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

Maple Ridge food bank receives $10,000 donation

Friends In Need Food Bank received cheque from Ironworkers Local 97

Slight decrease in homelessness in Maple Ridge

2020 Homeless Count finds 114 people without housing in the city

‘Frugal’ Maple Ridge lottery winner ponders purchases

Local lawn bowler plans to buy an SUV and some kitchen appliances with half-million dollar windfall

Premier in Maple Ridge for health care announcement

Urgent and primary care centre gets permanent home in Haney Place Mall

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

‘We don’t make the rules’: Okanagan pub owner says staff harassed over pandemic precautions

‘If you have six people plus a baby, guess what? That’s seven’ - West Kelowna Kelly O’Bryan’s owner

Remembering Brent Carver: A legend of Broadway who kept his B.C. roots strong

Over the years, the Cranbrook thespian earned his place as one of Canada’s greatest actors

Wrong-way driver triggers multi-vehicle collision on Highway 99 in South Surrey

Police received multiple reports of vehicle heading north in southbound lanes

Statistics Canada says country gained 419,000 jobs in July

National unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June

Canada plans $3.6 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. in aluminium dispute

The new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement that replaced NAFTA went into force on July 1

Canada ‘profoundly concerned’ over China death sentence for citizen in drug case

Police later confiscated more than 120 kilograms of the drug from Xu Weihong’s home

Answers to 5 common questions facing families for the COVID-19 school year

COVID-19 protocols are likely to vary even more at the school board level, and even and school-to-school.

Most Read