1. White supremacist
“On Saturday, Paul Fromm, an avowed white supremacist, attended and spoke at a public rally in Toronto in support of the so-called Halifax Five,” reports Russell Gragg for the Halifax Examiner:
The Halifax Five are the Canadian soldiers who disrupted an Indigenous ceremony in Halifax’s Cornwallis Park on Canada Day.
Fromm is arguably Canada’s most-prolific white supremacist. He has been linked to former Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard David Duke and for a time hosted a radio show on the Stormfront website. He is the founder of the Canadian Association for Free Expression.
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2. Lyle Howe
“A disciplinary panel of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society has found Halifax defence lawyer Lyle Howe guilty of professional misconduct and professional incompetence,” report Blair Rhodes and Emma Davie for the CBC:
It’s unclear what penalty he will face as a result of the panel’s findings. The most serious penalty would be disbarment.
“I don’t know what [the society’s] position is, I don’t know if my position is that I want to stay here. Frankly, me and my family are miserable here,” Howe said, referencing his wife, Laura McCarthy, who is also a lawyer.
“Even if they give me my licence, I don’t think that means me and her are going to stay here. And I think it’s sad because my wife is a talented lawyer. She’s one of the only black, private, defence attorneys in Halifax and a lot of us are driven away.
3. Drone hunting
“The president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Anglers and Hunters says some people are taking the hunt out of hunting with the use of drones and he wants legislation to keep them grounded,” reports Kevin Bissett for the Canadian Press:
Ian Avery says his group adopted a policy against using drones for hunting three years ago, but hasn’t been able to convince the province to update its legislation.
“It’s very easy to park a drone 150 feet up above a deer path or moose corridor and just watch for the animal and once you see then you can move in or you can guide people in with radios to that spot,” Avery said.
He said some hunters are using other forms of technology, such as remote game cameras, to track the movement of deer and moose.
“It takes the hunt out of hunting and we’re suggesting, put the technology away, go learn how to hunt, and enjoy your day in the woods,” Avery said.
4. Lockdown at Springhill
Correctional Service Canada issued this release yesterday:
On July 17, 2017 at 12:58 p.m. a lockdown was put in place at Springhill Institution, a medium-security federal institution, due to an ongoing inmate disturbance.
A number of inmates have refused to return to their cells. One inmate has been injured and transported to an outside hospital. His next-of-kin has been contacted. Measures are being put in place to ensure the safety of staff, inmates and the institution.
The safety and security of the public, our employees and inmates remain CSC’s top priority as we work to resolve this disturbance. Normal operations will resume as soon as it is considered safe to do so. Visitors who have already planned a visit are asked to contact the institution directly.
More information will be provided as soon as it becomes available.
5. Nonosbawsut and Demasduit
“A Mi’kmaw chief in Newfoundland and Labrador is leading an effort to bring home the skulls of two Beothuk individuals currently being stored at a Scottish museum,” reports Maureen Googoo:
Mi’sel Joe, chief of Miawpukek First Nation, N.L., has been lobbying the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh since 2014 to have the Beothuk remains returned to Newfoundland and Labrador.
The skulls are believed to be of Beothuk leader Nonosbawsut and his wife, Demasduit.
In 1819, Nonosbawsut was shot and killed by John Peyton Jr., who had captured Demasduit during an expedition he led to Red Indian Lake. Demasduit lived with Peyton Jr. in Exploits and St. John’s until she died of tuberculosis in 1820. She was eventually buried alongside Nonosbawsut and their infant son.
In 1828, Scottish-Canadian explorer William Cormack removed the skulls of Nonosbawsut and Demasduit from the gravesite and sent them to the Royal Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.
6. Because we’re 12
“Jamie Ellison’s botanical tour of northern Newfoundland provided a whole different kind of nature lesson when he looked out to a local bay and saw an iceberg with a distinctly masculine flourish,” reports Global:
The Nova Scotia-based horticulture instructor and 10 tour companions stood slack-jawed on the shoreline in Griquet as they took in the impressive ice formation and its clear phallic protuberance.
Far more interesting are the wildlife photos Ellison posts on his Facebook page.
1. Drop-off loop
“The proposed design for the new LeMarchant St Thomas Elementary School, in South-End Halifax, sacrifices the safety of kids arriving on foot for the convenience of kids arriving by car,” writes Tristan Cleveland for Metro:
The problem is a proposed drop-off loop. To let kids out, parents will have to drive over the sidewalk at the exact time of day children will be walking on it. That means dozens of rushed, distracted parents, trying to get to work, operating 4,000-pound vehicles, versus kids five to 12 years old.
To use a drop-off loop would be especially bizarre considering similar designs are already causing problems at other nearby schools. C.P. Allen High recently barricaded an entrance to their parking lot so people would stop treating it like a drop-off loop. Clayton Park’s Park West posted a long message to parents about the trouble they’ve been having with their loop: “Some parent drivers still choose to ignore guidelines (including traffic signs and speed limits) which have been implemented to protect their children.”
City Council (Tuesday, 10am, City Hall) — it’s an all-day meeting with lots of mundane stuff. Of note, however, is a staff recommendation that council not contribute to the operation of the “road train.”
The link to the staff report was broken yesterday morning, but it has since been repaired, so I’ll comment more below.
The train primarily benefits one business — Murphy’s, which is owned by Dennis Campbell, who also owns Ambassatours, the bus company. As Jennifer Henderson reported for the Examiner in May (paywall):
A proposal before city council’s Grants Committee requests $50,000 for this season and about $70,000 over the next two years to operate an open-air “road train” to carry visitors from the Seaport Market and Discovery Centre at one end of Lower Water Street, past Murphy’s, to the Armour Group’s Historic Properties at the other end. The free ride would follow a route similar to the FRED bus before it was discontinued.
Campbell has already acquired the road train (“not a cheap undertaking,” he says) and is asking both municipal and provincial taxpayers to cover a large portion of its lease payments. The Waterfront Development Corporation is also currently reviewing a request to kick in some operating money. A non-profit group called the Halifax Community Road Train Society would operate the daily service.
Directors of the Road Train Society are Campbell; Mary Dempster, who is the Chief Operating Officer at Ambassatours; and Sean Buckland, the Director of Sales & Logistics at Ambassatours. Campbell is the group’s president, while Dempster serves as secretary. There are no directors or executives of the non-profit who are not associated with a Campbell-owned business.
I noticed recently that the train asks passengers for a “donation” of $2 to $5 per ride, because it’s all a big charity, see?
The staff report notes that Waterfront Development is contributing $10,000 towards the road train this year, and that the Downtown Business Association has “committed” to an unreported amount of funding.
The staff report goes on to explain that:
As per the HRM Charter, the Municipality cannot provide a grant to a private sector entity such as Ambassatours, but the proponent has indicated that a not-for-profit society has been established to oversee the operations of this service. This society will work with businesses and other organizations that wish to become involved with the service. A December 2011 report by the municipal Auditor General that reviewed HRM’s contribution to the Seaport Farmers’ Market raised some concerns with the practice of providing funding to a not-for-profit society which is attached to a private sector entity. Therefore, if any municipal funding is provided to support this proposal, such funding would have to be contingent on receiving further information on the society operating the service.
An In-Camera report containing additional considerations regarding this proposal has been prepared.
In summary, municipal financial support for the Community Road Train is not being recommended due to the absence of a grant program or funding source available to support this initiative, as well as concerns noted in the Auditor General’s report on previous municipal funding provided to the Seaport Farmer’s Market. Additionally, there is a lack of detailed information from the proponent. However, if Regional Council chooses to accept the request from the proponent, a potential process has been outlined in the Alternatives section of this report.
That alternative is as follows:
Regional Council may choose to accept the request of the proponent and allocate funding to the Community Road Train. If so, the report would need to be referred to the Audit and Finance Standing Committee for identification of a funding source. In that case, it would be recommended that:
1. Approval be contingent on receipt by the Municipality of:
a) proof of incorporation of the not-for-profit society established to operate the Train;
b) a detailed budget that includes expected contributions of confirmed partners;
c) a detailed Service Plan, hours of operation, number of daily trips and passenger capacity, and;
d) a requirement for detailed data collection and reporting to HRM.
2. Staff negotiate a Contribution Agreement with the incorporated not-for-profit society established to operate the Train;
3. The Chief Administrative Officer execute the Contribution Agreement; and
4. Staff return to Regional Council with an evaluation of the 2017 service to determine if the requested funding for 2018 and 2019 will be considered.
I have no doubt at all that the drivers of the road train aren’t being paid anywhere near what a Halifax Transit bus driver makes.
No public meetings
No public meetings in July.
Thesis Defence, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Tuesday, 9am, Room G-36, Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building) — Carine Nzirorera will defend her thesis, “The Role of Lysophosphatidic Acid and Autotaxin in Obesity Induced Cardiac Insulin Resistance.”
Early Transition Metals (Wednesday, 2:30pm, Chemistry Room 226) — Laurel L. Schafer, from the University of British Columbia, will speak on “Early Transition Metals in the Catalytic Synthesis of Amines and N-Heterocycles.”
Thesis Defence, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Wednesday, 4pm, Room 170, Collaborative Health Education Building) — PhD candidate Sergio Munoz will speak on “The Phylogenetic and Phenotypic Nature of the Mitochondrial Ancestor.”
In the harbour
I’ll be live-blogging some of today’s council meeting via the Examiner’s Twitter account, @hfxExaminer, but I’ll be dropping in and out of the meeting as I have other commitments through the day.