Joint inquiry or review into mass killing is taking shape: justice minister

Nova Scotia Justice Minister Mark Furey fields question in Halifax on Tuesday, April 3, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan)

Nova Scotia's justice minister says there will be a joint federal-provincial inquiry or review into the mass killing in April that claimed 22 lives, but the exact form of that investigation is still taking shape.

Mark Furey says the probe must have certain key features, including judicial oversight, the power to compel witnesses to testify and the ability to make binding recommendations.

Furey says he and his staff are negotiating with Ottawa to determine the best option, which could include a traditional federal-provincial public inquiry led by an independent commissioner.

He also said there could be a review similar to the one the RCMP conducted after three Mounties were killed by a gunman in Moncton, N.B., in June 2014.

As well, Furey says he would like the investigation to take a so-called restorative approach, which is what the province did in 2015 when it looked into allegations of long-term abuse at a former orphanage in the Halifax area.

Since the April 18-19 shooting rampage in northern and central Nova Scotia, the federal and provincial governments have faced increasing pressure to call an inquiry into one of the worst mass killings in Canadian history. Those calling for an inquiry include opposition politicians, more than 30 Dalhousie University law professors and a number of the victims' relatives.