Stronger Together Nova Scotia Fund: Update

Topics: Nova Scotia
April 12, 2021

In April 2020, Canadians were shocked and saddened when one man impersonating a police officer killed 22 people, injured several others, and set fires to vehicles, houses and other structures at 16 locations in the Nova Scotia communities of Portapique, Wentworth, Debert, Shubenacadie and Milford before an RCMP response team killed the perpetrator.

In response to an outpouring of sympathy from across Canada and a desire by individuals, groups, businesses and other organizations to help, the Red Cross established the Stronger Together Nova Scotia Fund to address some of the immediate and longer-term needs of families devastated by this event.

In total, Canadians generously donated $6.2 million to this fund.

The Red Cross worked closely with representatives of impacted families and consulted law enforcement, the Nova Scotia government, community groups and others with expertise in fields such as crime victim support. We reviewed other mass-casualty events and how subsequent financial supports and referrals were managed, all with a goal of ensuring the most effective and compassionate use of these funds.

Our priority was to support impacted families in a manner that respected their privacy and acknowledged that no two cases were identical and each family was working through its recovery and closure at a different pace.  Additional financial assistance was given in cases with increased impact as a result of the deaths, such as minors who lost one or both parents/guardians.

All donations would be distributed at a pace beneficiaries were comfortable with, and held in trust only as long as required.

As of March 31, 2021, 99% of donations had been distributed or committed. One per cent was retained for contingencies as we worked through final and complex cases but once all cases are closed, those funds will also be distributed.

No funds will be held for any other use by the Canadian Red Cross. All administration costs were supported by the Government of Nova Scotia, meaning that 100% of funds raised will be distributed.

Specific details of who received payments, amounts and for what purposes will remain confidential.

Once distribution of funds is complete, a report on the fund administration approach will be generated offering as much detail as possible while reflecting Canadian Red Cross commitments to the privacy of these families, the humanitarian principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, our Donor Bill of Rights, and is in keeping with best practices and meeting all legal obligations regarding the administration of a trust fund.
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