Roundup: First Nations fishers back on the water, several people taken to hospital after Lunenburg pub fire, COVID update

Darren Bernard (left) and daughter, Page Francis, examine some of the fresh catch of lobster at Pictou Landing First Nation.

Plus: Before cars ruled the streets — how mass transit transformed Halifax

First Nation fishers from Cape Breton and Pictou Landing are back on the water, hoping a recent arrangement with the federal government will protect them from harassment.

We’koqma’q First Nation’s deal with Fisheries and Oceans Canada allows the community to harvest and sell lobster “in pursuit of a moderate livelihood.”

“Our harvesters continued to voice how they wanted to be able to exercise their treaty rights safely and they are excited to be able to provide for their families and our community through exercising their inherent rights,” We’koqma’q Chief Annie Bernard-Daisley tells the Reporter. “We are proud of the plan that our community built and the work they have put in leading up to this launch.”

They’re working under the Netukulimk Livelihood Fisheries Plan.

“Netukulimk is the use of the natural bounty provided by the Creator for the self-support and well-being of the individual and the community,” explains Alfred Young, who coordinates the plan for Pictou Landing First Nation. We always knew we could fish. We’re doing the best we can to come to terms with all sides. We’re exercising our rights in the most peaceful way.”

Steve Goodwin has more for the Pictou Advocate.

W.R. MacAskill / Nova Scotia Archives

The transit revolution
Before Halifax all but surrendered its streets to the almighty automobile, a sophisticated network of trams criss-crossed the city, giving people freedom and mobility like never before.

“The tram car was pretty much the major source of transportation for the average working person,” says Don Cunningham, co-author of The Halifax Street Railway 1866–1949. “Most people travelled on them back and forth to work and (operators) knew everybody because they used the same tram car for pretty much their entire adult life.” 

Now, all that remains are a few paved-over tracks — occasionally unearthed during road repairs — and memories of a transit revolution that transformed the lives of working-class Haligonians.

Katie Ingram looks at what we lost in this Unravel Halifax journey into our past.

COVID update
The World Health Organization confirms 529,758 new COVID-19 cases around the globe in the last 24 hours — a jump of almost 200,000 from yesterday. But the real number of ill people is likely even 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 6,281,260 people worldwide, including 40,695 in Canada and 378 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.

Several taken to hospital after Lunenburg pub fire
Around 10 a.m. on May 17, an icemaker at the Knot Pub in Lunenburg caught fire and exploded, sending seven workers to hospital for smoke inhalation and “throat irritation.”

Provincial health and safety officials are investigating. There are no reports of major injuries, and the business reopened by suppertime that day.

“I’m confident my staff are good, other than being shaken-up,” says pub owner Denyse Flower.

Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

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