The Mass Casualty Commission hosted two talking circles today, featuring indigenous persons from across Nova Scotia. The participants discussed their experiences of the morning of April 19, 2020, their views on the institutions serving Nova Scotians, and their views on policing.
An interesting comparison was made with the lack of a trusting relationship between the police and indigenous communities, and the current lack of trust that Nova Scotians more broadly are feeling following the events of the mass casualty.
The Commissioners were very respectful of the participants, perhaps to the point of being patronizing, but perhaps genuinely. The three Commissioners participated in the talking circle along with everyone else, and leaned less on scripted remarks than on other days.
There were also some news articles that came out in the past few days dealing with other elements of the MCC. Seemingly in an attempt to rehabilitate his own reputation, former Justice Minister Mark Furey (who was an RCMP Staff Sergeant prior to running for office) has claimed in an affidavit that it was the RCMP’s failure to accept his 2012 recommendation to adopt emergency alerts that lead to his early retirement. This is difficult to swallow from the very person who may have been best positioned in years that followed to have implemented an emergency alert system for active shooter situations.
I also discuss the election of Pierre Poilievre as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, and what impact that may have on potential adoption of MCC recommendations.