Roundup: Another COVID death, Pictou Co. author gets big endorsement, N.S. needs more resources to fight domestic violence, fire safety tips

Photo: HRM Archives

Plus: Before cars were king — exploring Halifax’s transit history

Health officials report that COVID-19 has killed a man in his 80s from the Central Zone, the 96th Nova Scotian to fall to the disease.

“It is never easy to hear that a Nova Scotian has passed away as a result of COVID-19,” Dr. Robert Strang, the province’s chief medical officer of health, says in a press release. “This is a sad day, and it reminds us how serious the virus is. I cannot emphasize enough how critical it is to get vaccinated and follow public health measures to prevent further illness and death from this virus.”

Nova Scotia has 205 known active cases of COVID, with 83 new cases and 46 recoveries reported in the latest government update, which spans the period since Sept. 24. The bulk of the new cases are in the Central Zone, where officials tallied 65 and continue to warn of community spread “primarily among people aged 20 to 40 who are unvaccinated and participating in social activities.”

According to federal statistics, Nova Scotia has 21 known cases per 100,000 population. Countrywide, the infection rate is 122 per 100,000. Western and Central Canada remain the most infected parts of the country: 482 cases per 100,000 people in Alberta, 406 in Saskatchewan, and 346 in Ontario.


W.R. MacAskill / Nova Scotia Archives

The transit revolution
Before Halifax all but surrendered its streets to the almighty automobile, a sophisticated network of trams criss-crossed the city, giving people freedom and mobility like never before.

“The tram car was pretty much the major source of transportation for the average working person,” says Don Cunningham, co-author of The Halifax Street Railway 1866–1949. “Most people travelled on them back and forth to work and (operators) knew everybody because they used the same tram car for pretty much their entire adult life.” 

Now, all that remains are a few paved-over tracks — occasionally unearthed during road repairs — and memories of a transit revolution that transformed the lives of working-class Haligonians.

Katie Ingram looks at what we lost in this Unravel Halifax journey into our past.

N.S. must do more to fight domestic violence
Recently the Desmond inquiry heard expert testimony about the dearth of resources in Nova Scotia to combat domestic violence, rehabilitate offenders, and help victims.

“Your highest level of risk in a domestic violence relationship is when you try to leave the relationship; that is across the board,” says Stephanie MacInnis-Langley, executive director of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women. “Experts will tell you that, the highest risk is the moment you’ve indicated that the relationship is over.”

She told the inquiry in order to minimize domestic violence in Nova Scotia, the province must provide greater services to males who use violence in their relationships, including education and housing.

“I really feel we need to increase our approach and our resources and services for men who use violence,” she adds. “It’s about helping young men understand the issues around masculinity and the need to find a path that doesn’t involve violence.”

Drake Lowthers has the story for The Reporter.

Margie MacKay

Big endorsement for Pictou County author
Little Harbour author Margie MacKay has earned an endorsement from Diana Gabaldon, author of the bestselling Outlander historical fiction series.

Gabaldon contributed the forward for MacKay’s novel, Iain of New Scotland.

MacKay read the Outlander series as historical research. “I’m interested in everything related to Gaelic culture, so isn’t this lovely?” she says. “My book is the same era as the Outlander series, just from a different perspective. It’s just prior to the American Revolution.”

Raissa Tetanish interviews her for The Pictou Advocate.

Fire safety tips
With autumn’s nip in the air, many Nova Scotians are lighting up the fireplaces and wood for the first time in months.

They’re a wonderful source of cozy warmth, but also present safety hazards, particularly if you haven’t lit them in a while.

“If you have a wood stove clean out your chimney flue at least annually,” advises safety expert James Golemiec. “Depending on your situation, you may be able to do this yourself with flexible fibreglass poles at the flue clean out, which is located outside at ground level in many new homes. It’s a good idea to check your flue at the end of summer before heating season, in case the critters have decided to move there.”

Find more practical advice in his latest LighthouseNow column.

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