Doctor doubted Desmond would get firearms approval, signed off anyway
By Katherine Murphy

GUYSBOROUGH – In the comment section of Cpl. Lionel Desmond’s application to have his firearms licence reinstated, Dr. Paul Smith wrote: “not suicidal, stable,” adding he had no concerns about the former soldier, who suffered from PTSD, obtaining a firearm. As previously reported, Desmond applied for the reinstatement of his licence following the seizure of his rifles in November of 2015.

Local MP voices misgivings about Cochrane Hill gold mine
By Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

SHERBROOKE – Deploying some of the strongest language yet by a public official, Central Nova Member of Parliament Sean Fraser says he has “serious reservations” about the proposed Cochrane Hill gold mining project near Sherbrooke and that when it comes to protected spaces “we have to grow a backbone.”

Also in this edition...

Our editorial swims into friendly waters thanks to the Whale Sanctuary Project announcement and how it effectively satisfies all parties involved. Murphy's Law lets off some steam by tossing an iron in the fire, so to speak. Our coverage of the Desmond Fatality Inquiry continues. Additional articles include: St. Mary’s district won’t cut council reps; Report shows poverty increasing in N.S., but stats may mask 'true reality' on Eastern Shore; Robotics Club opens door to opportunity in Canso; and more. Plus don't miss photos from local curling and skating events as well as our our new "GOALS: Weekly Update" photo feature. Keep in touch with your community by grabbing a copy of your Guysborough Journal today!

Three new nurses coming to Canso
Ambitious recruiting campaign pays off

By Helen Murphy

CANSO – Nine months after the nighttime closure of Eastern Memorial Hospital’s ER brought the community together to help find solutions to the nursing shortage behind the closure, there is hope on the horizon. The efforts of the Canso Stakeholders Group leading the local effort, in collaboration with the Nova Scotia Health Authority, are paying off, with three new Registered Nurses and their families – including school-age children – moving into the community this spring.

Major river groups join forces to fight Cochrane Hill mine
By Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

SHERBROOKE – With rare footage of wild Atlantic salmon spawning just metres from the site of a planned gold mine on the upper St. Mary’s River, three conservation groups in Nova Scotia have joined forces for the first time to send a clear message to industry and government, alike: The fish are here to stay, and so are they.

Antigonish therapist was kept in the dark about assessment of Lionel Desmond
By Katherine Murphy

GUYSBOROUGH – The federal Department of Veterans Affairs had crucial information about Cpl. Lionel Desmond’s mental health that it did not share with those involved in the former soldier’s treatment for PTSD in N.S. That troubling revelation was shared at the Desmond Fatality Inquiry in Guysborough on Thursday, Feb. 13.

Guysborough County on the critical list, according to new Vital Signs report
By Lois Ann Dort

Last week the Strait Region Vital Signs report, an initiative of the Strait Region Society for Children, Youth and Families, supported by the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia, was released and the overall assessment for Guysborough County is far from positive. The report was developed through conversations across the Quad Counties and statistics gathered from the 2016 census that focus on children, youth and families across the region. A press release announcing the launch of the report, states that it “presents a call to action for the community on a number of fronts: Community Belonging, Economy/Employment, Housing, Food Security/Health Eating, Transportation/Communication, Health, and Growth/Development.”

Desmond Fatality Inquiry

Psychiatrist testifies on gaps in service, domestic conflicts
By Katherine Murphy

GUYSBOROUGH – As the Desmond Fatality Inquiry continued Monday in Guysborough, St. Martha's Hospital Psychiatrist Dr. Ian Slayter described apparent gaps in service when it came to the continued treatment of Cpl. Lionel Desmond after the former soldier left an Operational Stress Injuries (OSI) treatment centre in Montreal in August, 2016.

Community group working to address doctor shortage at ESMH
Concern over frequent ER closures

By Janice Christie, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

SHEET HARBOUR – Physician shortages are a reality across rural Nova Scotia and have had a big impact at Eastern Shore Memorial Hospital in Sheet Harbour, in particular with frequent emergency department closures. Growing concerns and frustrations have sparked the formation of a community organization that hopes to help address the doctor shortage.

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