Health Care

Independent review of Nova Scotia mass shooting raising questions from victims' families

Independent review of Nova Scotia mass shooting raising questions from victims' families”

But instead of a public inquiry, on Thursday the provincial and federal governments announced a joint independent review, to be conducted by a three-person panel.

The shooting, where a gunman posing as a police officer went on a rampage for 13 hours on 18-19 April, is the deadliest in Canada's modern history.

Michael MacDonald, who served as Nova Scotia's chief justice for 15 years, will chair the panel, rounded out by Anne McLellan, a former member of Parliament, and former Fredericton police chief Leanne Fitch.

The justice minister of Nova Scotia has said multiple times that the province will not lead an inquiry, though it is committed to one.

"We don't need people telling us what they believe we need, we need them to listen to us and give us the public inquiry", said Bond.

"This review by the three-member independent Review Panel will provide a better understanding of what happened and provide recommendations to help prevent such tragedies in the future", said Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair.

Robert Pineo, a lawyer whose firm is working with victims' families in a legal action against the RCMP and the gunman's estate, said the review is not sufficient to get to the bottom of the tragedy or bring closure for his clients.

It won't be clear until this afternoon if the review being announced will be the full inquiry that families and many others hope for.

Access to firearms, police response and communications with the public, as well as gender-based and domestic violence are some of the topics to be reviewed, according to officials.

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The Mounties also have not provided full details of how the attacker came to own at least four replica police vehicles, including the one with a light-bar and precise RCMP paint job he drove on the days of the killings.

Blair and Furey say they have directed both the RCMP and municipal police forces, respectively, to fully cooperate.

The RCMP and Canada Border Services Agency, for instance, are under federal jurisdiction.

More information on the joint review and the Independent Review Panel is available here.

"I will also assure you and Nova Scotians that the RCMP is also very very keen that all of the facts of these circumstances are made known and as well, also keen there are lessons that can be learned in order to improve the quality of the response and ensure that such a tragedy never happens again", Blair said.

Following months of unanswered questions, roughly 280 people marched to Bible Hill, Nova Scotia's RCMP detachment to call for an inquiry on Wednesday.

The three-member review panel - jointly appointed by Ottawa and Nova Scotia - has until February 28, 2021, to submit an interim report.

In a statement released Thursday on behalf of the families, they called the announcement "disappointing", and says families wanted "to participate, not be protected".

"We want a full public inquiry", Beaton said, adding it makes everything transparent.



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