Roundup: Anger at NSP grows after 10 days without power, calls for health-care action, new monument recalls Acadian history, village marks 150 years, COVID update

The deportation of the Acadians, depicted in an 1893 painting.

Plus: A life of luck — the adventures of a famous Halifax sea captain

Ten days after post-tropical storm Fiona hit the province, thousands are still without Nova Scotia Power service. As of 8 a.m., the utility still has 3,439 outages, affecting about 14,000 customers.

“We have more than 1,500 people, including power line technicians, damage assessors, forestry technicians, and field support on the ground,” tweets an unnamed spokesperson, “with the majority in the northeast and eastern parts of N.S., working through the damage and restorations safely and as quickly as they can.”

The repeated reassurances that crews are working are doing little to salve customers’ concerns, though.

“I’ve been out of power now for 10 days,” tweets customer Garry Atkins. “No consideration given to those with medical issues, heart conditions, requirement for CPAP devices, etc. So frustrating.”

In the immediate aftermath of Fiona, president and CEO Peter Gregg was central to the Nova Scotia Power’s public-relations efforts, but hasn’t spoken with media for several days, leaving the utility’s anonymous social-media accounts as the public’s main source of information.

Gregg was paid $804,224 last year. As service failures continue, the province’s Utility and Review Board is poised to rule on an application from Nova Scotia Power to raise your bill by 13 per cent.

Zach Churchill

Calls for health-care action
Premier Tim Houston cruised into office last year on a promise to fix the health-care system but with thousands of Nova Scotians lacking a family doctor and emergency-room closures now a regular occurrence, opposition politicians say he’s not doing enough.

Liberal leader Zach Churchill contrasts Houston’s health-care performance with that of Stephen McNeil, who promised (and failed) to provide a doctor for every Nova Scotian.

“I think a big difference between our time … and the current government is we were less focused on the politics of health care and more focused on the right policies and the people who are impacted by health care,” he says.

Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

Commemorating Acadian history
Organizers hope the new Acadian Odyssey Monument in Petit de Grat, commemorating the British expulsion of French settlers in the mid-1700s, will help preserve interest in Richmond County’s francophone history and culture

“There’s one thing I’ve learned in my life: if you can tell your history, then people will get to know you better, understand where you came from, your roots,” says Petit de Grat Harbour Authority resident Yvon Samson. “And get them to be curious of how we got here, what we did, and what we went through as a community to stay here during those tumultuous years of the deportation, and after the deportation for 30 years.”

Jake Boudrot has the story for the Reporter.

A statue of James Farquhar at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

A life of luck
Born in Halifax in the mid-1800s, Capt. James Farquhar had a remarkable life, with adventures beginning in childhood, when his family moved to Sable Island to work as salvors, recovering and reselling the wreckage and flotsam from the many ships wrecked in the area.

“Despite the dangerous work, Farquhar thrived as he grew up, earning the nickname ‘Lucky’ for his lucrative recoveries of cargo,” says Dorothy Grant in a recent Unravel Halifax local history column. “He was so well paid he became the captain of a salvage vessel and bought a ship so he could start his own company.

With luck that rarely failed him, he became a business magnate and embarked on many globetrotting adventures.

Read more.

Village marks 150 years
Hundreds recently gathered at the fire station in Thorburn to mark the Pictou County village’s 150th birthday.

Historian designer John Ashton emceed the event, and says it’s fitting that the volunteer fire department, which is home to new informational panels detailing local history, was central to the celebrations.

“The emphasis on volunteers is so important,” he adds. “The volunteers I was involved with for the past 10 months — it was a pleasure. This are the first panels I’ve made in 10 years, but to hear the kids play, laugh and have fun was so great to hear. That’s what makes a community.”

Steve Goodwin has more for the Pictou Advocate.

COVID-19 update
The World Health Organization reports 176,357 confirmed new COVID cases around the globe in the last 24 hours. So far, COVID is known to have killed at least 6,524,568 people, including 45,218 in Canada and 544 Nova Scotians.

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