Roundup: 2 new COVID cases, HRM Council transforms, RCMP finally makes arrests, clean sweep in Richmond Co., museum director feted for heritage work, country star buys Queens Co. church

Iona Stoddard. Photo: Twitter

As of yesterday (Oct. 18), Nova Scotia has six known cases of COVID-19, with two new cases reported in the latest government update. The two new cases are in the Central Zone, both related to travel outside Atlantic Canada. To date, Nova Scotia has had 104,830 negative test results, 1,097 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and 65 deaths.

Canada has 21,276 cases of COVID-19 from coast to coast, say the latest federal government statistics. That includes 8,794 cases in Quebec, 5,954 in Ontario, 2,836 in Alberta, and 104 in New Brunswick.

HRM Council transforms
For the first time in history, Halifax Council will have gender parity, with seven women winning seats in Saturday’s election.

  • District 1: Cathy Deagle Gammon beat incumbent Steve Streatch by 74 votes.
  • District 2: Incumbent David Hendsbee was re-elected with 51% of the vote.
  • District 3: Becky Kent easily overcame four other candidates in the area formerly represented by Bill Karsten, who didn’t reoffer. Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly described Kent as a newcomer to Council. She was an HRM Councillor from 2004–2007.
  • District 4: With just 19.7% of the vote, Trish Purdy beat 11 other candidates to claim the seat formerly held by Lorelei Nicoll, who didn’t run this time.
  • District 5, 6, 7, 8, 9: Incumbents Sam Austin, Tony Mancini, Waye Mason, Lindell Smith, and Shawn Cleary all easily won again.
  • District 10: Kathryn Morse won with 27.5% of the vote, as eight candidates vied to replace retiring councillor Russell Walker.
  • District 11: The counting went on well into Sunday morning, before we learned that Patty Cuttell will replace Steve Adams (who didn’t run), beating Bruce Holland by 28 votes.
  • District 12: In one of the night’s biggest upsets, Iona Stoddard defeated incumbent Richard Zurawksi, becoming the first Black woman elected to HRM Council.
  • District 13: Long-time Matt Whitman adversary Pamela Lovelace won the district he vacated to run for mayor.
  • District 14: Incumbent Lisa Blackburn overcame one challenger in a landslide, taking 85.1% of the vote.
  • District 15: Paul Russell returns to Council, facing four challengers but getting 51.6% of the votes.
  • District 16: Incumbent Tim Outhit returns by acclamation.
  • Mayor: Mike Savage threepeated, finishing 89,251 votes ahead of Matt Whitman, who began his campaign almost a year ago, yet barely overcame neophyte Max Taylor, who announced his candidacy in September.
Photo: James W.S. Nevin/Facebook

RCMP finally takes (some) action
Last week the RCMP stood by doing little as a mob of commercial fishers and their supporters attacked First Nations-friendly lobster pounds in Southwestern Nova Scotia. Videos from the attacks show people uttering threats, throwing rocks, stealing and poisoning lobsters, destroying gear, committing assaults, and setting fires while officers ignored pleas for help from Native fishermen.

Even as the violence escalated over the weekend and a lobster pound burned down, spokesman Andrew Joyce maintained that the RCMP was doing a good job. “We were there to keep the peace and keep everyone involved as safe as possible in the situation,” he said in a CBC interview, overlooking that the peace was broken repeatedly.

Yesterday, as public outrage continued to grow, RCMP finally charged two people. During the Oct. 13 attacks at the New Edinburgh lobster pound, someone set a First Nations-owned vehicle on fire. Michael Burton Nickerson of Yarmouth County faces a charge of arson. On Oct. 14, a man roughed up Chief Michael Sack. Chris Gerald Melanson of Digby County is charged with assault. Both of the accused are free until their Dec. 21 trials.

Justin Barron. Photo: Trevor MacMillan/Halifax Mooseheads

Bound for the big leagues
The Colorado Avalanche recently picked Halifax Mooseheads captain Justin Barron in the first round of the NHL draft. If he successfully makes the jump to hockey’s top tier, he won’t be lonely: the team has four other Bluenosers.

“Just getting the possible chance to play with four other guys from Nova Scotia in one team would be something pretty exciting and special,” Barron says. “Often Nova Scotia gets a little bit overlooked when it comes to hockey and producing players. Nova Scotia is producing NHL draft picks and great players year after year. It goes to show the development and the competition in this area is continuing to grow. I wouldn’t want to grow up anywhere else and play hockey anywhere else.”

He talks with Ameeta Vohra about the next big step in his hockey career—and some unfinished business at home—in this new Halifax Magazine feature.

Voters turf Richmond Co.’s all-male council
The all-male council in Richmond County earned widespread criticism in February, when it refused to help fund a conference aimed at bringing women into politics, as then-warden Brian Marchand insisted women face no disadvantages in politics.

On Saturday, Richmond voters decided it was time for new ideas, as Marchand and three incumbents lost. The fifth incumbent didn’t re-offer, meaning it will be all new faces around the council table, including first-time candidates Melanie Sampson and Amanda Mombourquette, who both cited Marchand’s comments as factors in their decision to run. Jake Boudrot has more in The Reporter.

Museum director feted for heritage preservation
Throughout her three decades with the Nova Scotia Museum of Industry in Stellarton, Debra McNabb worked to make the museum central to its community and preserve the province’s industrial heritage. She retired in July and now the Association of Nova Scotia is honouring her work, presenting her with an Award of Excellence.

“I have felt privileged to participate in the creation of a new museum, to have input into what items are saved for its artifact collection, what stories are told in the exhibits,” she says. “The most exciting part of my time here at the museum has been creating the exhibits.” Jackie Jardine reports for The Pictou Advocate.

Country star buys Port Medway church
Country star Carroll Baker is the new owner of the Port Medway Baptist Church in Queens County. Baker lives in Ontario now but is originally from the area. The church is where she first performed on stage and she doesn’t want it to change.

“I wanted to make sure that the church would always be a church,” she says. “The memories are very strong and are of a spiritual nature. My first introduction to God was in that church. I did not want anything to take away from the dignity of the church.” Kevin Mcbain has the story for LighthouseNow.

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This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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