Roundup: Tips for a COVID Thanksgiving, HRM voting starts, Portapique rebuilds, food banks under pressure, scammers getting more aggressive

Sunset in Portapique. Photo: Submitted

As of yesterday (Oct. 5), Nova Scotia continues to have three known cases of COVID-19, including one person hospitalized in ICU. Overall, Nova Scotia has 97,677 negative test results, 1,089 confirmed cases, and 65 deaths, according to the latest update from the provincial government.

Canada’s national tally of active cases stands at 17,122, with 15 in the Atlantic bubble and 17,107 in the remainder of the country.

Staying safe on Thanksgiving
As Thanksgiving approaches, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health is reminding people to keep following public health rules.

Dr. Robert Strang. Photo: Communications NS

“Nova Scotians have made changes to their daily lives to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and it’s no different for Thanksgiving,” says Dr. Robert Strang in a press release. “When deciding who to invite, consider the impacts on family and friends who may be more vulnerable and adjust your Thanksgiving celebrations to be as safe as possible.”

The rules allow people to gather in close social groups of up to 10 without physical distancing. “Nova Scotians are strongly encouraged to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends from their consistent group of 10,” says the press release. “Strictly adhere to the public health order and directives: practise good hand washing and other hygiene steps, maintain six feet of physical distance when and where required.”

Municipal election voting starts today
Telephone and Internet polls open today for HRM’s municipal election. You can vote in person at advanced polls on Oct. 10 and 13; election day is Oct. 17. If you haven’t received a letter with your voting information, call the Voter Help Line at 902-490-8683 or 1-844-301-8683.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Immigrants struggle to find good jobs
When Marianne Simon moved from India to Halifax, she assumed it wouldn’t be hard for to land a good job and her piece of the Canadian dream. Instead, she found that her education and ample experience as a writer, newspaper subeditor, and teacher counts for almost nothing.

“The outside world sees Canada as a place of prosperity and tolerance,” she says. “But new immigrants experience neither. They wake up to the harsh reality that even a well-qualified person can get only an entry level job at minimum wage. Some employers don’t pay even that much.”

In this new Halifax Magazine column, she shares the story of her frustrating job hunt and offers advice on how Canada can better prepare newcomers.

“An opportunity to rebuild” in Portapique
Portapique was the epicentre of the tragedy during last spring’s mass shooting. Since then, residents have been working to rebuild a normal life in their fractured seaside village. One tangible sign of their efforts is a campaign to revitalize the community hall and create a new playground and walking trail.

“What we’re really providing here is an opportunity to come together and strengthen community bonds,” says Alana Hirtle, chairwoman of the campaign. “There is healing in creating something together… It’s about getting [people] out, getting together, and working on the healing.” Raissa Tetanish has more on their work, and how you can support it, in this new Hub Now story.

Food banks in high demand
As the pandemic and its economic turmoil continues, food banks around Nova Scotia face shortages in donations and volunteers as demand for their services increases. “Donations in our community dropped off significantly,” says Central Nova MP Sean Fraser. “Donations of non-perishable items—such as canned goods or craft dinner—and personal hygiene products would be greatly appreciated.”

He recently announced that the federal government is spending $100,109 to support food banks in the Pictou, Antigonish, and Eastern Shore areas. Nationally, some 1,800 organizations are getting money, part of the government’s $100-million emergency fund. Drake Lowthers has more in The Reporter.

Scam warning from police
Police are again warning people about a dangerous new breed of more aggressive Internet and phone scammers.

“If someone presents themselves as representing a government organization… and are threatening you with arrest unless you send immediate payment, regardless of reason, it’s a scam,” says RCMP Cpl. Laurie Haines. “These scams are very convincing because the caller ID or spoofed email address appear associated to the police or government institution in question.”

Learn more, and what to do if you get a scam call, in this report from The Pictou Advocate.

Spreadin’ the news
Know a community group, good cause, or inspiring local story we should share? Email the editor.

This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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