Blue Line

Nova Scotia to review role of RCMP in the province, after report into mass shooting

September 29, 2023  By The Canadian Press

Sep. 29, 2023, Halifax, N.S. – Nova Scotia’s government has launched a review into policing, six months after a public inquiry raised wide-ranging criticisms of the RCMP’s performance in the province.

The review announced Friday by Justice Minister Brad Johns is the government’s response to a recommendation from the inquiry into the April 2020 mass shooting in Nova Scotia that killed 22 people.

The inquiry called for the creation of a council to make recommendations on the “future structure of policing” that could be implemented before the province’s agreement with the RCMP expires in 2032.

Johns said in a news release that the government will appoint a police review advisory committee and an outside consultant, and that they will work together to produce a report to be released in 2025. He said the process will “potentially” recommend changes for how policing services are delivered. Department spokesman Andrew Preeper said the consultant will put forward the recommendations.


The committee will be co-chaired by Clare MacLellan, a retired Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge, and Hayley Crichton, director of public safety and security with the Department of Justice, with community and police members to be appointed later.

Assistant Commissioner Dennis Daley, commanding officer of the Nova Scotia RCMP, said in an email that the force welcomes the review. “We look forward to participating alongside our provincial, municipal and community partners,” he said.

During the public inquiry, three commissioners examined how an alcoholic with a record of domestic violence managed to create a replica police vehicle, arm himself with semi-automatic guns, and engage in a 13-hour rampage in multiple locations across the province.

The March 30 report raised many criticisms of the RCMP’s performance, including its confused response to the shooter during the attacks and the RCMP’s troubled relationship with municipal police forces.

On Friday, the RCMP released on its website its responses to two other recommendations by the inquiry.

The inquiry had called on the RCMP to “commission an external expert review of its initial critical incident response training for front-line supervisors.”

The force says it is analyzing the findings and recommendations in the report and “developing a work plan to address gaps that were identified,” in the training for officers who supervise responses to incidents like the mass shooting. It says the full report on the training will be published later on its website.

The RCMP also responded to recommendations that it “provide a document that explains the criteria on which the RCMP presently selects, develops, recognizes, and rewards its commissioned officers and those in equivalent civilian roles, and what other steps are being taken to address the unhealthy aspects of the RCMP’s management culture,” that were identified in two earlier probes into the Mounties.

The website says the force has established an “action plan … with the objective to foster a healthy management culture, create a sustainable employee experience during their tenure at the RCMP, and to better equip officers and executives to develop as senior leaders within the organization.”

Print this page


Stories continue below