Skip to main content

Public Proceedings

Webcast Rural Community Safety and Policing

June 30, 2022 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Primary site location:

Halifax Convention Centre
1650 Argyle Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Grafton Street entrance

We will update this page and our calendar as more details become available.

Register here to attend proceedings in-person.

To listen to live audio from the proceedings, call 1-877-385-4099 (toll-free) and enter code 1742076, followed by the # sign.



  • Roundtable 1: Needs of First Responders After Mass Casualty Incidents
This roundtable will address the following core themes: 
  • The immediate, short-term, and long-term needs of first and secondary responders exposed to traumatic situations by the virtue of their jobs;
  • Best practices for addressing those needs;
  • Existing models that provide support, promote healing and foster resiliency.
Roundtable Members: 
  • Facilitator: Krista Smith, Legal Policy Officer, Research and Policy Team
  • Dr. Arija Birze, Senior Research Associate, Institute for Better Health, Trillium Health Partners. Dr. Birze is currently a Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Better Health, Trillium Health Partners. Her postdoctoral work, completed at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, explores the traumatic impacts of violent video evidence among criminal justice professionals. Her PhD, completed at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, examined gender and work as social determinants of health, with a focus on occupational stress and traumatic exposures among Police Communicators including 911 call-takers and dispatchers. 
  • Robin Campbell, PhD Candidate at Dalhousie University with research focused on the mental health of volunteer firefighters in rural Nova Scotia. Ms. Campbell is a former volunteer firefighter with Wolfville and Greenwich Fire Departments. She is also an adjunct Professor at Acadia University, an Associate Researcher with FIREWELL and a Reservist with the Canadian Armed Forces.
  • Dr. Julie MacMillan-Devlin, former Program Evaluation Officer of the Operational Stress Injury Clinic in Fredericton, New Brunswick and manager of Psychological Services with the Ontario Provincial Police.
  • Mary Fetchet, President and Executive Director of Voices Center for Resilience, an organization she founded following the death of her 24 year-old son on 9/11. A graduate of Columbia University School of Social Work, her 29 years of experience as a clinical social worker influenced VOICES innovative approach to providing long-term support for victims’ families, responders and survivors, and commemorating the lives lost in a meaningful way
  • Dr. Alexandra Heber, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University. Dr. Heber has over 35 years' experience working in mental health. After a decade working with HIV+ clients and leading an Assertive Community Treatment Team in Toronto, she enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces in 2006, and deployed to Afghanistan in 2009-10. In 2016, she became inaugural Chief of Psychiatry for Veterans Affairs Canada. 
  • Dr. Megan McElheran, CEO & Chief Clinical Psychologist, Wayfound Mental Health Group. Dr. McElheran's work focuses exclusively on work with military members and public safety personnel, including members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, municipal police officers, firefighters, corrections officers, medical personnel, and others who are directly or vicariously impacted by traumatic events.
  • Dr. Deborah Norris, Professor, Department of Family Studies and Gerontology at Mount Saint Vincent University. Informed through her background in family science, critical theories, and qualitative methodology, she teaches courses in family relations, family violence, and research methods. Dr. Norris’ research program focuses on the bi-directional relationship between operational stress injuries and the mental health and well-being of military and veteran families and the families of public safety personnel.

Roundtable 2: Rural Communities, Policing and Crime

This roundtable will address the following core themes: 

  • Crime in rural communities, including rates and nature of crime committed in rural areas;
  • Firearms in rural communities, with focus on attitudes towards possession and use; and
  • Policing in rural communities, including the unique challenges to policing rural areas, and the core values and delivery of community-based policing.

Roundtable Members: 

  • Facilitator: Dr. Emma Cunliffe, Research and Policy Director
  • Dr. Karen Foster, Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department Sociology and Social Anthropology, Dalhousie University. Dr. Foster holds the Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Rural Futures for Atlantic Canada. Her research, supported by her Rural Futures Research Centre, focuses on rural economy and society, with active studies on such topics as rural business succession, rural regulatory challenges and how rural families’ caring lives and working lives are intertwined.
  • Dr. Jane McMillan, Chair of the Department of Anthropology, St. Francis Xavier University. Dr. McMillan is the author of the award-winning Truth and Conviction: Donald Marshall Jr. and the Mi’kmaw Quest for Justice. She conducts community-engaged research with First Nations on policing, Indigenous justice, treaty rights implementation and resource governance.
  • Supt. Dan Morrow, Southwest Nova District Policing Officer. Supt. Dan Morrow has been a member of the RCMP for over 29 years and is currently the Southwest Nova District Policing Officer in NS. He has worked in a variety of roles within the RCMP and served in locations including fly-in communities, rural, semi-rural, urban, and nearly two decades in First Nation Communities. For much of his service he was a detachment commander where he was responsible for the operational/administrative functions along with the development of local community policing priorities. His Cree ancestry has provided a personal perspective in the numerous local, provincial, and national committees he has participated in which were predominantly focused on the development of Reconciliation, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion strategies within the RCMP.
  • Dr. Anna Souhami, Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Head of Criminology at the School of Law, University of Edinburgh. Dr. Souhami is an ethnographer specializing in policing and police/community relations. Her current work is an extended study of rural policing and communities in the remote Northern islands of Scotland.
  • Dr. Rosemary Ricciardelli is Professor (PhD, Sociology) in the School of Maritime Studies and Research Chair in Safety, Security, and Wellness, at Memorial University’s Fisheries and Marine Institute. Elected to the Royal Society of Canada, her research centers on evolving understandings of gender, vulnerabilities, risk, and experiences and issues within different facets of the criminal justice system and among mariners. She has published 11 books, over 190 journal articles and nearly 50 chapters all in the areas of PSP, criminalized persons, and wellness – broadly defined. As a sex and gender researcher, her interests lay in the social health, identity construction, and lived experiences of individuals.

  • Dr. Rick Ruddell, Law Foundation of Saskatchewan Chair in Police Studies, University of Regina. A graduate of the Ph.D. program in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri - St. Louis, Dr. Ruddell's research has focused upon policing, criminal justice policy, and youth justice.
  • Dr. Signa Daum Shanks, Associate Professor, University of Ottawa. Dr. Daum Shanks is a member of the Indigenous Bar Association and is on the Board of Directors for the Ontario Bar Association. In 2018, she organized a pop-up think-tank regarding the criminal trial of Gerald Stanley in Saskatchewan which examined the role of property law, discrimination against Indigenous Peoples, rural policing and the base knowledge community members have about the legal system.


  • Foundational Documents will be posted to our website as they are entered into evidence during the proceedings.
  • The Commission will work to have source material posted within two business days of marking it as an exhibit during proceedings although in rare instances there may be further delays.
  • If links within the Foundational Document are taking you to a page that states “Page not found or document unavailable,” it means they are not yet posted to the website.
  • All timing, agendas, format and schedules are subject to change and will be updated here as required.


View Transcript

Content Warning: The following video contains scenes including the discharging of firearms causing death. There is a “quick exit” button at the top of the website if you need it, and Wellness Supports are also listed.

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.

This website uses cookies
We use cookies to help improve your experience while using this website. By continuing to use this site you are agreeing to this use of cookies. Read more about cookies and other information in our Privacy Policy.