Supporters of the mass shooting victims’ families are organizing a general strike and rally at noon today to protest Premier Stephen McNeil’s refusal to call a public inquiry into the tragedy and the police response. “We are calling for a 22-minute strike,” organizers say on Facebook. “You can join the strike in person or online. We ask that you stop what you are doing and demand that our leaders call for a fully public, comprehensive inquiry of the largest massacre in Canada in our lifetimes.”
McNeil previously said an inquiry with the power to compel testimony and make binding recommendations was necessary. But last week, provincial justice minister Mark Furey announced an “independent” review, which will include closed-door hearings and has no legal authority to summon witnesses. The victims’ families have reacted angrily to the announcement. Nick Beaton, whose wife Kristen and unborn child died in the attacks, called for Furey’s resignation on Friday, saying his previous career as an RCMP officer has biased him.
No confirmed COVID cases
As of yesterday, July 26, Nova Scotia has no known cases of COVID-19, according to the most recent government update. So far, Nova Scotia has had 62,187 negative tests, 1,067 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and 63 deaths. The person who was the province’s sole known case last week has recovered.
Mandatory masks coming
Starting July 31, masks will be mandatory in most indoor public spaces in Nova Scotia, Premier McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health for Nova Scotia, announced on Friday.
“We must continue to be vigilant to minimize the impact of a second wave of COVID-19,” says McNeil in a press release. “Wearing a non-medical mask in most indoor public places is a key part of how we protect each other and support our local businesses so they can stay open for the long run.”
Children under two are exempt, as are children aged two to four when their caregiver cannot get them to wear a mask. People with a valid medical reason for not wearing a mask are exempt. Schools, daycares, and day camps will continue to follow their reopening plans. For an explanation of what the government considers to be an “indoor public space,” see this Raissa Tetanish report from The Light.
The government intends to offer some free masks and you can find them in many stores around the city, but if you’re a DIY sort, check out this easy guide to making your own mask that Kim Hart Macneill wrote for East Coast Living.
What it means to be two-spirited
This year at Halifax Pride, there was strong representation from the Indigenous community as the Wabanaki Two-Spirit Alliance and activists like John Sylliboy and Holly Green worked to help people understand what it means to be two-spirited.
“The term itself is fluid; it’s an Indigenous concept,” Sylliboy explains. “It is something that captures the identity of a person … not conforming to the expectations that Europeans had, for example, put on as recognizing themselves as male or female. It also encompasses the notion of your sexuality.” Learn more in this new Halifax Magazine feature by Ameeta Vohra.
Truro police trying body cameras
For the next two months, patrol officers with the Truro Police Service will be wearing body cameras. Deputy Chief Rob Hearn says the pilot project is in response to concerns about public safety and changing trends in policing. “Nationally and provincially we’re seeing the debate of should police have them,” he tells Raissa Tetanish in this Hub Now story. He adds that the company that makes the cameras also makes facial-recognition software but promises Truro police won’t use that technology.
Need to know
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