Media consortium seeking search warrants from Nova Scotia mass shooting

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A provincial court judge says she'll push to hold hearings as quickly as possible on the public release of search warrants from the investigation into the recent mass shooting in Nova Scotia.

Judge Laurel Halfpenny MacQuarrie says she's concerned courts will become very busy in early summer after pandemic restrictions are relaxed, and the justice system currently has more time to deal with the media application.

In a conference call Monday morning, MacQuarrie told Crown prosecutors and a lawyer representing a media consortium that she's expecting the parties to provide their positions on the release of the search warrants by next Monday morning.

She granted a one-week delay in proceedings after federal Crowns representing the Canada Border Services Agency said they hadn't had time to review the warrants.

Lawyer David Coles, representing journalists from a variety of news organizations including The Canadian Press, says he's hoping the provincial and federal Crowns can provide unredacted portions of the search warrants by next week.

However, provincial Crown Mark Heerema says prosecutors are unlikely to provide any portions of the documents by next week, and he will be seeking dates for further court hearings.