Roundup: Maritime climate activists protesting weekly, Pictou County bolsters transit service, COVID update, Bridgewater pays tribute to fallen firefighter

Mental-health advocate Devon Bundy (left) works to create the traditional barbershop vibe and kickstart conversations about mental health. Photo: Bruce Murray

Plus: Back to the barbershop — Black men come together to support one another and talk about mental health

Devon Bundy knows firsthand the unique mental-health challenges his fellow Black Nova Scotian men face, and is working to overcome the cultural taboos that often prevents them from seeking help.

“Our community doesn’t talk about mental health,” he says. “There’s a lot of … generational trauma from racism.” That’s why he’s spearheading the Nova Scotian Brotherhood Initiative, which brings Black men together in traditional community settings like barbershops.

“Sometimes folks don’t know where to reach out to get support when they’re feeling anxious, upset, or angry,” Bundy says. “We’ll come in, bring the supports and facilitate a conversation around that. Men can get their hair cut and get a shape up. They can leave feeling like ‘Geez, I look good today, I had a good, healthy conversation, and I have some resources.’” 

Ameeta Vohra has the story for Unravel Halifax.

Bob Johnson. Photo: Robert Fisher

Spotlighting the climate crisis
As erratic weather and unseasonably high temperatures continue, Maritimers Robert Johnson and Robert Graham are increasingly concerned about the provincial and federal governments’ laggardly response to the climate crisis.

To spotlight the issue, they’ve begun a weekly protest in their hometown of St. Stephen, N.B.

Their goal is “to try to persuade the world that (Prime Minister Justin) Trudeau is not doing enough on climate change,” says Graham. “He talks a good story, but in fact he’s not doing anything.”

Robert Fisher reports for the Saint Croix Courier.

COVID update
The World Health Organization reports 450,633 confirmed new COVID cases around the globe in the last 24 hours. So far, COVID is known to have killed at least 6,496,721 people, including 44,347 in Canada and 507 Nova Scotians.

Pictou bolsters transit service
It’s been 15 months since the launch of Pictou County Transit, and now the operation is expanding, with more stops and broader service.

“We got feedback about what stops people wanted to see, and we thought we could accommodate these stops,” says manager Danny MacGillivray, adding that Stellarton and New Glasgow’s municipal governments have promised annual funding. “The two towns did it because of its success. It helps us access more provincial funding. The service is growing each month and week over week.”

Steve Goodwin has more for the Pictou Advocate.

Todd Arenburg

Bridgewater pays tribute to firefighter
When Todd Arenburg died near the beginning of the pandemic, fellow Bridgewater firefighters Michaela Creaser and Alex Johnson felt they didn’t get a chance to properly say good-bye to their captain, so now they’re organizing a memorial truck show in his name.

“He had a love of fire trucks,” Creaser says, adding it will be especially fitting if the event helps recruit new firefighters. “His big thing was educating the public. We can always use the people.”

The event runs 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the South Shore Exhibition Grounds, and will raise funds for the Nova Scotia Firefighters Burn Treatment Society.

Keith Corcoran has more for LighthouseNow.

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