Roundup: COVID cases in 2 Dartmouth schools, some RCMP still wearing defaced Canadian flag, New Glasgow coach joins Olympic hockey team, how are unapproved travellers getting into N.S.?

Health officials reported COVID-19 cases in two HRM schools yesterday, with one person testing positive at Graham Creighton Junior High in Dartmouth and one at the Dartmouth campus of Bedford and Forsyth Education Centres.

Both schools will be closed for cleaning and contact tracing until June 10.

“There remains a low level of COVID-19 activity in Halifax-area communities,” Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, says in a press release. “It isn’t unusual to see sporadic school cases connected to community exposure … There are established protocols for closing and opening schools and schools remain safe places for students and staff.”

Nova Scotia has 204 known active cases of COVID-19, with 12 new cases (seven in the Central Zone) and 32 recoveries reported in the latest government update. Twenty people are currently in Nova Scotian hospitals with the disease, including six in ICU.

“It’s encouraging to see our case numbers decrease,” Strang says. “Continue to socialize carefully until you are fully vaccinated. I know you want to socialize like you used to and that day will come.”

Thus far, COVID-19 has killed 88 Nova Scotians, and 25,724 people across the country.

Strang and Premier Iain Rankin are scheduled to webcast an update today at 3 p.m.

A member of the RCMP wearing a defaced Canadian flag. Photo: YouTube

Some RCMP still wearing defaced Canadian flag
Video from a recent RCMP raid on a South Shore home shows members of the Emergency Response Team flouting uniform regulations.

In October 2020, RCMP brass issued a directive banning officers from wearing the “thin blue line” defaced Canadian flag, which many people have adopted as a sign of opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement. Members of the force are now supposed to only wear their approved uniforms and badges while on duty.

RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Lisa Croteau acknowledges that some are ignoring the order. “The Sergeant Major of the Nova Scotia RCMP, Gordon Patey, continues to work with supervisors throughout the division to address this issue,” she says. “The patch is not an approved part of or addition to the RCMP uniform.”

Activist El Jones believes the RCMP’s credibility as a law-enforcement agency is undermined if it can’t get its own members to follow the rules.

“If you can’t even obey that [directive] as a police officer, what else do you not obey?” she says. “What else are you trying to get away with?”

Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

Dorene Bernard. Photo: Submitted

Shubenacadie residential school search intensifies
Mi’kmaq elder Dorene Bernard says the healing in the Indigenous community after the horrific discovery of 215 children in unmarked graves in Kamloops, B.C. can’t proceed until Canadians fully understand what happened in those government-funded, church-run residential schools.

As a social worker and activist, she has been listening to the stories of atrocities from school survivors for almost two decades. (Read this firsthand account by Shubenacadie survivor Bernadette Eisenhower, originally published in Halifax Magazine in January 2019.)

“How can you heal when you know things, when you witness things, and nothing has been done about it?” Bernard says.

Under her guidance, research began a few years ago to locate similar unmarked burials at the former Shubenacadie school. Using the same ground-penetrating radar that located the remains in Kamloops, preliminary scanning was conducted in April and December of 2020, including the perimeter of a plastics factory that now stands on the site of the former school. The research didn’t find any graves.

The scanning resumed this weekend in partnership with Saint Mary’s University’s anthropology department. Associate professor Jonathan Fowler, a leading researcher in archaeological geophysics and remote sensing, is conducting the search with Mi’kmaq cultural heritage curator Roger Lewis.

“We are going on a lot of information from the survivors,” Bernard says. “The possibility of finding grave sites is quite high. The process is slow, I guess because a lot of the survivors are elders. Our oldest survivor is 93. Our youngest is probably 60. They’re seniors and many are not in good health. It was urgent we moved on these things as soon as possible.”

See Janet Whitman’s new Halifax Magazine feature.

Kori Cheverie. Photo: Alex D’Addese

New Glasgow coach joins Olympic hockey team
Kori Cheverie is joining the Canadian women’s hockey team as an assistant coach at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

“I’m excited with … the staff we have and the players we have selected,” she says. “I’ve had a great experience with Hockey Canada, working with the senior team. It has been great for my development as a coach and I’m proud to be part of the Olympic program … I’m excited to be going with as many East Coasters as possible.”

Spryfield’s Troy Ryan is head coach.

See Steve Goodwin’s story in The Pictou Advocate.

How are unapproved travellers getting into Nova Scotia?
With Nova Scotia’s borders still closed to most travellers, some high-profile breaches last month are generating questions about how unapproved visitors are getting into the province..

On May 15 , Richmond County RCMP stopped a vehicle for speeding, then discovered that the 41-year-old woman driving was from New Brunswick and vacationing in Cape Breton without permission.

Government spokesperson Tracy Barron says the province has increased its presence at border crossings, and closed a local road that leads to New Brunswick. It’s “getting more difficult for people to evade border liaison officials,” she says.

Not long after she shared that info, police arrested a Moncton man in Richmond County, who was fleeing New Brunswick police after a car theft.

Jake Boudrot has more for The Reporter.

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This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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