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N.S. Tories say justice minister in conflict of interest in mass shooting inquiry

Click to play video: 'Nova Scotia shooting: Nova Scotia justice minister emphasizes independence of review' Nova Scotia shooting: Nova Scotia justice minister emphasizes independence of review
Nova Scotia justice minister Mark Furey said on Thursday that the review of the April mass shooting that left 22 people dead in the province will be guided by the “principles of independence, transparency, and partiality,” which he stated are fundamental to the work of the panel – Jul 23, 2020

HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s Tory leader says the province’s attorney general is in conflict of interest when it comes to setting terms of reference for the public inquiry into the April mass shooting.

Tim Houston filed an affidavit Wednesday with the conflict commissioner arguing Mark Furey’s three-decade career with the RCMP clashes with his role determining the terms of reference for the federal-provincial inquiry.

Read more: Body of Nova Scotia shooting victim allegedly transported by tow truck

Houston says the April 18-19 rampage that resulted in the loss of 22 lives before the shooter was killed by police has raised questions about the Mounties’ handling of the incident and its resourcing of rural detachments.

The Progressive Conservative leader says Furey’s background as a Mountie creates the perception of a conflict of interest and means he should not be further involved in the inquiry.

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Click to play video: 'Memorial drive scheduled to honour the victims of the April shooting' Memorial drive scheduled to honour the victims of the April shooting
Memorial drive scheduled to honour the victims of the April shooting – Aug 13, 2020

Houston says while terms of reference are still being crafted, Furey should step aside so the families of victims “are assured of the integrity of the inquiry.”

Furey did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and conflict of interest commissioner Joseph Kennedy said the affidavit had just been received and he has no comment.

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