Roundup: Dal tells partiers to stay away, COVID update, Trenton fire suspicious say police, new fuel system for South Shore airport, meet the women building Atlantic Canada

Photo: Twitter

Plus: Yes, Halifax, we have a housing crisis

Dalhousie University officials are telling students who attended a large off-campus party on Saturday to get tested for COVID-19 and stay off campus this week.

The South End party began on Jennings Street and then moved to Larch, attracting a huge crowd (media on the scene say hundreds, police say thousands) who flouted public health, liquor, and noise laws, blocking streets and taking over the yards of neighbouring homes.

“What repercussions will the university face?” tweets area resident Peggy Walt. “This is mob behaviour.” In another tweet, she shares a video of a drunk pausing to flip over a flower planter as he passes her house.

Halifax police say they arrested nine men and a woman and gave out “numerous” tickets for liquor violations.

Area Councillor Waye Mason says police were surprised, even though social media was aboil with talk of the impending street party. “In the past they were daytime affairs,” he tweets. “After dinner it started again on Larch, which was not expected. Took a bit of time to get resources to clear the street.”

University administrators promise the partiers will face more consequences.

“We made clear to students last week that those who partake in these activities risked being sanctioned by Dalhousie through the university’s Code of Student Conduct,” says a statement on Dal’s website. “The Code can be applied to off-campus situations if a violation of municipal, provincial or federal laws results in a material negative impact to the university community, or in situations which raise concern for the safety or well-being of students.”

COVID update
On Friday, the provincial government released the latest batch of statistics showing how COVID-19 vaccination helps prevent death and serious illness from the disease.

There have been 4,767 cases from March 15 to Sept. 23: 

  • 133 (2.8 per cent) were fully vaccinated,
  • 297 (6.2 per cent) were partially vaccinated,
  • 4,337 (91.0 per cent) were unvaccinated.

There were 271 people hospitalized:

  • Six (2.2 per cent) were fully vaccinated,
  • 28 (10.3 per cent) were partially vaccinated,
  • 237 (87.5 per cent) were unvaccinated.

COVID killed 29 people:

  • Two (6.9 per cent) were fully vaccinated,
  • Three (10.3 per cent) were partially vaccinated,
  • 24 (82.8 per cent) were unvaccinated.
Neil Lovitt

Housing crunch worsens
Reporter Janet Whitman recently asked Neil Lovitt, the city’s expert in real-estate economics, for the most telling statistics on Halifax’s red-hot rental and home-buying markets. 

It’s not a pretty picture

“Are things as bad as they seem for renters/buyers?” says the vice-president of planning and economic intelligence with real-estate consultancy Turner Drake & Partners Ltd. “Yes.” 

Home prices and rents are soaring, and vacancy rates are at historic lows. And things are going to get worse before they get better.

Learn more in the latest issue of Unravel Halifax.

Police investigate suspicious Pictou County fire
Police are suspicious about the cause of an early-morning Sept. 13 fire in Trenton.

They say that the blaze started in the area of the southeast side of the basement area of the Main Street business/residence complex, heavily damaging it. No one was hurt.

The Pictou Advocate has the story.

New fuel system for South Shore airport
Pilots will soon be able to fuel their planes at the South Shore Regional Airport in Greenfield, Queens County. It’s the first fuelling system at the site since the old one developed a leak in 2010.

It’s a big win for the South Shore Flying Club, whose members rely on the tiny airport.

“We had three goals,” says president Glenn Parlee. “The first one was to keep the airport open as an airport, and we scrambled quickly to make that happen by securing leases. The next hurdle was how do we keep this thing going and how do we, first of all, preserve it as an important piece of infrastructure, but that it can be self-sustaining and growing and be an asset to the region.”

Kevin McBain reports for LighthouseNow.

The women building the East Coast
When it comes to careers with a hammer, voltmeter, and other tools of the construction industry, women are woefully underrepresented. 

But their success and mentorship is key as Atlantic Canada and the rest of the country face a looming labour shortage, with tens of thousands of Baby Boomers in the skilled trades ready to retire.

Newfoundland and Labrador showed how incentives can work as the province geared up for a building boom. Wage subsidies, diversity quotas and the creation of provincially backed Office to Advance Women Apprentices 12 years ago boosted the percentage of women working in the skilled trades to 14% from 3%. The group has since expanded with outposts in each of the Atlantic provinces and beyond.

Janet Whitman talks with the women leading the change in the new issue East Coast Living.

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