Roundup: Students in class in Sept, manhunt goes on, shooting victims’ families demand inquiry, trying to save the whales
Portapique shooting victims' families march in Truro in 2020. Photo: Raissa Tetanish
By Trevor J. Adams 23 July 2020 Share this story
As of yesterday, July 22, Nova Scotia has one confirmed case of COVID-19, according to the latest update from the provincial government. Nova Scotia has had 60,702 negative test results, 1,067 known COVID-19 cases, and 63 deaths.
Students to return to classrooms
Yesterday, the education department shared its 32-page plan to have public school students back in class, starting Sept. 8. “Children need safe and supportive learning environments and that means being back in school with their peers,” says education minister Zach Churchill.
“Overall learning at home during the spring went well,” says the government press release. (Literally every Nova Scotian parent I know disputes this claim. —T.J.A.) “[But] parents said there were some challenges, like access to technology.” Government is spending $4 million on 14,000 computers to support students with limited or no access to technology.
- Enhanced cleaning and distancing in schools.
- Classrooms to be reorganized to increase spacing.
- Treating a class as a bubble, to minimize contact with other students
- Enhanced cleaning on school buses. All school bus riders and drivers must wear masks.
- All staff and students in high school will be required to wear a mask in school spaces where distancing is impossible. Masks in classrooms will be optional.
- Promotion of regular hand washing and sanitizing.
- No assemblies or large gatherings.
- Cafeterias and school food programs will deliver food to students to eat at their desks.
Chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang is optimistic about the plan. “Our current epidemiology shows that virus activity remains low in the province and education leaders have developed a plan with appropriate public health measures,” he says. “I’m comfortable with our schools reopening.”
Shooting victims’ families demand an inquiry
It’s been more than three months since the Portapique shootings and more than a month since justice minister and former RCMP officer Mark Furey promised an inquiry announcement was “imminent.” As the delay drags on, victims’ families are demanding answers from the government. On July 21, they had a peaceful protest in Truro. Raissa Tetanish reports for Hub Now.
“If it’s the truth, whether by the RCMP or a witness, why hide behind closed doors?” asks Nick Beaton, whose wife Kristen and unborn child were among the victims. “If you’re telling the truth, there’s no reason to hide behind anything.” Federal and provincial government officials have promised to announce an “independent review” today.
Police still hunting for Tobias Charles Doucette
The manhunt for Tobias Charles Doucette began more than two days ago after Bridgewater police Sgt. Matt Bennett was knifed in the neck while responding to a domestic disturbance. In the ensuing pursuit, a police dog was also stabbed. Since then Doucette has been on the lam, and RCMP have taken over the search.
Police describe Doucette as “Indigenous, standing 6’2″, 220 lbs, with brown hair and green eyes.” When they last spotted him, he was barefoot and wearing nothing but a pair of black shorts. See more details in this LighthouseNow story by Keith Corcoran.
Halifax artist finds new challenge in Tatamagouche
Well known Halifax artist Brandt Eisner is heading to Tatamagouche to become curator of the Ice House Gallery. He tells reporter Raissa Tetanish from The Light that he intends to spotlight local talent while increasing diversity.
“I want to have the most variety of artists possible,” he says. “Obviously painting is the most common medium people will find in a gallery but I place a huge importance on including artists from the entire realm so it gives the community access to a much broader concept [of art].” His first exhibition, Stomping Grounds, opens on Sept. 7.
Save the whales
Endangered right whales continue dying in Atlantic Canadian waters and local researchers are trying to find ways to save them. In this firsthand account from Halifax Magazine, researcher Andrew Wright explains how he and his colleagues are exploring noise pollution, water contamination, and other issues affecting the whales.
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This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.
Trevor has been a magazine editor and journalist in Halifax since 1998. He's won multiple Atlantic Journalism Awards and was shortlisted for the Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence in 2014.
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