Blair’s Office Asked If Info on Firearms Used in Nova Scotia Tragedy Would Be Released: RCMP Commissioner

by EditorK

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki at a Special Joint Committee meeting at the House of Commons on May 10, 2022. (Screenshot form ParlVu).

By Noé Chartier

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki said on Monday she was not directed by the government to release information on the firearms used in the Nova Scotia mass shooting, but said she was asked by the chief of staff of the minister of public safety if she would do so.

“Asking questions is not interference,” Lucki told a special meeting of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety examining allegations of political interference in the RCMP investigation into the tragedy that left 22 dead on April 18–19, 2020.

“I can clearly say that I was not interfered with, I was not directed, and I did not cross any line.”

At the heart of the issue is a “promise” Lucki made to then-minister of public safety Bill Blair and the Prime Minister’s Office that the firearms information would be released and that it was tied to pending gun control legislation.

These allegations surfaced last month when the Mass Casualty Commission (MCC) examining the tragedy released documents from two RCMP employees who wrote about a meeting with Lucki on April 28, 2020.

Lucki said she had provided the government information about what would be shared during the April 28, 2020, press conference on the events.

“At that time, I was asked if the information about the weapons would be included. When my communications team told me that it would be, I relayed this information back to Minister Blair’s Chief of Staff and the Deputy Minister of Public Safety,” she said.

“Regarding my use of the word ‘promise’ during the [April 28] meeting I had with my team following that press conference at that time, and in that context, I was trying to convey that I’d already confirmed to the minister that the information about the weapons would be released during the press conference, a confirmation made based on the information I had been provided.”

This “miscommunication” resulted in Lucki providing inaccurate information to her superiors, she said.

“I felt I had misinformed the minister and by extension, the prime minister.”

Lucki said the question about whether information on firearms would be released came not from Blair, but rather from his chief of staff.

Zita Astravas was Blair’s chief of staff as minister of public safety at the time. She kept the role when he was moved to emergency preparedness.

Blair, who testified at the same committee before Lucki, said he had not directed the RCMP to release “any specific information nor did I receive a promise for them to do so.”

RCMP H Division in Nova Scotia did not want to release information on the firearms so as to not jeopardize the investigation, which involved the United States. All firearms used by the killer were obtained illegally, with three coming from south of the border.

Lucki had told her superiors in an email dated April 23, 2020, that information about weapons should not be shared.

“Was there a meeting that you had in those previous five days where you said ‘Actually, it’s not a big deal if the information is released?’” asked Conservative MP Dane Lloyd about Lucki’s reversal on releasing the information.

“No, it’s because things changed. Like everything was changing hourly, like those weapons were seized. Things changed so that we can release certain points of information,” Lucki said.

A few days after the tragedy, on May 1 the Liberal government announced it would be banning 1,500 models of what it calls “assault-style” weapons.

Blair told the committee the May 1 date was decided upon after the mass shooting occurred.

Noé Chartier is an Epoch Times reporter based in Montreal. Twitter: @NChartierET Gettr: @nchartieret

You may also like