The death of a young Dartmouth man outside a downtown Halifax bar Saturday again highlights the violence that has turned the city's downtown into a weekend combat zone. In this incident, word is 23 year old James Mattatall was attempting to break up a fight outside a bar when he was hit, fell and struck his head, becoming the city's 16th murder victim in a record year of homicides. City police say bar hours are an issue, that some bars are open too late. Cabarets can serve booze until 3:30am. It is a valid issue, however it is but one issue among several including excessive drinking. The downtown bar scene hasn't always been like this, but there's a real nasty streak that's taken over these days. Police say a night on the town can be dangerous. Enter at your own risk.
The city's 17th murder victim is an elderly woman in her 70s, a widow who lived alone in a Jackson Road home in Dartmouth. Police haven't revealed much about her death. A friend called 911 after discovering the woman's back door kicked in.
Didn't McLean's Magazine just rate us the 28th most dangerous city in all of Canada, dropping us from our once lofty perch in the top 10? Seems the publication's rating may be a tad off considering the weekend's developments.
What a shocking story out of Alberta involving those two PEI ballplayers attending college there. The two were victims of a jealous ex-boyfriend who ran their car off the road, and shot them dead along with his former girlfriend who was driving the Maritimers to catch a flight home for Christmas. He then turned the gun on himself. Tragic, and all because some a-hole couldn't deal with a relationship breakup.
Oh, oh! DSME Trenton Ltd says it may have to layoff more than the 40 temporary workers already laid off. The company, backed by tons of provincial money, is facing a shortage of orders for its wind turbine towers. The Dexter government paid nearly $20 million for a 49% ownership in the company along with $40 more in loans. It teamed up with South Korea's Daewoo, 51% owners in the plant. The company says unless things pick up, more layoffs are likely, this time involving permanent workers.
Defence Minister Peter MacKay's been the latest target of critics upset at wasteful or extravagent spending habits, but the Central Nova MP isn't the only federal politician deserving closer scrutiny. Each year, each Member of Parliament spends an average $436,000 on expenses. It adds up to $133 million of taxpayers money spent on things like travel, staff, offices, advertising and hospitality. Here's the problem. We can tell you how much an MP spends each year, for example, Halifax MP Megan Leslie spent $483,377 last year, but we cannot tell you the specifics. Nova Scotia's provincial politicians were dragged kicking and screaming into more accountibility with the online posting of expenses. It's time the federal government did the same.
By the way, one of the most detailed accountings of a politician's expenses can be found on Toronto city hall's website. Check it out.
Have a great day. Get involved And if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.