NOTE: The following is a statement from Premier Tim Houston on the Mass Casualty Inquiry.
This week marks the beginning of the inquiry into the April 18 and 19, 2020, mass casualty that took the lives of 22 Nova Scotians and an unborn child.
We must never lose sight of the reason for this public inquiry, to seek answers that lead to change and improve public safety.
Over the course of the last few weeks, I have heard family members express frustration and concern about the structure of the inquiry. They feel left in the dark. This is not only disrespectful, it should cause us all to pause and ask, if the families don’t have confidence in the process, how can the public?
The reason Nova Scotians pulled together and pushed for an inquiry as opposed to a review was to ensure that it was honest, comprehensive, detailed and most importantly, designed to answer questions. Yet, it is still not even known if key witnesses have been subpoenaed to testify, if there will be an opportunity to cross-examine them or if it will be a comprehensive list of witnesses. This uncertainty is causing further, unnecessary trauma.
For these reasons, the commission should meet with the families and their counsel to listen to their concerns and provide them with a plan that gives them confidence in the process.
To the families of:
Const. Heidi Stevenson
Elizabeth Joanne Thomas
As Premier, I stand with you.
Together, we will continue to push for answers.