Roundup: U.S. health officials investigating cruise behemoth that’s visiting Halifax, Richmond calls for tougher municipal code of conduct, new Tancook ferry service delayed

Visiting Halifax today, the Oasis of the Seas has a capacity of 5,400 passengers. Photo: Submitted

With a capacity of 5,400 passengers, the Oasis of the Seas is one of the largest cruise ships afloat, and today the behemoth is visiting Halifax.

While industry stakeholders are excited cruising has resumed, others worry about COVID-19’s ongoing spread. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking the infection status of ships operating in American waters, and currently has the Oasis of the Seas under investigation, reporting that at least 0.3 per cent of its passengers and crew are ill.

Maritime lawyer Jim Walker worries about the risks of hosting cruise ships during COVID. Based in Miami, Walker runs a practice that exclusively sues cruise lines, primarily representing sick or injured crew members.

He says his sources who work on cruise ships “paint a very disturbing picture of the industry … It’s an industry that has a historical propensity to hide the ball, hide the truth, and to lie to government officials and the U.S. Coast Guard” about health and environmental practices. “I’ve been calling them plague ships, ships of pestilence and disease,” he adds.

Phil Moscovitch has more in this Unravel Halifax feature, originally published in March 2022.

Amanda Mombourquette

Richmond calls for tougher municipal code of conduct
Richmond’s council is asking the provincial government to take “an active role” in stiffening the municipal code of conduct.

Warden Amanda Mombourquette says the current code “falls short” and “needs improvements,” adding that she feels it’s inappropriate for council or the chief administrative officer to investigate complaints about councillors.

The request comes after complaints about inappropriate texts lead to the investigation and suspension of Councillor Michael Diggdon.

Jake Boudrot has the latest for the Reporter.

Delays likely for new Tancook ferry
The promised new ferry service linking the Tancook islands to the South Shore is delayed after divers recently discovered a lush bed of eelgrass, an ideal fish habitat and breeding ground, next to the planned location of the new wharf in Blandford.

“It changes the design slightly but, in principle, it will look the same, just in a little different location,” says Dan Leopold, the government manager overseeing the project. “The absolute earliest you’re going to see the service to start would be fall of 2023 but there’s a real chance it could be spring of 2024.”

Keith Corcoran has the story for LighthouseNow.

Alexandrya Eaton. Photo: Submitted

Tatamagouche gallery showcases local talents
Brandt Eisner, curator of the Ice House Gallery in Tatamagouche, is pleased to see visitors returning to the gallery in droves, as it recently kicked off its jam-packed spring/summer exhibition schedule.

“We didn’t have the same restrictions as Halifax (galleries), so we only lost one month being open,” he says. “We were still pretty busy. I’m very surprised to have the response we did, it was fantastic.”

Continuing through June 19, the gallery hosts Spectra, featuring work by Sean Alistair, Joel Brodovsky-Adams, Brian Hotson, Celine Gabrielle, Heather Miller, Alexandrya Eaton, and Nancy Roberts.

Raissa Tetanish reports for the Pictou Advocate.

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