Roundup: 2 COVID deaths, more mail attacks on local politicians, gun crimes worry Strait area residents, Pictou County United Way smashes fundraising goal
The United Way of Pictou County surpassed its annual campaign goal of $315,000. Photo: Steve Smith
By Trevor J. Adams 2 March 2022 Share this story
Plus: Local History — prison reformer and trailblazer Isabel Macneill
COVID-19 has killed two more Nova Scotians, according to the latest update from provincial health officials: a woman in her 70s and a man in his 90s, both from the Central Zone.
“As we move towards living with COVID, it is important Nova Scotians continue to use the tools we followed over the last two years that will limit the spread of this virus and protect those around us who are more vulnerable to severe disease,” Premier Tim Houston says in a press release. “This includes wearing a mask in indoor public places, staying home and getting tested when you’re sick, and following public health advice.”
Health officials estimate there are 2,031 active cases of the disease in Nova Scotia, with 217 new lab-confirmed cases reported yesterday. But those numbers don’t reflect COVID’s true extent. Houston’s government recently stopped widespread testing and follow-up, saying that the pervasiveness of the Omicron strain requires focusing on vulnerable areas like hospitals.
Health officials also reported four new COVID hospitalizations and two discharges yesterday, for a total of 48 people getting treatment in specialized units, including 11 in ICU. There are also 125 people who were admitted to hospital for another reason but tested positive for COVID (or were in a COVID unit but no longer require specialized care), and 163 who contracted the disease in hospital.
Since the pandemic began, COVID has killed 202 Nova Scotians.
More mail attacks
Another Nova Scotian politicians has been targeted with a suspicious package. Recently public works minister and Queens MLA Kim Masland joined the list of several local MLAs and MPs to receive the toxic mail.
“I’ve always said there are proper ways to share your displeasure with government, but resorting to dangerous ways, resorting to possibly putting my constituency assistant in danger, it disgusts me,” Masland says.
Gun crimes worry locals
Recent arrests and gun seizures, including charges against a self-styled militia leader long monitored by the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, are sparking concerns in the Canso Strait area.
“These incidents are disturbing, not only because of the amount of weapons and ammunition found, but for the troubling ideological connections among the cases,” says a recent editorial in the Reporter. “In three of these cases, the suspects are alleged to be leading, or part of far right-wing groups or movements that have been linked to violence, extremism, and racism.”
Local History: A trailblazer and prison reformer
During her Second World War service, Haligonian Isabel Macneill became the first woman in the British Empire to hold a naval command post.
That alone would qualify her for a place in the history books, but her more remarkable achievements came after the war, when she began working in the justice system: the first woman to superintend a Canadian prison.
She constantly challenged the status quo, introducing prison reforms that would emphasize rehabilitation and mental health, improving countless lives with her work.
In this recent Unravel Halifax web-exclusive column, Dorothy Grant looks back at Macneill’s work.
Pictou United way smashes fundraising goal
The United Way of Pictou County’s annual fundraising campaign surpassed its goal by almost 25 per cent this year.
The 2021 campaign aimed to raise $315,000 and ultimately tallied $388,841.
“It’s once again through the incredible generosity of our residents, businesses and volunteers that we were able to raise this much money, which is so badly needed by so many charitable organizations, programs, and people right here in Pictou County,” says committee chairperson Dave Fearon in a press release. “It will be put to very good use.”
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Trevor has been a magazine editor and journalist in Halifax since 1998. He's won multiple Atlantic Journalism Awards and was shortlisted for the Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence in 2014.
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