Independent Panel to Review NS Mass Shooting
The federal and provincial governments have agreed on a three member independent review panel to look into the disturbing questions surrounding the horrific events that unfolded from Portapique in April.
The federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Nova Scotia’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, today, announced a joint review of the April 18 and 19 Nova Scotia tragedy.
Bill Blair and Mark Furey say they are united in wanting answers to how and why this tragedy occurred. They especially want to know how healing can take place and how such events can be prevented in the future.
A three-member independent review panel has been tasked with this review and will report on its findings with recommendations.
The panel will be chaired by Michael MacDonald who served as Chief Justice of Nova Scotia until his retirement in 2019, along with Anne McLellan, a former Member of Parliament and Deputy Prime Minister, and Leanne Fitch, a 34-year veteran of the police service.
They are to consider the causes, context, and circumstances, the response of police, and steps taken to inform, support and engage victims, families, and affected citizens.
The review will include:
- contributing and contextual factors including gender based and intimate-partner violence
- the perpetrator’s access to firearms
- police response
- police communications with the public, victims, their families, the Alert Ready Program, and other law enforcement agencies
The two ministers have committed that all agencies and organizations under their respective jurisdiction and authorities will participate fully in this review, ensuring the review panel has what it needs to fulfill its mandate. These include the RCMP, the Canada Firearms Program, the Canada Border
Services Agency, the Criminal Intelligence Service, and the national Alert Ready Program.
Minister Blair says, “The devastating loss of life in Nova Scotia will not soon be forgotten, and all Canadians stand with Nova Scotians as they mourn and search for answers.”
The provincial minister says, “I know the victims’ families and survivors continue to experience a level of trauma and grief that most of us cannot imagine.”
Furey says, “We anticipate this Review will generate recommendations that will make our communities safer.”
The ministers committed that both the interim report, due by February 28, 2021, and final report, due by August 31, 2021, of findings and recommendations will be made public.
The cost of the review will be shared equally by the two levels of government.
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