Province, Ottawa close to announcing third commissioner for inquiry into mass shooting
Final vetting process happening now
The announcement of a third commissioner for the public inquiry into April's mass shooting is imminent.
Nova Scotia Justice Minister Mark Furey told reporters on Thursday that he and federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair have endorsed the person and are awaiting completion of an administrative vetting process.
"That's happening as we speak," said Furey.
The need for a new commissioner was created when Anne McLellan resigned from her post in July.
McLellan, former chief justice of Nova Scotia Michael MacDonald and Leanne Fitch, the former chief of police in Fredericton, were originally tapped for a review panel to look into the circumstances related to the mass shooting, which saw 22 people killed on April 18-19.
Terms of reference almost complete
In the face of public backlash and criticism, particularly from family members of the victims, the provincial government and Ottawa eventually changed the review to a public inquiry.
McLellan said she supported that decision, but could not commit the necessary time that would be required of the commissioners.
Furey said the two levels of government are also close to finalizing terms of reference for the inquiry.
Although some family members have been critical of the amount of communication they've received from the province and Ottawa throughout this process, Furey said he's tried to keep people as informed as possible.
An update on the process to get the inquiry started was sent to families via email on Thursday, he said.
Premier Stephen McNeil said he expects the commissioners will be the liaison for the family members once the commission is formally established.