MINISTER OF JUSTICE
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C OV8
Jul 21 2020
Dear Mr. Mauro:
Thank you for your correspondence of July 5, 2020 to The Honourable Brian Pallister and myself regarding systemic racism in policing. As Minister of Justice and Attorney General, I am pleased to have the opportunity to respond.
I would like to first express my appreciation for your service, and for the commitment
demonstrated by law enforcement officers across Manitoba to their respective communities. I can assure you that the Government of Manitoba is supportive of our police agencies and officers and that we have the utmost confidence that they will continue to work to make our communities safe and maintain the highest standards of conduct while doing so.
As you note, there are systems in place to investigate allegations of improper conduct by police officers, including the provincial Independent Investigation Unit and federal Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP. As a province, we remain committed to the modernization of Manitoba’s criminal justice system, and to working with law enforcement agencies to reduce crime and improve public safety.
We recognize that law enforcement officers are often the first line of response to emergency mental health crisis situations and the associated challenges law enforcement officers face in situations involving individuals with mental health issues. Manitoba’s Policing and Public Safety Strategy includes support for Community Mobilization Hubs, and a commitment to alleviate extraneous demands on police through initiatives such as HealthlM. HealthlM is a technology-based tool that helps police officers assess mental health issues, coordinate with health professionals and hospitals and reduce transport and wait times. HealthlM has been deployed in communities across the province, including RCMP detachments in Steinbach, Thompson and Portage la Prairie. Initiatives like these are intended to assist community organizations and law enforcement in connecting persons in crisis with the most appropriate help and support, in a timely manner.
I can assure you that we are very proud of the role that the RCMP has in delivering policing
services and the provision of community safety in our province. Our government continues to
explore the most effective ways to invest in policing and our communities and I would like to
again thank you for taking the time to write and share your concerns.
Minister of Justice
c The Honourable Brian Pallister, Premier