Editor’s Note: The production deadline for this column preceded the election of a new Liberal party leader on Saturday, February 6th.
I thought I would provide updates on information published in two of my recent South Shore Breaker columns.
Two months ago I wrote about a lovely stray cat that turned up daily on our Dayspring property.
I started feeding them. She reappeared in the morning and at dusk, waiting on the corner of our garage whatever the weather for me to notice her presence and to take out a bowl of food.
Over time, I gained her trust and she allowed me to stroke her head and back while purring.
Because of its black and white markings (like a newspaper), I named it Tely after the Toronto Telegram newspaper, where I began my journalistic career so many years ago.
I would have adopted Tely, but my wife is allergic to cats. I didn’t want this trusting little creature to brave the elements of a harsh winter, so I arranged to take it to the SHAID Tree Animal Shelter. Our emotional bond was strong and I felt that my decision to give up was an act of betrayal.
When I met the SHAID people, led by manager Kelly Inglis, I was relieved. Kelly assured me that soon after her vaccination, Tely would be adopted, treated for parasites, treated with microchips, and neutered.
Every day that it rained, snowed, was windy, or the temperature dropped below zero, I was relieved that Tely was looked after by kind souls in the warm, dry shelter on Mullock Road in Whynott’s Settlement.
Kelly said Tely was neutered and microchiped just before Christmas and is about to be adopted.
“Tely was added to our Facebook page and website as available for adoption and we soon received a number of applications. We went through every application and selected the best home for her – a quiet home with no kids and no other pets – so she could get all the love from her new companion. “
A week after the New Year started, Kelly called to let me know that Tely was finally going to go to her home forever.
“A gentleman named William adopted her on January 8th. You could see pretty well that it was love at first sight. We hope that William will send us updates so we can post them so everyone knows how little Tely is thriving, ”said Kelly.
I was overjoyed with the news. William, if you are reading this, I want you to know that you have adopted a companion’s sweetheart in Tely and I hope the two of you enjoy life happily together.
Many people support SHAID, an acronym for Sheltering Helpless Animals In Distress. I appeal to other generous people to support the great work of the dedicated carers at the shelter.
I have witnessed the care of the staff up close, including keeping young kittens warm and keeping them safe in front of their hoodies, in pockets, or in the crooks of their arms when they go about their duties.
COVID-19 robbed SHAID of its large fundraising campaign last year, so that the operating funds were used up. The shelter needs kitten-specific cat food and senior food, as well as a variety of consumables, including wood pellets for waste, disinfectant wipes and sprays, paper towels, and disposable vinyl gloves.
If you can help please call 902-543-4849 every day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tell them Tely sent you.
FITCH REPORT STILL REGULATED
In December, I wrote two columns detailing how the province sits on a document that Fitch and Company of Missouri gave $ 144,000 to research and report on proposed improvements to Emergency Health Services (EHS) operations, the ambulance and para-medicine supplies, has paid response to the province.
Fitch describes itself as “providing guidance and expertise to help customers provide better and more efficient emergency services, accountability and sustainability”.
The problem is that after two years the report is still on a government shelf. Even members of the provincial health committee did not see a word of the report’s recommendations.
EHS officials and the paramedics union, both of whom contributed to the Fitch trial, neither saw the report nor do they know what might be in it.
It’s about the longstanding complaints that both EHS and paramedics have delays in patient transfers and hospital discharges, that there is a lack of ambulances in rural areas and that paramedics are burned out.
In early December, Michael Nickerson, executive director of the Paramedics Union – the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 727 – wrote an open letter to Nova Scotia Liberal Leadership Candidates Iain Rankin, Labi Kousoulis, and Randy Delorey. He respectfully asked this question, “Will you commit to the full, unedited publication of the Fitch Report?”
I recently contacted Nickerson to see if the candidates responded to his request.
Nickerson said he did not receive an official written response from either of them, but he did attend online Q&A sessions with Rankin and Kousoulis.
“Rankin and his moderators skipped my question and never answered,” Nickerson said.
“Kousoulis answered the question on the grounds that all government reports should be public unless there is a good reason why they are not. Kousoulis said he thought embarrassment was not a sufficient reason, ”added Nickerson.
At the time of this writing, Nickerson has not yet heard a look from former Health Secretary Delorey.
Meanwhile, the paramedics union has launched an online letter campaign urging the provincial government to publish the report.
The template letter is said to be sent by paramedics and supporters to the Prime Minister, Health Secretary, the three Liberal leadership candidates, NDP Leader Gary Burrill, PC Leader Tim Houston, and the five Liberal MLAs on the provincial health committee who oppose the release the government have voted report.
Did I mention, folks, that the Fitch report cost taxpayers $ 144,000? Oh yeah right I did.
Peter Simpson is a seasoned journalist and former CEO who lives in Dayspring. Here’s what I think appears bi-weekly at the South Shore Breaker.