News

1. Goldboro

A schematic of the proposed Goldboro LNG plant. Graphic: Pieridae Energy

“Canada’s Impact Assessment Agency is now considering a request from Ecojustice and other environmental groups to launch an environmental assessment of a $13 billion Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility proposed for Goldboro,” reports Jennifer Henderson.

At issue is the odd regulatory history of the proposal:

Keltic Petrochemical first proposed a Goldboro natural gas project back in 2007, and it was approved by the CEAA soon after. But that Keltic plant never materialized.

Then, in 2012, federal CEAA considered Pieridae’s reboot of a Goldboro project, and decided not to get involved with it, saying that its 2007 approval of the Keltic project sufficed.

In 2014, the province granted its approval of the Pieridae project.

But last week’s letter to federal Environment minister Jonathan Wilkinson states the LNG project being proposed by Pieridae Energy today is “vastly different” from the project first proposed by Keltic Petrochemical back in 2007.

The Keltic Project proposed using liquefied natural gas (LNG) derived from the liquids plant at Goldboro that was built to process byproducts of offshore gas development at Sable Island. Keltic planned to “gasify” the liquids for use in the production of plastic pellets that would be exported as a “value added” product across North America. Leftover spent NG would be recycled through a co-generation plant to supply electricity to the facility.

The LNG project proposed by Pieridae Energy reverses the process. It starts with natural gas piped from Alberta to Nova Scotia and then “liquefies” it at a $13-billion facility to be built at Goldboro. The LNG would be transported by tanker ship and sold as a fuel to countries across the Atlantic seeking to lower their carbon emissions from other fossil fuels.

According to the letter from the environmentalists, the biggest and most concerning difference between the two projects is the amount of carbon or GHG emissions.

“The federal assessment of the Keltic Project (2007) assessed cumulative GHG emissions as ‘a minor contribution to Nova Scotia’s total GHG emissions.’ The federal assessment stated that while the Keltic facilities’ main contributor to GHG emissions would be the 200 MW co-generation plant, regasification of LNG would also be a contributing source.”

The letter to Wilkinson goes on to argue:

In contrast, the provincial assessment of the Goldboro LNG Project recognized that it would increase the province’s GHG emissions by almost 20% (above 2010 levels) and that the Goldboro LNG facility would be the largest single GHG emitter in the province. The report states that despite the commitment to developing a GHG management plan and contributing to carbon offset programs, ‘it is still likely that the province’s ability to achieve the goals laid out in the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act would be compromised.’ As the 2020 EGSPA target has passed, this increase in emissions will also threaten Nova Scotia’s intended minimal targets for 2030 and 2050, set out in the Sustainable Development Goals Act (SDGA).

Seven years later, it’s worth noting Pieridae Energy has not yet submitted the GHG Management Plan referenced in its Environmental Assessment. And the provincial assessment did not consider emissions related to transporting gas across Canada or shipping it around the world.

Click here to read “Environmental groups slam Goldboro LNG project.”

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2. Bar Society

“The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society claims it wants to ‘eliminate or mitigate systemic discrimination’ in its organization,” writes Stephen Kimber. “But will it really come to terms with its Lyle Howe legacy?”

Click here to read “The ‘quiet’ turmoil inside the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society.”

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3. COVID

The daily new case counts and 7-day rolling average since March 28, the last day with zero new cases.

The virus is persistent. On Saturday, the daily new case count dropped to double digits — 86 — for the first time in two weeks, giving some hope that the current outbreak is subsiding. But then on Sunday, the daily count jumped back up to 126.

There will be statistical noise, and this outbreak isn’t going to just suddenly end, just like that, but I think we can reasonably expect numbers to trend downward for the next couple of weeks, as people limit travel and interpersonal interactions out in the world. We’ll get there.

However, not to be Debbie Downer, but we will see increased hospitalization (modelling predicts that as many as 60 people will be in ICU), and likely, more deaths.

I write a daily post with the current daily numbers, vaccination rates, testing sites, potential exposure warnings, and more. Or, if you want more immediate information, you should follow me on Twitter.

Premier Iain Rankin and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang have scheduled a COVID briefing for 3pm today.

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4. Child care centres

Mrs. Robinson’s Childcare Centre

“A Fall River child care centre operator with 46 cents left in her bank account says she’ll be forced to close her doors if the province doesn’t provide promised funds to support centres forced to remain open to provide essential child care,” reports Yvette d’Entremont:

“We lost about $3,000 to $4,000 in parent fees this month and that funding still hasn’t come,” Molly Rogers, co-owner/operator of Mrs. Robinson’s Childcare Centre, said in an interview Friday.

“As far as I know, every child care centre in the province is still waiting on their funding. And I’m sure we’re not the only ones who are in such a dire situation.”

Click here to read “Child care centres in ‘dire situation’ as owners wait for promised funding from province.”

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5. Policing the pandemic

Photo: Halifax Examiner

On Friday, the province went to court to ask for an injunction against public gatherings, and for promoting those gatherings on social media. The court granted it. The injunction came after widespread condemnation of an anti-mask rally planned for Citadel Hill on Saturday.

Then, on Saturday, using the enhanced powers granted to them by the court injunction, Halifax police in fact arrested a group of anti-maskers gathering on Citadel Hill. But police also arrested a group of Free Palestine protestors who had amended their planned gathering to become a car protest — people driving around in their vehicles rather than all gathering at one spot.

“Policing has not solved the pandemic,” writes Martha Paynter:

Nova Scotia police have issued approximately $1 million in tickets while the province is experiencing one of the greatest economic threats in memory. 

Individual participants in the Free Palestine rally face $2,000 fines. Noncompliance with the injunction risks receiving a criminal record. 

People — many of whom would describe themselves as progressive — who called for policing of anti-maskers must accept that policing will not just target those who are so privileged that masks are the hill they choose to die on. Policing is not nuanced. Police will come for those who are protesting the killing of children, the destruction of medical facilities, the suppression of the free press. It will come for those who protest police brutality. 

The injunction, like many things this pandemic, was hastily conceived, and can and should be reversed.

Click here to read “Policing won’t solve the pandemic.”

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6. Animals euthanized

Somebody out there in the world filed a Freedom of Information request looking for records from the provincial Department of Lands and Forestry related to its use of firearms.

The unknown (to me) requester was particularly interested in a list of “types of weapons/arms (e.g Taser, 9mm GLOCK service pistol, .223 C-8 carbine, crew-served weapons, etc. ) used by a member of the Ministries in that year’s Ministries-involved-shooting incidents,” to which Deputy MinisterPaul LaFleche responded dryly, “the department does not have any records for part B of your request as the department does not issue semi-automatic .223/5.56mm firearms or semi-automatic .308/7.62mm firearms.”

LaFleche did, however, include a list of all the department’s firearms, which are the kinds of shotguns and rifles (and a couple of combination guns) you’d expect wildlife officers to have access to, and then a list of the number of animals euthanized, by year:

No explanation was provided for the, er, scattershot numbers of injured animals that had to be put down — what happened in 2011 that caused such a spike in injuries? Nor was the steady year-to-year increase in “nuisance” animals explained, but I’m guessing that simply reflects the never-ending expropriation of wildlands by we humans for our subdivisions, cottages, and highways.

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7. Coronavirus fever

Bill Gates. Photo: UN/Jean-Marc Ferré/Flickr

While perusing the Freedom of Information requests, I came upon a couple that were filed by someone of a conspiracy bent.

One request reads:

Please provide all correspondence received and transmitted between Stephen McNeil when acting as Premier of Nova Scotia and Bill Gates including all meetings with other Premiers of canada. Please provide all correspondence received and transmitted between Stephen McNeil when acting as Premier of Nova Scotia and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. These requests are in the public interest of Nova Scotians. The media isn’t asking the necessary questions of the people put in office to represent us concerning the covlD-19 measures. Therefore we, the people of Nova Scotia, are being kept in the dark and as a result our rights and freedoms are being infringed upon. Laws that have been passed to protect legislators from prosecution and/or to obfuscate people’s rightful informed consent are fraudulent and are therefore void. This statement is to mitigate any redactions that are being used to withhold information from the people of Nova Scotia.

No such records exist, explained Laura Lee Langley, deputy minister to the premier.

Another request, obviously from the same person, reads:

Please provide all correspondence received and transmitted between both Stephen McNeil and lain Rankin when they are acting as Premier of Nova Scotia and GAVI World Health Alliance. These requests are in the public interest of Nova Scotians. The media isn’t asking the necessary questions of the people put in office to represent us concerning the COVID-19 measures. Therefore we, the people of Nova Scotia, are being kept in the dark and as a result our rights and freedoms are being infringed upon. Laws that have been passed to protect legislators from prosecution and/or to obfuscate people’s rightful informed consent are fraudulent and are therefore void. This statement is to mitigate any reasons for redactions that are being used to withhold information from the people of Nova Scotia.

GAVI is the organization founded by the Gates Foundation with the aim of expediting vaccine distribution to poor countries. As a recent Intercept report on the subject relates, the effort is largely failing, but that’s because it is stuck in a market-driven mindset such that, push comes to shove, intellectual property rights owned by the ultra-rich are valued over preventing the potential deaths of tens of millions of people.

Langley once again responded that no such correspondence between either premier and GAVI exists.

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Government

City

Monday

Grants Committee (Monday, 9am) — livestreamed via YouTube.

Board of Police Commissioners (Monday, 2:30pm) — livestreamed via YouTube.

Advisory Committee on Accessibility in HRM (Monday, 4pm) — livestreamed via YouTube.

Tuesday

Halifax Regional Council (Tuesday, 10am) — livestreamed on YouTube, with captioning on a text-only site/

Province

Monday

No public meetings.

Tuesday

Veterans Affairs (Tuesday, 2pm) — video conference: “Impacts of COVID-19 and Funding Challenges,” with Mike Gingell from Paws Fur Thought.


On campus

No events.


In the harbour

Halifax
04:30: Dalian Express, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for Port Said, Egypt
05:00: Atlantic Sea, ro-ro container, arrives at Fairview Cove from Norfolk, Virginia
06:00: Tropic Hope, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Philipsburg, Sint Maarten
07:00: Lagrafoss, container ship, arrives at Pier 41 from Reykjavik, Iceland
12:00: AlgoNorth, oil tanker, sails from Imperial Oil for sea
15:00: Lagrafoss, container ship, sails for Portland
15:30: Atlantic Sea sails for Liverpool, England
21:00: CMA CGM Marco Polo, container ship, arrives at Berth TBD from Colombo, Sri Lanka
21:30: Tropic Hope sails for sea

Cape Breton
10:00: Mia Desgagnes, oil tanker, sails from Government Wharf (Sydney) for sea
12:00: Radcliffe R. Latimer, bulker, sails from Aulds Cove quarry north through the causeway lock for sea
17:00: Thunder Bay, bulker, arrives at Aulds Cove quarry from Charlottetown
17:00: Red, oil tanker, sails from Point Tupper for sea
18:00: Kyrakatingo, oil tanker, sails from Point Tupper for sea


Footnotes

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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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11 Comments

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  1. The reason so many wild animals are being killed is because there is NOWHERE LEFT TO RELOCATE THEM.

  2. I would not be surprised if it was Dena Churchill who filed those requests. They look very similar to a lot of things she posts regularly on Facebook….especially letter templates she draws up.

  3. One possible link to the number of increased euthanized animals in 2011 2012 is the onset of White-nose Syndrome in bats. DLF received a lot of calls from people with dead and dying bats when it first hit and we lost 95% of the resident bat populations. Otherwise I can’t think of any other link to those particular years.

  4. Lyle Howe is guilty of being a disorganized and over booked lawyer like many other lawyers.
    But Mr Howe is more guilty than white lawyers because he is guilty of being a disorganized , over booked lawyer- while being Black.

  5. 206 beautiful, innocent creatures gunned down by the cowboy killers at DLF because they happened to be a “nuisance”? To whom, I wonder. They’re just not worth the extra effort and cost of trapping and relocating, it would appear. Disgusting. Primitive. They have equal right to this land, to this planet.

    1. Nobody at DLF goes to work be a “cowboy killer” just as veterinarians don’ get into their profession for the thrill of putting down animals.

      Sometimes when you work in wildlife conservation you have no choice but to euthanize an animal. I’ve had to euthanize individual animals from the very endangered populations that I was working to bring back. It NEVER feels good.

      Your comment attempts to dehumanize and ‘other’ people doing good and necessary work in the diverse world of wildlife conservation who also happen to have to sometimes euthanize wildlife.

  6. Where does that FOIA request mention microchips? One way that narratives are controlled is by associating all dissent or skepticism of mainstream narratives with an absurd counter-theory that very few people will believe. As far as I can tell the microchip theory emerged from a number of credible articles from 2018 and 2019 such as this one: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/invisible-ink-could-reveal-whether-kids-have-been-vaccinated/

    A QR code made from fluorescent microparticles isn’t a “computer chip” in the dictionary sense, but it is a device that can interface seamlessly with a computer system so there is little practical difference. Of course, this technology is not actually being used with the various COVID vaccines, but it could be.

    1. in the anti-covid vaccine enclaves, the belief that Bill Gates is microchipping them to track people is VERY common.

      what i think most of those folks fail to realize as they are posting that lunacy from the phones or computers on social media, they have already tagged and tracked. that’s no conspiracy theory either…

  7. I don’t understand why so many people are complaining that police ticketed people at a car rally where everyone is in cars when there are many photos circulating showing people at that rally gathered outside of their cars.

    1. Also take into consideration of the potential for extenuating circumstances. Sure everyone is in their car (or not) but what if they have an accident? Now they are putting first responders at increased risk. A couple in Ontario tried, unsuccessfully, to fight a ticket they got when they were out for a drive during lockdown last year. The judge threw out their argument that they were in their car for the same reason, increased potential of unnecessary exposure.

    2. Looks to me that they are within their family/friends bubble. I think it is just the angle of the photo.
      I would like to see more photos.