The joint federal-provincial investigation into the April 2020 mass shooting in Nova Scotia has released its cost breakdown to date, the first time it has provided insight into how it spent $25.6 million dollars over the past year and a half.
The largest proportion of spending – about 42% – was spent on salaries and benefits for the staff of the Mass Casualty Commission, which has 68 people. This also includes the daily allowances of the three Commissioners.
People working for the commission range from lawyers, investigators, policy and research officers to the communications team, mental health specialists and community liaison officers.
The rental of rooms for the public hearings and the services associated with their holding accounted for a quarter of the costs, or approximately $7 million.
This covers security, catering and the costs associated with making hearings available to the public: live streaming, translation, transcription services, as well as interpretation. The commission said that copy editing, document management and advice on the subject also fall into this category.
Nearly three-quarters of the 62 individuals and groups participating in the survey received contributions for their legal costs totaling approximately $2.5 million. the orders in council setting out the terms of the survey stipulate that funding is to be provided to participants who would otherwise not be able to participate.
The commission said it spent about $1.8 million on meeting rooms and offices, which is paid for until November this year. An additional approximately $1.8 million was spent on report preparation, survey website, printing and design costs.
The commission covered $1.6 million in travel costs for staff, commissioners and participants. This includes covering the cost of internet and cell phones for them.
Earlier this month, CBC News reported that the costs had exceeded $20 million, but at that time information on the federal government’s share of the shared costs was not yet available. Before public hearings began in February, the Nova Scotia government and Ottawa said they had spent $13 million together.
On Friday afternoon, the committee published its updated expenses that show how much was spent at the end of the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2022.
The costs are shared between the federal and provincial governments. Both levels of government signed orders outlining the work of the commission in October 2020. A final report is expected in November this year.