News

1. Jennifer Henderson

Jennifer Henderson. Photo: Tara Tailleur

One of the great unexpected pleasures I’ve had over the past four years was the day in 2016 when recently retired CBC reporter Jennifer Henderson contacted me to say she wanted to start writing for the Halifax Examiner. Of course I readily agreed, and Henderson has since become an important part of the Examiner team.

Henderson is a reporter’s reporter. She covers hard news, relentlessly digging at unanswered questions. She’s particularly keen to cover provincial issues, bringing her deep knowledge of provincial governance to the work.

You wouldn’t know she’s retired. There are weeks when her reporting output matches my own full-time work product.

Henderson has been on-spot for quite a few topics, maintaining ongoing coverage as she follows the issues. For instance, with the VG replacement, which she covered herehere, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

And tidal electrical generation, which she covered here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Henderson has also provided important business news coverage, for example, with her reporting on LightSail Energy and on LED Roadway Lighting.

Likewise, she has stayed on top of nursing home issues and all things Nova Scotia Power.

Honestly, Henderson has been responsible for so much important reporting that I can’t recount it all here.

We’re lucky to have Henderson. But, as always, I need to remind readers that it costs real money to publish her work. And that money comes exclusively from your subscriptions.

The Halifax Examiner is now into our annual November subscription drive, and continued publication of Henderson is dependent upon the bump in revenue that comes this month. Please subscribe. As inducement, if you buy an annual subscription this month, we’ll mail you a styling Halifax Examiner T-shirt, like the one Tempa is wearing:

2. The Icarus Report

747 cargo plane has veered off the runway at Halifax Stanfield International airport. No injuries.@CBCNS pic.twitter.com/svWsFyNzLg

— Paul Palmeter (@PaulRPalmeter) November 7, 2018

Contradicting his tweet, Palmeter’s CBC article says there are injuries:

Officials at Stanfield International Airport near Halifax activated their emergency operations centre early Wednesday morning after a 747 cargo jet went off the end of a runway.

The crew of five onboard were removed by fire crews and taken to hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

Palmeter has more dramatic photos of the crash at the link. It looks like the plane lost all its wheels and was banged up and dented badly.

According to FlightRadar24.com, the flight originated in Chicago and “landed” in the general vicinity of Halifax airport at 5:06am local time. The airport is referring to the incident as a “runway excursion” because apparently they’re not allowed to use the word “crash.”

But whatever you call today’s incident, the carcass of the plane is going to be sitting on the edge of the runway for all arriving and departing airline passengers to see until someone hauls it out of there. (Of course I have to take someone to the airport today, and I’m flying out myself Friday for some family business…)

On the positive side, the airport and emergency responders have had a lot of experience with crashes, and so by all appearances have handled today’s situation quickly and professionally. So I guess that’s a good thing.

3. Jail intercoms

Photo: Halifax Examiner

“Inmates with chronic health issues at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility are raising concerns about the lack of intercom systems to alert correctional officers if they face a life-threatening situation in their cells,” reports Michael Tutton for the Canadian Press:

David Wade Smith, 43, and Chase Marinoff, 20, are inmates at the Halifax facility who have chronic health conditions and say they should have access to an emergency system if they fall ill.

The issue of a lack of intercoms has come up in connection with the 2014 death of Clayton Cromwell, a 23-year-old inmate who died in his cell of a methadone overdose.

Documents released to The Canadian Press under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act after a four-year process indicate that intercoms on the unit had been disconnected earlier without authorization, in contravention of the prison’s rules.

Some inmates told the Justice Department investigator who looked into the Cromwell case that this may have caused delays of 10 to 15 minutes in response, after inmates yelled at nearby cells where they believed intercoms were functioning only to find the intercoms weren’t working.

Marinoff and Smith said in interviews that the intercoms in two special cells — known as “barrier-free” cells — hadn’t been working, but were recently repaired. But they say more cells should have the buzzers.

4. Amazon’s chumps

“What a farce,” notes New York Times reporter David Streitfeld:

That was one of the immediate reactions when word leaked out on Monday that Amazon’s much-ballyhooed search for a second headquarters outside of Seattle would result in not one, but two new locations. On Twitter, people used farce, sham or stunt to describe what had happened.

Amazon’s critics were apoplectic at what they called a bait-and-switch.

“I was shocked,” said Robert B. Engel of the Free & Fair Markets Initiative, a nonprofit that is a determined foe of the retailer on all fronts. “They’ve duped more than the bidders. They’ve duped all of us. They can’t even live up to a promise that wasn’t fair to anyone but Amazon.”

Amid the guessing game, the company got information from dozens of cities about how much they would pay for a strong Amazon presence, valuable data that it will no doubt use to expand.

At least one expert realized some time ago how the game would end.

“Don’t be surprised if later this year, Amazon announces that it’s going to have more than one HQ2,” the City Observatory, a think tank in Portland, Ore., said in an essay posted in January. One reason: “If a single winner is announced, and its competitors are dismissed, then Amazon’s negotiating position becomes much weaker,” the essay said. Having multiple winners, on the other hand, would allow the company to play one off the other.

There’s a word for the city officials, politicians, and business boosters — including those in Halifax — who were played by Amazon: chumps. These people should be embarrassed, but they know no shame.

5. CFL team and stadium names

Anthony Leblanc. Photo: Halifax Examiner

The citizens of Halifax are being asked to shell out $190 million for a stadium for Anthony Leblanc’s CFL team, and the citizens of Nova Scotia are being asked to skid the deal with some provincial legislative magic, but Leblanc won’t put “Halifax” or “Nova Scotia” in the team name, reports Francis Campbell for the Chronicle Herald:

LeBlanc did confirm the geographical part of the team name.

“It will be the Atlantic blank, it won’t be Halifax or Nova Scotia,” LeBlanc said.

The Atlantic blank? That’s a horrible name. Jeesh.

Besides the team name, no one is talking about a stadium name. But I’m thinking there’s likely a Russian crime syndicate or Latin American drug cartel looking for some positive PR — we can probably recoup .001% of the construction costs if we call it the “Solntsevskaya Stadium” or “Los Zetas Arena.”

We certainly can’t name the stadium for the people actually paying for it.

6. Bruce Kidd weighs in on the Halifax stadium proposal

Bruce Kidd. Photo: Halifax Examiner

Meanwhile, Canadian Press reporter contacted Bruce Kidd (who I interviewed last year) and asked him about the proposed Halifax stadium:

Leading sports economists have found there is almost no evidence that professional sports franchises and facilities have a measurable impact on the economy, with profits largely going to corporate owners, professional sports leagues and athletes.

“Such facilities generate little new revenue for the region, they simply take recreational spending that previously goes to other purposes,” Bruce Kidd, a University of Toronto kinesiology and physical education professor and former Olympian, says in an email.

“It will be difficult for anyone to make a sound business case, i.e., that it will add to overall regional GDP, let alone ever make enough to pay back the subsidies.”

Kidd also pointed out the highly gendered nature of professional sports. If facilities cater only to men’s sport — as is virtually the universal case in North America — he says they constitute “men’s cultural centres.”

“The subsidies privilege men’s team sports and the symbolic affirmation of masculinity over other potential public projects, including programs that address challenges of inequality, including gender-based violence,” Kidd says.

In a 2012 open letter to a Swedish town council considering refurbishing a local stadium, he questioned investing in professional sports facilities as physical activity among children and youth in most countries drops.

Kidd pointed out that Canada faces a crisis of physical activity, and that “there is little evidence that the dramatic display of athletic excellence in a civic stadium or on television actually leads to a modeling of the ethical values rhetorically associated with sport or an increase in sports participation, especially among the young.”

7. Charlottetown

Peter Kelly. Photo: Tim Bousquet

Philip Brown has won the Charlottetown mayoral race, reports Stu Neatby for the Charlottetown Guardian, and here’s the Peter Kelly angle:

In one of the most bizarre episodes of the campaign, Brown was accused by [unsuccessful mayoral candidate Cecil] Villard at a debate, hosted by The Guardian, of pledging to fire Charlottetown CAO Peter Kelly. Kelly was hired by the city after serving in the same role with Westlock County in Alberta. A report from the Alberta Department of Municipal Affairs concluded he contravened the province’s Municipal Government Act during his tenure there. 

During the debate, Brown only committed to review staffing at city hall.


Government

No public meetings.


On campus

Dalhousie

Wednesday

The nature of the first mitochondrial ancestor (Wednesday, 4pm, Theatre A, Tupper Medical Building) — PhD candidate Sergio Andrés Muñoz-Gómez will speak.

Impressions of Debussy, 100 Years On (Wednesday, 7pm, The Music Room, 6181 Lady Hammond Road) — ​A musical tribute to Claude Debussy, who died 100 years ago this year. Leonardo Perez (violin), Peter Allen (piano), Michael Donovan (baritone), Marcia Swanston (mezzo soprano), and Shimon Walt (cello) perform. $25

Thursday

Bulwark of the Revolution: The Roles of the Cuban Armed Forces Today (Thursday, 2:30pm, Room 332, Life Sciences Centre) — Hal Klepak, Professor Emeritus from the Royal Military College of Canada, will speak.

Mini Medical School (Thursday, 7pm, Theatre B, Tupper Link) — Leanne McCarthy will speak on “Menopause and Treatments including Non-Medicinal”; at 8:15pm Trish Brady and James Brady explain “A Day in the Life of a Dentist.”

Just Sustainabilities in Policy, Planning and Practice (Thursday, 7pm, Ondaatje Auditorium, Marion McCain Building) — Julian Agyeman from Tufts University will speak.

Saint Mary’s

Wednesday

Indigenous Medicine Talks (Wednesday, 11am, Burke 113; 12pm, MM 320,) — Cecelia Brooks will speak.

Thursday

Red Road Project (Thursday, 12pm, Room 340, Atrium) — Skyler and Kyler will speak. From the listing:

Conceived in early 2012 by the Mi’kmaq Chiefs of Nova Scotia, the Red Road Project aims to educate First Nations youth about the dangers of using illegal substances and to encourage healthy lifestyles through culture, fitness, language & connecting with elders & peers.

More info here.

Displacing Blackness: Planning, Power, and Race in Twentieth-Century Halifax (Thursday, 1pm, LI 135) — Ted Rutland from Concordia University will speak.


In the harbour

06:00: ZIM Luanda, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Algeciras, Spain
11:00: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, arrives at Pier 41 from St. John’s
16:00: Horizon Star, offshore supply ship, moves from Pier 9 to Wilson’s Fuel Dock
16:00: ZIM Luanda sails for New York
16:00: Don Carlos, car carrier, sails from Autoport for sea


Footnotes

I’m pretty sure I’ll have a labour-related story published later today.

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

Tim Bousquet

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

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  1. Jennifer Henderson’s reporting is amazing.

    It is old time, seemingly out of fashion reporting. Getting the facts and reporting on them.

    Indispensible!

    1. Hear, hear! Jennifer Henderson’s work is top shelf stuff; the Examiner is lucky to have her talent behind it.

  2. Is there are stadium naming contest?

    I propose “The Halifax Citizens Got Fleeced”
    at “Chump Park”

  3. There will be no name for a stadium because there won’t be a stadium. No government is offering any money.
    Burrill and Houston should hold a joint news conference to announce they will not provide any funding for a stadium.

    1. I dunno, Colin. Halifax Council, fresh from squandering hundreds of thousands to signal their piety about marijuana and tobacco, seem falling all over themselves to find a rationale for this foolhardy vanity project.

      1. It’s dead.
        LeBlanc won’t put up money, HRM won’t put up money and neither will the feds or the province.
        And there are not enough votes on the council, they are going through the motions and wasting time before realising there is no person/organisation willing to shoulder the debt. Watch the HRM video, especially where Outhit asks ‘Who will be holding the debt ?’. The answer from Dube consists of the mantra ‘innovative financing’.
        Over at the skyscraper forum for Halifax the dream goes on, some are quite upset when I lay out the numbers.