Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster is a native Nova Scotian, left numb by Sunday’s mass shooting that became the worst in Canadian history with at least 19 people dead. (Morning Star - file photo)

Okanagan MLA’s heart with home province in wake of mass shooting

Eric Foster, native of Dartmouth, left numb by violence that killed at least 19 people

Eric Foster knows it well, the Big Stop gas station in Enfield, in his home province of Nova Scotia.

Arrive at the Halifax Airport and if you’re heading north in Nova Scotia, Enfield is one of the first communities you come across, and the Big Stop is right there on the highway.

Foster, the MLA for Vernon-Monashee, is from Dartmouth. That’s where he met his wife, Janice. His mom still lives in the same Dartmouth house she and her husband bought in 1953.

Foster, like the rest of the country, has been trying to come to terms with the worst mass shooting in Canadian history that occurred in his home province Sunday at the hand of one man who left 19 people dead as of 12 p.m. PDT Monday, including a 23-year veteran of the RCMP who leaves behind two children and a husband.

“I’m numb,” said Foster Monday morning. “No matter where it happens, it’s a terrible thing. But everyone there will have a connection. My family will know somebody involved in this somehow. It’s not a big province.”

The suspected shooter, believed to be a denturist, is also dead. It’s believed he was killed at the Big Stop Sunday morning, though police have not said how he died. Media reports have said at some point during the spree he was dressed as an RCMP officer and was driving a mocked-up RCMP cruiser.

Foster said his mother’s home is about a, “15-minute slow walk,” to the suspect shooter’s business, and about a half-hour to the Big Stop, where the spree ended.

The shootings started late Saturday night in the village of Portapique, population around 100, which Foster pointed out is, “smaller than Cherryville,” and ended Sunday morning at the Big Stop outside Halifax

“My brother and sister-in-law have what they call a camp, we’d call it a cottage or cabin, in Wentworth (north of Portapique) where some people were killed and a place set on fire,” said Foster. “That place is about 15 minutes from their camp.”

Police said Monday there were 16 crime scenes. The shooting remains under investigation.

READ MORE: Probe into mass killing in Nova Scotia continues as province grapples with the violence

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