Welcome to Weekend File, where you’ll find links to all the articles you might have missed last week. We didn’t have any articles on Monday, the 23rd. Jump to sections in this article:
Sunday, May 22
As the clock ticks down the number of days the Mass Casualty Commission has until it reports back to us, the public, Stephen Kimber took a look at the goals of the commission, including “the causes, context and circumstances” of the mass shooting in April 2020. Kimber wrote that he thinks the commission has done a good job so far “with the cards it has been dealt.” He continued: “My question is, do those cards need to be reshuffled?”
Tuesday, May 24
1. Morning File: John Risley jumps on the “green” hydrogen subsidy bandwagon
Tim Bousquet wrote about John “I never turn down a public subsidy but criticize everyone else who does” Risley’s latest project: a green hydrogen project on the west coast of Newfoundland. Bousquet also wrote about emergency alerts, the Yarmouth ferry, and Bodidata. And Jennifer Henderson contributed a piece on the latest on the Atlantic Loop.
Zane Woodford had the latest on Randy Riley’s case. In 2018, Riley was convicted of second-degree murder in the 2010 killing of Chad Smith. This week, the Crown refused Riley’s request for a trial by judge alone and pushed ahead with a jury trial in September 2023. As Woodford wrote, that trial date is well beyond the time limit prescribed by the court system.
Wednesday, May 25
3. Morning File: Public importance of private woodlots
The Standing Committee on Natural Resources and Economic Development met Tuesday to discuss how to ensure ecological forestry is practiced on privately-owned forests. Ethan Lycan-Lang reported on the discussions at that meeting. He also looked at what’s happened since the remains of 215 children were found near a former residential school in Kamloops. And a piece on a Canadian neighbourhood where bikes rule the roads.
Jennifer Henderson reported on the boycott of the proceedings of the Mass Casualty Commission by the families of the victims of the shootings of April 2020. As Henderson wrote, the boycott was in response to a decision issued by the commissioners this week that granted “accommodation requests” for three RCMP officers who are testifying.
Retired Judge Corrine Sparks was the first Black judge in the history of Nova Scotia, and the first Black female judge in Canada. Sparks, who graduated from Mount Saint Vincent University in 1974, recently received an honorary degree from MSVU during its spring convocation. Matthew Byard reported on the ceremony and Sparks’ speech in which she told graduating students about the meaning of success.
Thursday, May 26
Singer-songwriter Willie Stratton has wandered a number of genre paths, starting with raw acoustic folk as a teen phenom, moving through surf rock as Beach Bait, and landing in a Roy Orbison-style classic country on his new album Drugstore Dreamin’. Ahead of his release show at the Marquee on Friday, he stops in to explain why mixing influences makes the best art, how he approaches the guitar, and what he likes about his day job as a barber.
On Wednesday Halifax regional council’s Heritage Advisory Committee recommended council approve a plan for the Elmwood on Barrington and South streets in Halifax. As Zane Woodford reported, the Elmwood will be moved closer to the street, will get new windows, trim, and roofing, and its wraparound porch will be restored. While the Elmwood itself is not a heritage property, it’s part of the Old South Suburb Heritage District.
3. ‘Next thing I know I’m getting tased:’ Nova Scotia Police Review Board hearing into 2019 arrest on Quinpool Road underway
Zane Woodford was at the Nova Scotia Police Review Board hearing this week where the board heard testimony from a man who was tased during a traffic stop on Quinpool Road two years ago. Last July, Woodford reported that the officer who tased and arrested the man was appealing a disciplinary decision that found she was in the wrong. The officer was ordered to take de-escalation training and deducted eight hours in pay, but appealed that decision.
3. “I have to live with that, and I’ve lived with that for two-plus years”: emotional testimony about RCMP mistakes during the mass murders
Tim Bousquet, who live tweeted from the Mass Casualty Commission this week, reported on the testimony of Staff Sergeant Bruce Briers, who was the risk manager operating out of the Operational Control Centre in Truro. Briers testified about the fake police car, including the detail that it had a push bar.
4. Morning File: Feeding the discussion on breastfeeding and infant formula
Suzanne Rent gets into the discussion on breastfeeding and formula feeding with a segment about her own experiences feeding her daughter, plus some history on what parents fed their babies when breastfeeding didn’t work. And also a bit on the Dead in Halifax Twitter account and the stories it digs up in the city’s cemeteries.
Yvette d’Entremont has this interesting story on the origins of the seeds we sow in our gardens and farms. d’Entremont spoke with Steph Hughes, with The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security at SeedChange, about the seed demonstrations it’ll be hosting across the country to help raise awareness about the importance of local seeds. d’Entremont also spoke with Chris Sanford, co-owner of Yonder Hill Farm in Laconia outside of Bridgewater, about the local seed varieties they use.
Jennifer Henderson attended the annual general meeting of Emera Inc. on Thursday. “There wasn’t a single question from shareholders about a controversial proposal to raise power rates by 10% in Nova Scotia over the next 18 months,” Henderson wrote. “That may be because only one-third of Emera’s profits derive from Nova Scotia and nearly two-thirds relate to regulated electric and gas utilities the company owns in Florida.”
Zane Woodford was back at a Nova Scotia Police Review Board hearing about a man arrested on Quinpool Road in 2019. On this second day of the hearing, the board heard testimony from Const. Nicole Green, who said she felt she had no choice but to arrest the man, as she was worried he was going to use a pen as a weapon.
Friday, May 27
1. Morning File: How RCMP commanders’ bumbling response to Portapique allowed the killer to continue his murder spree
Tim Bousquet reported on the testimony of retired RCMP Staff Sergeant Al Carroll at the Mass Casualty Commission. “Through his questioning of Carroll, MCC lawyer Roger Burrill aptly laid out how a series of cascading policing errors built upon each other such that the killer was able to escape Portapique long before midnight,” Bousquet wrote. Plus, Joan Baxter had the latest on the “big temporary changes” at the Atlantic Gold mine.
From our archives
Evelyn C. White’s first story for the Examiner was published seven years ago. It was this one, Spelling it out: African Nova Scotian youth and the memory of MacNolia Cox. White had attended a spelling bee celebrating the diversity of students in Nova Scotia. That event reminded White of MacNolia Cox, who, in 1936, was the first black student to reach the final round of the Scripps spelling competition. “With Cox poised for an unprecedented victory, the judges asked her to spell a word that was not among those on an official list that competitors had been given, to study, in advance of the event,” White wrote. “The word? Nemesis, “the inescapable agent of someone’s or something’s downfall.” Nearly 80 years later, the choice still resonates with abject cruelty.” Read more of White’s work here.