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Band officials, Landry to talk shooting, policing

Wagmatcook band officials will have a multitude of questions for NovaScotia Justice Minister Ross Landry today when they meet in Halifax.

Wagmatcook band officials will have a multitude of questions for Nova Scotia Justice Minister Ross Landry today when they meet in Halifax.

Band director of operations Brian Arbuthnot said two main topics on the agenda include a call for a public inquiry into the RCMP shooting death of John Simon and the proposed one-year contract for regional policing on the reserve.

“The big move right now ... is just getting to the table and having some discussions,” Arbuthnot said of the meeting.

He said the band was recently informed the province is concerned about the “sustainability” of the RCMP in Victoria County.

Earlier this month, Wagmatcook Chief Lester Peck and the six-member council voted to end the contract with the RCMP and propose a new agreement with the Cape Breton Regional Police Service.

The Wagmatcook band cited the death of 44-year-old Simon as one of its reasons for ending the contract with the RCMP.

Described by his family as being drunk and suicidal, Simon died in Baddeck hospital after being shot by an RCMP officer inside his Katie Lane home on Dec. 2, 2008.

Since that time, band officials have pushed for a public inquiry into Simon’s death, but were told they must wait until the completion of a report lead by Halifax Regional Police.