Knife attacks: need to 'push' for public inquiry, lawyer says | Knife attacks in Saskatchewan

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Knife attacks: need to “push” for public inquiry, lawyer says | Knife attacks in Saskatchewan

Police and crime scene investigators in Weldon, in Saskatchewan, in connection with a series of knife attacks that occurred in the village and James Smith Cree Nation on September 4, 2022.

A Nova Scotia lawyer is urging the families of the victims of the stabbings at James Smith Cree First Nation and Weldon to insist on a public inquiry.

Push hard for it, because in Nova Scotia it took a lot of work from residents and victims to get a public inquiry, said Michael Scott , in reference to the investigation into the Portapique massacre.

Michael Scott works with a firm that represents the families of the victims of this 2020 shooting in the Maritimes, which left 22 dead.

An investigation may reveal some details that we would like to hide, he explains.

There is no investigation where we will not exhume an embarrassing detail for the agencies involved, he says, giving the example of the Royal Mounted Police of Canada (RCMP) or federal or provincial governments.

Ottawa is asking that we examine the reasons that led the Parole Board of Canada to release Myles Sanderson in February.

The Saskatoon Police Service and Provincial Serious Incident Response Team are investigating his death, which occurred while in RCMP custody .

All these internal investigations give Michael Scott a sense of deja vu.

These investigations, deplores the lawyer, take place behind closed doors. You don't get a lot of information, he notes.

If the investigation is conducted by the Saskatoon Police Department, the findings will be reported to the Department of Justice, which then decides how much information can be released.

A public inquiry, on the other hand, will allow the community directly affected to participate and have access to the documents so that nothing is swept under the rug.

With information from Dan Zakreski

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