‘Disruptive’ snow removal depot operating without city permit in Halifax – Halifax


For many decades, the warm smell of fresh bread was a common scent along the Quinpool Road district, stemming from the operations of Ben’s Bakery on Pepperell Street. But following its closure, the lots that the bakery used to operate on have been purchased by Westwood Developments.

Recently, regional council approved proposed amendments to the Halifax Municipal Planning Strategy to allow the old Ben’s Bakery lands to be developed into a residential, commercial and mixed-use development.

However, what isn’t permitted on the site is the operation of a salt and snow removal depot.

“Everywhere in the municipality we have zones, and in those zones are specific uses. On the north side of Pepperell Street, the entire street, there’s no use allowed for snow or salt operations of any kind, and we have not given out any permits for that kind of use,” said senior city spokesperson Brendan Elliott

The vacant parking lot on Pepperell Street appears to have turned into a winter operations depot. A steady flow of loaders, trucks, and tractors are removing salt from large containers that have been placed on the land.

“It’s pretty disruptive for about, I’d say, a good half-hour, 45 minutes where you just have to get out of bed and do something else,” Allan Jones said, a resident who lives nearby the parking lot.

According to Jones, both the morning and evening hours now come with disruptive snow removal activities.

“It’s pretty loud. Especially in the morning when they first get going and then at the end of the day around nine or 10 o’clock when they’re all coming back in and they shovel all the salt back into their containers. It gets pretty loud,” he said.

The city says the only activities that were approved for the land are those that were related to the bakery. Although recent amendments have been approved by council for the development project, winter operation activities haven’t been approved.

“We have opened a file thanks to Global’s investigation into this and we are looking into this to see if indeed if what the residents in that neighbourhood are saying is happening. If it is, then we’re going to ask the owners of that land to cease and desist,” Elliott said.

Westwood Developments was contacted for an interview, but hasn’t yet returned the request.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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PETA threatens to sue Toronto, Astral Media over removal of anti-Canada Goose ads


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is threatening to sue the city of Toronto and Astral Media for removing anti-Canada Goose ads.

The animal rights group said Friday that it will commence legal action against the city and Astral, if they do not repost ads the group paid to put up in September that criticized the Toronto-based luxury jacket maker for using goose down and coyote fur in its jackets.

The ads featured images of the animals with captions saying « I’m a living being, not a piece of fur trim » and « I’m a living being, not jacket filling » and were put up at bus shelters between Canada Goose’s headquarters and the home of the company’s CEO, Dani Reiss.

PETA’s assistant manager of clothing campaigns Christina Sewell told The Canadian Press the ads were meant to run for four weeks, but were up for less than 24 hours in September.

A woman wearing a Canada Goose jacket walks past PETA protesters in front of the New York Stock Exchange during the Canadian company’s IPO in March 2017. (Mark Lennihan/AP)

« Astral let us know they had to pull the ads because they had too many numerous complaints, » she said.

A spokesperson for Bell Media Inc., which owns Astral, confirmed it removed the ads because they were not in line with a part of the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards that restricts ads from disparaging organizations or causing public ridicule.

Ads didn’t violate standards, PETA says

PETA claims it is not violating the standards.

« PETA’s position remains that its right to free expression includes the right to place this particular artwork — in its current form — on city property, and that the removal of its artwork violated this right, » the group said in a letter it sent to the city, Bell Media and Astral Media on Thursday.

PETA says it will begin legal action against the city of Toronto and Astral Media, if they do not repost ads the group paid to put up in September. (PETA/Canadian Press)

Asked about the ads, city of Toronto spokesperson Eric Holmes said Astral « is responsible for applying the standards and any decisions related to the approval and removal of advertising content on these assets. »

Sewell, who called the ads « benign, » said PETA doesn’t have a timeline for how soon it will take legal action if the ads aren’t reposted, but is committed to carrying out their threat.

A Canada Goose spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

Canada Goose defends use of fur

The company has long been in PETA’s crosshairs.

PETA members, sometimes dressed as coyotes, have protested in front of the apparel company’s stores and have repeatedly billed Canada Goose as a perpetrator of « shameless cruelty. »

« There are so many cruelty-free alternatives out there and things that are made out of plants or synthetic. Fur is hugely detrimental to the environment, » Sewell said, noting that Canada Goose hasn’t gotten in touch with PETA since it unveiled the ads.

« We have been campaigning for several years now and we are very hard pressed to get a direct response from the company. »

Canada Goose previously fought complaints about its use of fur, saying that it is committed to the ethical treatment of animals, that « having fur trim around a jacket hood disrupts airflow which helps protect the face from frostbite » and that it uses goose down because it is « one of the world’s best natural insulators. »

« We do not condone any willful mistreatment, neglect, or acts that maliciously cause animals undue suffering, » the company’s website says. « Our standards for the sourcing and use of fur, down and wool reflect our commitment that materials are sourced from animals that are not subject to willful mistreatment or undue harm. »


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Moose Jaw petition calls for removal of city councillor – Regina


A petition circulating Moose Jaw calling for the resignation of Coun. Brian Swanson made it before city council Tuesday night with nearly 900 signatures.

However, Mayor Fraser Tolmie said council does not have the authority to remove an elected councillor.

“We’re not a political party and so we can’t remove someone from caucus. We can’t as council unelect an elected member — it’s up to the community,” Tolmie said.

3 Moose Jaw city councillors sanctioned following third-party investigation

Swanson is accused of mishandling sexual harassment complaints from eight women employees against the former director of operations for the Downtown Facility and Fieldhouse, who has since left that position.

In doing so, Swanson took confidential personnel reports home, prompting the city to level sanctions against Swanson and two other councillors.

Local resident Jody Chell started the petition, calling for Swanson’s resignation over what she called privacy concerns.

“After the investigative report came out and was made public by Moose Jaw City Council, I noticed on social media, a lot of people were complaining why wasn’t more done? Why weren’t these people removed from council? I just took it upon myself to use social media as an avenue for the residents to speak out,” Chell said.

While the city isn’t confirming the nature of the allegations, Swanson acknowledges harassment allegations in the following statement.

  1. It was at the request of the senior DFFH employee responsible for Human Resources in the presence of another employee that I received files from DFFH that had been gathered by staff from the desk of a terminated employee. There was no surreptitious action or malevolent intent in doing so.
  2. I secured the material in my home office where at any given time there are a number of confidential city reports and materials. City councillors are not provided with office space at City Hall.
  3. Neither I, nor anyone else, read those materials whilst in my possession. I turned them over to my lawyer who provided them to an investigator upon request. No breach of confidentiality occurred.
  4. The Board of DFFH, which included a senior member of City Administration in an Ex Officio capacity, took reasonable action when apprised of allegations of harassment and inappropriate use of language by DFFH employees based on the information available when the action was taken.
  5. During the last year and a half, the DFFH Board significantly improved opportunities for staff input into decision making. I am proud of the many improvements to customer service and third-party relationships with Curl Moose Jaw, the Moose Jaw Warriors, and the Compass Group that occurred. As well, significant improvements were made to the financial viability of DFFH as evidenced in the public 6 month financial update provided to Council immediately prior to the dissolution of the DFFH Board and imposition of sanctions by Mayor Tolmie and councillors Luhning and Warren.
  6. I deeply appreciate the support and encouragement from numerous Moose Jaw citizens during the past several weeks. I am also so appreciative of the support from my wife and children and regret what they have had to go through. It is little wonder so few quality people allow their names to stand for public office.
  7. At all times during my tenure on the DFFH Board, I acted to the best of my ability in striving to govern the facilities in the best interests of DFFH and our community.
  8. I will continue to serve the citizens of Moose Jaw and fulfill the mandate provided [to] me at the last civic election.

“I can only say that it was a serious personnel matter and we’re respecting the individuals who have come forward and we want to respect their privacy and their desire to move on and move forward,” Tolmie said.

Provincial jobs declining in Moose Jaw according to city

A third-party investigation found the three councillors failed in their duty as DFFH board members to deal with a serious personnel matter violating the council’s code of ethics bylaw.

While Swanson did acknowledge taking home confidential documents, within his statement, he said it’s not uncommon.

“There are times we take home confidential documents but not original, not dealing with personnel matters,” Tolmie said.

While Swanson did not resign his seat, he also declined to further comment on the matter.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Kingston city councillor proposes good neighbour policy for leaves, snow removal – Kingston


As the seasons begin to change in Kingston, the ground is covered with orange, red and yellow leaves.

Leave the leaves alone: Nature group tells Canadians not to rake their lawns

For one local couple, trading swimsuits and sunshine for rakes and snowblowers is nothing new. Doug and Jill Spettigue have lived in their home on the shores of Lake Ontario for over 40 years, and each year they look out the window and see leaves and snow accumulate on their front lawn.

“We enjoy raking leaves and preparing for the snow that we know will fall during the winter months,” said Jill.

Nature Conservancy of Canada announces large sugar maple natural reserve

The Spettigues are doing their part to ensure that the leaves and snow in their yard are piled properly so that they do not spread to neighbouring properties — a duty that Coun. Jim Neill says many Kingstonians are failing to do.

“I’ve had several complaints about neighbours who blew snow and raked leaves onto their property, and we’ve always tried to negotiate with that neighbour, but we need a good neighbour policy,” said Neill.

Neill continued by saying that he wrote a good neighbour bylaw, but the municipal act doesn’t allow for it because the city already enforces rules for blowing snow and/or leaves onto roadways and city property. Still, he says a similar policy was enacted in Calgary and seems to have worked.

“A way in which this can be resolved between neighbours without making it a legal bylaw is this policy. We have staff looking into it, and I’m looking forward to Kingston adopting a similar policy,” said Neill.

Beaconsfield residents irked by handling of leaf blower ban

The Spettigues say a bylaw is not the answer because being a Kingstonian comes with a certain pride, and it should be reflected on the city’s streets.

On Tuesday evening, the policy will be brought to city council, and Neill says he is confident it will be passed unanimously.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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