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Nova Scotia Strong


Photograph of the sunset on the evening of April 20th, widely believed throughout Nova Scotia that it was a message from those we lost as a result of the weekends tragic events.

A reckless incident with gun violence has left Nova Scotians struggling to find words. The lives of nearly 20 people were taken within a period of only 12 hours. It is at times like these that Nova Scotians must bind together as a community and lift up their neighbours.

51 year old Gabriel Wortman drove through Northern Nova Scotia in the late hours of April 18th and through the early hours of April 19th, in a mock RCMP vehicle and sporting a fake uniform. He then proceeded to exemplify behaviour that went against all the RCMP stands for. The gunman opened fire on 20 plus people at over 15 crime scenes. Police were made aware of the situation early on and, to quote Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, "ran towards danger without pause". Fearlessly, RCMP officers battled to keep the streets safe of this shooter. PC. Chad Morrison suffered non life threatening gunshot wounds as a result. Thankfully, he is now recovering safely at home. As he drove through the streets of his home town, returning from the hospital, neighbors and community members lined the streets, applauding in gratitude and awe as he passed by. This is an example of what is hopefully how Nova Scotians will continue to unite in the coming days.

Unfortunately, it is all too true that not everybody was able to make it out of the weekend's events alive. His colleague, PC. Heidi Stevenson succumbed to her gunshot wounds the weekend of April 19th. She died bravely, helping others. She was an RCMP veteran of 23 years.

It is now our task to honour her, all the other victims, in our daily lives. Beloved community members were lost: a passionate school teacher; a loving nurse; caring parents; and, friendly neighbours. Victims included those who were familiar with the shooter, but also those who were completely random to him. However, one thing they all had in common is that what happened to them was undeserving and cruel.

The shooting came to a close at the Enfield Big Stop, where the gunman died through suicide by police, after an extensive car chase. All crime scenes have been discovered, however police cannot be sure all the victims have been found until they can conduct a thorough search of each scene. This may be difficult considering 5 of the scenes were burnt to the ground.

Although the weekends events may physically be in the past, the impact is fresh. There is no textbook on the best ways to cope with such a tragedy, and it is indisputable that every individual has been impacted in a different way. At the end of the day, all that we can do is our best. We can remain Nova Scotia Strong, and continue to preach the RCMP legacy that we were raised on, "Maintiens le droit- Keep the right in our province".