Has there been more information about the 2013 complaint made to the RCMP by Brenda Forbes regarding domestic abuse (assault?) and the illegally owned weapons he was apparently showing off? She alleges nothing was done about it.
I wouldn't expect to see any information come out about this in the short term. I'm sure it forms at a minimum a key part of the actual investigation into what happened in the shooting, and I would be astonished if there wasn't a deep dive historical review into what happened. I won't speculate any further than that.
My understanding of what's alleged is that a few people were aware of domestic violence, but that neither the victim nor actual firsthand witnesses were willing to provide statements to police on it. Similarly it sounds like whoever personally saw firearms was not willing to provide a statement and if necessary testify to that effect. I may not be 100% on this.
Stepping back form this specific case, and speaking more generally:
To charge someone with an offense
, police have to have reasonable grounds to believe a person has committed an offense. They have to have sufficient weight of evidence that crown can take the matter through court and have a reasonable prospect of conviction. If you don't have cooperative victims or witnesses... Good luck. Been there, done that. It's frustrating. It is possible to get convictions in domestic violence cases without a cooperative victim, but generally you need a solid, credible, cooperative witness, or something really clean like good security video. Even at that, crown will tpically only push such a case through if it's very clear that the victim is probably really not in a position to feel safe cooperating, or if the accused has a history that strongly makes it in the public interest to move forward despite lack of victim cooperation. But you need that real, admissible evidence. You can have all the hearsay in the world, but that doesn't get you to charges.
The search a premises
pursuant to an offense, police have to have reasonable suspicion
- A certain offense has been committed
- That there is something that will afford evidence of an offense
- That that thing will be found in a certain premise or location.
The investigator then needs to very carefully and meticulously document that in an applicant to a judge or justice. The judge or justice needs to be satisfied that what the officer has outlined is reasonable in order to issue a search warrant.
There are additional search and seizure powers specific to firearms/weapons- similarly, a justice believes on reasonable grounds
, based on the application of a peace officer, that a person has a firearm/weapon/prohib device, and that it is not desirable in the interests of the safety of that person or another person to have them, then similarly a warrant can be issued.
At a minimum for this you would need a witness willing to provide a statement and testify to the facts alleged. If someone comes in and says 'Yeah, I was in this guy's house and saw his guns- I saw a couple semiautomatic rifles and a shotgun', and that person is willing to go on the record, that's a great start. If that's then checked against records that show the person doesn't have a PAL, OK, at this point there's a possibility of getting a search warrant. But again, it can't just be hearsay. The info would need to be recent and credible.
Against the privacy interests of searching a residence, police have to have a pretty reasonable weight of evidence, their suspicions have to be reasonable, and a justice or judge has to be satisfied of these things. Police CANNOT just go in and search based on third hand accounts, hearsay, or mere suspicion not backed with sufficient evidence. There are, of course, further investigative steps that can be taken in cases that fall short of the grounds for a search warrant. That would go in the queue against all the other outstanding maters police in a given jurisdiction have on the go.