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

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 18 COVID-19 cases, highest daily count since July

The total of COVID-19 cases in the region is now at 662

A Kelowna clinic decided to immunize their patients in a drive-thru flu clinic earlier this month. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Interior Health anticipates increase in flu vaccinations this season

Some 300,000 doses of flu vaccine ready for distribution across Southern Interior

The Local Store is currently open for online harvest orders. (Photo Contributed)
Local Store launches online harvest orders

The orders must be placed prior to Oct. 27 for pick-up or delivery on Oct 30

Top row, left to right: Tom Shypitka, BC Liberals; Wayne Stetski, BC NDP; Kerri Wall; BC Green Part
Kootenay East candidates messages

We offered each candidate in Kootenay East space to hold forth on issues important to them and to voters.

COVID-19. (Courtesy of CDC).
Interior Health reports 12 additional COVID-19 cases

The total number of cases in the region is now at 644

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

Most Read