‘Irresponsible and blatantly false’: N.S. premier calls out April Fool’s Day prankster

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil makes an announcement in Halifax, Friday, Friday, Dec 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ted Pritchard

Nova Scotia’s premier is calling on residents to be wary of misinformation floating around online on April Fool’s Day.

In a Facebook post Wednesday, Premier Stephen McNeil said there is a false post circulating which appears to show Education Minister Zach Churchill extending school closures from May 1 to May 31.

“It is irresponsible and blatantly false,” McNeil said.

READ MORE: Breakdown of where coronavirus cases are in Nova Scotia coming soon: Strang

The fake letter, which appears to be sent to teachers, parents and students, says school closures in Nova Scotia have been extended based on “epidemiological projections.”

It also said the school year will be extended from June 1 to Aug. 28.

“There will be a short vacation break until the start of the next academic year on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020,” the fake letter reads.

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Click to play video: 'Coronavirus outbreak: 20 new cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia, total of 147'
Coronavirus outbreak: 20 new cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia, total of 147

McNeil corrected the fake post in a statement of his own, saying schools closures will contine to be extended to May 1, at which time they will assess whether it is safe to reopen schools.

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In speaking with Global News on Tuesday, Nova Scotia Teachers Union president Paul Wozney also said there was no indication of an additional extension.

“It’s fun to have a sense of humour on April Fools, but I would encourage everyone to understand the impact of their words during this very difficult time,” McNeil continued.

“There’s no indication whatsoever in talking with Minister Churchill and the leadership at the Department of Education that working into the summer is something that they think is important or necessary,” he said.

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READ MORE: Coronavirus: First case of community spread identified in Nova Scotia

McNeil added that he’s “very proud” of teachers for supporting Nova Scotia’s Learning Plan and helping students navigate at-home learning.

“I also want to thank parents and students for working with their teachers during this unprecedented time,” he said.

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