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April 8, 2022

This update includes a recap on the Commission’s progress, schedule details for next week’s proceedings and information about source material.

Phase 1 Progress

The Commission continues to build a robust, factual foundation of what happened leading up to, during and after the April 18-19, 2020 mass casualty. So far, the Commission has shared eight Foundational Documents, a Commissioned Report, heard from five witnesses and issued a decision with respect to additional witnesses proposed by Participants. We also held a panel on mental health and another on rural life in Nova Scotia, and the Commission continues to receive and act on submissions from Participants — including those most affected, families, first responders, governments, and organizations — through their counsel.

Throughout April, we plan to share six more Foundational Documents and hear from additional witnesses to supplement the information in the Foundational Documents or fill in any gaps that remain. Once again, Participants will be able to share submissions on areas they suggest should be explored further and suggest additional witnesses.

Foundational Documents shared so far

Foundational Documents to be shared in April
  1. Portapique, April 18-19, 2020
  2. First Responder Actions in Portapique
  3. Containment Points in and Around Portapique
  4. Overnight in Debert
  5. 2328 Hunter Road
  6. Highway 4, Wentworth
  7. Highway 4, Glenholme
  8. Plains Road, Debert
9. Onslow Belmont Fire Brigade Hall
10. Shubenacadie
11. Highway 224
12. Enfield Big Stop
13. Police Paraphernalia
14. Confirmation of Replica RCMP Cruiser

In May, the Commission will share nine more Foundational Documents. To see a list of the more than 30 Foundational Documents that will be shared throughout 2022, visit the website. The list of scheduled Foundational Documents is not exhaustive and there may be additional Foundational Documents developed as the Commission continues to explore the issues in its mandate.

We will release our interim report May 1. This report will share our progress to date and the steps that we anticipate taking as we continue to fulfill our mandate. It will not include recommendations as those will be included in the final report.

Schedule details for the week of April 11

The Commission’s calendar for next week has been updated with the details below including witnesses that will be heard. The calendar will continue to be updated on Fridays with details for the following week.

Monday, April 11

  • Presentation of Foundational Document: Onslow Belmont Fire Brigade Hall
  • Witness Panel: Darrell Currie, Greg Muise and Richard Ellison. Greg Muise is the Onslow Fire Chief and Darrell Currie is the Deputy Chief. Richard Ellison is a resident of Portapique and the father of Corrie Ellison. All were present in Onslow on April 19, 2020.
  • Presentation of Foundational Document: Shubenacadie

Wednesday, April 13

  • Presentation of Foundational Document: Highway 224
  • Presentation of Foundational Document: Enfield Big Stop
  • Witness: Dr. Matthew Bowes, Chief Medical Examiner for Nova Scotia. Dr. Bowes will speak to medical examiners reports for Heather O’Brien. Dr. Bowes will also speak to the medical examiners report for the perpetrator.
  • Participant Submissions

Thursday, April 14

  • Witness Panel: Const. Craig Hubley and Const. Ben MacLeod. These RCMP members were involved in the police response at the Enfield Big Stop.
  • Participant Submissions, continued as needed

Following these proceedings, we the Commissioners may determine the need to hear from additional witnesses for the Onslow Belmont Fire Brigade Hall Foundational Document.

Source Material

Foundational Documents are created based on source material, which includes:

  • Institutional investigative files, emails and other sources of communication
  • Commission 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

As hundreds of source materials are added to the website each time a new Foundational Document is shared, the Commission team remains committed to fulfilling its obligation of protecting private and legally privileged information. In some instances, the Commission may need to temporarily remove a source material from the website as a result of a claim of privilege or private information, such as potential identification of a minor, a civic address, or personal medical information. Once the document has been reviewed and updated, it will be re-posted online.

As shared in a statement on our website earlier this week, 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. The Commission will work to have source material posted within two business days of marking it as an exhibit during proceedings. This is to ensure the thousands of documents being shared are carefully reviewed for private or legally privileged information.

There are some source materials related to multiple Foundational Documents. This means some source materials related to Foundational Documents not yet shared may already be available on our website if they relate to Foundational Documents presented earlier in public proceedings. As an example, when the Onslow Belmont Fire Brigade Hall Foundational Document is posted on Monday, you will notice some related source materials will be immediately available on the website as they were already uploaded as part of an earlier Foundational Document. As noted above, the Commission will work to have new source material for a Foundational Document posted within two business days, although in rare instances there may be further delays.

How to Stay Updated

You can watch the webcasts or listen to live audio from the proceedings by calling 1-877-385-4099 (toll free) and entering code 1742076 followed by the # sign. Recordings of the webcasts along with transcripts are available, so that you may engage in the Commission’s work at a time that works best for you.

Members of the public can register to attend proceedings in person on the Commission’s website. The venues for public proceedings change periodically so please use the registration portal or website calendar to confirm locations on the date you wish to attend.

  • For the week of April 11, proceedings will be held at the Halifax Convention Centre
  • For the week of April 25, proceedings will be held at the Halifax Prince George Hotel

Thank you

Much of the information the Commission is dealing with remains difficult to hear — particularly for people most affected by the mass casualty. We want to thank everyone for their engagement in the proceedings to date. As we make progress, we will continue to seek answers to the questions set out in the mandate and will balance our responsibilities to the public with our attentiveness to the needs of all those who have already suffered harm.

Always remember that supports are available if you or a loved one need them, both on-site at the proceedings and through the Commission’s website.

Sincerely,

The Mass Casualty Commission

Hon. J. Michael MacDonald, Chair

Leanne J. Fitch (Ret. Police Chief, M.O.M.)

Dr. Kim Stanton

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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