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May 13, 2022

This update includes information about Commission progress, details for next week’s schedule and public submissions.

This week, Commission counsel presented the Alert Ready in Nova Scotia Foundational Document. We also heard from three witnesses and held two roundtables focusing on public communications during emergency events and emergency alerting. To date, there have been 22 days of proceedings, with more to come throughout the spring and summer. During that time, we have heard from 21 witnesses in-person with more witness testimony to come. We will also hear from people in a variety of other ways, including roundtables, public submissions and small group sessions where individuals can share their experiences directly.

There are now 16 Foundational Documents available for the public to read, supported by over 1000 source materials, which you can read online here. These documents reflect our current understanding of the facts and begin to help answer many of the questions of the events of the mass casualty. As a reminder, there are more Foundational Documents and source materials to come.

Schedule for the week of May 16

The Commission’s calendar has been updated with the details for next week. The calendar will continue to be updated on Fridays with details for the following week, including any anticipated witnesses, roundtables or presentations.

Monday, May 16

  • Presentation of Foundational Document: RCMP Emergency Response Team (ERT).
  • Witness panel: Corporal Tim Mills (retired) and Corporal Trent Milton, to speak to the actions, observations, and situational awareness, particularly of ERT members on April 18-19, 2020.

Tuesday, May 17

  • Presentation of Foundational Document: RCMP Command Post, Operational Communications Centre and Command Decisions.
  • Witness: Staff Sergeant (S/Sgt.) Steve Halliday (retired), Acting Operations Officer, Northeast Nova District, to speak to the Command post, Operational Communications Centre and Command Decisions.

Wednesday, May 18

  • Witnesses: Staff Sergeants Jeff West (retired) and Kevin Surette (retired), On-Call Critical Incident Commanders, to speak to the Command post, Operational Communications Centre and Command Decisions. Witnesses scheduled May 17 and 18 with respect to the Command post, Operational Communications Centre and Command Decisions are being called to address material factual gaps and provide important context regarding their roles on April 18/19, 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 their command

Accommodation for Witnesses

Subpoenaed witnesses with wellness issues may make a request for special arrangements to facilitate their testimony; however, the Commissioners retain the ultimate discretion as to whether, and to what extent, such requests will be accommodated.

Accommodations ensure that the Commission receives the information it needs from witnesses to do its work in the best way possible. Accommodations may include testimony by closed circuit TV or testimony from another room. All testimony will be shared with the public and the media through public proceedings, interview transcripts, and on the website.

Since witness accommodation requests involve sensitive personal health information, the Commission will not share specific individual private information with the public or media. However, the content of all witness testimony will be shared with the public.

For more information about why someone may be granted accommodation, the Commission’s process for reviewing and making decisions for accommodation or an example of accommodations, please see the FAQ page on the Commission’s website.

Public Submissions

As a public inquiry, ensuring that we are creating opportunities for members of the public to engage in this work remains very important to us. One reason for this is we believe the Commission’s findings and recommendations will be stronger when we hear from a broad range of experiences and perspectives. Another very important reason is that community safety is a shared responsibility and opportunity.

Once we have completed our work and shared our final report, 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 actions. You can help shape our work, findings and recommendations – and you can play a role to help make our communities safer once this public inquiry is concluded.

As we have said, we hope to continue hearing from you, members of the public, with your submissions about potential changes you would like to see or recommendations you think we should include in our final report. You can find more information about how to make a public submission on our website. Please submit your response by September 1, 2022. Thank you to everyone who has already participated.

Venue Change for Proceedings (week of May 23, 2022)

For the week of May 23, proceedings will be held at the Best Western Glengarry in Truro, Nova Scotia. Members of the public can register to attend proceedings in person on the website.

How to Stay Updated

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.

Sincerely,

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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