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Premier Tim Houston. Photo: screengrab of Maritime Premiers

Premier believes change was needed to conclude Desmond inquiry

By Steve MacArthur Jul 13, 2023 | 9:47 PM

Premier Tim Houston believes they had to make a change in order to get to the finish line.

He was referring to removing the judge overseeing the Lionel Desmond inquiry because it was taking too long to complete the final report.

Judge Warren Zimmer was appointed in 2018 to lead the inquiry, which examined the circumstances around a triple-murder and suicide by a former Afghan war veteran.

Houston says they provided Zimmer with four extensions to finish his final report and felt any more delays were not warranted because it has been almost 15 months since final submissions were submitted.

Desmond suffered from severe PTSD after two tours in Afghanistan but fell through the cracks of the health care system despite red flags about his behaviour prior to killing his mother, wife and daughter and then himself in Upper Big Tracadie.

The new judge will take over from where Zimmer left off and finish the report with recommendations.

The government felt it was unfair to families to allow any more delays in concluding the work.

However, the new judge will need to go through thousands of documents and testimony to conclude the inquiry.



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