Roundup: Gov promises more COVID vax boosters, researcher studies invasive species in Maritime lakes, proposed food bank & health-care centre appeals for help, former cabinet minister joins charity

SMU student Erin Francheville is studying how invasive species are affecting Maritime lakes. Photo: Submitted

Plus: A club of international aficionados start a Halifax chapter as they hunt for the world’s best curry

More COVID-19 vaccine boosters will be available in September, the provincial government promised on Friday.

“We know that immunity from previous COVID-19 infection decreases over time, so even if you have already had COVID-19, it remains important to continue to get any vaccine dose available to you,” Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, says in a press release. “The COVID-19 vaccines available to us help to reduce severe outcomes, making it important for all Nova Scotians to get vaccinated as we are seeing more and more people becoming reinfected with COVID-19.”

Starting the week of Sept. 6, children aged five to 11 will be eligible for a COVID-19 booster vaccine. The government also urges caregivers of children who have not yet completed their first two primary doses to do that as soon as possible.

And starting the week of Sept. 19, vaccine boosters will be available to people aged 12 and older, regardless of how many doses they’ve already had.

World Health Organization officials report 727,901 confirmed new COVID cases around the globe in the last 24 hours. So far, COVID is known to have killed at least 6,459,684 people, including 43,797 in Canada and 492 Nova Scotians.

Studying lake invaders
Chain pickerel aren’t native to Atlantic Canada, but have found their way into many of the region’s lakes, and are already wreaking havoc. Saint Mary’s University applied-science student Erin Francheville is studying the problem, and heading back to New Brunswick’s Lake Utopia, near the American border, for more fieldwork this autumn.

Chain pickerel “can quite quickly become a top predator,” she says, adding that scientists are especially keen to know how much threat they pose to the region’s native rainbow smelt, including a unique local species not found elsewhere. “It’s important we track this.”

Heather Knight reports for the Saint Croix Courier.

Members of the Oakham Curry Club with a cook at the Famous Curry Garden restaurant. Photo: Bruce Murray

Searching for the best curry
Dan Houmann’s passion for curry began when he moved to Hong Kong and a friend introduced him to the dish and the international Oakham Curry Club

Members “relentlessly scour the globe in pursuit of the crispiest poppadoms, the tastiest sauces, and spiciest curries” (according to their website). After moving to Halifax, Houmann helped organize the club’s first North American chapter.

“I love the flavours,” he says. “I love the process. It’s obviously not as easy to make as a pizza or a loaf of bread; there’s much more involved. But it’s worth it. I love the combination of spices and the different meats. Whether you’re eating vegan curry or gluten free or chicken or lamb … There are just endless possibilities with what you can do in a curry dish.” 

He tells Lori McKay about it in the new issue of Unravel Halifax.

Pictou County food bank and health-care centre appeals for help
The Community Support Society of River John, which aims to build a food bank and health-care centre in the village, is asking the provincial and municipal governments to help cover the costs.

“The closest food banks and health-care services for our area happen to be either in Pictou or Tatamagouche, which is basically 20-plus kilometres away,” says volunteer Alan McNutt. “To a lot of people that are having a hard time putting food on their table, they may not have a car, they may not have gas money to get to these areas, so it definitely is going to help people in need right in our community.”

Raissa Tetanish has more for the Pictou Advocate.

Bernadette Jordan

Former cabinet minister joins charity
Former federal fisheries minister and South Shore MP Bernadette Jordan, who left politics after her defeat in the 2021 federal election, has joined Shelter Movers as its national director of philanthropy. The charity helps women and children escape domestic violence by providing moving and storage services.

“This is something that is very unique that is so needed, and definitely where there’s a gap in our social safety network,” she says. “There’s an ability to help grow something that makes a huge difference.”

Keith Corcoran interviews her for LighthouseNow.

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