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Minister says scheduling snafus stalling Desmond inquiry, but lawyer isn't so sure

Last Updated Oct 29, 2020 at 3:54 pm EST

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia’s justice minister says scheduling snafus are getting in the way of restarting the high-profile inquiry investigating why former soldier Lionel Desmond killed his family and himself in January 2017.

But a lawyer who represents one of Desmond’s sisters says scheduling is not the problem.

Adam Rodgers says a Crown attorney told him time had been set aside for hearings in November and December at the courthouse in Port Hawkesbury, N.S., where there is room to accommodate physical distancing protocols.

The hearings inside a small municipal building in nearby Guysborough, N.S., have been on hold since March 2.

On Wednesday, Rodgers and lawyer Tara Miller said they were told the hearings would not be resuming until some time next year — four years after the killings took place.

Rodgers says Justice Minister Mark Furey may be getting incorrect information from his own department.

Furey has said it’s up to the commissioner leading the inquiry, provincial court Judge Warren Zimmer, to decide when and where the inquiry should resume.

Miller, however, has said the judge indicated as early as July the hearings should move to Port Hawkesbury.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 29, 2020.

The Canadian Press