Roundup: Concerns over gold mine approvals, Hector restoration underway, 5 more COVID deaths, Mahone Bay solar spat ends

Environmentalists say that recently approved gold-mining projects in Nova Scotia will endanger 112 fragile wetlands. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Plus: How a Nova Scotian transformed nursing and opened a door for women in the military

The provincial government recently approved two gold-mining projects in Nova Scotia, but they’re unnecessary and will endanger vulnerable wetlands, says a spokesperson from the Ecology Action Centre.

“We really don’t need open pit gold mining here in Nova Scotia, and we really don’t need open pit gold mining anywhere in the world,” says Mimi O’Handley, adding there’s a misconception that we need massive amounts of gold for devices like smart phones. “While gold is used in those, it’s a very small total amount … About eight to 10 per cent is used in those industries and the rest is used for jewelry or sits as gold bullion in the bank or in vaults.”

Drake Lowthers has the story for the Reporter.

Ship Hector. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Hector restoration underway
Organizers are keen to have a multimillion-dollar restoration of Pictou’s Ship Hector and its accompanying interpretative centre complete as soon as possible.

“We feel the site is pivotal to the development of tourism in Nova Scotia,” spokesman Ralph Heighton says. “We feel pressure to have Ship Hector (repairs) well under way in 2023.”

The work includes motorizing the ship for day cruises, and adding a First Nations section to the interpretative centre. Organizers project the total cost to be about $5.1 million.

Steve Goodwin has more for the Pictou Advocate.

COVID death toll climbs
COVID-19 killed five more Nova Scotians from Aug. 23 to 29, according to the latest information from the provincial government. During the same period, 38 people were hospitalized with the disease, with the same number currently in care receiving COVID treatment, including eight in ICU.

The World Health Organization reports 670,371 confirmed new COVID cases around the globe in the last 24 hours. So far, COVID is known to have killed at least 6,472,914 people, including 43,797 in Canada and 497 Nova Scotians.

Solar spat ends
A legal dispute over Mahone Bay’s Main Street solar garden project is over, but hurt feelings remain. The six residents who requested a judicial review of the government’s decision to approve the development have agreed to settle the matter at the town’s request.

In a news release issued Aug. 22, the town framed the matter as “dismissed,” but one of the people behind the Nova Scotia Supreme Court filing disputes the terminology.

“The reason it was withdrawn is because (we) were bullied by the town; they were going after us as citizens for costs,” Christine Nowlan says.

Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

Margaret MacDonald. Photo: Parks Canada

Saving lives and creating opportunities
Born in Pictou County in 1873, Margaret MacDonald would go on to become one of the most influential women in 20th-century nursing in Canada, transforming standards, introducing professionalism, and carving out a place for women in the male-dominated military.

In her latest Unravel Halifax local history post, Dorothy Grant shares MacDonald’s story, including the pivotal moment during the First World War, when she became matron-in-chief of a group that would eventually include 3,000 nurses.

“The first woman in the British Empire to earn the title … MacDonald’s experience and leadership skills served her well,” Grant writes. “While illness claimed some of her nurses, the vast majority made it through the war, performing nobly. And when those nurses came home, many found that their service now gave them the skills and experience to pursue new opportunities.”

Read more.

Spread the word
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Editor’s Note: The Roundup is taking a brief pause; look for the next edition on Sept. 8.

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