Roundup: Vax update, eastern N.S. storm cleanup continues, new Pictou gig for former Trade Centre boss, South Shore man donates $130K to fire department

Guest star Jully Black (left) and Vinessa Antoine in Diggstown. Photo: Submitted

Plus: Building a beachhead — Floyd Kane didn’t see Black Nova Scotians on the screen or behind the cameras. With his hit TV show Diggstown, he’s changing all that

Yesterday, the provincial government released an update on its vaccination mandate, which requires civil servants to have at least one dose by Nov. 30. And the vast majority of them are complying.

“We believe that people who work in these sectors must be vaccinated to protect the people they care for,” said Premier Tim Houston. “Protecting vulnerable Nova Scotians is the most important thing. We will deal with potential impacts to services and staffing levels that may result from people choosing to leave, rather than get a life-saving vaccine. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, it’s not too late. I encourage you to make the right choice.”

The vaccination rates of employees in the health, education and the long-term care sectors included in the COVID-19 vaccination mandate who have reported are:

  • Nova Scotia Health Authority: 95 per cent fully vaccinated (up from 94 per cent on November 16), four per cent partially vaccinated, with 90 per cent reporting (up from 88 per cent),
  • IWK Health Centre: 99 per cent (no change), one per cent partially vaccinated, with 99 per cent reporting (no change),
  • Long-term care: 95 per cent fully vaccinated (up from 93), three per cent partially vaccinated, with 95 per cent reporting (up from 89 per cent),
  • Home care: 95 per cent fully vaccinated (up from 89), four per cent partially vaccinated, with 97 per cent reporting (up from 78 per cent),
  • Education: 97 per cent fully vaccinated (no change), two per cent partially vaccinated, with 90 per cent reporting (up from 75 per cent),
  • Emergency Health Services (EHS): 99 per cent fully vaccinated (no change), one per cent partially vaccinated, with 92 per cent reporting (up from 88 per cent).

Government is including the following workers in in the COVID-19 vaccination mandate update for the first time:

  • Adult day programs (seniors and long-term care): 94 per cent fully vaccinated, no employees partially vaccinated, with 97 per cent reporting,
  • Correctional services: 99 per cent fully vaccinated, one per cent partially vaccinated, with 68 per cent reporting,
  • Community Services (Disability Support Program and Child and Youth Caring Program): 93 per cent fully vaccinated, seven per cent partially vaccinated, with 96 per cent reporting,
  • Daycares: 93 per cent full vaccinated, five per cent partially vaccinated, with 84 per cent of facilities reporting,
  • Hearing and Speech NS: 99 per cent fully vaccinated, no employees partially vaccinated, with 95 per cent reporting.

Under the provincial civil service vaccination directive, all government workers are required to be vaccinated. The vaccination rates among government employees who have reported their status are 97 per cent fully vaccinated, two per cent partially vaccinated, with 93 per cent reporting.

Nova Scotia has 172 known active cases of COVID-19, with 20 new cases and 31 recoveries reported in the latest government update. Eighteen people are hospitalized with the disease, including six in ICU.

Of the new cases, 12 are in the Central Zone, six in the Northern, and two in the Eastern. Health officials say there continues to be “evidence of limited community spread in Halifax and northern Nova Scotia.”

Health officials have added four schools to the exposure list, including Duc d’Anville Elementary in Halifax and Rocky Lake Elementary in Bedford.

Floyd Kane

Building a beachhead
Floyd Kane saw a big problem in the local film and television industry. 

There were few people of colour writing and fewer opportunities for marginalized groups in the industry. He set out to change that, a journey which led him to create the hit legal drama Diggstown, set in Halifax.

“I thought, ‘Oh, we haven’t seen this before,’” he says. “We haven’t seen the lawyers who represent people who don’t have the money to go out and afford a private lawyer. It was really interesting, and that was interesting to me. That’s how the bones of the show started to take shape.”

Ameeta Vohra interviews Kane and the actors who bring Diggstown to life in this new Unravel Halifax feature.

Storm cleanup continues
Canada Post has suspended mail delivery and many roads in the region remain closed, as the cleanup from this week’s record-setting storm continues in eastern Nova Scotia.

“We’re almost in triage now,” says public-works department spokesman Jamie Chisholm. “We’re dealing with the highest priorities first. We have people that are actually isolated because it’s a dead-end road, and the road is washed out, so we’re trying to get to those people first.”

Jake Boudrot has more for The Reporter.

Scott Ferguson

New gig for former Trade Centre boss
Scott Ferguson, the former head of Trade Centre Limited in Halifax (which runs Scotiabank Centre and the Nova Centre), has recently taken on a new role: CEO of the Pictou County Regional Enterprise Network.

He’s meeting with stakeholders to figure out his priorities, and has already identified immigration as a key area, saying rural areas need to recognize there’s a gap and prioritize on it.

“For every 10 people retiring, we only have seven people entering the workforce, and 80 per cent of our immigration flow is to Central Canada, or cities such as Halifax,” he explains. “Every area needs to prioritize immigration.”

Raissa Tetanish has more for The Pictou Advocate.

Big donation for South Shore fire department
A Port Medway man has donated about $130,000 to the community’s fire department.

Sheldon Cohoon, 83, has been donating money to his local fire department for the past several months and he keeps on giving.

In October 2020, Cohoon, a lifelong Port Medway resident, found out that he had inoperable cancer and was given just one or two months to live.

He’s defied that prediction, using his remaining time to support local causes like the South Shore Regional Hospital, Soul’s Harbour, and animal shelters. He says he chose the fire department because he likes “helping out a bit and the fire department serves the whole community. It helps everybody.”

Kevin McBain has the story for LighthouseNow.

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