Roundup: COVID count climbs, N.S. equestrian sets record, more spending for gravel roads, new concert series launches
By Trevor J. Adams 6 October 2021 Share this story
Plus: Delivery services help restaurants survive the pandemic, but bring ghostly new competition
Nova Scotia has 248 known active cases of COVID-19, with 40 new cases and 22 recoveries reported in the latest government update. There are 17 people hospitalized in provincial COVID units, including four in ICU.
Of the new cases, 34 are in the Central Zone, where health officials say there continues to be community spread, “primarily among people aged 20 to 40 who are unvaccinated and participating in social activities.” Government also reported another exposure at a Halifax school, this time at Duc d’Anville Elementary. See the full list of school exposures here.
Nova Scotian equestrian sets record
Equestrian Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu, originally from Pictou County and now living in Quebec, set a new national record while helping the Canadian dressage team earn a seventh-place finish at the recent Nations’ Cup team competition in Germany.
“It was a dream of mine to win a ribbon in Aachen,” she says. “And to have a personal best and set a new Canadian record was incredible … The timing worked out after Tokyo that we were able to do such a prestigious event.”
The ghost in the kitchen
The pandemic and its lockdowns clobbered the restaurant industry. Countrywide, some 10,000 spots closed according to Restaurants Canada. And in this province, 70 per cent of food-service businesses are operating at a loss or just scraping by, according to Restaurants Nova Scotia.
To survive, many turned to delivery services, but they bring new challenges. In addition to the burden of steep delivery fees, they’re now competing with “ghost kitchens” that prepare meals for delivery by corporate chains without local dining rooms, competing with local businesses without incurring the same expenses.
“Because our prices are so low at the Ardmore, there’s no real room to add a 30-per-cent charge (for delivery),” explains Kelly Cormier, co-owner of the Ardmore Tea Room.
More spending for gravel roads
The provincial government recently announced it’s doubling spending for the Gravel Road Capital Program, from $20 million to $40 million annually.
Conservative MLA Allan MacMaster believes his government’s move will make a big difference.
“It’s a massive increase to the rural road budget,” he says. “It means that when I make the call to (the transportation department) about a road — if that road is getting to the point where it’s really in poor condition — now the department actually has some money to go and properly fix it.”
New concert series launches
The Lunenburg Folk Harbour Society is launching a new series of concerts running from mid-October to late November (pandemic permitting), showcasing a diverse assortment of local artists, including Matt Anderson, Measha Brueggergosman, Rose Cousins, Hillsburn, Villages, Twin Flames, and William Prince.
“There will be 10 concerts in two months, which is more than we’ve ever done before,” says organizer Louis Robitaille. “This is also the first time that we’ve tried doing weekend events other than our festival weekend.”
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Trevor has been a magazine editor and journalist in Halifax since 1998. He's won multiple Atlantic Journalism Awards and was shortlisted for the Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence in 2014.
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