Canada mass shooting inquiry identifies many police failings

A public inquiry into one of Canada's worst mass shootings has identified numerous failures by police and other authorities responsible for the safety of a rural community in Nova Scotia.

The inquiry, which was launched in the wake of the April 2020 shooting spree that left 22 people dead, released its findings this week. It concluded that police and other agencies could have done more to prevent the tragedy.

The report found that police were slow to respond to the initial reports of gunfire and failed to properly coordinate with other agencies during the active shooter incident. It also concluded that the RCMP's decision to wait for specialized tactical units to arrive before entering the suspect's home was a mistake, as the suspect was able to continue his rampage for another hour and a half.

The report also highlighted a lack of communication between the RCMP and the Nova Scotia Department of Justice, which had been aware of the suspect's history of domestic violence and could have taken action to prevent the tragedy.

The inquiry recommended that the RCMP and other agencies improve their communication and coordination while responding to active shooter incidents. It also called on the government to create a provincial public safety agency to oversee police and other emergency services.

The report also noted that the tragedy could have been avoided if police had acted more swiftly and effectively.

The inquiry's findings come at a time when police forces across Canada are facing criticism over their use of force and lack of accountability. The Nova Scotia shooting has prompted calls for more transparency and oversight of police, and the inquiry's report could help inform such efforts.