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Desmond Fatality Inquiry will reopen after more than a year since the closing proceeding

By Joe Thomson Sep 6, 2023 | 1:04 PM

Wesley Tingey / Unsplash

Proceedings for the Desmond Fatality inquiry will reopen for the first time in over a year, allowing counsel to make submissions before newly appointed judge leading the inquiry.

Judge Paul Scovil took over the role as lead judge back in July, when presiding judge Warren Simmer’s status as a Provincial Court Judge ended. Scovil has not yet heard any submissions from the counsel working on the inquiry, as the most resent proceeding was held in April 2022, 15 months before Scovil stepped into his role. He has spent the time since he was appointed reviewing the transcripts, archived video, and exhibits introduced over the previous 56 days of hearings.

In a press release, the Nova Scotia Courts say that due to recent developments, Scovil feels counsel should have an opportunity to make final submissions before he prepares his report and recommendations. It is unclear what the recent developments are.

The Inquiry proceedings will begin at 9:30 a.m. on September 12 at the Port Hawkesbury courthouse.

On January 3, 2017, Canadian Armed Forces veteran Lionel Desmond killed his wife, daughter, mother, and himself at their home in Upper Big Tracadie. The incident sent shockwaves throughout all of Nova Scotia and Canada, reigniting discussions around PTSD and domestic violence.

The inquiry into the Desmond Fatality began in 2019.


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