDP have a few more, and Gary Burrill no longer has to holler questions from the press gallery.
One striking upset was the defeat of cabinet minister Joanne Bernard at the hands of NDP newcomer Susan Leblanc. We speak to her about the campaign, her Dartmouth North district, and her hopes for the next legislative session.
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Those mugs, incidentally, are becoming collectors’ items. I give them to Examineradio guests as a thank you for trudging to the studio, but otherwise they’re not available. There is some sort of ceramic shortage (or maybe it’s glazing, I forget), and the cost of mugs has skyrocketed, so I’m holding off on reordering until the Ceramic Cartel is brought to its knees.
3. Wade Smith
Wade Smith, the principal of Citadel High School, died Friday night. He had been diagnosed with cancer just a few months ago; he was 50 years old.
Smith evidently made a huge impact on those he touched, and many moving remembrances have been written. Here’s Maggie Rahr’s.
4. Lionel Desmond
“Nova Scotia’s medical examiner has ruled out conducting a fatality inquiry into a horrific murder suicide involving a former Canadian soldier who killed his wife, mother and young daughter before killing himself in the family’s rural home earlier this year,” reports Michael MacDonald for the Canadian Press:
Lionel Desmond, a 33-year-old veteran of the war in Afghanistan who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, took his own life after shooting his 52-year-old mother, his wife Shanna, 31, and their 10-year-daughter Aaliyah.
The killings on Jan. 3 in Upper Tracadie, N.S., prompted a difficult debate over soldiers with PTSD, domestic violence and what should be done to prevent such tragedies.
Autopsy records have since been handed to the family’s nearest relatives, but medical examiner Dr. Matt Bowes has decided not to conduct an investigation under the province’s Fatality Investigations Act, spokesperson Sarah Gillis said in an emailed statement. She did not offer reasons for the decision.
5. Bullshitter of the day: Janet Knox
I’m outsourcing this item to Mary Campbell:
I ran across this gem of bureaucrat-ese in a Nova Scotia Health Authority briefing note to CEO Janet Knox:
The Glace Bay Dominion Reserve Mines community cluster has a population of 21,782 with material and psychosocial deprivation scores in the 3-5 range for the most populated areas. According to the 2016 Small Area Variation in Rates of High-Cost Healthcare Use Across Nova Scotia Report, this cluster contributes to high cost use based on disease patterns.
It sent me running (screaming) to my copy of Death Sentences: How Clichés, Weasel Words, and Management-Speak are Strangling Public Language by Australian writer Don Watson. I read it in 2005 (it had been published in Australia two years earlier) and it made a deep impression upon me.
As the reviewer for The Age put it when it was first published:
The book charts how “managerial language” has infiltrated the English of politics, business, bureaucracy, education and the arts. The book is about the rise of core strategies and key performance indicators, and the death of clarity and irony and funny old things called verbs. It is about a new language that Watson calls sludge and clag and gruel.
Watson would surely wince at the use of “community clusters” and “disease patterns” and “material deprivation” for “towns” and “sickness” and “poverty.” And as always, when you put the jargon next to the English, you wonder why anyone trying to communicate a message would ever use jargon. And then you realize, as Watson makes clear, that managerial English is about many things — sounding important, sounding like you know what you’re talking about, obfuscation — but it’s not about communication.
I see that Campbell and I scour the same public documents — she beat me to the draft Off-Highway Vehicle report, too. This is how I start my day: provincial and federal tender offers, joint stock company registries, orders in council, freedom of information requests, UARB filings, security filings, the gazillion google news searches I’ve saved… It’s kind of weird thinking there’s another reporter looking at the same stuff.
But anyway, Campbell’s Cape Breton Spectator is indispensable reading for news junkies.
“A quick swerve to avoid a deer was all it took for a tractor trailer to spill hundreds of live lobster onto Highway 103 in Nova Scotia, said the RCMP,” reports David Burke for the CBC:
“It was amazing how many lobster there were, there were parts that were just carpeted down through the ditch, and I would have got there a good 12 hours after it happened,” said Vicki Grant, who owns a cottage in nearby Port Joli.
She was driving by the scene and stopped to find out what happened.
Grant said people were in the ditch with garbage bags filling them up with lobster.
“Some people had their kids further off in the ditch kind of scrambling around trying to get the good ones. It was quite a scene. The lobster looked, I mean they were good, fat, previously healthy looking lobster.”
The truck driver was taken to hospital but apparently suffered no major injuries.
1. Four more years… What might have been
“Just as Stephen McNeil walked on to the stage to acknowledge his new minority government reality,” writes Stephen Kimber, “CBC news announcer Sandy Smith cut in. There’d been yet another change in the party standings, he said, and Stephen McNeil’s Liberals were now in ‘majority territory.’”
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No public meetings.
Appeals Standing Committee (Tuesday, 10am, city Hall) — this is a special meeting called so the Halifax Regional Police Department can explain what victim services it provides when taxi drivers denied permits appeal to the committee.
No public meetings.
Research Data Management (Monday, 1:30pm, Room C266, CHEB) — Chuck Humphrey, director of the Portage Network, will speak. RSVP to attend in person or remotely: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Human-microbe Interactions in Drug Discovery (Monday, 3pm, Room 3-H1, Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building) — James R. Brown of GlaxoSmithKline will speak. That might mean free pizza and drinks and trips to golf courses and such, but probably not.
Contentment with Imperfection (Monday, 7pm, Halifax Central Library) — Cheshire Calhoun of Arizona State University will speak.
Thesis Defence, Engineering, Mathematics, and Internetworking (Tuesday 10am, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building) — PhD candidate Yue “Edward” Yao will defend his thesis, “Asymptotic Multiple-Scales Analysis of Hydraulic Transients in Elastic and Viscoelastic Pressure Conduits.”
In the harbour
1am: Sea Halcyone, oil tanker, arrives at Imperial Oil from Amsterdam
6am: Hollandia, general cargo, arrives at Pier 31 from Mariel, Cuba
6:45am: YM Evolution, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for Bremerhaven, Germany
7am: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, arrives at Pier 9 from Saint-Pierre
8am: Maasdam, cruise ship with up to 1,510 passengers, arrives at Pier 22 from Bar Harbor
10:30am: NYK Artemis, container ship, arrives at anchorage from Colombo, Sri Lanka
11am: Atlantic Star, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Liverpool, England
5:45pm: Maasdam, cruise ship, sails from Pier 22 for Sydney
Midnight: Atlantic Star, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for sea
We spent a lot of money covering the provincial election. That was a necessary expense, and I’m proud of our work, but it did deplete the bank account more than I’m comfortable with. This is no crisis — I’d say if it were — but if you’ve been holding off subscribing, this would be a good time to do so. Mostly I’d like to keep up the fast pace of reporting we’ve maintained for the past few months. Click here to purchase a subscription.