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January 11, 2022

This week’s update includes information about the Commission’s 2022 public proceedings schedule, expanded Foundational Document list and Commissioned Reports.

We hope everyone was able to rest and recharge over the holidays. Thanks to your engagement and collaboration, the Commission made important progress in 2021 with our investigation into the April 2020 mass casualty in Nova Scotia. In 2022, we will be publicly sharing detailed information about what happened during the mass casualty, as well as exploring related issues that provide context to understand why and how the mass casualty could have happened.

The Commission’s public proceedings will begin in February and are expected to continue across much of 2022. These proceedings are an important next step in the Commission’s work to develop meaningful recommendations to keep communities safer in the future. Public proceedings will include hearings, expert roundtables, the sharing of Foundational Documents and Commissioned Reports. The schedule of Commission proceedings and activities can be found on our calendar and additional information is included in this media release.

Proceedings are expected to take place Monday through Thursday, starting at 9:30 am. Most days are anticipated to end no later than 4:30 pm, although exceptions may be made. Proceedings are planned to begin in person at the Halifax Convention Centre and will be webcast online through the Commission’s website. The proceedings venue will be open to the media and the public earlier for entrance and set-up. Registration in advance (including proof of vaccination) will be required and available on the Commission website.

Proceedings are planned to be in-person, following public health protocols. The Commission is preparing for contingencies, including virtual proceedings. If changes to location or approach are needed, the Commission will communicate updates to ensure the public is informed.

Our extensive 2022 public proceedings schedule will begin next month with hearings focused on Phase 1 work to determine what happened on April 18 and 19, 2020. During Phase 1, we expect to share a series of Foundational Documents with the public over the course of several months. The list of Foundational Documents can be found here.

An important part of the process for creating Foundational Documents has been consulting and meeting with Participants to identify gaps or errors to ensure the Foundational Documents are as accurate as possible before they are shared publicly. As we anticipated, through our consultation with Participants, additional information and evidence has been identified that our investigations and legal teams are now reviewing.

As you know, the Mass Casualty Commission is mandated to use a restorative approach, meaning the work of the Commission must be conducted with a principle of minimizing further harm while working to deliver answers to the public. To do this, the Commission has taken various steps, including thoroughly reviewing and redacting documents to protect the privacy and dignity of witnesses and those most affected by the mass casualty, as needed. For example, this includes removing personal information like phone numbers and blurring images of children. The Commission is also working closely with Participants, including those most affected, families, first responders and service providers, to ensure they are prepared and well-informed before information related to them is made public.

The Commission has also engaged report writers to prepare independent reports that explore issues in our mandate. The reports will further the Commission’s work by exploring matters such as policing, emergency services responses, communications with the public and how best to support individuals and communities following a mass casualty. You can learn more about the Commissioned Reports here.

We will be sharing a considerable amount of information with the public in 2022 through proceedings, Foundational Documents and Commissioned Reports. The nature of this inquiry means that much of the information will be difficult. We encourage everyone who is engaged in or following our work to consider how to prepare to receive this information and continue to check in with our team members and website about what to expect and where to find wellness supports if you need them.

In 2022, we will continue to work diligently to share the results of our investigation in a way that is accurate, respectful and compassionate. Remember you can contact the Commission anytime by phone at 902-407-7532 (local) or 1-833-0635-2501 or by email at info@MassCasualtyCommission.ca with any questions or information you wish to share.

Sincerely,

The Mass Casualty Commission

Hon. J. Michael MacDonald, Chair

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

Dr. Kim Stanton


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