Today, as Nova Scotia begins Phase 4 of the pandemic reopening plan, the province has 31 known active cases of COVID-19, with one new case (in the Western Zone) and five recoveries reported in yesterday’s update. Two people are hospitalized in provincial COVID units, including one in ICU.

“We are one step closer to living normally with COVID-19,” Premier Iain Rankin says in a press release. “In order for us to further ease restrictions and start to live more freely, we need everyone to get their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.”

As of July 13, 73.2% of Nova Scotians have had at least one dose, and 42.3% have had both. Across the country, 69.0% of Canadians have had one dose, and 44.9% are full vaccinated.

Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang are scheduled to webcast an update today at 3 p.m.

Laurie Boucher. Photo: Submitted

Antigonish gets greener
The municipal, provincial, and federal governments are combining to spend $5.4 million to develop solar-energy facilities at three locations in the Antigonish area, as the community works towards its goal of being Canada’s first “net zero” community. (Meaning: produce enough green energy to offset local carbon-dioxide emissions.)

“This project … creates an opportunity for local residents to become stewards of the environment in ways that are accessible and affordable,” Mayor Laurie Boucher says. “We want to be a blueprint for other municipalities to be able to do very similar things, we’re fortunate to be able to own our electric utility, there are ways other municipalities can do it as well.”

Drake Lowthers has details for The Reporter.

The elusive coast
Nova Scotia has about 13,300 kilometres of coastline but, as canoeists and kayakers can attest, it’s not always easy to access. That’s why guide Sheena Mason, from Queens County, has been working for many years with Canoe Kayak Nova Scotia to create and update directories of launch sites and paddling routes around the province.

This year, she’s been roaming along the South Shore between Lunenburg and Halifax. “It’s been quite a project going up and down every dirt road,” she says. “Some [launch sites] disappear, some new ones are created, so the information needs to be updated.”

Kevin McBain reports for LighthouseNow.

Police arrest Pictou County arson suspect
After a string of suspicious fires in the area, a 41-year-old New Glasgow woman faces nine counts of arson.

New Glasgow Regional Police arrested the woman at her Stewart Street home on July 10 while conducting a search warrant in relation to arson investigations. She’s facing seven counts of arson, two counts of arson with disregard to human life, and three counts of mischief.

Police say the charges come from 10 separate incidents between Jan. 5 and July 7, involving five vacant residences, two occupied homes, one business, and three cases involving property.

 The woman remains in custody and is scheduled to appear in provincial court in Pictou on July 12.

The Pictou Advocate has the story.

Photo: Albert Lee

Local History: Halifax’s Chinese community
At the end of the Second World War, acclaimed photographer Albert Lee captured this photo. And there’s far more to it than meets the eye.

Among its secrets, it reveals the multi-generational impact of systemic racism against the Chinese immigrants who helped build this country, and the effects of immigration policy that prevented their families from joining them.

That policy’s legacy includes dozens of children who grew up without knowing their fathers, and all-but-forgotten-today links between the Chinese community and Nova Scotia’s Acadian villages.

In her latest Local History post for Halifax Magazine, Dorothy Grant examines the photo and Lee’s insights into its significance.

Need to know
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Halifax Magazine