Nova Scotians are in mourning after at least 18 people, including an RCMP officer, were killed in a shooting rampage over the weekend, adding tremendous pain to an already uncertain time as residents navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Krista Pelletier and her family painted broken hearts on the windows of their home as a tribute to fallen officer Const. Heidi Stevenson and all RCMP officers in the area.
“This is one of my many ways of showing that we care,” says Pelletier.
“We wish we could be there, we wish we could hug all of them.”
With people unable to grieve together in person during the COVID-19 outbreak, Pelletier hopes gestures like hers will help everyone heal.
Pelletier says a community show of solidarity is planned for mid-week.
“On Wednesday, they're doing a line from Elmsdale Landscaping to our Enfield RCMP station where there will be a ceremony,” says Pelletier.
Stop The Violence activist Quentrel Provo is used to gathering large groups together in person, but instead he has planned an online vigil on his personal Facebook page, which is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday.
“Trying to gather our community together during this really tough time in the only way I know how, by doing it via Facebook live. It's very tough during a pandemic.”
Provo says there will be song and prayer and is inviting people to join him in lighting a candle in memory of the victims.
“Let's just come together and, you know, pray and show some love for the families,” says Provo.
“I know we're hurting as a province, Canada is hurting for us.”
A second online vigil is planned for Friday. Co-organizer Tory Phinney lives in Bass River, N.S., a community neighbouring Portapique, N.S., where the tragic events started to unfold late Saturday evening.
“It will be a variety of musicians, Nova Scotia talent, and possibly around the country. We've had people reaching out across the country – politicians, community members,” says Phinney.
“The idea is to create fundraising to support victims and since then it's been really picking up momentum.”