Tim is in bed. Katie is writing Morning File. She’s a freelance reporter and she’s out of coffee so she’s sadly settling for tea. (She’s as CFA as they come, in case the tea thing wasn’t a dead giveaway.)


1. Horrible details from night Tylor McInnis and Liam Thompson were shot

Tylor McInnis. Photo: Facebook

The night that Tylor McInnis died in North Preston, another man was shot by the same group of people, police believe — and he had to play dead to survive. The CBC obtained documents detailing what police believe was Thompson’s gruelling struggle.

According to the documents, Thompson said someone else drove his car and they made at least one stop. He told his family he heard gunshots.

He was then driven to what he later learned was a cemetery. He told family members two shots were fired at him, one grazing his shoulder.

“Liam said he thought he was dead because he felt terrible pain,” one family member told police, according to the documents.

“Liam said he continued to hear voices, so he tried to pretend he was dead.”

2. Shell seals its well

Shell Canada has sealed its second deepwater drilling site off the coast of Nova Scotia, but is keeping mum about the results, saying it can take several months to analyze the data. That’s according to a Canadian Press report this morning.

It took over 30 wells to make the Grand Banks discovery in Newfoundland, so we should be prepared for more drilling, according to a Dal professor cited in the article.

3. Justin’s leaving town

Justin Trudeau is leaving us and heading out to New Brunswick today for another town hall meeting to hear about local priorities. He arrived in Halifax yesterday evening for a similar event. How many people were there? Metro says 2,000. Canadian Press says 3,000. CBC says 4,000. So, some people were there I guess.

Real talk in Dartmouth tonight. pic.twitter.com/5eRdCM4Urx

— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 17, 2017

Justin also swung by CBC Mainstreet beforehand for an interview which you can listen to here. In both the interview and the town hall he was asked — and answered — some tough questions. Let’s look at a few:


Keith Doucette, writing for CP, writes that someone asked Trudeau about the challenges of immigrating to Canada. Trudeau responded that because his maternal grandmother came from Scotland, he has “some idea of the challenges it takes to come to Canada.” Not everyone was pleased with the PM drawing this parallel.

Pretty insulting. PM Justin Trudeau spent his childhood in luxury at 45 Sussex Dr. I was born in working class Glasgow #Scotland. #PMTour https://t.co/86AJPcL6Cd

— Richard Anderson (@RicksDesk) January 17, 2017

Health care

Reporting for CBC, Paul Withers reports that a young conservative named Paul Shaw who asked Trudeau, “I wonder if you could partner with the federal government to replace our hospitals.” That’s a pretty worthwhile question, Shaw, since the Victoria General still hasn’t taken up my suggestion to put cats in little nurse uniforms and have them run through the halls managing any remnants of the hospital’s 2016 rat problem. (What’s the situation with that rat issue, by the way? Any hospital workers want to weigh in?)

Seriously though. Look at how good cats are at taking care of sick people!


Withers writes that Trudeau responded to Shaw’s question and “said it’s not the federal government’s responsibility to decide local priorities.” That’s funny — because former NDP candidate for MLA, Abad Khan, has used that same point to ask why the Prime Minster was even here. More on that in Views.

Donald J. Trump 

Sad! I pulled out this giant orange Cheeto that got stuck between your grandmother’s couch cushions in 1967 or so. It has since grown and become sentient, and now is about to hold the highest office of political power in the so-called free world.

One audience member asked Justin Trudeau how he planned to work with said crusty snack remnant. According to Keith Doucette, Trudeau said that jobs depend on a good working relationship with the United States, but that he’d also stand firm on his beliefs in refugee support and women’s equality.  ““We’re going to stay true to who we are,” he said. “Is it going to be a challenge? Sure.”


Discussion of pipelines became a “tense moment” for the Prime Minister, reports Haley Ryan for Metro, after a Mikmaq woman called for oil to be left in the ground:

She asked why Trudeau always brings up jobs and the economy when discussing new pipelines, without the same attention to alternate energy.

“There’s going to be people on other sides of the issue and I can point out 39 different indigenous communities out west who are very supportive of the Kinder Morgan pipeline,” Trudeau said before a chorus of “lies” came from the woman and others near her.

Trudeau asked for them to be respectful as he answered, outlining an ocean’s protection plan for both the B.C. and Atlantic coasts and “world-class” spill response.

Trudeau said while alternative energy is important, approved pipelines like Kinder Morgan would offer oil during the “transition” to new sources.

More discussion over pipelines happened with the students of Divest Dal, outside the hockey arena where Trudeau spoke. As I followed some of the event coverage online, my favourite moment was when Trudeau practically jumped to take a selfie with these two young women, but dodged out of the frame when they asked him a question of substance:

Embarrassing fact, though: I’ve watched the video a few times now (because HAHAHAHA) and can’t figure out the first question, on what they’re asking him to implement. I know it’s environment related because that’s Divest Dal’s thing. But if you have better hearing than me, can you post what they’re saying below in the comments?


1. Why was Justin even here?

That’s one question Abad Khan wants to ask. The NDP strategist and former candidate for MLA wrote a public Facebook post criticizing the fact that Mayor Mike Savage, a former Liberal MP for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, sent out an invite to the regional town hall. Khan says that it’s not appropriate to mix multiple levels of government, and says that our mayor is stumping for a national leader.

“With our mayor hosting, is it asking the federal government for a fair share of revenue?” he says. “Who is paying for the planning, hosting, and lists building? The questions go on and on.”

You can read the whole take in full:

(Disclosure: Abad Khan worked on former NDP MP Megan Leslie’s campaign in 2015. I worked on her previous campaign for a few weeks in the prior election, when I was a university student.)

2. Distracted walking: should we ban it?

The CBC’s Shaina Luck reported on a new discussion in Halifax, over whether or not we should ban “distracted walking,” which mostly refers to crossing intersections while texting.

Here’s my view: no. This is silly. Three reasons:

  1. With some very few exceptions, we don’t make laws on how people use their own bodies. It’s not illegal to ingest drugs, to sell sexual services, to have an abortion. We regulate things around how we use our bodies (drug possession, solicitation), but that’s a clear line in a liberal democracy. To me, telling people how to walk crosses that line.
  2. People who walk distractedly probably aren’t going to kill someone else with their behaviour. Why should the onus be on them, when they’re not the ones commandeering a cradle of gasoline and steel?
  3. Everyone walks. But as studies have recently shown, not everyone is stopped by police equally in the HRM. Do we really want to give the police more small infractions to harass people with?

In the interest of disclosure, I got hit by a pickup truck once while crossing the street and listening to audio on my phone. Police said it was my fault. I’m still bitter. The truck, however, is presumably fine.


If you have a dog and aren’t sure where you can take your furry friend, there’s a new list of dog-friendly spots in town on Reddit.



Halifax & West Community Council (6pm, City Hall) — all about… rats!


Veterans Affairs (2pm, Province House) — Heidi Cramm, the interim co-scientific director of the Canadian Institute for Military and Veterans Health Research at Queens University, will be questioned.

On campus


Influence  (11:30am, Room 430, Goldberg Computer Science Building) —  Aaron Gerow will speak on “Measuring Scholarly Impact Without Citations: A Robust Probabilistic Model of Influence in Text.”

Compassion Fatigue (12pm, Room 3207, Mona Campbell Building) — Caroleann Simmons will speak, but we’re all too tired to care.

Emotional Disorders and Addictive Disorders (12pm, Room 409, Centre for Clinical Research) — Sherry Stewart will talk about her research.

Fractions (2:30pm, Room 319, Chase Building) —Dorette Pronk will speak on “Bicategories of Fractions Revisited.” Her abstract:

Motivated by questions about mapping spaces for orbifolds, we revisit the bicategories of fractions conditions and construction. (I will give both in detail.) In particular, in this talk we will present a weaker set of conditions on the class of arrows to be inverted, and we will present a canonical form for the 2-cell diagrams using the pseudo pullbacks. This presentation makes horizontal composition much simpler than in the general case.

Architecture Lecture (6pm, School of Architecture) — Peter Busby, founder and recent Chair of the Canada Green Building, will talk about, I dunno, buildings, probably.

Genomics (6:30pm, Halifax Central Library) — An “interactive panel” (whatever that means) discussion on “Using Genetics to Find New Treatments of Disease.”  Panelists include:  Steven J.M. Jones, Christopher McMaster, Conrad Fernandez, Andrew Burke, Johan Van Limbergen, Morgan Langille, and Senator James S. Cowan, QC.

In the harbour

The seas around Nova Scotia, 8:45am Tuesday. There’s been a noticeable uptick in oil tankers (red ships) coming in and out of Saint John recently. Map: marinetraffic.com

4:30am: Acadian, oil tanker, sails from Irving Oil for sea
6am: Atlantic Cartier, ro-ro container, arrives at Fairview Cove from New York
7am: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, arrives at Pier 41 from St. John’s
7:45am: Atlantic Griffon, barge, sails from Pier 9 for sea trials
4pm: Atlantic Cartier, ro-ro container, sails from Fairview Cove for Liverpool, England
4:30pm: Atlantic Griffon, barge, arrives at Bedford Basin after sea trials
10pm: CSL Tacoma, bulker, arrives at National Gypsum from Portsmouth, Maine


Tim returns tomorrow.

Join the Conversation


Only subscribers to the Halifax Examiner may comment on articles. We moderate all comments. Be respectful; whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims. Please read our Commenting Policy.
  1. I think Premier McNeil should legislate an Act Prohibiting Public Stupidity (APPS).

    A first stupid offense like crossing a busy road while texting should by punished with a stupidity fine of $697.50. Repeat offenses and stupid acts committed in public by designated morons should attract punitively higher fines. Elected public office bearers would naturally be exempted.

    Stupid fines would replace silly fines for people found crossing streets while watching traffic carefully with a more broadly applicable fine. Everyone knows the cupboard is bare, so we cannot afford teachers or family doctors who expect to be paid per se. Government must become more innovative with revenue generation. It says so somewhere in the Ivany report.

    Stephen McNeil is the ideal Premier to implement a stupid Act.

    Prior to the next election he could promise voters that his government will continue to support silly jaywalking fines for at least another five years. Afterward he could suddenly replace silly fines with stupid ones. Care would be taken to avoid any public warning or consultation and especially to avoid any research into how other jurisdictions who brought down similar stupid laws fared. That would be a spoiler alert that might ruin the whole surprise.

    The definition of stupidity should be kept intentionally vague to maximize catchment and hence revenue. It might for example include dressing inappropriately for the weather, being overweight or voting NDP. It should take the form of a summary offense like a traffic conviction where you are pronounced stupid at the scene of the crime by a law enforcement officer, and you can try and prove your innocence in court if you dare. Frankly that would be even more stupid, which in turn could attract further charges.

    Anyone who disagrees with The Act risks being officially deemed as stupid.

    When jaywalkers complain that the Premier had promised to keep the older silly law, he could insist he actually did, then turn and ask his band of forthright MLAs if that wasn’t the truth. Those not glumly gazing at the carpet would all heartily agree. Besides, he could retort, all that fuss about the APPS comes from the negativity of stupid people – which could in turn qualify as a further stupid offense. (They know where you live).

    I’m confident that a hefty fine levied against people being stupid when crossing roads would save lives, elevate our birthrate and thus create more taxpayers to help governments not quite afford doctors and teachers. Naturally anyone being so egregiously stupid as to end up dead should be fined $6975.00 and cautioned against doing it again.

    Now that would be sensible.

  2. Legislation will no more prescribe how a pedestrian is to walk than existing (cell phone) legislation prescribes how a driver should drive. Tim are you advocating a repeal of the legislation making it an offence to use a mobile device while driving?

    Vehicle-pedestrian collisions often result in injury. Those injuries often result in costs to the health care system. Every reported collision requires police time and effort. While it is true pedestrians don’t kill cars or drivers, collisions can and do have impacts on both the pedestrian (primarily physical) and the driver (primarily psychological), and their families.

    Less use of cell phones by pedestrians crossing a roadway => fewer distractions

    Fewer distractions => fewer vehicle-pedestrian collisions

    Fewer collisions => less involvement of police

    Fewer collisions => less cost to the health care system

    Fewer collisions => less trauma to both the pedestrian and driver

    Our goal should be fewer collisions. That should be the outcome if pedestrians are less distracted. If police are stopping pedestrians exhibiting unsafe behaviour, no different then stopping drivers exhibiting unsafe behaviour through use of a cell phone or speeding … surely that is a good thing.

    1. Developers believe that every piece of land should be able to be built upon. They forget that the Municipality has the right to determining what is appropriate or not when it comes to the planning and development of a municipal region. To a developer it matters not what the fair market value is; in their minds fair means what they estimate their profit would be if they developed a a given property. So the Annapolis Group is suing HRM for $120million (I think)…. they forget that ownership of land for speculative purposes is not a guarantee that they will ever have the right to develop on that land unless it is zoned to allow such development. This developer is correct that HRM should have made a decision by now as to what to do with the BMBC area; but $120million… the only ones that will be making a significant profit during this legal action is likely to be the Annapolis’s lawyers… since HRM has their own lawyers in staff positions.

  3. The UNDRIP as written is absolutely ridiculous. (from wikipedia):”Former Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Chuck Strahl described the document as “unworkable in a Western democracy under a constitutional government.”[30] Strahl elaborated, saying “In Canada, you are balancing individual rights vs. collective rights, and (this) document … has none of that. By signing on, you default to this document by saying that the only rights in play here are the rights of the First Nations. And, of course, in Canada, that’s inconsistent with our constitution.” He gave an example: “In Canada … you negotiate on this … because (native rights) don’t trump all other rights in the country. You need also to consider the people who have sometimes also lived on those lands for two or three hundred years, and have hunted and fished alongside the First Nations.”[31]”

    The UNDRIP gives an absurd amount of power to first nations communities. It’s ridiculous to say that most of the world has signed it so we should too, because most of the world does not have a conflict between the indigenous population and the majority of the population – they’re the same thing. Why should we care that some country that is inhabited solely by it’s indigenous people signed it? It means nothing there.

  4. I think the rat problem is better at the VG as we now have mice running around and the two species tend not to occupy the same space.
    Pest control is around most of the time though. Would be interesting to see how much is spent on pest control at hospitals. Can’t imagine how bad it would be without it.

  5. I have noticed frequently that pedestrians (16 to 35 years approx.) walk off the sidewalk while listening to their headsets or while talking to themself or others by cell phone.

    This appears not to be against the law but would it not be safer for all pedestrians to adopt the same rules as vehicles at the four way stop? Stop at the kerb, look and listen and then proceed if it is safe to do so?

    “Save a life -i t might be your own.”

  6. Re: 2. Distracted walking: should we ban it?

    “1. With some very few exceptions, we don’t make laws on how people use their own bodies…”… somewhat true… seat belts. jaywalking and riding bicycles with helmets comes quickly to mind… but those are for personal safety reasons. But isn’t a law to ban texting while crossing the street the same idea; to encourage safety where some people are too lazy to do so for themselves.

    “2. People who walk distractedly probably aren’t going to kill someone else with their behaviour…”… somewhat true… could one consider such action an unintended suicide? For every pedestrian that gets hit, there is a driver with a lifetime of bad dreams… especially for a fatality. Both party’s share a level of unnecessary blame, unnecessary because most vehicle-pedestrian collisions are preventable.

    “3…. Do we really want to give the police more small infractions to harass people with?”… if enforcement of this “small infraction” saves only one life in the future was it worth it?

    The bottom line is that if every pedestrian took “reasonable care” when assessing road traffic prior to stepping into a lane-way when crossing a street. there would likely be far fewer vehicle-pedestrian incidents. Penalizing bad driver’s for being distracted is accepted (I bet not that happily in the beginning), so why should bad acting pedestrians be given a free ride (pun intended)?

    Do I believe that a fine for distracted pedestrians is necessary? No, but then again such laws only affect the lazy inconsiderate walkers who would rather put their life in danger than look out for their own safety? If you think most drivers that hit a pedestrian do not suffer significant mental trauma from such incidents, I would like to see some medical facts to back that up… most drivers are not out there looking for pedestrians to hit.

  7. Pretty sure they asked him if he plans to implement UNDRIP, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

  8. Excellent take on the distracted walking insanity. Another example of blaming the victim instead of looking at the real problem: cities designed primarily with how to move cars around in mind and treating pedestrians and cyclists as inconveniences to be dealt with as an afterthought.

  9. The Divest Dal question is about UNDRIP (the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) said phonetically.
    Bravo to those two women for catching JT off-guard in a moment of hilarious, brilliant activism.

  10. They’re asking him if he’ll implement UNDRIP – the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

  11. Abad Khan makes a hell of a good point. Is Mike Savage angling for a higher level post? Perhaps Premier?