When will the government take responsibility for Indigenous people killed during “wellness checks”

Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
2021-03-08 15:07 [p.4672]

Mr. Speaker, terrible news: Another indigenous person has been killed in the course of a wellness check; another member of the Tla-o-qui-aht Nation, the same nation to which Chantel Moore belonged when she was killed by the Edmundston, New Brunswick, police. The killing over the last weekend in February was on Meares Island on the traditional territory of the indigenous people of the Tla-o-qui-aht Nation. That nation issued a statement pointing out so tragically that there have been more members killed in wellness checks by police and RCMP than have died from COVID.

When will the minister take responsibility? When will this government call an inquiry and end the threat that wellness checks pose to Canadians, indigenous and non-indigenous?

Hon. Bill Blair (Scarborough Southwest)
2021-03-08 15:09 [p.4672]

Mr. Speaker, I share the member’s sadness and concern about this tragedy, and our thoughts are with the community.

In situations such as this, it is absolutely essential that there be a timely, transparent and independent investigation in order to provide answers to the many difficult questions that the people of that community quite rightly have.

We welcome and support the appointment of an indigenous civilian monitor for the first time to help oversee that investigation, and he will have full access to the investigation. We will continue to monitor this situation, and we are working with the RCMP and police right across the country to find a better response to these tragic situations and to help keep people safe.