Roundup: Shooting inquiry investigates RCMP communication delays, Cornwallis’s name gone from Bridgewater street, COVID update, local wines for summer

Lia Scanlan, the RCMP's civilian communications director during the mass shooting, told investigators that she's "glad" the police force didn't issue an emergency alert. Photo: MCC screen capture

Plus: Shocked by our health-care system and unable to find a decent job, a Bangladeshi immigrant struggles to build a new life in Halifax

As a man disguised as a Mountie roamed Nova Scotia killing at will in April 2020, RCMP Cpl. Jennifer Clarke awaited permission to send a tweet warning the public.

The approval was stalled with the RCMP’s civilian communications director, Lia Scanlan, who neglected to check her email for half an hour in the middle of the crisis. In January, she told investigators from the Mass Casualty Commission that she “wouldn’t change a thing” about the RCMP’s communications strategy and was “glad” they never issued an emergency alert.

In testimony last week, Scanlan softened her defiance, conceding that the RCMP could have communicated in a “timelier” manner.

Janet Whitman has the latest for the Reporter.

Cornwallis Street in Bridgewater is now named Crescent Street. Photos: Keith Corcoran

Cornwallis’s name comes down
Cornwallis Street in Bridgewater is no more, recently renamed Crescent Street, following a recent local government decision to no longer pay homage to Halifax’s controversial founder, who ordered the killing of local Mi’kmaw.

“Naming things after people is reserved for those who are to be celebrated,” Mayor David Mitchell says in a social media post. “(Cornwallis’s) actions throughout his career are not worthy of that place of prominence on a street name … Nobody is trying to change history, but we don’t need to glorify or honour bad people. We ought to name public landmarks and sites after people we want to lift up.”

Mitchell adds that anyone who still wants to see the Cornwallis Street sign can view it at DesBrisay Museum, along with accompanying historical information.

Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

Building a life in Halifax
From unfamiliar weather to a fruitless job hunt, Tori Bhattacharya’s (name changed) new life in Halifax has been one unhappy revelation after another, with our health-care system coming as a big shock.

“After I came to Canada … I got very sick,” she recalls. “In four months, I had to go to the hospital emergency department three times. Every time, I had to wait for seven to eight hours before I could get any help. My husband was working, and I had to go there alone. I sat there and cried every time.” 

She believes it would’ve been much easier to get the medical care she needed back in Bangladesh.

“There, I could walk into any clinic or private hospital and get immediate help,” she says. “If I didn’t have money, I could go to a government hospital where emergency cases are attended to without much delay. I am concerned about my health, and I am afraid. What will I do if I become seriously ill again?” 

Marianne Simon interviews her for Unravel Halifax.

COVID update
Premier Tim Houston’s government continues withholding daily data, making it difficult to get an accurate picture of COVID-19’s spread in the province, but World Health Organization (WHO) officials caution it’s still rampant, tallying 258,020 new cases globally in the last 24 hours. 

WHO officials also urge people to continue using basic public health protections like masking and distancing. “Anyone can get sick with COVID-19 and become seriously ill or die at any age,” they say in a recent press release. “The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the disease and how the virus spreads.”

So far, COVID is known to have has killed 6,309,633 people, including 41,470 in Canada and 421 Nova Scotians.

Local wines for summer
Atlantic Canadian wines continue to grow in quality and popularity, with the crisp and refreshing sparkling varieties flying off shelves in summer. You have more options than ever, so East Coast Living recently assembled a panel of vintners to share their recommendations.

Hear from the experts in Colleen Thompson’s new story.

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