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The Commission uses Foundational Documents to share its understanding of key facts and events leading up to and during the April 2020 mass casualty in Nova Scotia.

What are Foundational Documents?

Foundational Documents help the Commission share what has been learned to date during our independent investigation in an efficient and succinct way. Phase 1 documents address specific times, locations or topics and include an overview, a detailed narrative and source materials (like witness interviews and audio or visual recordings or transcripts). They will be shared with the public during public hearings and released in sequential order (not all at once).

A list of the Commission’s Foundational Documents and a sample template of one can be found below.

Steps to create Foundational Documents

Below are the steps we are following to create the Commission’s Foundational Documents. Currently, we are reviewing the draft Phase 1 Foundational Documents with Participants to ensure they are as accurate as possible.

Steps to Create Foundational Documents
  • 1. Gather and analyze information and evidence

    To date, the Commission has gathered and analyzed more than 40,000 pages of documents and approximately 1,000 video and audio files, in addition to new information collected through the Commission’s own investigation, interviews, analysis of evidence, and site visits. The Commission’s Foundational Documents are created based on this source material, which includes:

    • Institutional investigative files, emails and other sources of communication
    • Interviews with witnesses or people with specific information relevant to our mandate
    • Audio and visual recordings and transcripts
    • Insights from site visits
    • Policies and procedures

    Collection and analysis of information will continue throughout the Commission’s two-year mandate.

  • 2. Draft Foundational Documents to organize and share information

    The Commission produces Foundational Documents that organize and share large volumes of information collected.

    See lists below of anticipated Phase 1 and Phase 2 Foundational Documents.

    The Foundational Documents will contain links to their source materials. The Commission redacts some information in the source materials for privacy and dignity reasons. For example, removing personal information like phone numbers and blurring graphic content or images of children.

  • 3. Consult with Participants to ensure accuracy

    The Commission consults with Participants who are asked to review draft Foundational Documents and identify any gaps or errors to ensure Foundational Documents are as accurate as possible before they are shared publicly.

  • 4. Make Foundational Documents public on our website

    Once the Foundational Documents are as accurate as possible, they will be shared with the public during the Commission’s proceedings and posted to the Commission’s website.

    Foundational Documents for Phase 1 are planned for public release in the winter 2022 proceedings. Foundational Documents for Phase 2 are currently being drafted.

  • 5. Address any issues in the Foundational Documents during public proceedings

    The Commission will hold public proceedings, such as hearings or expert roundtables, on outstanding questions or gaps that arise from the Foundational Documents.

    During the public proceedings, we will hear from witnesses to supplement the information in the Foundational Documents.

List of Foundational Documents

The below list of the Commission's Foundational Documents is not exhaustive and there may be additional Foundational Documents developed as the Commission continues to explore the issues in its mandate.

This factual record will form the basis for our work on understanding how and why the mass casualty happened, and to develop recommendations to help keep communities safer in the future.

As we continue to review the feedback received from Participants during the Working Meetings held in late 2020, the titles and scope of some of these Foundational Documents may change.

  • Phase 1 Foundational Documents

    Location-based 

    • Community Perspective in Portapique
    • First Responders Actions in Portapique
    • Perimeter Containment in Portapique
    • Overnight in Debert
    • 2328 Hunter Road
    • Highway 4, Wentworth
    • Highway 4, Glenholme
    • Plains Road, Debert
    • Onslow Belmont Fire Brigade
    • Shubenacadie
    • Highway 224
    • Enfield Big Stop

    Topic-based 

    • Truro Police Services
    • RCMP Emergency Response Team Response
    • Confirmation of Mock RCMP Cruiser
    • Air Support Narrative
    • RCMP Public Communications
    • RCMP Command Decisions Narrative
    • Halifax Regional Police and Halifax District RCMP
    • Air Support Narrative
    • Overview of Radio Communications System in Nova Scotia
    • Overview of 911 Call-Taking and Dispatch in Nova Scotia
    • Applicable Legislation and Regulations: 
      • Firearms
      • Public Alerting 
      • Police Paraphernalia 
      • Structure of Policing in Nova Scotia
    • Perpetrator’s Access to and Use of Police Vehicles and Associated Equipment, Kit and Clothing
    • Perpetrator’s Access to Firearms
    • Public Communications from the RCMP and Governments about the Mass Casualty
  • Phase 2 Foundational Documents
    • Perpetrator’s Violence toward Common-law Spouse
    • Perpetrator’s Violence toward Others
    • Perpetrator’s Financial Misdealings
    • Violence within the Perpetrator’s Family
    • Applicable Legislation and Regulations:
      • Death Notification
      • Victim Support
    • Next of Kin Notifications to Families
    • Resources and Services Requested by and Provided to Families
    • Support Services Available to the Community

Sample Template

To help the public know what to expect when Foundational Documents are shared in winter 2022, the Commission has created a sample Foundational Document template for download below. This sample includes placeholder text. Actual Foundational Documents will vary in length and content.

Commission 019 Foundational Document Sample Image

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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