First Police Act reforms to be tabled in fall: Public Safety Ministry

Reforms to B.C.’s law enforcement are due in the fall, more than a year after a report recommending sweeping changes to the Police Act.

The first reforms the provincial government will consider will involve police governance and oversight, a spokesman for the Ministry of Public Safety and the Solicitor General said Wednesday.they didn’t specify 11 suggestions Action is being taken as specified in the report.

In April 2022, an all-party committee of MLAs recommended reforms to address topics including systemic racism in policing, relations with Aboriginal communities and how officers respond to mental health calls.

One of the proposals also calls for the creation of a provincial force, similar to those in Quebec and Ontario, to replace the RCMP.

In a statement, the Department of Public Safety said it had been analyzing and consulting on the recommendations since last year.

“In fall 2023, we will introduce initial reforms to the Police Act to address police governance and oversight. As this work is completed, the Department will continue to engage with Aboriginal communities, municipalities and other stakeholders on broader engage in police reform.”

The provincial government formed a committee to review the 27-year-old bill at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020. That same year, the RCMP faced public criticism for their response to gas pipeline protesters in the Wet’suwet’en area.

Prime Minister David Eby said last August He will support an all-party committee to implement the report’s recommendations, but has not said whether he would support replacing B.C.’s RCMP entirely.

@tyler_harper | [email protected]

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