Groups 'shocked' by minister's approach to inquiry into Nova Scotia mass murder


A coalition of groups devoted to eliminating gender-based violence is urging Ottawa and Nova Scotia to refrain from using a restorative justice approach for an inquiry into the mass killing that claimed 22 lives in April.

In a letter addressed to the prime minister and Nova Scotia's premier, the group insists such an approach would undermine the need for an independent, fully transparent public inquiry.

The group has more than two dozen members, including Women's Shelters Canada and the National Association of Women and the Law.

The letter says the group is opposed to using the restorative justice process in this case because such hearings are typically held in private and there is no mechanism to compel witnesses to testify.

Last week, Nova Scotia Justice Minister Mark Furey said the inquiry or review must have certain features common to public inquiries, but he also said the investigation should take an approach consistent with some of the principles of restorative justice.

Furey says he wants people to come forward to tell what they know about the circumstances before, during and after the gunman's murderous rampage through northern and central Nova Scotia on April 18-19.

(This story has been edited by Bell Media staff to remove the name of the gunman)