B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth (Black Press Media)

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

The B.C. government has fulfilled its promise to review the role of police in maintaining public order amid protests about excessive force and racism that have spilled over from the United States.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announced an all-party committee of MLAs, to review the Police Act and recommend changes, as police forces across B.C. grapple with incidents of mental illness and alcohol and drug abuse that occupy much of their time. The committee is to report on its recommendations by May 14, 2021.

Two former RCMP officers have been appointed to serve on the committee, Surrey-Guildford MLA Garry Begg and Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris. Also on the committee are Skeena MLA Ellis Ross, Saanich North and the Islands MLA Adam Olsen, Surrey-Green Timbers MLA Rachna Singh, Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell, North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA Bowinn Ma and Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons.

The committee will examine “the role of police with respect to complex social issues including mental health and wellness, addictions and harm reduction,” as well as “the scope of systemic racism within British Columbia’s police agencies, including the RCMP, independent municipal police and designated policing units, and its impact on public safety and public trust in policing,” Farnworth told the B.C. legislature.

It will also examine whether changes are needed to make B.C.’s 1996 Police Act consistent with the province’s Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, passed in 2019 to make B.C. laws conform to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

RELATED: Surrey RCMP outreach team expands services

RELATED: Emergency first responders forced into social work


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Here are Kitimat’s 10 worst streets and intersections for collisions

A look at the top 10 roads and intersections for crash numbers in Kitimat.

Pretivm Resources reports fatality at Brucejack mine

The isolated incident occurred last Friday, and the employee passed away on Sunday in hospital

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

“How many more years is this going to continue?”: Kitimat resident wants better District response to front yard sinkholes

The sinkholes are caused by an aging storm sewer, which the District says they are working to fix.

In Our Valley: Louise Barbetti

Louise Barbetti has spent her life dedicated to the welfare of the Haisla students and community.

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

What exactly is ‘old growth’ B.C. forest, and how much is protected?

Forests minister Doug Donaldson doesn’t support ‘moratorium’

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

Most Read