Roundup: Pictou Mountie awaits assault trial, experts call for evolving COVID response, mass shooting hearings enter final phase, Gold River powwow set to return

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Plus: Does Nova Scotia have a worker shortage or a good-jobs shortage?

Mark Kellock, a corporal with the RCMP’s Pictou detachment, remains on administrative duties as he awaits trial on assault and choking charges.

In a press release, Mountie spokesman Matco Sirotic says Kellock was on duty at the time of the alleged assault. “These criminal charges are alarming and we take these incidents seriously,” he adds. “His duty status is under review pending an internal code of conduct investigation and the court process.”

The Pictou Advocate has more.

Living with COVID
As the COVID-19 death toll continues to climb, World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is urging governments to reconsider their “living with COVID” policies.

“You might be tired of hearing me say the pandemic is not over, but I will keep saying it until it is,” he says in a recent media briefing, urging governments to follow WHO’s advice on testing, vaccination, infection control, and education. “This virus will not just fade away … (Governments should) reassess and readjust their policies to protect those most at risk, treat those who need it, and save lives. The pandemic is always evolving, and so must the response, in every country.”

WHO reports 472,582 confirmed new COVID cases around the globe in the last 24 hours. So far, COVID is known to have killed at least 6,484,136 people, including 44,085 in Canada and 497 Nova Scotians.

Kevin Kelloway. Photo: Submitted

Where are the workers?
This summer, Nova Scotians have seen and read a lot of news stories about the so-called labour shortage, but those stories usually focus exclusively on the woes of the businesses owners, rarely discussing pay and job conditions.

That blind spot is why so many businesses find themselves scrambling to attract workers.

“It’s very much an employee’s market,” explains occupational health expert Kevin Kelloway. “So you’re going to start seeing employees flex their muscle. They’re going to do that as individuals by choosing not to work at certain places, or just quitting jobs if they’re treated poorly. And you’re going to see it collectively through more unionization.” 

And if you’re one of the thousands of Nova Scotians subsisting on the brink of poverty, that’s very good news.

Phil Moscovitch reports in the new issue of Unravel Halifax.

Shooting hearings enter final phase
After getting a five-month deadline extension from the provincial and federal governments, the Mass Casualty Commission is in the final stage of its investigation of the 2020 Nova Scotia mass shooting and the slow and confused RCMP response.

Michael MacDonald, the retired Nova Scotian judge who’s helming the proceedings, says his team is working on recommendations that will be “clear, pragmatic and ready to be implemented, so that people across our governments, institutions and communities can take action right away.”

Janet Whitman has details for the Reporter.

Haley Julien at the Acadia First Nation Gold River Powwow in 2017. File Photo

Gold River powwow returns
After a two-year pandemic hiatus, the South Shore’s Gold River Powwow is set to return on Sept. 10 and 11, capping the summer powwow season.

“We are always one of the last ones in September, which is great because it brings back everyone together from all over Mi’kma’ki,” says Natteal Battiste, a councillor with Acadia First Nation. “I’m really looking forward to it. We’re so excited to bring different communities into our community.”

See Kevin McBain’s story for LighthouseNow.

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