News

1. Pamela Yates

Stephen Kimber looks at the case of Pamela Yates, a forensic psychologist who in 2014 was hired by the IWK to run its Youth Forensic Services, Mental Health and Addictions program. This came as the IWK was taking six to 13 months to complete court-ordered psychological assessments for young people guilty of criminal offences, as opposed to the standard 60 to 90 days expected.

Reports Kimber,:

Yates moved back home to Halifax, settled in, got to work. Her early performance reviews were all positive. As were the results. The hospital’s youth forensic services team, she says, “was meeting deadlines except in all but a few of the most complex cases.”

And then, on August 7, 2015, she received a bolt-out-of-the-blue faxed letter from IWK vice president Jocelyn Vine: “This letter serves to inform you that your regular full-time position as the Clinical Program Leader, Youth Forensics, is being terminated effective immediately.”

What had happened? The short answer: the Nova Scotia Board of Examiners in Psychology, the all-powerful, self-regulating regulator of the psychology profession in the province, happened.

Kimber goes on to chronicle Yates’ war to reclaim her job, and that she recently won a battle in that campaign: in March, Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Timothy Gabriel ordered the board to reconsider her application:

That process is apparently ongoing.

But the process that led us to this process raises all sorts of still unanswered — perhaps unasked — questions.

Why did the psychologists’ organization’s board of examiners reject Pamela Yates’ application in the first place? What is — what should be — its role in self-regulation of the psychology profession? Is there a pattern of self-protection in self-regulation by professional licensing bodies like the board of examiners that is less about protecting Nova Scotians and more about preserving its own professional fiefdom?

And the delays in psychological assessments? Still unaddressed.

Click here to read “The Yates case: professional self-regulation or plain old self-protection?”

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2. Stanfield Airport v Halifax Water

There is a public hearing today at the Utility and Review Board (UARB) for a complaint filed by the Halifax International Airport Authority against Halifax Water. In its complaint letter, the airport says that Halifax Water insists that the airport is responsible for making sure airport tenants’ wastewater meets environmental and regulatory standards, but, argues the airport, Halifax Water should be responsible for enforcing the standards.

Halifax Water’s response notes first of all that the airport doesn’t even have standing to make the complaint, but then says, basically, the substance of the airport’s complaint is all wet.

The airport hired the law firm of Stewart McKelvey to represent it, while Halifax Water hired McInnes Cooper. All the costs for this will be passed on to, well, you.

3. Bissett Road fire

There was a large fire in the wooded area near Bissett Road in Cole Harbour yesterday. This is near where the Salt Marsh Trail meets the road. Residents of Astral Drive to the west, were asked to evacuate, but it appears the fire didn’t reach the street.

About 20 acres burned before dying down with nightfall; fire crews are still at the scene.

4. Highway death

An RCMP release from yesterday:

Lower Sackville RCMP is currently on scene of a fatal two vehicle collision in Wellington.

At 7:20 p.m. this [Sunday] evening, Lower Sackville RCMP responded to a motor vehicle collision on Hwy 2 at Abilene Ave. in Wellington. A 19-year-old man was transported to hospital by LifeFlight with serious injuries and an 80-year-old man travelling in a seperate car died at the scene.

5. Squid

Photo: Lloyd Westhaver

“An alarming number of squid are washing ashore along parts of Nova Scotia’s coast. Experts say although it’s unusual to see such mass die-offs, the deaths are part of the creatures’ ‘live fast and die young’ reproductive cycle,” reports Danielle d’Entremont for the CBC:

Kent Smedbol is a scientist with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and works with monitoring fish and invertebrate populations. He said northern shortfin squid are common in the waters off Nova Scotia. They range from the mid-United States right up to around Iceland.

“They’re a highly mobile species, highly migratory and they only live for about a year,” said Smedbol. “So, they live fast and die young.”

What is less common, however, is seeing mass amounts of dead squid washing up on the shore.

6. Unsightly

The above bylaw infraction notice for an unsightly premises has been pasted to the door of 5190 Blowers Street.

5190 Blowers Street. Photo: Google Street View

The notice orders the owner of the building to “remedy the condition of the Property by completing exterior maintenance to the main dwelling by including but not limited to repairing the damaged and exposed exterior walls and hole in concrete wall, repairing or replacing the damaged and or [sic] missing siding. Also by replacing and painting the wood shingle boards, fascia, soffit, casing boards and trim work, so as to leave the Property in a neat, tidy, environmentally compliant and safe condition.”

The building is owned by Barrington Street Historical Development Limited. The directors of the company are George Ramia and Hani Ramia.

Seems like City Hall has lost its shine for the Ramias.

And if bylaw officers want to see another unsightly Ramia building, they should walk up the hill a bit. You can’t miss it.


Government

City

Monday

Grants Committee (Monday, 1pm, City Hall) — here’s the agenda.

A kid on a bicycle stops to watch as a flock of giant monster birds attack a 30-storey building proposed to be built on Spring Garden Road. The birds have apparently already eaten all the power lines and parking meters in the area.

Public information meeting (Monday, 6:30pm, St. Andrews United Church, 6036 Coburg Road, Halifax) — a public information meeting about a proposal by Dexel Developments for two towers — 30 and 16 storeys — at the corner of Spring Garden Road and Robie Street, stretching to Carlton Street.

As I pointed out last week, this comes just as the Rouvalis family is applying to build two more towers — one 26 storeys, the other 20 storeys —  on the back side of the same block, at the northeast corner of Robie and College Streets, stretching back to Carlton Street.

Besides all the other faults we’ve come to expect — perpetual sunny days, see-through people, the lack of brown people, the sudden disappearance of parking meters and traffic, etc. — the pretty pictures submitted by each applicant don’t include the existence of the other’s buildings.

The Dexel proposal includes the two towers on an eight-storey shared base. The ground floor is 21,000 square feet of retail, the next three floors are 60,000 square feet of office space, and everything above is 250 residential units. There’s an underground parking garage for 361 cars.

As with the Rouvalis proposal, the Dexel proposal includes registered heritage properties, in this case four houses on Carlton Street. Two of those houses are slated for “substantial alteration.”

Click here for all the documents about the proposal.

North West Community Council (Monday, 7pm, Hammonds Plains Community Centre) — the Ecology Action Centre wants the city to adopt a “responsible cat ownership program” so maybe the felines won’t eat so many birds, but I don’t know what else is going to protect us from those giant monster birds attacking our tall buildings.

Tuesday

Special Board of Police Work Plan Session (Tuesday, 9:30am, HEMDCC Meeting Space, Alderney Gate) — here’s the agenda.

Halifax & West Community Council (Tuesday, 6pm, City Hall) — a public hearing for Myles Baldwin, Shane Beehan, and Jillian Demmons’ proposal for a restaurant/pub they’re calling the “Narrows Public House” at 2720 Gottingen Street, which is a registered heritage property directly across the street from Stadacona and next door to Elizabeth Pacey’s house. Pacey, the widow of former Heritage Trust president Phil Pacey, is opposed to the pub, saying it will make her house unrentable, but the Heritage Advisory Committee is recommending approval.

Province

Monday

No public meetings.

Tuesday

House of Assembly Management Commission (Tuesday, 1:30pm, One Government Place) — the Commission “is responsible for the financial stewardship of all public money approved by the House of Assembly for the use and operation of the Assembly. It is also responsible for all financial and administrative policy affecting the Assembly and its members, offices and staff.”


On campus

Dalhousie

Monday

Thesis Defence, Computer Science (Monday, 10:30am, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building) — PhD candidate Mrim Alnfiai will defend her thesis, “Accessible Tools on Touchscreen Devices for Blind and Visually Impaired People.”

Werewolf (Monday, 6pm, Halifax Central Library) — From Jennifer Henderson’s post on Thursday:

Check out the free public screening and discussion this Monday night at the Central Library in Halifax (6:30-9 pm) to find out whether the couple makes it and to learn more about addiction.

Werewolf — which has drawn stellar reviews from the New York Times and the Toronto International Film Festival — is the opening act for a timely panel discussion around opioid abuse and harm reduction.

Panellists include Chris Clayton, a peer support worker at the Mainline Needle Exchange in the north end of Halifax; Dalhousie University’s Prof. Sherry Stewart, who holds a Canada Research Chair in Addictions and Mental Health; sociologist Karen Foster, who holds a Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Rural Futures for Atlantic Canada; and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical health officer and co-chair of the country’s “Advisory Committee  on the Epidemic of Opioid Overdoses.” The film and open discussion is sponsored by Dalhousie University’s bioethics division (Novel Tech Ethics).

The Warped Universe: The One Hundred Year Quest to Discover Einstein’s Gravitational Waves (Monday, 7:30pm, Rebecca Cohn Auditorium) — Nergis Mavalvala will speak.

Tuesday

No public events.


In the harbour

5am: Atlantic Sky, ro-ro container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Liverpool, England
6am: Algoma Integrity, bulker, sails from National Gypsum for Portsmouth, New Hampshire
6am: Asian Sun, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands
8am: Indian Bulker, bulker, arrives at grain elevators from Sorel, Quebec
8:35am: YM Express, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from New York
11am: Jinan, oil tanker, moves from one Imperial Oil dock to another
11am: Lydden, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from Southampton, England
3:30pm: Atlantic Sky, ro-ro container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for New York
4:30pm: Asian Sun, container ship, sails from Pier 42 for sea


Footnotes

Screw you, Reddit headline complainer.

Tim Bousquet

Tim Bousquet is the editor and publisher of the Halifax Examiner. Twitter @Tim_Bousquet Mastodon

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5 Comments

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  1. Doug Ford favours mayors of large Ontario municipalities having more power, power like mayors of Chicago, New York, Boston,Los Angeles and other cities in the USA.
    Such powers include a mayor appointing and firing a city manager, a police chief or a fire chief or a treasurer or a planner.
    Canadian mayors are always talking about cities having more power and not being beholden to provincial governments. Most of those mayors are from the left side of the political spectrum.
    How do readers feel about the idea of more powerful Canadian mayors ?
    is Doug Ford really the man to make Ontario mayors excited about having there dreams come true ?
    Or is it just crazy talk ?
    Someone should ask Mayor Savage if he agrees with Doug Ford.

    1. Let’s be honest: he wants this because the weak mayor system was the only thing holding him, I mean Rob, in check.

  2. Whenever I see unsightly premises mentioned I wonder why Scotia Square has gotten away with the mess on Albemarle St for over a decade.

  3. Hey Tim, just FYI – the link to the City page in your April article on the Gottingen St. proposal, that is supposed to have the neighbourhood comments, is now dead. “Sorry, nothing to see here, move along now …”