Marco Mendicino, the Canadian Public Safety Minister was in Saskatoon Monday discussing the idea of an Indigenous police service to work with people living on reserves.
Mendicino said he spoke with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) and is aiming to find a way to make the plan work.
“How exactly is it that we provide Indigenous-led policing will very much be dependent upon where the community is at,” Mendicino said.
“We spoke really candidly about meeting each of the First Nations in the communities where they’re at in terms of what it is that their needs are, what it is that their capacity is, and making sure that the government of Saskatchewan is also at the table.”
He added that this is to help empower First Nations and help stop crime from occurring in the first place.
In terms of when something like this could get started, Mendicino said the sooner the better.
“There’s a real impression from the people that I speak with, especially Indigenous communities and leadership, that there’s an urgency.”
Mendicino also touched on Bill C-21, the proposed handgun freeze.
“Bill C-21 does a number of things, but what we have been highlighting is that first it will put in place a national handgun freeze to stop the trend of a universe of guns used as the number one killer in homicides.”
“Secondly, it will introduce red flag protocols which would allow a judge to either take away or seize a gun if that gun holder poses a threat to themselves, or anyone else for that matter,” added Mendicino.
He added that this will hopefully reverse the trend of the connection between domestic violence and guns.
Mendicino said Bill C-21 will give more power to law enforcement to stop the flow of guns, adding that state of the art technology has come a long way in detecting ghost guns.
He also said that one bill won’t fix all the problems.
“I think sometimes there is this propensity to think that one piece of legislation is going to solve the problem. It won’t, there is no such thing as just one kind of magic solution to this. You need better gun laws, you need to support law enforcement with additional tools and resources, and yes, you do need to address gun violence at its root causes.”