Note on the independent joint review of the Portapique tragedy

Yesterday, the Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia announced that a committee will be responsible for conducting an independent review of the mass shooting in Portapique last April. I have taken the time to review and evaluate this announcement presented by Minister Blair and Minister Furey and I share the concerns of Nova Scotians.

I would like to reiterate my support for the families of the victims and express my deep disappointment that there will be no public inquiry into Canada’s deadliest mass shooting.

As it currently stands, the panel has no real legal status and must depend on Ministers to provide information that is not available for their review. This completely removes the so-called notion of “independence.” All information provided by investigators, Crown prosecutors and police will have to pass through the Ministers’ offices. This is not very effective and creates concerns about transparency.

The committee has one year to make its recommendations. Although I understand the complexity of the tragedy, having to wait a whole year for answers is little comfort to the families and loved ones of victims who have already had to wait three long months.

It is incumbent on both federal and provincial governments to explain why it has taken so long to launch a public review and how this process will get the answers that families so desperately need.