OTTAWA — Federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says police officers who use excessive force or appear to be discriminating on the basis of race need to be held to account.
Blair says he is concerned about a number of instances in recent days in which Indigenous Peoples have had violent runs-in with the RCMP and local police.
He says while there is a policy designed to ensure bias-free policing by the RCMP, there needs to be more work done on its relationship with Indigenous communities.
Demands have increased in recent days for a complete overhaul to the way policing works in Canada, alongside a similar debate in the U.S. sparked by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Blair says every part of the country deserves policing services that are accountable and culturally competent.
He says social inequalities, including mental illness and addiction, in society must also be addressed but did not say whether he supports the redirection of policing funds to those issues.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 9, 2020.
The Canadian Press