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March 30, 2023

The independent public inquiry investigating the most lethal mass shooting in Canadian civilian history has shared a comprehensive blueprint to make communities safer for all Canadians.

TRURO, NS and HALIFAX, NS, March 30, 2023 /CNW/ The independent public inquiry investigating the most lethal mass shooting in Canadian civilian history has shared a comprehensive blueprint to make communities safer for all Canadians.

The Mass Casualty Commission’s Final Report Turning the Tide Together, released in Truro, Nova Scotia today, contains 130 recommendations including calls for:

  • major changes to RCMP oversight, processes and culture
  • rethinking the structure of policing in Nova Scotia and police practices across Canada
  • a national review of public alerting
  • greater focus on addressing and preventing the root causes of violence in communities, including gender-based violence, intimate partner violence, and family violence
  • an expanded and more collaborative model to deliver community safety and well-being.

The independent public inquiry was established to investigate the April 2020 mass casualty in Nova Scotia, during which a perpetrator shot and killed 22 people, one of whom was expecting a child. Many more people were affected across Canada, the United States and beyond.

Turning the Tide Together is the culmination of the Commission’s independent, thorough and collaborative two-and-a-half-year investigation into what happened, how and why it happened, and how to make communities safer. It is available for all to read at

“We have called this report Turning the Tide Together, because we know that it will take all of us, across our country, working together to tackle the significant challenges, to turn the tide, on the underlying causes of violence in our communities,” said Commissioner Michael MacDonald, Chair of the public inquiry. “Looking to the future, we need to focus on violence prevention just as much, if not more, than we do on how to respond when violence occurs.”

What Happened

The Commission’s report includes a detailed account on what happened, starting with the perpetrator’s violent assault of his common law spouse, and continuing through the subsequent fatalities and other acts of violence committed on April 18th and 19th, 2020.

The Commissioners found there were many warning signs of the perpetrator’s violence and missed opportunities to intervene in the years before the mass casualty. They identify gaps and errors in the critical incident response and failures in public communications.

In addition to the Final Report, the Commission is sharing an interactive timeline to help members of the public learn more about what happened. The timeline, along with supporting documentation, is available on the Commission’s website.


In the Final Report, the three Commissioners, Michael MacDonald, Leanne J. Fitch, and Kim Stanton, share their findings, lessons learned and recommendations related to policing, violence and communities.

They set out the significant steps that the RCMP, municipal police, and other public safety partners can take to improve everyday policing and violence prevention, intervention, and, when needed, critical incident response.

“Most importantly, the RCMP must finally undergo the fundamental change called for in many previous reports. This transformation must begin with recruiting and education, and from there extend to all aspects of the RCMP’s work,” Commissioner Fitch said.

Recommendations related to policing include increasing transparency and accountability for RCMP oversight, improving critical incident response capabilities, and focusing more on everyday policing practices.


In addition to rethinking policing, the Commissioners explain why it is critically important that Canadians address the root causes of violence. They find that those who perpetrate mass casualties often have unaddressed histories of gender-based, intimate partner, or family violence – which means that tackling those forms of violence must be an urgent priority.

Recommendations related to violence prevention include creating a new framework to track mass casualties, strengthening firearms regulations, and a call for the federal government to create a new gender-based violence commissioner.


Given the breadth and extent of these underlying issues, the Commissioners call for a public safety system that is about more than police services, where multiple partners work together every day with substantial community engagement. They set out why the police should be just one part of the community safety net, sharing responsibilities to ensure public safety with community members as well as with other organizations and institutions.

“The significant overhaul of community safety thinking, planning and approach we are calling for in the final report has the potential to be truly transformative in Canada,” Commissioner Stanton said.

Recommendations related to communities include increasing the availability of mental health services, enacting new community safety and well-being laws, and promoting bystander intervention.

Ongoing Accountability and Shared Responsibility

While releasing Turning the Tide Together today, the Commissioners called on all Canadians to make time to read the report and step up to implement the recommendations. The Final Report includes clear accountability for all levels of government, the RCMP and other organizations, including a recommendation for an Implementation and Mutual Accountability Body to oversee ongoing progress. It also includes guidance on how members of the public can remain engaged.

“By working together, you helped us to develop meaningful, practical, and sustainable recommendations for the future. Now we call on you to help implement them and make our communities safer for everyone. We all have work to do. It is time to act,” Commissioner MacDonald said.

Read the Final Report including Recommendations

Turning the Tide Together: Final Report of the Mass Casualty Commission is available to read at

The report’s executive summary is available on our Final Report page and includes a complete list of main findings, lessons learned and recommendations.

A list of recommendations can be found here.

Sources of Information

The Final Report builds on information and insights gathered from multiple sources and many people, including:

  • Tens of thousands of documents gathered by the Commission
  • Interviews with over 230 people
  • Input from 61 Participants, including those most affected individuals, families, governments, first responders and organizations such as advocacy groups
  • Hearing from 60 witnesses during public proceedings
  • Learning from 22 Commissioned Reports
  • Hearing from more than 100 experts during 20 roundtables and other discussions
  • Preparing an environmental scan including over 2,000 relevant recommendations from previous inquiries and reports, and
  • Hearing from over 1,000 members of the public.

Background Resources

Timeline: What Happened | Mass Casualty Commission

Wellness Supports: Wellness Support | Mass Casualty Commission

Mandate: Mandate | Mass Casualty Commission

Foundational Documents: Foundational Documents | Mass Casualty Commission

Research and Commissioned Reports: Research and Commissioned Reports | Mass Casualty Commission

Webcasts: Webcast | Mass Casualty Commission

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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