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August 9, 2021

This update includes information regarding ongoing introductory meetings with First Responders and service provider groups, Investigations and drafting of foundational documents, and ongoing community outreach.

Our virtual introductory meetings with First Responders and service providers are under way. As we have said, these sessions focus on sharing information about the Commission with First Responders like law enforcement officers and firefighters as well as service providers like tow truck drivers and medical examiners. These meetings are for introductions to the Commission and our work. We also want to help members of these important groups learn more about how they can take part in the inquiry process. We are not asking attendees to share their experiences, or any evidence related to the April 2020 mass casualty in these meetings.

If you are a first responder or front line service provider who was directly involved in responding to the mass casualty and would like more information or to attend a meeting you can get in touch with us directly via email (info@MassCasualtyCommission.ca) or by phone (902-407-7532). Those who are interested in learning more but cannot attend a meeting can find responses to some of the questions asked so far on our website.

Right now, our focus is on establishing the facts of what happened during the April 2020 mass casualty in Nova Scotia. In addition to analyzing information gathered from ongoing interviews and site visits, we are reviewing thousands of documents that we are still receiving from a range of sources. In the coming weeks we will be assembling foundational documents that summarize important facts. These documents will provide a factual foundation for our ongoing work to understand what happened, why and how, and to make meaningful recommendations to help protect communities in the future. We will consult with Participants about the foundational documents and they will be important sources of information during our public proceedings in the fall.

If you have information that you think the Commission should be aware of in relation to the events of April 18-19, 2020, please contact us to talk to an investigator at info@masscasualtycommission.ca or 1-833-635-2501.

Many of the issues we are examining connect to the theme of community safety, which is why community interest and engagement is so important to shaping our findings and recommendations. As part of our engagement work, we continue to connect and meet with community organizations who are interested in learning more about the Commission and how to take part in the process. We will be sharing more information soon about opportunities for the public to hear about our progress and engage with us directly.

We continue to hear from community members and we would like to thank the Nova Scotia Potters Guild for the heart-shaped ceramic touchstones (pictured below). These touchstones remind us of Nova Scotians’ strength and support for each other. We will keep them in our Truro office for anyone visiting and in need of a small piece of comfort.

We encourage community groups and interested individuals to stay up to date via our website, Facebook and Twitter feeds, and to get in touch if you would like to learn more.

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

Participant

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

Evidence-gathering interviews

Interviews with people who have knowledge about the facts or context leading up to and during the 2020 mass casualty in Nova Scotia. Those being interviewed may do so voluntarily. The Commissioners can compel people to provide oral or written testimony.

Foundational Documentation

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).

Nova Scotia Potters Guild - Touchstones

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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