Wed. Aug 10th, 2022

OTTAWA — The federal Conservatives are pushing for an emergency debate on allegations that the Liberal government interfered with a police probe of the 2020 mass shooting that took the lives of 22 people in Nova Scotia.

Tory House Leader John Brassard told reporters Wednesday morning that the Official Opposition will request an emergency debate on those reports, along with the “passport fiasco” and “inflationary crisis” facing Canadians.

“We need to find out the truth. We need to find out what they’re hiding, vis-a-vis the Prime Minister’s Office and the public safety minister’s office, ”Brassard said.

The accusations – which have been staunchly denied by RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki and Bill Blair, who was public safety minister at the time – stem from documents released from the Mass Casualty Commission tasked with reviewing the tragedy.

According to handwritten notes from Nova Scotia RCMP Supt. Darren Campbell, Lucki allegedly promised Blair and other officials that she would publicly release information about the specific firearms used in the shooting.

“This was tied to pending gun control legislation that would make officers and (the) public safer,” the notes read.

The documents prompted opposition MPs on Tuesday to accuse the Liberals of politically interfering in the investigation – charges Blair continued to deny Wednesday.

“I am very, very comfortable that there was no interference in this case,” Blair said.

“There was no pressure placed upon the RCMP and no interference with their operational decisions. This is actually an important line between government and the operations of the police commissioner in the RCMP. It’s a line that has always been respected. ”

The Conservatives are calling for more than just an emergency debate into the matter.

Interim Leader Candice Bergen called for a “full investigation” into the reports, but said she has concerns about putting the issue before a parliamentary committee.

“The Liberals have the majority. They’re going to cover up and now they have the majority with the NDP. So I think there has to be more independence and the ability for more of an independent investigation to happen, ”Bergen said.

Conservative Nova Scotia MP Chris D’Entremont told reporters that Liberal ministers must “come clean” about their reported involvement in the investigation.

“We as Nova Scotians mourn the loss of those people as if they were our neighbors,” he said. “And to hear that they used that as a political piece to advance their gun legislation makes me sick.”

With files from Stephanie Levitz

Raisa Patel is an Ottawa-based reporter covering federal politics for the Star. Follow her on Twitter: @R_SPatel

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