Houston: Nova Scotians are still waiting for an inquiry

Tim Houston, Progressive Conservative Leader and MLA for Pictou East attended the Public Inquiry March in Truro today and made the following statement:


Nova Scotians have waited more than three months for Premier McNeil to call a public inquiry into the tragedy that occurred on April 18 and 19 in Portapique and surrounding communities. Yet still, there is no action, nor a firm commitment from this government to hold a full, open public inquiry right here in Nova Scotia.


Nova Scotians want to find out what went wrong and need the confidence that concrete measures will be taken to ensure it won’t happen again. Instead of offering answers and providing closure to those most closely impacted by this tragedy, the government’s silence has contributed to anxiety, speculation, and a loss of trust. For many, the Premier’s failure to act has already done irreparable damage to public confidence.


Only a full public inquiry will ease the worries of Nova Scotians and allow the community to heal. The Premier may not listen to the Official Opposition, but I encourage Premier McNeil to listen to the many voices who have joined the call for a public inquiry.


“There’s definitely an element of male violence against women in this crime,” “Our main request is an independent public inquiry with a feminist analysis included.” 

- Linda MacDonald, a founder of Persons Against Non-State Torture, May 12, 2020. 


"What's the hold up in the inquiry? Why hasn't this happened yet? Where are we in the investigation? Was someone else involved? Why can't we get any answers at all 40 days in?! The fact that any one of us has to ask these questions is all very concerning and only makes everyone feel inadequate, unimportant and unsafe. Please for the people of our province, for the people of our country, for the people who have lost someone so dear to their hearts, find a way to let us start to heal." 

- A letter written by Darcy Dobson and signed by the O’Brien family, who lost a family member to this tragedy. June 2, 2020. 


“An internal investigation will not suffice. Independence, impartiality and transparency are essential components of maintaining public confidence in the administration of justice. Only a public inquiry can satisfy these requirements.” 

- A letter signed by more than 30 professors from the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University, May 15, 2020. 


“Only a comprehensive, open and fully transparent process will be able to address the complexities of this massacre and answer the legitimate questions and concerns of Nova Scotians and Canadians…(the) lack of an announcement of this inquiry is fueling speculation.” 

- A signed letter from 37 Canadian Senators, including five from Nova Scotia, July 18, 2020.