March 22nd, 2021
Liberal government continues to fail to address systemic racism in policing
NDP Critic for Public Safety Jack Harris made the following statement about the RCMP's handling of the Colten Boushie Investigation:
The RCMP Civilian Review and Complaints Commission’s findings in the Colton Boushie case underscore what we have known for a very long time – that systemic racism and discrimination impairs the RCMP’s ability to protect and serve Indigenous people with justice and fairness.
The CRCC’s findings of racial discrimination, cultural insensitivity and errors in the treatment of witnesses and collection of evidence are deeply troubling and show that the federal government has a lot of work to do to ensure Indigenous people are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.
The stark difference between how Colten Boushie’s mother and friends were treated and how the man later charged with murder and his family were dealt with, underscores systemic racism and discrimination that must be eliminated from policing in Canada.
It is unacceptable that RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki left the family and public waiting for more than 14 months while reviewing an interim report. It is also outrageous that the RCMP withheld its own report from the CRCC until February 2020.
Clearly, the only way to make sure that the RCMP prioritizes the complaints and reviews of the CRCC is to make timelines mandatory in legislation with a statutory obligation of disclosure.
Last summer the Prime Minister took a knee and acknowledged that systemic racism permeates every institution in Canada, yet Canadians are still waiting for the type of transformative and sustained action required from the Liberal government to eliminate systemic racism from our policing and justice systems. The findings in this report make it quite clear that marginalized people need much more than symbolic gestures from the Prime Minister – they need leadership and accountability.