Nova Scotia mass shooting inquiry: Advice given to witness worries former judge

spaminator

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Mountie has ‘impression’ Liberal government interfered with N.S. mass shooting probe
Chief Supt. Chris Leather made the comment at the public inquiry into the rampage during cross-examination

Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Michael Tutton
Publishing date:Aug 23, 2022 • 8 hours ago • 4 minute read • 26 Comments

HALIFAX — A senior Mountie testified Thursday he believes political interference was behind RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki’s determination to have police release details on the guns used in the Nova Scotia mass shooting.


Chief Supt. Chris Leather made the comment at the public inquiry into the rampage that took 22 lives on April 18-19, 2020, during cross-examination by Tom MacDonald, a lawyer who represents two family members of victims.


MacDonald asked if Leather believed, after the officer participated in a teleconference with Lucki shortly after the shootings, that the commissioner’s comments reflected political interference in the criminal probe underway at the time.

Leather responded, “That’s my impression,” and he said he came to that conclusion after gathering the facts about the “lead-up” to the meeting with Lucki.


RCMP Chief Supt. Darren Campbell has alleged that during a meeting on April 28, 2020, Lucki said she promised the Prime Minister’s Office that the information on the guns would be released in connection with the Liberal government’s “pending gun control legislation.”


The government was in the midst of drafting fresh gun control measures to reduce access to semi-automatic weapons in the days following the mass shooting. Campbell and Leather both testified this week that releasing the information on the guns would have interfered with the ongoing investigation into who provided the killer with the semi-automatic weapons.

Leather, who is the head of criminal operations in Nova Scotia, testified on Wednesday that he had received a call on the evening of April 22 — three days after the mass shooting — from Lucki and that she had asked him to send her details about the guns. The superintendent has said that a list of guns he had sent to Lucki was for internal purposes only.

Leather’s statement about the April 22 call with Lucki, and about a series of emails that followed, didn’t come up in a July 6 interview he gave to inquiry lawyers.


During cross-examination Thursday by Michael Scott — a lawyer who represents the majority of the victims’ families — Leather said he hadn’t discussed the call or the emails on July 6 because lawyers with the federal Department of Justice had suggested he take “a reactive posture.”

“The advice I received was not to proactively disclose the conversation (with Lucki) and the emails leading up to the meeting on April 28, (2020),” Leather testified.

“I knew from my notes and emails I had prepared and submitted that it was obviously relevant to what would become the infamous phone call (meeting) of April 28 and was troubled by that and wanted their advice and was advised to take a reactive posture.”

Lori Ward, a lawyer for the federal Justice Department and the RCMP, told commissioners Thursday she believed there had been a “misunderstanding” from Leather about that advice. She said she and another federal lawyer had understood that Leather had a document relevant to the April 28, 2020, meeting with Lucki that they needed to review because it might contain privileged information.


Lucki has denied interfering in the police investigation. She testified Monday before a House of Commons committee that she didn’t recall telling then-public safety minister Bill Blair that she had “promised” to have the details on the guns released. She said she remembered using different words with Blair.

Leather also faced questions from lawyers representing victims’ families about his force’s poor relationship with other police forces before the mass shooting, and in the two years since then.

Truro police Chief Dave MacNeil testified in May that on the night of the mass shooting, the information coming from RCMP had been “very sporadic” and that Truro police “didn’t really have a tasking.”

Leather said it wasn’t feasible to have close collaboration with the Truro police during a lengthy and complex emergency, because the two forces hadn’t trained together for mass shooting scenarios.


However, lawyer Josh Bryson asked Leather why the RCMP didn’t at least call on municipal police forces to assist in canvassing the community of Portapique, N.S., on April 19, 2020, to see if there were more victims. It took the RCMP close to 18 hours from the start of the mass shooting to locate five of the victims’ bodies.

The officer agreed with Jane Lenehan, a lawyer who represents the family of victim Gina Goulet, that during his tenure, relations with municipal police forces had deteriorated, and that it was essential to the safety of Nova Scotians that this be remedied.

Leather said he was hopeful a major change in management of Nova Scotia RCMP would help decrease tensions.

He said he is being transferred to national headquarters in August to take on a new role, while the assistant commissioner at the time, Lee Bergerman, has retired, and Chief Supt. Darren Campbell was recently transferred to New Brunswick.
 
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Ron in Regina

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Eroding public trust in the RCMP certainly isn’t going to be helped by a recent revelation at Nova Scotia’s Mass Casualty Commission.

That is that there was a now-deleted recording of a controversial phone call between RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki and senior RCMP officers in the province that raised questions about political interference by the Trudeau government into the investigation of the mass killing in which 22 people were murdered in April 2020.

 

pgs

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Eroding public trust in the RCMP certainly isn’t going to be helped by a recent revelation at Nova Scotia’s Mass Casualty Commission.

That is that there was a now-deleted recording of a controversial phone call between RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki and senior RCMP officers in the province that raised questions about political interference by the Trudeau government into the investigation of the mass killing in which 22 people were murdered in April 2020.

We don’t know how this could have happened , trust us .
 

The_Foxer

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Honestly i think any organization becomes corrupt over enough time, and the RCMP is one of our oldest. And i think that tends to happen at double the rate when the org is in control of a lot of power and is largely unaccountable.

But what do you do? Go provincial? What do you do when THEY become corrupt? And one look at ontario shows going provincial is NO guarantee of getting a non-corrupt force.
 
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petros

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Honestly i think any organization becomes corrupt over enough time, and the RCMP is one of our oldest. And i think that tends to happen at double the rate when the org is in control of a lot of power and is largely unaccountable.

But what do you do? Go provincial? What do you do when THEY become corrupt? And one look at ontario shows going provincial is NO guarantee of getting a non-corrupt force.
Alberta is going back to Provincial and SK might too.
 
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The_Foxer

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Alberta is going back to Provincial and SK might too.
Yeah, but won't a lot of the 'new' officers just be retreds from the RCMP who apply to the new force? A new house built with old wood is an old house.
 

pgs

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Yeah, but won't a lot of the 'new' officers just be retreds from the RCMP who apply to the new force? A new house built with old wood is an old house.
Not really , the heritage houses in Kits are framed with clear fir that is still better than what is being used today .
 

The_Foxer

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Not really , the heritage houses in Kits are framed with clear fir that is still better than what is being used today .
Yeah but they're still old houses :) Old isn't always bad, but the saying basically means if you use something that's old to build something new you get the same problems you had with the old one. (or benefits i guess, but that obviously doesn't apply here).
 

Taxslave2

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Honestly i think any organization becomes corrupt over enough time, and the RCMP is one of our oldest. And i think that tends to happen at double the rate when the org is in control of a lot of power and is largely unaccountable.

But what do you do? Go provincial? What do you do when THEY become corrupt? And one look at ontario shows going provincial is NO guarantee of getting a non-corrupt force.
BC had a provincial police force at one time. Got disbanded because of corruption, mostly at the management level.
 

Serryah

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Really? Holy shit. If we disbanded every corrupt police force in America, there wouldn't be a cop in the country!

So we did what we always do with criminal sleaze. We legalized it!

Years ago a lot of the town cops that served in NB were phased out for the RCMP (Codiac for Moncton, NB, the RCMP here in my smaller town, and others).

We are paying for it in shit service.

Don't get me wrong, I know some cops and have friends who are RCMP. The town ditched the town cops due to - you guessed it - corruption, and we went with the RCMP. Now there's calls for town police.

In the end though it's like everything else, being a cop - RCMP or otherwise - is a shitshow and getting people to do the job is going to get harder and harder.

All that said, this mass causality event in NS was beyond the pale.
 
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Ron in Regina

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This is kind of a big deal, but i think most people don't realize how big a deal it is and are kind of just sleeping through it (or have just accepted that the PMO interferes with police and the legal system for political reasons)
Do you think the average Canadian gives a shit or is smart enough to give a shit? Fuck no and thats very problematic.
The average Canadian needs to read the equivalent of a newspaper today then.

The Conservative opposition says that Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair and RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki need to resign now that a newly released audiotape has revived allegations of political meddling in the police investigation of the 2020 Nova Scotia mass shooting.

On Friday, Conservative public safety critic Raquel Dancho said both officials should step down because of apparent inconsistencies between their sworn testimony to Parliament and what Commissioner Lucki said during an RCMP conference call recorded days after the massacre.

On the call, she can be heard telling the Nova Scotia RCMP she wanted the gun details released and that she had been speaking to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office and the office of then-public safety minister Bill Blair. She said she had expected that details about the make and models of the killer’s weapons would be shared in a Nova Scotia RCMP press conference earlier that day. And she highlighted how, at the time, the Trudeau government was only weeks away from introducing measures that would include a national ban on more than 1,500 variants of assault-style firearms.

The RCMP Commissioner politicized the investigation into the Nova Scotia massacre of April 2020 and now we can all hear it for ourselves.

An audio recording of Lucki holding a conference call with RCMP officers and officials on April 28, 2020 has been posted on the website of the Nova Scotia Mass Casualty Commission.

The recording confirms what we were first told back in June, that Lucki pressured officers to release information about the investigation for political reasons.
Brenda Luki will not be so lucky and get tossed under the bus. The bus will then b@ck up to ensure there are no more political repercussions.
Well in that case lets hope the tires are studded.
Both Blair and Lucki denied any political interference in the investigation. But this recording, originally thought to have been deleted, blows that claim out of the water — at least for Lucki.

It’s perfectly valid for the RCMP Commissioner to be asking her subordinates to do something, including releasing information in a high-profile case. To make that request due to political considerations over looming legislation is unacceptable.

Every police chief, which is what the Commissioner is, is also a politician. You don’t get to that level of any organization without knowing how to play office politics. But what Lucki did here was insert the partisan politics of Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government into the middle of an RCMP investigation.

In the coming weeks, Lucki will be called to testify at the Emergencies Act inquiry. She’ll be asked about the RCMP’s role in policing the convoy protest and likely what intelligence she was sharing with the government.

Will anyone be able to trust a thing she says when she appears?
Lucki weathered calls for her resignation in June amid accusations that she had sought to interfere with the Nova Scotia RCMP’s investigation into the April 2020 shootings, allegedly at the behest of then-Public Safety Minister Bill Blair and the Prime Minister’s Office, who were in the midst of trying to pass gun-control legislation.

Blair, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Lucki have all denied any interference in the investigation.

In the newly released recordings, which document a portion of the teleconference between Lucki and Nova Scotia senior RCMP officers — including Campbell and then-assistant commissioner Lee Bergerman — Lucki bemoans the withholding of specifics on the guns used by the killer.

OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government didn't interfere with a police investigation into the Nova Scotia mass shooting, following a Conservative party call for the resignation of former public safety minister Bill Blair and the RCMP's commissioner.

The Opposition push for a resignation comes one day after Thursday's release of recordings of a heated conference call between RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki and senior staff in Nova Scotia.

Raquel Dancho, Conservative public safety critic, read a statement to reporters Friday calling for Blair and Lucki to resign immediately.

Dancho said the recordings released by the public inquiry into the shootings show Blair and Lucki misled Canadians and "lied" to a parliamentary committee looking into the matter.

She said the audio confirmed that the minister's office requested the RCMP release sensitive information about the ongoing investigation, and that confirmation was given to the minister this would occur.

"We have a situation here where the minister is directing the RCMP to interfere in an investigation and that they were advised doing so would jeopardize that investigation," said Dancho. "So very clearly, that is political pressure that they were putting on the commissioner to interfere in the investigation." Etc….
 
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The_Foxer

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The average Canadian needs to read the equivalent of a newspaper today then.
Well the challenge is that there's a history of the 'average canadian' (mostly from ontario and quebec) seem to be happy to let the gov't slide on this kind of thing. In days gone by i would have thought SNC would have been more than enough for the leader to step down. Most of the other scandals would have been enough as well, But election after election those people turn a blind eye and find an excuse to vote for him.

We really need the electorate to discover their backbones a little.
 

Ron in Regina

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One take is that there’s no smoking gun. The portions of the conversation now officially on the record do not precisely corroborate what Campbell told the Mass Casualty Commission in August. There was no mention specifically in the recordings of a “promise” that Lucki had made to politicians. Nor does anyone use the word “pressure,” which former Nova Scotia RCMP communications director Lia Scanlan said Lucki had used to describe Blair’s influence.

Another much more obvious take is that in every way that matters, the tape does corroborate Campbell’s story. “It was a request that I got from the minister’s (Blair’s) office,” Lucki says on the tape. “And I shared with the minister that in fact it (the weapons information) was going to (be) in the news release and it wasn’t.”

“I was very frustrated, very disappointed,” she added. “I have apologized to the minister. I’m waiting for the prime minister to call me so I can apologize.” (?????)

To be fair, it’s not 100-per-cent clear whether she is apologizing to them specifically for the failure to publicize the shooter’s weapons. But this much is unambiguous: Lucki told her subordinates that Ottawa had requested the weapons information be made public; Campbell and others in Nova Scotia felt that would be inappropriate; and Lucki was most displeased about it. Politicians aside, she essentially suggested they were letting down the side: “That (gun control) legislation is supposed to actually help police,” she admonished them.

This is not how policing is supposed to work. Or legislating. It’s revolting to think Liberal politicians would see 22 corpses as an advertising opportunity, particularly when their gun-control legislation is so incoherent and feelings-based.

It’s alarming to think the RCMP would do their bidding — and more alarming to think what other similar arrangements exist.

There likely wasn’t any real harm in releasing the weapons information, after all. Secrecy is simply the default setting in Canada, for government and police alike (which is a scandal of its own).

So it’s all the more insulting that this rare exception that Blair and Trudeau sought to impose on the RCMP was allegedly to further their own political interests.

The rest at the link.
 
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The_Foxer

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There likely wasn’t any real harm in releasing the weapons information, after all.
You're basing that on your many years as a police homicide investigator? ;)

There is ALWAYS real harm done when we set aside the decisions of the experts we've hired to deal with a situation like this in favour of political pandering and pressure from the politicians. That is ALWAYS bad.

It is obvious from the tape that she had a conversation with the PM's people, and during that conversation made promises to do things that the PM wanted which were in conflict with what the professional investigators felt was the best course of action. And the request and subsequent promise was so strong that

The PM and his office interfered with an investigation into a mass murder to push a political agenda. It's just that simple. The rest is bullshit smoke and mirrors. It's horrific and in a country with a brain and a heart this alone would be enough to force an election and see him thrown out or at the very least force a resignation.
 
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Ron in Regina

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You're basing that on your many years as a police homicide investigator? ;)
No, I quoted a news story:
I used my years of experience at Copy&Paste.
There is ALWAYS real harm done when we set aside the decisions of the experts we've hired to deal with a situation like this in favour of political pandering and pressure from the politicians. That is ALWAYS bad.

It is obvious from the tape that she had a conversation with the PM's people, and during that conversation made promises to do things that the PM wanted which were in conflict with what the professional investigators felt was the best course of action. And the request and subsequent promise was so strong that

The PM and his office interfered with an investigation into a mass murder to push a political agenda. It's just that simple. The rest is bullshit smoke and mirrors. It's horrific and in a country with a brain and a heart this alone would be enough to force an election and see him thrown out or at the very least force a resignation.
Not arguing that point at all. Some news sources are saying one thing, others are saying another thing…& this one was weighing & measuring both claims against each other.
 
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