Participation in the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act

Participation in the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act

I am honoured to be named to the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act.

Our society is grappling with deeply entrenched systemic racism throughout our institutions. The critical work of this committee has been needed for a long time.

I'm thankful that the terms of reference of the committee extends beyond just the Police Act and provides Members the freedom to be more expansive in our review.

In Saanich North and the Islands we have a variety of policing challenges including urban, rural, isolated and First Nations communities. We have both municipal and RCMP detachments providing policing services. As a result, I have heard a range of feedback from my constituents that will help inform my work on the committee.

In addition to ensuring that Indigenous, Black and other people of colour are fairly treated by police it is critical that the provincial government ensures that the people who are responsible for the safety and security of our communities are highly trained, have ongoing training, and that they have access to, and the support of, professionals with expertise in areas such as mental health and other social services.

This blog post is by no means comprehensive nor does it represent the complexity of the issues. I am aware of  many of the issues and I will unpack them over the coming weeks and months. However, I hope you will feel comfortable sharing your policing experiences with me to help better inform my work. Please email my office at Adam.Olsen.MLA@leg.bc.ca or call at 250-655-5600.


Statement

Committee to review the Police Act formally struck today

For immediate release
July 8, 2020

VICTORIA, B.C. – In response to the provincial government formally striking the all-party committee to review the Police Act and engage with experts and communities, B.C. Green Party interim leader Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich-North and the Islands released the following statement:

“The B.C. Green Caucus welcomes the creation of a special committee to review the Police Act. We look forward to participating in a process that is informed by broad consultation with experts in community policing and community advocates who have done years of invaluable work to raise awareness of structural racism in policing.

“It is imperative that this is a comprehensive review of all policing throughout the province. The terms of reference are clear that the committee will be canvassing all of the various agreements, recognizing the diverse range of contracts for rural and urban areas. We need to examine the full depth of policing activity in British Columbia, and the roles and responsibilities of law enforcement.

“This is just the beginning - and it must be more than just a review. Government must be prepared to accept the recommendations from this committee, and commit to making the important and necessary structural changes in our systems.”

-30-

Media contact
JoJo Beattie
Press Secretary
B.C. Green Caucus
+1 250-882-6187 | jojo.beattie@leg.bc.ca


Image by Vlad Vasnetsov from Pixabay


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6 comments On Participation in the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act

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  • Always heartened by your reasoned approach.
    Hopefully any possible changes Proposed in Surrey will be Informed by the work you do.
    I raise my hands to you.

  • It seems to me that governments are always establishing committees which produce reports with recommendations which get put on a shelf and nothing changes.

    Let start by reducing police funding, and putting the money towards departments who should be handling the problems that the police are now mishandling. If it’s a problem of mental instability, bring in mental health workers. If it’s a problem of poverty, get people more funding.

    Arresting and beating up the poor, addicted, desperate, homeless, mentally unstable, solves nothing. We have billions to spend on pipelines and the military. Don’t tell me we have no money to ensure everyone can have a life of dignity.

    • Thank you for your comment.
      We have a patchwork of policing services in British Columbia and it is important that we are thorough before making abrupt decisions about funding. We know the current situation is not acceptable. The provincial government has given the responsibility and the flexibility my colleagues and I to dig as far as we need to go.
      You are correct… This cannot be a report and recommendations that collect dust or else the good will from the public will quickly evaporate.

  • Pingback: Investigation into racism in B.C.'s health care system launched - Adam Olsen, MLA ()

  • Go for it, Adam!

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