News

1. No charges for alleged sexual assaults

Yesterday, the RCMP issued this statement:

Halifax Regional Police has concluded its investigation into allegations of sexual assaults involving a former Health Services Officer in “H” Division without charge.

This outcome is undoubtedly disappointing and frustrating for survivors and our role, as an organization, as leaders and as colleagues, is to offer support while respecting privacy and confidentiality. Employees are the most valuable resources in the RCMP, and our primary concern.

The Nova Scotia RCMP began an investigation upon learning of survivors’ experiences then turned the investigation over to Halifax Regional Police, continuing to participate fully. Various steps have been taken since to ensure survivors, both those who have come forward and those who have not, are aware of services and supports available to them through the RCMP. We will continue these efforts in keeping with our commitment to the health and wellbeing of all employees.

“Halifax police confirmed this was the same high-profile case that emerged last year when police said more than 60 people had alleged abuse by a physician,” reports the Canadian Press:

The case gained national prominence last winter after women gave public accounts of what they described as inappropriate rectal and vaginal examinations.

Last February, one of the complainants spoke to The Canadian Press on the condition of anonymity and said she went to a medical office in Halifax in the late 1980s for a required physical exam as part of her application process.

She said the doctor — an RCMP employee — told her to lay down on the examination table and he inserted his fingers into her vagina. She alleged he then put his fingers into her rectum after asking her to lay on her side.

The doctor, who has denied the allegations, wasn’t named by police. He had said previously that he was working as a doctor for the RCMP at the time and handled some administrative tasks as well.

The RCMP has said the alleged victims were either applicants looking to join the force or serving members who were receiving treatment by the physician between 1981 and 2003.

2. $175,000 in spilt booze

Photo: Google Street View

The NSLC is suing Bird Construction over a roof collapse at the liquor store at 122 Front Street in Wolfville.

According to a claim filed with the Supreme Court, the NSLC hired Bird for an expansion and reconstruction project at the store, and that project included the installation of a suspended ceiling.

On June 26, however, the ceiling collapsed. “Inspection of the ceiling revealed that the suspended ceiling had been improperly attached to wood strapping rather than attached to the wood trusses,” reads the claim.

The claim doesn’t mention if anyone was injured, but does say that $174,869.76 of inventory was lost, and I’m picturing a river of booze flowing out onto Front Street.

Additionally, the NSLC says it incurred a cost of $325,481.52 to “investigate, secure, repair, and clean” the property, with unstated loss of revenue during the resulting closure of the store.

The allegations in the claim have not been tested in court.

3. Fraud at Oak Island

I know this is hard to believe, folks, but there’s alleged fraud at Oak Island!

According to an RCMP release:

A man from Lunenburg County is facing theft and fraud charges related to an investigation involving a non-profit organization with ties to Oak Island.

On May 2, Chester RCMP received a report of a theft and fraud related to the non-profit organization. Lunenburg District General Investigation Section began a complex investigation. On May 17, as part of the investigation’s initial stages, a home and a vehicle were searched in Lunenburg County. That same day, a 53-year-old man was arrested without incident and was later released on conditions. He faces charges including Theft over $5,000 and Fraud over $5,000. More charges are anticipated. The man is scheduled to appear in Bridgewater Provincial Court on November 6 at 9:30 a.m.

The investigation is ongoing and is being led by Lunenburg District General Investigation Section with assistance from RCMP Commercial Crime Section and RCMP Digital Forensics Services.

“The Friends of Oak Island runs tours on the island and earlier this month, it discovered someone had been selling fake tour tickets,” reports the CBC. “The group only realized there was a problem when ticket holders contacted them and volunteers couldn’t find their official records. The Friends of Oak Island then went to RCMP, which started an investigation.”

Let this be a lesson, kids. Fraud is only successful when writ large. If your fraud is brazen and bold, there is no limit to your success: you will get your own TV show, film tax credits, hoards of tourists handing over presumably hard-earned money. But when you do this penny ante fake ticket shit, they’ll toss your sorry ass in jail.

That’s the lesson of our age, innit? A man incapable of uttering even one honest word can lie his way through billions of dollars of falsified bank loans, tax write-offs, and stiffed contractors all the way into the presidency, but if some poor dude omits a jaywalking ticket on a job application he’ll be blacklisted from employment for life.

Work hard doing the necessary work of cleaning toilets and mopping floors in city buildings, you’ll get 11 bucks an hour; toss around meaningless bullshit about “economic development” and you’ll pull in six figures.

Play by the rules, suckers.

4. Atlantic Gold and the RCMP

Joan Baxter points us to the above photo found on Atlantic Gold’s website, with the partial URL “moose-river-opening-ceremony-first-gold-bar.” That’s Atlantic Gold COO Maryse Belanger holding the gold bar, flanked by two other company execs and then the Mounties in formal attire.

No, the Mounties won’t show up for a photo op when you open your new taco stand. But if you’re about natural resource extraction and bullying the locals, the RCMP has your back.

5. Sidewalk clearing

The sidewalk outside Halifax City Hall on February 24, 2015. Photo: Halifax Examiner

“A Halifax councillor is hopeful that city sidewalks won’t be so treacherous next year following changes to the municipality’s snow-clearing policies,” reports Zane Woodford for Star Halifax (the “Metro” part of the name was dropped about a month ago):

[Councillor Waye] Mason announced the changes in a blog post this week, including an expansion of the areas where sidewalks are cleared by municipal staff instead of contractors, and new equipment requirements aimed at better handling the changing climate.

In an emailed statement from spokesperson Brynn Langille, Halifax Regional Municipality said the changes are being made “in an effort to provide better service to residents of the municipality.”

Langille confirmed that contractors will now be required to have equipment “to clear snow from sidewalks and apply de-icing materials at the same time.”

The last contracts for sidewalk snow clearing expired in early April, and tenders went out and closed earlier this month for new contracts. The bids have yet to be verified or brought to council. They are higher than in previous years, but the contracts are for four years instead of two and some of the zones have changed.

In the Halifax peninsula south zone, which appears not to have changed, the last contract went for $789,934 for two years. The unverified bids for four years are between $2.4 and $3.9 million — well over the expected double price due to the extended time period.

Money alone won’t solve the problem, but the change in equipment probably starts us down the path to better service. I still think what’s ultimately required is people with shovels.

6. The Icarus Report

Yesterday, the Transportation Safety Board updated its entry into a March 4 incident at Stanfield Airport dubbed “Collision with terrain / Loss of control – on ground”:

Update TSB Report #A19A0012: C-FTCA a Boeing 767-300 aircraft operated by Air Canada, was conducting flight ACA614 from Toronto/Lester B. Person Intl (CYYZ), ON to Halifax/Stanfield Intl (CYHZ), NS with 8 crew members and 211 passengers on board. During the landing rollout on Runway 23, the aircraft encountered a slippery area on the runway and was pushed by the wind, causing it to turn approximately 45° to the right. The nose wheel entered a snow ridge on the edge of the runway, which caused the rear of the aircraft to slide approximately 180°, coming to a stop facing in the opposing direction of travel. Due to the weather conditions, the surface of the runway experienced a flash freeze from a wet condition, and became extremely slippery as ice formed quickly. Passengers were taken to the terminal by bus, and the aircraft was towed to the apron. There was no damage to the aircraft, and no injuries reported by the passengers or crew.


Government

No public meetings for the rest of the week.


On campus

Dalhousie

Wednesday

Spring Convocation, morning ceremony (Wednesday, 9am, Rebecca Cohn Auditorium) — for graduates in the Faculties of Engineering and Graduate Studies.

Spring Convocation, early afternoon ceremony (Wednesday, 12:30pm, Rebecca Cohn Auditorium) — for graduates in the Faculties of Engineering and Graduate Studies.

Autotaxin-LPA signalling contributes to obesity-induced insulin resistance in muscle and impairs mitochondrial metabolism (Wednesday, 4pm, Theatre A, Tupper Medical Building) — Kenneth D’Souza will talk.

Spring Convocation, late afternoon ceremony (Wednesday, 4pm, Rebecca Cohn Auditorium) — for graduates in the Faculties of Engineering and Graduate Studies.

Richard “Harry” Harris (Wednesday, 4pm, Ondaatje Theatre, McCain Building) — the leader of last year’s rescue of 12 young soccer players and their coach from Thailand’s Tham Luang cave will speak. Free admission.

Thursday

Spring Convocation, morning ceremony (Thursday, 9am, Rebecca Cohn Auditorium) — for graduates in the Faculties of Health and Graduate Studies.

Remote Viewing Event – Open Government Partnership Summit, Ottawa (Thursday, 10am, Room 218, MacRae Library, Truro campus) — remote participation in the plenary session on “Participation.”

Introduction to Cloud Computing (Thursday, 11:30am, in the auditorium named after a bank, Goldberg Computer Science Building) — Chris Gerous will provide

an introduction to the Compute Canada cloud which is used to create and manage virtual machines. Virtual machines allow great flexibility but require knowledge and effort to configure them for your specific needs. Virtual machines can be used for diverse work flows, from processing particle physics data to running humanities and social sciences websites. Learn how to create a virtual machine and how to start using it.

Spring Convocation, early afternoon ceremony (Thursday, 12:30pm, Rebecca Cohn Auditorium) — for graduates in the Faculties of Health and Graduate Studies.

Spring Convocation, late afternoon ceremony (Thursday, 4pm, Rebecca Cohn Auditorium) — for graduates in the Faculties of Health and Graduate Studies.

Opening reception (5:00pm, Thursday, Dalhousie Art Gallery) — for two shows, Nature as Communities and From the Vault: Human/Nature. More info here.

Edward Snowden: Live from Moscow (Thursday, 7pm, McInnes Room, Student Union Building) — former American intelligence officer and fugitive Edward Snowden will speak via livestream from Russia. Tickets sold out, more info here.

Saint Mary’s

Thursday

China Business Summit (Thursday, 8:30am,  in the building named after a grocery store) — I wrote about it here.


In the harbour

05:00: Atlantic Sea, ro-ro container, arrives at Fairview Cove from Liverpool, England
09:45: Adventure of the Seas, cruise ship with up to 4,058 passengers, arrives at Pier 22 from Saint John, on a six-day round-trip cruise out of New York
10:30: Victoria Highway, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from Southampton, England
15:30: Atlantic Sea sails for New York
16:30: Victoria Highway sails for sea
17:00: Zefyros, oil tanker, sails from Port Arthur, Texas
18:30: Adventure of the Seas sails for New York
21:00: Glen Canyon Bridge, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Norfolk


Footnotes

I was in court for much of the day yesterday. I’m still going through transcripts and other documents, but when I properly understand this case, I’ll write about it.

I’ll be on The Sheldon MacLeod Show, News 95.7, at 2pm.


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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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4 Comments

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  1. OK, so do I have to say the obvious? How is it possible that the RCMP passed the ball to HRM police, who promptly dropped it, despite dozens and dozens of complaints? With so many complaints – and remember, testimony is a form of evidence – they can’t possibly claim there isn’t enough to charge the man. !!! Clearly the police regard those complaints as credible; otherwise, why would they do all they can “to ensure survivors, both those who have come forward and those who have not, are aware of services and supports available to them through the RCMP.” ? It beggars belief…

  2. I once chatted with an RCMP officer in red serge at a ceremonial event, and according to him, it’s easy to book such a visit. Call up the detachment, ask for a red serge visit. Sometimes there is a cost involved, other times they do it as community relations. They typically go in pairs. Sometimes the individuals sent are retired or otherwise inactive. Some assessment is made as to the appropriateness of the event, which we didn’t discuss in detail. This is all from my faint recollection and should not be taken as factual.

    I am not an intrepid reporter and thus cannot verify such things, though I am curious how that picture came to be.

  3. is that the same RCMP member who came flying to AG’s Security Chief’s rescue at the meeting? (he who had been called a Doofus with malice aforethought?)

    1. I belive the male officer is the PR spokesman from Halifax, usually attends BOPC meetings.

  4. I think that all human institutions eventually become corrupt – eventually members of the institution, who rather than excelling at doing whatever it is the institution is supposed to do, are replaced by members who are experts at becoming promoted within the system.