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Post by Cooper on Thu 17 May 2018, 9:04 pm

THE CANADIAN PRESS
Published Thursday, May 17, 2018

Terms of reference for Desmond inquiry to be released soon: minister


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Post by Cooper on Thu 17 May 2018, 9:07 pm

Terms of reference for Nova Scotia Desmond inquiry to be released soon

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Published on May 17, 2018



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Post by Warrior on Thu 24 May 2018, 2:10 pm

Desmond inquiry to look at mental health, domestic violence services

The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, May 24, 2018

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Post by Masefield on Thu 24 May 2018, 8:56 pm

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Post by Lincoln on Sat 26 May 2018, 8:40 am

EDITORIAL: Desmond inquiry needs co-operation

Published May 26, 2018

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Post by Highlander on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 2:52 pm

Nova Scotia judge to preside over Lionel Desmond fatality inquiry

THE CANADIAN PRESS
Published July 12, 2018

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Post by Leopard on Fri 07 Dec 2018, 9:46 am

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Post by Hammercore on Wed 27 Mar 2019, 5:09 pm

Inquiry into killings by former soldier to begin in September in rural N.S.

Lionel Desmond, an Afghan war vet, killed his family and himself in 2017

The Canadian Press · Posted: Mar 27, 2019

Lionel Desmond Inquiry Homepagethenationallioneldesmond
Shanna and Lionel Desmond with their daughter, Aaliyah, in a photo from Shanna's Facebook page.



The fatality inquiry into the Lionel Desmond killings is expected to begin hearings in September.

The Afghan war veteran, who had been diagnosed with PTSD, killed his family and himself in rural Nova Scotia on Jan. 3, 2017.

Members of Desmond's immediate family have long complained he did not get the help he needed from federal and provincial agencies.

Jennifer Stairs, a spokeswoman for the judiciary, said Wednesday provincial court Judge Warren Zimmer will begin hearing evidence in September at a renovated former municipal building in Guysborough, N.S.

On May 21, Zimmer will hear applications from anyone interested in participating in the inquiry.

The 33-year-old Desmond served two tours in Afghanistan in 2007.

In 2017, he shot his wife Shanna, 31, their 10-year-daughter Aaliyah and his 52-year-old mother Brenda before turning the gun on himself in the family's rural home in Upper Big Tracadie, N.S.


Lionel Desmond Inquiry Desmond-family-collage
A collage of Lionel Desmond; his wife, Shanna; mother, Brenda; daughter, Aaliyah; and his military comrades. (CBC)



Among other things, the inquiry will examine whether Desmond had access to mental health and domestic violence services — and whether he should have been able to buy a gun.

It will also look at whether the health-care providers who interacted with him were trained to recognize occupational stress injuries or domestic violence.

No set time has been set aside for the hearings, which will be live-streamed on the internet.

Stairs said the hearing site will likely only have space for 12 to 16 members of the public. An overflow room has been set up, as well as two family rooms and rooms for counsel and the media.


Zimmer's report will make findings and recommendations but will not make a finding of legal responsibility.

Cassandra Desmond — who lost her mother, only brother and his entire family in the murder-suicide — has said she hopes the inquiry will bring lasting change to help prevent similar deaths.

She and her twin sister Chantel fought a lengthy battle advocating for the inquiry.

The sisters have said Desmond was a radically changed man when he was medically discharged, and returned home in 2015.

They say his outgoing sense of humour had dimmed and, more importantly, he seemed withdrawn and in a defensive posture much of the time — as if he was still in combat mode.








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Post by Terrarium on Tue 07 May 2019, 6:04 pm

Nova Scotia lawyer challenges restrictions on Lionel Desmond inquiry

By Michael MacDonaldThe Canadian Press
Tues., May 7, 2019

HALIFAX—Nova Scotia’s Justice Department is trying to muzzle the inquiry into the death of an Afghan war veteran who killed his family and himself more than two years ago, a senior lawyer says.

Adam Rodgers, who represents the family of former soldier Lionel Desmond and his estate, says the department has imposed unrealistic restrictions on legal fees and preparation time.


Lionel Desmond Inquiry Cpt112538682
Shanna and Lionel Desmond hold their daughter Aaliyah in a photo from the Facebook page of Shanna Desmond. A senior lawyer says Nova Scotia’s Justice Department is trying to muzzle an inquiry investigating the death of Lionel Desmond, an Afghan war veteran, who killed his family and himself more than two years ago. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)



“Unfairly stifling access to justice by imposing limited preparation time at junior counsel rates ... is tantamount to impeding access to justice,” Rodgers says in a legal brief presented to the commissioner of the pending fatality inquiry, provincial court Judge Warren Zimmer.

Rodgers says he wants assurances from Zimmer the inquiry will have enough judicial independence to ensure its investigation “is not bureaucratically or financially constrained by those who may be in a conflict of interest.”

The provincial government promised an inquiry in December 2017, almost a year after Desmond fatally shot his mother Brenda, wife Shanna and 10-year-old daughter Aaliyah, before turning the gun on himself in the family’s rural home in Upper Big Tracadie, N.S.

The 33-year-old former soldier was diagnosed with PTSD after two harrowing tours in Afghanistan in 2007, which transformed him into a broken shell of who he used to be, his family says.

Desmond’s twin sisters, Cassandra and Chantel, spent more than a year pressing the government for answers and demanding a judicial fatality inquiry.

They say the former infantryman did not get the help he needed to deal with his mental illness and a post-concussion disorder after he was medically released from the military in 2015.

That allegation will be at the centre of the inquiry, which is supposed to start in September — more than 18 months after the province promised it.

“Given the province’s sustained reticence to convene this inquiry, and the degree of silence since (Zimmer’s) appointment, the Desmond family has grown increasingly concerned about the assignment of resources to support (the) inquiry,” Rodgers says in his legal brief.

“They are increasingly concerned that the original public momentum for accountability that led to the creation of (the) public inquiry is dissipating with the passage of time.”

More importantly, Rodgers has asked Zimmer to protect his clients from Justice Department restrictions that Rodgers says “attempt to muzzle and constrain the effectiveness of our legal services.”

In February, the department said legal counsel appearing before the inquiry would be limited to eight hours per day for preparation time at a rate of $175 per hour, for a maximum of 100 hours.

Rodgers said those limits represented a poorly camouflaged attempt “to stifle the legal voice and representation to which our clients are entitled.”

The department increased the limits in April and again last week, settling on nine hours per day at $220 per hour, for a maximum of 150 hours of preparation time.

The Nova Scotia Justice Department issued a statement Tuesday, saying the funding limit represents a $70-per-hour increase over the eight-hour daily rate used in 2010, when the province held its most recent fatality inquiry.

“We believe the terms of funding are both fair and reasonable,” department spokeswoman Heather Fairbairn said in an email.

In a letter dated May 1, provincial lawyer Glenn Anderson argued the limits were in line with inquiry rules in Ontario and Manitoba. As well, he pointed to another fatality inquiry in 2005, which specifically stated that Nova Scotia taxpayers “have the right to expect a principled approach to the spending of their money.”

However, Rodgers argued the 2005 inquiry also determined that lawyers representing the deceased were entitled to full compensation for their legal costs at prevailing hourly rates for experienced counsel hired by the province.

In his application to the commissioner, Rodgers has asked Zimmer to increase the limits to 10 hours a day at $250 an hour, with no restriction on total preparation time.

In his regular practice in New Glasgow, N.S., Rodgers typically earns $350 an hour.

His application to the commissioner will be heard May 23.

Rodgers has been working with Desmond family since March 2017. He said he has devoted 80 hours to the case this year.

The inquiry requires enough resources to look beyond the deaths of one former soldier and his family, he said.

“If this public inquiry is to fulfil the mandate the public demanded, it must be far-reaching,” his legal brief says.

“It is the mandate and responsibility of (this) inquiry to understand what happened to Lionel Desmond and others like him and to recommend what can be done to reduce the chances of history repeating itself.”





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Post by Maxstar on Tue 21 May 2019, 12:01 pm

LIVE UPDATES: Preliminary phase of Lionel Desmond inquiry begins in N.S.

THE CANADIAN PRESS
Published Tuesday, May 21, 2019





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Post by Maxstar on Tue 21 May 2019, 12:11 pm

Veteran booked followup at hospital the same day as triple murder-suicide

Brett Ruskin · CBC News · Posted: May 21, 2019

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Post by Highlander on Wed 19 Jun 2019, 5:05 pm

Nova Scotia judge declines to set hourly rates, prep time for Desmond inquiry

THE CANADIAN PRESS
Published Wednesday, June 19, 2019

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Post by Phrampton on Mon 24 Jun 2019, 5:51 pm

Court ruling on Lionel Desmond's military insurance policy sheds light on family tragedy

Warning: This story contains disturbing details

Blair Rhodes · CBC News · Posted: Jun 24, 2019

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Post by Marshall on Mon 24 Jun 2019, 8:04 pm

Court ruling reveals grim details of Lionel Desmond suicide and murders

Warning: Article contains graphic content that may be disturbing to some readers.

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