Anne MacLellan withdraws as commissioner into Nova Scotia shooting inquiry

Families of victims killed in N.S. shooting relieved over public inquiry call
WATCH: The families of those killed in April’s shooting spree say they’re relieved that governments will call a public inquiry.

It’s been three days since the provincial and federal governments agreed to hold an inquiry into the Nova Scotia shooting and one of the three commissioners has pulled out of the process.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan has withdrawn as a commissioner into the shooting spree in April that left 22 people dead.

Read more: Lack of transparency over N.S. officials’ support for public inquiry into mass shooting

“Ms. McLellan continues to be supportive of the decision for a public inquiry, however, at this time, she is unable to commit to the time required to carry out a commissioner’s responsibilities in the context of an inquiry,” a statement issued on behalf of federal public safety minister Bill Blair and Nova Scotia justice minister Mark Furey.

McLellan’s decision caps off a slap-dash week which saw a public backlash force both levels of government to announce a public inquiry instead of the independent review into the shooting they announced last week.

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Activists, legal experts, opposition parties and family members had expressed concern that a review panel would, unlike a public inquiry, not have the power to subpoena documents or to compel testimony.

Public inquiry to be called into April’s mass shooting
Public inquiry to be called into April’s mass shooting

The inquiry will continue with former Nova Scotia chief justice Michael MacDonald and former Fredericton police Chief Leanne Fitch serving as commissioners.

The commissioners of the inquiry will be equipped with the ability to summon witnesses or require them to provide evidence as well as the power to subpoena documents.

No information was available on whether another person will be appointed to serve as a commissioner in McLellan’s place.