Roundup: COVID death toll keeps climbing, New Glasgow family flees fire, shots fired at Cape Breton fishing boat, worker hurt at Queen’s Co. sawmill

Queen's Marque on the Halifax waterfront. Photo: Muir Hotel

Plus: Developer Scott McCrae says he hopes his mammoth new Queen’s Marque project is “a space where Nova Scotians see themselves”

COVID-19 has killed five more Nova Scotians. According to the most recent government update, the victims are a woman in her 70s and three men in their 80s from the Central Zone, and a woman in her 80s from the Eastern Zone.

So far, COVID has killed 131 Nova Scotians, and 32,786 people across Canada.

“This virus has taken a lot from us, but we must stay vigilant,” Premier Tim Houston says in a press release. “We need to slow down our activities, get vaccinated … and strictly follow the public health measures in place. Our actions will protect ourselves and each other.”

Health officials estimate there are 4,250 active cases of COVID in the province, with 492 new lab-confirmed cases reported yesterday. But those numbers don’t reflect COVID’s true extent. Houston’s government recently stopped widespread testing and follow-up, saying that the pervasiveness of the Omicron strain requires focusing on vulnerable areas like hospitals.

Nova Scotia Health is now asking people to self-report their test results to “collect information to help quickly identify people who are eligible for and may benefit from COVID-19 medications and treatments.”

Health officials also reported 11 new hospital admissions and nine discharges yesterday, for a total of 92 people hospitalized for COVID and getting treatment in specialized units, including 15 in ICU. There are also 92 people who were admitted to hospital for another reason but tested positive for COVID (or were in a COVID unit but no longer require specialized care), and 120 who contracted the disease in hospital.

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

New Glasgow family flees fire
Their home is severely damaged, but two adults and three young children escaped uninjured from a New Glasgow house fire on Jan. 24. Police and fire officials are investigating.

The Pictou Advocate reports.

Shots fired at fishing boat
Richmond County RCMP are investigating after a Dec. 8 report that someone fired four gunshots at a fishing boat. Police say they believe the shooter was in Lennox Passage Provincial Park but are sharing few other details.

“The vessel was not fishing at the time, nor is this incident related to the fishery,” spokesman Chris Marshall says.

Jake Boudrot has more for the Reporter.

Worker hurt at Queen’s County sawmill
The labour department acknowledges there was an “incident” at the Harry Freeman & Son Limited sawmill in Greenfield, but is saying little else, although a local first responder says the victim had a close call.

“A board blew up and hit him in the back of the head,” Greenfield fire chief Moyal Conrad says. “The young fellow was lucky things turned out the way they did.”

Kevin McBain has the story for LighthouseNow.

Scott McCrae

A waterfront transformed
Developer Scott McCrae’s new 46,000-square-metre Queen’s Marque project sits astride a large parcel of waterfront land, transforming the Halifax waterfront.

“When we are a stranger to place and we don’t see ourselves in it, we start to lose who we are,” McCrae says. “Queen’s Marque seeks to overcome that. Hopefully as we open all of the public space, people will be able to see themselves in it and engage in it in a way that’s meaningful to them as Nova Scotians.”

The project has raised fears for many, as he’s built on one of the few public places where Haligonians could easily access the harbour. Architect Brian MacKay-Lyons, whose firm worked on the project, feels those fears are unfounded, pointing to the businessman’s promise to maintain public access.

That’s “something developers don’t often do,” he says. “The thing that the public is always afraid of with private developments is that the public domain will become privatized. Scott isn’t a promoter, so he doesn’t defend himself against those comments that come up. He’s just confident what he’s doing is the opposite of that.”

Janet Whitman reports for Unravel Halifax.

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