Lisa Banfield in provincial court in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, on the 9 March 2022
The lawyer who represents the former spouse of the perpetrator of the 2020 Nova Scotia shooting explained on Thursday why he thinks Lisa Banfield will not be cross-examined by the families' lawyers when she testifies Friday at the public inquiry.
The three commissioners overseeing the inquiry have decided that Ms. Banfield will not be cross-examined by the lawyers who represent the relatives of the victims, mainly because she might be traumatized by having to relive the violence she suffered.
James Lockyer said Mrs Banfield should not be re-traumatized by lawyers who seem determined to explore conspiracy theories about what happened on the 18th and 19th April 2020.
A gunman then murdered 22 people during a 13-hour rampage. This tragedy became the worst mass shooting in modern Canadian history.
However, James Lockyer believes that some lawyers for the families of the victims seem eager to ask Mrs. Banfield how she managed to escape her disturbed spouse that evening, and how she was able to survive a freezing night afterwards in the woods around Portapique.
The renowned Toronto lawyer believes that by wanting to raise questions about the whereabouts of Ms. Banfield that night, the families' lawyers would like to put questioning her credibility and suggesting that she may have spent the night elsewhere.
He believes that such speculation will undermine the work of the Board of Inquiry fueling conspiracy theories.
The Mass Casualty Commission has heard evidence that indicates that Ms. Banfield, whose relationship to the man who carried out the worst mass murder in Canada's modern history spanned 19 years, had been victimized by this controlling and abusive spouse, who repeatedly beaten and verbally abused.