News | Quebec to create police oversight civilian group

PQ Public Security Minister Stéphane Bergeron announced last week the continuation of plans to create a civilian group that would oversee cases of deaths or severe injury involving police forces.

“We are committed to setting up an independent mechanism of inquiry that will probe into incidents involving the police,” Bergeron told the Globe and Mail.

Under current Quebec law, an investigation is held if such incidents happen, but they are conducted by an outside police force.

Earlier this year, the former Liberal government proposed similar legislation – Bill 46 – which died on the order paper when the provincial election was called.

Quebec Ombudsperson Ray-monde Saint-Germain’s Director of Communications Carol-Ann Huot told The Daily in March, that “Bill 46 maintains the system of police investigating police that does not provide a sufficient guarantee of impartiality.”

The Liberal government did not follow recommendations by the ombudsman to set up a special investigations unit.

Regarding the latest proposal by the PQ government, Huot stated in an email, “The Quebec Ombudsman repeats his recommendations aimed at creating an independent civilian bureau to oversee investigations, supervised by a civil director and including civil investigators.”

“We will examine the bill with interest when it will be deposited by the government,” she added.

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