Alleged racial work incident a chance for dialogue: N.S. minister

African-Nova Scotian Affairs Minister Tony Ince addresses a news conference in Cherry Brook, N.S. near Halifax on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. The province is spending $2.7 million over two years to help residents in five black communities obtain clear legal title to their land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Nova Scotia’s minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs says race relations are improving in the province, but there is still a lot of work to do.

Tony Ince made the comments Thursday after being asked about a young black man who was allegedly shot in the back with a nail gun on a construction site on Sept. 19.

READ MORE: Man charged after worker struck with nail gun in Pictou County

Media reports have said the victim alleged he faced racism at the worksite, and suggested the nail gun incident that punctured his lung with a nearly nine-centimetre long framing nail was deliberate.

Activists have said they are planning an Oct. 19 protest outside Labour Department offices in Halifax over the incident.

READ MORE: Death of Cape Breton woman found inside burning home was accidental, police say

Meanwhile, a 43-year-old Trenton, N.S., man is scheduled to appear in Pictou provincial court on Dec. 21.

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Ince said he can’t comment specifically on allegations the incident was racially motivated because it’s before the courts.

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