Awareness of environmental racism in Nova Scotia has changed for the better over the last five years or so. A private members bill, shaped to a large extent by Dr. Ingrid Waldron and introduced by then NDP MLA Lenore Zann in 2015, played a considerable part in that shift. Waldron and Zann, now a Liberal MP, are giving the legislation another shot, this time in Ottawa.

What started out as $70 million in reparations for the suffering caused by Catholic residential schools was whittled down to $16 million by the Catholic Church. Michael William McDonald, a lawyer from Sipekne’katik explains how that happened. “Compensation must be sufficient to provide healing,” he writes, “perhaps then we can find the right path to reconciliation.”

After the Africville rally I had a longer conversation with Denise Allen, one of the organizers and an Africville survivor herself. “I don’t know who our political representatives represent when they fight against justice for Africville. They’re certainly not representing their constituents. What they’re looking out for is the bottom line, they just don’t want to pay.”