Nova Scotia enters Phase 1 of the government’s five-step reopening plan today, which reopens restaurant patios and most businesses—with pandemic precautions—and allows Nova Scotians to travel anywhere in the province. (Follow this link for details on what’s now permitted).

“I’m pleased to see our cases trending downward and Nova Scotians should be proud of their efforts,” Premier Iain Rankin says in a press release. “But just because we are seeing fewer cases does not mean we can disregard the public health measures. We are in a good position as we enter Phase 1 of our reopening plan.”

Nova Scotia currently has 369 known active cases of COVID-19, with 12 new cases (eight in the Central Zone) and 91 recoveries reported in the latest government update).

So far, the pandemic has killed 85 Nova Scotians and 25,566 people across Canada.

Health-care workers have dispensed 588,991 doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the province; 43,561 Nova Scotians have gotten the second dose that completes inoculation.

Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, are scheduled to webcast an update today at 3 p.m.

Photo: CNS

N.S. again using AstraZeneca
Nova Scotia has resumed using the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, but for second doses only, the government announced in a press release yesterday. The move follows an update to the National Advisory Committee on Immunization‘s guidelines on mixing COVID-19 vaccines.

“I am pleased we are able to provide some certainty for Nova Scotians who have been waiting on a decision regarding their second dose,” Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, says in the press release. “Anyone who has received their first dose of AstraZeneca can now receive their second dose with the AstraZeneca, Pfizer, or Moderna vaccine.”

The government announcement didn’t include any information that would help people who received the AstraZeneca shot figure out which second dose is right for them.

As part of the province’s plan to reduce the second-dose interval, anyone who received a first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine should soon get a notice by email to reschedule their second dose appointment.

Nasha Nijhawan

Civil-rights groups fight anti-protest injunction
Last month, the Rankin government obtained an injunction from the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, giving police broad powers to enforce public health rules and shut down protests.

Halifax lawyer Nasha Nijhawan is working with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association to challenge the injunction, which she says is too far-reaching, with potential for abuse.

“It’s dangerous to ignore oversteps of government power just because you agree with what they are doing, or that their purpose is sound,” she explains. “Governments can change, different ideas can take hold … We have to fight for everyone’s Charter rights, not just the people we agree with.”

Janet Whitman reports for Halifax Magazine.

Pictou crash leads to attempted murder charge
Police have charged a 30-year-old man from Pictou with attempted murder, plus a slew of other charges, following a motor-vehicle crash on Elm Drive around 2:50 p.m. on May 29.

Police say the driver of the vehicle was trying to hit a person on the house’s front porch. The victim escaped with minor injuries and a passenger in the car sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The driver fled the scene. Police tracked him down after getting reports of a man running naked through the woods, then breaking into a Wallis Drive house and stealing a blanket.

Patrick Jordan Anthony McClellan remains in custody and is scheduled to appear in Pictou Provincial Court on June 3 to answer charges of attempted murder, dangerous operation of a conveyance, break and enter, theft, uttering threats, public nudity, and committing an indecent act.

The Pictou Advocate reports.

Queens County woman loses home in fire
A woman from Harmony Mills has lost her home and everything she owns after a May 15 fire. “When we arrived on scene there was heavy fire at the entrance of the structure coming out of the windows,” says North Queens Fire Chief Chris Wolfe. “It spread rapidly throughout the home.”

About 50 firefighters from four departments responded to the blaze, staying on site for about four hours.

Kevin McBain reports for LighthouseNow.

Richmond explores wind farm
Richmond Municipal Council is looking for more information about a proposal by Brezo Energy Inc. to build an offshore wind farm in the area. A presentation touting the project has intrigued local politicians, but they say they need more details before throwing their support behind it.

Councillor Brent Sampson wonders how the project would affect the fishing industry.

“That’s where the impact is going to be felt,” he says. “It sounds like a great, positive project. But we probably want to do a bit of due diligence before we jump forward.”

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Halifax Magazine