July 24th, 2020

Emergency sitting of the Legislature required to address mass shooting inquiry

Halifax -- NDP Leader Gary Burrill has written to the Premier calling for an emergency sitting of the legislature in order to establish a public inquiry into the mass shooting of April 18-19. The NDP Caucus is calling for the Liberal government to change course and call a public inquiry instead of the Independent Review Panel announced this week. During an emergency sitting, the NDP would table legislation to create a public inquiry in place of the review panel.

“The families of people killed, along with community organizations, legal experts, and the public in general are rightfully hurt, disappointed, and confused by the Liberal government’s decision to not call a public inquiry into the mass shooting of April 18-19,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill. “Without the power to compel witnesses or evidence, this review does not have the confidence of the people of Nova Scotia, including the victims and their families. The public deserves to know why this decision was made, and to have it reversed.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, all but one committee of the legislature has been blocked from meeting. Considering the clear public importance of these events and the call for an inquiry, the House of Assembly should meet to ensure the public is heard.

“This is too important a moment for the Liberal government to ignore the public outcry over their decision to call a review panel rather than a public inquiry,” said NDP Justice spokesperson Claudia Chender. “For three months, Nova Scotia has been reeling from this tragedy and the public has been clear that a public inquiry is needed. The Liberal government has chosen to defy public outcry, and they should be held accountable in our Legislature.”

The events of April 18-19 were the largest mass shooting in Canadian history. A public inquiry would review what happened and work to ensure similar events are prevented in the future.