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Nova Scotia marks 2nd anniversary of mass shooting that claimed 22 lives

Premier Tim Houston is encouraging people to pause for a moment of silence on both Monday and Tuesday
062220 -  Portapique -  mass shooting - wortman - IMG_6343
A memorial in Portapique to 22 people and an unborn baby killed in a mass shooting

Today marks two years since the beginning of Nova Scotia's mass shooting that claimed the lives of 22 victims.

Premier Tim Houston released a statement on the tragedy, encouraging people to pause for a moment of silence on both Monday and Tuesday to honour the victims and survivors.

"April 18 and 19, 2020, forever changed us as Nova Scotians. Two years after this unspeakable tragedy, the heartbreak and sorrow remain," said Houston. "We cannot imagine the pain and suffering the victims' families have endured. We stand with you today and on all days."

Flags at Province House all provincial government buildings and institutions will be at half-mast, and members of the public are encouraged to do the same.

According to the province, legislation will be introduced in the fall to establish April 18 and 19 as Provincial Days of Remembrance.

The province said this will be done after it consults with victims' families to ensure their loved ones are remembered appropriately.

Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau released a statement Monday saying all Canadians were "shocked and devastated" by the attack.

“I join the people of Nova Scotia and all Canadians to remember those who lost their lives. Our thoughts are with all those who continue to live with the pain, trauma, and heartbreaking loss from these events," Trudeau said.

“We also pay tribute to Constable Heidi Stevenson who gave her life while protecting her community and salute Constable Chad Morrison, who was injured when he encountered the gunman," he added. "During one of the darkest days in Canadian history, they, along with the many other first responders, faced danger without hesitation – saving lives and preventing further injury that day."

The 13-hour rampage began April 18, 2020 as the gunman killed 13 people the first night in the Portapique area and then nine more the following morning throughout rural Nova Scotia.

He was eventually gunned down by police at a gas station in Enfield.

A public inquiry looking into the tragedy has heard from a number of witnesses, including the officers who first responded, family members of the victims and the officers who eventually killed the gunman.

On Thursday, Const. Craig Hubley said when they pulled into the Enfield gas station, he noticed a man wearing a white T-shirt in a grey Mazda at a pump across from his police SUV who seemed unaware blood was running from a bump on his head.

Hubley told the inquiry he was "100 per cent'' sure it was the killer, and called to Const. Ben MacLeod, "Benny, it's him."

The pair killed the gunman shortly after he started to raise a silver pistol that he took from Const. Heidi Stevenson, who he killed earlier that morning.

The inquiry will pause public proceedings this week and resume April 25.

Nova Scotia's Mental Health Crisis Line is available 24/7 by calling toll-free 1-888-429-8167. Kids Help Phone counsellors can be reached at 1-800-668-6868.

Call 911 for emergency situations.

Additional mental health and wellness resources can be found here or by calling 211.



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Chris Halef

About the Author: Chris Halef

Chris is a reporter for HalifaxToday.ca and NEWS 95.7. In 2018, he won the RTDNA Dave Rogers Award for best short feature.
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