Inquiry possible in soldier's murder-suicide, N.S. premier says
Lionel Desmond killed mother, wife and child in Tracadie home
Although Ottawa doesn't seem interested in pursuing it, Premier Stephen McNeil says a federal inquiry is the most appropriate way to examine what may have driven a former soldier to the point of murder and suicide.
Lionel Desmond killed his 52-year-old mother Brenda, his wife Shanna, 31, and their 10-year-old daughter Aaliyah before killing himself in the couple's Tracadie home on Jan. 3.
Lionel Desmond was a veteran of the war in Afghanistan and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Last Friday, his sisters, Cassandra and Diane Desmond, took their campaign for answers to Parliament Hill.
The family has called on the Department of National Defence and Veterans Affairs Canada to provide answers to questions about the treatment and support her brother received or didn't receive before and after his discharge for medical reasons.
Speaking on the steps in front of the Centre Block, Cassandra Desmond said the family is still waiting to hear whether Nova Scotia's medical examiner will recommend a provincial inquiry.
But federal officials insisted an inquiry was the province's call, based on the recommendation of the medical examiner's office.
McNeil offered a different view Wednesday when questioned by reporters.
"I believe it's the responsibility of the national government to hold the inquiry," he said. "But I do believe that we have a responsibility when this report comes back, if there are steps that we can take to help this family and we'll look at what those steps may be."
McNeil didn't know when that report might be complete, nor would he say what other options might be considered beyond an inquiry.