News

1. St. Pat’s decision appealed to Supreme Court

Photo: Halifax Examiner

“A coalition of north-end Halifax community groups wants Canada’s highest court to rule on the disposition of the St. Patrick’s-Alexandra School site,” reports the Chronicle Herald. “In a news release Friday night, the North Central Community Council announced it has filed a leave to appeal application to the Supreme Court of Canada.”

For background, see here.

2. Bourque evidence

The CBC has won its fight to have evidence from the Justin Bourque case made public. The prosecution, the defence, and the families of the slain officers had opposed making the evidence public, but the open court principle prevailed. “Canadian courts, as a general rule, are open and transparent,” wrote Justice David Smith in his opinion. “The open-court principle is important in that it allows the public to go behind court decisions to see what further determined or influenced its decision; in other words, why the court decided what it did.”

This is essential. There can be no public trust in a court system that is not fully transparent, and public access to all evidence is the best check against abuse of power.

3. Sea King

Michael Tutton of the Canadian Press has acquired military video of a Sea King helicopter that crashed at Shearwater air base last year. I know grandparents younger than the Sea Kings. There have been an alarming number of Sea King crashes and yet they are still used for buzzing large crowds of people at civic events like Remembrance Day ceremonies and next weekend’s opening of the new library in Halifax. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.

4. Pedestrians struck by cars

Yesterday morning:

At 9:11 a.m., police responded to a vehicle/pedestrian collision across from Elizabeth Sutherland School located at 66 Rockingstone Road. A 7-year-old boy crossing the road was hit by a car driven by a 42-year-old woman travelling north on Rockingstone Road. He suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to the IWK Health Centre by EHS. He was not in a crosswalk at the time of the collision.

This collision remains under investigation and no charges have been laid.

Last night (interim police release to reporters):

Dec. 5th at 10:30 PM – Officers responded to a motor vehicle collision involving a pedestrian. The incident occurred at the intersection of South St & LeMarchant St. in Halifax. According to witnesses the vehicle involved was travelling westbound on South St. and struck the pedestrian who was crossing the intersection – northbound –  from LeMarchant St. The 21 year old man  was in the crosswalk when he was struck. The pedestrian was taken to hospital for examination but did not suffer any serious injury.

The 67 year old male driver was issued a Summary Offence ticket for Failing to yield to a Pedestrian in a Crosswalk.

In Lunenburg, a 23-year-old pedestrian was purposefully hit by a vehicle driven by a 56-year-old woman who knew him. She was arrested at the scene and kept in jail overnight before being charged.

5. Fogarty’s Cove

Chronicle Herald reporter Aaron Beswick this morning has a delightful article about Fogarty’s Cove, which is being expropriated by the municipality of Guysborough, which will then hand it over to Morien Resources Corp. to operate as a quarry. Issues of employment and economic development aside, is it really appropriate for governments to use expropriation for private benefit?

Anyway, Beswick interviewed Frank Fogarty, who spoke about his great-grandfather, Joseph Fogarty, the namesake of the cove:

With a large family to feed and only a small fishing boat and a few gardens, Joseph Fogarty let Portuguese and Spanish fishing crews build huts on his patch of the shore.

Like him, they’d spend the summers along the beach splitting and salting the cod they hauled from the sea. What didn’t sail back to Europe in their holds, they’d leave with Joseph Fogarty.

In the fall, he would walk to Halifax.

“It would have taken him weeks,” said Frank.

There he’d barter with merchants, get aboard one of their boats and sail back to his cove. The merchant vessel would carry the supplies the European crews would need when they returned the next spring.

It would leave with the fish and Joseph would take a cut for his troubles.

“He was a hard-working fellow,” said Frank.

Then in 1907, he died of a heart attack.

Most of the community’s young men, including his descendants, went off to fight in the horrible wars that soon followed.

“When they came back, they’d seen the world and you know how it would have been, they weren’t going to stay in the cove,” said Frank.

In 1930, the church at Fogartys Cove burned, the houses and the school built there fell into disuse and the forest took back the land.

Frank Fogarty is of a tiny minority of people who oppose the destruction of the cove. In August, somebody posted a video of Stan Rogers performing Fogarty’s Cove at Fogarty’s Cove on YouTube.

6. Wild Kingdom

The shark bycatch—about 8,000 sharks a year off Nova Scotia—doesn’t threaten the species, says DFO scientist Steve Campana​.


Views

1. Explosion

Explosion orphans. The James Collection / City of Toronto Archives

Stephen Archibald discusses the evolving remembrance of the Explosion. “When I grew up in Halifax in the 50s it’s my memory that there wasn’t much commemoration of  the Explosion,” he writes. “I remember a moment in the late 1970s that suggested there was wide public interest is the Explosion that was not being met. On a  quiet Saturday afternoon I was manning the front desk of the Museum on Summer St. when a group of Hell’s Angels in colours came in with their assorted posse.  They had come to the museum looking for an exhibition on the Explosion. Sadly at that time there was  no public interpretation of the disaster for them to experience.”

2. Violence against women

Lenore Zann:

Since “the Montreal Massacre,” over 1,000 aboriginal Canadian women have been murdered or gone missing.

There are countless other Canadian women who have also been subjected to sexual assault, rape, human trafficking, non-state torture and murder. And this continues.

What does it say about our society in Nova Scotia for instance, when a young woman’s body is found stuffed in a hockey bag floating down the Mira River, or an elementary teacher’s battered body is found in an apartment wall or the trunk of her car in the school parking lot?

Sadly, our society seems to have become more and more a consumer-driven, “throw-away society” where we are brainwashed to believe that everything is disposable — even people.

But that is no comfort for those who loved Paula Gallant, Amber Kirwan, Loretta Saunders, Tanya Brooks or most recently Catie Miller—since none of them will be ever again be going home to the warm embrace of their families.

3. Yeah, Armageddon!

Jim Meek ridicules everyone who cares about the future of the planet. Meek urges on the full exploitation of the tar sands and the requisite pipelines needed to make it happen. After all, why should he care? He’ll be long gone when the worst effects of climate change disrupt human civilization. You deal with it, kids.

4. Coal plants

Rachel Brighton discusses an order in council from the Harper government that exempts Nova Scotia’s coal-fired power plants from environmental regulations.

5. Cranky letter of the day

To the Chronicle Herald:

Billy Graham has spoken many times about his lifelong policy of never being alone in the company of a woman other than his wife (or a family member). One doesn’t have to be a Christian to appreciate the common sense behind this practice.

In fact, the more I read the paper these days, the louder I can hear his voice saying how it threw cold water on any temptation he might have had to “wander down that path.” Perhaps if Jian Ghomeshi, Bill Cosby and the Liberal MP now said to have sexually assaulted an NDP colleague in a hotel room had adopted a similar code of conduct, we wouldn’t be reading the dubious headlines with their names attached.

Gentlemen, over to you.

S.M. Baker, Halifax

It’s an interesting notion, that the mere presence of a woman is enough to make men want to assault her.


Noticed

Americans don’t generally know about the Halifax Explosion. (My American readers should click here to learn about it.) It’s a horrific story, of course: 2,000 dead, countless injured, a North American city largely destroyed.

I used to think of the Explosion primarily as a byproduct of war. I guess I still think of it that way, but increasingly I also see it as a crime. How is it that such a thing could happen? What regulations were not followed? Should a single ship really have been so heavily loaded with armaments and no further precautions taken? What about liability? Weren’t the arms, and the ship, you know, insured? Why weren’t people held accountable?

There’s much more to be told about the Explosion.


In the harbour

The seas around Nova Scotia, 6:30am Saturday. Map: marinetraffic.com

(click on vessel names for pictures and more information about the ships)

Maersk Panang, container ship, Montreal for Pier 41, then sails for Rotterdam
Seabed Prince, offshore support, Sable Offshore to Pier 27


Footnotes

Hillary Beaumont, styling.

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Tim Bousquet

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

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  1. also, Re: Cranky Letter

    The phrasing of your comment is harsh to the letter writer, but exactly the attitude the world needs.

  2. Garnet Rogers Commented on both this video and the quarry this summer during his show at Jeff Pinheys house. He is certainly opposed.

  3. Pedestrians and motorized vehicle drivers… there is no official way for them to acknowledge with reliability that they are in fact aware of each other when a pedestrian crossing event is occurring. My suggestion has very little cost and could be implemented with little effort; it goes like this:

    The first vehicle in ALL lanes approaching a crosswalk with a pedestrian crossing event pending or actively in progress, should put on 4-way flashers (vehicle hazard lights) until all vehicles stop or crosswalk is clear; If no 4-way flashers seen, pedestrian should not cross unless vehicles in ALL lanes are actually seen to be stopping. 4-way flashers are already recognized as an indication that there may be a pending or active hazardous situation on the road ahead… a pedestrian in the roadway can be considered a hazard if not treated appropriately (a small change to the drivers handbook would be required; this could be a recommended practice, not necessarily required by law). There is a requirement for ALL drivers, bike riders and pedestrians to make a concerted effort to be very aware of safety implications when they are active on or near our roadways. Pedestrians cannot see drivers eyes at night; and often due to dark clothing, pedestrians are hard to be seen by drivers at night and even worse when its raining. There needs to be an accepted official process for vehicles to acknowledge they are aware of a pending or active pedestrian crossing event that pedestrians can look for and have a reasonable certainty that they have been seen; I think mine works effectively.

    From my way of thinking, a pedestrian on a roadway is truly a hazard and all vehicles are fitted with the appropriate hardware to alert both other drivers and any pedestrians that a pedestrian crossing event is about to or is actually in progress. I do this on my own all the time, it takes little effort and most pedestrians I have stopped for, have actually acknowledged that they see and approve that my hazard lights are flashing. I have passed my recommendations on to municipal and provincial authorities; but there have been no takers thus far. Perhaps I am wrong in my analysis and proposed solution? In any case I will continue to carry out this simple process… it works for me.

  4. The explosion was 100+ years ago.. It is the reason we have many regulations.

    For example, only one ship at a time can traverse the narrows. Youll never see ships pass each other under or between the bridges.

  5. Re: Fogerty’s Cove expropriation – I once wrote a term paper for a planning law class on this exact topic (expropriation for private benefit). The leading case on this is an American one, Kelo v. The City of New London. Canadian and US property law differ, but ultimately these cases always come down to an argument over whether the expropriation will benefit the public interest, through economic development or otherwise. That doesn’t really answer your “appropriateness” question, but is simply to say that governments technically can only use expropriation as a tool if it results in a public benefit. Whether that benefit is realized after the fact is another matter.