Nova Scotia celebrates two years since mass shooting with moments of silence

The Nova Scotia government is asking the public to “gather together” for moments of silence to remember the 22 people killed in a two-day shooting spree in the province nearly two years ago.

It is calling for the observance to take place on April 18 and 12 noon on April 19 — the dates in 2020 when the worst mass shootings in modern Canadian history took place.

Nova Scotia lawmakers rose in honor today and observed a minute’s silence before their Easter weekend break.

Premier Tim Houston says the flags at the Provincial House will be lowered to half-mast from sunrise April 18 to sunset April 19, as will flags at all provincial government buildings.

He says citizens, businesses and community organizations flying flags in the province are also encouraged to lower them to half-mast on the two dates.

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The prime minister says legislation will be introduced this autumn to set the dates as provincial commemorations, after consulting with victims’ families to ensure those who died are properly honored.

Houston read the names of the 22 victims aloud as he addressed lawmakers, saying two years had passed and “heartbreak and sorrow linger.”

“We cannot imagine the pain and suffering that the victims’ families have endured,” Houston said. “We stand by you today and every day.”

Opposition Liberal leader Iain Rankin said families should know they are not alone and that their loved ones are being thought of.

“There are no words to comfort the agony of having a loved one ripped from them,” Rankin said. “All Nova Scotians mourn with you today and always.”

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NDP leader Gary Burrill said the planned celebrations would allow people “to say through gestures what is almost impossible to find an adequate way to put it in words”.

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“From the bottom of our hearts, we’re marking these days,” Burrill said.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on April 14, 2022.

© 2022 The Canadian Press Nova Scotia celebrates two years since mass shooting with moments of silence

Brian Lowry

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