Inquiry hears Nova Scotians grieving the mass shooting are still seeking help


A government official says that two years after a man disguised as a Mountie killed 22 people in Nova Scotia, grieving people are still coming forward to get help from the province’s victim services program.

Kim Burton, a Justice Department manager, told an inquiry into the April 2020 mass shooting that the department faced challenges getting people to participate in the program, which offers counselling and other support services.

Burton says victims of crime typically receive a referral to the program as they move through the criminal justice system, but in this case, the department has had to reach out to the affected communities in northern and central Nova Scotia.

About a month after the tragedy, the department set up so-called navigation sites in four communities: Portapique, Masstown, Shubenacadie and Wentworth.

Burton says victim services was contacted by one individual seeking help earlier this week, and she says many more are expected to do the same.

Last month, the inquiry released an interim report saying many of the individuals and families most affected by the tragedy had yet to receive the support they needed.

The report encouraged governmental and non-governmental agencies to move quickly to provide more mental health, trauma and bereavement supports.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 14, 2022.

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