Nova Scotia

Ontario police call for tips about release of 911 calls from N.S. mass shooting

Ontario police are calling for tips about how sensitive information on the Nova Scotia mass shooting was released to the media.

Calls, transcripts released by one outlet last June

Bill Dickson is a spokesperson for the Ontario Provincial Police. The force has been investigating the release of sensitive 911 calls related to the N.S. mass shooting since June 2021. (Stu Mills/CBC)

Ontario police are calling for tips about how sensitive information on the Nova Scotia mass shooting was released to the media.

Last June, Frank Magazine published the audio recordings and transcripts of 911 calls from victims and family members in Portapique — including one from a child who witnessed his parents dying — the night the shooting began on April 18, 2020.

Several family members of people killed expressed outrage and anguish on social media after the Halifax publication posted the three calls online.

The Mass Casualty Commission leading the inquiry into the shooting also said last year it "condemns the access and posting of the highly sensitive audio recordings."

At the time, RCMP said they would be investigating the source of the recordings and "any related offences that may have occurred with respect to unauthorized release, possession and subsequent publishing."

That investigation was soon referred to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), force spokesperson Bill Dickson said, and their officers have been looking into the case since last year.

On Tuesday, the OPP sent out a release asking for public tips from anyone with knowledge on the release of protected information like 911 calls, images, or video, related to the April 2020 massacre.

"Our focus right now is any members of the public who, you know, may not have had an opportunity to say, 'Oh, I know something, I can talk to the OPP in this case,' because … we don't have an OPP office [there,]" Dickson said Tuesday. 

"People may have had, you know, a challenge saying, 'Well, if I know something, what do I do?'"

When asked why the OPP was making a call for tips now, Dickson said they are "taking the investigation to another level."

Dickson said their investigation has not yet resulted in any charges.

Anyone with information on this issue can contact the OPP dedicated tip line at 1-844-677-9401, by email at opp.arb.tips@opp.ca, or Crime Stoppers.

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