Doug Routley is the chair of a special committee on reforming the Police Act. (File photo)

Doug Routley is the chair of a special committee on reforming the Police Act. (File photo)

Routley selected chair of a special committee on reforming the Police Act

Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA acknowledges there will be a lot of material to process

An appointment Nanaimo-North Cowichan NDP MLA Doug Routley hinted at following the provincial election last October has been revealed.

Routley will chair a special committee on reforming the Police Act.

After being passed over for a cabinet post by Premier John Horgan during November despite being one of the returning MLAs with the most seniority, Routley said he wasn’t concerned. Serving his constituents was his focus, but he also knew a demanding task awaited him.

“The premier has asked me to chair a special committee and, while I am not at liberty to provide more details at this time, I can say that this work will be essential to ensuring a fairer and more equal province,” Routley said at the time. “This position will allow me to make a long-lasting, positive impact on our province, while also ensuring that I continue to be accessible and available to my community which remains my top priority.”

Related story: Routley left off the list of NDP cabinet ministers again

With the announcement of the position, Routley acknowledged it’s going to be a huge undertaking.

“I really love committee work, but this one is challenging for sure,” he said.

The Legislative Assembly appointed the special committee, comprised of all parties, to undertake an inquiry into policing, including an examination of the role of police with respect to complex social issues, the scope of systemic racism within B.C.’s police agencies and ensuring consistency of a modernized Police Act with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“Committee members are considering a broad range of issues pertaining to the public safety continuum,” added Routley. “We are looking forward to engaging with British Columbians and hearing about their views, experiences and solutions for reforming and improving the provision of public safety in B.C.”

“The committee recognizes that there are complex, systemic challenges and barriers, as well as intersections with many health and social issues,” added deputy chair Dan Davies, the MLA for Peace River, in a statement. “We hope to facilitate the participation of a diverse range of stakeholders on the significant matters before us.”

British Columbians are invited to share their input with written, audio or video submissions by April 30, 2021. Following the submission deadline, certain individuals and organizations may be invited to make a presentation to the committee. All hearings will be conducted by video/teleconference.

The committee is taking a phased approach to its inquiry and additional opportunities to participate will be available at a later stage.

The process is expected to take several months. In fact, the enormity of the task has already been recognized. The original deadline for the committee to wrap up its work has been extended from October 2021 until April 2022.

“Because there’s so much material and interested parties, I asked for an extension,” said Routley. “It gives us a chance to really examine this thing thoroughly.

“There’s a lot of demand for change, but we have to do a thorough job. While it’s a long process, there is an urgency. Time marches on and more things can happen.”

The committee’s aim will be to make a change that benefits people, Routley added.

“Everyone has to buy into it, particularly police. We’ve got a legion of dedicated police officers. We have to harness the best in that and help the institution move forward.”

The committee has already held a series of meetings during the past month and will continue to meet regularly through the phased approach.

Other MLAs on the committee include: Garry Begg (Surrey-Guildford); Rick Glumac, (Port Moody-Coquitlam); Trevor Halford (Surrey-White Rock); Karin Kirkpatrick (West Vancouver-Capilano); Grace Lore (Victoria-Beacon Hill); Adam Olsen (Saanich North and the Islands); Harwinder Sandhu (Vernon-Monashee); and Rachna Singh, (Surrey-Green Timbers).

BC politicsPolice

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Doug Routley helping to place signs during his re-election campaign in October. (File photo)

Doug Routley helping to place signs during his re-election campaign in October. (File photo)

Just Posted

A police car at the scene of a child’s death Friday, April 9, at the Falcon Nest Motel in Duncan. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
RCMP investigating child’s death at Duncan’s Falcon Nest Motel

First responders responded to a call about an unresponsive child at the… Continue reading

Town of Lake Cowichan looking to form tourism and housing committees

Decision not related to the Lake Cowichan Visitor Information Centre closure

“Representing the school district, legion, and Kaatza Station Museum left to right are Georgie Clark of the museum, Wilma Rowbottom of School District #66 and Ernie Spencer, representing the Legion. The museum and Legion, along with the Village will each take a piece of the old wood shop.” (The Lake News)
Lake Flashback: Soapboxes, woodshop split, taxes down

Remember these stories from Lake Cowichan?

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: Rules around bicycle lanes

The lane is often painted green to distinguish it from lanes intended for motor vehicles.

Robert’s column
Robert Barron column: New hospital shouldn’t charge for parking

Paying a parking meter is the last thing people visiting a hospital should have to worry about.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Most Read