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

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

The five graduating members of the Vernon-based Thompson Okanagan Lakers U18AAA girls hockey team – Jessica Engelbrecht (from left), Makenna Howe, Cheree Peters, Jayden Perpelitz, and Alexis Bishop – have all committed to collegiate hockey programs in Canada and the U.S. (Photo submitted)
Vernon-based hockey squad sends 5 to college ranks

Thompson Okanagan U18AAA Lakers players heading to Canadian and U.S. programs

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Police report outlines latest efforts to fight North Okanagan sex crimes

The local RCMP sex crimes unit has been involved in a number of investigations so far in 2021

Rutland Senior Secondary School. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Two Rutland schools exposed to COVID-19

Interior Health confirmed exposures at Rutland Senior Secondary and Pearson Road Elementary

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

Members of the Vernon Kalamalka Chorus sing in their cars, tuned into the radio, under the direction of Debbie Parmenter. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Vernon choir steers around COVID with ‘carbershop’ twist

Singers find a unique way to practice during pandemic restrictions

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

RCMP. (Black Press File)
Major Crimes called in after two bodies discovered near Penticton

A manhunt involving a police helicopter took place on May 10

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Mother of 2 shot by police in critical condition, says B.C. First Nation chief

Community ‘devastated’ by third member of 1,150-person Vancouver Island nation shot in less than a year

Most Read