Remarks from the Commanding Officer, Assistant Commissioner Lee Bergerman - June 4, 2020

June 4, 2020
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia


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Thank you.

To begin, I must first acknowledge that today is June 4, a day many will never forget as it was six years ago that we tragically lost three RCMP officers in Moncton. Those incidents continue to affect all of us – the families of our fallen, the force and the community.

As Cpl. Clarke noted, Superintendent Campbell will provide an update on our investigation into the incidents on April 18 and 19. Before he does that though, I would like this opportunity to address the families of the victims, Nova Scotians and our RCMP Nova Scotia employees.

To the families of the victims so deeply impacted by the incidents here on April 18 and 19th.

Your lives have changed in ways that most will never understand.

This was a horrific incident directed at innocent people and no one has felt this more than you.

Please know that your family members and you will remain at the forefront of every decision we make in relation to Operation H-Strong.

We know you are looking for answers with broken hearts.

I can assure you that since day one we are investigating to uncover the why and how this happened, and we will continue to go where the facts lead us.

We have leaned heavily on our officers who are serving as liaisons to the families of the victims.' Our RCMP and the Provincial Victim Services have also provided remarkable assistance. Keeping the families supported and informed are critically important pieces and we are fully committed to ensuring an ongoing open dialogue with you.

To Nova Scotians.

To say these have been trying times is an understatement. I have accepted there will never be words to describe the impact of these days because the effects of the gunman's actions are deep, far reaching and for many, life changing.

It has become very clear that for Nova Scotians there will always be a "before" April 18 and an "after".

We have endured a terrible attack on our province, which was unprecedented and unlike anything we have seen before.

In the past six weeks, Nova Scotians have experienced every emotion and have rallied together united in grief, in outrage, and in resolve to honour the innocent victims and preserve and defend the true culture of Nova Scotia– one of kindness, hospitality and compassion.

Amid this cloud of tragedy, we have felt your outpouring of condolences and support. We will continue to be there for Cst. Heidi Stevenson's family and for Cst. Chad Morrison who is recovering from his injuries. We share in the collective inability to gather and celebrate those tragically lost in April, but what you have done for us is truly appreciated and I thank you.

Many of us in the RCMP have found comfort in your notes, public displays, and personal expressions of thanks – we have felt your embrace.

To all Nova Scotia RCMP employees, who I've never been more proud of.

Well over 100 employees were part of the response on April 18 and 19 and hundreds more are involved in Operation H-Strong, on the investigation and behind the scenes, but we're all one family.

What those who responded on April 18 and 19 faced is unlike anything most have been faced with before and your experiences and first-hand accounts of what unfolded are heart breaking on many levels.

They also demonstrate the type of people you are; selfless, brave, trained, skilled and heroic. We all feel privileged to work with you and I have never in my career been more proud to be a member of the RCMP.

As Superintendent Campbell will reference in more detail, the Operation H-Strong investigation is well underway.

The investigative team has not stopped; they are committed to conducting a solid investigation to provide answers to the families of the victims as well as others.

Like everyone involved, this entire team is stepping up to get the job done and putting their heart and soul into this file.

H-Strong is the operational name that represents teams of people who are invested, selfless, smart, dedicated and proud.

From British Columbia to Newfoundland, your sisters and brothers in the RCMP family have reached in and shown up to provide relief and assistance.

Hundreds of RCMP personnel have come to Nova Scotia from across Canada - to work on the front lines, to support the Operation H-Strong investigation and provide unit-to-unit assistance.

We are truly a national police force – a Canadian family who steps up to help, to reinforce, to ensure we are there for one other so we can protect the communities we serve.

Thank you.


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