October 7, 2020
For immediate release: NS PPWG releases report on 2020 Municipal Candidate Questionnaire, with results showing strong support for police reform in the HRM
The Nova Scotia Policing Policy Working Group (“NS PPWG”) is a coalition of organizations and citizens concerned with advancing legislative and policy reform relevant to policing in the province. So far, the NS PPWG has been focused on the delivery of policing services in the Halifax Regional Municipality (“HRM”) by the Halifax Regional Police (“HRP”) and the RCMP.
On September 8, 2020, the NS PPWG circulated a questionnaire to all declared mayoral and Council candidates running in the upcoming election. The questionnaire asked 13 substantive questions related to policing in HRM. The NS PPWG received 61 responses from Council candidates – a response rate of 74%. However, none of the mayoral candidates responded.
The results show strong support among Council candidates for many of the NS PPWG’s priority areas for reform. Major findings include:
● 100% (52) supported holding the HRP and the RCMP accountable for implementing the recommendations of the Wortley Report and the The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (“MMIWG Final Report”).
● 96% (50) said they supported a more detailed line-by-line accounting of the HRP annual budget request when told that, in fiscal 2019/2020, funds for polygraph tests ($258,900) and the mounted unit ($264,700) exceeded those for the Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team ($232,800), and were similar to those for Victim Services ($271,600). 72% agreed or strongly agreed that these funds could be better spent elsewhere.
● 96% (49) supported moving Victim Services, the Youth Advocate Program, and other non-core policing units like school crossing guards out of HRP and into HRM’s Public Safety Office in keeping with Call for Justice 5.6 from the MMIWG Report.