HALIFAX, NS - Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie called on Premier Darrell Dexter's government to review the circumstances that led to the death of community activist Raymond Taavel.
The longtime leader in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community was found dead in Halifax's north end during the early morning hours of April 17th. A Capital Health psychiatric patient was arrested and charged with second degree murder. The patient had been referred to the East Coast Forensic Facility as a result of being found not criminally responsible in a violent crime.
"First and foremost for Raymond Taavel's memory, it's important that justice is done and that the court process is respected," said Baillie. "However, as the case allegedly involves a forensic mental health patient on release with a history of violence, it's important for the provincial government to get answers from Capital Health and decide whether a broader public inquiry is needed on mental health and addictions treatment in this province."
Baillie urged the government to follow the example set in the aftermath of the tragic death of Theresa McEvoy in 2004. The provincial government first conducted their own internal review, then based on those findings, commissioned Justice Merlin Nunn to conduct an independent public inquiry in 2005.
"We need to make sure there is a thoughtful and detailed review of this tragedy, so whatever steps the provincial government needs to take to prevent another tragedy, like the death of Raymond Taavel, are in fact taken," said Baillie.