Roundup: Special Olympians claim medals, more Nova Scotians getting ‘long COVID,’ MP calls for electoral boundary ‘balance,’ Port Hawkesbury fetes NHL veteran

From left: Carter Worth, Shawn Cameron, Loretta Cameron, and David MacDonald were among the athletes representing Pictou at the recent Nova Scotia Special Olympics. Photo: Submitted

Plus: Local History — the Dartmouth man who broke policing’s white wall

Athletes from around the province recently converged on Antigonish for the Special Olympics Nova Scotia 2022 Summer Games. It’s the first staging of the event since the COVID-19 pandemic began, welcoming many newcomers.

“This year saw a lot of first-time coaches for the Pictou County region and yet all ran smoothly and I think our athletes did a great job of ensuring these new coaches will be returning to coach them next year,” says Cathy Mason, an organizer with the Pictou squad.

Steve Goodwin reports for the Pictou Advocate.

“Long COVID” danger grows
Nova Scotia continues to face “very high” hazard from COVID, says infectious disease researcher Dr. Tara Moriarty in her latest series of tweets analyzing the pandemic.

Her research indicates that as of July 26, COVID is infecting 3,600 Nova Scotians per day for the first time, with 200 per day contracting “long COVID,” suffering symptoms that last at least a month. Science-deniers often minimize COVID’s severity, but Moriarty’s research indicates it’s 15 times deadlier than a typical seasonal flu.

Premier Tim Houston’s government is now withholding most COVID data, only releasing monthly epidemiologic reports, so Moriarty urges people to continue to use public health protections, and seek information from other sources.

World Health Organization officials report 997,348 confirmed new COVID cases around the globe in the last 24 hours. So far, COVID is known to have killed at least 6,390,401 people, including 42,681 in Canada and 463 Nova Scotians.

Sinclair Williams

Breaking policing’s white wall
In the 1960s, Dartmouth’s police force — like most others in Nova Scotia and across the country — was exclusively white. When Sinclair Williams broke that colour barrier, becoming the city’s first Black police officer, the results was depressingly predictable.

“He faced constant racism on the job, recalling insults and harassment from white cops, even as suspects were slamming doors in his face and spitting on him,” writes local history columnist Dorothy Grant. “In court, a judge once called him the n-word, which led to an outcry and apology. Despite the discrimination, he was noted for his high moral standards, and earned a reputation as one of the city’s finest police officers.”

Learn more about his work, and its ongoing impact, in Grant’s latest for Unravel Halifax.

Politician calls for boundary “balance”
Member of Parliament Rick Perkins, whose St. Shore-St. Margaret’s riding currently stretches from the western edge of HRM to Yarmouth County, calls on electoral officials to respect “communities of interest” as they redraw riding boundaries, including his.

“While my riding may not be the largest in geographic size in Canada, it does highlight the tension inherent in larger ridings when it comes to effective representation,” Perkins says. “Balancing the need of a member of parliament’s ability to represent communities of interest is an extremely important part of drawing electoral boundaries.”

Keith Corcoran has more for LighthouseNow.

Aaron Johnson with the Calgary Flames in 2009. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

NHL veteran feted
A new banner at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre celebrates hockey player Aaron Johnson, who grew up in the area and went on to a successful career in the National Hockey League and Europe.

“As the Great One (Wayne Gretzky) said, ‘Everything I have in my life is because of the game of hockey,’ and I couldn’t agree more,” Johnson says. “All I can hope is that one day a kid will walk past this and think ‘He made it to the NHL, why can’t I?’”

Drake Lowthers has more for the Reporter.

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