5 suspicious packages delivered to courthouses across Nova Scotia
Above watch: Police are investigating after four suspicious packages were sent to courthouses in Halifax, Truro, Kentville and Bridgewater. This comes one day after another package was sent to the Amherst Courthouse. Ray Bradshaw reports.
HALIFAX – Police are investigating after suspicious packages arrived at five courthouses across Nova Scotia.
The packages arrived at courthouses in Halifax, Kentville, Truro and Bridgewater Tuesday and in Amherst on Monday. Police say the packages appear to have originated from Hong Kong.
A Canada Post worker told Global News he delivered two normal business envelopes from Asia to sheriffs at the law courts building in Halifax on Tuesday.
“I delivered some parcels this morning that have been identified as possibly being suspicious,” said Terry Piper, “Same links as the ones that were delivered earlier in the last day or so. Canada Post will be identifying that and looking at that and notifying the rest of us in terms of what to look for.”
The building was briefly evacuated as police closed Upper Water Street to traffic while they investigated.
One Halifax lawyer said she’s worried about safety in the courts. “I definitely have a concern. I’m a lawyer, so I’m in and out of the law courts on a regular basis,” said Cheryl Canning. “Over the last number of years we’ve seen security increasing at the law courts at higher and higher levels and I suppose for good reason.”
Halifax Regional Police announced Tuesday afternoon that further examination revealed the envelopes did not contain any harmful substances. “There were items within these envelopes and the items are being examined right now to really determine exactly what we have here,” said Cst. Pierre Bourdages.
Bridgewater Police said the package delivered to the local courthouse was contained and did not result in any injuries or an evacuation.
Court operations were not affected in Truro, according to police, who said they are still investigating.
In Kentville, a sheriff reported the suspicious package that was delivered by a mail carrier. It was addressed to a judge and the only return address lsited was “Hong Kong”. Police removed the package without incident and turned it over to the RCMP.
Fred Hildebrand, director of Nova Scotia Sheriff Services, said all the packages had similarities, including an Asian point of origin, although he did not specify a country.
He also noted the packages were similar to ones sent to courthouses in Manitoba last month. All of the tests for dangerous chemicals in those packages were negative.
On Monday, four employees at provincial court in Amherst were sent to hospital complaining of nausea, dizziness and a burning sensation in the throat after a suspicious package was delivered.
Andrew Preeper, spokesperson for the province’s Justice Department, said there have been no reports of illness in connection with Tuesday’s incidents.
Hildebrand said sheriff staffing in Nova Scotia won’t increase, but staff “will be more diligent.”
Premier Stephen McNeil expressed concern over the suspicious packages, but said he has faith in law enforcement.
– With files from Global News and The Canadian Press
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