Minister and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau allegedly influenced RCMP communications.
RCMP blocks the road in Portapique during the manhunt for a shooter with multiple casualties on April 19, 2020 in Nova Scotia.
Members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security will meet on Monday to determine whether there has been political interference with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) as they investigate the Portapique shooting, which occurred in April 2020 in Nova Scotia.
Lia Scanlan, director of communications for the RCMP, told the public inquiry into the shooting that the Minister Public Safety at the time, Bill Blair, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were influencing what we could and couldn't say, without elaborating.
At the Mass Casualty Commission, June 7 in Truro, Nova Scotia, lawyer Anna Mancini details the messages sent on Twitter by the RCMP during the shooting that left 22 dead in April 2020.
Superintendent Darren Campbell, who was in charge of the investigation, wrote in his notes that Commissioner Brenda Lucki mentioned that she promised the federal government to release information about the weapons used by the shooter.
The Commissioner said she promised the Minister of Public Safety and the Prime Minister's Office that we would release this information, it reads.
A Halifax Police vehicle outside the Atlantic Denturist Clinic on Portland Street near downtown Dartmouth on April 19, 2020.
For his part, he believed that revealing these details about the weapons used in the murders would compromise the investigation in both Canada and the United States. The shooter, Gabriel Wortman, had smuggled a number of handguns and assault weapons from Maine. No one in either country has been charged with weapons offenses in this case.
The commissioner then said that we didn't understand, that it was related to ongoing gun control legislation that would make police officers and the public safer.
Justin Trudeau and Bill Blair have categorically denied any political interference, and Commissioner Brenda Lucki has repeatedly said she felt no pressure from federal authorities.
On May 1, 2020, less than two weeks after the tragedy, the federal government announced that it was fulfilling an election promise by banning 1,500 types of assault rifle-type weapons. During the announcement, Justin Trudeau referred to the shooting in Nova Scotia as an example of what these changes were meant to prevent.
At the same press conference, Bill Blair had confirmed that the list includes some of the guns used by the shooter, although he did not provide further details. Since the allegations, he said he discussed the shooting investigation and gun control measures with Commissioner Brenda Lucki, but that those discussions were separate from each other. .
The RCMP also did not release information about the weapons to the public. Media were pleading in court at the time to see this information, which was redacted from police documents used to obtain search warrants in the case. This information was finally made public in November, through the Freedom of Information Act.
Superintendent Darren Campbell's handwritten notes were released. released as part of the ongoing public inquiry into the shooting. They were attached as an exhibit in a document describing dozens of instances in which the RCMP allegedly concealed or obscured basic information about the case in the three months following the shooting.
This includes the number of victims, their relationship to the shooter, whether a victim was a minor, the number of crime scenes, the reason for the first call to 911 the night the killings began, and when police learned the shooter was disguised as an RCMP officer, among others.