Roundup: No timeline to restore South Shore port-of-entry services, calls for more effort to fight Lyme disease, suspended C.B. councillor blames misunderstanding

The Blue Nose Marathon returns to downtown Halifax on May 22. Photo: Stoo Metz

Plus: Racing into summer — Halifax’s favourite seasonal events return

When international travel plummeted during the pandemic, the Canadian Border Services Agency closed many of its small border-clearance offices, leaving many tourist towns unable to welcome the international boaters who usually flock in summer.

“Lunenburg has taken a massive hit due to reduced tourism numbers, thanks to the pandemic,” says South Shore MP Rick Perkins. “International cruise ships have finally returned to Nova Scotia’s ports but for some reason, CBSA has not restarted services in Lunenburg, which means that passenger ships cannot dock in the town. There are seven other ports of entry in the province of Nova Scotia where CBSA has restarted services, but Lunenburg is left out.” 

Marco Mendicino, the cabinet minister responsible for CBSA, says the agency is “making progress” but wouldn’t say when or if the Lunenburg office is reopening.

Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

Michael Diggdon. File photo

Suspended Cape Breton councillor blames misunderstanding
After completing a suspension for sending inappropriate messages to a citizen, Richmond County Councillor Michael Diggdon has apologized to his colleagues. The incident began when an unhoused single mother asked for his help finding a home. Diggdon repeatedly replied demanding personal photos.

“I have come to realize that it was inappropriate to send a personal response in relation to a request for action from me as a councillor,” he says. “No matter our familiarity with each other, I should not have reacted in a personal manner instead of a professional one when my assistance was requested. I misunderstood the nature of the request, but I recognize now that I should not have responded the way that I did.”

Drake Boudrot has more for the Reporter.

COVID update
The World Health Organization tallies 290,108 new cases of COVID-19 around the world in the last 24 hours, but the real number of ill people is likely much higher, as many jurisdictions (including Nova Scotia) are withholding daily data, making it impossible to get a full picture of the disease’s spread.

So far, COVID is known to have has killed 6,226,324 people worldwide, including 40,169 in Canada and 354 Nova Scotians. World Health Organization officials add that those are only the deaths directly from COVID. When they tally deaths that doctors could have otherwise prevented had COVID not exacerbated an existing condition, the toll skyrockets to 14.9 million.

Yousuf Karsh’s iconic portrait of Albert Einstein, shot in 1948.

Racing into summer
Warmer weather means the return of Nova Scotia’s favourite summer events, plus some exciting new ones.

In the latest issue of Unravel Halifax, you’ll find our favourites, including an exhibition of the work of legendary photographer Yousuf Karsh at Pier 21, the Halifax Asian Food Festival (May 16 to 22), and the return of the Blue Nose Marathon (May 21 and 22).

Read more.

Calls for government to do more about Lyme disease
A local Lyme disease advocacy group is urging the province to take a more proactive stance on the sometimes-debilitating illness spread by black-legged ticks.

Researchers at Maryland’s Johns Hopkins University discovered last year that western Nova Scotia has some of the highest rates of Lyme disease in North America, with 638 new cases in 2019, up from 140 in 2014. And for many, the disease is life-altering.

“I’m someone with a bunch of energy. I live an active lifestyle,” says Andrea Henry, who contracted the disease shortly after moving to Nova Scotia. “And now I can barely get out of bed. It’s destroyed my life. I have a toddler at home I can’t look after and I’m off work.”

Janet Whitman has more for the Pictou Advocate.

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