POLITICS
07/18/2020 18:34 EDT

37 Senators Sign Letter Asking For Inquiry Into N.S. Shooting

The senators also stressed the inquiry must use a feminist lens.

OTTAWA — Over three dozen Canadian senators are calling on the federal and Nova Scotia governments to launch a “fully open, transparent and comprehensive inquiry” into the mass shootings that left 22 people dead in the province in April.

In an open letter published Saturday, 37 senators from across the country said an investigation is urgently needed to better understand what happened and why.

“Nova Scotians and Canadians need to know what happened or did not happen and what might be done to identify and act on the warning signs that might help to prevent such tragedies in the future,” the letter reads.

The senators also stressed that any inquiry must use a feminist lens to be able to fully uncover what led to the massacre.

Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press
A worker with the medical examiner's office removes a body from a gas bar in Enfield, N.S. on April 19, 2020. Over three dozen Canadian senators are calling for an inquiry into the mass shootings that left 22 people dead in Nova Scotia in April.

It is not the first time senators have demanded more action from Ottawa and Halifax on the matter.

Senators from Nova Scotia sent two letters in June to federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair and Nova Scotia Justice Minister Mark Furey asking that a joint, federal-provincial probe be launched into the killings.

Furey said earlier this month that technicalities were causing delays, but that the governments were “working day and night” to bring an inquiry together.

“There’s legalities and technicalities that our legal teams are reviewing and finalizing in the drafting of relevant documents,″ Furey said on July 2, declining to offer details. “That’s what’s taking the time.″

In their letter Saturday, the senators said not launching the inquiry was fuelling speculation among Canadians.

“That resulting innuendo and gossip puts the public’s trust in jeopardy — not only in those who strive their best to protect and serve, but also in those who are responsible for our public safety,” they wrote.

The letter was sent to Blair and Furey, as well as federal ministers David Lametti and Maryam Monsef, and Kelly Regan, Nova Scotia’s minister responsible for the advisory council on the status of women act.

A spokeswoman for Public Safety Canada, Mary-Liz Power, said in an email Saturday that Blair has been in close contact with Furey on the issue.

“Our governments are working together to ensure that we take all lessons to be learned from this tragedy, and both are considering all possible tools and avenues of investigation,” Power said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 18, 2020.

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