The province is introducing legislative changes in hopes of making the Independent Observers process more transparent and accountable.

Under the current legislation, an Investigation Observer is appointed by the Deputy Minister of Justice in situations where someone has suffered a serious injury or death in the custody of or as a result of the actions of a police officer.

The new legislation transfers responsibility for this process to the Public Complaints Commission (PCC) and requires the chair of the PCC to publish online summaries of the results of Investigation Observer reports.

“Through this Act we will be making numerous enhancements to improve transparency and accountability in our provincial police oversight processes,” Justice Minister and Don Morgan said.

The legislation also expands the role of Investigation Observers to include investigations of sexual assaults and off-duty incidents involving police officers, requires the appointment of a second Investigation observer of First Nations or Métis ancestry in incidents involving First Nations or Métis individuals, and allows individuals other than current or retired police officers to be appointed as Investigation Observers.

(Photo: Justice Minister Don Morgan.)