Cumberland-Colchester MP not consulted about independent review of N.S. mass killing decision
Liberal MP Lenore Zann has been calling for a public inquiry since May
The member of parliament for Cumberland-Colchester says she wasn't consulted by the federal or provincial governments before last week's announcement of an independent review of April's mass shooting — despite submitting multiple requests for a public inquiry.
Lenore Zann, the MP for Cumberland-Colchester, said Monday she was upset she wasn't consulted since she has been requesting a public inquiry since May.
"From the very beginning, my constituents and I have been saying that we would like a public inquiry into what has now become known as the largest mass shooting in Canadian history," Zann said.
"People are disappointed. Most of the families of the victims live here and they are really actually outraged and they are demanding a public inquiry."
Families of victims, women's groups, legal experts and Canadian senators have been calling for an inquiry but on July 23, the provincial and federal governments announced an independent review consisting of a three-person panel.
Justice Minister Mark Furey said last week the province reviewed all options, including a public inquiry, but the review process provided the "most timely opportunity" for the earliest responses and setting up a panel.
The review process doesn't include some of the powers granted in a public inquiry, such as information provided under oath and the ability to subpoena.
The same day it was announced, Zann signed her name to a letter issued by the federal Liberal caucus welcoming the independent review and its inclusion of a "feminist analysis."
"Nova Scotians and all Canadians rightly deserve answers to questions about the tragedy on April 18-19. Nova Scotia Liberal M.P.s have asked Minister [Bill] Blair to ensure a robust process was established to provide answers to the victim's families, the circumstances that led to the shooting and the response from the RCMP in the [lead-up], during, and following this tragedy," the letter said.
Zann said although she welcomes the independent review, she still hasn't stopped advocating for a public inquiry.
"That doesn't negate the fact that I have been requesting and still am requesting a public inquiry and I would like to see them either morph [the review] into a public inquiry or reverse their decision and just announce a public inquiry," she said.
Zann said she has sent multiple requests to federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair — once on May 30, once on July 3 and again on July 27 — calling for a public inquiry. She said she hopes the provincial and federal governments are listening and that a public inquiry is considered.
"I think my constituents and the families of the victims, who have been traumatized, I think we deserve that," she said.
"We deserve answers in an open and transparent manner and so I'm keeping my fingers crossed and I'm doing everything I can behind the scenes to try and make that happen."
With files from Tom Murphy