Roundup: 999 recoveries, free books for kids, grad ceremonies approved, kidnapper released

Photo: Remember Africville

Yesterday, June 7, Nova Scotia announced one new confirmed case of COVID-19, raising the provincial total to 1,059. Three people are currently in hospital with the disease, including two in ICU. There have been 61 deaths and 999 people have recovered. 

“We still need to be cautious,” says Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. “That is why we are taking things slowly and monitoring how it goes. If everyone follows the public health rules, uses common sense, and acts with kindness, we will be in the best possible position to prevent further spread of COVID-19.”

Editor’s Note: With less pandemic news to report (mercifully), our daily Roundup is broadening its focus. In addition to COVID-related news, you’ll now find news from around the province—a snapshot of the stories our team is following, with an emphasis on work by Advocate Media journalists.

Pilgrimage to Africville
A few years ago, Halifax Magazine columnist Marianne Simon moved to Nova Scotia from her native India. As a new Canadian, she’s been sharing her experiences discovering this country. Recently, her explorations took her to Africville, where she learned about how government razed the Black community.

“I would have thought that such degrading treatment would leave a community totally devastated, destroying their will to survive,” she says. “But that never happened. Their invincible spirit lived on and they were determined to remain a community and to reclaim Africville.” As she talks with Africville museum manager Juanita Peters, she explores our legacy of racism and muses about how we find true justice.

Kidnapper released
In 2012, David James Leblanc lured a teen to his Chester cabin with the promise of a job. Then he chained him and kept him there, sexually assaulting him for more than a week. Late last month, after he served about two-thirds of his jail sentence, the Parole Board of Canada released him to a residential facility, where he’s supposed to live and return at night.

“Overnight leave is not authorized as you pose very high risk for sexual recidivism and will need to establish a period of stability and compliance in the community,” says the parole board decision. Among his release conditions, Leblanc must report his relationships, avoid alcohol and drugs, remain away from places where children may be present, and have no access to the internet or pornography. Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

Community graduation ceremonies approved
On Friday, government finally announced rules for high-school graduation ceremonies and they’re going to be a lot different this year. “Living with COVID-19 continues to be a balance for us all,” Strang says. “Unfortunately, students leaving school this year won’t have a traditional graduation ceremony or prom. We want to support communities in recognizing these students, but it’s vital these celebrations are done safely, without risking the health of participants.”

A business, municipal, or community organization must lead each event, which must have a drive-in format, explains this story in The Reporter.

Other rules:

  • Attendees must arrive in vehicles.
  • All passengers in the vehicle must be from a single household or household bubble. (Tough luck if there are no car owners/drivers in your bubble. —Ed.)
  • Graduates can be out of their vehicle to do things like cross a stage or take part in a parade of graduates as long as they maintain two-metre distancing.
  • Organizers must communicate clearly with attendees in advance and ensure they follow health rules.

A little library for little people
Rosalynd Coulter had stacks of books for her grandchildren, but with them in Ontario and her in Nova Scotia, they rarely came off the shelf. So she decided to create a little library outside herself, where kids can help themselves. “I love books, especially children’s books,” she explains. “And children should be reading.”

She’s not too worried about when or if borrowers return the books because since she opened the library, donations have flooded in. She’s on track to have 1,000 books by the end of June, she tells Raissa Tetanish in this report from The Light. “I want as many times as a person comes, there will always be new books,” she says.

Need to know
Know a community group, good cause, or inspiring local story we should share? Email the editor.

This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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