Minister Opposes Effort To ID Victims’ Heritage

Monday, January 04, 2010 at 12:07



Saskatchewan’s Justice minister is giving a thumbs down verdict to a plan that would see police officers ask victims of crime whether or not they’re Aboriginal.


The plan is the brainchild of the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.


The idea is to gain improved knowledge about crime victims and how the system might better help them.


However, Don Morgan says officers have told him they don’t want to be asking people what their racial background is, while they’re trying to catch a criminal.


Morgan says he’s inclined to agree.


“We don’t want to do anything that’s going to make a victim more uncomfortable. If somebody’s looking to rent a hotel room or something else, we don’t ask those questions, when somebody is dealing with them. The Human Rights Code prohibits that kind of question being asked at a number of different places. There’s certainly no statutory advantage. But the same reasons that would preclude it there are certainly issues that these are sensitive questions that you may not want to ask when somebody has recently been a victim of a crime,” he says.


The minister says he thinks victims services might be a better place to get that information, if it comes out at all.