After weeks of travelling around the province on a pre-campaign spending blitz, Premier Iain Rankin triggered an election on Saturday, visiting Lt. Gov. Arthur J. LeBlanc and asking him to dissolve the legislature.

“Voting is an important way for people to help shape the future of their communities,” Rankin says in a press release. “I hope Nova Scotians come out to exercise their democratic right and have their voices heard.”

Nova Scotians will elect their next government on Aug. 17.

Read more in The Pictou Advocate.

Three new COVID-19 cases
Nova Scotia has eight known active cases of COVID-19, with three new cases (all in the Central Zone) and no recoveries reported in the latest government update. Two people are hospitalized in provincial COVID units, including one in ICU.

As of July 18, 73.6% of Nova Scotians have had their first vaccine dose, and 47.9% are fully inoculated. Nationally, 69.5% of Canadians have had one shot, and 49.2% have had both.

Photo: Submitted

Loons in danger
Local volunteers and researchers are trying to get a picture of the health of Southwest Nova Scotia’s loon population, which is under pressure from mercury poisoning and climate change. Nova Scotia Power funds a small part of their work, but otherwise, their project is cash-starved, which hampers their work.

“The project is all very funding-dependent,” says researcher Colin Gray. “There’s always potential for improvement and … funding plays a key role in all of that. I think it’s an important project. People love loons. They’re an icon on the landscape of Canada.”

Kevin McBain reports for LighthouseNow.

Seven hurt, one dead after construction zone crash
Local police are again reminding drivers to obey traffic laws after a driver crashed last week in an Inverness County construction zone, starting a chain reaction that killed an 81-year-old man and hurt seven other people.

“Based on the way the collision occurred, our investigators believe that speed was a factor,” says RCMP spokesman Cpl. Chris Marshall. “However the investigation is ongoing.”

Drake Lowthers has the story for The Reporter.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Halifax Explosion that wasn’t
Around this time 76 years ago, Haligonians were listening nervously to the thunderous booms coming from the navy’s ammunition depot in Bedford, keeping a wary eye on the ominous clouds of black smoke. The Bedford Magazine fire was unfolding, a 36-hour blaze that killed one sailor and had potential to be far worse.

“Everything from small arms ammunition to depth charges, anti-aircraft shells and tons of TNT, filled the reinforced magazines, stacked high on the wharf and piled in the open across the base,” writes historian Bob Gordon. “There were large stockpiles of … a new, volatile and incredibly destructive explosive stored willy-nilly throughout the facility. If these had caught fire, the blast would have dwarfed the 1917 catastrophe.”

Learn more in this Halifax Magazine column, originally published June 2019.

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Halifax Magazine