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TRICOUNTY VANGUARD YEAR IN REVIEW: June 2018

Seven-year-old Lucas Parent was granted his wish of a camping trailer from the Children's Wish Foundation on June 26. TINA COMEAU PHOTO
Seven-year-old Lucas Parent was granted his wish of a camping trailer from the Children's Wish Foundation on June 26. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

A sampling of some of the news from the month.

Police issued fentanyl warning after RCMP, EHS responded to Shelburne incident

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The RCMP issued a warning to the public about the dangers of fentanyl after responding to a 911 call on June 1 at a Shelburne residence, where a person experiencing seizures reportedly admitted to using the drug and/or and presence of the drug was suspected.

Several people, including a young child, were said to have been present at the home. Some were taken to hospital. As the RCMP investigated the incident, it took the opportunity to warn people about the drug.

“Fentanyl is a dangerous and deadly drug that can be mixed with a variety of different things,” said Cpl. Jennifer Clarke of the Nova Scotia RCMP. “Our primary concern is public safety and we want people to ensure they are aware of what may be circulating and to take the necessary precautions or rethink choices they may be about to make.” A person at the Shelburne residence who had experienced seizures was administered Naloxone by an RCMP officer. This person – along with three other people (who said they had used cocaine) – were taken to hospital for further medical attention. Other occupants of the home were examined by EHS for signs of fentanyl exposure and were cleared. A two-year-old child was placed in the care of another family member, the RCMP said in a media release.


The Yarmouth Regional Hospital.
The Yarmouth Regional Hospital.

Yarmouth session was part of review of cancer care services

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A daylong engagement session with 15 stakeholders in Yarmouth was expected to help shape the recommendations in a report that was to go to Nova Scotia’s health minister, a report many people hoped would recommend that radiation services be made available at the Yarmouth Regional Hospital.

“The deliberations, we feel, will carry a lot of weight,” said Dr. Drew Bethune, medical director of the Nova Scotia Health Authority’s Nova Scotia Cancer Care Program. The Yarmouth session was part of a review that was underway of cancer services in western Nova Scotia. While in Yarmouth, Dr. Bethune was asked about potential recommended options. “There will be recommendations looking either at the status quo, putting in a radiation therapy machine here, or a bundle of options that would help to relieve the problems that people have with travel,” he said.


Bangor Sawmill Museum wasn’t planning to open for summer (although it eventually would)

Heading into the 2018 summer tourism season, it looked as if the Bangor Sawmill Museum in Meteghan River wouldn’t be opening because it hadn’t received funding for a summer student. Eventually, private funding would enable the museum to open after all, but, as of mid-June or so, the plan was to keep the museum closed indefinitely.

At issue, the museum’s directors said, was a clause on the funding application in which applicants had to sign saying they supported “the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” including “reproductive rights” and the “right to access safe and legal abortions.” Gerald Comeau, a member of the board that runs the museum, said the museum didn’t want to get involved in an abortion debate.


Bar Harbor remained a consideration for Cat ferry’s future

The Cat ferry started its 2018 sailing season between Yarmouth and Portland, but whether the vessel would still be sailing to Portland in years to come remained to be seen. Having the ferry sail to Bar Harbor was still being considered. Mark MacDonald, president and CEO of Bay Ferries, said there were merits – but different features – both to Portland and to Bar Harbor. He said Portland is closer to the key Boston market, but it’s also a longer trip, resulting in a longer crew day and higher fuel consumption. “We are always trying to identify the best and most efficient way to undertake the ferry service,” MacDonald said. Bay Ferries was in the third year of a 10-year agreement to operate the ferry service for the province.


Group wanted to see ‘real, sincere effort’ to address concerns with health-care system

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The Rural Nova Scotia Health Crisis Working Group was gaining momentum in its efforts to bring attention to the issues facing the health-care system in the province and to push for action to address these issues.

The group, which met in Shelburne June 12, was planning to put pressure on the Nova Scotia government in the fall to improve the health-care system. Among other things, the group was looking to have a provincial day of action on rural health care leading up to the opening of the House of Assembly. Also in the works was as outreach event in Halifax, a social media campaign and a resolution to be presented to the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities.

“We want to see someone making a real, sincere effort to fix the problem,” said Shelburne Mayor Karen Mattatall, chair of the working group. Issues of concern included the ongoing doctor shortage, frequent ER closures and lack of long-term care spaces. Mattatall said they would be contacting municipal units across the province “to try and encourage them to get involved.”


Since the film was made public there have been over 100,000 pages views on the Cape Forchu lighthouse page on novascotiawebcams.com.
Since the film was made public there have been over 100,000 pages views on the Cape Forchu lighthouse page on novascotiawebcams.com.

Lighthouse film production had good economic impact on Yarmouth and area, YASTA said

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The Lighthouse movie, which had wrapped up production in May, had created quite a stir in the Yarmouth area while filming was underway and now figures were out regarding the economic impact of the production.

A media release from the Yarmouth and Acadian Shores Tourism Association said at least 130 local jobs had been created to facilitate the production, generating increased demand for accommodations in the area at a time of year when occupancy was typically low. Cast and crew ate in local restaurants, purchased local goods and services and explored the area, YASTA said. Second only to Halifax, the YASTA region reportedly had an occupancy rate of 66 per cent in April. “The production had a huge impact on our region when we really needed it,” said Neil MacKenzie, YASTA’s executive director.


Opening of trail bridge over Highway 101 in Digby was delayed

Construction again had been delayed on the trail bridge being built over Highway 101 in Digby. The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal had confirmed an issue was identified with the decking of the bridge that would have impacted future maintenance work. Staff were working with the manufacturer to resolve the issue, TIR said. The original cost for the project was set at $1.9 million and there was no additional cost to the province to resolve this new issue, TIR said. The bridge did open in the fall.


New graduates of the Dalhousie family medicine residency program at the south west Nova site cutting the cake after a June 29 event in Yarmouth celebrating their accomplishment. From left: doctors Greg Lee, Tyler d’Entremont, Sean Davis, Iris Kim and Gurleen Dhanoa.
New graduates of the Dalhousie family medicine residency program at the south west Nova site cutting the cake after a June 29 event in Yarmouth celebrating their accomplishment. From left: doctors Greg Lee, Tyler d’Entremont, Sean Davis, Iris Kim and Gurleen Dhanoa.

Members of latest grad class in Dal family medicine residency program were honoured

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The latest graduates of the Dalhousie family medicine residency program at the south west Nova teaching site were honoured during a June 29 ceremony at the Yarmouth Regional Hospital. Three of the five members of the new graduating class were staying in southwestern Nova Scotia, “an incredible recruitment success,” said Dr. Abir Hussein, director of the south west Nova site. Ten of the 15 doctors who had graduated from the program since its launch a few years earlier had chosen to stay in Nova Scotia and seven of them were – and would be – practising in the southwestern part of the province, Dr. Hussein said. Addressing the new doctors, she said, “You will be a significant part of patients’ lives and an important member of so many families.”


FREEBIE: Yarmouth lawyer helps senior fight speeding ticket

Yarmouth lawyer Phil Star couldn’t stand idly by and let a 75-year-old Lunenburg County man forfeit $237 for driving two kilometres over the speed limit.

So Star had decided back in February to fight Milton Rhodenizer’s speeding conviction free of charge. Rhodenizer, a Midville Branch retiree surviving on a fixed income, found out on June 12 that the fine had been quashed thanks to his lawyer’s successful appeal to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. “That’s a relief,” said Rhodenizer. “That’s money that I don’t have to spend. I’m retired and on a fixed income. You don’t have that kind of money just laying around to give them fellas.”


Seven-year-old Lucas Parent was granted his wish of a camping trailer from the Children's Wish Foundation on June 26. TINA COMEAU PHOTO
Seven-year-old Lucas Parent was granted his wish of a camping trailer from the Children's Wish Foundation on June 26. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Here’s your camper!

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Seven-year-old Lucas Parent of Yarmouth – who has spent his life in and out of hospital – knew he had wished for a camping trailer. But when he arrived at Castle Lake Campground on June 26 he didn’t know his wish was about to come true.

The little boy ran to Jacob Rafuse, the Atlantic co-ordinator of the Children’s Wish Foundation, who scooped Lucas up in a big hug. “This is your camping trailer!” said an excited Rafuse.

The innocence of a little boy being taken by surprise shone through as Lucas looked at everyone who had gathered. “What?” he said, needing to hear the words one more time. Then, as the surprise sank in, he excitedly ran to the camper to explore inside. “I didn’t know this was going to happen,” he told his mom April Parent. Asked why he asked for a camper for his wish he said simply, “because it looked like fun.”

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