Nova Scotia justice minister says domestic violence not at "epidemic" level

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia’s opposition parties are calling for the justice minister to resign after he said domestic violence is not an "epidemic."

Brad Johns’s comments were in response to a reporter’s question on the inquiry report into Nova Scotia’s mass shooting, which recommended that domestic violence be treated as an epidemic.

Johns says he doesn’t believe there is an epidemic level of domestic violence in the province and that there are bigger issues facing residents, including drugs and gun violence.

Shortly after, Premier Tim Houston joined the news conference via video feed to express support for the inquiry’s recommendations and to say that Johns would be issuing an apology.

The Opposition Liberals and the NDP say Johns’s statement was unacceptable and he has to resign or be fired from his cabinet role.

The minister’s comments came on the fourth anniversary of the mass shooting, during which a gunman assaulted his partner and then murdered 22 people over 13 hours.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 18, 2024.

The Canadian Press