The United States consulate in Halifax warned Americans living in Nova Scotia about an active shooter on a rampage in that province Monday — while the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) only sent out a tweet and a Facebook post.
At least 22 people died between Saturday and Sunday while an assailant wearing an RCMP uniform driving a replica police car shot and killed northern Nova Scotia occupants. The RCMP investigation is focused on accused 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman.
“The information we used in our emailed alert to U.S. citizens on Sunday was taken from the Nova Scotia RCMP’s Twitter account. It is our protocol — when emergencies occur — to alert U.S. citizens in the area to the situation,” Marcia R. Seitz-Ehler, U.S. Consulate General spokeswoman Marcia Seitz-Euler told CTV News on Wednesday.(RELATED: Prime Minister Trudeau Calls For Ban Of ‘Assault-Style’ Weapons In Canada Following Nova Scotia Shooting Rampage)
Although police forces across Canada routinely use the Amber Alert for child abductions and have even utilized the emergency system to furnish details of social distancing guidelines, the RCMP sent out no such message about the shooter.
The oversight has brought criticism down upon the heads of Canada’s national police service that was founded in 1873, with security experts saying use of the Amber Alert should have been a standard operating procedure under the circumstances.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked Wednesday at his daily news conference about the apparent disconnect and whether his Liberal government plans to introduce guidelines for any future active shootings. Trudeau responded that these were “important questions” that will be assessed during the police investigation, according to CTV. (RELATED: Toronto Mass Shooting Claims 2 Dead, 13 Injured)
“I think there are many families that are grieving incredible losses right now who are asking themselves questions about how things could have been different, how they might’ve been able to have been warned earlier,” Trudeau said.
“They can use the alert to warn us about COVID and [to] separate, and I believe that’s important. But what’s more important [is that] there was like 19 lives lost,” Nick Beaton, whose wife died at the hands of the shooter, told CTV News’ Chief Anchor and Senior Editor Lisa LaFlamme on Tuesday.