Why isn t N.S. mass shooting getting a full inquiry? Parliamentarians question gov t decision
|CTVnews 28 Jul 2020 at 10:52|
OTTAWA -- Parliamentarians are challenging the federal and Nova Scotia governments decision to launch a joint review rather than a public inquiry into the Nova Scotia mass shooting.
In response to the review, senators have tabled a formal question seeking answers from the federal government.
Tabled by Independent Sen. Kim Pate a longtime advocate for women and girls in the Canadian justice system the formal question requests the government answer for the decision.
Why hasnt the government chosen the only option guaranteed to provide the answers so desperately sought by survivors of the victims and the public? And, will the government revert its position and convene a public inquiry? reads the senators question , tabled by in the Senate during an emergency summer sitting on behalf of a group of Senators.
And a Nova Scotia Liberal MP is also speaking out in favour of a more robust interrogation of the tragedy.
MP Darren Fisher said, while he is pleased the shooting and response is being reviewed, the gravity of this tragedy demands a greater response.
Ive made my voice heard on this issue to our governments decision-makers on this file, and I remain hopeful that greater authority will be given to this matter, with the ultimate goal being the announcement of a public inquiry, Fisher said.
The review has been loudly criticized after it was announced on July 23, with families of victims and Canadians across the country questioning the lack of transparency and accountability powers built in to the joint review process.
The review format does not allow for witnesses to be compelled to testify under oath, public hearings are not expected, and the interim report from the independent review panel will land on the federal and provincial governments desks before being released.
There is no guarantee of openness and transparency; something the victims families and the public have the right and are entitled to expect, reads the Senators question.
Considered among the worst mass murders in Canadian history, 22 people were killed by a gunman who evaded police for hours between April 18-19, burning down properties in the Portapique, N.S. area before being shot and killed by police at a gas station in Enfield, N.S., about 100 kilometres from where the spree began.
New revelations continue to be reported about the gunman and the RCMPs response, further bolstering the calls for a complete airing of the series of events that unfolded.
Pate is among a group of 37 senators from across Canada that has sent letters to federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair and provincial Justice Minister Mark Furey on three occasions already this month, imploring them to go the public inquiry route, arguing that only a comprehensive, open and fully transparent process would be able to address the complexities of this massacre and answer the legitimate questions and concerns of Nova Scotians and Canadians.