Wednesday, June 24, 2009

His Excellency the Right Honourable Roméo-Adrien LeBlanc has Passed Away

His Excellency the Right Honourable Roméo-Adrien LeBlanc, twenty-fifth Governor General of the Royal Dominion of Canada (1995-1999) and a member of Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada, died today.

LeBlanc's time as the Queen's viceregal representative was considered to have been low key and largely uneventful, especially in comparison to that of his successor, Adrienne Clarkson. He was, however, the first Acadian governor general, which earned praise from the Acadian community, and he was also the first from the Canadian maritimes to be appointed as viceroy.

As Governor General, LeBlanc was viewed as having been a role model for Acadians, and was complimented for having drawn the attention of the country to Acadian history and culture. As such, he was seen as a symbol for reconciliation, given the past relations between the Acadians and the Canadian Crown's predecessor. At the same time, LeBlanc was also credited for returning Rideau Hall to a status closer to that which it held a century previous, when it was the centre of life in the capital.

After being released from the Queen's service, LeBlanc returned to New Brunswick. There, after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's disease, he died on 24 June 2009.

Requiescat in pace.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tropical Depression Dissipates, Impacts Mexico

From Wikinews, Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tropical Depression One-E, the first tropical system of the 2009 Eastern Pacific hurricane season, was declared dissipated by the National Hurricane Center at 5 pm PDT yesterday, but its remnants continue to impact Mexico. Ahead of the storm, advisories were posted for coastal areas. Shelters were prepared, but because the storm never broke tropical depression status, they were not opened.
A satellite image of the depression

Although it was a weak storm, it managed to drop heavy rainfall—measured in inches—and spawn gusty winds. Thousands of residents in the Mazatlán region were left in the dark, while several trees were downed throughout the city.

Numerous small villages were flooded, forcing the evacuation of some residents. Structures were also damaged. To assist in cleanup efforts, members of the Mexican army were deployed throughout Sinaloa. On some major roadways, landslides resulted in traffic accidents.

NOAA predicts the upcoming Pacific hurricane season will be below average, with 13 to 18 named storms, of which 6 to 10 are expected to become hurricanes. They define a "normal" season as having 15.3 named storms, with 8.8 hurricanes.

TD 1-E marked the earliest date in the year that a tropical cyclone had impacted the Mexican state of Sinaloa. Usually, such storms don't strike the area until August.

Health and Safety Culture is Damaging Children in the UK

From Wikinews Friday, June 19, 2009
According to a survey conducted by Teachers TV, almost half of teachers believe that safety measures in UK schools are over the top and curb children's learning.

The survey, which consisted of 585 school staff, found that 44.3% believe safety regulations currently in place at schools negatively affect learning. About the same percentage, however, believed that the rules were not overtly restrictive.

Those who were questioned were also asked to provide examples of the most restrictive health measures in their school. Among them were: banning running in playground, cancelling physical education classes when the grass was wet, and making students wear goggles when putting up posters.

Other examples included banning consumption of sweets due to choking hazard and not allowing children to play with toilet tube rolls.

"Almost half the education workforce feels that health and safety regulations negatively affect students' education and their personal development, along with the education workforce," said the chief executive of Teachers TV, Andrew Bethell.

"The more extreme examples are thankfully not the norm, but schools still need to take into consideration the workforce's concerns when trying to protect pupils," he said.

Friday, June 19, 2009

World War One Veteran Becomes World's Oldest Man

From Wikinews, Friday, June 19, 2009

Henry Allingham has become the world's oldest man at the age of 113, after the death of Tomoji Tanabe, a 113 year old man in Japan. Mr Allingham, the only surviving founding members of the RAF and one of only two surviving World War I veterans was born on June 6, 1896 in Clapton, London.
"It's fantastic news. He is very frail now but I'm sure he'll be very pleased to hear it. We are very proud of him."

—Henry Allingham's nephew, Ronald Cator

Mr Allingham has five grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, 14 great-great grandchildren and one great-great-great grandchild. The majority of his family live in the USA, but his nephew still lives in Britain.

He joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 1915, before transferring to the RAF at its inception in 1918. Along with being the sole survivor of the Battle of Jutland, an honorary member of the Royal Naval Association, a recipient of the Legion d'Honneur and a doctorate in engineering from Southampton Solent University, an hon

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

William McIntyre, Former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada has Passed Away

Ave Atque Vale: William McIntyre, 1918-2009

The former justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, the British Columbia Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada died earlier this week.

He was, in my opinion, an underappreciated jurist. His majority decision in Dolphin Delivery (in fact, a unanimous decision, subject only to a few quibbles from Beetz and Wilson JJ) has attracted considerable attention from tort law scholars in recent years. And few judges in his time ever tried to breathe life into Diefenbaker's Bill of Rights - as he did in his dissent at the Court of Appeal in R. v. Miller and Cockriell - for which he was later criticized (ironically, given the contrasting reputations of all the judges involved) by both Laskin CJ and Dickson J. (in R. v. Miller).