Roundup: Shooting inquiry awaits Banfield testimony, N.S. faces ‘high’ COVID hazard says expert, Pictou Co. man faces charges after gunfire

Canadian Blood Services donor care associate Colleen MacKenzie, right, looks after Lunenburg County resident Tiffany Eagles. Photo: Keith Corcoran

Plus: Canadian Blood Services pleads for more donors

Lisa Banfield is scheduled to testify at the Mass Casualty hearings on July 15, but the common-law wife of the man who committed the 2020 attacks will only face questions from the commission’s lawyer, not from lawyers representing the victims’ families.

Patterson Law, which is representing most of the families in the proceedings, said it’s “deeply discouraged” by the decision “to deny our clients a meaningful opportunity” to question Banfield.

“To the extent that there is any articulable reason for excluding participant counsel from questioning, it has not been shared with us,” says the statement, adding that the families “are not confident that commission counsel will elicit all relevant evidence” and the decision “has significantly undermined the legitimacy of the process and our clients’ confidence in the commissioners’ independence.”

Janet Whitman has the story for the Reporter.

Dr. Tara Moriarty

COVID danger grows
Days after Premier Tim Houston ended most remaining COVID-19 protections in Nova Scotia, the province faces “high hazard” from the disease, says infectious disease expert Dr. Tara Moriarty in a series of tweets about her latest research.

Her numbers indicate that each day (as of July 9), 130 Nova Scotians are getting infected with “long COVID,” with symptoms lasting more than a month. Concurrently, the health-care system is creaking under the strain, running at 6 per cent over capacity since the Omicron wave began (and that doesn’t include worker shortages).

She also believes that hundreds of COVID deaths have gone unreported. The government says that Omicron has killed 339 Nova Scotians, but her research indicates the death toll is likely closer to 570.

Given those realities, it seems a bizarre time to shed our remaining protections, so if you’re still taking care to keep your loved ones safe, don’t be discouraged. As I wrote in this recent Unravel Halifax editorial, you’re doing the right thing, and you’re not alone.

Pictou County man faces gun charge
Around 11 p.m. on July 5, a group of people were in the woods in Rocklin searching for a missing dog, when a man shot a gun near them and threatened them. The RCMP arrested a man who lives on Gariloch Road; he’s scheduled to appear in court in September to answer charges of careless use of a firearm, pointing a firearm, and uttering threats.

The Pictou Advocate has more.

Plea for blood donors
Canadian Blood Services officials say it’s not yet a crisis, but blood supplies are lower than they’ve been in years.

Lunenburg County mother Krista Sills recently took to Facebook to encourage people to donate, pointing out the difference it made for her son Cirrus, who was born in critical condition and required a very rare type of platelet.

“Thanks to those donors who signed up, Canadian Blood Services was able to provide these lifesaving platelets on a just-in-time basis for our son,” she recalls. “Without the generosity of the platelet donors who gave on demand as needed, our newborn son would not have survived.”

Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

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