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Province open to public inquiry if feds agree, says Furey

The province's justice minister says he's heard from the victim's family members, along with many other Nova Scotians who want a joint inquiry, rather than a joint review
062220 -  Portapique -  mass shooting - wortman - IMG_6339
A memorial in Portapique to 22 victims of a mass shooting (Meghan Groff/HalifaxToday.ca)

UPDATE: Ottawa announces full inquiry into N.S. shootings

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Nova Scotia's Justice Minister says the provincial government will support a joint public inquiry into the mass shooting that took the lives of 22 people if the federal government agrees.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Mark Furey says he's heard from the victim's family members, along with many other Nova Scotians who want a joint inquiry, rather than a joint review.

A number of Liberal MPs have come forward to push for a full public inquiry, including Darren Fisher, Lenore Zann, Sean Fraser and Mike Kelloway.

"If the federal MPs agree that their government should conduct a joint public inquiry rather than a review, they should take that up with the federal minister and their federal colleagues," says Furey's statement.

"If the federal government agrees to a joint public inquiry where federal agencies including the RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency, Criminal Intelligence Services Canada, Canadian Firearms Registry and the Public Alert Ready System will participate and offer testimony, I will support that and so will our government."

Lenore Zann, the MP for Cumberland-Colchester, says she wasn't consulted by either the federal and provincial governments on the decision to launch an independent review into the tragedy.

She says she's been focusing all her energy on pushing for one.

"My constituents and the families of the people who were the innocent victims deserve an open and transparent public inquiry, and I will keep fighting for that," she told NEWS 95.7's The Sheldon MacLeod Show.

Dartmouth-Cole Harbour MP Darren Fisher issued a statement today on social media, saying he believes the independent review was made with good intentions, "however, the gravity of this tragedy demands a greater response."

In his statement, Cape Breton-Canso's Mike Kelloway says he's let federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair know he also wants to see a public inquiry.

"This tragic event had a resonating impact on the entire province, and many are still hurting," says Kelloway. "As a government, I feel as though it is our duty to uphold the values of Nova Scotians and honour the families of the victims by moving forward with a full public inquiry, not a joint review."

Central Nova MP Sean Fraser released a statement, saying he was "immediately disappointed" when the review was announced.

"I am deeply upset by the decision to move forward with something less than a comprehensive public inquiry that provides answers to our province and solace to the families who now live every day in our communities without their loved ones," Frasher says.

After the joint review was announced, a letter was sent out from Kings-Hants' MP Kody Blois which said the Nova Scotia Federal Liberal Caucus supported the review.

The names of all 10 Nova Scotia Liberal MPs are on the bottom.

In his statement, Fraser says he only became aware of the proposed letter shortly before it was published.

"I have come to understand that the letter was sent as a result of a serious, albeit innocent, misunderstanding of my views," Fraser says. "I should have been more explicit and unequivocal in my opposition to being included in that letter, and I remain responsible for that."

Zann says she agreed to add her name to the letter because she was happy something was finally being done and the review would include looking into the aspect of intimate partner violence.

But she says that does not change her stance that a full and transparent process is what is needed.

With files from Chris Halef



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Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana and lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the community editor for HalifaxToday.ca.
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