APTN National News
Nunavut’s former premier is wondering out loud about a local Nunavut police force to replace the RCMP, following government silence on a report about civilian oversight of Nunavut’s Mounties.
“I want to see a review of perhaps aboriginal policing in our smaller communities, so that we can recruit our own, and serve smaller communities with local police forces, that can so a job that is currently the job of the RCMP,” said Iqaluit Sinaa MLA and former premier Paul Okalik.
Oklaik has been doing battle with Justice Minister Keith Peterson in the Legislative Assembly in recent weeks over a report Peterson’s justice department will not make public.
The report investigated civilian oversight of the RCMP across Canada, and how that could work in Nunavut..
APTN asked Peterson to explain why his department would not make the report public.
Two days later his office has not responsed.
In the Legislative Assembly, Peterson said the report is not for the public.
“It’s not a report I’m going to make public, but it’s an internal report that we will use to consider other organizations, and who can provide oversight and investigations of police,” he said.
Okalik requested the review of civilian oversight of the RCMP in 2016, after a high profile incident in Iqaluit’s cells.
A naked man lunged at officers and was then pistol whipped by one of them with a Taser. He was left in his cell on the floor naked and bleeding.
The video was released to media after it showed up in court.
The Ottawa Police Service investigated the incident and found no wrong doing by the officer.
‘We deserve to know, and have a discussion on the best ways of making sure that there’s proper policing in our territory,” Okaik told APTN.
Okalik said he has had a problem with the Ottawa police ever since one of its officer, Sgt. Chris Hrnchiar was punished for making racist comments after the death of renowned Inuk artist
Okalik, in addition to being former premier, is also the former justice minister.
His government originally approved the Ottawa Police as the outside investigating force. After Hrnchiar’s comments, Okalik said he wants change.
“Then we learned of the real unfortunate views by a senior member of that force, so I had second thoughts, because these views did not go well with the people we serve in our territory,” said Okalik.