I’ve said this before, but when I first started writing for the Examiner, a friend asked how much Tim paid. After I’d replied, the person I was speaking with said, “Oh, so it takes [x] monthly subscriptions just to pay for you to do one Morning File.” I’d never thought of it in such bald terms before, but yeah. It takes several $10/month basic subscriptions to pay one freelancer to write one Morning File. Add to that the number of deeply investigated features and columns the Examiner runs (not to mention legal bills) and it adds up. Subscriptions make great gifts — for yourself or for someone else. You can subscribe here. For subscriptions without credit cards or with special start dates, email Iris at HalifaxExaminer dot ca.

News

Northern Pulp mill, Pictou County, Nova Scotia. Photo courtesy Gerry Farrell.

1. The government to lobbyist pipeline

Yesterday, the Examiner ran Joan Baxter’s latest, Northern Pulp lobbyists and the revolving door with government. The story looks at Liberal insiders like Kirby McVicar, the premier’s former chief of staff, lobbying their former colleagues over Northern Pulp. It also raises the question over whether government money going to the company is being used to lobby the province. (This would not be the first time we’ve paid firms to turn around and lobby us.) Baxter writes:

So what is the $254,390.93 that the federal lobbyist registry says Northern Pulp received from the province? Does this mean the provincial government funds Northern Pulp to hire lobbyists, or that it funds Iris Communications to lobby the federal government for Northern Pulp? And if so, how could it have been provided for the fiscal year ending 2017, when Trevor Floyd wasn’t registered on the federal lobby until December 2018?…

I hoped that Gary Andrea, spokesperson for the Nova Scotia Department of Finance and Treasury Board, would clarify the issue for me, let me know whether the provincial government funded Northern Pulp’s lobbying of the federal government, and if so, which department. This is the reply I received:

…we will not be commenting on anything to do with Northern Pulp until after a decision is made by the regulator [the environment minister decides on Northern Pulp’s new effluent treatment facility].

I wrote back:

Thanks for getting back to me, but this is a question that has nothing to do with the environmental assessment process. It is about funding from the government of Nova Scotia, so I can’t fathom why there would be a dome of silence over this question!? Is there at least a statement to explain the moratorium on answers to questions? (I don’t think I was asking for a comment.)

So there we are — again.

Nova Scotians have provided Northern Pulp with millions of dollars in the past three years, are still owed $85.5 million from earlier loans, and are on the hook for all kinds of costs related to Northern Pulp because of agreements signed by earlier governments, but they are not permitted to know if their tax dollars are going to pay for Northern Pulp to lobby the federal government.

Read the full story here.

2. Former TrentonWorks employees owed thousands

Happier days for TrentonWorks. Peter MacKay and Darrell Dexter applaud while their governments’ deals with Daewoo is signed in 2010. Photo: PeterMacKay.ca

Emma Smith reports for CBC that a pension fund for former TrentonWorks employees has thousands of dollars in it — but the company that administers the fund won’t release their names so they can get the money.

“I was willing to drive to Montreal to get that list. I was so anxious to get it,” Pat Dunn, the MLA for Pictou Centre, told CBC’s Information Morning. 

Dunn said following some sleuthing by his staff, his office was recently told by the administrator that about 70 former employees of TrentonWorks are entitled to money that’s been sitting in a fund since 2007…

In an email to CBC News, a spokesperson for Aon, the Montreal-based company that administers the pension fund, said it’s up to its client, the now-shuttered TrentonWorks, to release the names of who’s eligible.

“As plan administrator, our internal policy is to not share any information on our clients (or plan members),” spokesperson Alexandre Daudelin wrote.

What the hell? I imagine this money could make a big difference in the lives of retired workers, and it’s hard to think of a reasonable justification for the company to refuse to list the names of those eligible for funds.

3. More dumb secrecy

Last year, the province hired a consultant to review ambulance services in the province. The report was delivered in October, but the province still has not released it, despite health minister Randy Delorey’s promise to release the report once completed.

At CBC, Michael Gorman writes:

Delorey said it’s been determined the report cannot be shared at this time because the government and the ambulance service provider, EMCI, are preparing to enter into negotiations. The current contract ends March 31, 2020.

“The report provides input and recommendations that are really critical to those negotiations and improvements to be made within our EHS system,” Delorey said in a phone interview.

“Once negotiations are complete, I think those concerns would be removed and the report can be made public at that time.”

I’m not a negotiator. So maybe this is not dumb secrecy. But it seems to me if the report raises concerns about the service provider or procedures, making that information public isn’t going to have a negative effect on negotiations. I’m just skeptical about it since the default is always to secrecy. If I’m wrong, let me know.

4. Liberals in no rush to address auditor general’s concerns

Provincial auditor general Michael Pickup

On Tuesday, auditor general Michael Pickup raised concerns about the QEII redevelopment project being vulnerable to fraud.

Yesterday, NDP MLA Susan Leblanc called on the Public Accounts Committee to request that those in charge of the project appear before the committee to address Pickup’s concerns. But the Liberal majority on the committee voted against the motion.

In the Chronicle Herald, Andrew Rankin writes:

Leblanc said she was disappointed by the Liberal committee members, saying that the auditor general’s report released the day before is deeply concerning and raised questions about whether the redevelopment project is moving ahead in a responsible way.

“This project is rolling ahead and it’s the biggest infrastructure project we’ve seen in Nova Scotia and there are significant issues with it,” said Leblanc.

Leblanc had simply asked for another committee meeting to be scheduled for January. She said it’s a matter of urgency.

“We need to be asking serious questions of the department so Nova Scotians can be assured the project is moving ahead in a responsible way.”

5. Charlottetown wants PEI to bring in civil forfeiture

This one is from a couple of days ago, but I’ve got to mention it. Earlier this week, The Guardian ran a story by Dave Stewart on a Charlottetown city council motion asking the province to enact civil forfeiture legislation, and how the provincial attorney general is open to the idea.

Civil asset forfeiture — giving the police the ability to seize goods and cash in the absence of conviction, or even charges, in the name of fighting crime — can make police forces essentially indistinguishable from armed gangs. PEI is one of the only jurisdictions in Canada that does not have civil asset forfeiture.

The story’s headline reads “Crackhouse crackdown.” Crackhouse? Really? Are we back in the 90s? The story itself doesn’t mention crack at all.

What’s the justification for this move? Stewart writes:

“I brought this forward because the status quo … is simply not working,’’ [Councillor Mitchell] Tweel said. “Although some arrests have been made, the continuation of drugs being sold, being purchased seven days a week, 365 days a year … is plaguing the neighbourhoods. It’s a hazard, it’s unsafe (and) it’s dangerous.’’

Here’s the kicker:

Tweel said there are at least 70 drug houses in Charlottetown, and council’s vote was meant to send a clear message that it is serious about getting the “poison out of the neighbourhoods”. Tweel did not say where he got the number 70 from or what exactly constitutes a ‘drug house’. Charlottetown Police Services would not identify a specific number but did say “the sale of illicit drugs remains a very serious issue in our city and province”.

[Emphasis added.]

Like the idea that people with mental illness get off easy when they “plead insanity” or the idea that punishing people in poverty will help them stop being poor (see below for more on both of these) the notion that the law is just too lax so we need to DO SOMETHING to stop criminals is rooted in decades-old ideas.

Isn’t it typical that years after the alarm’s been sounded on civil forfeiture in other places, Atlantic Canada still sees it as worth considering?

A councillor pulls a BS number out of thin air, the police agree there’s a problem, nobody is in favour of crack houses, and voilà — soon you’ve got cops seizing cash from vehicles they’ve stopped for traffic violations.

Civil forfeiture units are often funded by the proceeds of their seizures, which never leads to abuses, ever.

If you want to know how bad things can get, read this 2013 New Yorker story and more recent follow-up, both by Sarah Stillman. She writes:

I’ve examined at least three hundred civil-forfeiture cases over the last five years that involved no violent crime, and which did not implicate any alleged drug kingpins or sizable players in unlawful operations. At both the state and local levels — from big cities such as Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., to small towns like Tenaha, Texas — I’ve mostly found stories of small-fry folks accused, not convicted, of nonviolent offenses. In some cases, the owner of the property wasn’t accused of any crime at all. In others, the seizures clearly targeted drivers of color who happened to have large sums of cash on hand. New policy research from think tanks across the political spectrum shores up these findings with quantitative data. Earlier this month, for instance, the conservative Nevada Policy Research Institute released a geographical analysis of how the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department uses civil forfeiture, finding that two-thirds of seizures were made in low-income and minority neighborhoods.

Nova Scotia’s civil forfeiture law was brought in by the NDP government. Here, paradoxically, one of the arguments against civil forfeiture has been that it’s not bringing in enough money to cover costs. Last year, Jean Laroche wrote:

The civil forfeiture unit’s success rate is only 40 per cent; of the 38 cases it has initiated since 2011, it has abandoned 21 and lost two. That leaves 15 cases it has either won or reached an agreement with the person it had seized money from.

Laroche also talks to a lawyer who has seen clients cut a deal that sees them keep some of their seized assets because they are too scared to go to court. He talks to the lawyer for Aaron MacCallum, who had over $7,000 couriered to him. The police picked up the package. MacCallum made a deal to get back half the money.

His lawyer Peter Lederman was convinced prosecutors didn’t have a case, but his client was so afraid to appear before a judge he jumped at the chance not to.

“It’s not illegal to send money by courier,” said Lederman. “It may not be the smartest thing in the world but it’s not illegal and I suggested it to them that they should just give it back. Well they wouldn’t do that.”…

Lederman continues:

“There are lots of people like him. They’re not sophisticated. They’re down at the Law Courts on Lower Water Street with a bunch of lawyers, sitting to go in front of a judge.”

“So when they dangled that carrot in front of him he decided that the lesser of two evils was to take it and go home, which was what he did.”


Views

How we report on people found not criminally responsible

Inside the East Coast Forensic Hospital. Photo courtesy Senate of Canada.

Last week, two similar stories jumped out at me. Both had to do with incarcerated people who have mental illness and are being granted more freedoms. The first, dated December 5, is from CBC New Brunswick and written by Kate Letterick. The headline reads: “Police officer’s killer granted escorted absence from prison for meditation class.”

The story is about Anthony Romeo, who was convicted of first-degree murder for killing Constable Emmanuel Aucoin, who had pulled him over for a traffic stop. At the time, Romeo was on the run from police in New  York State, where he was a suspect in another murder.

Two years after Aucoin’s killing, Romeo was diagnosed with schizophrenia and began receiving treatment. He is now held at the Dorchester Penitentiary in the minimum security unit.

From Letterick’s story:

[Romeo] said he also learned about meditation and takes classes once a month, and also meditates on his own.

When asked what had been most beneficial for him in the last few years, he told the board it was a combination of meditation, work and regular contact with his family.

The hearing lasted for about 50 minutes. The board came back with a decision a short time later.

Romeo was granted an escorted temporary absence for a single class and must have a corrections officer with him at all times.

A man who committed a terrible act more than 30 years ago, and who was suffering from mental illness at the time, is being allowed to leave prison to attend a single meditation class. Why is this news? Is anyone outraged that he is being allowed to go to one class, escorted, because it means he’s getting more freedom?

The second story that caught my eye was dated the day before, December 4. It’s a Canadian Press piece which I saw on the Global Halifax website. Headline: “Mentally ill man who killed gay rights advocate granted more freedom.”

This piece is about Andre Denny being granted greater privileges. Denny, you may recall, was found not criminally responsible for killing Raymond Taavel after leaving the grounds of the East Coast Forensic Hospital on a  one-hour pass. Denny had been granted the privileges last December, but the Crown unsuccessfully appealed.

What’s the greater freedom Denny has earned?

He’s been granted “consecutive overnight passes to the hospital’s transition bungalow or daily living suite, both of which are on the hospital grounds in Halifax.”

So he can stay overnight, two nights in a row, in another building on the grounds of the hospital.

I can see why this story is newsworthy. Denny’s act was horrific, it happened relatively recently, and he has a previous history of violence. Still, the framing of the story is horrible. “Mentally ill man… granted more freedom” makes it sound like there’s a horror movie about to unspool.

CBC took a much more responsible approach with their story, written by Blair Rhodes. Its headline reads, “Court rejects bid to impose more restrictions on Andre Denny.” This, after all, was the story. Not that Denny had been granted more (albeit extremely limited) freedom. That happened last year. The story is that the Crown’s appeal failed.

Rhodes writes:

Following the board’s last review, Denny was granted permission to live unsupervised in a cottage on the hospital grounds. From 2014 to the summer of 2017, Denny had little or no unsupervised access to the larger community. Since 2017, the board has gradually increased Denny’s freedoms, including allowing him to leave the hospital on his own for a few hours at a time.

I called psychiatrist Phil Tibbo, the director of the Nova Scotia Early Psychosis Program, to ask about how the media reports on people found not criminally responsible and their eventual reintegration into society. The EPP serves people between 15 and 35 who have experienced a first episode of psychosis. Tibbo says most of the clinic’s patients have not been in the forensic system, but some have.

Tibbo says reports that sensationalize often don’t recognize how much time, care, and close supervision goes into making decisions on increased privileges. He wouldn’t address specific Nova Scotia cases, but spoke generally.

An NCR diagnosis means that individual will get help and will not always be at risk. There is definitely a fairly stringent process in place to ensure that people are ready to have increased privileges, either being in the community overnight or whatever that privilege could be, and eventually to be released from a facility…

There are multiple layers to this. And I think the public perhaps doesn’t appreciate how many layers are there and the work that goes into these decisions.

If somebody gets not criminally responsible, NCR status, the court has gone through that and they are mandated. So they do not have a choice within their treatment programs. But it is kind of continual assessment to see where they are. Now, some people may not get better. Some people may not get the insight into their deeds and what they’ve done. But people do. It’s not one day they’re better and therefore, they’re giving them overnight privileges in the community. There’s a significant amount of time to get to that point…

There are still rules. You can still potentially lose your rights as well. During that whole process, you know, you have to take treatment. So it’s not a free walk.

Treatment of mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have made huge advances in the last couple of decades. It used to be that a diagnosis of schizophrenia essentially meant that the system was just giving up on you, because you were never going to get any better. Today, it’s pretty common for people with that diagnosis to live perfectly happy lives in the community.

I do think attitudes towards people found not criminally responsible are changing, but there are still old ideas, rooted I would argue in the 1970s, about people “pleading insanity” to get off easy, and about people with mental illness being dangerous forever.

Tibbo says:

There may be some lawyers out there who think of the NCR diagnosis in some cases where it’s probably not appropriate, but usually that gets flushed out well during the court system. And that’s what the assessment process is. Sometimes, as you know, within a trial, they may mandate a 30- or- 60-day assessment within a psychiatric hospital. That is to truly figure out if this is an NCR or not. Right. But the reality is, I’m not sure if life is much better if you are found NCR. I mean, it’s not that you’re in a privileged facility. It is still a forensic facility that you’re in, right? So I think people think that if you have an NCR, then you’re free and you’re good and you don’t have to do anything. It’s much more complex than that...

The fear, from the community perspective, especially with a horrific crime, is: Will it ever happen again? And nobody can give a 100% assurance that it can’t. But we’ll do everything in our power to make sure that it doesn’t. Even when they’re released, there is still continued monitoring of the medications, to be sure that they’re being taken, if that’s something that’s indicated.

Tibbo says that sensational media portrayals can perpetuate stigma against people with mental illness, and they can hurt people in recovery by making them feel, “why bother?” He adds:

I think that’s why the media has to be careful, because they can perpetuate the stigma against mental health [I assume he means mental illness] by the tone they use or without really explaining the process in more detail or how that person came to be where they are.

In any system there will be mistakes. The answer is not, as Doug Ford unhelpfully put it, to refer to people found not criminally responsible as “animals.” After a series of high-profile cases of people leaving the CAMH forensic unit last summer, Ford said, “We’ve got to put these people away… and if they have mental-health issues they can be dealt with in jail – simple as that.”

I’ll leave you with an excellent piece by Simon Lewsen that ran in the Globe and Mail a couple of weeks ago. Although the issue he addresses — NCR patients escaping from hospital grounds — is different, it’s related in that it raises fears about what could happen.

Lewsen writes:

In legal proceedings today, shortly after a new NCR verdict is reached, the patient is granted a review-board hearing before a panel of lawyers and medical professionals. These hearings are invariably tricky. “The Canadian Criminal Code views people as having rights of liberty that can only be curtailed as much as necessary,” says Sandy Simpson, chief of forensic psychiatry at CAMH. The board is tasked, he explains, with giving each patient the maximum amount of freedom while at the same time keeping the public safe. “There’s an obvious tension going on there.”…

While we worry that people with mental illness might relapse and reoffend, the reality is the recidivism rate for those found NCR is lower than for those found responsible for their acts.

Unlike criminal justice, however, forensics is intended to be restorative, not punitive. “We can actually treat the psychosis,” Dr. Chaimowitz says, “the very thing that led to the criminal act.” While there is no medical cure for ordinary criminality, patients with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders really do respond to treatment. We’re not treating criminals,” Dr. Chaimowitz says. “We’re asking, ‘Can we keep the mental illness under control?’ Often, we can do that, by administering long-acting medication, monitoring adherence, testing for narcotics use and making sure people show up for appointments.”

This fact helps explain why recidivism among NCR patients is much lower than it is among former prison inmates. According to data gathered between 2000 and 2005 by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, roughly 34 per cent of people released from jail in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia went on to reoffend within three years. Among NCR patients, that number was 17 per cent; and if you select for serious offences, such as murder, attempted murder and sexual assault, the rate dropped to 0.6 per cent. NCR patients who initially committed such extreme crimes were actually among the least likely to reoffend. The medications we use for psychosis are like miracle drugs,” Dr. Chaimowitz says. “People get their humanity back.”


Noticed

1. Which red tape do we really want to cut?

For the purposes of this section, this red ribbon represents red tape. Photo: Philip Moscovitch

A couple of days ago, on Twitter, Amanda Dodsworth “in a bit of a rage” tweeted a thread about barriers to receiving income assistance. She outlined the difficulties facing someone needing a form filled out so they could qualify for benefits.

Anybody who knows anyone receiving income assistance will not be surprised by any of this. A few years ago I was helping someone close to me navigate the system. At the time, they had a diagnosed disability and were considered unable to work. The experience left me wondering how anybody manages if they don’t have someone to advocate for them and help them through the system. There were the little indignities to deal with, and the seemingly needless complications, beginning with the application itself, which has to be made through the office covering your area of residence. Let’s say you can get to the bus stop at the Hubley Centre in Upper Tantallon. It’s an easy bus ride from there to the community services office on Gottingen Street. But wait! That’s not the office that serves your area. Instead, you have to go to the Sackville office. Google Maps shows this option as taking 90 minutes to two hours by transit.

Back to Dodsworth. Robert Devet of the Nova Scotia Advocate retweeted her thread and made a stunningly simple observation that made me put down my phone and go huh, I’d never thought of that. Perhaps this revelation occurred to you ages ago, but I had never seen it put so succinctly.

“Yes!” I wanted to shout. “Yes! Yes! Yes!”

The language of cutting red tape, making it easier for businesses to thrive and so on is always aimed at making profit easier. It’s like the people who are ostensibly concerned about free speech but only a very limited kind of free speech. Stephen Kimber wrote about this ably in his 2018 column “When ‘freedom of speech’ is a code, not a value.” John Lohr, he notes, was not going to bat for Masuma Khan’s freedom of speech. (There are people out there who genuinely will go to bat for free speech of all kinds, but that’s not who I’m referring to here.)

Red tape reduction advocates don’t care about the endless and often meaningless bureaucracy surrounding income assistance because they don’t actually care about reducing regulations. They care about reducing one kind of regulations.

Despite the rhetoric of helping the most vulnerable, and so on, our income assistance programs are still predicated on the assumption that people are going to scam the system and that if you make poverty punishing enough, this will encourage poor people to get off welfare and find work. Instead (as the documentary My Week on Welfare, directed by Jackie Torrens, so vividly demonstrated) just managing while being on assistance can be a nearly full-time job. If you need more convincing, read pretty much any of Kendall Worth’s Nova Scotia Advocate pieces.

A significant percentage of people on income assistance in Nova Scotia are disabled. They are not lounging around collecting money instead of working. Now, you may argue that the red tape is necessary to prevent fraud, but the reality is that we are awash in all kinds of fraud we care far less about. Back to Jackie Torrens, who wrote a great thread on this last summer.

She writes, in part:

Stats out of Queens University are the national percentage of people on the system who commit welfare fraud is 3% – to put that in perspective, more Canadians cheat declaring goods while crossing the border, that’s 22% – and yet the level of outrage for border goods fraud is…nil? Also, the kind of welfare fraud that we’re talking in the 3% is minimal, like, you receive 20.00 for your birthday and you don’t tell the department of services about it because the income assistance rates are so low you’re starving and so you spend it on food for yourself or your kids or medicine that you need. The kind of minimal welfare fraud that is committed is out of desperation from the punitive government policies and vastly inadequate income assistance rates – we like to tell ourselves stories that the majority of people on the system are stealing big loads of money and living high on the taxpayer’s hog so we don’t have to face the real reality, which is that people are starving and we don’t care.

(I’ve turned this into a paragraph from a series of tweets, and change “ppl” to “people.”)

Next time you hear a politician rail about bureaucracy, ask them how they plan on making life easier for people on income assistance.

2. Parking garages don’t have to be “grim afterthoughts”

Now that’s a parking garage! Located in the Ørestad district of Copenhagen. Photo: Stephen Archibald

Dismayed by the province’s plan for a new parking garage crammed up against the Museum of Natural History, Stephen Archibald muses about some of the quirky and attractive garages he’s seen around the world. The 450-space garage above rests atop an apartment complex. ” Access to the apartments is from walkways in the colourful garage. The designers had a lot of fun with the mountain theme, including a giant mountain mural,” Archibald writes.

In addition to Copenhagen, he takes us to Chicago and Miami Beach, and concludes that:

The examples above show that parking garages can be light-hearted, and site specific, and worthy. From what I can understand about the proposed garage on the Halifax Common, it fits in the “grim afterthought” category.

Archibald’s post reminds me that I want to read the book Car Park Life, by British writer Gareth E. Rees.

From the publisher’s website:

Gareth E. Rees believes that the retail car park has as much mystery, magic and terror as any mountain, meadow or wood. He’s out to prove it by walking the car parks of Britain, journeying across the country from Plymouth to Edinburgh, much to the horror of his family, friends – and, most of all – himself. He finds Sir Francis Drake outside B&Q, standing stones in a retail park, and a dead body beside Sainsbury’s.

In this darkly satirical work of non-fiction, Gareth E. Rees presents a troubling vision of Brexit Britain through a common space we know far less about than we think.

Writer Bobby Seal says,

Car Park Life is, let’s be honest, not a particularly inspiring proposition. Rees sets out to write about Britain’s car parks, then further hobbles himself by excluding multi-storeys, NCPs and private car parks, and limiting himself purely to chain retail parking zones.

I first heard about this book when Gareth visited me in connection with another project and sat at my kitchen table drinking tea and riffing excitedly about a multi-storey he had just visited in town and the shamanic graffiti he found on its upper floors. Basking in the waves of creative energy the guy was giving off, I decided then that, if anyone could make something interesting from this seemingly mundane subject, then it was Gareth E Rees.

If anyone’s looking for a Christmas gift idea for me, here you go.


Government

City

Thursday

Appeals Standing Committee (Thursday, 10am, City Hall) — for a change there are no taxi drivers appealing being denied licences because they’re rapists.

Transportation Standing Committee (Thursday, 1pm, City Hall) — staff is suggesting that the city allow Uber to operate in Halifax, albeit regulated.

Friday

No public meetings.

Province

Thursday

Human Resources (Thursday, 10am, One Government Place) — a lot of questions about immigration.

Natural Resources and Economic Development (Thursday, 1pm, One Government Place) — a guy from BIRD Construction will be talking about the use of wood in public buildings.

Friday

No public meetings.


On campus

Dalhousie

Thursday

Newfangling Rounds (Thursday, 8:30am, Bethune Ballroom, VG) —  Orlando Hung will talk about “Development of a lightwand intubation device for patients with a difficult airway.” More info and registration here.

Saint Mary’s

Thursday

Venture Grade 2019 Annual General Meeting (Thursday, 2pm, in the theatre named after a bank in the building named after a grocery store) — keynote speaker is Jevon MacDonald, “the founder of a business in Halifax that was recently aquired (sic) for 70M+,” will tell us how we all will become rich forever, amen, thanks to capitalism run amok:

Venture Grade is North America’s only student raised and managed venture capital fund. We invest in seed stage-ups through the Atlantic Ecosystem. Venture Grade stems out of Saint Mary’s University and is the Canadian host for the annual Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC). Our team has an international background with over 14 different nationalities along with a diverse background, having students from the Bcomm., MTEI, ENVS and MBA programs. Companies in our portfolio include Cribcut, Trip Ninja, and Ashored, and Aurea.

The AGM will be more than a just a recap of Venture Grade’s previous year, the theme of the event will be the celebration of the progress the Atlantic Ecosystem has experienced and the amazing new initiatives being taken to advance it further.

Tickets and more info here.

King’s

Upcoming: A King’s Christmas (Sunday, Dec. 15, 4pm and 7:30pm, Cathedral Church of All Saints, Halifax) — featuring Old Man Luedecke. Tickets at the King’s Co-op Bookstore and here. More info here.


In the harbour


Thursday
07:00: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, moves from Pier 41 to Autoport
09:15: Atlantic Swordfish, barge, arrives with Lois M, tug, at Berth TBD from Sydney

East Coast. Photo: Halifax Examiner

10:00: East Coast, oil tanker, arrives at Irving Oil from Saint John
11:30: Toscana, car carrier, sails from Autoport for sea
16:00: Hansa Meersburg, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from New York

Friday
02:30: Hansa Meersburg, container ship, sails from Pier 42 for Kingston, Jamaica
04:00: Viking Coral, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from Baltimore
06:00: ZIM Vancouver, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Valencia, Spain

Footnotes

I see the Schooners are continuing their commitment to the art of graphic design.

There is some other entertaining stuff on the team’s website, which pitches the stadium as “a place to play.” (It includes the claim that 1-2 major stadium shows will be held there each year, which the proponents have no way of knowing.) Anyway, the best thing is the “partners” section which lists two partners, Sport Nova Scotia and, er, the Atlantic Schooners Football Club.

Philip Moscovitch

Philip Moscovitch is a writer and audio producer, and the author of the book Adventures in Bubbles and Brine; Website:...

Leave a comment

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.
Cancel reply