Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia establish joint public inquiry in response to April tragedy

News release

October 22, 2020 - Ottawa and Halifax

The joint public inquiry in response to the April tragedy in Nova Scotia has been established and the Commissioners will now begin their work.

The Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia announced their intent to establish a comprehensive joint public inquiry in July. The inquiry will help determine what happened and will make recommendations to help prevent similar tragic events in the future.  

The Joint Public Inquiry Commissioners’ first task is setting up their Secretariat which will be located in Nova Scotia. This includes hiring support staff, establishing a budget and creating their work plan. They must submit two reports to the Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia on their findings, lessons learned and recommendations – an interim report by May 1, 2022 and a final report by November 1, 2022.    

The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness for Canada, the Honourable Bill Blair, and Nova Scotia Attorney General and Minister of Justice, the Honourable Mark Furey, also announced today the name of the third Commissioner  appointed to undertake the inquiry.

Dr. Kim Stanton has accepted the position of Inquiry Commissioner. She joins the Honourable J. Michael MacDonald, Chief Commissioner, and Ms. Leanne J. Fitch.

The Commissioners will work at arm’s-length from both levels of government. Their work and mandate are outlined in the two Orders in Council that establish the Joint Public Inquiry.

More information can be found in the Orders in Council.


“The shootings in Nova Scotia shocked us all, and it’s important that we work to make sure nothing like it ever happens again. All Canadians can have confidence this inquiry will be undertaken in a thorough, independent and compassionate manner, and that the three commissioners will find the answers we are all seeking.”

- The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“My thoughts continue to be with the families and survivors who have suffered incomprehensible loss and trauma. They – and all Nova Scotians – deserve answers. This Public Inquiry will play a critical role in the ongoing response to establish the facts and circumstances of this tragedy. Nova Scotians can trust that the Commissioners are highly-qualified experts in relevant fields who are known nationally and internationally for their expertise, integrity and commitment to finding truth in an impartial manner.”

- The Honourable Mark Furey, Nova Scotia Attorney General and Minister of Justice

Quick facts

  • Under Part I of the federal Inquiries Act and the Nova Scotia Public Inquiries Act, the Commissioners have the power to call witnesses under oath, and require them to provide documents or other items that the Commissioners consider necessary to carry out a full investigation.

  • The two Orders in Council outline the Commissioners’ mandate (Terms of Reference). 

Associated links


Mary-Liz Power
Press Secretary 
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

Heather Fairbairn
Media Relation Advisor
Nova Scotia Department of Justice

Sarah Young
Joint Public Inquiry

Page details

Date modified: