HALIFAX — The federal Justice Department admits the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) response to the 2020 Nova Scotia shootings was far from perfect, but says police did their best then .
Lori Ward, general counsel at the Department of Justice, told the federal-provincial commission of inquiry into the killings on Friday that there was always room for improvement within all police departments.
Ward admitted that hindsight is a valuable tool when used to learn lessons and effect change. But she added that this hindsight also prevents a fair and objective assessment of the decisions that have been made in real time on the ground.
On the evening of April 18, 2020, a man disguised as an RCMP officer, and driving a car that looked every bit like a federal police cruiser, began killing neighbors and strangers in rural Portapique.
Ward told commissioners on Friday that she was aware of criticism leveled at the RCMP for allegedly ignoring testimonies pointing to the replica patrol car used by the killer during his 1 p.m. run, which ultimately left 22 people dead. to Sunday morning.
The general counsel at the Department of Justice, however, believes that these criticisms are unfair because the idea that the killer could have built such a replica of a patrol car himself was beyond “reasonable understanding”.
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