Roundup: Another COVID death, police chase art thief, veteran newspaper editor retires, promoting wind energy, record-setting year for N.S. parks

Police seek the person who stole this Marc Aurele de Foy Suzor-Coté painting from Zwicker's Gallery.

Plus: Life after car culture — how provincewide transit would transform Nova Scotia

Health officials announced Nova Scotia’s 107th COVID-19 death yesterday: a man in his 90s from the Western Zone.

“The vaccine can help prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death,” Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, says in a press release. “Please do your part and get vaccinated if you haven’t done so already and keep doing all you can to protect each other.”

Nova Scotia has 193 known active cases of COVID-19, with 60 new cases of COVID-19 and 88 recoveries reported in yesterday’s update (the first update since Nov. 19). Sixteen people are in hospital with the disease, including seven in ICU.

Thirty-five of the new cases are in the Central Zone, 18 in the Northern, six in the Western Zone, and one in the Eastern. Health officials say there’s “evidence of limited community spread” in Halifax and Northern Nova Scotia.

The government also added eight more school exposures to the list, including Basinview Drive Community School in Bedford, Millwood High School in Middle Sackville, and Rockingstone Heights School in Halifax.

Photo: HRP

Police chase art thief
Halifax Regional Police are asking for help finding a suspect after the September theft of a $12,500 painting from Zwicker’s Gallery on Doyle Street.

In a press release, police describe stolen piece as a small (20 cm by 25 cm) oil painting by Marc Aurele de Foy Suzor-Coté, from the late 1800s to early 1900s. It has a gold gilded frame.

Police describe the suspect as a man with dark hair and a receding hairline wearing a blue track suit (hoodie and sweatpants), black and white sneakers, and a black mask.

Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté was a painter, sculptor, and church decorator. “He is regarded by many as French Canada’s most versatile artist,” according to a biography from the National Gallery of Canada. Known for his landscapes, his works also include genre, history, portraits, and the female nude. The stolen piece is an early work from his days training in Europe, depicting a farm in Brittany.

Life after car culture
A couple of years before the pandemic, I visited Europe on a mix of business and pleasure. During those trips, it struck me once again how deeply and unnecessarily entrenched car culture is in Canada, and in Halifax in particular. Living, however briefly, without the want or need for a personal car was a tantalizing hint of a better life.

“For two weeks we roamed Ireland, from the country’s largest cities to small fishing villages, circumnavigating the island,” I wrote shortly after returning. “We relied almost exclusively on bus service. There wasn’t a destination on our wish list we couldn’t reach. Service was so frequent we rarely bothered consulting a time table until we were ready to head out. Buses were accessible, big and comfortable, with free Wi-Fi. Every bus had a mix of tourists like us and locals going about their daily business.”

In these editorials from our archives, I write about how provincewide transit would transform Nova Scotia, and how we attain it.

Jackie Jardine. Photo: Raissa Tetanish

Veteran newspaper editor retires
Jackie Jardine, who first joined The Pictou Advocate as a reporter in 1988, and served as the newspaper’s editor for the past 11 years, recently announced her retirement.

“It’s really come full circle for me,” she says. “I’ve spent 25 years in this business and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I look back to all the homes I’ve been in and the stories I’ve shared, and that’s a privilege you have by being a representative of your community newspaper.”

During her career, Jardine came to see how important a newspaper can be.

“When you’re out and you have people shopping beside you who know who you are and know they can talk to you, that’s important,” she says. “Sometimes it can be seen as an intrusion, but if you’re not in the community, you don’t have people’s trust. Your community has to trust you as a journalist and have trust in the paper.”

Raissa Tetanish interviews her.

Blowin’ in the wind
Boosters continue to promote wind energy as an economic opportunity for the Eastern Shore; representatives of the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce recently discussed the topic with senior staff in the Municipality of the District of Guysborough.

Kevin MacEachern and Iaian Langley made the presentation to councillors during their monthly meeting on Nov. 17.

Speaking on the potential to develop both fixed and floating wind turbines in the area, MacEachern advises such projects require careful planning.

“If we don’t take the time and learn from previous projects, that this could be a disaster for us,” he says. “We do know that wind is going to be one of the major sources of power going forward.”

Drake Lowthers has the story for The Reporter.

Record-setting year for N.S. parks
There were more people visiting and staying overnight in provincial parks in Nova Scotia this year than ever before.

The 20 camping parks in the provincial system logged a total of 91,262 overnight stays, a 13-per-cent increase over the shorter camping season in 2020.

“People wanted to get out and rediscover our provincial parks,” says Sandra Fraser, parks promotion and development officer for the provincial natural-resources department.

According to the department, 86 per cent of campers came from within Nova Scotia and 13 per cent were from elsewhere in Canada.

Kevin McBain reports for LighthouseNow.

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