A couple pays their respects at a roadblock in Portapique, N.S. on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. Premier Stephen McNeil says if panellists leading a review into Nova Scotia’s recent mass shooting need more powers, he expects they will request them from his government. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Halifax rally hopes to increase pressure for public inquiry into April massacre

Critics have criticized a perceived lack of transparency, power

People are gathering at a Halifax park today to demand a public inquiry into the Nova Scotia mass shootings.

The gathering at Victoria Park comes less than a week after the province unveiled a plan for a panel review into the massacre.

Organizers say a 22-minute general strike will begin at noon local time to honour the 22 victims who were killed last April.

Several local women’s rights advocates, as well as Dartmouth South MLA Claudia Chender, of Nova Scotia’s New Democrats, are expected to speak at the rally.

Many of the victims’ families have called for a public inquiry into what happened during the shootings on April 18 and 19 and what led to the rampage.

Activists, lawyers, Nova Scotia opposition parties and federal senators from across Canada have also joined that call over the past several months.

But the federal and Nova Scotia governments said last week that a three-person panel would be set up to review the massacre.

That review body will be led by Michael MacDonald, a former chief justice of Nova Scotia, and includes former federal Liberal cabinet minister Anne McLellan, and Leanne Fitch, the former chief of police in Fredericton.

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said that he believes the panel will be able to get the answers that the victims’ families are demanding.

He also told reporters that the panellists will be able to ask his government for assistance should they need it.

But critics have criticized a perceived lack of transparency and say the panel does not have enough power to lead an in-depth investigation.

The organizers of Monday’s rally expressed hope that they will be able to pressure Ottawa and Halifax to reverse course and ultimately order a public inquiry.

“We need systemic and structural change to come from this,” Martha Paynter, one of the event organizers, said in an interview on Saturday.

READ MORE: Activists will strike as calls continue for a public inquiry into Nova Scotia massacre

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shuswap dragon boaters honour teammate’s cancer-fighting accomplishments

Friends Abreast team provides special recognition outside Salmon Arm hospital

Invasive mussel monitoring stations detect 10 boats

Boats were headed to Okanagan and Thompson regions

Collisions with a barrier, a deer and a tree demand Chase RCMP’s attention

Transport truck shreds tires along concrete barrier on Highway 1 east of Kamloops

Salmon Arm’s first Bitcoin ATM installed in mall

The kiosk will allow people to buy cryptocurrency or sell it for cash.

Algae bloom highlights nutrient concerns in Shuswap water quality report

Shuswap Watershed Council releases 2019 water quality report

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Man who drove into music festival crowd sentenced to 14 months in jail

Several people seriously hurt during event held near Princeton

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Vandals put Vernon public piano out of play

Downtown instrument destroyed, but public project is not over

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Summerland mayor asks for community conversation on racism

Incidents in July prompt calls for dialogue

Westside wildfire human caused

Blaze started as a house fire and spread to the bush

Summerland working to reopen recreation facilities

Arena and pool are opening, but ball season will not proceed

Surrey man found guilty in West Kelowna killing of common-law spouse

Tejwant Danjou was convicted of second-degree murder in the July 2018 death of Rama Gauravarapu in West Kelowna

Most Read