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August 26, 2022

Find out what to expect for the Commission’s third and final phase of work and learn more about the process for developing recommendations and the timing of the final report.

What to Expect for Phase 3 Proceedings

Next week we will begin our third and final phase of proceedings, focused on developing recommendations. This is an opportunity to build on everything we have learned to date through investigating what happened and exploring how and why it happened. During this phase we will be hearing from Participants, community organizations, local community members and the general public to gather suggestions for change. This engagement will help us as we draft a final report with findings, lessons learned and recommendations to help make our communities safer.

Throughout September, we will also hear from witnesses who have not yet provided testimony.

There are a number of new activities to expect throughout Phase 3 including:

  • Environmental Scan of Prior Recommendations: On Monday, August 29, Commission counsel will share and present an Environmental Scan of Prior Recommendations to assist us all in understanding the kinds of issues earlier inquiries and reviews have brought forward. This scan, completed by the Commission’s Research and Policy team, includes more than 2,000 recommendations from 71 previous reports in Canada relating to topics in the mandate.
  • Roundtables: We will continue to hear from roundtables in Phase 3, learning from experts and other individuals with helpful knowledge and insights on issues related to the mandate. Phase 3 roundtables will focus on topics including community policing, the structure of policing in Nova Scotia, and police oversight.
  • Participant Consultations: Participant organizations are invited to take part in public discussions about issues and potential ways to make changes based on a shared area of focus including victim advocacy organizations, gender-based organizations, police-related organizations and more.
  • Participants’ Final Written and Oral Submissions: Counsel for Participants will have the opportunity to provide final written and oral submissions at the close of public proceedings in September to inform the Commission’s findings, lessons learned and recommendations.

Along with these activities there will be conversations and meetings with community members and organizations, and there are opportunities for the public to provide recommendations.

Share Your Suggestions for Change

As we head into the final months of our work, you will have your final opportunity to share your suggestions for change as we undertake our task of writing the final report. There are many ways for you to share your recommendations with the Commission that could help make our communities safer.

  • Submit your thoughts online – This is a research-focused option that closes on September 1, but the Commission will continue to welcome general suggestions throughout September.
  • Email Info@MassCasualtyCommission.caPlease use the subject line “Public Submission”.
  • Call 902-407-7532 (local) or 1-833-635-2501 (toll-free)
  • Mail a letter with your thoughts:
    • Mass Casualty Commission – Public Submission
    • 1791 Barrington Street, Suite 310
    • Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 3K9

All submissions and input received will be considered as we prepare the final report and recommendations. Submissions may be referenced or shared publicly as part of our work, including in the final report.

Timing for Final Report

The Commission has made a request and received approval from both the provincial and federal governments for an extension to submit the final report by March 31, 2023, instead of November 1, 2022. The Commission is still on track to complete public proceedings by the end of September 2022 as planned and has not requested any additional funding to accommodate an extension. The extension is for the writing of the final report only.

There are a number of reasons for our request, including:

  • The mandate set by both the federal and provincial government was broad with a tight timeline from the beginning.
  • We adjusted the start of public proceedings multiple times to provide Commission staff and Participants more time with documents. We know that even with the changes to the schedule it was an incredible amount of work to be done in a short time for all.
  • COVID-19 restrictions delayed community outreach and impacted our teams, including our investigations team’s ability to be in the communities most affected.
  • Many of the tens of thousands of documents received through disclosure were disorganized, without clear labeling and received on a rolling basis. We have received disclosure as recently as last week.
  • The pace, unpredictability and volume of document disclosure severely affected the Commission’s ability to meet timelines and progress our work in a timely way.

The additional time will allow us to complete the final report, which will be substantial, with the care and attention it deserves. We have said that we want to ensure this process is thorough and the report and its recommendations are beneficial to all Canadians and will help to improve community safety across our country.

Proceedings Schedule

Public proceedings for next week will be held at the Halifax Convention Centre (note: there is a new entrance located on Argyle St). Please remember to register in advance for on-site attendance of the proceedings. For the following week (September 6, 7, 8 and 9), public proceedings will be virtual.

  • Monday, August 29
    • Commissioners’ opening remarks for Phase 3 Proceedings
    • Presentation by Commission Counsel: Environmental Scan of Past Recommendations
    • Participant Consultation: Victim advocacy organizations
  • Tuesday, August 30
    • Participant Consultation: Health-related organizations
  • Wednesday, August 31
    • Participant Consultation: Gender-based organizations
  • Thursday, September 1
    • Participant Consultation: Police-related organizations

As always, mental health, wellness and other supports are available if you or a loved one need them, both on-site at the proceedings and through the Commission’s website.


The Mass Casualty Commission

Hon. J. Michael MacDonald, Chair

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

Dr. Kim Stanton

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.

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