Parliamentary Committee Notes: Saskatchewan Event

Date:  March 9, 2023
Classification: Unclassified
Fully releasable (ATIP)? Yes
Branch / Agency: CPB, Public Safety


On October 6th Correctional Service Canada (CSC) and the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) announced it had convened a National Joint Board of Investigation into the horrific tragedy that occurred on the James SmithCree Nation and in Weldon, Saskatchewan, on September 4, 2022.

Proposed Response:


On September 4, 2022, a violent incident occurred in James Smith Cree Nation and the nearby village of Weldon, Saskatchewan which resulted in the stabbing deaths of 10 victims, and the injuries of many others. Police undertook operations to apprehend two individuals identified as suspects. One of the suspects was found deceased on September 5, 2022, and the other was later apprehended by law enforcement on September 7, 2022, but later died in custody. One of the suspects in this event was a federal offender on statutory release in the community. At the time of the incident, this offender’s conditional release had been suspended and he was unlawfully at large.

Law Enforcement Response

The Honourable Christine Tell, Minister of Correction, Policing and Public Safety for Saskatchewan declared an Emergency and due to the urgency of the situation issued a verbal request to the RCMP Commissioner to deploy additional RCMP resources to support ongoing law enforcement efforts.

Under the Police Service Agreements, Article 9 provides a mechanism for temporarily accessing incremental resources to assist with police duties during an emergency or an event. Under Article 9, the Minister approved urgent deployment and mobilization of RCMP members to support policing efforts in the affected area/region until the resolution of incident. Under sub-article 9.3, the Minister’s approval is required to temporarily withdraw up to ten per cent of the members of the Provincial Police Services outside of Saskatchewan. In this case, the Province of Saskatchewan will be responsible for 100 per cent of the costs related to the deployment of any additional resources. The RCMP immediately agreed and began mobilizing outside resources to the Province in order to support policing efforts.

The First Nations and Inuit Policing Program

The First Nations and Inuit Policing Program is a contribution program that provides funding to support and enable supplemental policing services to First Nation and Inuit communities across Canada in addition to Provincial/Territorial policing. A Community Tripartite Agreement includes a contingent of RCMP police officers to provide dedicated policing to a First Nation or Inuit community that is intended to supplement the level of Provincial/Territorial police services provided to that community. James Smith Cree Nation does not receive funding for supplemental policing services through the First Nations and Inuit Policing Program.

Board of Investigation

On October 6th the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and Parole Board of Canada (PBC) convened a National Joint Board of Investigation (BOI) into the statutory release, community supervision and PBC decisions in the case of Myles Sanderson.

The National Joint BOI process is guided by requirements set out in the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA). It is an administrative investigation that will thoroughly analyze all of the facts and circumstances, including whether laws, policies and protocols were followed, and identify any recommendations and corrective measures, as needed. The PBC and the CSC are committed to publicly sharing the results of the investigation, and subsequently any corrective measures that will be implemented in response to its recommendations.

Statutory Release

Pursuant to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA), all federal offenders serving determinate sentences are entitled to statutory release from a federal penitentiary after serving two-thirds of their sentence, unless they are likely to commit a serious offence before the end of their sentence. Statutory release is mandated by subsection 127(1) of the CCRA, and is not by a decision made at the discretion of the Parole Board of Canada (PBC). Offenders serving life or indeterminate sentences are not eligible for Statutory Release.

Statutory release requires federally sentenced offenders to serve the final third of their sentence in the community, under the supervision of CSC, and with certain conditions. As a form of conditional release, its purpose is to help offenders become law-abiding citizens by providing them with intervention, assistance, programs and necessary controls to minimize their risk. All offenders on conditional release must report a federal parole officer. Should an offender breach their release conditions, or should it be deemed necessary for the protection of society, an offender’s release can by suspended and they may ultimately be returned to a federal institution.

In terms of statutory releases during fiscal year 2019-2020, 92.4% of these releases did not result in a new conviction; 6.4% of statutory release supervision periods ended with a non-violent offence; and only 1.1% ended with a violent offence.


Prepared by: Darren Bell, Correctional Policy Unit, CPB (343) 572-3164
Approved by: Talal Dakalbab, SADM, CPB, (613) 852-1167

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