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The Mass Casualty Commission is an independent public inquiry created to examine the April 18-19, 2020 mass casualty in Nova Scotia and to provide meaningful recommendations to help protect Canadians in the future. The three Commissioners jointly selected to conduct the Inquiry are the Honourable J. Michael MacDonald, Leanne J. Fitch (Ret. Police Chief, M.O.M.) and Dr. Kim Stanton.


Hon J Michael Mac Donald
Commissioner MacDonald - Chair

The Honourable J. Michael MacDonald served as Chief Justice of Nova Scotia until his retirement in 2019. As Chief Justice, he led and championed several judicial outreach initiatives with Nova Scotia’s Mi’kmaw and Black communities. He also led initiatives to enhance diversity on Nova Scotia’s benches, including a judicial mentorship program for Black and Mi’kmaw lawyers and justice day camps for students from Nova Scotia’s marginalized communities.

The Honourable Michael MacDonald was a member of the Canadian Judicial Council for 20 years and chaired several of its committees. After retiring from the bench, he has joined Stewart McKelvey as counsel. In that capacity, he promotes similar initiatives through the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

The Nova Scotia Branch of the Canadian Bar Association awards annually the J. Michael MacDonald Access to Justice Award to honour his work in the area of access to justice. He is a recipient of an honourary doctorate of laws degree from Cape Breton University and has received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals.


Leanne J. Fitch, Commissioner
Commissioner Fitch

Leanne J. Fitch (Ret. Police Chief, M.O.M.) retired from 34 years in municipal policing in 2019 after serving seven years as Chief of Police for the Fredericton Police Force. Commissioner Fitch has a bachelor and master’s degree in sociology from the University of New Brunswick. She is a former roundtable member for the provincial Department of Public Safety on Crime Reduction and Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence, and former member of the New Brunswick Domestic Violence Death Review Committee. She served as chair and vice chair for the Criminal Intelligence Service New Brunswick Provincial Executive Committee.

Commissioner Fitch is the past co-chair of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police Crime Prevention, Community Safety, and Wellbeing Committee where she was instrumental in developing the CACP National Framework for Collaborative Police Action on Intimate Partner Violence. She completed a one-year term as vice-chairperson of the inaugural RCMP Management Advisory Board. Leanne is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and is a Member of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces from the Governor General.


Dr Kim Stanton BW
Commissioner Stanton

Dr. Kim Stanton is a lawyer at Goldblatt Partners LLP in Toronto. 

Raised in southern Alberta, she has worked at the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development in West Africa, practiced constitutional law in British Columbia and Ontario and served as an adjudicator on two provincial administrative tribunals. 

Commissioner Stanton completed her honours undergraduate degree at the University of Calgary, her law degree at the University of British Columbia, and her Masters and Doctoral degrees in law at the University of Toronto. She publishes in the areas of constitutional law, transitional justice, and public inquiries.

Some of the information within this website may be disturbing or upsetting for some visitors. This website deals with information about events that include gun and other violence, including gender-based violence and intimate partner violence. If you need to leave at any point, there is a “quick exit” button at the top of the website. This website also includes some suggested resources, should you be in need of support.

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