Founding Chair of the Mass Casualty Commission’s Progress Monitoring Committee appointed

News release

May 31, 2023 - Ottawa, Ontario

In April 2020, the lives of countless Nova Scotians were forever changed in the worst mass shooting in our country’s history. It’s been almost three years since we lost Tom Bagley, Kristen and baby Beaton, Jamie Blair, Greg Blair, Joy Bond and Peter Bond, Lillian Campbell Hyslop, Corrie Ellison, Gina Goulet, Lisa McCully, Dawn Madsen, Frank Gulenchyn, Sean McLeod, Alanna Jenkins, Heather O'Brien, Jolene Oliver, Emily Tuck, Aaron Tuck, Cst. Heidi Stevenson, Joey Webber, Elizabeth Joanne Thomas, John Joseph Zahl. We remember them.

On March 30, 2023, the Mass Casualty Commission (the Commission), the independent public inquiry created to examine the April 2020 Nova Scotia mass casualty incident, issued their final report, which set out lessons learned and recommendations that could help prevent and respond to similar incidents in the future, and help make communities safer.

Today, the federal Minister of Public Safety, the Honourable Marco Mendicino, and Nova Scotia Attorney General and Minister of Justice, the Honourable Brad Johns, announced the appointment of Linda Lee Oland as Founding Chair of the Progress Monitoring Committee (PMC).

The Commission’s final report called on the Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia to establish an independent body to monitor the progress of both governments as they assume the responsibility of advancing the important findings in the report. The PMC will play this critical role and support engagement and transparency as Canada, Nova Scotia and other partners work collectively to advance this vital work.

Ms. Oland will be given an initial one-year mandate as Founding Chair. During this time, Ms. Oland will consult with representatives of organizations implicated in the Commission’s recommendations and findings, as well as with other interested individuals and organizations, in order to identify a list of proposed PMC members to both governments.

Recognizing the devastating impact the mass casualty event has had on families and communities, the Founding Chair will ensure the work of the PMC are guided by trauma informed and victim centric principles.

As Founding Chair, Ms. Oland will provide leadership to the PMC to monitor the implementation of the Commission’s key findings by fostering discussion and relationships with various fora, liaising with provinces and territories, and building consensus among partners, and seeking opportunities to support the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia’s work to build safer communities.

In addition to today’s appointment, the Government of Canada is continuing to make progress on its commitment to address the report’s recommendations. The RCMP has already made significant changes to date in the areas of emergency alerting, emergency response team resourcing, radio communications, and personnel wellness, which are outlined on the RCMP’s website. The Government of Canada also continues to deliver on its commitment to end gender-based violence through the recently launched National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence and the federal Gender-based Violence Strategy.


“We continue to stand in solidarity with the families and communities in Portapique and Truro. The Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia are committed to working together to ensure such a senseless tragedy never happens again. We are confident that Ms. Oland, who is a respected former jurist and a Nova Scotian, will play a vital leadership role in addressing the final report of the Mass Casualty Commission and supporting the reforms to the RCMP that are necessary to restore trust in the community.”

- The Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety

“The Government of Canada is unwavering in its stance with the families, and those impacted by the April 2020 Nova Scotia Mass Casualty. In appointing Justice Oland, we continue to act upon the recommendations put forward by the Mass Casualty Commission. We are confident that Justice Oland’s leadership will help to keep Canadians informed as the Government translates the Commission’s recommendations into the concrete actions and policies necessary to ensure such a senseless tragedy never takes place in our country again.”

- The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and Member of Parliament for Central Nova

“I am pleased to welcome former Justice Oland to this role. This is an important next step as our governments work together and with community to make continued progress on the recommendations from the final report. As the Founding Chair begins her work, I am confident that her leadership and work with governments and those who have been most affected will encourage and support accountability.”

- The Honourable Brad Johns, Minister of Justice and Attorney General for Nova Scotia

“I am honoured to be asked to play a role in helping ensure transparency and accountability in the response to the recommendations from the Mass Casualty Commission’s Final Report.  This is extremely important work that will impact the safety and security of Canadians and ensure those most affected by these events see progress being made.”

-  Former Justice Linda Lee Oland

Quick facts

  • On April 28, 2023, the federal government and Nova Scotia announced a combined $18M over two years to help address the unmet needs for mental health, grief and bereavement supports in the affected communities, as recommended in the Commission’s final report. 

  • On May 1, 2023, the Government of Canada announced proposed enhanced measures to strengthen Bill C-21. This followed engagement with Canadians across the country. These included survivors of gun violence, hunters & trappers; First Nations, Inuit and Métis; and rural & Northern residents. It is also the product of significant conversations with Parliamentarians. Furthermore, the measures reflect the input of experts in the field. Most significantly, these proposed amendments align with recommendations put forward by the Mass Casualty Commission.

  • On November 9, 2022, the Federal, Provincial, Territorial (FPT) Ministers responsible for the Status of Women endorsed the National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence (GBV). The National Action Plan is a strategic framework for action within and across jurisdictions with the goal of supporting victims, survivors, and their families, no matter where they live. Bilateral funding agreements are being negotiated with the provinces and territories to support their implementation of the National Action Plan.

  • The Mass Casualty Commission was officially established after the Government of Canada and province of Nova Scotia each issued an Order in Council on October 21, 2020.

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Audrey Champoux
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Public Safety

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

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