News Digest: April 6-9

News from around the peninsula, as reported by other news outlets.

Boy, 9, dies in Halifax hospital after house fire, mother remains in critical condition (Metro News) 

A nine-year-old boy lost his life Monday morning at the IWK Health Centre due to critical injuries from a house fire. The fire took place on Friday evening in Cape Breton, where police said they found the boy and his 34-year-old mother standing outside the burning home. His mother remains in critical condition and police say the investigation is ongoing.

Shell Canada’s $600K donation to Dalhousie University spurs protest (CBC News)

Students gathered on campus Tuesday to protest Dalhousie University’s relationship with oil and gas companies. The students were rallying against the university’s decision to accept $600,000 from Shell Canada, $100,000 of which will be dedicated to offshore exploration.

 Three-year wage freeze for Nova Scotia MLAs, non-union civil servants (The Chronicle Herald)

Halifax’s provincial government introduced a three-year wage freeze for MLAs and non-unionized government workers Tuesday. It also announced that the public service award would be frozen at current levels and inaccessible for new non-unionized workers. The MLA traditional allowance, which has a maximum payout of $89,000 when a fully pensionable member leaves office after 12 years, has also been cancelled. Finance Minister Diana Whalen said the government is looking at changing austerity measures to improve the province’s finances.

Police seek help in search for missing teen, 14 (Global News)

Investigators are seeking the public’s help in locating a 14-year-old girl who was reported missing on Tuesday. Ashley Mombourquette was last seen inside her Dartmouth home at around 11 p.m. Monday. Police say there is no evidence to suggest foul play but that there is concern for her well-being given her age.

N.S. forecasts $98M deficit, cuts public sector, hikes tobacco taxes (CTV News)

Nova Scotia is cutting public sector jobs, changing the restrictions on tuition fee increases and increasing tobacco taxes in a new budget with the attempt to bring down the province’s deficit. Reductions in the provincial tax credit for the film and TV industry were also made. Finance officials say this change might weaken the province’s ability to compete with other jurisdictions for film sector money. The budget predicts a deficit of $97.6 million for 2015-16 with the net debt pegged at $15.1 billion.

 

Sydney Jones