Blue Line

Nova Scotia mass shooting: Public inquiry issues RCMP new subpoena for information

July 8, 2022  By The Canadian Press

July 7, 2022, Halifax, N.S. – The public inquiry investigating the 2020 Nova Scotia mass shooting has issued a new subpoena to the RCMP, following concerns the federal police force has withheld documents related to the deaths of 22 people.

The subpoena issued July 4 is one of several follow-up subpoenas sent to the RCMP for files relevant to the inquiry into the rampage on April 18-19, 2020, senior inquiry counsel Emily Hill said Thursday in an email.

The public inquiry – the Mass Casualty Commission – continues to “seek assurance that nothing else is being held back,” Hill said, adding that counsel is conducting an ongoing audit to determine the level of RCMP compliance in releasing information.

Hill was referring to comments on June 24 by Barbara McLean, the inquiry’s investigations director, who said she and her colleagues were seeking an explanation from the federal Justice Department for why four pages of notes written by a senior Mountie were withheld for several months.

The four pages, handwritten by Supt. Darren Campbell, allege that during a meeting shortly after the mass shooting, RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki told those present that she had promised the federal Public Safety Department and the Prime Minister’s Office that information on the guns used by the shooter would be released because it was “tied to pending gun control legislation.”

The documents describing Lucki’s alleged comments were not included in the 132 pages of Campbell’s notes shared with the commission in February 2022. The missing pages were submitted on May 31. The superintendent’s notes sparked controversy in Ottawa, when the opposition Tories and New Democrats accused the governing Liberals of interfering in a police investigation for political gain – assertions denied by the government and Lucki.

The Nova Scotia RCMP detachment has so far been issued several follow-up subpoenas for material that was not found in the investigative files submitted by the federal police force, Hill said.

In total, the commission has issued more than 80 subpoenas to various parties since March 2021, Hill said in a media briefing Thursday, adding that she and her colleagues will continue to use the power of subpoena “to get the documents we need to do our work.”

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