Concerns continue to mount over the reduction of services at the Northside General Hospital as the District Health Authority announced more Emergency Department closures, yesterday. The District says the Emergency Department at the Northside General will be closed overnight beginning on Sunday and throughout the month of December. It adds the 3PM to 8AM closures will continue until at least early January because of a shortage and doctors to cover the shifts. A new group call the Friends of the Northside General Hospital is calling for a public meeting with provincial Health Minister Leo Glavine. Northside-Westmount Tory MLA Eddie Orrell says he expects that will happen sometime in the coming weeks. The Emergency Department at the Northside General remains closed this morning as efforts to clean up after a water pipe break, continue. The Health Authority has also announced scheduled Emergency Department closures for the New Waterford Consolidated Hospital. It says the Collaborative Emergency Centre there will be closed every Monday in December. It adds that situation will also continue until at least early January.
Only 30 people came out for last night’s all-candidates debate for the bye-election in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Lee McNeil, Darrell Flynn and Alfie Maclean are running to fill the District 10 seat left vacant when Darren Bruckschwagier resigned. The event at Oceanview Education Centre in Glace Bay was organized by the CBC and the Cape Breton Post. The candidates took questions from the small crowd on everything from recreation and the loss of services to how to improve the local economy without raising taxes. Voters in District 10 will also choose a new school board representative in the bye-election after Darrell Flynn resigned from the post to run for the Council seat. People can cast ballots in advance polls either online or by phone. Those who prefer the traditional paper ballot can vote on Election Day, Saturday, December 6th.
Election Officials in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality have released turnout results from the first day of advance voting to fill Council and School Board seats in District 10. They say 335 people cast ballots online or by phone, yesterday. They add that represents about 4.6 percent of eligible voters. The Returning Office says the Voter Help Desk and the Clerk’s Office have taken a number of calls from people looking for help with electronic voting. It adds most were easily accommodated with minimal assistance. The Returning Office plans to release a daily total of those who cast their ballots in the advance online and telephone polls. People who would like to vote using traditional paper ballots can mark their X between 8:00 in the morning and 7:00 at night on election day, Saturday, September 6th.
The Emergency Department at the Northside General Hospital in North Sydney remains closed until further notice because of a broken water pipe. The Cape Breton District Health Authority says repairs and cleanup are currently underway at the hospital. Meanwhile, an announcement on more closures at the Northside Emergency Department is expected today. District spokesperson Erin Forsey says there will be a series of closures next month because of a shortage of nurses. The district’s Northside Family Physicians representative, Dr. Bernie MacInstosh says he was told the Emergency Department will be closed every night in December.
The defence will continue to cross-examine the Crown’s key witness at the second-degree murder trial of Joseph James Landry in Port Hawkesbury, today. 67 year-old Landry is the first of four people to go to trial in the death of 43-year Phillip Boudreau. The Crown says Boudreau died after a violent altercation with the crew on the Twin Maggies fishing boat in June of last year. Yesterday, Twin Maggies deck hand Craig Landry, who is a third cousin of the accused, gave his version of events on that morning. Landry says the Twin Maggies came across Boudreau and thought he was tampering with their lobster traps. Landry went on to say the accused shot at Boudreau’s boat with a shot gun and injured Boudreau in the leg. He adds Boudreau’s boat was rammed by the Twin Maggies and he was then dragged out to sea where the accused tied an anchor to Boudreau and dropped him overboard. Boudreau’s body has never been found.
Regional Police say charges are pending against a 28-year old New Waterford man who was nearly hit by a train while driving his motorcycle on the tracks, yesterday. The man says his dirt bike got stuck in the tracks as he trying to escape an approaching train near Emerald Street in New Waterford just before 3:00 in the afternoon. He then dropped the bike and ran as the train went on to hit it. Regional Police say the man was very lucky to escape uninjured. Police spokesperson Desiree Vassallo says it’s against the law to be on the train tracks and charges are in the works.
Cape Breton has one of the highest child poverty rates in the country, according to figures released today. The numbers show that just under 33 percent of children on the Island live in poverty compared with 22.2 per cent on the Mainland and19 per cent across the country. Cape Breton’s child poverty rate is just below Nunavut, where 33.5 per cent of kids live in poverty. The figures are contained in child and family poverty reports released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Campaign 2000. The reports compare the most recent numbers on child poverty rates from 2012 with those in 1989, when the House of Commons vowed to eliminate child poverty by the year 2000. The reports show child poverty rates in the province have increased by nearly 23 percent in that 25 year period.
The second degree murder trial of Joseph James Landry resumes in Port Hawkesbury court, today, after a break in the proceedings since last Tuesday. 67 year-old Landry is the first of four people to go to trial in the death of 43-year Phillip Boudreau. The Crown says Boudreau died after a violent altercation with the crew on the Twin Maggies fishing boat in June of last year. The trial will continue today without the jury present for a hearing on the admissibility of evidence. The Crown is expected to call its key witness, Twin Maggies deck hand Craig Landry to testify, this week. Landry was originally also facing a count of second degree murder in the case but had the charge downgraded to being an accessory after changing his statement to police.
Regional Police are still looking for the driver of a motorcycle who they say was involved in a hit and run collision on Reserve Street in Glace Bay on Thursday evening. Police say they got a call at around 5:00 that a Suzuki motorcycle rear-ended a Chevy Trailblazer near the intersection of Daniel Drive. They add the motorcycle rider fled the scene on foot, in the direction of Daniel Drive. Police searched the area, but couldn’t find the man. They say both the motorcycle and vehicle suffered some damage in the collision, but no there were no injuries. Police have seized the motorcycle and are continuing to investigate.
The Cape Breton District Health Authority is limiting visits to several units at the Regional Hospital and one unit at the Glace Bay Hospital. The district says that the restrictions are being introduced because of several confirmed cases of respiratory viral illnesses among patients at the pediatric unit at the Regional. The restrictions cover Neonatal, Obstetrics, the Mother/Baby and Pediatric Units at the Regional Hospital and the Obstetrics Unit at the Glace Bay Hospital. Only parents or grandparents without colds can visit the units. The District adds there’s been an increase in respiratory illness in the community, and expects more cases with the arrival of flu season.