Halifax violated the right to housing through their secrecy about August 18 eviction

Halifax chose to keep housing service providers and supporters in the dark about their planned eviction of homeless encampments, creating a false dichotomy of security versus ensuring housing needs were met. By doing this, they clearly violated the right to adequate housing as it relates to homeless encampments in Canada, as covered in the National Protocol on Homeless Encampments in Canada. I will elaborate on this below. News this past week revealed that the office of Halifax’s Chief Administrative Officer, […]

Demand a full & independent investigation into Halifax Police actions on August 18th, 2021

Petition · Demand a full & independent investigation into Halifax Police actions on August 18th, 2021 · Change.org Here’s the full petition (go to the link above to support): The actions of the Halifax Regional Police in the mass evictions that occurred on August 18, 2021 reflect longstanding and systemic issues with policing in HRM, including the Municipality’s reliance on police to address complex social needs; excessive force by police; and the militarization of the police. Some of the policing […]

The loss of Robert Devet is a deep loss for those fighting for progressive social change in Nova Scotia

I learned of the recent, and sudden passing of Robert Devet last night.  I only spoke to him on a few occasions, including interviews, but I heard about his work for years. Robert was a tireless fighter for social change. He was the founder of the Nova Scotia Advocate, which is media through which, in the words of Robert,  “we write about poverty, housing and gentrification, workers and bosses, City Hall, the environment, racism, homophobia and misogyny, refugees, people living […]

Open letter to Mayor Savage and HRM Councillors against evictions of encampments -September 2, 2020

From: Wayne MacKay, Vince Calderhead, Claire McNeil, Katrin MacPhee, Mark Culligan, Mitch Broughton, Andrea MacNevin, Asaf Rashid Human rights lawyers and advocates, Halifax, Nova Scotia We are writing this open letter in the wake of the City’s forced eviction and clearance of the encampments of a large number of people who are homeless and, more recently, the Halifax City Council’s decision to suspend the police response to the lack of affordable housing in this City. At the same time, the […]

Silencing Palestinian solidarity – there was no lawful authority for this

On Saturday, May 15, a Free Palestine caravan rally (people in their cars) was held in the south end of k’jipuktuk /Halifax to support Palestinian people in their struggle against the violence they are facing by the state of Israel. Meanwhile, on the Citadel Hill park in Halifax and other parts of Nova Scotia, there was another group, Freedom Nova Scotia (FNS), who were gathering to oppose public health restrictions and vaccinations, All told, there were 17 tickets issued to […]

Eviction moratorium must be put in place due to Nova Scotia lockdown

Dear Hon Iain Rankin,   As the lockdown comes into place, it is essential that everyone has a place to stay.  This necessitates another moratorium on evictions. It is unsafe and against the interests of protecting public health to have anyone be rendered homeless during the heightened state of emergency as of the most recent public health order: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/docs/health-protection-act-order-by-the-medical-officer-of-health.pdf.   Furthermore, failure to put in place a moratorium against evictions at this time should be seen as a violation of […]

Proposed new removal “fees” are really fines and is deportation now punishment?

On January 5, 2021, the Canada border Services Agency publicized that they would be drastically increasing the so-called fees charged to those deported from the country.  Anyone deported would owe $3,250, regardless of how far they are actually travelling. Those who were escorted out of the country would be charged a blink-worthy $10,900.  Those who were detained in immigration detention would be charged $1,300.  Currently, Canada charges $750 for those deported to the United States and St. Pierre and Miquelon […]

If police delay roadside screening, you are wrongly detained

On November 24, 2020, Judge Dianne L. McGrath of the Provincial Court of Nova Scotia made an important decision in a DUI case which further supports liberty and protection against arbitrary searches under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  In the case, Devyn Garland was found not guilty of failing to provide a breath sample.  The case was really about this principle:  if you are stopped by police for a roadside impairment test, they have to do the test […]

Rao should never have been charged: screening out racial profiling

Santina Rao finally had her charges of assault of a peace officer, resisting arrest and causing a disturbance dropped on July 7, 2020. Finally. This happened six months after she was racially profiled by Walmart security, falsely accused of shoplifting, then violently arrested by Halifax Regional Police after they interrogated her for her identification and other information, all in front of her two young children.

Disarming the police to save lives

Tens of thousands of people have hit the streets across the county in response to the horrific choking death of George Floyd by the knee of Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin, Toronto police involvement in the death of Black-Indigenous woman Regis Korchinski and so many other racialized people who have been the victim of disproportionate killing by police.  There is a strong push for systemic change and calls to defund and disarm the police and to give the money to […]