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A couple pays their respects at a roadblock in Portapique, N.S., on April 22, 2020.Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston asked people to pause for a moment of silence Tuesday at noon and again on Wednesday to remember the 22 people killed three years ago during the worst mass shooting in Canadian history.

Houston issued a statement saying the impact of the tragedy in northern and central Nova Scotia on April 18-19, 2020, is still being felt.

“We must always remember and honour the lives of victims and survivors,” Houston said in the statement. “We are inspired by the courage and strength shown each day by the families, survivors and communities.”

Flags at the provincial legislature and all provincial government buildings were to fly at half-mast from Tuesday at sunrise until sunset on Wednesday. As well, the premier encouraged all citizens, businesses and community organizations that fly flags to lower them to half-mast during that time.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also issued a statement, saying he has been inspired by the strength and resilience of the victims’ families and all Nova Scotians.

“On this sombre day, we remember those we lost and hold their memories close to our hearts,” Trudeau said. “Today, Canadians remember the 22 people, including a woman who was expecting a child, whose lives were cut short on one of the darkest days in Canadian history.”

Trudeau described the mass shooting as a senseless tragedy that caused a heartbreaking sense of loss that will never go away.

“In the aftermath of this attack, Canadians across the country united in grief and solidarity,” he said.

Last month, a public inquiry released a 3,000-page final report that highlighted a litany of mistakes made by the Mounties during their response to the shootings, and it called on Ottawa to rethink the RCMP’s central role in policing.

The inquiry heard that the killer was disguised as a Mountie and driving a replica RCMP cruiser when he fatally shot 13 people in Portapique, N.S., on the night of April 18, 2020, and then killed another nine people the next day before he was shot dead by two Mounties.

On Tuesday, Trudeau pledged to work closely with the Nova Scotia government and the affected communities to ensure this kind of tragedy never happens again.

“The government of Canada has already taken action to keep Canadians safe in their communities, and we have invested in better mental health supports,” he said, citing the Wellness Together Canada portal and the PocketWell app that provides free, 24/7 access to support.

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