Roundup: Grim COVID estimates, Pictou Co. councillor says care home faces staffing woes, war on Ukraine raises uncertainty for Canso spaceport plans, MHL fetes South Shore defenceman

A factory in Ukraine is the only maker of the rockets required for the Canso spaceport plan. Photo: UNIAN

Plus: How the stars of the Colored Hockey League transformed their sport

The COVID-19 wave washing over Canada is far more dangerous than most people realize, warns Dr. Tara Moriarty, director of the Moriarty infectious diseases research laboratory and professor at the University of Toronto medical school.

And the situation in Nova Scotia is especially dire.

Dr. Tara Moriarty

In recent series of tweets, she estimates of 16,000 new cases per day in Nova Scotia, more than tenfold the government’s lab-confirmed figures.

“Those of us in Central Canada need to remember just how tough things are elsewhere right now, especially in Atlantic and Northern Canada,” she says.

Her research indicates that COVID may soon overwhelm hospitals in Atlantic Canada and across the country. “If what I’m worrying about is true, by Apr. 14 new daily hospitalizations should be higher than expected from March 31 estimates,” she says. “We should start seeing new ICU admissions, deaths from March 31 infections by late this week.”

So far, COVID has killed 6,179,104 people worldwide, including 38,029 people in Canada and 263 Nova Scotians

War raises Canso spaceport concerns
The Russian war on Ukraine is adding uncertainty to developer Steve Matier’s plans to build a commercial spaceport in Canso.

Maritime Launch Services relies on Ukrainian business partner Yuzhmash to provide the Cyclone-4M rockets its proposals require. The company is in the heart of the country, and the area where it operates came under a devastating Russian missile attack last month.

“Our suppliers for the launch vehicles are fine,” Matier says. “The city that they’re in is not at the front of the war. It’s more centrally located, and they’re continuing to support us. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t worrisome; certainly there is concern for our friends, colleagues, and for all the people of Ukraine. It’s a horrifying experience to see happening, but with respect to the launch vehicle things are stable.”

Drake Lowthers interviews him for the Reporter.

Pay hike causes care-home staffing worries, says councillor
Pictou County Councillor David Parker, who chairs the Riverview Home’s board of directors, says a recent government-mandated raise for government-paid continuing care assistants means other care workers, like those at Riverview (who don’t get the raise), may seek better-paying jobs.

“Our concern is recruitment,” he says. “It’s hard for us to attract qualified people … (Continuing care assistants) have been underpaid for a long time, but it’s not good policy to pick and choose. I believe there are better ways that this could be addressed.”

Steve Goodwin reports for the Pictou Advocate.

Maritime Junior Hockey League fetes South Shore defenceman
The MHL recently named 21-year-old Matt Helpard its Character Player of the Year. He tallied seven assists in 39 games, as the South Shore Lumberjacks racked up a dismal 7-28 record. But general manager André Lefebvre says his impact goes beyond the scoresheet.

“Matt’s teammates would describe him as a selfless leader, willing to put aside personal goals for the benefit of his team and teammates,” Lefebvre says, adding that as Helpard’s junior career ends, he “left the South Shore Lumberjacks organization in a better place than he found it.”

Keith Corcoran has more for LighthouseNow.

The stars of the Colored Hockey League introduced innovations that transformed their sport. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The lost history of the Colored Hockey League
Beginning play in the late 1890s, the Colored Hockey League was a loose association of all-Black Maritime teams who brought flash and speed to the sport, and transformed it forever.

In the latest issue of Unravel Halifax, historical columnist Katie Ingram delves into the league’s history, talking with retired politician Wayne Adams, whose grandfather was among those early stars.

“(We should) remember them as vividly as possible,” he says, adding that the hockey establishment has only recently started acknowledging their contributions. “The NHL has a role to play in terms of sharing the truths they didn’t even know about … They should do more work and share the truth of the story behind hockey.”

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