One month after the apparent death of chronic lobster poacher and trap vandal Philip Boudreau, the CBC continues to falsely identify him as a fisherman.     [Click images for full-sized image.] This is perplexing  The CBC's very capable reporters and editors know full well that Boudreau held no commercial or sport fishing license of any kind. They know his status as a non-fisherman is both a key fact, and a probable factor, in the events leading to his disappearance. Never discount the role of haste in deadline journalism. Toronto web editors who are not the primary reporters covering this story may have simply assumed that a...

On Wednesday, I questioned CBC reporter Phonse Jessome's reporting on the Philip Boudreau killing, and the broader media failure to probe allegations the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the RCMP received many complaints about Boudreau's chronic lobster thievery and trap vandalism over the years, but did little or nothing. In an essay on the CBC's website, Jessome elaborates on his approach to the story (though he makes no overt reference to my criticism). Unfortunately, he sheds no light on why the CBC continues to skirt the DFO-RCMP angle....

On Monday, CBC reporter Phonse Jessome recounted sensational excerpts from what purported to be a confession by one of the fishermen accused of killing Philip Boudreau June 1. He supplemented his reporting with editorial comments that portrayed the killing as an unfathomable escalation of a feud over "fishing territory." Based on widely known but lightly reported facts, the escalation is not unfathomable. To portray it as arising out of a "feud" over “territory” is to adopt one side in highly contentious matter. Tuesday, while reporting a brief court appearance by the accused men, Jessome added more editorial commentary, stressing the trauma experienced by the Boudreau's family, portraying defense...

The James McGregor Stewart Society, a small voluntary group with a single summer intern, has managed to pull off in a month what the Disabled Persons Commission of NS (annual budget: $600,000) and the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission ($2.1 million) have not achieved in the decades of their existence. It has surveyed the accessibility of MLAs offices throughout the province. The results will not be a source of pride for Nova Scotia or its legislators. The survey rated MLAs' constituency offices based on parking facilities, power door buttons, entrance accessibility, washroom accessibility, and proximity to accessible bus routes. Since accessible bus routes are...

A committee meeting at Province House this week has the potential to correct a logstanding injustice in the way Nova Scotia is governed. At the behest of the James McGregor Stewart Society, a disability rights organization, the House of Assembly Management Commission will consider requiring constituency offices to be fully accessible before MLAs can claim reimbursement of office expenses. You might expect this to go without saying in 2013, but it doesn't. Many MLAs' offices are only partly, if at all, accessible. They may have a level entry or a satisfactory wheelchair ramp, but lack a paved parking lot or an accessible...

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that New York City has become the first major municipality to adopt the new active symbol of accessibility, which Contrarian first wrote about in September, 2011. The result of a collaboration between Sara Hendren, graduate student at the Harvard School of Design, and Brian Glenney, philosophy professor at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, the revised icon recasts the passive, static International Symbol of Accessibility (demeaningly known as the "handicapped sign"), investing it with vigor and a sense of motion. The Chronicle reports: New York, in a move that could spark similar updates worldwide, has now agreed to use...

The Dexter Government's decision to make a retroactive grab for disgraced MLA Trevor Zinck's pension should not pass without comment. It is a cynical exercise in pre-election pandering to public hatred of politicians. The pandering ploy reflects badly on the government as a whole, but especially on the lawyers among its ranks, including Darrell Dexter and Graham Steele, both of whom certainly know better. The courts should be left to deal with Mr. Zinck according to the evidence as it may be adduced at trial, and the law as it existed at the time his of alleged crimes and misdemeanors. His...

Contrarian reader Joyce Rankin reacts to Contrarian's caution that justice will not be served by presuming a hearsay accusation of sexual assault to be true in every detail. I don't usually print reader responses at this length, but in the interests of fairness I will do so in this case without edits. Please, please, please don't be one of those men who keep doubting that a rape took place. Every woman knows that there are many many rapes that are never reported because the victim knows exactly what kind of a shitstorm she will letting herself in for and decides not...

I have more reader mail on the furore around Rehtaeh Parsons' death and the factors that led to it. Once again, a few preliminary points. Rehtaeh's family and friends are going through an unimaginably horrible experience, one they have handled with grace and courage. The one point that united everyone in this case is sympathy for their ordeal. It bears repeating that, if you or anyone you know are having suicidal thoughts, please call the toll-free Kid’s Help Line at 1-800-668-6868 or the toll-free Suicide Prevention Line at 1-888-429-8167. Also please check out this website, and this list of warning signs. In a post on April 11, I raised...