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November 29, 2021

This week’s update includes information about recent community open houses, the ongoing work with Participants to review Foundational Documents, and a new Participation Addendum.

Thank you to everyone who took part in our most recent community open houses in Milford and Dartmouth. These were additional opportunities for interested community members to meet the Commission team and learn more about our approach and process, including how to share information that could contribute to our work. We appreciate the valuable feedback and input you shared. If you were unable to attend, please feel free to download the Open House materials and contact us if you have any questions.

Through our open houses and other conversations, we have heard requests for more information on the Commission’s commitment to being trauma-informed. What does this mean? We recognize that the process of revisiting the events of the mass casualty will be difficult and, for some, re-traumatizing. We are committed to working transparently and collaboratively – but independently from government – to fulfil our responsibilities. Our mandate requires us to investigate what happened, why and how, and to make recommendations for a safer future. To complete this work, we cannot shy away from difficult or challenging information, and we will be sharing large amounts of detailed information publicly over the course of our work. We want to make sure that everyone, especially those most directly affected, are preparing for that and have the tools and supports needed to reduce any further harm. We will, at all times, be thoughtful about how this process is affecting the people, groups and communities impacted by the mass casualty. We strive to work in ways that avoid creating further harm balanced against our responsibility to deliver the answers and recommendations that the public expects. For example, we ensure wellness supports are available at Commission events, we are conducting ongoing consultation and collaboration with Participants, and as we plan and carry out our public proceedings (including the upcoming hearings) we will work to ensure a supportive and accessible environment for all concerned.

Thank you to everyone who has responded to our survey to let us know how they would like to share their experiences and perspectives on the mass casualty. The anonymous survey is open to the public until November 30, 2021 and the responses we receive will help shape how we approach a broader process of inviting the public to share their experiences in early 2022.

Over the last few weeks, the Commission team has been working with Participants to review the Foundational Documents to ensure these factual records are as accurate as possible before they are shared publicly.

Participants – including those most affected, family members and first responders – are working through their legal counsel with Commission Counsel to identify any gaps or issues in the Foundational Documents. As we have shared, these documents organize the thousands of pieces of information gathered by the Commission team during investigations to date. There is a lot of complex and often challenging material to review and consider. We thank Participants for their collaboration and for helping identify areas that require more investigation by our team or discussion during the coming public proceedings. There is a list of the Foundational Documents we are preparing, an explanation of the process, and how it supports our work, on the Commission’s website.

This week we have shared an additional Participation Decision Addendum that reflects requests for changes made by Participants. Individual participation is granted to some family members who were previously part of a combined group. As well, in the Participation Decision Addendum dated June 25, 2021, Nick Cardone was granted the opportunity for appropriate participation in the Commission’s work. Since that date, it has become apparent that he can best contribute to the Commission through our research and policy work. As such, we have granted his request to withdraw as a Participant.

We encourage you to stay connected and help spread the word in your community. In addition to regular updates, you will find helpful resources on our website including a calendar of coming events, key terms and answers to frequently asked questions. Our Facebook and Twitter feeds are other ways to keep up to date. As always, we welcome hearing from you anytime via email to info@MassCasualtyCommission.ca or by calling either 902-407-7532 (local) or 1 833-635-2501 (toll-free).

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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