Green paper: Quebec questions the supervision of the police services

Livre vert: Québec questionne l'encadrement des services de police

The minister of public Safety, Genevieve Guilbault (second in photo) was presented on Wednesday, an advisory committee of five people which will be coordinated by the ex-mayor of Sherbrooke, Bernard Sévigny. This committee will also have the retired judge Nicole Gibeault (left) and the former member of parliament Marlene Jennings (right). Are missing from the photo : Alexandre Matte and Louis Side.

December 18, 2019

Updated on December 19, 2019 to 0h27


Green paper: Quebec questions the supervision of the police services

Jocelyne Richer

The Canadian Press


The time has come to reflect the quality of the services offered by the police in the province, according to the government Legault.

As announced at the beginning of the autumn, the minister of public Safety, Genevieve Guilbault, launched Wednesday a wide-ranging debate on the future of the police, questioning their mandate, their practices and their culture.

It is necessary to renew the bond of trust between the population and police force, according to the minister, who has made public Wednesday, at a press conference, a green paper, which will serve as the starting point to this reflection.

The document of fifty pages, entitled “the Reality of policing in Quebec : modernity, trust and efficiency”, provides a list of issues related to the provision of police services in this era of technological transformation, while the concerns of the citizens towards the police.

This reflection will be guided by an advisory committee of five persons consisting of the ex-mayor of Sherbrooke, Bernard Sévigny, who will serve as coordinator of the group, surrounded by the retired judge Nicole Gibeault, of the former member of parliament Marlene Jennings, Alexandre Matte and Louis Side.

By the fall of 2020, this committee will be mandated to produce a report with recommendations to the government aimed at “modernizing” the police services.

Subsequently, in 2021, we should expect to see the minister introduce a bill, which shall be guided by the recommendations of the group.

“I’m going to see a bit of the directions to take or the steps to take concrete action to respond to this report-here. I think that there could be legislative changes”, said the minister Guilbault, who promises to “take the time to do things right” to propose to the population a new model of police “coherent, modern, in tune with the new realities.”

Quebec has many police services : the Sûreté du Québec and 30 municipal police, plus 22 police force aboriginal people.

The UPAC and the EIB under

The Unité permanente anticorruption (UPAC), who makes the headlines regularly because of leaks in the media, of the wars of clans and surveys have never been completed, and the Office of the independent surveys (EIB) will also be subject to the scrutiny of the committee, which will have a budget of a million dollars.

The consultation will be public, assured Mr. Sévigny.

The theme of the broken trust between the population and the police is a recurring theme in the document.

“In recent years, a succession of events is coming weaken the confidence of the population at the place of the police, which is based on a delicate balance that cannot be taken for granted,” says the ministry in its discussion paper.

This issue is dependent on a few principles, one can read in the paper, namely, competence, integrity, impartiality, fairness, independence and accountability.

“The mechanisms of accountability and control applicable to police officers, the police and their leaders, whether they are aboriginal, municipal or provincial, contribute adequately to the maintenance of the confidence of the population?” asks the department of public Safety.

We can also note that over the past two decades, information technologies have experienced a phenomenal boom which had the effect of transforming the police work. We think, for example, cell phones with cameras and photo radar devices.

“Their rapid development, coupled with the ubiquity of social media, has changed the way police work daily. These new technologies facilitate the police operations or investigations, both for the search of missing persons for the monitoring of certain targets of investigations,” says one.

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