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Family, friends and supporters of the victims of the mass killings in rural Nova Scotia in 2020 gather following the release of the Mass Casualty Commission inquiry's final report, in Truro, N.S., on March 30.Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press

The federal and Nova Scotia governments have announced an $18-million plan to respond to a key recommendation from the public inquiry that investigated the worst mass shooting in Canadian history.

In its final report released last month, the Mass Casualty Commission called on the two levels of government to treat unmet needs for mental health in northern and central Nova Scotia, where 22 people were shot dead on April 18-19, 2020.

Carolyn Bennett, the federal minister of mental health and addictions, and her provincial counterpart, Brian Comer, said today that planning would begin immediately on delivering mental health, grief and bereavement services for the affected communities.

The two ministers say a long-term strategy will be developed with the help of people in Colchester, Cumberland and Hants counties.

And they say it will be implemented by a local multidisciplinary team of health professionals, as recommended by the commission.

The $18-million investment is over a two-year period with $9 million coming from the province and an initial $9 million from the federal government.

“The tragic events that unfolded in this province three years ago have had a lasting impact on families of the victims and the communities they call home,” Comer said in a statement.

“Today, we’re taking an important step to address the immediate need for mental health support in the communities with funding to hire more people and offer more services. At the same time, we’re immediately starting community consultation to design programs and services to meet their needs, now and in the future.”

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