Roundup: Shooting hearings highlight RCMP missteps, Ukrainian family finds refuge in Pictou, green shift for proposed gas project, COVID update

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Plus: Local artist Brian Hotson finds the beauty in the unnoticed

As public hearings into the April 2020 Nova Scotia mass shooting continue, several RCMP officers have testified that they believe an emergency alert warning the public that the shooter was disguised as a Mountie would’ve caused “frantic panic” and endangered them.

But experts aren’t buying it.

“As long as alerts are clear, concisely stated, and provide direction, I don’t see how panic can be an expected outcome of advising the public,” says Cheryl McNeil, a consultant and former civilian member of the Toronto police.

There are also growing questions about why the Mounties didn’t act on early warnings that Gabriel Wortman was violent and had a stockpile of illegal weapons. Const. Greg Wiley testified he developed a friendship with him around 2008 and visited many times, but failed to notice anything amiss.

Janet Whitman reports for LighthouseNow.

Ruslana Zhurakhova

Ukrainian family finds refuge
Before the war, Ruslana Zhurakhova lived in Chernihiv, Ukraine, and felt safe.

“I talked to my friends about the possibility of invasion; I didn’t believe it,” she says. “(Putin) didn’t see the situation inside our country. He didn’t understand how Ukrainians would behave if he came. Our men are brave. I think they’re ready for anything. We all have someone we want to defend. I’m proud to be Ukrainian.”

But after enduring 40 days of bombardment, she made the reluctant decision to flee her country, beginning a perilous journey to Pictou with her teenage son and young daughter, where they’ve found safety and new friends.

Steve Goodwin reports for the Pictou Advocate.

COVID update
The World Health Organization‘s count of new COVID-19 cases nearly doubled in the latest update, with 606,079 confirmed around the globe in the last 24 hours. But the real number of ill people is likely much higher, as many jurisdictions (including Nova Scotia) are withholding daily data, making it impossible to get a full picture of the disease’s spread.

So far, COVID is known to have has killed 6,270,232 people worldwide, including 40,265 in Canada and 354 Nova Scotians. World Health Organization officials add that those are only the deaths directly from COVID. When they tally deaths that doctors could have otherwise prevented had COVID not exacerbated an existing condition, the toll skyrockets to 14.9 million.

Green shift for proposed gas project
The long planned liquified natural gas terminal in Point Tupper is shifting gears, with Buckeye Partners recently buying Bear Head Energy. The company plans to shift to carbon-free production of hydrogen and ammonia at the site, using renewable resources.

“Nova Scotia’s unique geographical characteristics give the region the potential to become one of the most productive renewable and green energy development areas in the world,” says Buckeye CEO Todd J. Russo in a press release. “It is our intention to develop a large-scale energy production, distribution, and export hub.”

Drake Lowthers has more for the Reporter.

Brian Hotson

Beauty in the unnoticed
This month, Halifax artist Brian Hotson shares his unique vision of the city in the upcoming exhibition Spectra, running May 29 to June 19 at the Ice House Gallery in Tatamagouche.

Many artists see the beauty in Halifax: the elegant homes, the tree-lined avenues, the historic waterfront. But the unnoticed details of city life fascinate Hotson, as he abstracts them and imbues them with vivid light and dazzling colour.

See his work in the latest issue of Unravel Halifax.

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