Calling for a federal inquiry into the use of ‘wellness checks’

Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
2020-07-08 13:37 [p.2550]

Madam Chair, I want to begin by expressing my relief that the attack on Rideau Hall where both our Governor General and the Prime Minister and his family live ended non-violently and that Corey Hurren was taken into custody.

I would like to ask the hon. minister and the Prime Minister about the following names: Chantel Moore, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, D’Andre Campbell, Ejaz Ahmed Choudry and Rodney Levi, who, not meaning any harm to anyone, were killed during the process of a wellness check. They are dead. They were all indigenous, black or racialized Canadians who are now dead.

Is it not time to have a federal inquiry into the use of wellness checks to ensure that the people who are being cared for do not end up in the morgue.

Hon. Bill Blair (Scarborough Southwest)
2020-07-08 13:38 [p.2551]

Madam Chair, I thank the member for a very important question. This is an issue of grave concern to the government and all Canadians.
It is important to acknowledge that over 100,000 times each year, the police respond to calls for service for people in crisis, and the overwhelming majority of those matters are resolved peacefully. There has been an enormous amount of work done to find alternative forums of response, from medical crisis intervention teams that pair police and health care workers together, to other community interventions and enhanced training for de-escalation.

I am in complete agreement with the member that we need to do much more, and that is why we will be working with the provinces and territories and indigenous leadership to, first of all, develop national standards for the use of force and de-escalation training, and also to explore and invest in alternative methods of response to these very difficult situations in order to keep people safe.