Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Premier Stephen McNeil attends a briefing as they announce two more presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia, in Halifax on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. The premier and Justice Minister Mark Furey insisted Thursday that the federal government would be better placed to conduct an inquiry.

Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

The Nova Scotia government has again rejected calls for a provincial public inquiry into the shooting rampage last month that claimed 22 lives, arguing the federal government is better placed to investigate.

But Premier Stephen McNeil acknowledged Thursday there is merit to taking a closer look at domestic violence, which has been identified by police as a key factor behind one of the worst mass shootings in Canadian history

“We, as a government, have taken this [issue] seriously,” he told reporters by teleconference after a cabinet meeting.

“But I also think there’s a broader role here for the men of our province, who need to stand up and send a very strong message that violence of any kind will not be tolerated. And as we raise our sons ... we have to ensure that they recognize ... that physical dominance of anyone is not acceptable.”

The Premier said domestic violence was the most difficult issue he has had to deal with as a member of the legislature.

“This was a horrific event that happened in our province,” he said of the April 18-19 killings, noting that too many women in the province are “terrified to live in the home that they’re in.”

Witnesses say the killer had a prior history of domestic violence.

The Mounties say his rampage began in Portapique, N.S., on April 18 after a domestic assault involving his common-law spouse. Police have said she managed to escape into nearby woods where she hid until early in the morning of April 19.

Last week 33 Dalhousie University law faculty members said Nova Scotia should lead a review of decisions made by the RCMP during the 13-hour rampage across northern and central Nova Scotia.

The professors want the inquiry to also consider broader social and legal issues that may have been contributing factors, including domestic violence.

Mr. McNeil said Thursday that the federal government “needs to be the lead” on any inquiry.

The Premier said that in addition to the RCMP, other federal entities also deserve scrutiny, including the Canada Border Services Agency, given the fact that the killer was in possession of unlicensed semi-automatic firearms from the United States.

Provincial Justice Minister Mark Furey said the province has authority to conduct a public inquiry, but he stressed that it made more sense for Ottawa to do the job. “There are provincial interests, [and] we have a role and a responsibility to play,” he said. “[But] we need the federal lead.”

Mr. Furey said he was also concerned about delays, noting that it took the province two years to organize a provincial inquiry to determine why former Canadian soldier Lionel Desmond fatally shot his mother, wife and daughter before turning a gun on himself in January, 2017.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons or for abuse. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies