Where is the Dunphy File?
By: Ryan Young
We all know the story of what happened to Don Dunphy on that fateful Easter Sunday. I don’t think there is a need to look back at the scant details we have of the shooting and the subsequent RCMP investigation. By now we are all ready to look forward to the day when we might finally know what really happened on that day in 2015.
As part of the Liberal election platform a full public inquiry into the Don Dunphy shooting was promised, and according to Justice and Public Safety Minister, Andrew Parsons, that is still the plan. As a first step, Minister Parsons handed the file to the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) in January after the RCMP had concluded their own investigation. The report was due at the end of August and according to a recent article by James Mcleod in The Telegram, the report was handed back to the RCMP on August 31. So why have we not seen it yet?
In an interview with Paddy Daly on VOCM Open Line on August 29th, Parsons said that he was frustrated that he had not yet received the report and that he believed that it should be released to the public right away. In the Telegram article this past weekend, Parsons places the blame on the PC’s, saying “The PC’s sort of shagged this up right from the start.” Now I wont argue with that assessment, but the point is that Minister Parsons did take the necessary steps to try to restore some credibility to the investigation, and he has promised to make that information available to the public. He is the one that needs to take control of the situation and get the report released in a timely fashion.
I truly hope he does release the information to the public, but those readers with not-so-short memories might remember the minister telling us not long ago that his department would release their findings into the Ed Martin severance scandal. We all know how that turned out. Lawyer for the Dunphy family, Erin Breen, is not expecting information to be forthcoming any time soon and anticipates having to use access to information requests in order to obtain the review. I hope it does not come down to that. Minister Parsons has promised transparency with the public on this file and reiterated on both Open Line and in the Telegram that the government remains committed to a full public inquiry. If he does not release the report as promised it will be another huge blow for a government already on shaky legs.
Maybe someone can fill me in on the process of review when a file comes back from an outside investigator. According to the facts that have been made public, the ASIRT investigation was ordered by the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of Newfoundland and Labrador. Why then, has the file been handed over to the original investigating force and not the minister who ordered the investigation? At the very least, why were they not given copies at the same time? I understand that reviews take time, but the RCMP had their time with this file and now the people, and more importantly, the family, deserve some answers and some closure. It has been 12 days since ASIRT sent their report back to the province. It’s time for Minister Parsons to get the file and then give us the truth.