Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, has released the following statement in response to the report by the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act:
“The recommendations from the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act echo our government’s belief that everyone deserves equal treatment by the police.
“This has not always been the case for many Indigenous, Black and other people of colour. Public trust requires that the delivery of police services is fair, equitable and responsive to all British Columbians.
“The committee’s recommendations to reform B.C.’s Police Act are based on extensive analysis and input and reflect today’s challenges, including addressing systemic racism, mental health, and harm reduction. We will review the report’s findings on the roles and responsibilities of police, the effectiveness and efficiencies of policing practices, the level of public trust, and how to deliver exceptional services to all British Columbians while being understanding and responsive to the needs of Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities.
“We have already begun reaching out to partners to discuss how we will review the report’s recommendations and, starting in late summer, we will be discussing the recommendations with Indigenous partners, community advocacy organizations, health and mental-health groups, police leadership, agencies and police oversight bodies in order to meet the new vision for the Police Act as envisioned by the committee.
“I applaud the dedication and hard work of the all-party special committee over nearly two years. I am also grateful to the 411 people, organizations and subject-matter experts who spoke before the committee or made submissions. Their expertise, commitment and lived experiences were invaluable.
“As stated in Section 3.11 of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act Action Plan, our government has committed to developing and implementing policing reforms to address systemic biases and racism.
“Policing is the subject of attention across Canada, and there are numerous national conversations occurring about policing reform. We are dedicated to creating a safer, more inclusive B.C., and the report and its recommendations will help us achieve our goal of eliminating inequity and advancing enduring reconciliation.”
To read the report, please visit: https://www.leg.bc.ca/content/CommitteeDocuments/42nd-parliament/3rd-session/rpa/SC-RPA-Report_42-3_2022-04-28.pdf