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June 10, 2022

This update shares details for next week’s proceedings including small group sessions.

This week, the Commission focused on how police services and service providers in Nova Scotia respond to a critical incident. This includes understanding how they communicate with each other and the public as well as their access to resources such as air support and radio communications. We heard from six RCMP members and civilian witnesses who provided information on decisions made during the mass casualty. Foundational Documents focusing on municipal police services, public communications, air support, radio communications and 911 call-taking and dispatch were also shared and are available on our website.

Participant Submissions

The Commission will make recommendations to help make communities safer. The Commission has conducted an environmental scan of past recommendations and is keen to learn about changes to policies and procedures being made by governments and institutions across Canada since the mass casualty. It is with that forward focused approach that we have accepted a recent submission from Participant counsel for information about changes made within the RCMP after the mass casualty. The Commission has issued a subpoena to the RCMP to provide this information and will make the response public.

Public Proceedings Schedule for the Week of June 13

The Commission’s calendar is updated with details for next week including small group sessions. These sessions are designed to foster dialogue that will deepen the Commission’s understanding of the context and impact of the mass casualty and assist the Commission in developing meaningful recommendations that are practical to implement and will reflect the needs of communities. As with all public proceedings, members of the public can register to attend in-person or can watch the session via our webcast or listen to live audio using the phone line.

The first set of small group sessions will bring together individuals to share their lived experiences regarding information sharing during and in the immediate aftermath of the mass casualty as well as post event support.

Monday, June 13:

  • Small Group Session: Emergency Health Services First Responders
    • Jeff Aucoin, Advanced Care Paramedic
    • Jesse Brine, Primary Care Paramedic
    • R. Bruce Cox, Advanced Emergency Medical Dispatcher and Intermediate Care Paramedic
    • Melanie Lowe, Primary Care Paramedic
  • Small Group Session: Operational Communications Centre (OCC) First Responders
    • Bryan Green, Dispatcher for the RCMP and Acting OCC Commander, as needed
    • Kirsten Baglee, OCC Shift Supervisor and Acting OCC Commander, as needed

Tuesday, June 14:

  • Small Group Session: Service Providers
    • Dana Bowden, Director at the Department of Justice Victim Services
    • Kim Burton, Department of Justice Victim Services
    • Lindsay Denis, Forensic Nurse with the Nova Scotia Medical Examiner’s Office
    • Eveline Gallant, Forensic Nurse with the Nova Scotia Medical Examiner’s Office
    • Bruce Varner, Funeral Home Director and Embalmer for Mattatall-Varner Funeral Home
  • Small Group Session: Elected Officials
    • Tom Taggart, MLA for Colchester North
    • Christine Blair, Mayor of the Municipality of Colchester

Public Engagement & Submissions

The Commission continues to accept suggestions on our website for research or ideas related to the mandate that could inform the final report and recommendations to help keep communities safer. We are accepting submissions until September 1, 2022.

We remain very grateful to all the people who are contributing to this work in a constructive and collaborative way—including the Participants and their counsel, witnesses, roundtable members, community organizations, the media, the Commission team and of course you, members of the public.

It is crucial for the public to engage with our work. Once our recommendations have been made and the inquiry has ended, it will be up to Canadians—including policy makers, public institutions, community groups and members of the public—to turn these recommendations into actions.

Foundational Documents & Source Materials

We have heard statements of, “hundreds of documents pulled from the Commission website." This is not true, and it is important to set out the truth of the matter.

With the conclusion of this week’s Foundational Document presentations, there are now 24 Foundational Documents available on the Commission website, along with over 1,500 source materials. To assist the media and members of the public follow along with our work, we have hyperlinked individual source materials within the Foundational Documents. After conducting a review of the website, we found that there were some broken links within the Portapique, April 18-19, 2020 Foundational Document on our website. This error may have temporarily given the appearance that some source documents were unavailable or removed, however, all of these materials were still available to the public at that time under Source Materials and Additional Exhibits via the Foundational Documents page. The links in the Foundational Document have been fixed.

As shared previously, there are instances in which summaries of some source materials will be posted instead of the original document to be consistent with the Commission’s restorative principles. An example of this is source material that contains statements of minors in highly traumatic circumstances while the events of the mass casualty were unfolding. Some documents are still in the process of being summarized.

Additionally, the Commission may update a source material or Foundational Document as a result of a claim of privilege or private information, such as potential identification of a minor, a civic address or personal medical information. In many of these instances, the document is reviewed and updated on the website without delay. However, if there is a claim of privilege or private information that requires a more thorough review, a document may be temporarily removed, reviewed and then re-posted.

How to Stay Up to Date

As always, you can watch the webcasts or listen to live audio from the proceedings by calling 1-877-385-4099 (toll free) and entering code 1742076 followed by the # sign. Recordings of the webcasts along with transcripts are available, so that you may engage in this work at a time that works best for you.

Members of the public can register to attend proceedings in person on the Commission’s website. The venues for public proceedings change periodically so please use the registration portal or website calendar to confirm locations on the date you wish to attend.

Please remember that 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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