News

1. Dufferin gold mine

The Dufferin gold mine. Photo: Natural Resources Magazine

Two claims have been filed against the Maritime Dufferin Gold Corporation this week.

Central Equipment, Inc. claims that it provided Maritime Dufferin Gold with unspecified goods and services and that Maritime Dufferin Gold defaulted on payment; Central has repossessed the goods, and is asking for a $37,766.33 court judgment that will cover damages for breach of contract, costs of repossession, repairs, and the net loss after resale of the equipment.

Battlefield Equipment, a Stony Creek, Ontario firm that is a division of Toromont Industries, has filed a builder’s lien of $70,680.44 on two properties Maritime Dufferin Gold owns in Port Dufferin, at 1080 Dufferin Mine Road and along Sparr Lake. Battlefield claims Maritime Dufferin Gold has not paid for equipment and work, and that the contract between the two companies includes a provision for a 24 per cent annual interest rate on payments.

In May, in the first part of her “Fool’s Gold” series, Joan Baxter surveyed three current gold mining operations in Nova Scotia, including the Port Dufferin gold operation:

Chilean Metals, a Canadian-Chilean company, is promoting its “wholly-owned copper-gold” properties in Parrsboro and in Fox, Lynn, and Bass Rivers along the Fundy shore, telling investors that a discovery will be like a “moonshot.” The junior mining company says it has optioned its Bass River North Project to Tejas Gold Inc.

Another junior company with its corporate headquarters in Vancouver, Resource Capital Gold Corp, is promoting its “Nova Scotia gold fields roll-up” at four “historically high-grade gold projects” it has acquired on the province’s Eastern Shore, at Dufferin, West Dufferin, Forest Hill, and Tangier. The underground mine in Port Dufferin mine has already begun processing ore.

Anaconda Mining is gearing up to do open pit and underground gold mining in Goldboro, between Isaac’s Harbour and Gold Brook Lake, also on the Eastern Shore.

Maritime Dufferin Gold is a division of Resource Capital Gold.

The Dufferin mining operation was plugged in the Fall 2017 edition of The Geological Record, a publication of the provincial government that cheerleads for the mining industry:

Resource Capital Gold Corporation of Vancouver continues to ramp up production at the Dufferin mine near Port Dufferin, Halifax County, N.S. The company reports that 3235 tonnes of ore were processed in the gravity separation mill in September at a recovered grade of 8.0 g gold per tonne. The mill has a capacity to process 300 tonnes per day. The company is incrementally increasing its reclamation security and will continue to do so until April 2018. At that point, the province will hold sufficient funds to reclaim the site in accordance with the reclamation plan.

So far as I can determine, there’s been no announcement that mining has ceased at Dufferin, but without equipment, I don’t know how work can proceed.

Supposedly, about 50 people have been working at the mine.

2. Goldboro gold mine

Meanwhile, Environment Minister Margaret Miller has sent a letter to Anaconda Mining Inc. saying that the company has “provided insufficient information to allow an assessment of potential impacts” of the proposed mine in Goldboro in its initial environmental assessment of the project:

Concerns were raised regarding the potential impacts of the Project on: soil, water resources, wetlands, flora and fauna, species at risk, fish and fish habitat, air quality, noise, human health, and contingency planning. 

Miller is requiring Anaconda to prepare a more-detailed “focus report,” which will enable public comment.

3. Second stab at tidal power

Photo contributed by Black Rock Tidal Power

This item is written by Jennifer Henderson.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane… it’s a new tidal turbine prototype launched at the other end of the Bay of Fundy in the calmer waters of the mile-wide passage between Long Island and Briar Island off Digby Neck.

Black Rock Tidal has a six-month permit from the Nova Scotia Department of Energy to test its turbines suspended from a floating platform; the set-up is much smaller than the 1,000-tonne device abandoned at the bottom of the ocean near Parrsboro by tidal developer OpenHydro and its partner Emera.

The proponents of Black Rock Tidal like to call their prototype — pictured above — as “second generation.” The device was assembled at A.F. Theriault Shipyard in Meteghan after being shipped across the Atlantic. In Connel, Scotland, Sustainable Marine Energy (SME) designed and successfully deployed a 26-metre-wide floating platform on the surface of the water. Four “legs” protrude from the stern on which four turbines are mounted and get lowered four metres below the sea.

The turbines are manufactured by Schottel, a German firm. Schottel is a part-owner of SME and the sole owner of Black Rock Tidal, one of four berth-holders remaining at the province’s demonstration site near Parrsboro.

The four turbines have the capacity to generate 280 kilowatts of electricity from the wave energy, but Black Rock will not be powering up until it proves to regulators its environmental monitoring systems are working. That will take at least another month.

The turbines will be tested only during daylight hours when observers onshore will be on the lookout for whales, which normally stay away from port and outside the busy waterway. Black Rock officials say the turbines will be stopped immediately if a whale is spotted in Grand Passage.

4. Overdose prevention

“A passionate discussion around the first potential overdose prevention site in Halifax saw many agree on the benefits of such a service, but clash over location,” reports Haley Ryan for StarMetro Halifax:

More than 60 people gathered at the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre Thursday afternoon to hear about the proposed site and evidence around similar models from a panel including law professor Archie Kaiser, researcher San Patten, two people who spoke about their drug use, and the executive director of methadone clinic Direction 180 Cindy MacIsaac.

MacIsaac outlined the plan she and Diane Bailey from the Mainline Needle Exchange have put together for the site, which would be run out of Direction 180’s new methadone dispensary which has a separate entrance on Cornwallis St. around the corner from the main Gottingen St. entrance.

Overdose prevention sites are approved by the province and are temporary facilities set up to address an immediate need in a community. Safe injection sites are more permanent locations approved by the federal government after a more extensive application process.

It would not be considered a safe consumption site because they would just handle drug injection, not inhalation, MacIsaac said.

5. Historic sexual assault

A police release from yesterday:

Members of the Sexual Assault Investigative Team of the Integrated Criminal Investigative Division have charged a Halifax man in relation to sexual assaults that occurred between the years 1988 and 1991 in Halifax, Dartmouth and East Petpeswick.

In the spring and summer of 2018 police received multiple complaints related to incidents that occurred between 1988 and 1991. The suspect and victims were known to each other.

Investigators have charged 53-year-old Donald Paul Henderson of Halifax with 4 counts of sexual exploitation and 1 count of sexual assault. Henderson is scheduled to appear in Dartmouth Provincial Court on November 6, 2018.

The CBC reports that Henderson worked at the Maskwa Aquatic Club on Kearney Lake; the club says Henderson worked there until 1997, but does not say when he started working there.

This caught my attention because Michael McNutt is accused of bringing boys to Kearney Lake and sexually assaulting them in 1987, a year before Henderson’s alleged sexual assaults began. Nothing in the police release or in the CBC article connects the two men, so it’s just an odd coincidence at this point.

6. The suspicious package returns!

A 2015 appearance of the suspicious package in downtown Halifax. Photo: CBC

A police release from yesterday:

At 10:20 a.m., Halifax Regional Police responded to a report of a suspicious package in a graveyard near Sackville and Summer Streets. Police currently have vehicle and pedestrian traffic shut down on Sackville Street between Summer and Spring Garden Road temporarily.

Officers with the Explosive Disposal Unit are on scene to examine the package. The investigation is ongoing.

Let’s think about this, people. Sure, there are bad dudes, terrorists, and assorted hooligans around every corner (be afraid!), but why would even the most hooliganiest Haligonian want to blow up a graveyard? Just open the bag and see who dropped it.

7. Stephen McNeil says something outrageously stupid

Stephen McNeil. Photo: Halifax Examiner

Yesterday, Catherine Tully, the province’s Freedom of Information officer, released a report chastising the McNeil government for failing to turn over requested documents to Marieke Walsh, a reporter who worked with Global News. Walsh had discovered that Health Minister Leo Glavine had been using a non-governmental email account (a gmail account) to conduct government business. This violates provincial policy. The report summary reads:

The use of personal email accounts to conduct government business has the potential to subvert the right of access under Nova Scotia’s right to information laws. When public bodies receive an access to information request they must make every reasonable effort to assist applicants openly, accurately and completely. In this case, an applicant [Global] requested copies of all emails in relation to the former Minister of Health and Wellness’ mandate that were sent or received using the Minister’s personal email accounts for a specified time period. The Commissioner determines that the Department failed to satisfy its duty to assist in a number of significant ways. The Department failed to make any effort, let alone every reasonable effort, to search for responsive records. It failed to communicate to the applicant any concerns it had with the clarity of the request and its response letters were neither open, accurate nor complete. The Commissioner recommends that the Department undertake six steps to ensure that it conducts an adequate search for records so that the use of personal email accounts for departmental purposes does not result in making government records inaccessible to the public.

Alexander Quon reports:

Tully said that during her investigation she was blocked by a deputy minister from the premier’s office as she attempted to interview Glavine’s former executive assistant.

MeNeil told reporters on Thursday that no one in his office blocked Tully, though he was also quick to point out that she has no power to compel witnesses to speak to her — an issue that commissioner also raised in her report.

McNeil also wondered why Tully wanted to talk to Glavine’s staffer.

“The information officer was looking at Minister Glavine using his Gmail account, which he acknowledged, and he fixed the practice,” McNeil said.

“What more was she (Tully) looking for?” he said. “What does she want? You don’t call witnesses when someone actually says, ‘You know what, you’re right, I was wrong.”

You don’t call witnesses when someone actually says, ‘You know what, you’re right, I was wrong.”

That’s such an absurd statement I don’t even know where to begin with it. But how ’bout this?: Anyone who has ever been in a courtroom knows that every person who ever pleads guilty to a crime must sign and swear to an agreed statement of facts that is compiled by investigators who, yes, interview witnesses.

The point is Tulley (and Walsh, and the rest of us) should know what was in the emails in question. Why was Glavine using a private email account?

It’s not enough to say “my bad” and leave it at that.


Government

City

Friday

No public meetings.

Province

Friday

Legislature sits (Friday, 9am, Province House)


On campus

Dalhousie

Friday

Advocacy for the Health Care Rights of Prisoners (Friday, 12:10pm, Room 104, Weldon Law Building) — Jennifer Metcalfe from the Prisoners’ Legal Services of British Columbia will speak.

Water Out of Place: Energy, Empire, and “Wasted” Resources in Alberta (Friday, 2:30pm, Room 1116, McCain Building) — Jeremy Schmidt from Durham University “demonstrates how the private property initiatives of successive Canadian governments have aimed to convert reserved lands into municipalities.”

Canadian Prison Law Conference (Friday, 3pm, Weldon Law Building) — runs until Sunday. $160/ $70/ free for formerly incarcerated people.
Info here; register here.

Peaceful Oceans? (Friday, 3pm, Room 1020, Rowe Management Building) — Nele Matz-Lück from Christian-Albrechts University, Germany, will speak on “Peaceful Oceans? The Role of International Dispute Settlement in Ocean Governance.”

Matrix Representations for Multiplicative Nested Sums (Friday, 3pm, Room 227, Chase Building) — Lin Jiu will speak.

Professional Anxieties: 18th-century British Military Engineer William Booth in Gibraltar and Nova Scotia, 1774-1789 (Friday, 3:30pm, Room 1170, Marion McCain Building) — Bonnie Huskins from the University of New Brunswick will speak.

This weekend

H20: Inspiring Happy and Healthy Oceans (Saturday, 10:30am, McInnes Room, Dalhousie Student Union Building) — info here.


In the harbour

6:30am: Viking Queen, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from Emden, Germany
6am: Serenade of the Seas, cruise ship with up to 2,580 passengers, arrives at Pier 20 from Saint John
6:30am: Silver Spirit, cruise ship with up to 648 passengers, arrives at Pier 34 from Sydney
7am: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, arrives at Pier 36 from Saint-Pierre
7:45am: Celebrity Summit, cruise ship with up to 2,100 passengers, arrives at Pier 31 from Sydney
10am: YM Moderation, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Colombo, Sri Lanka
10:45am: Norwegian Escape, cruise ship with up to 5,218 passengers, arrives at Pier 22 from Saint John
2:30pm: Pearl Mist, cruise ship with up to 216 passengers, arrives at Pier 23 from Charlottetown
3pm: Atlantic Sea, ro-ro container, arrives at Fairview Cove from Norfolk
3:30pm: Viking Queen, car carrier, sails from Autoport for sea
5pm: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, sails from Pier 36 for Saint-Pierre
5:30pm: Silver Spirit, cruise ship, sails from Pier 34 for Boston
6pm: Celebrity Summit, cruise ship, sails from Pier 31 for New York
6:30pm: Serenade of the Seas, cruise ship, sails from Pier 20 for Boston
7:30pm: Norwegian Escape, cruise ship, sails from Pier 22 for New York
9:45pm: YM Moderation, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for New York

On Saturday, the cruise ships Adventure of the Seas (4,058 passengers), Pearl Mist (216 passengers), and Disney Magic (2,456 passengers) are scheduled; on Sunday, Seven Seas Navigator (550 passengers) is scheduled.


Footnotes

I watched Black Panther on Netflix last night. It struck me as anti-revolutionary neoliberal claptrap.

Tim Bousquet

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

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  1. Let’s face it: there are sharper spoons, much less knives, in the cutlery drawer where Premier McNeil holds office. People continue to accept such “outrageously stupid” statements as a matter of course. The electorate’s bullshit meter seems to be busted! So it goes…

  2. I would happily open an abandoned bag to glean information. I invite danger. I am fearless. I’m a loner, Dottie. A rebel.