Inquiry Reveals Troubling Gaps in Mental Health Care and Domestic Violence Intervention Services Leading to Tragic Nova Scotia Shooting

In a long-awaited report, a provincial inquiry has shed light on the devastating events that unfolded in the quiet community of Upper Big Tracadie, Nova Scotia, seven years ago. The inquiry, which investigated the tragic shooting that claimed the lives of three family members and the shooter himself, is set to release its final report on January 31.

The inquiry delved into the life of Lionel Desmond, a former Canadian soldier and Afghanistan war veteran, who fatally shot his mother, wife, and 10-year-old daughter before turning the gun on himself on January 3, 2017. Over the course of 53 days of hearings, a troubling narrative emerged, revealing significant gaps in mental health care and domestic violence intervention services.

Desmond, a former infantryman, was diagnosed with severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depression in 2011, stemming from his harrowing experiences in combat. Despite receiving four years of treatment while still in the military, his mental health remained fragile. Compounded by marital issues, Desmond was medically released from the Armed Forces in 2015 and sought treatment in a residential program in Montreal the following year.

However, the inquiry uncovered a critical period of neglect in Desmond’s mental health care. After returning home to Upper Big Tracadie in August 2016, the 33-year-old former corporal did not receive any therapeutic treatment for four months. This lapse in care raises questions about the accessibility and adequacy of mental health services available to veterans.

The inquiry also examined Desmond’s access to firearms and the assessment of risk by health-care professionals and police officers regarding intimate partner violence. It sought to determine if Desmond had appropriate mental health care and if his family had sufficient access to domestic violence intervention services. The report’s recommendations, though not legally binding, aim to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

While the inquiry cannot assign criminal or civil liability, its findings highlight the urgent need for improved mental health support for veterans and enhanced domestic violence intervention services. The report’s release is anticipated to prompt discussions and actions to address these systemic issues.

As the community of Upper Big Tracadie awaits the inquiry’s final report, the tragic events of that fateful day continue to serve as a stark reminder of the consequences of inadequate mental health care and domestic violence intervention services.


Author: CrimeDoor

1 Response

  1. The post discusses a provincial inquiry report that has finally revealed details about a tragic incident that occurred in Upper Big Tracadie, Nova Scotia, seven years ago. The events were described as devastating, and the community was known for being peaceful and quiet.

    My insights:
    It is unfortunate that it took seven years for the details of this incident to come to light. Such delays in investigations can be frustrating for the affected community and hinder the healing process. It is crucial for authorities to prioritize timely and thorough investigations

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