04/21/2020 21:16 EDT | Updated 07/30/2020 16:50 EDT

Canadian Cartoonists Illustrate Grief After Nova Scotia Mass Shooting

The illustrations will stand as a haunting reminder of Canada's deadliest mass killing.

It was already a busy year for Canadian editorial cartoonists, in the worst way possible.

As 2020 progressed, the country’s been thrown into a devastating news cycle - from Wet’suwet’wen protests that led to tense moments at rail blockades, to the spread of COVID-19, which has shut the country down and put vulnerable populations at risk.

And then this week, amid the new reality of a global pandemic, Canadians faced unimaginable news: a mass shooting in Nova Scotia. At least 22 people were killed by a gunman, who also died. 

In the wake of tragedy, Canadian editorial cartoonists put pen to paper to memorialize the victims of the Nova Scotia shootings, embodying the grief and hope Canadians are feeling through one of that nation’s darkest periods. 

As communities around Nova Scotia work their way through the senseless violence, the tartan has become a symbol of hope.

Cartoonist Michael DeAdder illustrated the lives lost during the rampage, including RCMP Const. Heidi Stevenson. 

The Maritimes has been hit by such a tragedy before. Bruce MacKinnon reposted an old illustration he drew when three RCMP officers were killed in 2014, during a shooting in Moncton, N.B.

As more victims are named, Canadians have come together to support Nova Scotia. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the process of grieving is harder than ever, as families and neighbours have to maintain social distancing. 

Dr. Theresa Tam, the country’s chief public health officer, said Canadians will have to find “virtual” ways to support each other. 

“It is going to be tough, there is no doubt about it, but I think people will find a way,” said Tam in a press conference on Monday. “People in Nova Scotia will, in their own way, be able to mourn together.”

With files from The Canadian Press

CORRECTION: This article previously referred to the shootings as the “deadliest mass shooting” in Canadian history. Due to the nature of the victims’ deaths, this is not factual. The story has been updated.

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