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June 3, 2022

This update shares information about the Commission’s progress and details for next week’s schedule including upcoming Foundational Documents and witnesses.

The Commission continues to work to find out what happened, how and why the mass casualty occurred, and what can help protect communities in the future. This week, the Commission heard from two more senior RCMP officers. These recorded sessions are available on our website:

Hearing from Witnesses and Those with Direct and Related Experiences

Throughout proceedings, the Commission will hear from many people in different ways. This includes hearing from more witnesses about what happened, experts with experience and knowledge to assist us in understanding how and why it happened. We will also hear from people with direct and related experiences through small group sessions to help us better understand the impacts of the mass casualty.

As referenced in our March 9th decision, more civilian witnesses and senior RCMP officers will be heard from in the proceedings. We are finalizing the scheduling for Superintendent Darren Campbell, Chief Superintendent Chris Leather, Assistant Commissioner Lee Bergerman and Commissioner Brenda Lucki. We will confirm these dates as soon as they have been determined.


As stated in our Orders in Council, we are required to examine issues related to the mass casualty including police actions, policies, procedures and training in respect of active shooter incidents. It is important that we gather information about best practices and lessons learned in our community and around the world with regard to mass casualty responses to be able make pragmatic and meaningful recommendations. As we have said since the beginning, the research aspect of our mandate is designed to roll-out alongside our investigative fact finding and while hearing from witnesses. Be assured—in the weeks and months ahead we will continue to hear from a number of witnesses about what happened on April 18 and 19, 2020.

In this week’s roundtables, we heard from first responders, experts and academics who offered lessons from critical incidents and casualties here in Canada and beyond. Roundtable members included Kerry Murray-Bates, who shared her insights and experience regarding the Toronto Police Service’s 911 call taker and dispatch response to the 2018 Danforth shootings and van attack on Yonge Street in Toronto. We also heard from Dr. Hunter Martaindale who is currently involved in the response to the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. All of the roundtable members provided key details about how first responders and others respond to critical incidents along with areas for improvement in decision making, training and preparation. These informative discussions will help us shape stronger recommendations in the final report. You can view past proceedings including the roundtables held on June 1 and 2 on our webcasts page.

Public Proceedings Schedule (Monday, June 6 – Thursday, June 9)

The Commission’s calendar has been updated with details for next week including witnesses, Foundational Documents and Participant submissions.

Monday, June 6

  • Presentation of Foundational Document: Truro Police Services – April 19, 2020
  • Witness: Chief Dave MacNeil, Truro Police Service (TPS), to provide context for TPS operations during the mass casualty, and to explain his role as a municipal police chief, and TPS relationships with the Nova Scotia Department of Justice, the Nova Scotia Chiefs of Police and the RCMP as the provincial police service.

Tuesday, June 7

  • Presentation of Foundational Document: RCMP Public Communications
  • Witness: Cpl. Jennifer Clarke, to provide insight as to when she received the photograph of the replica cruiser, to explain the timing between her instructions from Lia Scanlan to draft a tweet about the cruiser, her doing so, receiving approval from S/Sgt. Halliday and posting the tweet, and any factors that account for delays in the above actions.
  • Witness: RCMP EMS Emergency Planning Coordinator Glenn Mason, to provide insight as to his conversations with the Emergency Management Office on the morning of April 19, 2020, to discuss his telephone conversation(s) with Superintendent Rodier on the morning of April 19, 2020, to discuss his understanding of RCMP awareness of the Alert Ready system and to discuss his telephone call with S/Sgt. Ettinger and his understanding of what had been approved.
  • Witness: Superintendent Dustine Rodier, to provide insight as to her awareness of the Alert Ready program on April 19, 2020, to discuss her telephone discussion with Glenn Mason and to discuss the rationale for her approval of the Alert Ready tweet on April 19, 2020.

Wednesday, June 8

  • Witness: RCMP Director of Strategic Communications Lia Scanlan, to provide context as to why Twitter and Facebook were used as primary methods of communications with the public, explain the general process and policy by which a tweet is drafted and posted by the RCMP including under what circumstances higher level authorization is required prior to release and to discuss specifics with respect to the public communications issued by the RCMP on April 19, 2020.
  • Witness: S/Sgt. Addie MacCallum to address material factual gaps and provide important context regarding his role on April 18 and 19, 2020, and to provide information about decision-making in areas including containment, scene management and use of resources; the organization of the command post and at-scene command posts; communications within the RCMP and with outside agencies; interoperability with other first responding agencies; policies, training and preparation for, and reviews of, critical incidents; and about the supervision and oversight of RCMP members under his command.

Thursday, June 9

  • Presentation of Foundational Documents:
    • Air Support
    • Halifax Regional Police and Halifax District RCMP
    • Overview of 911 call-taking and dispatch in Nova Scotia
    • Radio Communications in Nova Scotia
  • Witness Panel: Overview of the trunked mobile radio (TMR) system in Nova Scotia
    • Trevor MacLeod, Director Public Safety Radio & PTT Engineering and Operations, Bell Mobility
    • Matthew Boyle, Director of Public Safety & Field Communications, Province of NS
    • Todd Brown, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Public Safety and Field Communications, Province of NS
  • Participant Submissions on Foundational Documents presented during the week of June 6 and on emergency communications, interoperability among agencies, and police and government work after the mass casualty including communications with those most affected.

Public Engagement & Submissions

We know Nova Scotians and Canadians are following our work both in person and remotely, engaging with the information and documents we are sharing. Since proceedings started, we have had over 95,000 unique visitors to our website and more than 200,000 webcast views. Continued public engagement is important as it will be up to all Canadians—including policy makers, public institutions, community groups and members of the public—to take the recommendations and make them into actions in communities across the country.

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 grateful to the many individuals and organizations who have contributed to date. We are accepting submissions until September 1, 2022.

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

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