November subscription drive

Everyone should come to our subscription party Sunday. Here’s our Facebook event for the, er, event:

Linden MacIntyre

Come celebrate with us! Investigative journalist Linden MacIntyre joins us as guest speaker. He’ll be announced by former CBC radio host/ spice merchant Costas Halavrezos. Music by Museum Pieces. We’ll have Halifax Examiner swag, cake, and a surprise or two.

That’s Sunday, November 25, 4-7pm at Bearly’s. Free entry for subscribers. Click here to subscribe.


News

1. Emergency help line

Image from sciencemag.org

“On the Remembrance Day long weekend, I advised a young person in crisis to call the Mental Health Mobile Crisis Telephone Line,” writes El Jones:

The line is presented as:

…available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to support callers who present with suicidal thoughts, self-harming thoughts or behaviors, overwhelming anxiety, difficulty coping with distress, psychotic or distorted thinking, depression, substance use difficulties or any other self-identified mental health concerns.

The young person texted me back that they called the line and there was no answer. After being on hold for some minutes listening to elevator music they left a message, and the machine informed them there would be a 30 minute wait.

Jones goes on to stress the importance of the line and urges that it be better funded and resourced.

Click here to read “Emergency help line for those in mental health crises is underfunded.”

2. Plagiarism

Photo: Halifax Examiner

Bashar Moghrabi is an internal medicine specialist practicing at the Moncton Hospital. According to New Brunswick licensing records, he graduated from medical school in Jordan in 1995.

He wanted to become a cardiologist (a sub-speciality in the field), so in 2012, Moghrabi enrolled in Dal’s Cardiology Residence Training Program. The residency was a requirement before he could be considered for the increased credentialing.

But a lawsuit filed by Moghrabi this week shows that his experience at Dal did not go well.

The reasons for it are not explained in his lawsuit, but at some point, Moghrabi was required to go through with a remediation plan in order to continue his residency.

As part of that remediation plan, Moghrabi was “required to write an essay to demonstrate that he understood honesty,” reads his lawsuit. “This was part of a remediation plan between himself and the program. The applicant had successfully completed the remediation plant to that point. Only the essay remained … The applicant failed to write the essay properly in accordance with Dalhousie’s rules respecting plagiarism.”

In his lawsuit, Moghrabi does not dispute the underlying reason for his dismissal: that he plagiarized an essay about honesty.

Read that again: he plagiarized an essay about honesty.

On May 14, 2014, the Cardiology Residence Training Committee recommended that Moghrabi be dismissed from the program, and the unnamed Program Director accepted that recommendation.

But Moghrabi argues that the requirement for the essay is not written into regulations for students, and in any case, the Cardiology Residence Training Committee is “unofficial” and didn’t have the authority to kick him out of the program, as the committee had not been approved by the Senate Planning and Governance Committee, the full Senate, or the Board of Governors. Moreover, he argues, the regulations the committee applied in his case likewise had no official standing.

Moghrabi appealed to the Faculty Appeal Committee in the Faculty of Medicine, and on May 15, 2015, that committee held up the Cardiology Residence Training Committee’s earlier decision. But as with the Cardiology Residence Training Committee, Moghrabi argues that the Faculty Appeal Committee likewise lacked jurisdiction and its decision to dismiss him was “in breach of the principles of natural justice.”

Moghrabi next appealed to the Senate Ad Hoc Professional Unsuitability Appeals Committee, a committee he likewise says did not have jurisdiction, as the matter should have been heard by the Senate Disciplinary Committee. The Senate Ad Hoc Professional Unsuitability Appeals Committee upheld the decisions of the previous two committees.

Moghrabi argues that because he is appealing the decision of the Faculty of Medicine, it is therefore unfair that a faculty member of the Faculty of Medicine sat on the Senate Ad Hoc Professional Unsuitability Appeals Committee.

There’s a lot of back-and-forth recounted in Moghrabi’s lawsuit, but the short of it is that the Senate Ad Hoc Professional Unsuitability Appeals Committee rejected his appeal in 2017, and now he is asking the court to intervene.

I’ll save you the detailed regulatory arguments made by Moghrabi, which go on for about a dozen pages in his lawsuit. Moghrabi is represented by Kathryn Raymond of the BoyneClarke law firm.

I have no idea if Moghrabi’s lawsuit has merit or not. Certainly students have been unfairly treated by Dalhousie in the past, and a judge will hear the case and wade through all the arguments. Who knows?

But again: he plagiarized an essay about honesty.

3. Suspicious package

This is becoming annoying:

November 19, 2018 (10:45am): Police are currently on scene of a report of a suspicious package at 13 Akerley Boulevard. Westbound lanes of Akerley Boulevard have been closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic between Morris and Mosher Drives….

Updated:

4. Murder charge withdrawn

“In a surprise development, the Crown has withdrawn a murder charge in a 13-year-old cold case,” reports Blair Rhodes for the CBC:

Donald Murray Peters was charged last year with second-degree murder in the death of 26-year-old Naomi Kidston.

She was found dead in her apartment in Spryfield, a Halifax suburb, on June 7, 2005. Police said at the time of her death that it was not a random act and that Kidston likely knew her killer.

But on Monday morning, the Crown withdrew the indictment.

“We came to the conclusion that we no longer have a realistic prospect of conviction in this matter, a decision made after extensive consultation with some forensic witnesses in this case and after consultation within the Crown attorneys office,” Crown prosecutor Mark Heerema said outside court.

5. Jason Boudrot

“A former president of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party who was recently fired from his Port Hawkesbury law firm for misappropriating clients’ trust funds is now being accused of mismanaging two trailer parks in Antigonish,” reports Preston Mulligan for the CBC:

Bonnie Green, one of Jason Boudrot’s tenants at Indian Gardens trailer court, said no one has been by to collect her garbage for about three weeks.

[Resident Lornan] MacLellan said with no garbage service, she is worried about whether Boudrot has been paying his water bills to the city.

The CAO for the town of Antigonish, Jeff Lawrence, confirmed Boudrot has not.

“We haven’t had any contact with Mr. Boudrot in the past month,” Lawrence said.

No one can reach Boudrot, whose professional and public life has fallen apart. Maybe we should be concerned for his safety?

6. ’tis the season

Photo: Halifax Examiner

“Very little delights a personal injury lawyer like a fresh snowfall with people still in their street shoes, holiday party-goers in high heels, and folks with summer tires on to remind themselves of how nice the warm weather was,” writes Halifax lawyer Barbara Darby. “I’m kidding, of course….I certainly don’t delight in anyone’s injury. But a quick search of [the case law for] “slip and fall” and “ice” yields 1,782 results.”

Darby visits with Paul Vienneau, the “asshole with a shovel.” She also discovers a case from 1959 involving ice and salt and muck and such falling off the Macdonald Bridge and onto the homes of Dartmouth residents below (the residents won).

But then Darby zooms in on the most important snow-clearing case in Canadian history: Southland Developments Ltd. v. MacGillivary, a 2014 case from Windsor, Nova Scotia:

The plaintiffs, who owned rental properties at the location, claimed their neighbour MacGillivary had dug a ditch without their full consent, on, near, and affecting their property. The defendant claimed against them for the cost of snow removal services he had been doing on the grounds… the issue I’m addressing is the question for the Court of whether the plaintiffs owed the defendant (by a counter-claim) money for clearing the snow?

The plaintiff’s (Hancock’s) version:

[The plaintiff] then asked Mr. MacGillivary whether he would be interested in plowing. The arrangement was for a dozen beer for each plowing on each property. In other words if both the King Street and Gray Street properties were done, it would cost two dozen beer which Mr. Hancock would deliver to him. That arrangement continued until the digging began in March 2009. MacGillivary was given beer each time.

It appears that when Hancock sued MacGillivary over the ditch, in a classic “I’ll see your lawsuit and raise you a counter-claim” move, MacGillivary presented Hancock a bill for the snow removal, to the tune of $5,543.22.

Key to Hancock’s defence: “He denies owing that much money as all of the work was paid by beer” (emphasis added, of course). The Adjudicator allowed that while it might be perfectly legal for parties to contract to be compensated in beer, the plaintiff couldn’t establish that the mode of payment (beer versus actual currency) had been settled, and was ordered to pay buddy $650. In the Nation of Ford, that’s about 27 2-4s. Not bad.

In an inside joke among lawyers, Darby points out that Southland Developments Ltd. v. MacGillivary has never been cited in another lawsuit.


Government

City

Tuesday

No public meetings.

Wednesday

Special Events Advisory Committee (Wednesday, 9am, City Hall) — presentations from the Royal NS Tattoo, Hal-Con, Cheer Expo, Epic Dartmouth, Sole Sister, Groundswell, and Maritime Race Weekend.

Environment and Sustainability Standing Committee (Wednesday, 1pm, City Hall) — an update on Solar City.

Gorsebrook Park – Park Planning Open House (Wednesday, 6:30pm, AT340, Atrium, Saint Mary’s University) — no agenda posted.

Public Information Meeting – Case 22005 (Wednesday, 7pm, Maritime Hall, Halifax Forum) — a change in zoning for the area bounded by Chebucto Road, Roosevelt Drive, Flinn Street, and MacDonald Street.

Province

No public meetings this week.


On campus

Dalhousie

Tuesday

Thesis Defence, Oceanography (Tuesday, 2pm, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building) — PhD candidate Janelle Hrycik will defend her ​​thesis, “Estimating Particle Dispersal in Aquatic Systems: A Comparison of new a​​nd Conventional Technologies.​”

Welcome reception for Teresa C. Balser, Provost and VicePresident Academic (Tuesday, 4pm, Atrium, Ocean Sciences Building) — you can both hob and nob.

Wednesday

Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Honours Student Research Presentations 2018 (Wednesday, 4pm, Theatre A, Tupper Medical Building) — at 4:10 Xiaoyi Ma will present “Neuron Growth on Collagen/Recombinant Spider Silk Films”; at 4:25 Kathleen Vergunst will present “Characterization of the Interaction Between Microphthalmia-associated Transcription Factor (MITF) and CBP/p300”; followed at 4:40 by Keira Durnin with “Genomic Insights into Nephromyces: a Novel Lineage of the Apicomplexa.”

Will coral reefs still exist 100 years from now? (Wednesday, 7pm, Ondaatje Hall, Marion McCain Building) — Terry Hughes will talk, and then everyone will drown themselves with alcohol and cry, cry, cry.

Atlantic School of Theology

Wednesday

Bridget Brownlow

The Ethics of Getting Along (Wednesday, 7pm, Canadian Centre for Ethics in Public Affairs, President’s Lodge) — Bridget Brownlow will talk. Registration via info@ccepa.ca


In the harbour

05:00: YM Essence, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from New York
05:30: Themis, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from Southampton, England
06:00: Safmarine Cameroun, container ship, arrives at Pier 41 from Montreal
07:30: Acadian, oil tanker, sails from Irving Oil for Saint John
10:30: Paxi, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for sea
12:00: Cielo di Salerno, oil tanker, arrives at Imperial Oil from New Orleans
13:00: Safmarine Cameroun sails for sea
14:00: Iver Prosperity, oil tanker, arrives at Irving Oil from Saint John
15:30: Horizon Star, offshore supply ship, arrives at Wilson’s Fuel dock from the offshore
18:00: Rt Hon Paul E Martin, bulker, arrives at National Gypsum from Sydney
21:00: YM Essence sails for sea


Footnotes

Another Tuesday. So weird how that’s become the difficult day. No council today, tho.

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. I agree that these “suspicious” packages have really become painful for how they disrupt the area that they get discovered but am not sure what else the cops should do with them once reported. I would be interested in knowing if every police service just blows them up or is there a different technology or procedure that would be a little less drastic in dealing with the so far (here) harmless packages.

  2. I have no idea why in an age of automated software for detecting plagiarism people think they can still get away with it.

  3. No one is going to want to train someone who’s been that difficult. He’s currently practicing in Moncton. If he finished medical school in Jordan in 95 he’s got to be close to 50. Not sure what good is going to come of this. I had a friend who’s department reported fraud by a husband/wife duo. They sued and were reinstated and all the honest folk left so I guess anything can happen.

  4. The doctor in question was appealing an original decision to various other committee’s and then when they ruled against him (upholding the original decision) claiming their illegitimacy. If you appeal to a committee, aren’t you recognizing it’s legitimacy to make decisions?