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

RCMP don’t want to see you having your vehicle towed away after an aggressive driving infraction. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP hand out more than 500 tickets in aggressive driving crackdown

Police say they’ll continue to focus on speeding, aggressive and distracted driving

Home sales for November in the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board were profitable for sellers because of historically low supply. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)
Historically low supply leads to higher prices in Chilliwack real estate market

City dwellers want to relocate to the eastern Fraser Valley and are willing to pay a high price

Riders will need to don face coverings to ski and snowboard at Manning this winter. (Manning Park Resort photo)
Manning Park slopes open early

Early season snowfall allowed for opening this weekend, 56 centimetre snow base recorded Nov. 30

Mr. Bergen, a statue of a working man, was stolen from a porch in Popkum on Nov. 18, along with a marble statue. (Submitted photo)
Heavy statue and fountain thieved off porch in Popkum

Rightful owner has had statue for 27 years and wants it returned

The winning home of the 2019 Hope Christmas Lights contest was on Cypress Street. Residents have until Dec. 5 to sign their street up for this year’s contest. (Submitted photo)
Holiday cheer, even in a pandemic year

Here’s what is happening in Hope and area as the holiday season kicks off

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Cops converge in a Marshall Road parking lot on Thursday afternoon following a reported police incident. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Federal offender escapes, gets shot at and is taken back into custody in Abbotsford

Several branches of law enforcement find escapee a short distance from where he fled

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Lefeuvre Road, near Myrtle Avenue, was blocked to traffic on Thursday (Dec. 3) after an abandoned pickup truck was found on fire. Police are investigating to determine if there are any links to a killing an hour earlier in Surrey. (Shane MacKichan photo)
Torched truck found in Abbotsford an hour after killing in Surrey

Police still investigating to determine if incidents are linked

Surrey Pretrial centre in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey Pretrial hit with human rights complaint over mattress

The inmate who lodged the complaint said he needed a second mattress to help him manage his arthritis

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

Most Read