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RCMP cruisers parked in front of Portapique Beach Road during the NS mass shooting that claimed 22 lives in April 2020.

RCMP focused on change after Mass Casualty Commission report

By Kevin Northup Mar 27, 2024 | 10:31 AM

The RCMP have released an action plan to implement recommendations from the Mass Casualty Commission.

Twenty-two people lost their lives in Portapique, Nova Scotia and surrounding areas in April, 2020 when a gunman went on a rampage.

The commission made 130 recommendations on the incident, and called for sweeping changes in processes at the RCMP.

In a news conference, RCMP Commissioner Mike Duheme said they’re re-thinking how they communicate during emergencies.

He says they’ve developed a playbook for mass casualty incidents, and use blue force tracking to track officers out in the field.

Overall, they will directly address 33 recommendations, and say they have a role to play in the others.

“We are contributing to 55 other recommendations that requires work with government or other policing jurisdictions. The others, we are seeking ways to contribute with governments and other partners.”

Duheme says the plan will be implemented over three phases, and it will take some time.

“We recognize the importance of keeping Canadians informed about a threat to their safety, and part of that is improving our overall approach to crisis.”

Premier speaks in legislature on government’s efforts

Nova Scotia’s Premier says it’s been a year of action and listening to make progress on the Mass Casualty Commission’s recommendations.

Tim Houston says government has launched a provincewide policing review.

“As I said on the day the report was released, our main goal is safer communities,” said Houston.

He says they’ve also put money into gender-based violence prevention.

Houston adds they’ve committed $9 million over two years for mental health services in Cumberland, Colchester and Hants counties.

They’ve also invested in more equipment for emergency responders.