You can download the statement here.
The Thunder Bay Police Services Board has received and reviewed both the OPIRD report by Gerry McNeilly outlining systemic racism in the Thunder Bay Police Service and recommendations therein and the OCPC report by The Honourable Senator Murray Sinclair regarding the Thunder Bay Police Services Board. Having digested both reports, we acknowledge unequivocally that systemic racism exists both in the Service and the Board.
By making this statement we want to acknowledge that the Board has failed the Indigenous Community.
In early January we will hold a community circle where the Board will publicly acknowledge the existence of systemic racism and apologise for it. We have invited the Chief and members of the Service to join.
Moving forward the emphasis will be on completing training and working with the Administrator to develop policies and procedures that are vital to the proper operation of the Board.
There are presently 2 vacancies; one municipal and one provincial. We are hopeful that these positions will be filled by a consultative process. This is a new beginning for the Board and we encourage anyone with an interest to serve on the Board to submit a resume as soon as possible.
As the Chair, I wish to welcome Tom Lockwood. As a lawyer for OCPC, he has been involved in the investigation from the start and has a breadth of experience in Policing that will prove invaluable. Our intention is to move with alacrity to bring the Board up to speed so we can resume our full duties. Contrary to erroneous reports the Board has been neither dissolved nor disbanded and continues to work to fulfill our responsibilities to the City of Thunder Bay. Collaboration, it is hoped, will be the hallmark of our relationship; I am confident that we are off to a good start and that the journey towards healing will proceed apace.