in B.C. falling short
A letter published in the Vancouver Sun on May 31, 2012
Re: Two officers under investigation over incident with youth, May 26
B.C.s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner doesnt investigate police, as the story states. Police investigate each other. The OPCC simply reviews the investigation.
Interestingly, the OPCC will hold investigative authority over B.C.s new Independent Investigations Office, scheduled to start operations this summer.
Handing that power to the OPCC was a cynical government manoeuvre to keep the IIO under the OPCCs police culture, thereby evading a key Thomas Braidwood recommendation that the OPCC come under the provincial Ombudspersons authority.
Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin has been integral to keeping that provinces Special Investigations Unit relatively transparent and effective.
Its far from perfect but its widely considered Canadas best police accountability agency. B.C.s IIO will fall far short of that mark for several reasons.
Braidwood supports the governments heavy-handed revision of his recommendations, but to do so he changed his position radically.
Both the BC Liberals and NDP also support watered-down legislation creating a watered-down IIO.
So does the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.
All that might indicate a powerful police lobby.
Thats a topic Marin has written about concerning Manitoba and Ontario.