Tuesday, May 15, 2007

from the "news from home about here" dept.

The following appeared in the Halifax Daily News last Sunday. Trisha Estabrooks is my JHR colleague in Kumasi.

Plane crash gives Estabrooks scare

A week ago this morning, the phone rang and NDP MLA Bill Estabrooks felt his heart stop.

"I thought, Oh God, here it is."

Twenty-four hours earlier, he and his wife, Carolyn, had learned about the Kenya Airways crash at Douala, Cameroon. They knew their daughter, Trisha, was flying out of the same airport that morning.

All 114 people on board the plane died when it plunged into a mangrove forest.

Trisha Estabrooks is a journalist working in Ghana. Her parents knew she had flown to nearby Cameroon, but were not entirely sure what her next destination was going to be.

"All we knew is she was flying out of Douala," said her father, the MLA for Timberlea-Prospect.

Bill and Carolyn spent Saturday making phone calls, trying to find out if their daughter was on the flight. Every time the phone rang, they wondered if it was bad news. Each time, it was another friend calling to see if they were OK. When night came, they still didn't know where Trisha was. They didn't get much sleep.

Estabrooks said he wondered if it was bad news when a call came at 7:45 a.m. But his daughter's voice was on the other end of the phone. She was safe in Ghana.

She said she expected they would be worried, but she hadn't been able to get to a telephone earlier.

Raging Bill said such complications are inevitable with a daughter like Trisha, who has been covering human rights stories in West Africa.

"She has her mother's looks, her mother's brains, and her father's attitude."

Deputy Premier Angus (Tando) MacIsaac never spoke truer words than last week.

As he came from a cabinet meeting, reporters asked him to explain what deal Ottawa is offering to end the dispute over the Atlantic Accord.

"I'm sure you're not going to be any clearer when I'm finished than you were when I started," Nova Scotia's Dick Cheney said.

What the devil's going on in the House of Commons? Check out what Nicole Demers, the Bloc Quebecois MP for Laval, said during recent parliamentary debate:

"Too many of the people in this House do not smile enough. Perhaps that is because their sexuality is unfulfilled. If people were more comfortable with their sexuality, maybe they would smile more. Many of my colleagues smile often, but too many of them never smile. I would like to wish everyone here a fulfilling sex life."

We'd note that Kings-Hants MP Scott Brison smiles incessantly, whereas Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay has been frowning a whole lot lately, except when in the company of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Metro MPs Alexa McDonough, Mike Savage, Peter Stoffer and Geoff Regan couldn't be reached for comment. (OK, we never tried.)

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