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HERE'S WHAT I'M THINKING: Crimes in the wake of Dorian’s wrath

Nova Scotia might be home to friendly, helpful men and women, but the province also has its share of miscreants who make life miserable for the trusting and vulnerable folks on whom they prey.

Take, for example, the thieves who stole a 10,000-watt generator from the Walden Fire Department soon after the close-knit rural community started recovering from hurricane Dorian’s wrath.

The small-budget fire department in Lunenburg County was using the generator to power its comfort station, where area residents could charge their devices, contact concerned relatives, and relax.

The generator also powered the fire department’s heat, lighting and water systems, and provided power to the back-up paging system, which alerts firefighters to emergencies in the community.

Another region reported the theft of chain saws and copper wire from an unattended Nova Scotia Power truck, while other thefts and vandalism were reported to police throughout the province.

In my view, the people who committed these despicable crimes are in the same category as those sleazebags who steal tools and equipment from tradespeople, depriving them of their livelihoods.

Perhaps lawmakers should consider doubling the penalties for crimes committed during emergencies.

Tongue twisters

According to a reporter for New Brunswick’s Daily Gleaner, “a francophone couple from Ottawa who complained Air Canada did not properly give boarding instructions in French at the Fredericton International Airport has won its court case.”

Apparently, the French version of the instructions was much shorter than the English version.

The judge, a francophone, ruled the complaint was valid and ordered the airline to pay the couple $21,000 in damages, and write a letter of apology to them. In English, French, or both, I wonder?

This was not the first time the couple had taken Air Canada to court over language violations.

The Gleaner reported that among the other complaints was one alleging that “the emergency exit door signs on Air Canada planes were in English only or the English words were in larger print than the French ones. Also, the seatbelts were engraved with the word ‘lift’ in English only.”

Sacré bleu!

Now, I am all for bilingualism, yet I wonder if I could make a few bucks the next time I visit Quebec and complain to the courts there that I was totally confused by all that province’s French-only signs.

Probably not.

Powerful ego-mobile

A recent newspaper review of the 2020 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid contained news that this $180,000 piece of precision machinery is rated for 670 horsepower and has a top speed of 300 kilometres per hour.

Those of you who drive your entry-level Chevys, Fords, Toyotas or other makes to work every day likely found this news to be quite valuable and awe-inspiring. Or not.

Who cares if this powerful ego-mobile can go 300 km/h, especially since the top speed motorists can travel on Nova Scotia highways is 110 km/h?

I would prefer reviews of vehicles priced within reach of most ordinary folks.

Just sayin’.

Highway speedways

Still on the topic of speed, excessive speed is an everyday occurrence throughout Nova Scotia, despite constant warnings from the province’s police forces and stiff penalties imposed by the courts.

Stunting is driving 50 km/h over the speed limit. Penalties include a $2,422 fine, vehicle seizure and seven-day suspension of driver’s licence. Aggressive drivers could also face criminal charges.

Drivers charged are both male and female, and their ages range from young drivers to elderly folks.

During a seven-day period in August, at least three drivers were caught and charged with stunting.

The first driver, a 35-year-old female, was clocked at 141 km/h in a 50 km/h zone – 91 km/h over the posted speed limit.

The second driver, a 23-year-old male, was clocked at 210 km/h in a 100 km/h zone – 110 km/h over the posted speed limit.

The third driver, a 21-year-old male, was clocked at 164 km/h in a 100 km/h zone – 64 km/h over the posted speed limit.

Who knows what might have happened if these drivers were not observed and stopped by police. They could have seriously injured or killed themselves, or other innocent people.

Getting to a destination a little sooner by speeding excessively sure isn’t worth the risk.

Assuming those charged will be convicted of the offences, I can’t imagine what their premiums will be when the three drivers renew their car insurance, or what impact the convictions will have on jobs, particularly if driving is a key condition of employment.

You can’t fix stupid.

Peter Simpson is a veteran journalist and former CEO who lives in rural Nova Scotia. Reach him at peter_simpson@hotmail.com

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