Val-d’or: Quebec does not want an independent observer focuses on sexual assault

News 12 February, 2018
  • Fannie Lafontaine, an independent observer.

    Michel, Jean

    Monday, 12 February 2018 16:42

    Monday, 12 February 2018 16:42

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    While the acquittal of a farmer who killed himself with a bullet to the head, a young aboriginal girl raises outrage in English Canada, Quebec subtracted from the important responsibilities to the independent observer appointed to oversee the investigation on racism within the Sûreté du Québec in Val-d’or. The decision raised the indignation of the indigenous leaders.

    The investigation of the SPVM for their work on the SQ goes, but, for this second phase, all cases of sexual assault will now be entrusted to the independent investigation agency, and will escape to the revision of the group led by Fannie Lafontaine and which includes an Aboriginal. The government Couillard does not see fit to prevent the First Nations who have learned the news from the mouth of an independent observer.

    Aboriginal leaders, including representatives of Ghyslain Picard, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations for Quebec and Labrador, and Viviane Michel, Quebec native Women came together last week.

    This last does not hide the fact that there is great frustration in the face of the decision of Quebec that she describes as a rider. “It still decides to the place of Aboriginal people,” she said. Why does the government ask us-does it not at least our opinion? Why not, he asks not what we want?”

    In its first report, the observer concluded that, even if the investigation of the SPVM had been conducted with integrity and impartially, allegations of sexual violence and abuse of power against the police of the Sûreté du Québec to Val-d’or, raised the question of the existence of systemic racism within the forces of law and order to the place of Aboriginal people.

    Words heavy with meaning that had not surprised the grand chief Picard. “Already there was a gap between the police and communities, knowing also that there are communities that do not have other choice than to appeal to the SQ, to ensure safety and order, so that will widen the gap even more,” he.

    The indigenous leaders believe that the decision to subtract the cases of sexual assault to the supervision of the independent observer will undermine their confidence in the place of the investigation on the events of Val-d’or. Especially that it has so far led to the indictment of a police officer accused by indigenous women, assault and abuse of power.

    “It’s always the same story that is repeated each time,” says Vivianne Michel, who deplores the colonialist attitude of the government Couillard. Adding that aboriginal leaders did not intend to stay there.