STATEMENT ON APPOINTMENT OF MURRAY SINCLAIR TO INVESTIGATE THUNDER BAY POLICE BOARD
OTTAWA, ON (July 24, 2017 ): Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, on behalf of the Executive Council, welcomes the appointment by the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC) of the Hon. Murray Sinclair to lead its investigation of the Thunder Bay Police Services Board:
“We have raised serious issues over the actions of the Thunder Bay Police Service and the role of its civilian oversight body. We welcome the appointment of the Hon. Murray Sinclair to lead this investigation and will assist in any way possible. We are dismayed by the dysfunctionality of the Police Services Board, and are pleased that the provincial authority over police boards – the Ontario Civilian Police Commission – has taken swift and meaningful action to address this crisis of confidence in policing.”
NAN and other First Nation leaders called for a review of the Police Services Board at a May 31, 2017 press conference at Queen’s Park. They expressed their lack of confidence to the OCPC, requesting that the Commission exercise its powers to investigate and inquire into the administrative failures of the Board.
The OCPC is the statutory governing body for police boards in Ontario. It has the power to impose sanctions as severe as disbanding a police service, a police services board, or both. When faced with a dysfunctional board, the OCPC has the power to appoint an administrator to oversee the operations of the board.
The Thunder Bay Police Service is currently under investigation by the Office of the Independent Police Review Directorate (OIPRD) for its handling of investigations into the disappearances and deaths of Indigenous Peoples in the city.
For more information please contact: Michael Heintzman, Director of Communications – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (807) 625-4965 or cell (807) 621-2790 or by email nan%23on%23ca|mheintzman