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July 8, 2022

This update includes details for upcoming proceedings and information on how to share recommendations or ideas for the Commission to consider for the final report.

What Happened at Proceedings this Week

This week, the Commission held a roundtable discussion that deepened our understanding of the rural context in Nova Scotia, including the reality of limited and differential service delivery in rural areas and the health and safety of those working in rural communities. Hearing from experts on issues related to our mandate will assist us to bring forward meaningful recommendations. We also received written and oral submissions from Participants. The webcast can be found on the Commission website.


To date, public proceedings have been heavily focused on what happened on April 18 and 19, 2020. We continue to gather information about what happened, but we must also consider the larger context of how and why the mass casualty took place. In this way, we are gathering the lessons to be learned so that we can make recommendations to help make our communities safer.

Over the next two weeks, as directed in our mandate, the Commission will examine the role of gender-based and intimate partner violence in the mass casualty. You can read about these key terms and others relevant to our work on the Commission website. We will hear from experts, roundtable members, as well as witnesses. We will share many documents with sensitive information including transcripts, complaints and reports, involving a large number of people. This work can be expected to have broad reaching impacts both here in Nova Scotia and beyond. We encourage those who plan to engage with the content to be prepared and to understand that much of the information may be difficult and impactful.

Proceedings Schedule: Week of July 11 and July 18

If you choose to attend public proceedings in person, please remember to register in advance. As always, you can watch the proceedings webcast on the website or listen to live audio by calling 1-877-385-4099 and entering code 1742076, followed by the # sign. Recordings of the webcast and documents shared during proceedings like Foundational Documents and source materials are available on the website so you can engage with the Commission’s work at a time that works best for you.


Monday, July 11

  • Witness Panel: Tristan Bridges and Tara Leigh Tober, to discuss their Commissioned Report Mass Shootings and Masculinity
  • Presentation of Foundational Document: Violence in the Perpetrator’s Family of Origin
  • Witness: Dr. Deborah Doherty, an expert and community-based researcher in the areas of family violence and gender-based violence in the particular context of rural communities in Atlantic Canada

Tuesday, July 12

  • Presentation of Foundational Document: Perpetrator’s Violence Towards Others
  • Witness: Brenda Forbes to provide information about her knowledge and experience of the perpetrator’s violent behaviour

Wednesday, July 13 – Note: Public proceedings start at 8:30am AT this day

Thursday, July 14

  • Roundtable: Prediction and Prevention of Mass Casualty Events
    • Professor Benjamin Berger: Professor and York Research Chair in Pluralism and Public Law at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
    • Dr. Myrna Lashley: Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University
    • Professor Nikolas Rose: Former Professor of Sociology and the founding Head of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at King’s College London
    • Professor George Szmukler: Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry and Society, King’s College London
    • Robert S. Wright: Acting Executive Director, African Nova Scotian Justice Institute
  • Roundtable: Definitions and Psychology/Sociology of Perpetrators of Mass Casualty Events
    • Tristan Bridges: Associate Professor and Vice Chair of the Sociology Department and Faculty Affiliate with the Feminist Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara
    • Professor David C Hofmann: Associate Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Criminology and Criminal Justice Program at the University of New Brunswick
    • Dr. Angelique Jenney: Associate Professor and the Wood’s Home Research Chair in Children’s Mental Health in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary
    • Tara Leigh Tober: Lecturer in the Sociology Department at the University California, Santa Barbara

Friday, July 15

  • Witness: Lisa Banfield, perpetrator’s common-law spouse

WEEK OF JULY 18 – Note: This schedule may be adjusted as we approach the week of July 18. Witness and roundtable member details will be shared on the Friday for the following week (shared on Friday, July 15).

Monday, July 18

  • Roundtable: Mass Casualties, IPV, GBV and Family Violence: Exploring the Connections

Tuesday, July 19

  • Presentation of Foundational Document: Perpetrator’s Financial Misdealings

Wednesday, July 20

  • Roundtable: IPV, GBV and Family Violence: Police and institutional understanding and responses

Thursday, July 21

  • Roundtable: IPV, GBV and Family Violence: Personal and Community Responses

Friday, July 22

Mental Health and Wellness Supports Available 24/7

We know the nature of the events and issues we are investigating can be difficult. Sometimes hearing about a distressing or emotionally overwhelming experience can remind us of circumstances that are upsetting and disturbing. It can bring up a specific thought pattern or memory that is difficult to think about. Materials in media stories or on social media may also have this impact and could cause psychological distress. This is often referred to in literature as having a “triggering effect” or a “flooding of distressing memories.”

Please remember that supports, including supports for those experiencing violence, are available if you or a loved one need them, both on-site at the proceedings and through the Commission’s website. If you are watching the proceedings online and need to leave at any point, there is a “quick exit” button at the top of the website.

Public Submissions: We want to hear from you

The Commission’s work is forward-focused. Through the fall we will review the information gathered and shared throughout the proceedings to make findings and recommendations in the final report. We also want to hear from you. As you follow along with proceedings, you may hear about topics with which you have personal or professional experience, including community safety, policing or violence. Maybe in the past you have thought about ways things could be better, from existing support systems, to laws or policies. If you have changes you would like to see in your community, recommendations you would like us to consider or information you think we should review, you can share it with us as a public submission.


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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