Roundup: Govt says no to Portapique inquiry, COVID update, manhunt in 3rd day

Mark Furey. Photo: Brittany Wentzell/LighthouseNow

A day after family members of the Portapique shooting victims marched demanding an inquiry into how RCMP handled the situation, provincial justice minister Mark Furey joined federal public-safety minister Bill Blair to instead announce an “independent” inquiry. Furey and Blair are both former police officers.

A few key differences between an inquiry and the review they announced:

  • The panellists heading the review are not judges and have no power to compel people to testify or produce evidence.
  • Witnesses face no legal penalties for lying to a review.
  • In an inquiry, all evidence is public record. In a review like this, evidence will be secret, released when (or if) the panellists choose.
  • Government is under no obligation to adopt the review’s findings. Inquiries are often able to make binding recommendations.

In the press conference yesterday, Furey repeatedly insisted this review is the best way to honour the families’ wishes, and then conceded that none of them asked for a review instead of an inquiry.

Nick Beaton’s wife Kristen and unborn child were among the shooting victims. Yesterday, he responded to the announcement with a Facebook post calling for Mark Furey “to resign from his position and this matter of the public inquiry as it’s a conflict of interest as he is ex RCMP and helping bury the truth.”

The RCMP, which apparently had details of the review before the public or the victims’ families, welcomes this decision, according to this statement published in The Pictou Advocate. For more details on the review, see Raissa Tetanish’s report from Hub Now.

COVID update
Nova Scotia has one confirmed case of COVID-19, according to the latest update from the provincial government. So far, Nova Scotia has had 61,239 negative tests, 1,067 confirmed cases, and 63 deaths.

Police still hunting for Tobias Charles Doucette
The manhunt for Tobias Charles Doucette (which began on July 22 after Bridgewater police Sgt. Matt Bennett was stabbed in the neck while responding to a domestic disturbance) is now in its third day. When police last saw the suspect, he was barefoot and dressed only in a pair of shorts.

Police have been chasing tips, but appear no closer to catching him. “Officers converged along locations around [Fancy Lake] bordering Conquerall Mills and Hebbville, when it was thought the suspect exited the lake and went into the woods,” reports Keith Corcoran for LighthouseNow. “The search was called off when it was determined the person was a woman making multiple dives into the water to find lost glasses.”

By 2020 Canada may have nearly 400,000 jobs in the green-energy sector

Saving the environment and creating jobs
Over the last few years, the number of Canadians working in “green collar” jobs has risen to just under 400,000. And unlike the traditional energy sector, those jobs are spread across the country, and not subject to the vagaries of the international energy market.

“Reports place employment in the fossil-fuel sector (which includes fuel production, fossil-fuel electricity generation, and value-added industries like trucking and equipment manufacturing) at around 1 million jobs as of 2017, a number which is projected to drop 0.5% per year between now and 2030,” writes environmentalist Zack Metcalfe.

As traditional energy jobs fade away, the green economy is poised to fill the gap, with experts predicting 3.4% per year growth over this decade. In this Halifax Magazine column, Metcalfe explains how that means big opportunities for Atlantic Canadian businesses and workers.

Need to know
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This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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