Roundup: COVID closes Dartmouth school, mass-shooting public hearings delayed, South Shore author revives old recipes, RBC closes another small-town branch
Portapique shooting victims' families march in Truro in 2020. Photo: Raissa Tetanish
Plus: Politicians say Halifax needs to welcome immigrants, but the cost of living is driving people away
Dartmouth South Academy, which has had several recent COVID-19 exposures, is closed from Oct. 18 to 22 “to prevent further spread of the virus among the school community,” according to a press release from the provincial government.
“While our goal is to keep students learning in the classroom, I was clear that if stronger measures were needed, like closing a school, we would not hesitate to act,” Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, says in the government announcement. “The regional medical officer of health team has been closely monitoring this situation and they are recommending a temporary closure to contain the spread.”
The province isn’t releasing COVID updates over the weekend; as of Friday, Nova Scotia had 199 known active cases.
That update also included the latest statistics underscoring how vaccination helps reduce death and serious illness due to COVID. Nova Scotia had 5,380 known cases from March 15 to Oct. 13:
- 290 (5.4 per cent) were fully vaccinated,
- 345 (6.4 per cent) were partially vaccinated,
- 4,745 (88.2 per cent) were unvaccinated.
There were 296 people hospitalized:
- Eight (2.7 per cent) were fully vaccinated,
- 29 (9.8 per cent) were partially vaccinated,
- 259 (87.5 per cent) were unvaccinated.
Thirty-two people died:
- Three (9.4 per cent) were fully vaccinated,
- Three (9.4 per cent) were partially vaccinated,
- 26 (81.3 per cent) were unvaccinated.
Mass-shooting public hearings delayed
The Mass Casualty Commission’s public hearings into last year’s attack and the RCMP response aren’t going to begin until at least January.
They were scheduled to start this month, but organizers say gathering information, interviewing witnesses, and redacting sensitive and private details is taking longer than they expected. In a press release, the commission says it has already gathered and analyzed nearly to 40,000 pages of evidence and 230 video and audio files, plus information collected through its own investigations, witness interviews, and site visits.
The collection of facts, which organizers promise will include subpoenaed RCMP information, will form the basis of “foundational documents” to share with the public.
“The contribution of all those who have come forward is greatly appreciated,” says investigations director Barbara McLean. “We encourage anyone with any information to get in touch with us. We are following up and adding new information and details as the process continues.”
High rents chase away newcomers
Almost any local politician will tell you that Nova Scotia needs immigrants. Thousands of students from around the globe come here to study, but they rarely stay.
And 2020 mayoral candidate Max Taylor believes he knows why. He recently joined a group of local changemakers for a roundtable on the city’s future.
“When I did my whole little political stint, I talked to people who were students who came here,” he says. “They said they’d like to stay, but that they can’t afford to stay. If you look at a lot of the apartments around the universities, they’re paying these high, high prices to live in these tiny one-bedrooms and it’s just going up and up and up.”
RBC closes Pictou County branch
The trend of big banks closing their branches in small towns and rural communities continues, as RBC shutters its Westville location, which dates back more than 50 years.
“Client behaviour has changed,” says RBC regional vice-president Todd Strickland. “The way clients interact with the branch is different than it was before.”
He adds that RBC is offering positions at its other three Pictou County locations to the four workers who ran the Westville branch.
South Shore author revives old recipes
Alice Burdick continues to share her love of cooking with her recently released cookbook, Best East Coast Jams, Pickles, Preserves and Breads.
A companion to the Mahone Bay author’s debut cookbook published in 2020 (Grandma’s Cookies, Cakes, Pies and Sweets) Burdick’s latest book is based on recipes she discovered in an 80-year-old cookbook called From the Pantry Shelves. She picked the recipes she liked best, and updated them for today’s cook.
“A big part of the assessment of these older cookbooks is simply trying them out and checking proportions and translating proportions sometimes, especially when there are changes in methodology or the types of ingredients sometimes have changed a little bit,” she explains. “It was just a matter of going through it, testing, and translating it into modern usage for recipes.”
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