Roundup: Halifax Public Gardens attacked, housing crisis exacerbates labour crunch, Pictou County care home residents evacuated, South Shore Exhibition returns, COVID update

Dating back to 1867, the Halifax Public Gardens are as old as Canada.

Plus: A club of dedicated local aficionados searches for the world’s best curry

Police are appealing for tips after someone broke into the Halifax Public Gardens on Monday night and damaged about 30 trees with an axe, including “some of our oldest and most beloved specimens.”

Halifax Regional Police are saying little about the investigation, and haven’t revealed if they have suspects or any clues to their motivation.

“The Public Gardens will, as ever, bounce back,” officials say in a social media post.

Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher. Photo: Submitted

Housing crisis exacerbates labour crunch
Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher says many local employers are scrambling to find skilled workers, and a shortage of affordable housing is compounding the problem.

“Whether that’s your frontline workers in the service industry, or it’s your professors or staff at the university, or nurses and doctors at the hospital, it’s really hard to recruit when there is a lack of housing,” she says.

Drake Lowthers has more for the Reporter.

Pictou County care home residents evacuated
A hundred residents of the Valley View Villa long-term care home in Riverton evacuated over the weekend, “due to the unknown source of what appeared to be an air quality issue,” say New Glasgow police.

Valley View staff and firefighters still don’t know the source of the odour, but after six hours, deemed it safe for residents to return.

The Pictou Advocate reports.

COVID update
The World Health Organization’s tally of new COVID-19 cases around the globe doubled to 675,748 in the last 24 hours. So far, COVID is known to have killed at least 6,381,643 people, including 42,447 in Canada and 463 Nova Scotians.

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 passion for curry began when he moved to Hong Kong and a friend introduced him to the dish and the international Oakham Curry Club (OCC), respected reviewers of Indian cuisine. 

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.

“We started out with four people in Hong Kong and by the time I left in 2019, we had 30 members in that branch,” he recalls. “Then … it was only fitting that we start a local branch here.”

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

The South Shore Exhibition runs until July 31. Photo: LighthouseNow Files

South Shore Exhibition returns
After a two-year pandemic hiatus, the 131-year-old South Shore Exhibition is back, kicking off last night with a parade in Bridgewater.

“It was disappointing not to have been operating, but we’re thrilled to be back up and running,” says president Tommy Mailman, who’s been working with the event in various roles since 1980. “We’re a great place to come and experience agricultural heritage. It gives young people the chance to come out and see how things were done, how we built this country.”

The “Big Ex” is Nova Scotia’s largest agricultural exhibition and continues until July 31.

Kevin McBain has the story for LighthouseNow.

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