Roundup: COVID count dips, driver badly hurts Pictou Co. man, someone mailing unwanted book to South Shore residents, Desmond inquiry highlights mental-health care gaps

Plus: Newcomers share their raw, unvarnished coming-to-Canada stories 

Nova Scotia has 153 known active cases of COVID-19, with 45 new cases and 92 recoveries reported in the latest government update. Eleven people are hospitalized with the disease, including four in ICU.

Of the new cases, 38 cases are in the Central Zone, six in the Northern, and one in the Eastern. “There is a cluster of cases in a localized community in Northern Zone and there is also evidence of limited community spread in Halifax and parts of northern Nova Scotia,” says the government press release.

Officials also announced seven more school exposures; the latest in HRM are at École Beaubassin, Tantallon Senior Elementary, Five Bridges Junior High, Joseph Howe Elementary, and Ross Road School.

Premier Tim Houston and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, are scheduled to webcast an update today at 3 p.m.

Desmond inquiry highlights mental-health care gaps
The Desmond inquiry has highlighted ongoing gaps in mental-health care in Nova Scotia, particularly in how the system overlooks the unique needs of non-white people.

Recently an expert testified that to remove the barriers of systemic racism, stigma, and intergenerational trauma for Black people seeking mental health and domestic violence support, Nova Scotia must invest in culturally competent health-care services for their communities.

“These services do not exist,” says Robert Wright, a sociologist who specializes in forensic mental health, trauma, and cultural competence.

Drake Lowthers has the story for The Reporter.

Unwanted book baffles South Shore residents
Many people living on the South Shore were puzzled when they opened their mailboxes recently and found an unwanted religious book. Someone has been mailing The Great Controversy, a 400-page Seventh Day Adventist book, to people throughout Canada and the U.S.

“Hopefully, the book kind of speaks for itself,” says Charlene Hall, a spokesperson for Remnant Publications, which publishes the title. “We only send that out to homes in the United States, so someone in Canada must have purchased a bunch of books and then mailed them out.”

The book is controversial, with accusations that it’s partially plagiarized and promotes anti-Catholicism.

Keith Corcoran has more for LighthouseNow.

Driver badly hurts Pictou County man
A 61-year-old New Glasgow man is in hospital with what police describe as serious injuries, after a driver hit him on Dec. 3 as he walked along East River Road. The 62-year-old driver is unharmed. Police continue to investigate.

The Pictou Advocate reports.

Newcomers share their stories
The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 recently launched season two of its Countless Journeys podcast, giving immigrants the opportunity to share their experiences. Helping listeners understand newcomers’ journeys — not just physical journeys but emotional ones — is the mission. 

“Podcasts combine the intimacy of a conversation with everything that’s great about a good story,” says co-producer Tina Pittaway in a post on the Pier 21 website. “Understanding the kinds of experiences that have shaped the lives of Canadians, no matter how deep their roots that are here, goes a long way towards fostering strong connections among all of us … And there’s so much to learn from one another, as well as from our own family histories.” 

Countless Journeys is Unravel Halifax‘s latest Podcast Pick. Learn more.

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