Veterans Affairs Canada declines to comment on steps taken after murder-suicide in rural N.S.

Veterans Affairs Canada is declining to say what specific steps were taken after a horrific murder-suicide in rural Nova Scotia.

The federal department wouldn't confirm on Tuesday if a suicide review was conducted after former Canadian soldier Lionel Desmond fatally shot his wife, daughter and mother before turning the gun on himself in Janurary.

A department spokesman says suicide reviews are systematically carried out.

But he says due to client privacy and confidentiality, the department cannot comment on any specific veteran's care.

The comments from Veterans Affairs come a day after the province's medical examiner recommended against conducting a fatality inquiry in the high-profile case.

The Department of National Defence said earlier this week it will not be investigating what happened, saying it has no authority ``to investigate the lives of retired members.''

Desmond was discharged from the military in July 2015 after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Family members have said the retired corporal did not receive the help he needed when he returned to his home in northern Nova Scotia.