Canadian weather can really ruin your day.
According to Global News, more than 60,000 homes and businesses across the Maritimes were without power on Tuesday morning, after heavy storms including heavy rain and high winds took out power lines.
Millions of Canadians throughout the Windsor-Quebec City corridor, all the way to Newfoundland and Labrador, will be facing what unique and brutal snowstorm that will cover over 2,500 km of Canada under a blanket of snow.
Overall, the storm is expected to span three days in six different provinces, with the snow in some areas expected to pile up to 50 centimetres. It’s estimated that over 16,000,000 Canadians will be impacted by the February snowfall.
Snow is expected to begin Saturday and go strong into Sunday night, though more southern areas of Canada will start seeing snowfall as early as Wednesday and Thursday morning.
The Niagara region will face a unique challenge, as snowfall is expected to turn into hail and freezing rain on Thursday.
Overall, Ontario will experience the least harsh weather conditions of all provinces. The further east we go, though, the more is expected.
Southern Quebec will experience heavy snow early Thursday morning, which could have an impact on anyone travelling throughout the weekend. Snow is expected to pile up to 25 cm throughout southern Quebec. This includes Quebec City and Montreal.
Atlantic Canada, as is often the case, will be on the receiving end of the most snow, with as much as 50 cm of snow possible for parts of P.E.I., New Brunswick, and Newfoundland. The Bay of Fundy area near New Brunswick and Nova Scotia will also likely be experiencing some freezing rain.
Richard Maidment—also referred to as Richard MacNeil—has been granted partial freedom after being found not criminally responsible for committing murder “on account of mental disorder.”
A friend of the woman he killed told CTV News that she is sickened by the extra freedom that has been granted.
On Monday, Kim Murphy said “I’m really disgusted with the courts. I don’t believe in the law anymore.”
Maidment killed his partner, Sarabeth Forbes, at their home on April 18, 2017 in Gardiner Mines, N.S. Sarabeth was 33-years-old.
The two had been together in a common-law relationship for a decade and had a son.
In 2012 Maidment was diagnosed with schizophrenia causing the judge to find him not criminally responsible for her death.
Maidment’s previous conditions allowed him to be at home for six days during the week while spending one day at the East Coast Forensic Hospital located in Dartmouth.
The Nova Scotia Criminal Code Review Board allowed a conditional discharge for Maidment on Monday. The new conditions allow Maidment to live freely in his community as long as the East Coast Forensic Hospital is overseeing him.
“He no longer has to reside in the hospital, he can go home on a full-time basis,” said Dr. Scott Theriault, who is a psychiatrist at the hospital.
“But that he’s still subject to overview of the hospital, so we would make sure that he maintains his medication, that he maintains his good mental health, that he follows the direction of the board in terms of who he can have contact with, who he can’t have contact with.”
According to Theriault, the board looks into the progress that the patient has made in the past year in order to come to a decision. A report is filed by the hospital and then a recommendation is made to the board who then makes a decision.
Murphy says the court’s decision has made her feel “disgusted” and “hurt.”
“We did everything we could. We spoke to every meeting and I guess I was unheard,” Murphy told CTV News. “It’s too soon for that kind of decision, but the panel makes the decision based on Richie, not the family that he has hurt.”
Murphy noted that she recognizes Maidment’s sickness but thinks more treatment is needed.
“To send him out in the public this soon after what he did, I don’t think it’s a very good idea,” said Murphy. “From this point on we have to try to avoid him and basically not go anywhere on our own and keep our doors locked because we don’t know what he’s capable of doing.”
Theriault noted that the Criminal Code Review Board said Maidment “remains a significant risk to the public” but noted he was responding well to the medication.
Theriault said, “He has to have ongoing oversight and so our job now is to monitor him in the community, make sure that his risk is managed. Because of the nature of the illness that he has, the best way to do that is making sure that his illness remains stable.”
“So that’s why he needs solid psychiatric and mental health follow-up on an ongoing basis, to manage that risk in the community, and if there’s a relapse in illness that we can pick it up early and manage it before it becomes problematic.”
Though Maidment has to take his medication and do check in with mental health services, Murphy does not feel comfortable with the fact that he will be living full-time in Cape Breton.
She said, “I would like for Richie to be put out of Cape Breton. I would like to see him get more care that he needs and stop babying him.”
There was more anger around Maidment last month when he was given all of Forbes’ life insurance policy. He was granted the policy because he wasn’t found criminally responsible for the murder and was the policy beneficiary.
A court ruling is preventing a Dartmouth, Nova Scotia senior citizen from regaining his personalized licence plate which he has used for 27 years. The licence plate has his last name in all caps—GRABHER—on it which the court is suggesting could be misinterpreted.
Lorne Grabher based his claim on equality rights and freedom of expression which are protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. To challenge Nova Scotia’s regulation, Grabher made a list of words that are “banned” on personalized plates in Nova Scotia, showing the seemingly random nature of the system. The list included “AND”, “SAMPLE”, “FENCE”, “SAFE”, “NONE” and “GOLD”. The list was declared irrelevant by Justice Darlene Jamieson.
According to the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, Justice Jamieson has made much worse words legitimate to use on public property. Words like “Swastika”, “Dildo”, “Negro Lake”, “Blow Me Down” and “Sh*t” have been allowed while Grabher’s vanity licence plate containing his family name could be considered “offensive” to others.
“The provincial government cannot sanction having vehicles with government-owned plates traveling the highways of this province and country bearing messages that could be considered ‘offensive or not in good taste,’” said Justice Jamieson.
Grabher and his family have gone 27 years with their names on the vanity licence plate without incident. His son also has a licence plate with the family name in Alberta.
A single complaint about the plate was received by the Nova Scotia government through an anonymous individual. Grabher was informed that his vanity licence plate had become cancelled in a letter from the Nova Scotia Registrar of Motor Vehicles on Dec. 9, 2016. The letter suggested that the plate could be seen as a “socially unacceptable slogan.”
The JCCF was not not in agreement with the decision and made contact with the Registrar. They called the decision “unreasonable”, “discriminatory”, “arbitrary” and a free expression violation. After the Registrar refused to allow Grabher’s plate to be reactivated, JCCF took legal action against them on Grabher’s behalf. A hearing ensued in April of 2019.
Jay Cameron, the Justice Centre Litigation Manager who represents Grabher said, “Mr. Grabher and his family are profoundly disappointed”, and added “We are reviewing the decision.”
A Halifax man who was found not criminally responsible for killing his wife in their Nova Scotia home will receive the entirety of her life insurance policy.
In April 2017, Richard MacNeil (real name Richard Maidment) killed his wife Sarabeth Forbes, who had been married and had a child together. Maidment had been diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2012, which forced him to quit his job as a welder and collect long-term disability.
In December 2017, Maidment was found not criminally responsible for killing Forbes on account of a “mental disorder.”
Forbes’ mother had since been taking care of the couple’s son, and had applied to be to recipients of her life insurance.
A Supreme Court of Nova Scotia ruling, though, found that it would be Maidment who was to receive the funds.
Due to Maidment being listed as the policy beneficiary and their son as a “contingent beneficiary,” Maidment would still be receiving Forbes’ full life insurance.
Though there is policy in place to ensure that criminals do not benefit from crimes they’ve committed, the court’s ruling stated that Maidment was not criminally responsible for his crimes, meaning he would still be eligible for the insurance.
“That public policy rule has no application to this case. Richard has been found to be not criminally responsible,” wrote Justice Frank Edwards in his ruling. “He is not a criminal.”
Forbes had Maidment as the 100 percent sole beneficiary of the policy.
“There is no lawful reason to disqualify Richard from benefitting under Sarabeth’s life insurance policy,” said the ruling.