November subscription drive

I’m running behind so I’m just going to repeat what I wrote yesterday:

Everyone should come to our subscription party Sunday. Here’s our Facebook event for the, er, event:

Linden MacIntyre

Come celebrate with us! Investigative journalist Linden MacIntyre joins us as guest speaker. He’ll be announced by former CBC radio host/ spice merchant Costas Halavrezos. Music by Museum Pieces. We’ll have Halifax Examiner swag, cake, and a surprise or two.

That’s Sunday, November 25, 4-7pm at Bearly’s. Free entry for subscribers. Click here to subscribe.


News

1. Oil spill

The SeaRose FPSO. Photo: Husky Energy

“It’s now impossible to clean up Newfoundland’s largest-ever oil spill that leaked into the ocean last week, according to the regulatory board that oversees the province’s offshore activities,” reports Holly McKenzie-Sutter for the Canadian Press:

The 250,000-litre spill happened on Friday morning while Husky Energy’s SeaRose platform was preparing to restart production during a fierce storm that was, at the time, the most intense in the world.

Scott Tessier, chief executive of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, said no oil sheens were spotted on the water on Monday or Tuesday, meaning the oil has likely broken down to the point that it cannot be cleaned up.

2. Cassidy Bernard

Cassidy Bernard. Photo: Facebook

“The chief of a Nova Scotia First Nations community says he’s ‘had enough’ when it comes to unsolved crimes against Indigenous women and girls, so his band is offering a $100,000 reward to help solve the death of a young mother,” reports Taryn Grant for StarMetro Halifax:

“Someone out there might have some kind of information that would enable the law-enforcement people to resolve this issue and (bring) the person or persons responsible … to justice,” said We’koqma’q (Waycobah) Chief Rod Googoo in an interview Tuesday.

We’koqma’q First Nation is offering the reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the death of Cassidy Bernard, a 22-year-old woman found dead in a We’koqma’q, Cape Breton home on Oct. 24. Two infant children were also in the home, unharmed.

3. Oland trial

“After delays, a mistrial and dismissal of the jury, the retrial of Dennis Oland for the second-degree murder of his multimillionaire father will finally begin on Wednesday by judge alone,” reports Chris Morris for the Canadian Press:

The mistrial was announced Tuesday by Justice Terrence Morrison, citing “improprieties” in jury selection involving an officer with the Saint John police force.

Const. Sean Rocca accessed a police database to check on prospective and sworn jurors in violation of a 2012 directive from the Supreme Court of Canada concerning jury vetting.

The same improper jury-vetting had occurred in Oland’s 2015 trial, in which he was convicted, reports Morris; that conviction was overturned, leading to the current retrial. Morris continues:

Rocca, the file coordinator for Crown prosecutors, was paying particular attention in his searches as to whether jurors may have had “negative interactions” with Saint John police.

4. Prescription deaths

Photo: Halifax Examiner

Yesterday, Justice Joshua Arnold issued a decision on a procedural matter in the case of Carlton Bond v Alexandra Willson, John/Jane Doe, and the Canso Pharmacy. Arnold gave the background:

The plaintiff’s mother, Bernice Bond, had a prescription filled at Canso Pharmacy Ltd., the defendant pharmacy, on May 3, 2016.

Before dispensing the prescription, Alexandra Willson, the defendant pharmacist, found that John/Jane Doe, the unidentified defendant pharmacy assistant, had prepared an incorrect dosage of Methotrexate. The pharmacist assistant packaged the Methotrexate to be taken once daily each week instead of once per week as prescribed. The pharmacist directed the assistant to remove the extra tablets, but did not check the compliance packages before dispensing them. The assistant had again left excessive tablets in the compliance packages.

On May 24, 2016, Ms. Bond was admitted to hospital. She died on June 16, 2016. The medical examiner’s report, dated December 12, 2016, describes the cause of death as “acute overdose of medication”, namely Methotrexate.

How sad for all involved.

At issue in the decision was when the limitation period for bringing suit expired.

Carlton Bond hired lawyer Ray Wagner to represent him and his mother’s estate. Wagner began discovery proceedings, asking for documentation from the pharmacy in March 2017, but for various reasons he did not immediately receive that documentation. Wagner filed suit on June 15, 2017, under the provisions of the Fatal Injuries Act.

But the defendants argued that the Pharmacy Act should be the defining legislation covering the case, and the Pharmacy Act’s limitation period expired on May 3, 2017, one year after the day the prescription was filled incorrectly. Since Wagner filed his suit after that date, they argued, the case should be thrown out.

Wagner and Bond countered that the Fatal Injuries Act is the defining legislation covering the case, and the Fatal Injuries Act’s limitation period expired on June 16, 2017, one year after Bernice Bond died, and as Wagner filed the suit one day before the deadline, the case should proceed.

Justice Arnold reviewed the case law and ruled for Bond and Wagner, so the case can proceed.

As I say, sad for all involved. But I wonder just how often incorrect filling of prescriptions leads to death.

5. “Vexatious litigant” Ade Olumide comes to Nova Scotia

I’m fascinated by so-called vexatious litigants: those people who tie up the courts with so many meritless lawsuits and absurd filings that eventually a judge has to rule that the litigant is disallowed from filing any more paperwork without the prior approval of a judge.

Last year, I mentioned Roger Callow, who was laid off from his job as a West Vancouver social studies teacher and then tied up the courts in British Columbia, and then for some inexplicable reason in both Ontario and Quebec before losing in the Supreme Court of Canada, before bringing his suit to Nova Scotia. I wrote:

Of course, Nova Scotia has nothing to do with British Columbia, and certainly nothing to do with the West Vancouver school system or its union. And the Nova Scotia Supreme Court can’t overrule decisions made by courts in B.C., Ontario, or Quebec, or by the Canadian Supreme Court, but those technicalities aren’t about to stop Roger Callow.

This week, Callow filed about a half a ream of documents with the Nova Scotia court. It’s all gobbledygook, but from the documents I learn that Callow filed a complaint with the Nova Scotia Barristers Society, but the Society “refused an examination of the fraudulent Employer’s ‘Book of Authorities.’” He therefore took the issue up with Justice Suzanne Hood, who likewise sensibly refused to deal with Callow, and so Callow is now taking aim at the judge  — “her apparently innocuous action was sufficient to show that the court for a first time was heavily biased in favour of the Employer” and so forth.

Ade Olumide

Our courts seemed to have dispatched with Callow, but now the Nova Scotia courts must deal with Ade Olumide, who, iPolitics reported last year, was sent packing by the Supreme Court of Canada:

The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to hear the six appeals of an Ottawa man who has been fighting various parties, including the Conservative party and the Attorney General of Canada, in Federal Court for years — and has been declared a “vexatious litigant” by three Canadian courts.

Ade Olumide sought the Conservative nomination in the riding of Kanata-Carleton for the 2015 federal election. When the Tories decided not to let him run, Olumide took the party to Federal Court, saying the party never provided him with a reason for his rejection and alleging a violation of his constitutional rights.

Olumide initially asked the court to postpone the date of the party’s nomination meeting until it reached a decision – which snowballed into a messy legal process that continues to this day.

Olumide’s aggressive litigation didn’t start with his failed Conservative nomination run, however. A Federal Court of Appeal ruling from March 2017 estimates that Olumide has “in roughly three years … brought at least 47 matters in various courts.” One of those matters was an application for judicial review against the Canada Revenue Agency in 2013.

After launching the suit against the Conservative Party of Canada in 2015, Olumide also filed additional applications and motions against other parties, including Her Majesty the Queen and the Attorney General of Canada.

He has also appealed several decisions on multiple motions filed throughout the proceedings by both sides.

The Attorney General, along with several other parties, ultimately filed a motion in the Federal Court of Appeal seeking to have Olumide declared a “vexatious litigant.”

In January this year, the appeal court halted all ongoing proceedings and pending motions until the question posed by the AG’s motion was answered. Despite this, Olumide continued to present more motions.

In early March, a judge of the Federal Court of Appeal ruled that Olumide was indeed a “vexatious litigant” – noting that the Federal Court and the Ontario Superior Court of Justice had already come to the same conclusion.

The appeal court argued that Olumide’s active “pleadings, motions and affidavits contain many scandalous and irrelevant allegations and it is not possible to see any merit in them.”

Ah, but the Nova Scotia Supreme Court has not declared Olumide a vexatious litigant, so he’s bring his beef here. Yesterday, he filed a rambling, completely nonsensical 317-page lawsuit with the court.

As near as I can tell, Olumide has decided that since he can’t run as a Conservative candidate for the Ontario legislature, he has a right to move to Nova Scotia and be appointed as a cabinet minister at Province House. Someone at the premier’s office said, “er, that’s not how this works,” and so Olumide rang up the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, and a case manager there said something along the lines of “we can’t change the constitution.” So now Olumide is suing the Human Rights Commission. His brief begins:

GROUNDS FOR REVIEW

1. This is an s15 s24 Charter Application for punitive damages, declaratory relief re Commission perpetuating black slave trade legacy effects (less employment or economic or political opportunities) through anti-black, deliberate, hateful no jurisdiction falsehoods over a period of 4 months, indirect reintroduction of Canada Order-in-Council PC 1911-1324 Order-in-Council banning “any immigrants belonging to the Negro race, which is deemed unsuitable to the climate and requirements of Canada”.

2. Applicant claims that the Respondent deliberately lied about jurisdiction, in order to defraud statutory and constitutional rights to service, jurisdiction is a preliminary extricable question of law, to decide jurisdiction, the Applicant claims that the Commission has an s15 Charter positive obligation take remedial action as opposed to expose to, increase risk of, incite anti-black 65(2a) Elections Act racism that is caused by pre-existing black slave legacy disadvantages; public officer black rights…

… and on and on for 316 more pages. My head was already hurting so I didn’t turn the page to continue reading, but flipping through, I saw that every page was filled with much of the same.

I don’t know if any of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justices read the Halifax Examiner (but hey, if you do, I know what you get paid so I know you can afford a subscription!), but if so, may I suggest that they read a Law Times article about Federal Court of Appeal Justice David Stratas’s ruling on Olumide, and the ruling itself, which reads, in part:

The Federal Courts have finite resources that cannot be squandered. Every moment devoted to a vexatious litigant is a moment unavailable to a deserving litigant. The unrestricted access to courts by those whose access should be restricted affects the access of others who need and deserve it. Inaction on the former damages the latter.

This isn’t just a zero-sum game where a single vexatious litigant injures a single innocent litigant. A single vexatious litigant gobbles up scarce judicial and registry resources, injuring tens or more innocent litigants. The injury shows itself in many ways: to name a few, a reduced ability on the part of the registry to assist well-intentioned but needy self-represented litigants, a reduced ability of the court to manage proceedings needing management, and delays for all litigants in getting hearings, directions, orders, judgments and reasons.

I’ve got great patience for people without legal training or education having access to the court. It’s entirely appropriate, for example, for prisoners to bring action about their conditions, and for the courts to give such people wide latitude.

But someone from Ontario demanding to be appointed to the Nova Scotia’s premier’s cabinet and then suing when that demand isn’t met? Um, no.

6. Pedestrians struck

A police release from this morning:

At 12:49 am on November 21, 2018 a taxi at Spring Garden Road and South Park Street struck two female pedestrians.

The pedestrians had a “walk” signal and were proceeding southbound across Spring Garden Road.

The taxi had a green light and was proceeding southbound on South Park Street and had turned eastbound onto Spring Garden Road when he struck the two pedestrians.

The pedestrians are 26 and 33 years of age.

Both were knocked to the ground.  The 26-year-old pedestrian immediately got up while the other remained on the roadway until EHS attended.  She was further treated at the QE II for minor injuries and is expected to be discharged this morning.

The male taxi driver was issued a summary offence ticket for failing to yield to pedestrians in a marked crosswalk.

This is one of the intersections that is being tested with the advanced pedestrian light. In this instance, the two women had made it more than halfway across the street, in a crosswalk with the light, before being struck by a driver turning left from behind them. Still, inevitably, I’m certain to hear from angry drivers that the women should have been paying better attention, or that two years ago a pedestrian walked out in front of them, so you know, the pedestrians are always at fault.

Despite this incident, I find that the advanced pedestrian light — where pedestrians get a walk signal three seconds before drivers get a green light — is working quite well at this intersection. It’s also working well at the other end of the Spring Garden strip, at Barrington Street, where because of the tight turn, pedestrians waiting on the sidewalk are often in danger of being struck by a bus that jumps the curb. This is a pilot program, but as I see it, it’s already successful, and the advance pedestrian light should be installed at the Queen Street and Dresden Row intersections as well.

7. Westray law

“The trial of the first Nova Scotian charged under the so-called Westray law opened Tuesday in a Halifax courtroom, with the prosecution accusing the owner of an auto-repair business of disregarding safety in the lead up to an employee’s death,” reports Blair Rhodes for the CBC:

Elie Hoyeck is charged with criminal negligence causing death for the September 2013 fire at Your Mechanic Auto Corner in Cole Harbour, N.S., that claimed the life of mechanic Peter Kempton.

Kempton was using a blowtorch to remove the gas tank from a derelict minivan when the vehicle ignited. Crown prosecutor Alex Keaveny said in his opening statement in Nova Scotia Supreme Court that the fire caused second and third-degree burns over 90 per cent of Kempton’s body. He died later in hospital.

8. Tourism promotion tree

“Under foggy skies and an icy drizzle Tuesday morning on Boston Common, city officials and school children breathed in the joyful holiday spirit and welcomed a towering 46-foot Christmas tree from Oxford, Nova Scotia,” reports Andres Picon for the Boston Globe.


Government

City

Wednesday

Special Events Advisory Committee (Wednesday, 9am, City Hall) — presentations from the Royal NS Tattoo, Hal-Con, Cheer Expo, Epic Dartmouth, Sole Sister, Groundswell, and Maritime Race Weekend.

Environment and Sustainability Standing Committee (Wednesday, 1pm, City Hall) — an update on Solar City.

Gorsebrook Park – Park Planning Open House (Wednesday, 6:30pm, AT340, Atrium, Saint Mary’s University) — UPDATE: Rescheduled to Monday, December 10, 6:30pm.

Public Information Meeting – Case 22005 (Wednesday, 7pm, Maritime Hall, Halifax Forum) — a change in zoning for the area bounded by Chebucto Road, Roosevelt Drive, Flinn Street, and MacDonald Street.

Thursday

No public meetings.

Province

No public meetings this week.


On campus

Dalhousie

Wednesday

Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Honours Student Research Presentations 2018 (Wednesday, 4pm, Theatre A, Tupper Medical Building) — at 4:10 Xiaoyi Ma will present “Neuron Growth on Collagen/Recombinant Spider Silk Films”; at 4:25 Kathleen Vergunst will present “Characterization of the Interaction Between Microphthalmia-associated Transcription Factor (MITF) and CBP/p300”; followed at 4:40 by Keira Durnin with “Genomic Insights into Nephromyces: a Novel Lineage of the Apicomplexa.”

Will coral reefs still exist 100 years from now? (Wednesday, 7pm, Ondaatje Hall, Marion McCain Building) — Terry Hughes will talk, and then everyone will drown themselves with alcohol and cry, cry, cry.

Thursday

A Large Eddy Simulation Study of the Formation of Deep Chlorophyll Maxima: The Roles of Turbulent Mixing and Grazing (Thursday, 2:30pm, Room 319, Chase Building) — Joseph Siddons from the University of Liverpool will speak. His abstract:

Deep chlorophyll maxima (DCM) are typically attributed to a balance of two opposing gradients that contribute to phytoplankton growth, namely nutrient resources and light availability. Recent observed measurements of fluorescence values and turbulent energy dissipation rates recorded in weakly stratified ocean boundary layers have highlighted a significant correlation between the formation of DCM and turbulent mixing. In particular, the depth of many DCM are observed to form below, but within approximately one standard deviation of, the depth at which the energy dissipation rate reaches its maximum. This correlation is surprising, as turbulent mixing is generally considered to be a destructive force in regards to the formation of DCM.

In order to investigate this phenomenon, I will introduce a three-dimensional large eddy simulation (LES) of the ocean boundary layer which has been coupled with a generic nutrient-phytoplankton-zooplankton (NPZ) type biological model. I will present simulation results, based upon various sets of biological and physical parameters, that demonstrate DCM formation occurs under similar conditions to those seen in the experimental observations. The simulations support the hypothesis that DCM are generated by a combination of high grazing pressure restricting phytoplankton growth near the surface, and a decline in the strength the vertical mixing processes advecting nutrient through the boundary layer. This results in a zone of low grazing pressure and high nutrient aggregation, suitable conditions for DCM formation.

Ethics in Action Gala (Thursday, 6pm, Pier 21) — if you haven’t bought your ticket yet, you’re not going. It’s all about Roméo Dallaire.

Debbie Martin. Photo: Nick Pearce.

Social Determinants of Health Among Indigenous Peoples (Thursday, 7pm, Ondaatje Auditorium, Marion McCain Building) — Debbie Martin will speak.

Partners in Swing and Dal Jazz (Thursday, 7:30pm, St. Andrew’s Church, 6036 Coburg Road) — the Dal Jazz Ensemble and the Halifax All-City Senior Jazz Ensemble, directed by Ryan Froude and Chris Mitchell. Tix are 15 bucks, from the Dal Arts Centre Box Office.

Saint Mary’s

Thursday

Tragedies of the English Renaissance: An Introduction (Thursday, 1pm, LI 135) — Goran Stanivukovic and Jackie Cameron will talk about their book. Info here.

Mount Saint Vincent

Thursday

Presentation by NS First Nation Health Directors (Thursday, 11am, Seton Auditoriums B and C) — speakers include Carla Moore, Millbrook First Nation; Sharon Rudderham, Eskasoni First Nation; and Philipa Pictou, Pictou Landing First Nation.

Atlantic School of Theology

Wednesday

The Ethics of Getting Along (Wednesday, 7pm, Canadian Centre for Ethics in Public Affairs, President’s Lodge) — Bridget Brownlow will talk. Registration via info@ccepa.ca.


In the harbour

09:00: Iver Prosperity, oil tanker, sails from Irving Oil for sea
11:30: Themis, car carrier, sails from Autoport for sea
15:30: Atlantic Sea, ro-ro container, sails from Fairview Cove for sea
16:00: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, arrives at Pier 41 from St. John’s
16:30: Asian Sun, container ship, sails from Pier 42 for sea
17:00: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, arrives at Pier 36 from Saint-Pierre


Footnotes

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

Snow tonight, they say.

Tim Bousquet

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

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17 Comments

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  1. Colin May, you can be diligent about following every rule and being the safest possible pedestrian you can be and it won’t be enough to save you from distracted drivers. There are a good minority, who don’t think they have to focus 100% on their driving. (no one should be eating, talking on their cell phone etc. when driving, it’s a privilege and responsibility to drive, not a right, as so many forget) Some even go around cars stopped for pedestrians because they don’t want to stop. ( I have so much anger for those who don’t stop for buses and narrowly miss injuring passengers, it makes me ill.) And the roads are designed for all to use, not cars first or only, although that seems to be a very prevalent driver attitude. All intersections are crosswalks, that’s the way it is legally and has always been. If they weren’t, the distance between one marked crosswalk and another can literally be kms in the city, very unsafe to walk not only in winter, but after dark, and very inaccessible too, not only from a walking standpoint, but there would literally be places you could not get, as pointed out by Tim. And who would ensure that people who had to be pedestrians are safe on these long excursions out of their way, with no threat of harm, especially in the dark, in winter? A lot more to think about. Easy to comment if you don’t walk much and in many places, not so easy to do when it’s you, you are alone, and also, the older you get.

  2. Until society decides lives are more important than cars people will die. Seems to be the price we collectively are willing to pay for our love of automobiles. Everything else is just talk.

  3. Don’t step out until a vehicle has stopped.
    Make eye contact with driver/s.
    Keep your focus on the traffic, not on the earbuds or a book or a cellphone.
    Concentrate on the task at hand.
    Doesn’t matter if you have the right of way because you also have the responsibility to ensure your own safety.
    Lighting at crosswalks is very poor, the overhead light is useless and a light cast from lower down and at a 45 degree angle is much more effective.
    The legislation should be amended to require pedestrians to use a crosswalk, the rule re any intersection being a crosswalk should be abolished.
    Every accident should result in a full description of what took place.
    The crosswalk where the lady was killed on Portland Street should be eliminated, it was stupid to put it there in the first place.

    1. “The legislation should be amended to require pedestrians to use a crosswalk, the rule re any intersection being a crosswalk should be abolished.”

      If that was the rule, you would be unable to walk from you house to the Common. It’d be impossible.

    2. I find it hard to take anything you say anymore seriously, but this tops the list for ridiculousness. Just can’t see past the blame the victim narrative can you. As if all the problems in the world could just be solved y people being more responsible for their own actions. Yeah, don’t expect governments, government bureaucrats, public health officials, elected representatives or anyone else to try and implement policies, laws, or regulations that may actaully make streets safer for pedestrians and other vulnerable road users like cyclists. No, no. It’s all your fault if a car runs you over, injuring or killing you, because you didn’t follow Colin May’s golden rules of individual personal pedestrian responsibility for her or his own safety. Give me a break!

      It’d be much easier to take you seriously if your list was for car drivers, and included telling them to learn and obey the law that every intersection is a crosswalk where pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way. You obviously know the law, why aren’t you outraged at others’ apparent ignorance?

  4. I agree LPIs (Leading Pedestrian Intervals) are a proven improvement to pedestrian safety. Just a shame they were not introduced a couple of years ago when first recommended to Halifax Traffic, and have not been rolled out to significantly more signalized intersections, the locations that experience more collisions than any other. But I guess better late than never.

    Now on to vehicle-pedestrian collision experience during the past 24 hours. In addition to this incident there were at least (we don’t know if there were others not publicly reported) four other collisions involving five other pedestrians.

    At least 7 pedestrians struck in the past 24 hours!

    1. I wonder if the new LED street lights illuminate as well as the older type. Do they create more glare and reduced contrast sensitivity or are they superior? If you have them in a closet or trunk of your car it certainly feels harder to see/find things.

      1. I’ve been wondering about that, along with the gradual increase over the years in vehicles with higher ground clearance and . Driving around downtown is a nightmare, especially if you’re in a small sedan – the amount of blue glare off headlights and streetlights these days is unbelievable.

        A few weeks ago I was preparing to make a left-hand turn in a busy but poorly-lit intersection at night in the rain, and the only reason why I saw the pedestrian was because the headlights of the SUV flickered as they passed in front of them.

      2. To me the LED lights do not seem to illuminate as well. Things feel darker at street level.

        I agree that the LPIs are an improvement and should be rolled out further. I’d like to note, though, that I’ve twice seen drivers start driving at the white hand (ie early) instead of waiting for the actual green light. It’s like they are just waiting for the light to change, see a change, and proceed on auto-pilot. Both times it was the Oxford/Jubilee intersection. I expect as more drivers learn about the the LPIs, this will be less likely to happen, but just one more thing for pedestrians to watch out for.

  5. For the first time in a long while I nearly hit a pedestrian last night. I had stopped near Dal and proceeded slowly through the intersection but it was night and raining and he was dressed in dark clothes with a black umbrella. I believe he advanced in the blind spot of the A pillar as I was inching forward. Anyway I feel bad and am glad it didn’t result in an injury. Drive carefully/slowly on these dark wet nights.

    1. The dark wet nights are awful – there is so much light reflected off of the roadways that pedestrians become nearly invisible. Part of the problem is that a pedestrian crossing from the driver’s left is backlit by the headlights of oncoming cars. It would be helpful if there were street lights aimed at crosswalks so that they illuminate the sides of pedestrians. Oh, and see-through A pillars.

      1. and early mornings! that’s almost what i did when i was driving to work the other morning. yes: lights at crosswalks would be enormously helpful

      2. @Nick – Illuminated crosswalks are a brilliant idea. Lights on when pedestrians can cross, lights off when they can’t.

  6. Credit where it’s due. The advance pedestrian lights are the best thing to happen for pedestrians in this city in a LONG time.