TIMELINE: Schools across Atlantic Canada impacted by alleged bomb threats

TC Media Atlantic audiencemanager@tc.tc
Published on September 21, 2016

Continuing care students at the NSCC campus in Middleton outside the building Sept. 21 after police advised the campus to evacuate.

©Larry Powell

All Prince Edward Island students were out of class Sept. 21 and other students across Atlantic Canada were impacted by alleged threats to post-secondary and public school campuses.

All public schools on P.E.I., all Nova Scotia Community College campuses, Holland College, University of Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton University were evacuated bomb threats. One school in Newfoundland and Labrador was also closed briefly.

TIMELINE

All times Atlantic.

7:50 a.m. - Cape Breton Regional Police inform Nova Scotia Community College Marconi Campus of a potential bomb threat. Both the community college and Cape Breton University campus are evacuated         

8 a.m. - Halifax Regional Police respond to Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology campus in Halifax’s north end “after the campus received a threatening message from an anonymous person.”

Soon after, the NSCC Centre of Geographical Sciences in Lawrencetown is evacuated.

9 a.m. - RCMP in Ottawa received at fax saying a bomb was placed in several P.E.I. schools. Evacuations begin with more than 19,000 students from more than 60 English and French schools moved to safe areas and onto buses.

10:40 a.m. - Middleton NSCC is evacuated.

11:30 a.m. - P.E.I. school students bused home.

Noon - RCMP hold a news conference in Charlottetown, P.E.I. Watch here.

12:15 p.m. - NSCC issues a news release stating classes have been cancelled for the day due to a “communicated threat”. All campus searches completed by then except for the IT campus in Halifax.

1:26 p.m. - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau begins an Ottawa news conference with an update on the situation in P.E.I, tells those assembled all staff and children are safe.

3 p.m. - RCMP Staff Sgt. Kevin Baillie holds an updated news conference. RCMP in P.E.I. say they are now confident a bomb threat made against several schools in Prince Edward Island was not credible following a comprehensive threat assessment. Baillie mentioned similar incidents in Mount Pearl, N.L., and Winnipeg, Man. RCMP are treating all these threats as potentially linked. (In Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador, a spokesman for the English School District says there was a bomb threat at O’Donel High School .  The school later reopened)

Baillie did note the threats to other jurisdictions were not included in the fax sent to Ottawa RCMP about P.E.I. schools. One in Nova Scotia was received via phone call and the Newfoundland threat was a hand-written note found in a school.

4 p.m. – Halifax Regional Police clear scene at NSCC IT campus in Halifax. Nothing suspicious was found, but police an investigation continues.

There were no known evacuations in New Brunswick as of noon and the Anglophone East School District said all was “business as usual.”

STORIFY: Schools evacuated in Nova Scotia and P.E.I., reaction on social media

FULL COVERAGE: Police investigate alleged at multiple Atlantic Canadian schools

 

What people are saying about the evacuations across the region:

“As a parent, I know how worrisome this type of situation can be. I know that the affected parents must be having a very difficult day.”

~  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"It’s scary, very scary. Our Island is not as safe as it used to be."

~ Summerside P.E.I.  parent Betty Campbell

“It didn’t specify which schools, it did state that the bomb would be detonated.”

~ P.E.I. RCMP Staff Sgt. Kevin Baillie

"We were told to get off school property as soon as possible. Most people who had their (car) keys couldn't even go to their cars."

~ P.E.I. student Paige Collicutt

“There was a communicated threat received at the Institute of Technology (IT) Campus, Marconi Campus and the Annapolis Valley Campus (including Centre of Geographic Sciences site (COGS)) earlier this morning.”

 ~ Nova Scotia Community College.

 “The staff were with the students so they were evacuated to our campus regular safe areas we use for fire drills and fire evacuations so students were evacuated there and staff  would be with students during that evacuation time.”

~ Jason Clark, NSCC principal for the Annapolis Valley region

“Police are on the scene investigating an undisclosed threat”

~ Cape Breton University

Are these incidents becoming more common? We compiled A partial list of bomb threats made at schools in Atlantic Canada over the past several years, as reported in regional media.

 

  • May 27, 2016 - Bomb threat phoned into St. Jean School in Charlottetown. No device found.

 

  • May 27, 2016 -  Bomb threats phoned into Barnhill School and Riverview East School in New Brunswick. No bomb found.

 

  • March 16, 2016 - Bomb threats were made at three schools in New Brunswick: Saint John, Fredericton and Riverview. No bomb found.

 

  • March 16, 2016 -  Bomb threat made at Spring Park School in Charlottetown. No bomb found.

 

  • March 2, 2016 - Bomb threat made at Harbour View High in Saint John. No Bomb found.

 

  • Feb. 25, 2015 - Bomb threat at Stephenville High School in Newfoundland and Labrador  cancelled classes for the morning. No bomb found. Student confessed later he “wanted the day off school”.

 

  • May 27, 2015, bomb threat at John W. MacLeod School in Halifax. No bomb found.

 

  • Aug. 17, 2015 -  Parts of Dalhousie University evacuated after bomb threat. No bomb found.

 

  • Oct. 6, 2015 - Classes delayed at John W. MacLeod Elementary School in Halifax due to a bomb threat. No bomb found.

 

  • Oct. 7, 2015 - Bomb threat Stephenville High School, in Stephenville, N.L. School was closed for the day. No bomb found.

 

  • Nov. 9, 2014 -  Bomb threat at Glace Bay High School in Cape Breton. School closed for a time, but then re-opened. No bomb found.

 

  • Nov. 19, 2014 -  Bomb threat at Memorial High School in North Sydney, Cape Breton, and at Glace Bay High. Students were sent home. No bomb found but a garbage can was discovered on fire.

 

  • Oct. 13, 2013 - bomb threat at Barrington Municipal High School in Nova Scotia. No device found.

 

  • April 4, 2012 -  Students at Sydney Academy in Cape Breton sent home after bomb threat. No device found.

 

  • May 17, 2010 - Stephenville High School, N.L., receives bomb threat. Students sent home for the afternoon. No device found.

 

Sources: Cape Breton Post, The Western Star, The Guardian, CBC, CTV, NovaNewsNow.com.