“In Rehtaeh’s case we have a lot of unanswered questions and I don’t feel confident whatsoever that the current reviews that are taking place are going to answer these questions. They just don’t have the power to do that. My fear is that they’re going to produce a stack of paper and say, ‘Look, we did a lot,’ and then someone is going to lose their child.”
– Glen Canning
This morning we meet with Jamie Baillie, the leader of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Party. We reached out to them in the hope of launching a public inquiry into Rehtaeh’s case. I know Baillie was deeply effected by the death of Nova Scotia teen Courtney Brown two year ago and the issue of bullying and cyperbullying is a part of the PC platform.
Both myself and Rehtaeh’s mom Leah, as well as her step-parents, feel a public inquiry is the only way important questions can be answered. These answers are necessary for us to find peace and are important for justice in Nova Scotia, not only for victims of bullying but for sexual assault survivors and the many families torn apart from this vicious crime.
A review of her case has started but it does not have the judicial power to subpoena documents and witnesses and may prove to be ineffective for dealing with a case such as this. If people simply do not wish to explain their actions they can opt out of participating in a review. They do not have that option with an inquiry.
If there is a fault in our justice system we have to be willing to admit it to fix it. It is our hope this call for a public inquiry will be supported across party lines.
We appreciate very much PC leader Jamie Baillie’s support and his call for an inquiry into this matter.
PC leader Jamie Baillie made the announcement with Rehtaeh’s parents Leah Parsons and Glen Canning, at Mr. Cannings Halifax home. He said the tragedy and the subsequent course of the investigation left too many unanswered questions.
“Glen and Leah want and deserve answers,” Baillie said. “Not only to give them some small measure of solace, but to fix the things that failed and spare other families the pain this one has endured.”
Baillie said that unlike the reviews that have taken place and that have been proposed since Rehtaeh’s death, a judicial inquiry will have wide-ranging powers to subpoena records and documents and to call witnesses.
“A judicial review will give us answers to a lot of questions,” Mr. Canning said. “It will make the system better and help others who are experiencing the same things that Rehtaeh experienced.”
Baillie noted that only a true public inquiry can deliver the much needed answers in this case and propose appropriate changes in policy and approach regarding victims of sexual assault.
“I want to commend Leah and Glen for their incredible strength and for all their work to bring awareness to the issues that led to the death of their daughter Rehtaeh,” Baillie concluded.[/box]