Ottawa, Jun 24 (IANS): Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has denied meddling in an investigation into the 2020 mass shooting, the worst the country's history.
Brenda Lucki, head of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), has been accused of pressuring local officers to help advance Trudeau's gun control plans, the BBC quoted the Halifax Examiner as saying, which was the first to report on the development.
According to the Halifax Examiner, the accusation stemmed from notes made by a local RCMP officer, released as part of a public investigation into the mass shooting on April 18-19, 2020, during which a gunman posing as a police officer killed 22 people in Nova Scotia.
The suspect died in a stand-off with police.
Addressing reporters on Thursday, Trudeau said that his government "did not put any undo influence or pressure" on police.
"It is extremely important to highlight that it is only the RCMP, it is only police that determine what and when to release information," the BBC quoted the Prime Minister as saying.
Denying the accusations, Commissioner Lucki said in a statement released on Tuesday that information sharing between the federal government and police is normal during a high-profile event such as a mass shooting.
The RCMP chief however acknowledged that she "should have been more sensitive" in her approach.
Canada's opposition Conservative Party has called for a debate in the House of Commons, and a parliamentary committee voted on Thursday to hold a hearing into the matter.
In the wake of the deadliest rampage in Canadian history, Prime Minister Trudeau in May 2020 announced an immediate ban on the sale, transportation, importation, or use of some 1,500 makes and models of "military-grade assault-style" weapons.