Mass shooting in Nova Scotia: the senior gendarmerie maintains the allegations


The senior constable who made allegations of political interference in the investigation of the 2020 mass shooting in Nova Scotia defended his position before MPs on Tuesday.

Chief Superintendent of the Nova Scotia RCMP. Darren Campbell continues his conversation with RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki on April 28, 2020 – which has since sparked accusations of political interference in the police investigation into the mass shooting – occurred as he detailed in his handwritten notes.

Campbell said he had “accurate recollection of the content of that discussion”, and reiterated that the commissioner said she had made a promise to the government, related to ongoing gun legislation.

Campbell testified on Tuesday before the House of Commons National and Public Safety Committee in ongoing meetings about allegations of political interference in the investigation into the 2020 1 p.m. shooting in Portapique, Nova Scotia. Scotland, which left 22 dead.

Seven people were scheduled to appear before the committee on Tuesday, including Campbell, Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General of Canada Francois Daigle, and Lia Scanlan, director of strategic communications.

Both Campbell and Scanlan have filed charges of political interference, saying authorities pressured police to release details of the shooter’s weapons after the shooting in a bid to push through new legislation on fire arms.

As part of the Mass Casualty Commission – an ongoing independent public inquiry created to look into the worst mass shooting in Canadian history – documents have been released showing that Campbell had handwritten notes of a meeting with Lucki in the days after the shooting. The notes said Lucki said she had assured Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair and the Prime Minister’s Office that the RCMP would release information about the shooter’s firearms.

Campbell said releasing this information would have compromised the investigation into the murders.

“I never intended to enter into any political or public disagreement or discussion about what happened at this meeting, and my response to the meeting was not based on personal issues. with a commissioner or anyone else. Nor was it based on politics,” he said. “At the heart of the matter was a matter of principle and good investigative practice related to the protection of the ongoing investigation, which at the time was in its infancy.”

Campbell added that he had never had direct conversations with anyone in government on the matter.

Both Blair and Lucki have repeatedly denied pressuring the RCMP or interfering in the investigation. Lucki told the Committee on Public Safety and National Security in July that it was a “misunderstanding” at the meeting.

But Campbell stands by what he wrote after the meeting.

“The commissioner made me feel like I was stupid and I didn’t seem to understand the significance of why this information was important to disseminate, firearms specific information as it related to the legislation” , Campbell told MPs on Tuesday. . “She didn’t seem to appreciate or recognize the importance of maintaining the integrity of an investigation.”

Scanlan, who was also on the April 28 call, said she interpreted the meeting — and Lucki’s alleged comments — the same as Campbell.

“It was a feeling of disgust,” Scanlan said. “I was embarrassed to be part of it. I was embarrassed to listen to it. And message received, I understood exactly what was being said.

Meanwhile, earlier in Tuesday’s committee meeting, Canada’s deputy attorney general said the Department of Justice had “no involvement” in the department’s review and delivery of documents to Mass Casualty Commission.

While Campbell said he handed over his notes relating to the investigation early on, they were not discovered by the commission until June 2022.

Daigle told the committee there were 2,400 pages of handwritten notes to present to the Mass Casualty Commission as part of its investigation.

Thirty-five pages of these notes were withheld pending a review to determine whether any of the information was privileged. Of these, 13 were written by Campbell, and four detailed the April 28 conversation between Campbell and Lucki.

Daigle told the commission that the Justice Department and Attorney General David Lametti were not involved in the process of withholding, reviewing or producing documents at the Mass Casualty Commission.

The RCMP have been criticized for their lack of communication with the public during and after the shooting, and a 126-page document released by the commission in June says there was significant confusion and delays.

The Public and National Security Committee is due to meet at the end of September.

With files from Rachel Aiello of and The Canadian Press