Blair and Luckey insisted the Nova Scotia shooting information was not political pressure | Media Pyro


The RCMP chief and former public safety minister insisted Monday that there will be no political interference in the police investigation into the April 2020 Nova Scotia mass shooting.

The House of Commons Committee on Public Safety recalled Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair and RCMP Commissioner Brenda Luckie to examine the details of a tense conference call between senior Nova Scotia staff and Luckie in the days after the shooting.

Partial recordings and transcripts of the call, released by the Mass Casualty Commission earlier this month, revived allegations of political pressure on Lucky and the RCMP by Blair’s office to release details of the firearms used.

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The Conservatives have called on Blair to resign, and Tory members of the committee grilled the minister on Monday about whether he or his staff had requested the release of the information, which Blair denied.

“It was not something I asked or asked her to do,” he said, adding that he had not instructed police to release information related to any investigation while he was public safety minister.

At issue was a reference made by Lucky on April 28, 2020, which she said referred to a “request” she received from a minister’s office, but did not specify which minister or the exact nature of the request.

Luckey explained to the committee that the request was a clarification from Blair’s then chief of staff about whether or not basic information about firearms would be made public.

Based on guidance from communications staff, Luckie said it would be disappointed when the Nova Scotia RCMP didn’t do so.

Click to play video: 'RCMP commissioner discusses audio recordings, says guns are one of many issues'

RCMP commissioner discusses audio recordings, says firearms are one of many issues

That question from Blair’s office was one of several he received in the days after the shooting from media and politicians in Nova Scotia and Ottawa about if and when certain information about the shooting would be released.

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“We make it all about guns, but it’s not about guns,” she said.

Her disappointment over the 2020 call led her to believe that details about the firearms and the chronology of events during the shooting would be released earlier than they were.

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She told the committee that her remarks during the call about an apology to the minister were made to Blair’s office, not Mr Blair’s – but she said it was not because she broke any promises about firearms related to forthcoming gun control legislation. .

“Mr Lloyd, if I tell you, I will give the information at 4 o’clock tomorrow, I expect to have the information at 4 o’clock tomorrow,” she explained to Conservative MP Dane. Lloyd.

If I don’t hear back by 4 o’clock, I’ll call you on the phone and say, ‘You know what? Sorry, I didn’t get the information.

Blair said he never received a direct apology from Lucky and didn’t need one.

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Click to play video: 'Conservatives call for Blair's resignation after NS probe recordings revive allegations of political interference'

Conservatives are calling for Blair’s resignation after the NS inquiry recordings revived allegations of political interference.

He declined to speculate on conversations between his senior staff, Lucky, and the RCMP commissioner’s senior staff, in which he was not directly involved.

Lackey rejected accusations by Conservative MP Raquel Denko that the combined remarks in the “request” call, the apology and the forthcoming legislation painted a picture of political interference.

“I appreciate your understanding, but your understanding is wrong,” Lucky responded.

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NS RCMP duplicity accused of political interference in mass shooting investigation

Asked later why she introduced the legislation, she said she wanted to provide the “full context” of what happened at the time.

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“We cannot be naive about what is happening around us,” she said.

Notes taken by Nova Scotia RCMP commanders and communications staff during a conference call initially led to allegations of political interference, which Blair and Luckey have repeatedly denied.

— with files from Global’s Brian Hill and The Canadian Press

© 2022 Global News, Corus Entertainment Inc.


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