Flowers lay in the rain below half mast flags at the RCMP headquarters in Whitehorse on April 23, in honour of the officer killed on April 19 in Nova Scotia. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Flowers lay in the rain below half mast flags at the RCMP headquarters in Whitehorse on April 23, in honour of the officer killed on April 19 in Nova Scotia. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Police federation encouraging all to wear red today in honour of Nova Scotia victims

Online vigil, titled ‘Nova Scotia Remembers,’ will include messages of support from local and national faces

A tribute to the 22 Nova Scotians who died in one of Canada’s deadliest mass killings will stream on Facebook this evening.

The vigil, titled “Nova Scotia Remembers,” will include messages of support from local and national faces as an alternative to a physical ceremony while the COVID-19 pandemic forces limitations on crowds.

It will be livestreamed from the Colchester-Supporting Our Communities Facebook page at 7 p.m. local time, with CBC, CTV and several radio stations carrying the broadcast.

A group of local residents, all with personal connections to the victims, have spent the week gathering recorded tributes from politicians, spiritual leaders, musicians and other familiar Nova Scotian faces.

Tiff Ward, one of the event organizers, says the aim is not to dwell on the horrors of the weekend.

It’s to show grieving families that their community is with them in spirit while unable to drop off meals, hug each other or honour the dead by holding memorials.

“They matter to all of us and they matter to the world, and we want to show them the love that we have,” Ward said in a telephone interview.

Ward, like most residents of the tightly knit area, anxiously followed updates about the situation as it unfolded on Saturday and Sunday. She later learned several people she knew personally had been killed.

As horrific details emerged Sunday about the massacre that claimed lives across five communities, the new Facebook group became a space for people to grieve and process the loss together.

The idea for a vigil quickly grew out of the digital gathering. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged his plan to attend the next day, while noting the challenges posed by COVID-19.

“I know that everyone will be looking for ways to demonstrate their solidarity without putting further at risk communities, first responders, our health professionals and our seniors,” Trudeau said Monday.

“They are such a connected group that I know that the vast majority of Nova Scotians will have a direct link with one or more of the many victims, and the entire province — and the entire country — is grieving right now as we come to grips with something that is absolutely unimaginable.”

Ward said the community can’t be defined by the terrible acts of a man who set fire to homes and shot people dead during a 14-hour rampage.

“This is just the most peaceful, smallest, gentlest, kindest place in the world. And a monster has shattered that,” Ward said. “We have to bring a lot of light to shine out this awful darkness.”

The National Police Federation is encouraging people to wear red Friday as part of a day of mourning for the victims, including RCMP Const. Heidi Stevenson, who was killed during the chase.

The RCMP is also encouraging members to observe a moment of silence at 2 p.m.

The past week has seen other shows of physically distant memorializing. Photos shared on the Facebook group from Nova Scotia and beyond show candles lit in windowsills and the provincial flag hanging in windows.

Municipalities and police forces across the country have flown flags at half-mast this week to honour the victims.

Richard Mills, acting U.S. ambassador to Canada, said Thursday that he had ordered flags to be lowered to half-mast in honour of Stevenson and the other victims, noting the close relationship between the U.S. government and the RCMP.

“RCMP officers provide an essential security service to our embassy and consulates across Canada. We appreciate their service,” he said.

Holly McKenzie-Sutter, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Nova Scotia

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langley Township and City provide garbage receptacles where people can deposit their bags of dog poop instead of tossing the bags into bushes. (Langley Advance Times)
LETTER: Langley letter writer dumps on irresponsible dog owners

People who don’t clean up their dogs poop or who toss the bags in the bushes irk local resident

Langley 4-H junior member, Juliet, was a Field to Fork winner. (4-H BC/Special to the Aldergrove Star)
VIDEO: Field to Fork challenge brings together youth and BC grown foods

Two Langley residents earned recognition for their cooking creations using homegrown ingredients

Fraser Health has announced another COVID exposure at Brookswood Secondary. (Google Maps)
Brookswood Secondary latest Langley school with COVID exposure

The alert follows alerts at five schools over the weekend

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

A rider carves a path on Yanks Peak Saturday, Nov. 21. Two men from Prince George went missing on the mountain the next day. One of them, Colin Jalbert, made it back after digging out his sled from four feet under the snow. The other, Mike Harbak, is still missing. Local search and rescue teams went out looking Monday, Nov. 23. (Sam Fait Photo)
‘I could still be the one out there’: Snowmobiler rescued, 1 missing on northern B.C. mountain

As Quesnel search and rescue teams search for the remaining rider, Colin Jalbert is resting at home

Most Read