Province announces third mass shooting inquiry commissioner

Attorney General and Justice Minister Mark Furey announced the three person Independent Review panel into the mass shootings. Noel Shore born Anne McLellan is one of those. (Communications N.S. photo)

ENFIELD: The joint public inquiry in response to the April tragedy in Nova Scotia has been established and the commissioners will now begin their work.

The Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia announced their intent to establish a comprehensive joint public inquiry in July. The inquiry will help determine what happened and will make recommendations to help prevent similar tragic events in the future.

“My thoughts continue to be with the families and survivors who have suffered incomprehensible loss and trauma,” said Mark Furey, Nova Scotia Attorney General and Minister of Justice. “They – and all Nova Scotians – deserve answers. This public inquiry will play a critical role in the ongoing response to establish the facts and circumstances of this tragedy.”

The commissioners’ first task is setting up their secretariat which will be located in Nova Scotia. This includes hiring support staff, creating their work plan and other tasks. They must submit two reports on their findings, lessons learned and recommendations – an interim report by May 1, 2022 and a final report by Nov. 1, 2022.

Mr. Furey and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness for Canada, Bill Blair, also announced today, Oct. 22, that Kim Stanton is the third commissioner.

She joins J. Michael MacDonald, chief commissioner, and Leanne J. Fitch.

“The commissioners are highly qualified experts in relevant fields who are known nationally and internationally for their expertise, integrity and commitment to finding truth in an impartial manner,” said Mr. Furey.

Quote:

The shootings in Nova Scotia shocked us all, and it’s important that we work to make sure nothing like it ever happens again. All Canadians can have confidence this inquiry will be undertaken in a thorough, independent and compassionate manner, and that the three commissioners will find the answers we are all seeking. Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Quick Facts:

  • the commissioners will work at arm’s-length from both levels of government. Their work and mandate are outlined in two Orders in Council that established the Joint Public Inquiry
  • under Part 1 of the federal Inquiries Act and the Nova Scotia Public Inquiries Act, the commissioners have the power to call witnesses under oath, and require them to provide documents or other items that the commissioners consider necessary to carry out a full investigation

Additional Resources:

Federal Orders in Council website: https://orders-in-council.canada.ca/attachment.php?attach=39809&lang=en

Government of Nova Scotia Orders in Council: https://novascotia.ca/exec_council/oic/OIC%202020-293.pdf

Joint Public Inquiry into the Nova Scotia April 2020 Tragedy: https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/cntrng-crm/plcng/2020-nsir-en.aspx