The family of Chantel Moore is still fighting for answers, even as New Brunswick announced it will hold a coroner’s inquest into her death.
“What is provided to the family is something I’m looking to on behalf of the family. They have to know what happened,” said Judith Sayers, president of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council and spokesperson for the family of Chantel Moore.
“The independent investigation is only looking into what happened, but what happens next? How is there going to be justice for Chanel?”
The family welcomes the coroner’s inquest, but it will have to wait until the investigation being conducted by Quebec’s independent police watchdog have finished, which could take months.
Calls for a further public inquiry into systemic racism in New Brunswick’s justice and policing systems also continue to grow louder.
“A narrow investigation into this one tragic incident should go forward. But it should not delay a more important review into the systemic problems that plague the entire system,” says a release from New Brunswick’s Wolastoqey chiefs.
The Chiefs are also calling out premier Blaine Higgs for remarks to reporters where he suggested that police may have avoided killing Moore by shooting her in the leg.
“Surely you could shoot differently, you could shoot in the leg, if you had to shoot at all,” Higgs said, while referring to the need to balance police and citizen safety.
At least some lawmakers are hearing the calls for a broader review of the system. Both the Liberal and Green parties have called for a full public inquiry, along with Aboriginal Affairs minister Jake Stewart.
After announcing that the inquest would take place, Public Safety Minister Carl Urquhart also said that he would support some sort of systemic review into racism in New Brunswick’s justice system.
“Every system in our society no longer can pretend it’s not there,” Urquhart said. “Even if it isn’t there is has got to be looked at from a set of eyes from all sides.”
According to Higgs, such a review will wait until after the BEI investigation and coroner’s inquest conclude.
“All I want is to let this hearing be understood, let the facts be understood and then let’s deal with the bigger issue after,” he said.
But for Indigenous people in the province, and across the country, the time for waiting is over.
“Why do we have to wait? We know it exists, so we know that it’s there, so we should be working on it immediately. Let’s not let another death happen,” Sayers said.