Many questions remain unanswered more than eight months after brothers Noah and Connor Barthe were killed by an African rock python in a Campbellton, N.B. apartment.
The RCMP investigation into the incident continues and a planned provincial review of exotic animal regulations is on hold until it concludes.
Liberal MLA Donald Arseneault has spoken with the boys’ family. He says they are waiting for answers and are growing impatient.
“They want some answers on that. They want this to move forward,” says Arseneault.
“This has been nine months since this unfortunate tragedy happened and I think he (Natural Resources Minister Paul Robichaud) owes it to Noah and Connor Barthe in order to provide a status on where this is at within his department.”
Noah Barthe, 4, and Connor Barthe, 6, died in August, 2013 after an African rock python escaped its enclosure and suffocated the boys as they slept.
The snake was being kept illegally and the government wants to avoid a similar tragedy.
After the incident, the New Brunswick government promised to look at exotic pet regulations, but the review can’t go ahead until the RCMP has wrapped up its investigation.
“The whole legislature agreed to move forward in this direction and they started this process and all of a sudden, it all stopped, and Minister (Paul) Robichaud is hiding behind the RCMP investigation,” says Arseneault.
Police say the investigation is unique and complex but is now in its final stages.
“We want to ensure that we’re being thorough with our investigation and the file and we’re certainly examining every angle possible and, again, that takes time to do that,” says New Brunswick RCMP Const. Jullie Rogers-Marsh.
“Once the file is concluded or the investigation, all aspects of the investigation have been finalized, then that information certainly will be made public.”
Natural Resources Minister Paul Robichaud said Wednesday that the government remains committed to a task force to examine the provincial exotic pet laws, but confirmed he is waiting for the conclusion of the RCMP investigation.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Andy Campbell