News

1. Veterans

Reports Paul McLeod:

The federal government will argue Wednesday that its social covenant to care for injured veterans was just political speech and not meant to be taken seriously.

Ottawa is trying to have a lawsuit by a group of disabled veterans tossed out. The British Columbia Supreme Court refused, but the government is now appealing the case to the B.C. Court of Appeal.

Six disabled veterans, united under the banner of the Equitas Society, hope to strike down the government’s decision to replace lifelong pensions for injured soldiers with one-time payments.

They allege this breaches the sacred obligation to care for veterans wounded in the line of duty, which has been articulated as far back as the First World War. 

The government will make its arguments Wednesday, but in written submissions has argued that “these statements were political speeches not intended as commitments or solemn commitments.”

2. Alleged sexual assault at hospital

Police release:

On April 22, 2014, Halifax Regional Police received a complaint from an 18-year-old woman about a sexual assault that occurred in a QEII Health Sciences Centre operating block on April 15. The woman was being prepared to undergo surgery when a male witness observed a patient attendant, who was assisting in surgery preparation, inappropriately touching the sedated female patient.

After an investigation by detectives assigned to the Sexual Assault Investigative Team of the Integrated Criminal Investigation Division, a man was arrested without incident after he turned himself in at Police Headquarters earlier this morning. Forty-three-year-old Scott Christopher Goreham from Lower Prospect man is facing a charge of sexual assault.

“Kathy MacNeil, a vice-president with Capital Health, told reporters the incident was reported to hospital administration April 16. She said Goreham was suspended April 17 and fired April 30,” reports the Chronicle Herald.

3. City council

I’ll publish a full report about yesterday’s council meeting later today.

4. Pedestrians struck by cars

Yesterday morning:

At 8:37 a.m., police responded to a vehicle/pedestrian collision at the intersection of Artz and Brunswick Streets. A 75-year-old man crossing Brunswick Street in a marked crosswalk was hit by a car turning left from Artz Street onto Brunswick Street. He suffered non-life threatening injuries and was transported to hospital by EHS.

A 35-year-old woman was issued a summary offence ticket under section 125(1) of the Motor Vehicle Act for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. This ticket carries a fine of $693.95 and four points on a driver’s license upon conviction.

Yesterday afternoon:

At 3:04 p.m., police responded to a vehicle/pedestrian collision at the intersection of Norm Newman and Baker Drives. A woman in her forties crossing Baker Drive in a marked crosswalk was hit by a car turning left from Norm Newman Drive onto Baker Drive. She suffered non-life threatening injuries and was transported to hospital by EHS.

A 54-year-old woman was issued a summary offence ticket under section 125(1) of the Motor Vehicle Act for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. This ticket carries a fine of $693.95 and four points on a driver’s license upon conviction.

The pedestrian is actually in her 50s but has “fab skin,” reports her daughter. Her mom was “swiped at the knees, rolled onto the hood of the car and then hit the ground.” She was checked out at the hospital, but has no obvious serious injuries.

5. Ship of Theseus

Photo: Brett Ruskin from Global News, via Twitter

A new hydraulic steering system has been installed on the Bluenose 2, a perfect match for the 1921 original.

6. Libbie Baker

Libbie Baker. Source: Globe & Mail

The Globe and Mail has published a wonderful obituary for Libbie Baker:

From a tiny basement studio on Bell Road in Halifax, Libbie Baker, a pioneer of Nova Scotian television talk shows, hosted Look in on Libbie  for a seven-year run starting in 1960. The low-budget women’s show, seen every weekday afternoon, ranged from interviews with celebrities, such as the Irish folk group The Clancy Brothers and American astronaut Pete Conrad, to daily birth announcements, recipes, home hints and the departure and arrival dates of Royal Canadian Navy ships.

Described as a tall, dark, vivacious host, Ms. Baker, who died in Toronto on Nov. 3 at the age of 87, co-hosted the 30-minute program on CBC Television in Halifax with Jim Bennet, who also appeared on the popular TV show Singalong Jubilee.

“She had a lovely voice,” Mr. Bennet recalled. “She had a nice, casual style.”

Offering women a wide variety of topics and interests, the Look in on Libbieshow also included live music segments and a series entitled So Grows the Child, for which Ms. Baker invited doctors into the studio to discuss issues important to mothers.

During that time, Ms. Baker also became the face of Halifax on CBC nationally, appearing as a guest panelist on programs such as Front Page Challenge and the quiz show Live a Borrowed Life. In addition, she hosted coverage of popular events such as the Queen’s Plate, the country’s oldest thoroughbred horse race, and the opening of Expo 67 in Montreal. But it was her interest in the Apollo space program, designed to land humans on the moon and return them safely to Earth, that garnered her the most attention. Her interest in space exploration led to her to become Canada’s media expert on the Apollo program.


Views

1. New library

Allison Sparling toured the new library and took a lot of photos:

Here is what this library is: open, beautiful, stark, homey, accessible, classic, friendly, warm, modern, innovative, classic, completely different while maintaining what is important about a library, accessible, eco friendly, and truly world class. A recording studio. A theatre, An auditorium. A lecture hall. A sound production studio. A play place. A kitchen. A place with lots of privacy. A place with lots of open space. A rooftop patio. A puppet place. A place for children. A place for seniors. A place for everyone. A home away from home.

A lot of people, myself included, like getting lost in old libraries and finding all of the hidden nooks and spaces. You cannot do that in this library, and that is a good thing. Secrets mean inaccessibility. But the lack of “lost” does not mean a lack of nooks; children can play and scream and not be heard from another pod despite all of the beautiful wide open space that lets in the light. There is always a new place to wander, something new to discover, even if you can always see all of it. It’s special like that.

2. Rural Nova Scotia

Photo: Stephen Archibald

Stephen Archibald pulls out his photos of rural Nova Scotia in the 1960s and 70s. He has always had an eye for detail, and this is no exception; for this photo he notes: “Here is a shop in Lakeville in the Annapolis Valley in 1977. I love that the sign painter has started out boldly and then realizes that he is going to run out of space and the letters get lighter and more condensed. The small sign in the window says ‘Marriage Licences.’” But since he got me looking, I notice that the windows on the right side don’t line up properly and the door seems to be an afterthought to construction, with the stoop thrown willy nilly wherever it landed.

3. Cranky letter of the day

To the Chronicle Herald:

I’m not surprised Canada Post has earned $84 million for the first three quarters of this year (Nov. 27 story), given the exorbitant amount we have to pay for postage.

Those of us who still write letters and send parcels are being gouged to the limit and it’s particularly noticeable at Christmastime when we prefer to extend personal greetings to friends and family in faraway places rather than resorting to mere emails.

The cost of an international letter or card—never mind a parcel—is $2.50 plus tax!

Canada Post had better not wallow in its good fortune for too long, because it’s pricing itself out of business. We who are keeping it afloat just won’t be able to afford it anymore.

Carola Manchester, Cole Harbour


Government

City

City council (10am, City Hall)—budget deliberations

Transportation Standing Committee (2:30pm, City Hall)

A Halifax Transit report to the committee shows that despite significant investments in expanding the bus fleet, ridership has not increased. Revenue has gone up, however, because of the fare increase.

North West Planning Advisory Committee (7pm, Four-pad arena in Bedford)—WSP Canada wants to build 56 residential units on 22.7 hectares between Sackville Drive and Highway 101.

Province

No public meetings.


On campus

Dalhousie

Today

Biology seminar (1pm, Room 3-H1, Tupper Building)—Sylvain Simard and Daniel Caron will present on “Cleaning and Decontamination for the Research Laboratory.”

Thursday

Thesis defence, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Thursday, 9:30am, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building)—PhD candidate Marie-Laurence Tremblay will defend her thesis, “The Structural Characterization of Argiope Trifasciata Spider Wrapping Silk by Solution-State NMR.”

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology seminar (Thursday, 4pm, Theatre D, CRC Building)—Lawrence McIntosh, from the University of British Columbia, will talk on “Where is the Proton? Electrostatics and pH-Dependent Enzymatic Reactions.”

Planetarium show (Thursday, 7:15pm, Room 120, Dunn Building)—”Signposts in the sky.” Five bucks at the door.


Noticed

With just our naked eyes, this is about right, but if you know where to look you can also see collections of stars that are very far away, like the the Andromeda galaxy and the Magellanic Clouds.


In the harbour

The seas off Nova Scotia, 6am Wednesday. Map: marinetraffic.com

(click on vessel names for pictures and more information about the ships)

Arrivals

Zim Monaco, container ship, Valencia, Spain to Pier 41
Alice Oldendorff, bulker, New York to National Gypsum
Florida Highway, car carrier, Brunswick, England to Autoport

Departures

East Coast to Tampa, Florida
Atlantic Compass to Liverpool, England
Cougar Ace to New York
Zim Monaco to New York


Footnotes

Nigel over at FreshPrints emailed yesterday to say the Examiner T-shirts will be ready in the next couple of days.

Gift subscriptions now available!

This is a special deal good only for the month of December. Buy a gift subscription for someone else (or yourself) and get newly minted Halifax Examiner swag—a T-shirt or a coffee mug. Here’s the deal:

• Buy a three-month gift subscription for $30 and get a piece of swag.

OR

• Buy a one-year gift subscription at the discounted price of $100, and also get a piece of swag.

Click here to purchase your gift subscription. For the three-month gift subscription use the discount code Holiday90. For the one-year gift subscription, use the discount code Holiday365. Once payment is made, we’ll follow up to get details.

No credit card? No problem. We also accept cheques, email transfers and PayPal. Just email subscribe@halifaxexaminer for details.

Tim Bousquet

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

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  1. I bought a car so I could drive 6 km to work every day because the bus routes don’t serve me. What remote and esoteric locations are my home and work located in? Halifax peninsula north, and the Bedford Institute of Oceanography. I live less than 500 metres from the Halifax ramp onto the Mackay Bridge but I can’t walk or cycle across it. I can’t even take a bus across it to the workplace that I can practically see from my home. When I first started to work at BIO I tried the bus. It took me three buses and one hour each way to get to work. Driving there takes 10 minutes in the worst traffic conditions. No matter how “enviro” I am, I was not willing to give up 2 hours every day for this, nor to cycle the long way ’round by the MacDonald bridge, so I bought a car. It’s crazy that there is no viable transit going from north end and west end Halifax across the “new” bridge. If this was part of a future transit system, I would happily take the bus, especially one with a bike rack on the front.

  2. Ridership won’t increase unless the routes become more effective.

    They suck right now. The More than buses routes are just as bad. (though in the right direction, they require infrastructure that doesn’t exist yet.)

    A bus doesn’t even remotely compare to a car. Yes, parking downtown can be a bitch. But stand outside for 40 minutes in a snowstorm, even once, waiting for a bus that may or may not come, and you’ll never want to ride again. Do it daily, and you know one of two reasons I bought a car (the other being the strike)

    You’re fine, IF you arrange your life around the bus. Live off a major route and good luck.

  3. I remember Libbie Christensen as a beautiful, very poised, capable woman. She represented for me the possibility of a life including interesting work outside the home (other than as a teacher or a nurse). All of the other mothers I knew at that time did not work outside the home. The received wisdom of the time said that women couldn’t be on air because their voices were too high. If there were others on air they were very few. I think she lived in Dartmouth though I’m not sure of that. I remember her from St James United on Portland St.

  4. Thanx, Tim. As usual, lots of «behind the curtain» news.

    I’ll reserve my comment on the functionalities of the «New Library» until I’ve visited it, but I WILL SAY that typical of «avant garde» architecture it will very soon cost taxpayers gazillions in leak-abatement and other problems associated with inappropriate design-for-the-climate, as well as flying in the face of construction common sense. The promoters claimed the «OLD» Library was a maintenance money-sink…. just wait!

    1. I totally see what you’re saying (I can never for the life of me understand why anyone would construct a building with a flat roof in our climate.) But what with us not being engineers, I don’t think we really have any reason to think the new library will have any issues with rain or snow.

      1. I wouldn’t think the flat roof itself would be an issue. They’re usually filled with gravel and drain into the sewer.

        It’s the protrusions at weird angles. I can see the corners getting full of water, freezing, expanding, repeat.

        I’m sure it’s been designed accordingly, but it’s definitely strange architecture.

  5. “care for veterans wounded in the line of duty”
    Honestly, if Canada doesn’t honor our veterans, I wonder if WE as citizens, have any honor left. We will lose our Canadian identity known for value, integrity and common decency. It’s morally wrong. It’s reprehensible!

    1. They’re $30 with a three-month gift subscription or $100 with a year gift subscription.

  6. Item number one. I see you let it stand without comment, as it more than speaks for itself.

    These Conservative bastards just keep finding a new low to hit. There is no word in any language — not even German — to convey just how unscrupulous and cynical these garbage Tories truly are.

    1. Yeah, this is disgusting.

      Replace the term “political speech” with “lies” in that article and it doesn’t change the gist of it at all.

  7. Is drinking whenever “world class” is used still a thing? It’s 4.43 am out here and I could use one.
    Cheers!