Roundup: Antigonish merger opponents speak up, World Economic Forum fetes MP Fraser, replacement planned for Gold River Trail bridge, COVID spread continues

Antigonish merger opponents are demanding a plebiscite on the plan. Photo: Submitted

Plus: History repeating — Victorian Halifax boasted many efforts to help the poor, but thousands slipped through the cracks and few benefitted

It was a rare standing-room-only crowd at a recent Antigonish County Council meeting, as opponents of a planned merger of the town and county governments spoke up. Among their demands are a more transparent process, more rigorous consultation from citizens, and a plebiscite on the plan.

“We have been pushed into a process being driven by the mayor, the warden, their deputies, and the CAOs,” says resident Anne-Marie Long. “The county taxpayers want to know whether a consolidation would be beneficial to us. We want due diligence applied to identifying our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats or risks, and their financial effects, in each of our municipalities.”

Drake Lowthers has the story for the Reporter.

Katie Ingram

History repeating
As is the case in the city today, Victorian Halifax had a wealth gap, with a privileged few living lives of luxury, while countless others struggled to survive, scrambling from one menial job to the next, often just a mischance away from total destitution.

And, again like Halifax today, the city boasted of its many efforts to help those in needs. But the efforts were misguided and misapplied, often cruel and paternal, aiming to shame rather than uplift.

In her latest Unravel Halifax story, Katie Ingram looks back at the cruel legacy of poverty in our city.

COVID update
The World Health Organization‘s daily count of new COVID-19 cases jumped to 374,912 confirmed new infections around the globe in the last 24 hours, but the real number of ill people is likely much higher, as many jurisdictions (including Nova Scotia) are withholding daily data, making it impossible to get a full picture of the disease’s spread.

So far, COVID is known to have has killed 6,268,956 people worldwide, including 40,265 in Canada and 354 Nova Scotians. World Health Organization officials add that those are only the deaths directly from COVID. When they tally deaths that doctors could have otherwise prevented had COVID not exacerbated an existing condition, the toll skyrockets to 14.9 million.

Central Nova MP Sean Fraser. Photo: Pictou Advocate file

World Economic Forum fetes local MP
The World Economic Forum recently lauded Central Nova MP Sean Fraser as one of 109 “Young Global Leaders.”

According to a press release, organizers selected 37-year-old Fraser for his work as immigration minister, leading Canada’s Afghan and Ukrainian refugee resettlement efforts.

“It’s a wonderful acknowledgement for the work we’ve been doing for a number of years,” Fraser says. “What I think about are the projects we’ve worked on, such as COVID-19, climate change and support for Ukraine. The impact you have depends on the people you work with, so it’s validation.”

Steve Goodwin has more for the Pictou Advocate.

Chester bridge replacement planned
The Municipality of Chester says it will cost about $2 million to replace the busy multi-use trail bridge that crosses the Gold River between the Chester Basin and Beech Hill communities.

The local government committed about $500,000 in 2022–23 and is counting on other levels of government to come up with the rest.

“That’s a big project and there’s a lot of money budgeted for the construction and repair of the existing bridge, but we’re also looking at alternative options; we haven’t come to any conclusions on that,” Warden Allen Webber says. “It’s very critical to the trail system.”

Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

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