As of yesterday (Oct. 15), Nova Scotia has three known cases of COVID-19, including one person hospitalized in ICU, according to the latest government update. Thus far, the province has had 102,918 negative test results, 1,092 positive COVID-19 cases, and 65 deaths.

Nationally, Canada currently has 20,543 known cases, including 8,491 in Quebec, 5,883 in Ontario, 2,738 in Alberta, and 89 in New Brunswick.

COVID Alert App now available
Nova Scotians can now get COVID-19 exposure alerts via their smartphones with Health Canada’s free COVID Alert App.

“I would encourage Nova Scotians… [to] use COVID Alert as one measure to prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our province,” says Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, in a press release.

The app uses Bluetooth to connect with nearby phones that also have the app. Users who test positive for COVID-19 will get a unique code from Nova Scotia Health Authority to enter in the app. Any other user whose phone was within two metres of the infected person’s phone for 15 minutes will get a notification that they may have been exposed to COVID-19, along with information on symptoms, self-assessment, and next steps.

The government promises that COVID Alert doesn’t collect personal or health information or track the location, name, or contacts of users.

Chief Mike Sack

Chief Mike Sack responds to Justin Trudeau
Yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finally addressed (sort of —T.J.A.) the escalating attacks by large groups of white people on First Nations fishers in Southwestern Nova Scotia.

“The acts of violence and intimidation committed in Digby County… are unacceptable,” he tweeted, following a similarly-phrased statement from fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan. “We cannot continue down this path. We must work together to advance reconciliation and implement First Nation treaty rights.”

Neither Trudeau nor Jordan offered any specific steps to restore peace and lawfulness to the area or protect First Nations rights.

“First Nations people have survived generations of systemic and institutionalized racism and while we have seen glimpses of the much-promised truth and reconciliation, from what we have seen these past few days, you have much further to go than perhaps even you were aware,” responded Sipekne’katik First Nation Chief Mike Sack in a press release. 

He adds that since RCMP are either unable or unwilling to stop the attacks, the community will pursue other legal options. “Sipekne’katik intends to seek civil remedies against individuals and entities that have infringed against our constitutionally protected rights,” he says. “The willful inaction by our law enforcement in the face of criminal actions against our people, any person is unacceptable.”

Striped bass of the Shubenacadie River. Photo: Sean Landsman
Striped bass in the Shubenacadie River. Photo: Sean Landsman

Nova Scotian lakes and rivers in peril
The more diverse an ecosystem is, the more resilient it is—better able to survive and thrive through pollution, erratic weather, climate change, and the encroachment of invasive species. And that’s why many Nova Scotian lakes and rivers are in grave danger.

“While our protected forests and shorelines and coastal waters are veritable zoos, our freshwater ecosystems are remarkably simple, even when compared to nearby New Brunswick,” explains Zack Metcalfe. “The variety of fish we host in our shallow lakes and rivers is naturally sparse, and therefore naturally vulnerable to human hazards. If any aspect of our natural heritage was in need of gentle and cautious treatment, it’s this.”

As he explains, Nova Scotia’s freshwater treasures aren’t currently getting that gentle treatment, but it’s not too late. Learn what’s happening and how you can help save them in this Halifax Magazine column from May 2019.

Mélanie Joly. Photo: Bernard Thibodeau

Canso Seafoods expanding
Canso Seafoods, one of the Eastern Shore’s largest employers, is getting a $900,000 loan from the federal government to upgrade its plant and buy new equipment.

“By implementing new technology, rural-based food producers can take advantage of emerging opportunities in the food industry, boost innovation, compete internationally and modernize the sustainability of ocean resources,” says Mélanie Joly, the minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. Jake Boudrot has the story for The Reporter.

Queens County Fair continues for 140th year
Despite the pandemic, the historic Queens County Fair recently marked its 140th anniversary. Organizers scaled down this year’s edition, with only 250 people allowed in the Caledonia fair grounds, but the popular ox and horse pull events proceeded as usual.

“It was a lot of work to get set up to go, but it was well worth it,” says manager Doreen Holdright. “It went really well and we had nothing but good reports from all of our competitors.” Kevin Mcbain reports for LighthouseNow.

Trenton man faces child porn charges
A 10-month police investigation has ended with a 24-year-old Trenton man facing charges of making and possessing child pornography. He’s been released under “strict conditions” as he awaits a court date. Police say the investigation is ongoing. The Pictou Advocate has the story.

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