Roundup: N.S. tallies 100th COVID death, gov rejects in-school vaccinations, Pictou MP joins Trudeau’s cabinet, crash kills Lunenburg Co. motorcyclist

Central Nova MP Sean Fraser. Photo: Pictou Advocate file

Plus: Deeds not words — want to build a better city? Stop looking for absolution and start taking action

Health officials announced a Nova Scotia’s 100th COVID-19 death yesterday, a woman in her 70s from the Western Zone.

“This is a stark reminder of how serious this virus is,” Premier Tim Houston says in a press release. “I know we have been at this for a long time and people are getting tired, but we cannot be complacent.”

Nova Scotia has 134 known active cases of the disease, with seven new cases (all in the Central Zone) and 24 recoveries reported yesterday.

Education minister Becky Druhan. Photo: Submitted

Houston government rejects in-school vaccinations
The Liberal party, which governed Nova Scotia through much of the pandemic, is urging the Houston government to begin offering COVID vaccinations in schools to all students. Currently, in-school vaccinations are only available for Grade 7 students.

The education minister says the experiences with the Grade 7 students show that Nova Scotia isn’t able to do as the Liberals urge.

Public health has indicated, already with the finite resources that we have in the health care system, to vaccinate that number of children would be very, very difficult,” says Becky Druhan. “These children are five to 11 years of age, and it is incredibly important that they have developmentally appropriate care, so to have all those little people, without a trusted adult, getting injections would not be in the best interests of public health.”

Jake Boudrot has the story for The Reporter.

Fraser joins Trudeau’s cabinet
Central Nova MP Sean Fraser, whose constituency includes the eastern edge of HRM, is joining Justin Trudeau’s cabinet as immigration minister. He previously served as parliamentary secretary for the finance minister; this is his first full cabinet portfolio.

Fraser recently defended Central Nova for the Liberals in the federal election, his third win in the riding that was once a Tory stronghold.

The Pictou Advocate has more.

Crash kills Lunenburg County motorcyclist
A motorcyclist is dead following an Oct. 24 collision with an SUV on Highway 331 in Conquerall Bank. RCMP are releasing few details, except to say the victim was a man in his 40s from Pleasantville, and the vehicles were travelling in opposite directions when they crashed. Police also say the SUV’s driver and passenger, a man and woman in their 70s from Oakhill, were unhurt.

Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

Rebecca Thomas. Video: Todd Lockhart

Deeds not words
Activist Rebecca Thomas is happy that more white Haligonians are aware of their privilege, and keen to help build a better, fairer city. But with that often comes a feeling of guilt, an urge to be forgiven for their ancestors’ misdeeds and reassurance that they’re amongst the good ones.

“If it’s a starting point to learn, that’s great. Then turn it into action,” says Thomas. “Acknowledge your privilege and utilize it. I don’t want to oppress white people so they know what it feels like. I want the same rights as white people.”

Absolution isn’t the answer. 

“There’s a collective movement of people learning about lost kids, residential schools, about police violence toward the Black community,” says Thomas, whose father attended Shubenacadie Residential School. “When they have their moments of breakdowns and ah-ha moments and feel guilty … they turn to us for absolution. I’m not the place to put your tears about residential school. It’s great. I’m so proud of you for taking this on, but don’t come to me. There’s a lack of boundaries about where it’s appropriate to put tears.” 

Hear more from Thomas and the other members of the Unravel Halifax Changemakers panel in this recent cover story by Janet Whitman.

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