Premier Iain Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, reported yesterday that COVID-19 has killed two more Nova Scotians: a woman in her 50s and a man in his 70s, both in the Central Zone.

The disease has killed 69 Nova Scotians since the pandemic began.

They’re also reporting 153 new cases (139 in the Central Zone), raising the known active case total to 1,060 for the province, but there are likely more uncounted cases.

“Due to the volume of testing in the province, the Nova Scotia Health Authority lab is experiencing a backlog,” says the press release. “There is also a delay in public health’s case data entry.” Strang says workers have now cleared the backlog, and results will again be tallied within 48 hours of testing.

There are 37 people hospitalized in Nova Scotia with COVID, including eight in ICU.

The government says that as of May 3, health-care workers have dispensed 325,218 doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the province, with 36,687 Nova Scotians getting the second dose that completes inoculation.

Labi Kousoulis. Photo: CNS

Government spending $12 million on small business
Yesterday, the Rankin government announced plans to spend about $12 million to support Nova Scotian businesses hit hard by the pandemic and public health rules.

The announcement includes one new program and two previously offered, with rebates for businesses like restaurants, spas, hotels, gyms, and hair salons.

“We are moving to help because we recognize these necessary additional public health protocols are difficult for many businesses,” economic growth minister Labi Kousoulis says in a press release. “This most recent shutdown is important to stopping the spread of the virus so our businesses can reopen safely as quickly as possible.”

Remembering Donald Cameron
Political insiders are sharing memories of Donald Cameron, the 22nd premier of Nova Scotia (February 1991 to May 1993) who died on Monday at age 74.

“Donald Cameron leaves behind a remarkable legacy,” says former premier John Hamm. “He was committed to public life. He was a successful farmer and he was a successful politician. And that Scottish stubbornness of commitment to make things better.”

Raissa Tetanish has more for The Pictou Advocate.

Sylvia Wedderburn

Sylvia Wedderburn’s lasting legacy
On International Human Rights Day in 2017, Sylvia Wedderburn was hailed as a “champion among champions,” celebrated for her quiet contributions to the medical profession and the formation of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.

Dorothy Grant has known Wedderburn for many years, seeing firsthand how she devoted her life to serving Nova Scotians through her work as a head nurse and the only Black female manager in the hospitals in Halifax and Dartmouth.

In this Halifax Magazine story, first published in March 2020, Grant looks back at her friend’s journey from Harlem to Halifax, and how she helped transform her new home.

Bridgewater taxes spike
People who pay property taxes in Bridgewater are bracing themselves for the town’s biggest tax hike since 2013.

The municipal government recently approved a 10-cent-per-$100 of assessment spike, citing pandemic-related financial pressures, federally-mandated sewer spending, and highway construction.

“It’s a shame that we’ve had to increase the tax rate but at the same time shame on us, shame on me,” says deputy mayor Andrew Tanner. “We should have increased the tax rate minor increments over the last several years and that would have eased this, perhaps, pain a little bit for people.”

Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

Strait area crime wave
RCMP in the Canso Strait area say they’re investigating multiple thefts and property crimes in recent days, including a break-in at the Canadian Tire gas station in Port Hastings on May 4, a car theft on May 2 and a trailer theft on May 1 in Antigonish, and the theft of catalytic convertors from two vans in Port Hawkesbury on April 26.

Jake Boudrot has details for The Reporter.

Need to know
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Halifax Magazine