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May 27, 2022

This update shares information on witness accommodations, how to share research or recommendations related to our mandate, and the schedule for next week’s proceedings.

It is the job of the Commission to find out what happened, what led up to the mass casualty and what can help protect communities in the future. Through our work so far, we have uncovered and shared a large volume of information with the public through witnesses, documents, reports and source materials. While we have come a long way in this inquiry, we still have more work to do and much more to learn.

This week we heard from two senior RCMP officers. This important testimony builds on the context gathered in a number of other proceedings where we heard from additional officers involved in making command decisions on April 18 and 19. We know these and other witnesses have valuable information and the Commission has many questions for them.

In a few cases, witnesses have requested accommodations. Any witness can apply for accommodations under rule 43 in our Rules of Practice and Procedure. The Commissioners made a decision on these requests, which is available on our website. While not all accommodation requests were granted, two witnesses will be testifying by Zoom next week with Commissioners, Participants, Participant counsel, Commission counsel, and accredited media attending in real time. The sessions will be recorded for posting on the Commission website.

Given the health information provided, allowing the witnesses to provide evidence this way will reduce the stress and time pressure that arises from giving oral evidence in live proceedings. This format will facilitate the testimony and therefore provide clear evidence for the Commission.

It is important to have outstanding questions put to the witnesses. Participants have been invited to provide questions, and will have two meetings during the witness testimony to put forward any additional questions, similar to the caucus meetings held during public proceedings.

We know there have been some questions about the witnesses for next week. To help answer the questions we are hearing, below is further information about the recent decision:

  • Participants and their counsel can be present while witnesses are questioned.
  • Accredited media can be present while witnesses are questioned.
  • Videos of witness testimony will be made available on the Commission’s website for the public.
  • Participants and their counsel can have their questions asked and answered for all witnesses, as has been the case throughout proceedings.
  • Accommodations are available for all witnesses.

We value the input of Participants and their counsel. They can attend and participate and while some are choosing not to, we do hope they continue to engage in our work and that Participant counsel continue to ask questions on behalf of their clients, especially with these important witnesses.

We will not allow accommodations to prevent the Commission from gathering necessary information. On the contrary, witness accommodations, when granted, will help us gather necessary information and be able to share it with the public. It is our responsibility to do our work in a way that is respectful, humane and gets the best information to inform change—to help keep people safe in the future.

In the weeks ahead, we will continue to share more Foundational Documents and to hear from RCMP, civilian and institutional witnesses to explore how and why things happened as they did, with more Commissioned Reports, roundtables and our first small group sessions to come as well.

Public Submissions

We know the public is watching both in person and remotely and engaging with the information and documents we are sharing. Continued public engagement is important as we work to understand what happened, how and why. If you have research or recommendations related to our mandate that you want to share, please do. We want to hear your ideas and are accepting submissions on our website. You can share something you have read that you think is relevant to our work, or you can propose a change that you would like to see in your community.

Your submissions will inform the final report and recommendations to help make our communities safer. Thank you to everyone who has taken part—and remember that you can make more than one submission. You can find more information about how to make a public submission on our website. Please submit your input by Sept. 1, 2022.

Next Week’s Schedule

The four roundtables next week will be an opportunity to hear directly from people with knowledge and experience to share relating to critical incident training, preparation and response. Each roundtable will have a separate area of focus. They will be led by members of the Commission’s Research and Policy team.

Wednesday, June 1

  • Roundtable - Critical incident preparedness
  • Roundtable - Critical incident response: Civilians, 911, and First Responders

Thursday, June 2

  • Roundtable - Critical incident decision-making including stress management
  • Roundtable - Contextualizing critical incident response: risks and trade-offs

Visit the website to learn more about the roundtables for next week including the members who will be participating in the discussion.

Commissioned Reports

Today, the Commission released five more Commissioned Reports. The reports focus on public policy, academic research and lessons learned from previous mass casualties, written by independent authors from Canada, United States, northern Europe and the United Kingdom. Commissioned Reports help us to explore how and why the mass casualty happened, considering the causes, contexts and circumstances that may have contributed. More than 20 reports will be shared over the course of the Commission’s work. A full list of reports to expect is available on the Commission website here. The reports shared today are:

Stay Updated

Once our work is complete and our final report shared, it will be up to all Canadians—including policy makers, public institutions, community groups and members of the public—to take the recommendations and turn them into concrete actions in communities across the country. If you would like to review what we have shared so far or see what is coming up, please visit our Documents section and Calendar.

As always, if you or someone you know is in need of help next week or anytime, please reach out to the many available wellness and mental health support services.


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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