Family of Michel Vienneau petitions parliament to have tipster in 2015 police shooting identified
The family of a New Brunswick businessman who was shot and killed by police in 2015 is trying to bring their concerns to Parliament.
Nicolas Vienneau, the brother of Michel Vienneau, has filed an e-petition with the House of Commons calling on Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale to compel any witnesses and tipsters to appear before a public inquiry regarding his brother’s death.
“For my family, it’s important to know all the details requested,” Nicolas Vienneau told Global News.
“I know it won’t bring my brother back, but it will give us a bit of peace and justice. It’s been three years of hell.”
Michel Vienneau, 51, was shot in his vehicle outside the train station in Bathurst, N.B., on Jan. 12, 2015.
Const. Patrick Bulger and Const. Mathieu Boudreau of Bathurst police were charged with manslaughter, assault with a weapon and unlawfully pointing a firearm in connection with Vienneau’s death.
The officers were investigating whether Vienneau and his common-law partner were in possession of illegal drugs after they returned from a trip to Montreal.
Nicolas Vienneau says he believes police were acting on an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers at the time of his brother’s death.
“There is a probable link between the tipster and the questionable police operation,” reads the e-petition filed in the House of Commons.
The charges against Bulger and Boudreau were dismissed after a preliminary hearing: the judge ruled that the Crown failed to make its case against the officers.
New Brunswick’s attorney general ordered the province’s chief coroner, Gregory Forestell, to hold an inquest into Vienneau’s death after the Crown’s request for a judicial review was turned down.
A date has yet to be set for that inquest.
WATCH: Michel Vienneau’s friends and family petition for trial against officers
Nicolas Vienneau’s petition was sponsored by MP Serge Cormier of Acadie-Bathurst.
“I can only thank MP Serge Cormier and his office for his help in making the petition. He was there to help me,” Vienneau wrote. “It was obvious for me to ask the member of my constituency for help before going elsewhere.”
Cormier says he believes that the e-petition process is an important tool for Canadians but that it doesn’t mean that he endorses the position or information in the petition.
“It is my duty as Member of Parliament to represent all my constituents, and the people of Acadie-Bathurst did not send me to Ottawa to only promote the voices of those I agree with,” Cormier wrote in a statement.
“I am supporting the right to request information via petition because this is a mechanism open to the Vienneau family and all Canadians. That being said, I have always had and will continue to have the utmost respect for the brave men and women who serve in our country’s police forces.”
As of Monday afternoon, the petition was 118 short of its goal of 500 signatures.
If the petition receives 500 signatures it will be officially presented in the House of Commons and then tabled for a response by the government.
— With files from the Adrienne South, the Canadian Press
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