After days of outrage and growing fears of a coverup, the federal government has changed course, now promising a full public inquiry into the Nova Scotia mass shootings. “We have heard calls from families, survivors, advocates,” says federal public safety minister Bill Blair in a press release.

In the aftermath of the shooting, Nova Scotia justice minister Furey said an inquiry was necessary, but joined Blair to announce a review instead. As protests grew, he reversed again. “If the federal MPs agree that their government should conduct a joint public inquiry rather than a review, they should take that up with the federal minister and their federal colleagues,” he said in a press release yesterday. “If the federal government agrees to a joint public inquiry… I will support that.” (Fact check: Policing is a provincial responsibility and the province could call an inquiry even without the federal government’s support. —T.J.A.)

The inquiry is scheduled to begin in the fall. The commissioners will be the three people government originally picked to run the review: retired judge Michael MacDonald, former Liberal cabinet minister Anne McLellan, and retired police chief Leanne Fitch.

Inquiry needs feminist analysis
To fully do its work, the newly announced inquiry into the Nova Scotia shootings must consider how misogyny played into the events, say activists Linda MacDonald and Jeanne Sarson, members of Nova Scotia Feminists Fight Femicide.

“Just talking about gender-based violence isn’t enough,” says MacDonald. “That’s not what a feminist analysis is.” A broader perspective is required, adds Sarson: “When you’re looking at gender-based violence, especially when you’re focusing on that one crime, it still keeps [the focus] on that crime. We can’t stop the misogynistic lava overflow into society that way.”

Sarson feels the Nova Scotia shooter’s previous encounters with police show why this analysis is necessary. “We know [the police] have been dismissive of lesser crimes,” she says. “A feminist analysis would look at the strangulation, the stalking—serial violence is what it is—and how quickly it becomes normalized.” See this detailed Hub Now report by Raissa Tetanish.

Polett’s Cove. Photo: Zack Metalfe

Where the horses roam free
This summer, writer Zack Metcalfe is roaming Nova Scotia, rediscovering its wild splendour. In his latest dispatch, he hikes to Pollett’s Cove in Cape Breton, where he finds a free (and very unstructured) campground, shared with some unexpected guests.

“The horses are the ambassadors, grazing at their pleasure and wandering occasionally in the midst of the admiring masses,” he says in his latest Halifax Magazine column. “They meandered from the wildflower meadows to the edge of the tented village, where they sniffed and nibbled the clothes of its occupants in search of apples and eventually invaded the village outright, unreservedly curious. From there, they took to the riverbank, craving both attention and space. I counted eight of the kind beasts, but there are more somewhere in this slice of wilderness.”

Halifax company to redevelop key Bridgewater property
Halifax-based AMK Barrett Investments is the new owner of 777 King St. in Bridgewater, most recently home to the King’s Corner Bar and Grille, and for several decades, the site of the well known Tops’l Tavern. “The location deserves an attractive structure,” says Brian Hicks, who is making plans to redevelop the site. “We just have to perform our due diligence and work through the development process to determine what might be feasible.” Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

Camping with kids
With staycations very much in vogue, many families are taking their first camping trips (or at least their first since the kids came along). Camping with kids requires a lot more planning and flexibility, as writer Phil Moscovitch discovered.

“By the time we reached Antigonish, we were too tired to keep driving but couldn’t find anywhere affordable to stay,” he recalls. “We slept in the car … Everyone was cranky and exhausted for days. Leaving late, insisting on sticking to a ridiculous and tiring schedule, not having a backup plan for accommodations: the trip was a case study in bad decisions.”

But it doesn’t have to be that way. With good planning, flexibility, and realistic expectations, you can make the family memories you want. Phil shares expert advice in this story from the free Our Children magazine archives.

COVID-19 Update
According to the latest government update, Nova Scotia has no known cases of COVID-19. So far, the province has had 62,576 negative test results, 1,067 confirmed cases, and 63 deaths.

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