Lionel Desmond’s family says race has yet to be addressed at the fatality inquiry

After hearing six weeks of testimony, the Desmond fatality inquiry has wrapped up its first session in Guysborough, N.S.

But the family of Lionel Desmond says one topic has yet to be addressed: the issue of alleged race and racism within the military ranks.

Sheldon Borden is a member of the Canadian Armed Forces and the brother-in-law of Desmond. He says he’s been following the fatality inquiry closely and admits it has been difficult and even troubling at times.

Borden has 10 years of experience with the Canadian Armed Forces, and like his brother-in-law, Borden himself is dealing with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“I suffer myself from PTSD, from racism in the military, and from the tragedy that happened,” said Borden.

It was on Jan. 1, 2017 when Desmond purchased a high-calibre rifle, went to the home of his in-laws and shot and killed his wife Shanna, mother Brenda and daughter Aaliyah before killing himself.

Ricky and Thelma Borden still live at the home where the tragedy unfolded. An advocate for the family says that’s only extending the trauma for the entire family.

“I’ve been at the home several times and the mother is still distraught, and the dad and Sheldon,” said Rubin Coward, a former military member, and advocate for the Borden family.

“Distraught by virtue that they have to remain almost in a prison, a prison where the tragedy took place and every day it’s a reminder.”

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