Roundup: Ukraine-support group nominated for award, experts urge COVID ‘vigilance,’ potential South Shore airport buyer backs out, Fraser touts lofty immigration goal

As the Russian war on his country continues, Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged people worldwide to rally in support of Ukraine. Photo: Ukrainian Presidential Press Office

Plus: Cooling, not freezing — how stubborn inflation and soaring interest rates are affecting the local housing market

A Port Hawkesbury community group that helps refugees from war-ravaged Ukraine has been nominated for the YMCA Peace Medal.

Strait2Ukraine formed in May and was raising funds by June.

“You have gone above and beyond as members of the community,” say YMCA officials announcing the nomination. “You have demonstrated what it looks like when like-minded community members, from various diverse backgrounds, come together with a vision … You have broken down financial barriers to get the necessities for them to start their life and lives in our province.”

So far, the group has raised about $31,000.

Jake Boudrot has more for the Reporter.

Housing market cools
After peaking at $600,000+ in April, the average price of a house in Halifax is back down below $500,000. But observers think the city will remain a sellers’ market, with homes retaining much of their value, and likely gaining over the long term. 

“I don’t see a crash coming or any weird adjustment,” says Jenna Ross, a property manager who started investing in rental properties with her husband a decade ago. “I think we’re just beginning. We’re the next big city that’s still affordable and very attractive to people.” 

Janet Whitman has the latest in the new issue of Unravel Halifax.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

COVID danger remains
As we prepare to enter our third pandemic winter, the World Health Organization reminds people that COVID-19 remains a major hazard.

“The most severe health crisis in a century has taken six million lives and trillions of dollars in severely disrupted trade, tourism, business, education, geopolitics, and much more,” says WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a recent speech. “We have come a very long way in our collective fight against COVID-19, but the pandemic is not yet behind us. WHO continues to urge all countries to remain vigilant.”

WHO reports 161,749 confirmed new COVID cases around the globe in the last 24 hours. So far, the disease is known to have killed at least 6,592,320 people, including 47,118 in Canada and 617 Nova Scotians.

Potential South Shore airport buyer backs out
The Region of Queens Municipality’s dreams of a financial windfall have crashed and burned, with Germany’s Liemke Ventures Inc. pulling out of a deal to buy the South Shore Airport in Greenfield.

Liemke management recently discovered that the municipality approved construction of two wind farms near the airport. Nav Canada, the operator of the country’s civil aviation system, says those developments would have a “significant safety impact” on Liemke’s commercial plans for the site.

“Liemke management is irritated (about) why these windmill projects have not been communicated during the acquisition pre-phase,” says an email from company officials. “Taking the Nav Canada decision in deeper consideration leads to a clear and strong signal … not to invest in the airfield infrastructure.”

Kevin McBain reports for LighthouseNow.

Central Nova MP Sean Fraser. Photo: Pictou Advocate file

Fraser touts lofty immigration goal
With the Trudeau government aiming to dramatically increase the number of people settling in Canada, Central Nova MP and immigration minister Sean Fraser knows his department has a lot of work to do.

“We are going to be scaling it up more,” he says. “We’re on our way to welcoming 400,000 immigrants by 2023.”

He adds that Atlantic Canada has already tripled its share of immigrants in recent years, and the new “express entry system” for people with in-demand skills may help ease the labour crunch: “We will have the ability for the first time to bring more skilled workers here.”

Steve Goodwin reports for the Pictou Advocate.

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