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June 9, 2021

Today we announced that our next public proceedings will take place between October 26, 2021, and December 10, 2021, at the Halifax Convention Centre and other venues in consultation with Participants. These proceedings will contribute to the fact-finding and policy aspects of our work, as we focus on what happened leading up to and during the events of the April 2020 mass casualty in Nova Scotia. Other topics will include firearms access, police and service-provider responses, emergency communications, and intimate partner violence. We will plan for both in-person and virtual proceedings as needed, following the latest COVID-19 considerations and public health advice. Proceedings will be available by webcast, and recordings and additional information will be available online.

In order to create a thorough, evidence-based record, difficult questions will need to be asked and uncomfortable facts will need to be considered. We are committed to performing our duties with compassion and with an unwavering commitment to a full, transparent, and independent inquiry. As we hope all our progress to date demonstrates, our team’s approach will always be to work in ways that are sensitive to and minimize the impact on those most affected. Please remember you can always reach out to one of the support services included on our website anytime you need help.

As you may have seen in the community notice shared on our website and social media, members of our team visited the Portapique community on Friday, June 4, 2021. This visit strengthened our knowledge of the community geography as we work to better understand the events of April 2020. We expect we will need more site visits to the affected communities in the months ahead.

We’re always learning from and applying best practices of other Canadian and international public inquiries. These observations on public inquiries from the Honourable Associate Chief Justice Dennis R. O’Connor are a great example. Our role as a public inquiry is different to that of a criminal or civil court. Our focus is broad and will move forward in a series of key steps. A full overview of our work can be found here.

We recognize that public inquiries like ours are not everyday occurrences and are committed to helping you understand what to expect. Below are some explanations of key terms we will be using in the months ahead:

Proceedings

These are Commission activities such as public hearings, community meetings, and roundtables that will provide opportunities to learn about what happened, why it happened and what lessons can be drawn from it.

Hearings

These are public events where Participants, witnesses and others are invited to share their experiences and perspectives. During hearings, Participants may be asked by the Commissioners to confirm facts and provide additional information.

Engagement & Outreach

These are the many ways our team will be sharing updates to and seeking input from different groups, including the community and public.

Roundtables

These are events where experts and others are invited to share perspectives on a specific theme, issue or topic.

Investigations

This is our work to establish facts by reviewing information, documents and conducting interviews.

Research & Policy

This is our work to understand the broader set of issues including existing research, policy and legislation.

Interim Report

This will be a shorter report sharing information and insights, to be completed in May 2022.

Final Report

This will be the Commission’s final findings and recommendations, to be completed in November 2022.

If any member of the community wishes to speak to the Commission please reach out to info@masscasualtycommission.ca or call 902-407-7532 or toll-free 1-833-635-2501.

Thank you and please stay safe.

Respectfully,

The Mass Casualty Commission

Hon. J. Michael MacDonald, Chair

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

Dr. Kim Stanton

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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