ARCHIVED - Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney meets with police review bodies from across Canada
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OTTAWA, November 19, 2013 - The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, issued the following statement today, after presenting opening remarks at a meeting of provincial police review agencies and special investigations units. This annual meeting is organized by the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP.
“As Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, I was pleased to have the opportunity to meet with heads of police review agencies and special investigations units from across Canada. These bodies play an important role in ensuring that Canadians continue to have confidence in their police services.
The men and women who police our communities provide a vital service in keeping their fellow citizens safe – doing so with great pride and professionalism. In those instances where there is any suspicion that an officer may not have acted properly or may have had a role to play in the serious injury or death of an individual, Canadians can be assured that a civilian body may investigate the incident and get the facts in a fair and impartial manner. This is the role of police review agencies and special investigations units. Only as a last resort will police investigate other police.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is the largest police force in Canada and the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP (CPC) ensures fair and impartial civilian review of the RCMP. Since its inception, the CPC has investigated numerous issues, ranging from in-custody deaths, to harassment within the RCMP. Through the Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act, which was enacted this past summer, the mandate and powers of the CPC will be strengthened through the creation of a Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP (CRCC). The details of the CRCC will be announced early in the new year but as noted in the recently enacted Act, it will have all the authorities of the CPC, plus important new authorities, including:
- Broader access to RCMP information and stronger investigative powers.
- The ability to conduct joint investigations with other police complaint review bodies.
- The authority to provide independent observation of investigations of serious incidents involving RCMP members.
As the federal Minister accountable for the RCMP, I look forward to the creation of the CRCC. It will be another important step in ensuring the transparency and accountability of the RCMP and ensuring that Canadians – and RCMP members – can continue to have confidence and pride in our national police force.”
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For further information
Jean-Christophe de Le Rue
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Public Safety Canada
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