Activists will strike as calls continue for a public inquiry into N.S. massacre


Women's rights advocates in Atlantic Canada are calling on people across the country to join a brief general strike on Monday to demand a public inquiry into the deadly mass shootings that took place in Nova Scotia last April.

The federal and provincial governments announced this week that an expert panel, led by former Nova Scotia chief justice Michael MacDonald, would review the massacre that left 22 people dead.

But Martha Paynter, founder of Women's Wellness Within, a Halifax-based group that advocates for women's reproductive justice, said that falls short of the transparent public inquiry that many people, including the victims' families, are demanding.

"We need systemic and structural change to come from this, and a little review is just not going to cut it,'' Paynter, one of the strike organizers, said in an interview.

The strike, which will last 22 minutes in honour of the 22 victims killed on April 18 and 19, will begin at noon local time on Monday. 

Supporters of the public inquiry will be gathering at the city's Victoria Park and people can also watch the event live on Facebook.

"This was a horror, an enormous trauma for the entire country, and we all should be truly enraged by the inadequate government response,'' Paynter said.

(With files from Jillian Kestler-D'Amours of The Canadian Press)