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Canada Saskatchewan police oversight agency should be Indigenous-led: provincial justice minister

05:51  30 june  2020
05:51  30 june  2020 Source:   globalnews.ca

Sask. justice minister 'ideally' wants Indigenous chair for police oversight body

  Sask. justice minister 'ideally' wants Indigenous chair for police oversight body Saskatchewan’s justice minister said he prefers to see an Indigenous person chairing the Public Complaints Commission (PCC), which will take on an expanded role for overseeing police under new legislation. The current chair of the PCC, Brent Cotter, was appointed as a senator and is only staying on until a replacement is found. The board membership is now expired, according to Justice Minister Don Morgan, who said government is consulting with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) and the Metis Nation Saskatchewan as it looks to refresh the board.

An official with Saskatchewan 's Ministry of Justice says it's time to consider an independent If the Prince Albert police decide that the RCMP did nothing wrong and the provincial observer agrees Saskatchewan is one of the few provinces that doesn't have some sort of civilian agency providing

"The minister has also had discussions with Saskatchewan police forces to gather their feedback and thoughts on what the future of police oversight looks The ministry is reviewing police oversight models in other provinces , including Alberta, home to the civilian- led Serious Incident Response Team.

Don Morgan wearing a suit and tie © Derek Putz / Global News

The next chair of Saskatchewan's police oversight agency should "ideally" be a First Nations or Métis person, the provincial justice minister says.

"I think for First Nations and Métis people in our province to have confidence in the system, they would have a higher level of confidence knowing that we were willing to appoint somebody who was First Nations or Métis ancestry," Justice Minister Don Morgan told reporters Monday at the legislative building, adding it's a direction the province "can and should go."

Read more: Saskatchewan police oversight agency wants to track demographic data on people filing complaints

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The Saskatchewan Provincial Police was a police force in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan that existed from 1917 until 1928 under the Saskatchewan The Royal Canadian Mounted Police "F" Division was contracted to act as the provincial police force[4] after increasing costs led the

Saskatchewan 's Ministry of Justice says police oversight looks different everywhere. It’s one of the only provinces without an independent civilian- led agency that investigates police actions that The Justice Ministry said in a statement Wednesday that the province has independent police

The government recently tabled the Police Amendment Act 2020, which adds to the responsibilities of the Public Complaints Commission (PCC) that investigates complaints against police officers.

Under the new legislation, the power to appoint investigation observers in cases involving police officers that result in injury or death will be transferred to the PCC — already on the lookout for policing trends and patterns.

"Our intention is to include that as part of the mandate of the Public Complaints Commission," Morgan said.

"We think that process should include... the ability to investigate beyond just specific incidents if there's a systemic issue as well."

Read more: Saskatchewan unveils police reform bill that allows public oversight into deaths in custody

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Saskatchewan ’s justice minister says change is needed in police oversight in the province because the Saskatchewan is one of the only provinces without an independent civilian- led agency to Other police agencies investigate serious incidents in Saskatchewan , with a provincially appointed

Saskatchewan ’s Ministry of Justice says police oversight looks different everywhere and, in cases where death or serious injury occur, the province assigns an independent observer to review the investigation and report to the ministry . “I’m not saying that one police force investigating another

Established about 15 years ago, the "virtually all-civilian" PCC is being revamped, said Morgan, noting the agency's current chair, Brent Cotter, has been appointed to the Canadian Senate.

Morgan said he has had discussions with Regina's and Saskatoon's police chiefs about as well as with the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan (MN-S) and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) about the future of police oversight in the province.

The minister said he would like to see commissioners in place in the coming weeks and will urge them over the coming months to consult with the Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police, Saskatchewan Federation of Police officers, municipal police commissions and citizen groups as well as with the MN-S and FSIN.

The PCC has announced it will track data on race, ethnicity and gender on a voluntary basis, but has not yet started the collection.

Read more: Saskatchewan police oversight body to track race, gender, ethnicity data on voluntary basis

Morgan said he's aware of Indigenous concerns with the justice system and pointed to the appointment of five Indigenous provincial court judges over the past year as a "step in the right direction."

"I think we need to do more of that," he said, adding that at minimum, the incoming head of the PCC  "must be is somebody that [the FSIN is] satisfied with."

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The Office of Residential Tenancies will begin accepting eviction applications from landlords for the non-payment of rent beginning Aug. 4.The Office of Residential Tenancies will begin accepting eviction applications from landlords for the non-payment of rent beginning Aug. 4, the provincial Ministry of Justice and Attorney General announced on Tuesday.

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