Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


Inquiry commissioners deliver final report on the mass shootings in Nova Scotia in April of 2020.

Panel investigating N.S. mass shooting calls for sweeping changes within RCMP

By Steve MacArthur Mar 30, 2023 | 4:22 PM

A new report on the mass shooting in Nova Scotia is calling for a major overhaul within the RCMP.

The Mass Casualty Commission’s final report on the tragedy contains 130 recommendations, more than half directed at the RCMP, after examining the murders of 22 people over two days in April of 2020.

The key areas where the panel feels changes are needed were broken down in broader terms from the report, which is 3,000 pages long.

  • 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.

Commissioner Leanne Fitch says there were a number of shortcomings in the police response in Portapique, N.S., located about 130 kilometres from Halifax.

The report details mistakes by Mounties about  not warning the public sooner regarding the fact the shooter was dressed as a police officer, driving a replica cruiser and had left the original crime scenes. Their choice to use Twitter as a means to notify the public was also panned.

“There were failures in communications with the public during and in the aftermath of the mass casualty. These must be addressed,” explained Fitch. “That is why we have called for a national review of the public alert system.”

Meantime, Commissioner Michael MacDonald says a pattern of violence and illegal behaviour in the years leading up to the rampage raises concerns about police due diligence on gunman Gabriel Wortman.

“Many red flags were known by a broad range of people and have been brought to the attention of police and others over number of years,” said MacDonald. ”

He went on to state those reports should have been addressed.

Wortman had a denture clinic in Dartmouth and another home in Portapique and was eventually killed by police at a gas station just outside of Halifax, N.S.

RCMP responds to harsh criticism 

Nova Scotia’s top cop say the three officers who rushed to the chaotic scene did their best.

Those officers arrived to gunshots and fires in pitch black conditions while without night vision goggles to help in their response.

Commanding Officer Dennis Daley says he knows their response fell short of expectations.

“I know our response is not what you needed it to be and for that…I am deeply sorry,” said Daley. “I cannot know your loss; what I hope I can do is provide assurance of our commitment to you – While we can’t change what happened in 2020, we can – and we will – learn.”

He adds the force will work to improve public safety in a transparent way, and have already made changes since the murders in 2020.

PM Trudeau responds to report

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says they will take time to review the recommendations from the Portapique Inquiry and respond to ones they are responsible for.

Trudeau went on to say the day is about those whose lives were taken too soon and their family and friends.

“I thank the commissioners for their work. The Government of Canada will carefully review and respond to the recommendations under federal jurisdiction. We remain deeply committed to working with the people and the communities affected to make our communities safer places to live.

He says it’s hoped this is one of many steps toward ensuring a tragedy like this never happens again.

The inquiry will cost upwards of $47 million between the feds and our province. It heard from 61 witnesses and conducted 230 interviews over eight months of hearings in 2022.



Leave a Reply