Tantramar Report: TRHS student takes on school dress code; NB responds to COVID surge with new restrictions; local federal candidates forum tonight

A young woman standing in front of a sandstone wall.
TRHS student Fiona Brett. Photo: Erica Butler
Erica Butler - CHMA - SackvilleNB | 16-09-2021

On Thursday’s Tantramar Report:

A student who was asked to change her clothes due to a violation of Tantramar Regional High School dress code is speaking out against inconsistent enforcement of the rule, and the need to update or eliminate the policy. Grade 12 TRHS student Fiona Brett dropped by CHMA studios to talk about her dress code violation, and what it’s inspired her to do.

Tonight at 6pm, CHMA listeners can tune it to hear from some local federal election candidates. The Mount Allison Students’ Union is hosting a forum featuring four of the six candidates in the Beauséjour riding. Listeners will hear from the NDP’s Evelyne Godfrey, Liberal Dominic LeBlanc, Green Party candidate Stella Anna Girouard, and Shelly Mitchell from the PC party. The forum will be moderated by Mount Allison political science professor Dr. Mario Levesque, and cover topics including Covid-19 recovery, digital infrastructure, climate change, Truth and Reconciliation, affordability, health care, accessibility, and leadership.

Tomorrow is a national Nurses’ Day of Action, with demonstrations organized across the country aiming to spread awareness about the nursing shortage and poor working conditions for nurses. The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions says the shortage of nurses—currently causing ER closures in Sackville and elsewhere in Canada—has been a chronic problem building for the past 10 years. They say nurses and health care staff are, “overworked, underpaid, burnt out, and suffering moral distress because there are not enough staff to provide the care patients deserve.” Federation president Linda Silas says she hopes “the public will show their support for nurses on the day of action.” In the southeast, Moncton area locals of the New Brunswick Nurses’ Union will gather from 12pm to 1pm on Friday, in front of the TD Bank at Champlain Mall. There’s no word yet on whether an action in Sackville will take place.

The tone changed dramatically at Wednesday’s COVID-19 briefing, as Chief Medical Officer of Health Jennifer Russell delivered news of another death, increased hospitalizations, and a continuing surge in new cases. Russell said New Brunswick was facing a grave threat, and announced the highest daily case count since the beginning of the pandemic: 63 new cases. She said the province is on a trajectory to see 100 new cases per day. There were 18 new cases in Zone 1 announced Wednesday, and there are now 97 active cases in the Moncton region health zone.

Premier Blaine Higgs was also on hand Wednesday to deliver news of the government’s response to the surge: a ‘vaccine passport’ system that will come into effect next Wednesday, September 22nd, and a return of travel registration for those entering New Brunswick. Higgs said proof of vaccination and government issued ID will be required to access a long list of non-essential events, services and businesses, including indoor and outdoor dining, movie theatres, gyms and recreation facilities, weddings, and organized sports. Higgs said that while border checkpoints will not yet return, Public Safety officer will do spot checks for compliance. In order to set up interprovincial checkpoints, the province would need to bring back an emergency order, which Higgs has ruled out for now. Further details on the travel registration program are not yet available.

We also take a moment on today’s Tantramar Report to say goodbye and thanks to a colleague who is headed off for new adventures. For just over a year now, Meg Cunningham has been doing the work of telling local stories, and getting local voices on the air here at CHMA. She’s helped build the CHMA news department, and our flagship show, the Tantramar Report. We’ll miss her, and her keen sense of justice, her respectful treatment of difficult issues, and her curiosity in all things food and art. Thanks, Meg! We appreciate all you’ve done, and wish you luck in the future.