Canada

Liberals promise action on biases in justice system, policing

OTTAWA — The Liberal government is promising legislation and money to address systemic inequities in all phases of the criminal justice system.

The commitments come amid mounting concerns about unfair treatment of Black and Indigenous people, who are overrepresented in courts and jails.

The throne speech pledges action on issues ranging from sentencing and rehabilitation to improved civilian oversight of the RCMP and standards on the use of force.

The measures also include modern training for police and other law-enforcement agencies, as well as broader RCMP reforms that emphasize a shift toward community-led policing.

In addition, the Liberals promise to speed up work on a legislative framework for First Nations policing as an essential service.

Perry Bellegarde, grand chief of the Assembly of First Nations, says zero tolerance on excessive use of force must be among the moves to improve policing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 24, 2020.

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