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Skepticism surrounds charges, upcoming inquiry into N.S. massacre

In December 2020, the common-law spouse of Nova Scotia killer Gabriel Wortman was among three people charged with providing him ammunition. Now, the lawyer for her brother-in-law, who was also charged, says it’s a distraction from the RCMP’s own mistakes.
The burned out remains of Gabriel Wortman's home on Portapique Beach Road, N.S., on May 13, 2020. (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

After multiple delays, public hearings are finally set to begin next week as part of the inquiry into the largest mass shooting in Canadian history. From 10 p.m. on April 18, 2020, well into the next day, a man disguised as a Mountie stalked across nearly 200 kilometres of rural Nova Scotia shooting neighbours, strangers, acquaintances and torching houses. He ultimately killed 22 people. 

One survivor of the rampage was Lisa Banfield, the killer's common-law spouse, who — along with her brother and brother-in-law — has since been criminally charged with supplying Wortman with ammunition. Now, the brother-in-law's lawyer says the charge against his client is "an effort to distract attention away from the incompetence of the RCMP." 

Today, CBC Nova Scotia reporter Elizabeth McMillan is here to discuss those charges, which will soon be going to trial, and the looming inquiry, which some families are worried will continue to keep them in the dark.