Roundup: No known COVID, limits increased for some groups, fisheries tension continues, plans for Carter’s Beach, designer has sustainability in the bag

Chief Michael Sack (centre) at the opening ceremony of the fishery. Photo: Randy Sack

As of yesterday, Sept. 20, Nova Scotia has no known cases of COVID-19, according to the latest government update. So far, the province has had 87,428 negative test results, 1,086 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and 65 deaths.

Limits increase for sports & arts groups
Government is relaxing gathering restrictions for sports and arts groups. Effective Oct. 1, the number of people who can participate in those activities without physical distance increases from 10 to 50.

“For most sports, this will allow full team practices and competition to resume, while for the performing arts, this will allow for larger rehearsals and performances,” says the government press release.

This change also applies to recreational league sports but unorganized or casual games must adhere to existing gathering rules of groups of 10 without physical distancing or 50 with physical distancing. The limit applies to practices, competitions, games, rehearsals, and artistic performances. The Pictou Advocate has the details.

Fisheries threats and vandalism continue
Tension continues as some commercial fishermen in Southwest Nova Scotia try to prevent Sipekne’katik First Nation boats from taking part in their “moderate livelihood” lobster harvest, a treaty right affirmed by courts in 1999.

Federal fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan is appealing for calm. “It is imperative that all parties, and the public, work together to lower tensions on the water and in our communities,” she says in a recent statement. “I’m extending an invitation for Indigenous leadership and industry leadership to meet with me as soon as possible. It is vitally important that we come together to find… a peaceful resolution.”

Chief Mike Sack met with Jordan on Sept. 19. “The Minister was very concerned about the vandalism and acts of aggression that have taken place and expressed her support in taking all measures necessary to protect our people as we continue to exercise our constitutional right to fish for a moderate livelihood,” he says in a press release. Jordan and Sack have agreed to continue talks.   

Over the weekend, there were more reports of people tampering with First Nations gear. “It is so disheartening to have had a progressive meeting with the minister yesterday to reinforce that we are following our moderate livelihood fishery plan and to be repeatedly sabotaged by this criminal conduct,” Sack says. He’s calling for donations of traps to replenish the vandalized gear.

For background and breaking news from the scene, see APTN’s ongoing coverage.

Tide turning at Carter’s Beach?
It’s long been one of the South Shore’s most popular beaches, but Carter’s Beach near Port Mouton is also a problem: the access road is narrow, there is little visitor infrastructure, and summer crowds (and their garbage) often overwhelm the site.

Now the municipal government is asking for help, recently sending a letter to provincial government officials asking them to strike a committee to figure out a sustainable plan for the beach’s future. They’d like the group to include representatives from the local and provincial government, the Liverpool RCMP detachment, Acadia First Nations, a business representative, and residents of Carters Beach Road.

“People don’t realize that we don’t have much authority in that area,” says Queens Municipality mayor David Dagley. “The Minister of Lands and Forestry is saddled with the responsibility for the beach area and the province is responsible for the roads.” Kevin Mcbain reports for LighthouseNow.

Hard time in Halifax
This was once a city of jails, holding pirates, prisoners of war, all manner of felons. “Today, Rockhead is the name of a liquor store and Melville Island is home to the Armdale Yacht Club, but in the 1800s they were prisons,” says Katie Ingram.

The prisoner population first exploded in the city some two centuries ago. “The War of 1812 brought even more prisoners to Halifax,” Ingram says. “About 900 men were imprisoned at Melville.”

Today’s prisons would feel luxurious compared to what those men endured. “[Due] to overcrowding and unsanitary living conditions, disease spread easily,” Ingram explains. “A cemetery on nearby Deadman’s Island holds those who died. Some prisoners attempted to escape. In 1812 one American and three French prisoners were permitted to go into the city, but didn’t return. A reward of one guinea was offered for each escapee’s capture.”

In this historical report from the free Halifax Magazine archives, Ingram looks back at a side of the city’s history that we rarely hear.

Local designer has sustainability in the bag
Consumers are more interested in sustainability than ever and local designers are catching up to the trend.

“People are looking for products that they can align their values with,” says Tabitha, the creator of Tabitha + Co. “Where’s that bag being made, who made it, what goes into making it, is that person being paid fairly, are they being treated with kindness, and are the materials coming from an ethical place?”

In the latest issue of East Coast Living, she tells Ameeta Vohra how she answers those questions with her work.

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This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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