To ensure the Police Services Act (PSA) remains current with evolving standards and practices in policing and police governance, section 90 of the Act requires the Manitoba Minister of Justice to undertake a comprehensive review of the Act within a specified period. Following a competitive process, the Community Safety Knowledge Alliance (CSKA), a Canadian non-profit organization, was engaged to undertake this independent review.
The PSA which passed into law in 2009, modernized police governance and oversight through greater accountability and transparency to policing in Manitoba. The PSA came into effect during a period of increased attention to social inclusion and social justice issues and broad-based calls for greater transparency, responsiveness, and accountability on the part of the police. Perhaps central to this was the Taman Inquiry into the police-involved death of Crystal Taman, and more particularly, on the flawed police investigation that followed.
The PSA established the Manitoba Police Commission (MPC), police boards, and the Independent Investigation Unit (IIU) and the Civilian Monitor Program (CMP). The legislation also allows municipalities and First Nations to create local community safety officers to complement the work of the police in improving community safety.
The review was designed to assess the extent to which the PSA supports the professional, transparent, and effective delivery of police services and to determine what amendments to the Act may be required.
The key components of the review were:
A Literature and Documentation Review that centred on the changing context within which policing and community safety occur and the potential implications for Manitoba. This allowed for a better understanding of the future environment for policing and community safety and well-being, and it served as something of a ‘North Star’ backdrop to guide the research and analysis.
A Legislative Analysis that involved a thorough review of the Act and its attendant regulations. A jurisdictional scan of similar legislation and policing, governance, and oversight practices was also completed, focusing mainly on British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and New Brunswick.
Stakeholder Consultations that were conducted with organizations identified in advance by Manitoba Justice, the MPC, and the review team. This included representatives within Manitoba’s policing and police governance oversight systems, First Nations and Métis organizations and communities, provincial and federal public prosecution services, learning institutions, non-governmental organizations involved in aspects of community safety, and other civil society organizations. Consultations were conducted through a variety of means, including in-person and telephone interviews, focus groups, and small group meetings. The original design also included a public survey; however, in consultation with Manitoba Justice, the survey was eventually excluded when it was determined that the emerging COVID-19 pandemic would make the timing of such a public survey inappropriate.
Data Review and Analyses that employed both qualitative and quantitative methods of inquiry and analyses. These, in turn, informed the review team’s conclusions and recommendations.
News Release from the Province of Manitoba dated November 5, 2020
To read the full report, click here.