Ottawa, ON – The National Police Federation is calling on the federal and provincial governments and elected representatives to avoid political interference and ensure the victim’s families, front-line RCMP Members and all Canadians have the benefit of a transparent, timely and independent Public Inquiry into all aspects leading to Canada’s largest-ever, tragic mass shooting in Nova Scotia.
“From the beginning, we supported the call from the families of the victims and other Canadians for an independent Inquiry,” said Brian Sauvé, President. “If we really want to get to the bottom of what led to this horrific event, governments must expeditiously appoint the third Commissioner and then allow the panel to review, identify and understand all contributing factors, not just the final hours that required a police response.”
Sauvé, on behalf of close to 20,000 front-line RCMP Members across the country, asserted that this Inquiry must not focus solely on one of the most significant and coordinated police responses, but be broad enough to ensure its findings lead to meaningful and real change. This is the only way to ensure the Inquiry will identify all factors that need to be addressed to prevent future mass tragedies and an unfathomable loss of lives.
“Minister Fury was elected to represent the people of Nova Scotia without bias and it will be his job to bring that responsibility along with his expertise and experience to the Inquiry.”
As the labour relations representative for the ~900 front-line Members of the RCMP in Nova Scotia, the NPF will be applying for intervenor status to engage in the Inquiry.
In June, the NPF released a series of questions that we believe must be included within the scope of the inquiry to ensure meaningful findings and results:
- What other interactions did the shooter have with provincial or federal agencies during their lifespan, and what were the nature of those interactions?
- Did the shooter undergo any previous psychiatric assessment, and if so, what was the result or follow-up?
- How did the shooter gain access to illegal weapons, where did they originate from, and what increased measures need to be put in place to stop illegal weapons from coming into Canada?
- Has the shooter ever been charged with any other offenses, or been subject to any probation ordered by the courts? If so, was probation completed?
- Did the shooter have a history of domestic abuse, and how was this addressed by the courts or government agencies?
- Were there any social support services that could have prevented this tragedy which were unavailable due to COVID-19 restrictions?
- Has the funding model of the RCMP been reviewed, and have budget requests for people, training, and equipment been implemented? Is there adequate funding to provide the level of service that Nova Scotians want?
- Did the shooter have sufficient access to mental health supports and programs throughout his life and what improvements to adequate health supports are needed to improve reach and use?
- Given the above, were existing laws and policies under which police operate sufficient to protect the public?
About the National Police Federation:
The National Police Federation (NPF) was certified to represent ~20,000 RCMP members serving across Canada and internationally in the summer of 2019. The NPF is the largest police labour relations organization in Canada, the second largest in North America, and is the first independent national association to represent RCMP members. The NPF will focus on improving public safety in Canada by negotiating the first-ever Collective Agreement for RCMP officers, and on increasing resources, equipment, training and supports for our members who have been under-funded for far too long. Better resourcing and support for the RCMP will enhance community safety and livability in the communities we serve, large and small, across Canada.
For more information: https://npf-fpn.com/.
Brian Sauvé President
National Police Federation