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July 16, 2021

We are deeply engaged in building our own understanding of what happened leading up to and during the April 2020 mass casualty in Nova Scotia. Throughout the summer, our investigations team will continue working on the ground in communities affected by the mass casualty—establishing an understanding and specifics of geography and timing. Our team is also analyzing thousands of pieces of documentary evidence, and conducting numerous witness interviews that will continue into the fall. The findings from this work will help build the full picture of what happened, contribute to foundational documents, inform our understanding of circumstances, and ultimately guide us to our recommendations for keeping communities safer in the future.

We are currently inviting First Responder and service provider groups that were directly involved in responding to the mass casualty to attend introductory virtual meetings with the Commission. These individuals have unique perspectives and experiences that will contribute to our planning. The sessions will deal with process matters only. Meeting attendees will not be sharing their experiences or any facts related to April 18 and 19, 2020. The meetings are by invitation only, and there will be multiple virtual sessions offered over the summer to ensure all First Responders wanting to attend have the opportunity to do so.

If you are a First Responder (for example, law enforcement officer or firefighter) or front-line service provider (for example, tow truck driver or coroner) who was involved in the response to the events of April 18 and/or 19, 2020, and would like to attend or contribute to these meetings, please reach out to your organization’s leaders to learn more. First Responders and front-line service providers are also welcome to reach out directly to the Mass Casualty Commission, through email (info@MassCasualtyCommission.ca) or by phone (902-407-7532).

These meetings with First Responders are just one of the many different channels we are using to carry out our work. We are also meeting with community groups in affected communities and other organizations in Nova Scotia impacted by the mass casualty. If you are a member of an organization that was affected and would like to learn more about the Commission and/or share input, please reach out. Thank you to those who have met with us already and shared your insights.

Other activities will include public hearings, discussion roundtables, meetings with community groups, and opportunities for interested members of the public to share experiences, provide perspectives and feedback on related issues, findings, and recommendations. We will share event details when they are booked. We remain committed to transparency—many of these activities will be available for the public to watch or participate online.

We are planning events to share more about our progress and approach, and to help keep people informed about what to expect and how to take part. In the coming weeks, members of the Commission team will be hosting virtual information sessions about different aspects of our work. We will also be streaming a live progress update via our website to share details about our work to date, along with next steps. We are finalizing the date for this live stream and will let you know as soon as it is confirmed. Following the live stream, a recording will be available on our website.

As our work continues, we know difficult questions and uncomfortable facts will need to be considered and discussed. We remain committed to being trauma-informed in everything we do—taking care to avoid causing more harm to those who have already suffered because of the mass casualty. Please remember, there are mental health supports and other resources available on our website if you or a member of your family is in need of support.

We are grateful to the many people who are stepping up and taking part in our work. Please stay up to date about the Inquiry by visiting our website and social media channels (Facebook and Twitter). You can also get in touch with us by sending an email to info@masscasualtycommission.ca or call us at 1-833-635-2501.

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

First Responders

Law enforcement and emergency service providers, including police, emergency health service professionals, firefighters, and others providing front-line service like tow truck drivers and coroners.

Foundational Documentation

The Commission is creating foundational documentation that will include key facts and events leading up to and during the April 2020 mass casualty in Nova Scotia. 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. It is intended to promote efficiency in the inquiry process. We expect to share this foundational documentation this fall (2021). This record will form the basis for our work on understanding causes and contexts, and developing recommendations.

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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