'Muzzle and constrain.' Lawyer challenges restrictions on Lionel Desmond inquiry

A senior lawyer says Nova Scotia's Justice Department is trying to muzzle an inquiry investigating the death of an Afghan war veteran who killed his family and himself more than two years ago.

Adam Rodgers, who represents Lionel Desmond's family and his estate, says the department has imposed unrealistic restrictions on legal fees and preparation time.

He says the limits amount to impeding access to justice, and he has applied to the inquiry commissioner to have them increased.

A lawyer for the province has argued the limits reflect those in other provinces and ensure that taxpayers' money is not wasted.

The province promised an inquiry in December 2017, almost a year after Desmond fatally shot his mother, wife and 10-year-old daughter before turning the gun on himself.

Rodgers' application will be heard later this month, and the public inquest is set to begin in September.