With 787 known active cases, Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 tally is at its lowest level in almost a month.

Yesterday, the provincial government reported 37 new cases and 94 recoveries. There are 72 people hospitalized, including 19 in ICU. As of May 25, health care workers have dispensed 521,053 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, with 42,205 Nova Scotians getting the second dose that completes inoculation.

“Nova Scotians are eager to get back to doing the things they love,” Premier Iain Rankin says in a press release. “The quickest way to do this is by following the public health measures, getting tested regularly, and booking your COVID-19 vaccine appointment when it is your turn.”

Patricia Arab

Government eases alcohol regulations
Fourteen months after the pandemic began, the Rankin government is making changes to Liquor Licensing Regulations to allow bars and restaurants to include cocktails and mixed drinks in delivery and take-out orders as long as the State of Emergency is in effect.

“These changes respond to what we have heard from the restaurant, bar, and tourism sectors,” announces Service Nova Scotia minister Patricia Arab. “These changes reduce red tape and support all of our licensed establishments … These changes retain rules and oversight that support the responsible use and serving of alcohol.”

Restaurateurs, many of whom have been calling for the change since the first lockdown, welcome the news.

We are just flattered to be heard and responded to,” Matt Boyle, co-owner of Dear Friend and The Clever Barkeep in Dartmouth, says in the government press release. “This is going to be a lifeline for a lot of us. The more … we can sell, the longer we can stay afloat.”

Pictou County school moving again
The historic Loch Broom schoolhouse is set to move for the third time in the historic building’s history. Currently, it’s attached to the Lighthouse Mennonite Church, but needs to relocate to allow for improvements to that building.

The plan is for it to go to a spot near its original location, and be renovated into a home.

“I think it’s tremendous that it’s still going to serve a useful purpose,” says Sterling Corkum, who once attended the one-room school. “It has a lot of historical significance to the area—not just people who live here, but all the students who went through the school.”

Steve Goodwin reports for The Pictou Advocate.

Kim Adair-MacPherson

Auditor General questions NSLC
Kim Adair-MacPherson, the new Auditor General of Nova Scotia, has concerns about how Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation management make decisions and ensure accountability.

“Decisions around what alcohol products to sell, the price charged, where to place them in the store, and participation in promotional programs are not supported by clear processes,” says a recent report from her office. “Improved documentation and retention of support for decision-making required.” Without that paper trail, there are “elevated organizational risks,” adds the report.

“For a corporation the size of NSLC, with more than $725 million in annual sales, we expected to find established processes and well documented policies to ensure important product management decisions are made and supported in a consistent manner,” Adair-MacPherson says in a press release.

In this recent Halifax Magazine article by Janet Whitman, the Auditor General talks about her role and her recent move to Nova Scotia.

Richmond budget spat simmers
Richmond Municipal Council is meeting again tonight in an attempt to hammer out the county’s budget, after councillors voted down the first proposal earlier this week.

“I know several councillors have expressed a desire to have another look at the details given that we could be facing a tax rate increase, as well as an extended, potential change in tax revenue,” says Richmond Warden Amanda Mombourquette. “Although we had consensus in our last budget deliberation workshop … I recognize that the situation is evolving and we’re well within our rights to give ourselves some room for sober second thought.”

See Jake Boudrot’s story in The Reporter.

Jordyn Duffney

Prestigious award for Liverpool students
Liverpool students Ella Stevens and Jordyn Duffney, both in Grade 12, have earned gold awards through the Queens County Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program.

It took them hundreds of hours of work to go through the three levels of the international program, which challenges students in areas such as academic skills, physical activity, and volunteerism.

Duffney plans to study kinesiology at Acadia University in the fall. “The program has definitely helped me to become more rounded because of the different skills that we had to use,” she says. “It has also helped me to become more creative in coming up with ways to volunteer and help others.”

Kevin McBain has more for LighthouseNow.

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Halifax Magazine