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Public Security Minister’s green paper first step towards reforming policing in Quebec

Quebec Deputy premier and Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault released a green paper on modernizing Quebec's police forces.
Quebec Deputy premier and Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault released a green paper on modernizing Quebec's police forces. Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

Quebec’s public security minister wants to revamp policing in the province.

Geneviève Guilbault has now formed a consultative committee to look at everything from cybercrime to racial profiling.

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This five-member committee cannot force people to talk to them, but they don’t think that will be a problem.

“Whether it’s in Montreal, or whether it’s up in Sept-Iles, they will want to be bring their point of view, their issues, their recommendations,” said Marlene Jennings, a former Liberal MNA.

“We won’t have to run after anyone. They’ll be running to us.”

Jennings is joined on the committee by Bernard Sévigny, Nicole Gibeault, Alexandre Matte and Louis Côté.

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The committee members say Quebecers want to see changes in the province’s police forces. Guilbault said the last time there was a review of the rules governing police was 20 years ago.

Now she has drafted a 46-page green paper, which will act as a working document for the committee to base their future recommendations, she says.

The committee will look at why there are so few charges emanating from BEI and UPAC investigations. Another major topic will be cybercrime and whether police have the tools to tackle crime in the 21st century.

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“There are perceptions and there are facts, so we have to take perceptions into account, but we have to base this exercise upon facts. And that’s the point of this green [paper] today,” Guilbault said.

The final report from the consultative committee will be tabled in fall 2020.

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