Charlottetown, PE – Official Opposition legislation to improve the complaints process passed second reading in the Legislative Assembly today.
“Under existing legislation, the public only has a maximum of six months to report a concern about possible police misconduct,” said Trish Altass, Official Opposition Critic for Health and Wellness, and Fisheries and Communities. “Many Islanders and Island groups have expressed concern over the restrictive nature of this short time period.”
As part of the consultation for the amendments brought forward, the Official Opposition consulted with the Advisory Council on the Status of Women, the Black Cultural Society, BIPOC USHR, and Holland College, which houses the Atlantic Police Academy. They have all expressed support of a more accessible complaints process.
These amendments provide two improvements to The Police Act. First, it would increase the time available to file a police complaint from 6-months to 12-months, which is consistent with common practice in Canada. Secondly, it would also allow the party responsible for investigating a complaint to hear complaints outside of the 12-month period if there are good reasons to do so and are not contrary to the public interest.
“These amendments improve the process for Islanders wishing to make a complaint against police misconduct. A fair and robust complaints process is an important part of public confidence and trust in the police.” said Altass. “These changes will bring PEI in line with other jurisdictions in Canada.”