This offer is good until Friday!
I repeat myself, from last week:
The Halifax Examiner began publication in June 2014 — more than eight years ago. Over those eight years, we’ve had a very low basic monthly subscription price of $10, and yet have been able to grow the operation to now include a staff of six full-time employees plus regular freelancers.
But it’s time to raise prices. Our employees and freelancers deserve better pay and better supports; and we’d like to expand coverage and hire a new reporter. We want, as they say, to serve you better.
To that end, when our new website comes online later this month, we will raise the basic subscription price to $12/month, with similar increases for other subscription levels — for example, the cost of an annual subscription will rise from $100 to $120.
However, before the new prices take effect, we have a special offer. Existing subscribers can “lock in” the existing annual subscription price of $100, if they renew their annual subscription or upgrade their monthly subscription to an annual subscription before Oct. 15. To take advantage of this opportunity, go here. New subscribers can also lock in the $100 annual subscription rate by going here and clicking on subscription option #6. (Please DO NOT sign up for the joint subscriptions with the Cape Breton Spectator — we’ll continue to have a reduced-price subscription offer for that, but that won’t be live until the new website comes on.)
We recognize this is a tight economy, and we’ve put off increasing rates for as long as we could. We thank you for your continued support.
1. Boo attacked by man on day pass from mental hospital
“When Mariah Godin was returning home about 11:30pm on Sept. 29, she noticed police cars on Windmill Road and continued,” reports Jennifer Henderson:
She was singing as she entered the apartment and heard her dog “Boo” respond. The terrier mix “likes to singalong,” according to Godin, and she went into the bedroom to look for him. She immediately noticed a large pool of blood at the foot of the bed but no sight or sound of the dog.
As she began searching for him, she noticed a bag that didn’t belong to her, but none of her things had been moved or touched. Godin wondered if an intruder was present.
Then she found Boo inside the bedroom closet, bleeding from multiple stab wounds.
She called 911.
In the meantime, HRM police had arrested a 26-year-old man named Bradley MacIntyre who had called them asking to be picked up. MacIntyre, a resident of the East Coast Forensic Hospital, had been issued a multi-hour unescorted pass by staff to leave the property, but failed to return at the specified hour. At 9:45pm, the hospital alerted HRM police to be on the lookout for MacIntyre, but he contacted them first.
“I was scared,” Godin told the Halifax Examiner. “Looking back now, I realize I was in shock when I made that 911 call. I was confused and emotional. The apartment still looked the same. When people asked me ‘what happened to the dog?’ and Itold them, they said ‘he must have been looking to steal something.’ And I toldthem ‘No. He was just looking for someone to hurt.’”
That’s the story Bradley MacIntyre told police when they arrested him and what his lawyer, Alex Baranowski with Legal Aid, repeated during his court appearance via video link from the forensic hospital.
MacIntyre and Godin did not know each other.
MacIntyre faces charges of break and enter, possession of a dangerous weapon, and animal cruelty.
Baranowski told Judge Brad Sarson that MacIntyre was “out on a day pass when he began having internal hallucinations, hearing voices, and negative ideation about causing harm to others. The allegations include breaking into someone’s home (apparently at random) where he found a weapon at that residence.”
After being told MacIntyre suffers from schizophrenia, Sarson ordered a 30-day psychiatric assessment. MacIntyre will appear back in court on Oct. 28.
The stabbing of Boo is reminiscent of the killing of Raymond Taavel in 2012. Taavel was killed by Andre Noel Denny, who had also been given an unescorted day pass from the hospital and did not return at the appointed time.
2. Appeal in Gomez case
“A Halifax landlord who attempted to renovict his tenant is taking the case to small claims court,” reports Zane Woodford:
Marcus Ranjbar tried to get Stacey Gomez to agree to the renoviction in the spring, but she refused to end her tenancy, despite the landlord’s increasingly aggressive tactics.
As the Halifax Examiner reported last month, Ranjbar took the case to a residential tenancies hearing to try to get Gomez evicted so he could renovate. In a decision released September 12, Gomez won. Residential tenancies officer Kim Sinclair rejected Ranjbar’s application to evict Gomez, and ordered the landlord to pay her $837.91 for compensation and expenses relating to the loss of “some enjoyment of her unit.”
3. Land titles
“Community consultations between the provincial Land Titles Initiative (LTI) and Black Nova Scotians will continue in communities across the province this week,” reports Matthew Byard:
The consultations are seeking input from members of the communities on proposed changes to the Land Titles Clarification Act (LTCA) that would expand the current boundaries that cut through the outer edges of the various communities. That would make some Black residents ineligible to seek services and fee waivers from LTI when seeking clear title and land ownership.
Members of the LTI, which was first announced in 2017, are hosting a meeting Tuesday at 6pm at the East Preston Recreation Centre. The LTI held community meetings last week in Cherry Brook and North Preston.
“I just think it’s important we are present in the communities so we can educate folks on the Land Titles Initiative, the benefits of having clear title, and how to gain access to that clear title so we can create that generational wealth for our communities and be able to pass that down for the generations to come,” said Karalee Oliver, a LTI community navigator, after Wednesday’s meeting at the North Preston Recreation Centre.
4. Stepping Stone moves to Dartmouth
“The executive director of a non-profit supporting sex workers says a new home in north end Dartmouth will be a ‘game changer’ for the organization,” reports Suzanne Rent:
Alex MacDonnell, the executive director of Stepping Stone, said they just recently finalized the purchase of a two-storey building on Primrose Street in Dartmouth.
The new space is significantly larger than Stepping Stone’s current office. The house has rooms for a drop-in for clients, a donation room, a room for outreach and court support staff, and a private space called The Hive where clients can use the computer for doctor’s appointments and so on. A larger space on the second floor will be used for programs such as art therapy, resume building, and any programs clients request.MacDonnell said renovations will start soon.
On the second floor, there’s a four-bedroom apartment with a kitchen, bathroom, and living room. MacDonnell said she’d eventually like to transform that apartment into transitional housing for clients who may face barriers to housing elsewhere.
“It’s a place the clients can call theirs,” MacDonnell said. “All the staff will be under one roof. It’ll be a holistic wraparound approach. I want it to be a one-stop shop. You can come in if you need court support, you need food. It’s all under one roof. It’s a game changer for Stepping Stone.”
It’s good to see Stepping Stone get its own location, rather than rent. It appears some anonymous person out there donated the money for the downpayment.
As I reported in the Dead Wrong series, in the 1990s North Dartmouth was one of the main strolls in the urban area, with sex workers meeting johns along Windmill, Wyse, and Albro Lake Roads. People who lived in the area wanted the workers moved out; on the more sensitive level, the neighbours advocated (unsuccessfully) for the establishment of a legal red light zone in Burnside, but a handful of neighbours also violently attacked the workers. Sex workers faced and face danger at every turn — from johns, from neighbours, from pimps, from police.
As with every other industry, the internet has changed the nature of sex work. Now, sex workers and clients primarily make initial contact online, so there’s nowhere near the number of street workers as there used to be (although that still happens). I don’t expect to see any opposition from the North Dartmouth neighbours. Still, the dangers persist.
It’d make much more sense to decriminalize sex work completely, which would allow them to operate somewhat more openly, independently, and safely. In the meanwhile, Stepping Stone is doing the good work of stepping in and assisting the workers as best as possible. It’s a worthy organization.
5. Can’t trust that day
“The saddest truth about last week’s announcement that SaltWire (née the Chronicle Herald) had decided to stop publishing its Halifax Monday print edition (and those of the other Atlantic dailies it now owns) was just how little the decision seemed to matter — or even be noticed outside other newsrooms,” writes Stephen Kimber:
The big question was not what impact this could have on the quality as well as the quantity of its journalism — it won’t make either better — but whether it might mean a commensurate decrease in the subscription price. It won’t.
This article is for subscribers. Click here to subscribe.
6. Thin Blue Line
Over the weekend, a photo of two RCMP officers at a “freedom fighter” rally in Nictaux (near Middleton) was making its way around social media, in part because the responding officer paid $5 to enter the rally, and in part because one of the cops was wearing the “thin blue line” badge.
The rally was a two-day camping event held by the Freedom Fighters Nova Scotia Chapter, which appears to be primarily active in the Middleton area. I haven’t been able to learn much about the group, but a cursory look at its Facebook page shows that it supports “Freedom,” whatever that means, and hosts a lot of cookouts and such. It looks like the weekend event was held out in a field, but evidently close enough to someone’s house that the neighbour called in a noise complaint.
The Thin Blue Line was initially the Thin Red Line, and was applied to British Troops fighting the Russians in Crimea. In that campaign, because of the corruption and stupidity of its leaders, the Thin Red Line was pretty much useless, and the Brits were routed in the Charge of the Light Brigade, but Tennyson memorialized the bravery of the slaughtered troops in his famous poem, and then we were off to the races — the American military started to refer to its soldiers as the Thin Blue Line, and then the po-po got into the act, and then Black Lives Matter responded, and here we are with cops using the emblem to say, in effect, “no criticism allowed, praise us.”
No one will care, but this is a misreading of Tennyson’s intent. In his poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade, he specifically says the slaughtered soldiers are to be praised because they simply followed orders and didn’t argue:
“Forward, the Light Brigade!”Was there a man dismayed?Not though the soldier knewSomeone had blundered.Theirs not to make reply,Theirs not to reason why,Theirs but to do and die.Into the valley of DeathRode the six hundred.
I read that as “shut up already and do your damn job.”
In any event, the RCMP issued a statement about the situation:
Annapolis District RCMP responded to a noise complaint that occurred on a property, near Hwy. 10 in Nictaux, involving self- proclaimed Freedom Fighters.
On October 8, 2022, at approximately 8:30 p.m., Annapolis District RCMP responded to a noise complaint at a property near Hwy. 10 in Nictaux. Two RCMP officers arrived on scene and determined that the loud music was coming from a large field nearby. A poster was displayed at the end of the driveway to the field stating “Freedom Fighter PTSD Drive”, the event had more than 50 people in attendance with a clear indication of alcohol being consumed.
A large group of men approached the two RCMP officers and stated that police were not welcome in the area. The RCMP officers quickly devised an approach to de-escalate the situation and ensure the noise complaint was addressed.
One of the RCMP officers spoke with a man who identified himself as the president of the Freedom Fighters to explain the noise by-law in Annapolis County. Meanwhile the second officer was working to maintain calm among the group of event attendees that had approached the officers.
The music was turned down and the man who identified himself as the president provided a phone number to the RCMP, in the event that further complaints were received.
When the RCMP officers went to leave, one man stated that police didn’t pay the $5 entry fee which was quickly seconded by another and followed by individuals who were surrounding the officers. To keep the situation diffused and avoid the potential for violence, the entry fee was paid with the RCMP officer’s personal funds. The RCMP is not affiliated with the “Freedom Fighters” group.
The officers agreed to a photo at the men’s requests, again in an effort to mitigate an escalation of the situation. The photo is circulating online without the accurate context of the situation.
One of the officers in the photo is wearing a thin blue line patch, which is contrary to RCMP policy, the officer has since removed the patch from his uniform and this has been addressed by his supervisor.
Two additional complaints were received during the night and addressed. We would like to extend our appreciation to the man who identified as the president and quickly addressed the noise complaints.
The cops were avoiding violence from the Freedom Fighters, eh? Who would’ve thought?
Now imagine if the noise complaint was about, say, a group of Indigenous kids having a two-day party.
Special Halifax Regional Council (Tuesday, 6pm, City Hall) — and via video
Halifax and West Community Council (Wednesday, 6pm, City Hall) — and via video
Health (Tuesday, 1pm, Province House) — and online; Gender Affirming Care, with representatives from Gender Affirming Care Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Transgender Network, Department of Health and Wellness, and the Office of Addictions and Mental Health
Public Accounts (Wednesday, 9am, Province House) — and online; 2022 Atlantic Provinces’ Joint Follow-up of Recommendations to the Atlantic Lottery Corporation, with representatives from Atlantic Lottery Corporation, Department of Finance & Treasury board, and Nova Scotia Gaming Commission
PhD defence, Electrical & Computer Engineering (Tuesday, 9am, online) — Artorix de la Cruz will defend “Light propagation in nonlinear media”
Herzberg50 Exhibit (Tuesday, 9am, Tupper Medical Building) — at this location until Oct. 14
The Tamer Tamed By John Fletcher (Tuesday, 7:30pm, Studio 2, Dalhousie Arts Centre) — until Oct. 15, $15/10
Mount Saint Vincent
Flag-making workshop (Wednesday, 12pm, MSVU Art Gallery) — Materials and snacks will be provided for participants to make small flags with words and designs that encourage and celebrate quiet, to be used at the QUIET PARADE on October 15. More info here.
In the harbour
00:01: Onego Duero, cargo ship, moves from Pier 27 to anchorage
06:30: Norwegian Pearl, cruise ship with up to 2,873 passengers, arrives at Pier 20 from Sydney, on a seven-day cruise from Quebec City to Boston
06:45: Ocean Voyager, cruise ship with up to 216 passengers, arrives at Pier 24 from Charlottetown, on an 11-day cruise from Montreal to Gloucester, Massachusetts
06:45: Sky Princess, cruise ship with up to 4,610 passengers, arrives at Pier 22 from Saint John, on a 25-day roundtrip cruise out of Southampton, England
06:45: Viking Octantis, cruise ship with up to 378 passengers, arrives at Pier 31 from Charlottetown, on an 11-day cruise from Toronto to New York
07:45: Seaborne Quest, cruise ship with up to 540 passengers, arrives at Pier 23 from Charlottetown, on a 12-day cruise from Montreal to New York
09:00: Trinitas, cargo ship, arrives at Pier 27 from Moa, Cuba
09:00: Skogafoss, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Reykjavik, Iceland
09:00: Tropic Hope, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Philipsburg, Sint Maarten
10:00: NYK Rumina, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Caucedo, Dominican Republic
13:30: Skogafoss sails for Portland
15:30: Viking Octantis sails for New York
16:30: Norwegian Pearl sails for Portland
18:00: Sky Princess sails for St. John’s
19:30: Ocean Voyager sails for Portland
00:01: Arctic Lift, barge, and Western Tugger, tug, sail from Aulds Cove quarry for Souris, PEI
00:01: Algoma Value, bulker, arrives at Aulds Cove quarry from Sydney
07:00: Algoterra, oil tanker, arrives at Government Wharf (Sydney) from Quebec City
12:00: Ligurian Sea, oil tanker, arrives at EverWind from Arzew, Algeria
14:30: SLNC Severn, bulker, sails from Pirate Harbour for sea
About eight years ago, I came upon the Glen Assoun story. But it took me more than a year to actually publish the first in-depth article about it, and even then I felt it was rushed. The long delay was because there were a lot of details to chase down, but also because the Examiner then was pretty much a one-man operation, and I had to do all the day-to-day stuff besides.
Right now, I have what I think is another important in-depth story to tell, with lots and lots of details to chase down. I spend a lot of time on it; this weekend, when I should’ve been doing other stuff, I was digging through lots of records I’ve recently obtained, and I’ve become super obsessed with the story. Honestly, it’s the first reporting work that has brought me something like pleasure in at least three years.
Hopefully, though, it won’t take me a year-plus to get the story out. That’s because I have crew that is doing amazing work with the day-to-day coverage, freeing up a lot of my time. I don’t say it enough: I’m profoundly grateful for all the work they do.
This also means, however, that I might be a bit scarce in coming weeks. Don’t take my relative absence as a sign I’ve checked out. I hope readers trust my judgment enough to continue funding this operation. I think it’ll prove worth it.