Roundup: Rankin takes office, 19 active COVID cases, art in the snow, renos underway at Sherbrooke Village, NSP decision ‘an insult to common sense’

Lieutenant-Governor Arthur J. LeBlanc and premier-designate Iain Rankin. Photo: Facebook

Iain Rankin is scheduled to name his cabinet and be sworn in as Nova Scotia’s next premier during a ceremony today at 10 a.m. at the Halifax Convention Centre. Lieutenant-Governor Arthur J. LeBlanc will conduct the swearing-in, which will be webcast live.

Early indications are that Rankin’s policies will be similar to his predecessor’s, but he is promising a kinder, more compassionate government, with greater emphasis on the well-being of Nova Scotians.

“Some good work is underway that needs to be accelerated,” he says. “It needs to be part of everything government does. All of our institutions need to be looked at … to ensure people from all communities in underrepresented groups have a chance at opportunity to succeed.”

He shares more of his plans with Halifax Magazine in this recent interview with Janet Whitman.

COVID-19 holds steady
Nova Scotia has 19 known active cases of COVID-19, with one new case (in the Central Zone) reported in the latest government update. One person is hospitalized in ICU with the disease.

Nova Scotia Health Authority labs did 1,510 tests on Feb. 21 and 192,854 tests since the second wave of the pandemic began in October.

As of Feb. 21, health-care workers have dispensed 27,521 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, with 11,533 Nova Scotians getting the second dose that completes their inoculation.

“Our first community [vaccination] clinic opened today at the IWK Health Centre and we will see more community clinics opening in the coming weeks in other areas of the province,” Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, says in a press release. “We continue to prioritize vaccinations for those who are most vulnerable.”

Mary Mohammed. Photo: Submitted

Mary Mohammed’s lifetime of kindness
Twenty years ago, Mary Mohammed’s cinnamon buns were a weekend rite for many locals, with the long lines at the Brewery Market just part of the experience.

The business began in her kitchen, with friends and neighbours demanding more of her baked goods. And that’s almost where the business ended, as the clamour brought a government inspector around.

“He told me if I continued to sell anything made from my kitchen without a licence, I would be fined $200 or go to jail!” Mary recalls.

These days, she’s retired (mostly), devoting her energies to her Little Free Library. Dorothy Grant catches up with her in this new Halifax Magazine post.

Photo: Submitted

Art in the snow
Intricate outsized art has been appearing on frozen lakes around Debert. One of the latest (above) is some 60 metres wide. They’re the handiwork of friends Matt Robinson and Sheldon Benoit.

They’ve been creating the works for about six years now, but during this pandemic winter, their efforts have become increasingly ambitious.

“It’s a pretty good pastime to stay socially distanced,” says Robinson. “The fresh air is great. The sunlight is great … and exercise is always good for the soul. Why not go out on a foot-thick of ice and just walk in circles?”

Raissa Tetanish has the story for LighthouseNow.

Sherbrooke Village renovations underway
Sherbrooke Village Museum is one of the province’s historic treasures, re-creating life in Confederation-era Nova Scotia. And like many historic sites, it’s in desperate need of renovations and upgrades.

As the pandemic loosens government purse strings, that work is finally underway. “This project created jobs and extended seasons for work crews,” says executive director Stephen Flemming. “[It] created a major economic stimulus in our community at a time it was dearly needed.”

The Pictou Advocate reports.

Hwy. 332 in Lunenburg County. Photo: Marion Homer

Nova Scotia Power decision “dangerous and offensive”
Hwy. 332 in Lunenburg County offers travellers sweeping seaside vistas—a view that new power poles and lines now interrupt.

The lines used to run behind homes, where they didn’t obstruct views or risk driver collisions.

The change is “dangerous and offensive” and “an insult to common sense,” says resident Marion Homer. “Poles adjacent to the road are more likely to be hit by cars, and this will cause power outages.”

Nova Scotia Power spokesperson Jacqueline Foster says she doesn’t know why the poles were relocated. She’s promised to look into it.

Gayle Wilson has the story for LighthouseNow.

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This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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