Formal apology issued in N.S. death of gay rights activist

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's health and wellness minister issued a formal apology today for a mistake that led to the fatal beating death of a prominent gay rights activist outside a Halifax bar more than three years ago.

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Leo Glavine apologized in the legislature because Andre Denny, a patient deemed not criminally responsible for his own actions, was issued a one-hour unescorted pass from the East Coast Forensic Hospital on April 6, 2012, but didn't return.

While authorities were searching for Denny, Taavel was killed outside Menz bar on Gottingen Street following an altercation.

Glavine apologized to Taavel's family and friends.

Denny pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Taavel's in November and will be sentenced in January.

Glavine says a review identified significant gaps where improvements were required to ensure the protection of the general public.

Hundreds attended vigils for Taavel, who was remembered at the time by former Nova Scotia premier Darrell Dexter as a champion in the fight against discrimination, violence and intolerance.



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