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August 16, 2021

This update includes information regarding the Rules of Practice and Procedure shared on our website, receiving and preparing documents, and ongoing community outreach.

We are making steady progress with our investigation, and we remain committed to working in ways that are transparent and consultative. This approach informed the development of the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure that are now available on our website. The Rules of Practice and Procedure (also known as the “Rules”) will guide the Commission’s various public proceedings—including public hearings, roundtables, witness panels and community meetings. These Rules will ensure everyone taking part in our public proceedings has a common understanding of roles, process and approach. Thank you to all Participants who provided comments and suggestions; this input was reviewed and considered by the Commissioners before the Rules were finalized and shared on our website.

As part of our work investigating the April 2020 mass casualty in Nova Scotia, our team has collected tens of thousands documents and information from a range of sources. These are collected through a process called production (see definition below). The Commission continues to receive documents and information. Consistent with our trauma-informed approach, each document is reviewed for content such as privacy, personal information and graphic content. Documents and information are then disclosed to Participants (through a process called disclosure, which includes the signing of undertakings that ensures the information received remains confidential until made public) and will be used to create foundational documents.

Foundational documents allow us to summarize a large volume of documents and information from a variety of sources and introduce them into evidence. They will help make the work of the Commission more transparent and efficient for everyone involved. We are preparing to share the first foundational documents with the Participants as they are developed and with the public this fall.

Our investigations team continues to conduct witness interviews, review documents provided in production/disclosure and conduct site visits in the areas most affected. The next phase of this work will include the use of aerial drones and other equipment to capture accurate and respectful footage of the communities for use during public proceedings and throughout the Commission’s work. This footage will help provide information about terrain, routes and locations to better understand what happened. We will share more detail in the coming days and weeks so community members know what to expect and when we will be in their communities.

We remain committed to helping you understand what to expect and how to be involved in our work. Over the coming weeks, we will share a brief introduction to the Commission by mail with people living in the communities that were most affected. We will include details about where to learn more and how to get in touch with us with questions or information that could assist our work.

Given the easing of public health restrictions during the pandemic, we are beginning to plan for in-person community engagement in the most affected communities. This will be another way for interested community members to learn more about the Commission and our work, and share information with us. We will provide more information in our regular updates and online at MassCasualtyCommission.ca.

To help you stay up to date, we will keep sharing regular updates and posting answers to frequently asked questions on our website. We encourage you to follow the Commission on Facebook and Twitter, and to help spread the word about ways to engage by sharing our posts.

Respectfully,

The Mass Casualty Commission

Hon. J. Michael MacDonald, Chair

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

Dr. Kim Stanton

Key term

What this means

Production and Disclosure

This is a legal process where individuals, organizations and institutions are compelled to share information. Through the production process, the Commission has the ability to subpoena documents and information from various sources. When documents are shared with Participants, this is called disclosure. Disclosed documents will be used to create foundational documents.

Rules of Practice and Procedure

Developed collaboratively with Participants, these Rules ensure everyone understands the roles, processes and approach for public proceedings.

Foundational Documents

Summarizes large volumes of documents to allow facts to be placed in evidence without requiring each document to be presented orally by a witness during a public hearing. Foundational documents are intended to promote efficiency in the inquiry process and form the basis for our ongoing work. We expect to share foundational documentation this fall (2021).

Participant

Individuals and groups who applied for and have been granted the opportunity for appropriate participation in the Commission’s proceedings.

Trauma informed

A commitment to work in ways that minimizes harm, recognizes the presence of trauma symptoms, and acknowledges the role trauma may play in an individual's life.

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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