Roundup: $28.8M for new Native Friendship Centre, COVID update, C.B. man dies in ATV crash, Coats for Kids returns

An artist's rendering of the proposed new Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Centre in Halifax. Illustration: Ekistics Planning + Design

Plus: After widespread service failures last month, telecommunications companies remain under scrutiny

A long-awaited new Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre building in Halifax is a step closer to reality, with the federal government promising last week to spend $28.8 million on the project.

“This support will initiate an unparalleled turning point in the progress Indigenous and non-Indigenous people are making toward reconciliation,” Pam Glode-Desrochers, executive director of the centre, says in a press release. “Ensuring that our ever-expanding population has the resources necessary to address the intergenerational and systemic barriers we encounter on a daily basis has necessitated a broad expansion of our operations … when we work together we can dramatically change the quality of life for Indigenous people.”

With funding in place, securing the land seems to be the final step. As Alec Bruce recently reported for Unravel Halifax, organizers have chosen a historically significant plot in the shadow of Citadel Hill. All that remains is for HRM to complete the property transfer.

Read more.

Danielle Barkhouse. Photo: Submitted

Telecommunications companies remain under scrutiny
When the remnants of hurricane Fiona hit Nova Scotia last month, there were widespread phone and internet failures, with some areas even losing their 911 service as spokespeople falsely claimed the telecommunications companies were operating normally.

In response, the Houston government has proposed new regulations to require the companies to better prepare for storms and communicate more truthfully about service failures.

“Hurricane Fiona taught us an important lesson,” says Progressive Conservative backbench MLA Danielle Barkhouse. “It is important that we take note of those lessons and prepare for the next storm … Telecommunications companies have to do better.”

Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

COVID update
The World Health Organization reports 162,207 confirmed new COVID cases around the globe in the last 24 hours. So far, the disease is known to have killed at least 6,566,610 people, including 46,389 in Canada and 588 Nova Scotians.

Cape Breton man dies in crash
Police say a 75-year-old man died on a road outside Point Tupper on Saturday, pinned under a crashed all-terrain vehicle.

“The man was found alone by a friend of the man’s family,” RCMP spokesperson Cindy Bayers says in an email. “Officers do not believe there is anything suspicious about the incident and the investigation has concluded.”

The Reporter has more.

Coats for Kids returns
An annual Pictou County campaign to provide winter wear for children returns on Nov. 5, as the New Glasgow Fire Hall hosts Coats for Kids.

“We’ve been putting it on for a number of years,” says organizer Heather Brimicombe. “Anybody who needs winter wear can come in. No questions asked.”

Nov. 3 is the last day to drop off contributions at the Pictou County United Way, the Department of Community Services, or Stones RV.

Heather Knight has the story for the Pictou Advocate.

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