Last weekend in Truro, campaign signs went up for provincial Liberal candidate Tamara Tynes Powell. Very early Sunday morning, several of the signs were founded vandalized and burned. At least one of the signs was in a Black neighborhood “The Marsh” where Tynes Powell grew up.
Tynes Powell and her supporters said they felt the vandalism was motivated by racial hatred. Speaking with the Examiner on Tuesday, Tynes Powell said:
Tynes Powell is one of close to a dozen Black MLA candidates in the upcoming election on August 17. She is the first Black candidate in the riding of Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River, and she is the sole female candidate.
In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, Vanessa Jackson posted a video on Facebook that appeared to show a car towing company, which she says is Halifax Towing & Repair, conducting operations next door to her home in the middle of the night. Jackson, who is Black, lives in the historic Black community of Hammonds Plains.
The post read:
The post also tagged the area’s Liberal incumbent Ben Jessome, the area’s NDP and sole-Black MLA candidate, Angela Downey, local District 13 city councillor, Pamela Lovelace, Jackson's husband, the Upper Hammonds Plains Community Development Association, and CBC’s Kyah Sparks.
Rev. Dr. Lennett J. Anderson, senior pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Hammond Plains, shared the video hours later writing:
He tagged the Halifax Regional Municipality, Pam Lovelace, and myself.
Speaking with the Examiner on Wednesday, Jackson said the issue has been ongoing for almost two years. She says that while working with the city and elected officials to try to resolve the matter she discovered that the business doesn’t even have proper permits.
Click here to view the original Facebook posts.
A series of virtual information sessions for seniors hosted by a group of all-Black professionals is now in its second week. The Senior Empowerment Sessions are a collaboration between Injury Free Nova Scotia, West Hants Senior Safety, and the Valley Anti-Racism Association.
Co-founders of the Valley Anti-Racism Association, mother and daughter Sharmay Beals-Wentzell and Shartelle Lyon, spoke to The Examiner this week about how the association was inspired by the murder of George Floyd, their work since then, and how the Senior Empowerment Sessions came about. Lyon said:
This week's virtual information session (shot and edited by yours truly) is hosted by occupational therapist, Sarah Teklet, and covers falls prevention.
The sessions are scheduled for six weeks. Each Monday, a prerecorded session on a new topic is uploaded to the project's Facebook page along with an event reminder and Zoom link to a virtual Q&A session to take place Fridays at 3pm Atlantic time. For more information, click here.
NDP leader Gary Burrill and Colter Simmonds, the NDP candidate in the Preston riding, held a campaign stop in Cherrybrook. They were joined by activist Quentrel Provo to hold an open discussion about police street checks in the Halifax area and Preston that have been proven to disproportionately target Black people and other people of colour. Simmonds and Provo shared several personal accounts of being racially profiled by police. Simmonds saying, in part:
If elected, Burrill said he will “completely ban, street checks in all of Nova Scotia,” referring to what the group called a “suspicious activity loophole.”
The NDP candidate for Halifax-Needham, Suzy Hansen, and NDP candidate for Hammonds Plains-Lucasville, Angela Downey were also in attendance, as was NDP MP for Hamilton Centre in Ontario, Matthew Green.
Speaking of Matthew Green, the NDP MP for Hamilton Centre in Ontario is no stranger to street checks himself. Speaking with the Examiner last Saturday in Cherrybrook, Green called street checks a “constitutional issue,” saying they are “absolutely about racial profiling.”
Green said he has an active human rights complaint against the Hamilton police from when he said he was racially profiled and street checked in 2016 when he was a city councilor in Hamilton. Halifax Regional Police Chief, Dan Kinsella, was deputy chief of the Hamilton police at the time of the incident. When asked open-endedly about Kinsella, Green said:
After the campaign stop Colter Simmonds, Gary Burrill, and company joined the Liberals' Angela Simmonds and the PC's Archy Beals for the annual North Preston Day Parade, not far up the road in North Preston. Last year's parade was canceled due to COVID-19. The event has been a tradition since 2007.
The CBC's Brooklyn Currie reported on the parade. She also spoke to the Preston riding's all-Black slate of candidates in the upcoming election.
After scoring 12 points, East Preston's Shay Colley had to leave her debut game as a member of the Canadian Olympic women's basketball team, after injuring her shoulder. Canada went on to lose 72-68 to Serbia.
The starting guard, however, was able to make a return in Canada's 74-53 win over Korea on Wednesday. She scored nine points.
Canada is scheduled to play Spain today in their final round-robin game of the Olympic tournament.
Recent NSCC journalism graduate and Global News Halifax reporter, Amber Fryday, filed two reports this on stories from the Black community.
On Monday, she spoke to Tia Upshaw about a “Blkpreneur market” that featured 20 entrepreneurs and celebrated Black women-owned small businesses that have been able to thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic. Upshaw said:
On Friday, she spoke to the executive of the Black Cultural Centre Russell Grosse about Nova Scotia's history of slavery ahead of this Sunday's first official Emancipation Day in Canada. Grosse said:
To view these, and other reports by Fryday, click here.
On Wednesday hosts Fidel Franco, Allan Mccall, Clinton Davis, and Hillary Leblanc released their latest podcast episode of Black In The Maritimes.
This week the group discussed the Tokyo Olympics, the all-Black Preston candidate slate in the upcoming Nova Scotia election, as well as recent controversy surrounding Lil Nas X.
Links to this week’s episode, past episodes, as well as blog posts, (and find that PayPal donation button) on the group’s official website BlackintheMaritimes.com.
Other Black podcasts based in the Maritimes include My Name Is Searl hosted by Chris Searl, In Case You Missed It hosted by Jermaine Colley, and True Fatherhood Stories hosted by Jay Bruce.
If you haven't already, you can read last week's Black News File here.
Matthew Byard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Halifax Examiner