HALIFAX - The commission of inquiry investigating the mass killing in Nova Scotia that claimed 22 lives last year is delaying hearings scheduled for this month until late January.

The commission said in a statement today its team needs time to review thousands of documents and interview witnesses in preparation for the hearings.

It says new witnesses with information about the April 18-19, 2020, killings continue to come forward.

The first phase of hearings aimed at establishing what happened was to begin Oct. 26 in Halifax, but it is now scheduled to open Jan. 25 and run until March 3.

The commission, led by former Nova Scotia chief justice Michael MacDonald, says the delay will give participants more time to review the evidence and will not affect plans to submit an interim report in May and a final report by November 2022.

The RCMP have confirmed that on the night of April 18, 2020, a lone gunman set fire to several homes and killed 13 people in Portapique, N.S., before evading police and killing nine more people the next day.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 13, 2021.

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