After street checks were determined to be illegal in October 2019, Mark Furey, the Justice minister at the time, put a stop to the practice. Case closed, you might think. Time to move on. Unfortunately no, says Vanessa Fells of the African Nova Scotian Decade for People of African Descent Coalition (ANSDPAD).

News release: Thirteen community organizations call on government to ban illegal practice on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. After countless reviews, reports and public meetings, the Nova Scotia government finally directed police to end the practice in October of 2019. But there was a glaring exception to the directive: police were still permitted to conduct street checks if they judged that an individual was involved in “suspicious activity.”

What will it take for Black Lives to Matter in Nova Scotia? The African Nova Scotian Decade for People of African Descent Coalition, representing African Nova Scotian organizations across the province, joins the many concerned citizens who are calling for the sentencing of Shawn Wade Hynes without further delay.

After Premier McNeil’s surprise apology for systemic racism in the justice system and the harm it has done, he announced the formation of a design team “to reimagine a system of justice in Nova Scotia”. We talk with Robert Wright, spokesperson for the DPAD coalition, to find out more about its proposals for an African Nova Scotian Justice Institute and a Policing Strategy, and to better understand its criticism of the provincial justice initiative.

Open letter: “The ANSDPAD Coalition rejects the legitimacy of the ‘design team’ announced as part of the government’s proposal. In addition to its lack of independence from the government, and its fundamentally flawed composition in terms of its failure to include ANSDPAD or its member organizations, we question whether all of the individuals named to this supposed team were even aware that they had agreed to serve on it or its terms of reference.”

Press release: We call on the Halifax Board of Police Commissioners, Halifax Regional Police Chief Dan Kinsella, Justice Minister Mark Furey, and Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil’s Liberal Government to develop a plan of action to reform policing practices and to help mend the broken policing relationship with the African Nova Scotian community. Systemic changes are needed now!