Roundup: Mulroney sounds alarm about political polarization, COVID update, North Shore residents push for green energy, N.S. Folk Art Festival returns after 2-year pause

Brian Mulroney

Local History: Looking back at the 19th-century cholera outbreak that terrified Halifax

The growing partisanship and polarization of Canadian politics troubles former prime minister Brian Mulroney, a concern he raised during a recent speech at his alma mater, St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish.

“There’s polarization like I’ve never seen before in the United States and indeed Canada,” Mulroney says. “Just look at the way the federal Conservative leadership campaign has started; a candidate announces he’s going to run, and his opponent immediately attacks him personally … I won two general elections and I’ve had my fair share of tough fights. You do not have to seek to destroy a woman, or a man, and their families when they’re trying to serve Canada.”

Drake Lowthers has more for the Reporter.

COVID update
According to the World Health Organization, there were 1,885,274 confirmed new cases of COVID-19 worldwide in the last 24 hours. Of those, 2,797 were in Canada, although given the lack of daily reports in many provinces, that number is likely much higher.

So far, COVID is known to have killed 6,099,380 people worldwide, including 5,769 in the last 24 hours.

The Houston government is now releasing weekly COVID updates instead of the daily reports, so it’s difficult to get an accurate picture of how the disease is currently affecting the province. The latest update is scheduled for release later today.

North Shore residents push for green energy
About a dozen local residents recently protested outside Cumberland-Colchester MP Stephen Ellis’s Tatamagouche office, calling on the government to take more drastic action to adopt green energy and kick fossil fuels.

“The climate emergency is something that’s been on my mind for 15 or 20 years now,” says protestor Michael Jensen. “It’s nice to see it recognized as an emergency situation, but we’ve been in one longer than (15 to 20 years) … We need a descent of power, agriculture, and community to where we’re localized and strong locally in helping our province become sustainable.”

Raissa Tetanish reports for the Pictou Advocate.

The Sisters of Charity volunteered to help on McNabs during the outbreak. Painting: Agnes Berchmans Landry

Halifax in the time of cholera
In April 1866, the SS England, bound from Liverpool, U.K. for New York with 1,202 passengers, suffered a cholera outbreak. With many crew ill, the England sought refuge in Halifax.

Authorities in Halifax, well aware of the devastation that could occur if the disease reached the city, ordered the England to anchor in the shelter of McNabs Cove. The passengers who appeared healthy moved ashore to live in pitifully unsuitable tents and shacks, the residents of the peaceful agricultural community suddenly finding 800 potentially diseased newcomers in their midst.

Over the following weeks, a terrifying ordeal unfolded, ending with more than 200 dead, including the doctor who was treating the stricken.

Dorothy Grant looks back in this recent Unravel Halifax story.

Folk Art Festival returns
After a two-year pandemic pause, the Nova Scotia Folk Art Festival is scheduled to return for its 32nd edition on July 31 in Lunenburg.

Organizers say interest is strong, with 40 returning artists and 10 new ones. The number is an indication that folk art is “alive and well in Nova Scotia,” says the press release.

Gayle Wilson has more for LighthouseNow.

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