Roundup: COVID low in N.S. but 30K Canadians sick, author raises money for SPCA, unsafe drivers worry Inverness council, comedian brings new life to Pictou Co. school

Nova Scotia has 24 known active cases of COVID-19, with one new case (in the Western Zone) reported in the latest government update. Two people are currently hospitalized in the province with the disease, including one person in ICU.

“Again, our case count is remaining low: no cases Monday, five cases yesterday, and now just one today,” Premier Iain Rankin says in a press release. “This highlights the fact that Nova Scotians are putting in the work to stay safe and healthy.”

Nova Scotia Health Authority labs completed 2,382 Nova Scotia tests on March 9 and 255,180 since the second wave of the pandemic began in October.

As of March 9, Nova Scotian health-care workers have dispensed 42,556 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, with 15,086 Nova Scotians getting the second shot to complete their immunization.

Source: Government of Canada

COVID coast to coast
While Nova Scotia’s COVID numbers remain low, most of Canada has been less fortunate: the federal government is reporting 30,442 known active cases across the country. Ontario (11,311 known cases), Quebec (6,964), British Columbia (4,947), and Alberta (4,463) remain infection hot spots.

The rate of infection paints an even bleaker picture for Western Canada and First Nations communities. Nationally, Canada has 80 known cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people, while Nova Scotia has two cases per 100,000. In Alberta, that number climbs to 101, and 96 in British Columbia. In First Nations communities, the infection rate is 226.

So far, COVID-19 has killed 22,335 people in Canada, including 65 Nova Scotians.

Ralph Nader chats with Dorothy Grant.

How Ralph Nader helped make N.S. roads safer
In the early 1980s, the (now quaintly old-fashioned sounding) debate about mandatory seatbelt use was raging in Nova Scotia. Leading the charge was CBC reporter Dorothy Grant, who produced a series of stories pushing for change, earning her the enmity of many drivers.

Consumer affairs advocate and occasional American presidential candidate Ralph Nader had been pushing for safer roads since the 1960s, so when he visited Halifax, Grant was keen to talk. She recalls the interview as one of the highlights of her 60-year journalism career.

“Nader urged me to ignore those [angry drivers,]” she recalls. “Half interview, half pep talk, the experience was truly inspiring, motivating me to push harder with my reporter efforts. In 1984, Nova Scotia would pass its first mandatory seatbelt law.”

Read more about it in her latest Halifax Magazine post.

Author raises funds for SPCA
In February, we shared the story of Chad Norman, the Truro poet who has made his latest book a fundraiser for the SPCA. Recently, he made his donation to the Colchester branch and, with the second printing rolling off the press now, hopes to cut another cheque soon.

Raissa Tetanish has an update for Hub Now.

Unsafe drivers worry Inverness council
The Inverness Municipal Council is asking the local RCMP detachment to crack down on unsafe drivers. Speeding and driver distraction are the top concerns, but other dangers loom as well.

“Inverness is pretty high up there for impaired drivers,” says deputy warden Bonnie MacIsaac. “I think more could be done on the drug situation as well. I don’t think we’re oblivious to knowing there are issues.”

Jake Boudrot has more for The Reporter.

Comedian brings new life to Pictou Co. school
Laughter will again ring through the old consolidated school in River John, as Karan Sidhu and a few of his funny friends use the space to host a stand-up comedy show on March 13.

“The response has been incredible thus far and we’re planning a second show already,” he says. “Nova Scotia is not short on comedic talent. [But] a lot of small towns in Nova Scotia don’t get the opportunity to have live comedy shows, so I wanted to bring that.”

Jackie Jardine reports for The Light.

Need to know
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This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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