Nova Scotia mass shooting inquiry: RCMP union calls for more resources

HALIFAX — The group that represents almost 20,000 regular members of the RCMP has submitted a list of 28 recommendations to the inquiry investigating the April 2020 mass shooting in Nova Scotia.

The National Police Federation is calling on the province to overhaul the way it pays for policing services, to ensure the RCMP receives adequate, stable funding to deal with understaffing.

As well, the federation wants the province to adopt policing standards, something the Justice Department is already working on.

The federation is also asking for improved mental health supports, better access to helicopters and airplanes and for improved mapping and tracking technology, such as GPS-enabled portable radios.

The recommendations also call for more RCMP officers to be involved when there is a critical incident, including more analysts, dispatchers, risk managers and communication specialists.

Among other things, the inquiry is investigating why it took the RCMP 13 hours to stop a man from killing people in northern and central Nova Scotia in April 2020.

The inquiry has heard that Gabriel Wortman, a denture-maker based in Dartmouth, N.S., assaulted his common-law wife on the night of April 18, 2020, and then fatally shot 13 people in Portapique, N.S., while disguised as a Mountie and driving a car that looked exactly like an RCMP cruiser.

The next day, he killed another nine people — including a Mountie and a pregnant woman — before two RCMP officers shot him to death at a gas station in Enfield, N.S.

The three-member commission of inquiry is expected to submit its final report by March 31, 2023.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 23, 2022.

The Canadian Press