Roundup: COVID calm in N.S.—national picture grimmer, seniors’ safety program expands, police warn of tax scams, rural affordable housing concerns

Marie-Soleil Beaudoin. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Nova Scotia has 10 known active cases of COVID-19, with no new cases tallied in the latest government update. There are currently two people hospitalized in the province with the disease, including one in ICU.

Dr. Robert Strang. Photo: CNS

Nova Scotia Health Authority labs completed 1,408 tests on Jan. 30, and 161,747 tests since the second wave of the pandemic began in October.

“It is encouraging to see another day with no new positive cases being reported,” Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, says in a press release. “Our public health measures are making a difference.”

COVID across the country
The Canadian picture, however, isn’t nearly as rosy.

According to the latest federal government statistics, some 53,281 people currently have the disease across the country, with Ontario (19,216) and Quebec (14,141) continuing to be infection hot spots. In neighbouring New Brunswick, there are 284 known active cases.

COVID-19 has killed 20,032 Canadians.

Rural affordable housing concerns
Mayor David Mitchell is “hugely disappointed” with the McNeil government’s response to Bridgewater’s concerns that a new provincial commission examining affordable housing lacks rural elected representation.

In a letter, municipal affairs minister Chuck Porter declined to add more rural representation. “I have strategically appointed members based on our desire to promote diversity and inclusion, and other factors, such as individual experience and knowledge of government policies and housing market,” he says.

Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

Marie-Soleil Beaudoin

Eyes on the goal
Marie-Soleil Beaudoin began playing soccer as a five-year-old and has risen to the top of the sport, but she works on the other side of the whistle, as a top-tier referee, recently short-listed for the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

“It’s a dream for players to get that far in the tournament; it’s also the dream of referees,” she says. “It’s the pinnacle of our sport, so it’s humbling to think of all the work that went into this selection, humbling to think of all the support.”

She tells Ameeta Vohra about her journey in this new Halifax Magazine feature.

Seniors’ Safety Program expands
If you’re a senior in the Truro area with a problem you can’t solve, Doug MacDonald is who you turn to for a solution.

He’s the coordinator of the local Seniors’ Safety Program, helping people with a variety of issues including emergency home repairs, escaping scams, and finding the care providers they need. With new funding, he’s able to expand the program’s geographic area.

“I’m finding out more and more resources and programs that are readily available,” he says. “If I’m not aware of them, then most likely others aren’t either.”

Raissa Tetanish interviews him for Hub Now.

Police warn of tax scams
Income tax season approaches, which means it’s time for another wave of aggressive scammers pretending to represent the government or RCMP, angrily demanding the victim pay or give personal information like a social-insurance or bank account number.

“Anyone who receives a call asking for personal information or money, do not give it out,” cautions Const. Ken Macdonald of the New Glasgow police. “Hang up and call your local credit card company, bank, or [government] organization to verify.”

The Pictou Advocate has more.

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This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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