November subscription drive
This is the worst-managed subscription drive ever: I forgot to even mention it yesterday. That’s partly because I’m a bit busier than normal this week as I’m reporting on a couple of issues that require a lot of time, but the results of that reporting probably won’t be seen for weeks or months.
That’s the nature of this publication: besides the usual day-to-day stuff (which costs money to produce too), we’ll spend weeks or months on a project that might result in one article. Hopefully it’s a good article, one that reveals new information and brings a deeper understanding to how our community works. But it’s one article. That’s why advertising or schemes like micro-payments can’t provide the income necessary to do this work. It takes committed, long-term subscription revenue.
Judging by how other publications do subscription drives, I’m supposed to now beat you over the head with guilt-inducing diatribes about you freeloaders letting other people pay your way and such. But I’d rather simply give incentives: Everyone who buys a new subscription this month at the $100 annual level or greater will receive a free Halifax Examiner T-shirt. Why, here’s Hilary Beaumont sporting one stylishly:
So, if you want to be one of the good-looking stylish people, just click here, drop us the dough, and Office Manager Extraordinaire Iris will set you up.
If you already have a subscription and just want to buy the shirt, drop Iris (not me!!!!!) a line at iris “at” halifaxexaminer.ca, and she’ll set you up.
1. Halifax cops charged in Corey Rogers death
The Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT) announced yesterday that it has charged Halifax police officers Dan Fraser and Cheryl Gardner for the death of Corey Rogers:
On June 15, 2016, shortly after 10:30 p.m., Halifax Regional Police (HRP) attended the IWK hospital in response to a 911 call from hospital security about an unwanted male. They found Corey Rogers outside of the hospital at the University Avenue entrance and arrested him under the provisions of the Liquor Control Act for being intoxicated in a public place. Rogers was taken to HRP headquarters and lodged in cells around 11 p.m. At approximately 1:45 a.m., HRP officers found Rogers unresponsive in his cell. EHS was called and attended the scene. Corey Rogers was pronounced deceased at 1:53 a.m. on June 16, 2016.
In accordance with the requirements of the Police Act, shortly after Corey Rogers died, the Halifax Regional Police referred the matter to SiRT, which immediately assumed responsibility for the investigation. The investigation was completed on October 30, 2017.
During the investigation SiRT interviewed six civilian witnesses and reviewed police notes and reports. SiRT obtained and reviewed relevant video, HRP files and policies, and cell block photos. SiRT also acquired 911 and police radio transmissions.
The arrest and placing of Corey Rogers in cells creates a “duty” on the booking officers of HRP to evaluate his medical condition prior to being placed in police cells and to be adequately observed while in cells for the purpose of maintaining his personal safety and well being. Corey Rogers, like any person placed in police cells following an arrest, inherits this “duty” regardless of his state of sobriety.
On November 7, a charge of criminal negligence causing death will be laid against Special Constable Dan Fraser and Special Constable Cheryl Gardner.
This investigation has led to the conclusion that there are sufficient grounds to lay the charge of criminal negligence causing death against the two special constables. However, as this matter is currently before the courts, in accordance with SiRT policy this report will not discuss the facts of that matter in any further detail. To do otherwise might compromise the fair trial interests of the accused.
Former Daily News editor Bill Turpin has been bird-dogging Rogers’ death and the official non-response to it for over a year. In July, Rogers was finally named publicly, when the Public Prosecution Service announced it has a conflict of interest in the case. I wrote then:
This is the first time any government agency has named Rogers. That’s right: a man died in a police jail cell, and it took over a year before he was publicly identified. This should worry all of us.
According to an online obituary for Rogers, “he was a cook at several restaurants in Halifax, was an avid reader and enjoyed playing chess.”
What is the “conflict of interest” mentioned in the release? We’re left guessing, but Bill Turpin has a pretty good hypothesis:
[T]he Serious Incident Response Team, which investigates possible misdeeds in the policing world, and the Public Prosecution Service, which prosecutes when SiRT brings charges against someone, don’t get along.
And they don’t get along, the theory goes, because of the “Officer 1” case. In January 2016, SiRT charged Officer 1 with stealing “cut”, a substance used for diluting illegal drugs, from the HRP evidence room. The PPS, aka “the Crown”, failed to act until it was too late to go ahead with the prosecution, so Officer 1 got to walk away from it all.
SiRT gets the last word in these situations, so its director, Ron J. MacDonald, wrote a masterpiece in the art of flaying another organization while being studiously neutral.
Here is MacDonald’s conclusion:
This investigation led to the conclusion that there were sufficient grounds to lay charges of theft, breach of trust, and obstruction of justice. As a result, charges were laid on January 27, 2016, and SiRT’s file was provided to the Crown on March 15, 2016. Subsequently, the Crown entered a stay of proceedings on May 30, 2016. On January 27, 2017, SiRT was informed by the Public Prosecution Service that due to issues related to delays in the prosecution of the charges, that the charges would not be re-instituted.
As a result, Officer 1 is deemed never to have been charged with any criminal offence.
You can find more on this here and MacDonald’s concise report here.
At best, we have here a conflict between two public agencies with different mandates over two unrelated policing issues. Worse, is the possibility the two organizations are engaged in a peeing match. Worst, is the possibility that SiRT believes the PPS is protecting bad cops.
“Officer 1” was Gary Basso.
If Turpin is right, and I think he is, then the “conflict” in the Corey Rogers case is unsettling.
Every day, in criminal trials in courthouses across Nova Scotia, cops take the stand to testify in cases being prosecuted by the Public Prosecution Service. A degree of cooperation between cops and the crown is necessary to get convictions.
But when the crown admits it is in a position of conflict when potentially prosecuting cops, what is it really saying? Are we to understand that the crown fears cops won’t cooperate in a prosecution if one of their own is being charged criminally in an unrelated matter? If so, how far does this implicit quid pro quo relationship go? Is the crown aware that cops are lying on the stand but turning a blind eye to it?
It feels like there’s much more to this story and we’re only seeing the very tip of it.
2. Traffic calming
“Traffic diversion and calming could put an end to vehicle ‘shortcuts,’ and create safer streets for bikes and pedestrians,” writes Examiner transportation columnist Erica Butler.
Click here to read “Local street bikeways get real.”
This article is behind the Examiner’s paywall. Click here to subscribe.
3. Donkin Mine
“During a meeting at the Donkin mine Tuesday morning, 49 of 130 employees were informed they are losing their jobs,” reports Michael Gorman for the CBC:
The layoffs are effective immediately and they are permanent.
Shannon Campbell, vice-president of the mine, which is operated by Kameron Coal Management Limited, said a “critical change” was required to make the operation more economically viable.
“Right now Donkin mine is in an economically untenable situation,” Campbell said in an interview.
Who could’ve guessed that coal mining wouldn’t be economically tenable in the 21st century?
4. Airport sues Air Canada for Flight 624 crash
On Monday, the Halifax International Airport Authority filed a lawsuit against Air Canada for crashing an airplane on their property.
“In particular,” states the suit, “HIAA states that the crash of flight AC 624 at the Airport on March 29, 2015 was caused by negligence of the flight crew (for which Air Canada is vicariously liable, according to the doctrine of respondeat superior) and otherwise by Air Canada…”
The airport is seeking compensation for the following losses:
• overtime salary costs, security costs, translation costs, and hotel and meal costs associated with and incurred by necessary response to the immediate aftermath of the crash; and
• costs to clear, remediate and repair the crash site and surrounding areas, including all resulting infrastructure costs, at the Airport.
The airport also wants interest and court costs.
The airport is represented by Scott Campbell of Stewart McKelvey. Air Canada has not yet filed a statement of defence, and the allegations in the suit have not been tested in court.
5. Sable decomissioning
I was making my way across the harbour on the Woodside ferry yesterday and passed a gigantic oil drilling rig. The Chronicle Herald explains:
It’s the beginning of the end for the Sable project.
The jack-up drilling rig, Noble Regina Allen, was quietly carried into Halifax harbour on Tuesday on the back of the heavy-load vessel Forte.
The rig will soon be taken out to the Sable offshore project to start the decommissioning work on the natural gas project.
The Sable project is now considered mature and the decommissioning will begin shortly.
Local Street Bikeway Public Engagement Session (Wednesday, 12 pm and 6pm, St. Andrew’s United Church, 6036 Coburg Road, Halifax) — the public will be asked about the Vernon-Seymour and Allan-Oak corridors. Your opinions may or may not be considered; we’ll see.
Regional Watersheds Advisory Board (Wednesday, 5pm, Alderney Public Library) — the board will discuss beach monitoring.
Public Information Meeting – Case 21169 (Thursday, 7pm, Bedford-Hammond Plains Community Centre) — a car wash in Bedford.
Public Accounts (Wednesday, 9am, Province House) — Auditor General Michael Pickup will be asked about his November report.
No public meetings.
Augmented Reality Workshop (Wednesday, 2pm, Dalhousie Art Gallery) — NiS+TS members and collaborators from the Graphics and Experiential Media Lab at Dalhousie will present their project about the debris field of the Halifax Explosion. From the event listing:
In this workshop, the artists, designers, and computer scientists who have worked with NiS+TS on the augmented reality project, The Psychogeographers Table, will provide information and insights into the creation of this experiential work about the debris field of the Halifax Explosion. This innovative project began in 2015 with the concept of a 3D contour (or topographic) map of the areas of Halifax and Dartmouth most affected by the Explosion. The body of the table was designed and created by Dalhousie University Architecture students who worked with NiS+TS in a Freelab course in the summer of 2016. Students and faculty from the Dalhousie Faculty of Computer Science collaborated on the Hololens and other projection components. This workshop provides interested gallery-goers with an in-depth session about this project.
Killer Cells (Wednesday, 4pm, Theatre A, Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building) — Andrew Makrigiannis will speak on “Class I MHC Receptors are Required for Immunological Memory Mediated by Natural Killer Cells.”
Lessons Learned from Computing in Industry (Thursday, 11:30am, Room 127, Goldberg Computer Science Building) — Dave Kasik, who was Boeing’s Senior Technical Fellow in visualization and interactive techniques until he retired in 2016, will speak.
Café Scientifique (Thursday, 6:30pm, Room C170, Collaborative Health and Education Building) — a discussion of factors that promote mental and emotional health. From the event listing:
Genetic testing can reveal a person’s unique risks for various illnesses, as well as the most effective treatments. Is there a safe and ethical way to move from a “one size fits all” approach to the treatment of mental illness? How will we know if there is, or soon will be, a drug or treatment or tailored combination of the two that will work better for you than it would for someone else? Please join our experts for an open and informal public discussion of factors that promote mental and emotional health.
Unrest (Thursday, 6:30pm, in the auditorium named after a bank, Marion McCain Building) — a screening of the documentary about Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, followed by a discussion.
Mini Medical School (Thursday, 7pm, Theatre C, Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building) — Shannon MacPhee will speak on “Pediatric Emergency,” followed at 8:15pm by Kirk Magee with “Low Back Pain in the Emergency Department — Really?”
Remembering Turtle Grove/Across the Narrows (Thursday, 7pm, Alderney Gate Public Library) — a panel discussion about Turtle Grove and other Indigenous communities in HRM, with Mi’kmaw film-maker and cultural historian Catherine Anne Martin and NiS+TS members Barbara Lounder and Mary Elizabeth Luka.
Thesis defence, Applied Science (Wednesday, 2pm, Room 401 in the building named after a grocery store) — Afnan Alobeid will defend his thesis “Molecular Phylogeny of Elymus Alaskanus Complex.”
A Ham-Like Substitute (Wednesday, 7pm, McNally Theatre) SMU Drama Society presents this locally-written parody of “Hamlet.” Tickets: $5 and $8.
The Northern Ireland Peace Process (Thursday, 4pm, McNally Theatre Auditorium) — General John de Chastelain, the former Chairman of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning in Northern Ireland, will speak.
Governing the Coastal Commons: Communities, Resilience and Transformation (Thursday, 2pm, Patrick Power Library) — Tony Charles will talk about his book.
In the harbour
6am: ZIM Qingdao, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Algeciras, Spain
8am: Forte, heavy load carrier, moves from anchorage to discharge station
11:30am: Siem Cicero, car carrier, sails from Autoport for sea
3:30pm: NYK Terra, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Norfolk
4:30pm: ZIM Qingdao, container ship, sails from Pier 42 for New York
I’ll be on the Sheldon MacLeod Show, News 95.7, at 2pm.
“Halifax cops acquitted in Corey Rogers death” — future headline
So who will prosecute these two officers, if the Public Prosecution Service has already declared a conflict of interest?
I read the Examiner and the Spectator regularly and this comment has nothing to do with today’s stories/reports/accounts. Rather, this comment is a response to this morning’s interview of Dr. John Ross by Information Morning host Don Connolly. In that interview Dr.Ross talked about a lengthy meeting he and some other medical professionals had had with former Health Minister Glavine; I believe he said that this meeting lasted about ninety minutes. But it was what Dr. Ross said about the follow-up to the meeting that caused me to grind my teeth. He said that there was no follow-up from the minister -“…a major follow-up problem.”
Over a year ago, a health care forum was held at the Kinsmen Center in New Glasgow. Some of the excellent ideas on how to address the doctor shortage in Nova Scotia, mentioned by Dr. Ross this morning, were mentioned at that meeting in New Glasgow. Several MLA’s were present that day, including two from Cape Breton, and nothing came of it; there was no response from the Minister to concerns expressed and the suggestions made by presenters on that day. This has to change.
No wonder health care professionals are frustrated; no wonder 1 in ten Nova Scotians are concerned about their lack of a family physician. They do not see the needed leadership nor any action on the part of the previous or current Health Minister, and there is no FOLLOW UP from all of this ‘stakeholder input’- aren’t you sick of hearing ‘stakeholder input’ being mouthed every time a person in a position of power is confronted with an issue?
Dr. John Ross is clearly passionate about health care ,and it seems to me that the passion is draining from people who have gone time and again to minister after minister, and there is no follow-up on the heels of these meetings. People have attended forums to offer their input, and what has been the action taken by government?
There is a point at which people will call a serious issue a crisis; we are there in NS with health care. A crisis calls for action and results; there is no more patience with inaction and even less patience with no damn follow-up to input offered! The provincial government has had all the stakeholder input that it needs to get things done; what are they waiting for?
This illuminating quote from the September, 2012 report by former New Brunswick Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eilish Cleary ( a report with her recommendations concerning shale gas development in N. B.) is resonant: “When people don’t understand an issue, or feel their values are being compromised, this has an adverse bearing on their health and well being.” The values of Nova Scotians are being compromised by the inaction of government, and , yes, this is likely having an adverse effect on their health. Simply put, people are sick of inaction and bromides like the talk of even more stakeholder input.
I was street checked last Thursday.
It seems to be that a lot of people would be pleased to find under their Christmas tree a Halifax Examiner t-shirt and a card telling them they have a gift subscription. Just saying.
The cove in the upper part of that photo of Donkin Mine is called I think Schooner Cove, and is a great place to find fossils of that extinct horsetail fern that grew to the size of a tree. Calamites I think they were called. The cliffs are full of them, sometimes entire trunks.