Roundup: 45% of N.S. vax boosted, brewers urge NSLC to support local, Richmond Co. residents battle winter floods, new South Shore hiking trail opens

Ottawa police during the ongoing protests. Photo: Ottawa Police/Twitter

Plus: Dining picks for Valentine’s Day

As the Freedom Convoy headed for Ottawa last week, many claimed it would be a peaceful protest, about personal choice.

“Organizers made it known … that they were not anti-vaccine, but pro-freedom and that is what the convoy was all about,” Pat Healey, co-owner of the Laker news website, wrote last week.

Since then, the protestors have waved Nazi and Confederate flags, vandalized homes flying pride flagsillegally blocked traffic, ignored public health lawsurinated and danced on the National War Memorial, and threatened workers at a homeless shelter while stealing food. Police continue to take little apparent action, arresting just two people despite the widespread criminality.

While the ongoing lawlessness grabs most of the attention, national vaccination statistics show that misnamed Freedom Convoy represents a small and shrinking minority: 83.7 per cent of Canadians have had one vaccine dose, 77.94 per cent have had two doses, and 37.31 per cent have also had the booster.

Uptake is even higher in Nova Scotia, where 88.28 per cent have had one dose, 81.05 per cent have had two, and 45.0 per cent have had the booster.

Tim Houston. Photo: CNS

COVID update
COVID-19 has killed another Nova Scotian, according to the latest government update. The victim, a man in his 80s from the Central Zone, is Nova Scotia’s 147th death from the disease.

“It is difficult to hear that another Nova Scotian has died from COVID-19,” Premier Tim Houston says in a press release. “While our case numbers are declining, we cannot forget there are 95 Nova Scotians in hospital battling this virus.”

Health officials estimate there are 3,630 active cases of COVID in Nova Scotia, with 274 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.

Nova Scotia Health is now asking people to self-report their test results to “collect information to help quickly identify people who are eligible for and may benefit from COVID-19 medications and treatments.”

Health officials also reported 13 new hospital admissions and four discharges yesterday, for a total of 95 people hospitalized for COVID and getting treatment in specialized units, including 13 in ICU. There are also 115 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 135 who contracted the disease in hospital.

Brewers urge NSLC to support local
Nova Scotia has a vibrant craft-beer scene, but you wouldn’t know it from looking around NSLC stores, where mass produced products from giant multinational corporations continue to dominate.

“We’re hoping that local producers will have more shelf space and better representation at the NSLC,” says Rebecca Whiffen, co-owner of Uncle Leo’s Brewery in Pictou County. “We’re not asking for money. It’s a shift on their part, and we may not be larger (brewers), but they don’t need the help. We need the help. A lot of smaller producers are important for small rural communities. We need a chance to succeed.”

Steve Goodwin reports for the Pictou Advocate.

Richmond residents battle winter floods
Arichat representative Shawn Samson is asking his colleagues on Richmond Municipal Council to work with their provincial colleagues to prevent ongoing flooding in the area.

“There’s an extreme flow of water coming down there and it’s washing out driveways, it’s washing out culverts,” Samson told council. “There’s gravel ending up on the road, there’s chunks of ice ending up on the road. Very dangerous situation … (It’s) the aging infrastructure up on the High Road and the culverts that are causing this stuff … (They’re) not fixed and not updated.”

Jake Boudrot has the story for the Reporter.

Field Guide. Photo: Submitted

Valentine’s satisfaction
Every year, Valentine’s Day appears to be comfortably in the distance, and then suddenly it’s upon us, leaving otherwise considerate and wonderful partners scrambling for dinner plans.

Don’t be like this hypothetical person, who definitely isn’t based on anyone real: plan ahead.

In the latest Unravel Halifax, Brooklyn Connolly offers her opinionated recommendations to help you plan that special dinner that you won’t have to continue apologizing for weeks later.

New South Shore hiking trail opens
Bridgewater businessman Jonathan Lewis recently announced the opening of a new 3.5-kilometre public hiking trail in the area, a joint effort with Glenn Hebb and his Indian Garden Farms, which owns the property.

“This is our gift from the Lewis family and the Hebb family to the community of Bridgewater and Hebbville,” he explains. “Glen donated the land, and I donated the work and the finances to build it.”

Gayle Wilson has more for LighthouseNow.

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