NEWS
06/22/2017 09:55 EDT | Updated 06/22/2017 10:01 EDT

Desmond killings: Nova Scotia premier not ruling out public inquiry

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil is calling a horrific murder-suicide involving a former Canadian soldier almost six months ago "a tragic event," but the province is still not prepared to call a public inquiry — yet.

McNeil says Nova Scotia Health Authority officials will meet with Lionel Desmond’s family next week to share the findings of a confidential review into how the province’s health-care system dealt with the former soldier before he killed his family and himself in January.

He says any further steps to investigate the deaths wouldn't be taken until the family and the province’s medical examiner, Dr. Matthew Bowes, are briefed on the report's findings.

McNeil says the family deserves the accounting first, and that is the "right place to start."

Justice Minister Mark Furey says that while he does have the authority to call a fatality inquiry, there are steps the government would need to take before it "would ever come to that."

Furey says the public should be informed on the circumstances of the murder-suicide but that the province’s medical examiner would be in a "better position" call a public inquiry.